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Did MIT invent hacking?

MIT hacking is legendary among college pranks.

MIT culture distinguishes itself not only for its seriousness of purpose but also for its unique sense of humor, as expressed in the arena of hacking. Hacks at the Institute are elaborate—but benign—practical jokes perpetrated anonymously on campus, around Cambridge, or even farther afield, that amaze for their creativity, cleverness, and difficulty of execution.

A 1958 prank in which the Harvard Bridge was measured in increments of fraternity pledge Oliver Smoot has achieved such fame that “smoot” has been incorporated into the American Heritage Dictionary and is included as a unit of measure in Google Earth. The bridge still displays its quirky unit of the measure today.

MIT’s hacks are well documented.

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