You'd think that you would have learned something after spending so much time with so many successful people. Apparently not.
I concluded that he is a hacker who is eternally curious and likes to figure out the dynamics of unknown systems by jumping in to them and doing experiments on the systems in real time. This is an effective and efficient method of developing understanding through the use of the scientific method.
If he used this attribute of curiosity, analysis, and control over fear to make a career of defrauding people then I would conclude he was a criminal, such as the folks who are using the trust people place in software developers to steal people's address books. But he is not at that point, this is not a career, but rather an experiment. At this point.
On the other hand, I am certain though that if these practices become widespread at all there will be a crackdown that will make events less pleasant for all. Therefore, although I enjoyed this article I believe his most significant sin here is publicizing these methods as something for others to emulate. There can be no outcome to this except to increase the amount of surveillance and suspicion in the world. Better to keep such youthful escapades as a story told to friends and family.
Most of us come here to laud and admire our fellows that are tenacious and ingenious enough to invent, create, market, sell, or hack their way to success. This fellow has done no different.
As he says near the beginning of the article, he knew where he wanted to be but didn't have the resources or connections to get there. So he figured out a way to achieve those goals. This is the epitome of what I love about hackers.
I also don't see a problem with his talking about it publicly. His intention wasn't to spend his entire life sneaking into parties. It was to make connections with people that would let him do things he'd be unable to otherwise. Assuming that he's done that, then talking about how he got to where he is now is perfectly fine.
I'll say that his style of writing does come off with a certain tone of braggadocio, but otherwise its an interesting and well written account.
The only benefit I see is that he's actively stepping out of his comfort zone. This is valuable, however, it's at the cost of charity. There are better ways to go about exercising this character trait.
That said, most people will not be able to replicate.
I want to have a hundred million dollars. I think I can figure out a way to achieve that goal easily…
That's an absurd stretch of course, but the analogy holds. The end does not justify the means. Crashing a party for fun is harmless (and pointless), but basing your professional life on deceit won't do you any good.
The overwhelming difference is: the real hackers who are actually successful actually created something while he got to talk to some people he religiously admires (creepy) and he found a way to get free booze. Wow, what a success story!
I was really confused that he'd state this and provide his real name. I can see him crashing for the lolz or general social practice, but I can't believe, in light of the post, that he is doing this to build connections.
Then again, there is something to be said just for getting your name out there. Plenty of people won't care about the ethical considerations.
In the end it is just a guy who is hacking his way through life. Mistakes are part of the process.
Sorry dude, crashing parties and ripping off charities is not going to make you successful.
It's not as if he's depriving the charities of money because he would have paid the large admission fees if he wasn't doing this; he just wouldn't go. And his presence there is not causing the charity to spend any more money by hiring more staff. There is the real cost of the food and drink he consumes, but depending on how the event is catered, if there is food left over, then he's not effecting anything, and if there isn't food left over, he's taking money out of the other attendees' pockets, not the charity's.
In fact, maybe he contributed to an enjoyable experience for the other attendees, which will make them more likely to support that charity in the future.
The way these things work is that after such an event the organizers assess whether there was enough food, and based on this they order food for the next event.
But just to play devil's advocate, might the charity decide that they want to take in a certain amount of money from an event and set ticket prices accordingly, thus passing the cost on to attendees? (The implication being that it's less ethically dubious to leech off of rich people than charities.)
My point is that it's unethical. I realize it's not going to make or break the charity.
 i.e. the charity brings in X bottles of champagne and lets it flow freely all night. At the end they return all unopened bottles, and only pay for what was drunk.
Aside that the attention seeking is very obvious from the formatting of the text, the interesting thing is that he did really nothing special.
Naturally, credits for getting the right attitude that let him enter, but for the rest, what he's describing is not different from a socially comfortable (skilled, for the nerds) person.
To them it was totally out there. A more socially comfortable person may do the same kind of thing, but it feels normal to them and they don't see it as any kind of big deal or accomplishment.
Actually, what this blog post really reminds me of is a breathless 'Field Report' by a clueless but eager beginner in that whole Pick Up Artist subculture. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if the guy was into that stuff.
Also, the author is of Indian origin, being from Uruguay myself, I'd guess we might have more class/social status awareness; most wouldn't dare crash an Elton John party.
I also agree that he found out for himself some things that other subcultures had already found out, for example I think Kevin Mitnick says something about suits and the right attire in his book The Art of Deception, the Pick Up Artists probably say something of the sort, and many books and movies about scamsters also highlight it (Catch Me If You Can comes to mind).
Not that I'm defending crashing high-security press functions with prime ministers, but when did seeking attention become a disorder? When will we stop calling the slightest deviation from an idealized median a "disorder?"
Of course these days we call them con-artists since the sex of the person is irrelevant. The motivation for being a con artist is the adrenaline thrill of knowing at any moment you can be 'caught out.' Sure that makes you feel alive, but when you are 'caught' you may not have broken any laws but you have really pissed someone off. When you shoplift from a store they call the cops to charge you, when you make someone feel stupid for having believed you, they call their friends to come over and beat the shit out of you.
You would immediately recognize that he was talking about something the profession called 'plumbing' does every day. And while there are amateur plumbers, there are also many many professional ones.
Pretending you are something you are not, in order to gain the confidence of someone so that they will treat you in a way you would like to be treated, is a game of confidence. And some people do this to convince someone else to go out with them on a date, some do it for the 'lulz', and some do it to make a living,
Our intrepid author has 'tricked' people into thinking he belongs at a swank party and has 'robbed' the party of drinks and snacks. He talks about the thrill of getting away with it. And it is a huge thrill. But like plumbing the spectrum of 'con artist' goes from very small (taking candy from babies) to very large (taking millions from corporations). He tells himself its not really stealing (and the rationalizations are fine, there probably is more waste in the system than he is consuming) but he is making people believe something that is false.
My word of caution is that people who are very successful are often quite ruthlessly competitive, and finding out that they had been tricked into believing something that wasn't true, often gets translated into 'losing out'. That can trigger their competitive streak, and that can get your knees broken. Same is true for para-gliding or free-style rock climbing. Not good or bad, just is.
This is the second-oldest profession: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveying
Maybe you really are meeting friends at an exclusive restaurant, but the host is eyeing you suspiciously as you walk in.
Maybe you left your conference badge at the hotel, but didn't realize it was required for the afterparty.
Maybe you were asked to speak at a meetup, but the doorperson is asking for $10 in pizza money even though you already ate.
Learning how to look and act like you own the place can save you confrontation, keep things running smoothly, and lead to the same kinds of awesome as in the article - without swindling any charities.
One of my mentors is the organizer of an invite-only meetup which I really wanted to go to, and while he did add me at the last second to the invite list, I didn't get a badge. I simply acted as if I belonged (which I did), and I got by security, into the afterparty, etc.
I do believe the blog author crossed the line, but I also feel it's forgiveable/acceptable as an experiment, but not as something repeatable.
Furthermore, the faster you drink the less people care about how you act. People at exhibit openings tend to get positively sloshed.
I also enjoyed Kevin Mitnick's book The Art of Deception, also on "Social Engineering"/con artists.
walk close behind a group of at least 2 other customers. as their tickets are being ripped just keep walking past them at a normal pace, head facing forward, and without making eye contact. they will notice you but do nothing.
go ahead and try it with a legit ticket in your pocket you can show them if they do stop you.
Lemon: Carol, what are you doing here? How did you get past security?
Carol: You walk briskly in a pilot's uniform, you can go pretty much anywhere. I've been upstairs at the White House while the Obamas were sleeping.
Cheesy formatting, total misunderstanding of "quote unquote" - the use of quotation marks afterwards is priceless, and an attitude of having discovered and revealed some great secret which is in actuality a ploy so tired it has been in bad movies for decades.
This guy is passing, right. Definitely a dancing monkey.
NB: Not all of the above were necessarily my exploits.
Well, James Bond saves the world and doing something like sneaking into a party is probably a 2/10 on his list of skills. All this guy does is desperately seek attention, religiously look up to money and then he seeks more approval and attention about it online.
Really? Excellent! Because after reading that post, I will definitely never ever read that blog again on purpose, it makes me feel like dieing.
This so reeks of the same annoying "openess" and impertinence I have only come to experience from typically Indian and Pakistani hagglers on the street trying to lure you into their clothes store.
Congratulations, you played the monkey for an educated business crowd and they gave you attention. How surprising, educated and intelligent people are actually friendlier and forgiving than you thought! But still you were a dancing monkey, nothing more. You really feel proud of yourself?
Here is a hint: these people are getting approached by the likes of you ever single day, you really think they didn't see through your "genius" charade you came up with in 2 seconds? I think rich people can't stand anything less than people who talk to them just because they "admire" their wealth.
Your demeanor and actions very clearly show... you wouldn't stop at anything just to get some money and attention. You are the last person on earth I want to see coming into money because your borderline-religious fascination with it is dangerous and worrying.
> Often out of the ghettoness and scrappiness, emerges something more refined.
You are not ghetto nor do you accomplish anything actually pretty cool or worthwhile through shady means... you are just cheap and greedy. And you wrote a whole blog entry full of proof for that.
And all those "genius" methods of being a cheap, greedy wannabe and what do you have to show for it? You talked to a couple of people... congratulations.
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