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Hackers ignore traditions with excessive sign-ins


(Editor's note: As you may already know, hacking is a longstanding tradition at MIT. For over 50 years students have enjoyed the privilege of finding and exploring long forgotten places throughout the Institute. One of the traditions that goes along with discovering a new and interesting place is called signing-in. The book HowToGAMIT

notes that hackers are judged by where they leave their sign-ins.

Everyone has seen your names written on walls and stairways throughout Buildings 66, 56 and 16. As a matter of fact, I have found it impossible to avoid them. And what about the sub-basement of building 36? There's absolutely no excuse for writing your name on the wall every ten feet. Sign-ins are meant to serve as proof that you were able to get into the place where you signed. People who see your sign-in should be impressed, not annoyed. You have reduced this ritual to nothing more than common vandalism, and we are all being forced to pay the price.

Recently, Physical Plant has decided that the graffiti around the Institute has gotten out of control. It would seem that your sign-ins are the main culprits. In addition to cleaning and painting readily visible walls, their war on graffiti included the walls of the sub-basement of Building 9, known as "the tombs." This particular section of wall displayed some sign-ins that were at least 20 years old. Some if it was quite artistic, too. Many MIT students should remember "the tombs" from the Orange Tours during Rush Week. This was not just any graffiti wall. It was covered with history and tradition. I find it outrageous that it has all been lost to a few, thoughtless people like yourselves and to the paintbrushes of Physical Plant.

Perhaps you will think twice the next time you pick up a magic marker or a can of spray paint.

Courtney Moriarta '91->