A Hacker’s Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society’s Rules, and How to Bend them Back
Long associated with computing technology, a hack is way to subvert a system’s rules to the hacker’s benefit in a way that is unanticipated and unintended by the system’s designers. In A Hacker’s Mind, Bruce Schneier takes the term out of the world of computing and uses it to analyze the social systems that underpin our society: from tax laws to financial markets and beyond. He reveals an array of powerful actors who deploy hacks to bend our economic, political, and legal systems to their will. In Schneier’s estimation, “even the loopholes have loopholes,” and this is by design. Left unchecked, and supercharged by techniques from artificial intelligence, these hacks threaten to upend our financial markets, weaken our democracy, and infiltrate our own cognitive systems. But if we can understand the hacking mindset properly, we can improve existing systems, predict and defend against hacks, and realize a more equitable world.