Hollywood’s Religious Obsession With Hackers

April 27, 2014
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So I’ve just come home from watching Transcendence the movie and it has only served to renew my intense annoyance at Hollywood for making it seem like any hacker or person who is even remotely good with the computer must be magical. Here’s the thing, I know that movies tend to exaggerate and sometimes writers add things in order to move the story along but come on, knowing how to hack into the mainframe should not be code for, ‘now I can control everything – even alien space ships.’

I mean, most companies don’t even use mainframes anymore, and if they did a hacker would have to know some pretty old programming languages to hack it. It is just easier for Hollywood to stick with an outdated term to move the story forward.

Hollywood's Religious Obsession With Hackers

Quick sidetrack: It also annoys me when Hollywood has actors use the most outdated phones in movies. I’m talking fuckin’ flip phones when the rest of the world has moved on to smartphones. I mean really, a smart business executive using a flip phone? Or when top, high-powered business people use Blackberries. Like the whole company is on Blackberry. Who the fuck still does that? Get with the program!

Alright… back here.

Don’t let me get started on Jurassic Park where the young girl recognizes the operating system and then magically is able to control everything. Uh… that’s like saying, “It’s Windows, I know this!” and then being able to hack and control the electricity of your city.Hollywood’s Religious Obsession With Hackers.

Hollywood's Religious Obsession With Hackers

And what about Independence Day when they defeat the aliens by uploading a virus using their Apple computer to the mainframe (there’s that word again) of the advanced alien space ship. Perhaps Steve Jobs has a secret ‘defeat aliens’ MacBook that I don’t know about?

And what’s with all the 3D renderings in just about any movie about hacking (Hackers, Skyfall, Swordfish)? Hacking is mostly boring, tedious work full of text against usually a black screen (and I’m not even talking about the cool Matrix screens). I suppose that doesn’t make for good movie watching. I mean who would want to stare at hours of text (other than computer nerds)? Much better to create completely non realistic 3D renders, because at least that way moviegoers will be entertained.

Another thing that movies seem to do with abandon is to rotate images, videos, or zoom in security footage and still have crystal clear footage. In Enemy of the State, Jack Black’s character issues a bunch of random commands like, rotate, enhance, freeze, zoom and BOOM! The security camera footage has now produced a 3D render of what this dude’s shopping bag. Amazing.

The worst of all though lies not with movies but with stupid crime TV shows. Check this out:


I mean when I saw this clip of ‘two idiots, one keyboard’ I burst out laughing. I can hardly type on my own keyboard without making some stupid mistake, here are two idiots banging away on a keyboard, whilst trying to stop a hacker that has already ‘burned through the NCIS public firewall’ and even trying to ‘isolate the node and dumping him on the other side of the router’ (what??) won’t work. What’s the NCIS to do? I know! Unplug the monitor. Problem solved. This whole scene is so absurd that there is a conspiracy theory out there that all these TV shows are secretly trolling us. I mean that has to be it.

Please, please, we need to stop propagating misinformation like this. I know that showing hours after hours of text is boring but coming out with complete bullshit?? Come on, give us some credit here guys! My eyes are getting tired of rolling up into my head.

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  1. I isolate the node and dump him on the other side of the router all the time. hax0r.

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