Bruce Schneier at Harvard Science Center
A Hacker's Mind:
How the Powerful Bend Society's Rules,
and How to Bend them Back
in conversation with HIAWATHA BRAY
March 31, 2023
6:00 PM ET
Harvard Science Center Hall D
1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
Harvard Book Store, the Harvard University Division of Science, and the Harvard Library welcome cybersecurity expert and bestselling author BRUCE SCHNEIER for a discussion of his new book A Hacker's Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society's Rules, and How to Bend them Back. He will be joined in conversation by HIAWATHA BRAY, award-winning technology reporter and columnist for the Boston Globe.
A Return to In-Person Events
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There are three ticket options available for this event.
Free General Admission Ticket: Includes admission for one.
Book-Included Ticket: Includes admission for one and one hardcover copy of A Hacker's Mind.
Free RSVP for Harvard University Students/Faculty: Includes admission only for Harvard students and faculty.
About A Hacker's Mind
A hack is any means of subverting a system’s rules in unintended ways. The tax code isn’t computer code, but a series of complex formulas. It has vulnerabilities; we call them “loopholes.” We call exploits “tax avoidance strategies.” And there is an entire industry of “black hat” hackers intent on finding exploitable loopholes in the tax code. We call them accountants and tax attorneys.
In A Hacker’s Mind, Bruce Schneier takes hacking out of the world of computing and uses it to analyze the systems that underpin our society: from tax laws to financial markets to politics. He reveals an array of powerful actors whose hacks bend our economic, political, and legal systems to their advantage, at the expense of everyone else.
Once you learn how to notice hacks, you’ll start seeing them everywhere―and you’ll never look at the world the same way again. Almost all systems have loopholes, and this is by design. Because if you can take advantage of them, the rules no longer apply to you.
Unchecked, these hacks threaten to upend our financial markets, weaken our democracy, and even affect the way we think. And when artificial intelligence starts thinking like a hacker―at inhuman speed and scale―the results could be catastrophic.
But for those who would don the “white hat,” we can understand the hacking mindset and rebuild our economic, political, and legal systems to counter those who would exploit our society. And we can harness artificial intelligence to improve existing systems, predict and defend against hacks, and realize a more equitable world.
Praise for A Hacker's Mind
"That Schneier has pushed himself beyond his own comfort zone, confronting hacking as something bigger and more multifaceted than simply sand in the machinery of digital systems is what makes A Hacker's Mind unique and valuable. If his message is received, our social systems will soon begin to evolve to interact with hacking with greater agility, nuance, and even―in some instances―appreciation." ―Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Science
"A Hacker's Mind . . . sheds vital light on the beginnings of our journey into an increasingly complex world." ―Becky Hogge, Financial Times
"Hairsplitting, workarounds, weaselly little shortcuts: these are all hacks... Reading A Hacker’s Mind, I began to envision modernity as a rat’s nest of interconnected Rube Goldberg machines held together with Scotch tape and faith: a maze of leaks and patches just begging to be hacked. Only the rich and powerful, Schneier believes, have the resources to exploit these vulnerabilities, and they’re seldom penalized; instead, their hacks are normalized and celebrated." ―Dan Piepenbring, New York Times Book Review
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