Editor’s Note: Pasty kids with greasy hair typing on command lines. Dark villains of the networked world. Security magicians with odd political beliefs. We have a lot of ideas about who hackers are, but very few people have actually tried to seriously investigate the anthropology of one of the more fascinating social groups to emerge at the end of the 20th century. NYU’s Gabriella Coleman studies their culture, an odd brew of faith in freedom of information and traditional liberalism, along with a generous salt-and-peppering of nerdiness and counterculturalism. In the latest edition of our syllabus-as-essay series, Coleman guides us past the stereotypes and into the many hideouts and projects of the hacker underground.