Hackers on Planet Earth 2024

Why I go to the HOPE conference

and why you might want to go too


    First of all, this is not a paid promo/ad/whatever and I have no affiliation with the conference, 2600 Magazine, St John's University, or anyone else associated with it (as far as I know).  I just really enjoy going and always come back inspired, energized, and knowing things I didn't even know that I didn't know before.

What is HOPE anyway?

    Hackers On Planet Earth is a hacker conference hosted by 2600 The Hacker Quarterly every 2 years in NYC. But that description doesn't do it justice or really tell you anything.  Their website describes it as an all-ages event that is "open to all hackers, makers, tinkerers, experimenters, artists, educators and anyone else with an interest in exploring and improving the world we live in and sharing knowledge with others."  There are workshops, talks, performances, vendors, and lots of cool, like-minded people.  It's not a corporate-focused trade show, there are no big tech companies shilling the latest surveillance capitalism scheme, it's just people like you and me sharing what they're passionate about.

 What have I done at HOPE?

    I've improved my soldering skills, taught others how to pick locks, ridden on a Segway, took and developed a 3d laser holographic photo, and took part in a coding capture the flag challenge even though I'm not a programmer.  I've attended talks on right to repair, travel hacking, Nicola Tesla, and 19th century encrypted newspaper ads.  I've seen wifi networks visualized as butterflies and flowers, talked with people from across the country and around the world, and attended film screenings and incredible musical performances.  

Highlights from previous HOPE conferences:

Hacking Comprehension: Overcoming Limitations to Better Understand the World:


Engineering Your Own Disease Eradication Program:

 Pick Better Fights With Your Boss:

The History of the Maker Movement:


And there's been an epic, late night Demoscene presentation at every HOPE I've been to:

(Demoscene being the mindblowing (to me) art of creating amazingly complex digital art, animations and music within extremely small amounts of memory, that sprang out of the software cracking scene in the 80's, which I didn't even know existed until I attended HOPE)

Should you go to HOPE? 

Well, if you've read this far, had any interest sparked by any of the topics I mentioned or videos I linked,  or enjoy exploring unique combinations of art, technology, music, and culture, then you should definitely consider it.  And if you want to go but can't physically be there, they have remote attendance options too. Plus nearly every talk from almost every conference since the start is archived and available free online in one form or another, so you'll be able to catch up on talks you missed, rewatch and share favorites, and dig into the history of the past 30 years of this amazing event.

HOPE to see you there! 

(sorry, I had to)