Batch of Hacker School begins in ten hours.
1. Having my name formally associated with a "hacker" organization has mixed benefits. Among coders and technical people generally, the word suggests inventive craftsmanship in the domain of programming, and the name Hacker School itself already has a surprising amount of prestige. At large, however, and especially in the media, "hacker" seems to mean "cyberterrorist". There is not much room between these senses, and I can imagine the disasters that might arise from misconstruals of this word, especially willful misconstruals.
2. I've been completely independent in my research activities for as long as I can remember — essentially since high school, when I started trying to satisfy my curiosity in time cribbed from more "legitimate" activities. Hacker School will force me to subject my coding activities, including my own plans and strategies, to regular scrutiny by a number of "facilitators" and "residents". Merely making my plans visible to others will be quite a new experience for me, and I know it will take some adjustment.