Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hacker

Like any red-blooded hacker, Mozart adored mathematics as a child (and gambling as an adult), found word-play irresistible (email would have been perfect for him) and loved setting himself puzzles. His Musical dice game uses dice throws and pre-composed short fragments of music to form compositions created by random numbers; the challenge was writing fragments that would fit together whatever the throws. At one point in his opera Don Giovanni, in addition to the main orchestra accompanying the singers, there are three more orchestras on stage, each playing completely different music. It all fits together so perfectly that most opera lovers are unaware of the compositional tour-de-force they are witnessing. —Glyn MoodyWolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hacker (Open…)

If you think of a “hacker” as someone who compulsively tweaks a system, I think the author is onto something.

Ultimately, the argument is weakened by simplistic one-to=-one comparisons (such as The Magic Flute to a MMORPG) and the observation that lots of computer hackers like blasting music, but I still enjoyed reading this piece.