« De-Coupling: Opening Pamphlet 30 | Main | Snow »

Hacking vs. Pimping

Hack or Pimp?To hack (as in hacking code) is to piece together something useful from pre-existing material.  The results are most often inelegant, but always effective: use value is the point of hacking.  As such, it is complementary to the definition of words like ad hoc and especially, bricolage, or "construction using whatever was available at the time."

To pimp, (as in "pimp my ride") is really just an evolution of the verb "trick", or "trick-out", popular in hot-rod culture dating back to the 1950's, if not before.  The fact that both terms have alternate connotations related to the sex trade is a clue that they have more to do with aesthetic flourish (social/cultural value) than with the sort of functional/use-value of 'hacking.'  At a practical level, however, pimping is similar to hacking because it always involves customizing or modifying a more standard host object.  Therefore, a factory car that is "loaded with 'custom' options", is not properly "pimped," since options offered by the factory are only psuedo-custom at best.   Customization is a one-off, aftermarket activity in the context of of mass production.   
Or is it?  Next post:  what is the relevance 'hacking' and 'pimping' for architecture, its culture and the building industry at large? 
Hack or Pimp?

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>