"What hackers and painters have in common is that they're both makers. Along with composers, architects, and writers, what hackers and painters are trying to do is make good things. They're not doing research per se, though if in the course of trying to make good things they discover some new technique, so much the better." -- http://www.paulgraham.com/hp.html
Wir verstehen den Begriff im eigentlichen Sinn. Wir sind Bastler und Enthusiasten in verschiedensten Bereichen und identifizieren uns in keinster Weise mit kriminellen Handlungen. Auch beschränkt sich der Begriff nicht auf Computer-Anwender. Manche der Hacker im Metalab sind keine Computer-Enthusiasten, und betätigen sich ganz anders kreativ-konstruktiv.
Zur Begriffsklärung einige Zeilen aus dem Jargon File:
[originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe]
1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.
2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.
3. A person capable of appreciating hack value.
4. A person who is good at programming quickly.
5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in "a Unix hacker".
(Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.)
6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example.
7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.
8. [deprecated] A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence "password hacker", "network hacker". The correct term for this sense is cracker.
Note that the media have a disturbing tendency to use the deprecated sense 8. When I use the word to refer to people, I'm using the other senses...
Google erklärt uns was ein Hacker ist