I live right next door to Silicon Valley. Well, over a mountain range, but that doesn't stop a lot of people from living in one place and working in the other. Nevertheless, I'd never heard the term "lifehack" until just now, when I read about it in an article in Slate. According to the piece by Evgeny Morozov, it was coined as recently as 2004 by a tech journalist named Danny O'Brien but has already been validated enough to appear in the Oxford Dictionaries Online:
lifehack: a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way.
Anyway, I thought the article's premise that life hacking is just a sneaky way to get us to work more fit in very neatly with my recent post, and more importantly, the article it linked to, on work ethic.
I did find it a heartening sign that Danny O'Brien's own blog is called Oblomovka , in tribute to the patron saint of lifehacking, Oblomov. I've never actually read Oblomov-- though could you call yourself an Oblomovian if you've actually opened the book?--but I did go to a movie of it. All I can say is that at least 2/5ths of my family slept right through it.