I was out meeting a friend and some of her friends that I didn’t previously know last night, and the topic of school came up.
(SIDE NOTE: that was the most difficult and awkward sentence I’ve typed in a long time. I think the problem stems from not having a good word for “friend of a friend”. In the interest of furthering the human language, I propose we adopt exponential notation to denote level of friendship. I.e. A “friend”, or “root-level” friend is one that you personally know and like. A “friend^2” would be a friend of a “friend”, a “friend^3” would be a friend of a “friend^2”, etc. That would make things so much easier, for example:
“I was going to go to that convention with my friend, but a lot of friend^2s and friend^3s were there, so I felt like I wouldn’t fit in. Plus I don’t have a pair of cat ears to wear.”
See? Isn’t that so much easier? Not to mention your most special friend, or “friend^0” is “the one”. But I digress.)
Anyway, we’re talking about school and I mention that I go to MIT and one of the girls asks:
“Do you participate in the annual prank?”
Relative frequency and vocabulary aside, I was a bit impressed that this girl knew about our hacks, because she was in an entirely different social sphere than MIT. The rest of the girls were a bit confused, so I explained to them what hacks were and began sharing a few of my favorite hacks throughout history, incuding the (in)famous police car on the dome, and the Caltech Cannon.
Then this morning, I saw this slideshow of some of the more well-known hacks and figured it’d be worth sharing:
(SIDE NOTE: If you’re a web developer, please please please, don’t make slideshows where you have to click to load the next page for a single image. Every time you do, Richard Stallman thinks about doing away with the GPL. Use a gallery.)
Some of my personal favorites that I’ve seen are the music notes on the dome, the solar-powered T car (STILL more reliable than the red-line, even though for the first day it was broken) and of course, the upside-down-lounge.
I can’t wait to see what the hackers will come up with this year!
Hehe, I’m liking that exponential friend notation – quite clever!
Really great post! I too liked the exponential notation of the level of friendship.
People interested in reading about more hacks can also visit hacks.mit.edu. It has lots of photos and descriptions going back to the 1980’s
Is “friend” greater than or less than 1? If friend > 1, you might want to set “friend of a friend” = (friend)^(1/2), and so on. That way “friend of a friend” Is “friend” greater than or less than 1? If friend > 1, you might want to set “friend of a friend” = (friend)^(1/2), and so on. That way “friend of a friend” < “friend”
That way “friend of a friend” is less than “friend”
Then again, if 1 = “the one,” then friend Then again, if 1 = “the one,” then friend < 1, so you were right :D
then friend is less then 1, so you were right all along :D
lol… friend^0…. “the one” :D… exponentials notation for friends is the way to go.
I remember talking about hackers with my interviewer last round of admissions. He shared a few from his time at MIT. Particularly the one with a pirate flag on the great dome.
But I have to say that the upside down lounge is the best. The level of detail with the pool table is just awesome. Everything from a working lamp to a billiard table… just perfect… that aside,
Did u ever participate in a hack?
Hey, is there a way to contact you ?email or msn