Morals vs. Skillz

A few months back, I was at a workshop on campus where some other staff member noticed my Mac and remarked (disapprovingly) on how quickly some hackers had gotten the latest OS X release running on stock (non-Apple) x86 hardware. “Why do people do that… why not just buy a Mac?” he asked. “They're good computers.” I offered that I might like to have such skilled hackers as students (or employees). This seemed to surprise him, but I think it's actually true.

For the moment, let's set aside arguments supporting the morality of digital restrictions circumvention (legal or not). Just assume that the hack is ethically dubious. Assume also that it's non-trivial. Then, I maintain that I would aim to recruit the hacker. Why? Ethics can be instilled, but raw technical talent is so rare that it's still a net win. :)

©20022015 Christopher League