Hack = to distill a skill down to it’s essence to allow a much quicker adoption of said skill.
I’ve just started reading Tim Ferris book the four hour cook/chef and he is as ever advocating hacking a skill. I have divivded opinions on this, on the one hand I would hate the idea that hacking would make craftsmen obselete, in beautiful, lovingly hand made products you can feel the skill and love that has been poured into their creation and I’d hate to see products of this type dissapear. Part of the problem here is that hand crafted products can be seen as elitist aimed at a few wealthy individuals. Another issue is that marketers are more than happy to apply the labels of skill and craft to mass produced tat in order to encourage sales. Marketeers are also more than happy to hijack culture and pin it to their products, Dol Mio being a perfect example of selling the simple Italian lifestyle and attaching it to a product made in a Dutch factory.
The flip side of this is that hacking is becoming a necessity in the current job market where employers requirements are constantly changing and in order to remain employable the quick adoption of new skills is a must.
So clearly there is room for both, we all want artisan products in certain circumstances but also there is a requirement for some items to be cheap and mass produced, finding the right balance is going to be the challenge.