So, that's the whole issue right there-- being a hacker has become a career path, and it's iteratively becoming more mainstream as the expected benefits are formalized and the stigmas exorcized.
That doesn't really sound all that bad, but the problem with gentrification is that it pushes the original tenants out, which is kinda scary when we're talking about the gentrification of an idea.
Of course, I'm not really sure how much such real hackers care.
It'll be inconvenient when you can no longer identify a member of the tribe by a simple shibboleth, but that is not an insurmountable obstacle.
In my opinion, l33t H4x0r status is something you earn.
A yuppie having "hacker" on their business card is likely doing about as much damage to hackerdom as the self-titled programming rock stars, ninjas, wizards, etc. etc. did to those professional groups.
0. Incidentally, does anyone else get reminded of things like The Rebel Sell or The Conquest of Cool by pieces like this? All of this handwringing serves to subtly indicate that the author is the sort of person who happens on these scenes before they were cool.
1. Even if you can't get rid of the more Stallman-esque members of the tribe, they get romanticized, deified, reduced to stories instead of people who could be brilliant, visionary, and kind, but moments later gross or needlessly rude.
2. Generally by spelling with your number keys.
The article misses the mark here mostly because it swings a bit too hard toward crackeresque antisocial anarchy in order to compensate for the Valleyesque prosocial conformity being criticized. Really, the "hacker ethos" leans closer to asocial ambivalence.