Pekka Himanen The Hacker Ethic

ISBN 13: 9780099426929

The Hacker Ethic

3.68 avg rating
( 359 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780099426929: The Hacker Ethic

The Hacker Ethic takes us on a journey through fundamental questions about life in the information age - a trip of constant surprises, after which our time and our lives can be seen from unexpected perspectives.Nearly a century ago, Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism articulated the animating spirit of the industrial age, the Protestant ethic. In the original meaning of the word, hackers are enthusiastic computer programmers who share their work with others; they are not computer criminals. Now Pekka Himanen - together with Linus Torvalds and Manuel Castells - articulates how hackers represent a new opposing ethos for the information age.Underlying hackers' technical creations - such as the Internet and the personal computer, which have become symbols of our time - are the hacker values that produced them. These values promote passionate and freely rhythmed work; the belief that individuals can create great things by joining forces in imaginative ways; and the need to maintain our existing ethical ideals, such as privacy and equality, in our new increasingly technologized society.

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Review:

Despite the title The Hacker Ethic is a philosophical essay contrasting the Western capitalist world view with those of hackers. In this context, hackers are those passionate about any subject, not just computers.

The book starts with an essay by Linus Torvalds and finishes with a thoughtful 75-page essay by Manual Cassels called "Informationalism and the Network Society". At its heart though, is the paradox summed up on page 60, "Present capitalism is based on the exploitation of scientific communism". This simply means companies make money based on information provided by scientists for free. This results in an ethical quandary. Companies eagerly seize information freely provided by hackers yet withhold information discovered by themselves. An indefensible position.

Himamen claims hackers work because what they're doing interests them and disseminating what they learn brings the respect of their peers while others work for money and enjoy the envy of their peers. His arguments are well illustrated with ideas from Plato, through medieval village life, protestantism, academia, the industrial revolution and more. He concludes the information revolution makes work central to our lives, soaking up the time and energy necessary for play, for the pursuit of personal passions.

He isn't whistling "Dixie". Who do you know with a hobby? How many talk to their families? Most spend their free time watching actors pretend to be members of passionate families. This is essential reading for anyone who wonders what their life is about. Hackers don't need to read it. --Steve Patient

Review:

"A person can be a hacker without having anything to do with computers."
--Pekka Himanen
"A thoroughly spirited and commendable framework for human creativity."
--Financial Times
"As comprehensive and instructive as any [survey] to date... Himanen has a powerful grasp on that strangely intoxicating contradiction that is open-source."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Engagingly written and provocative, and indubitably commendable in its vision of a transformation of how all of us relate to our working life....We should all be more like hackers."
--Salon.com

-A person can be a hacker without having anything to do with computers.-
--Pekka Himanen
-A thoroughly spirited and commendable framework for human creativity.-
--Financial Times
-As comprehensive and instructive as any [survey] to date... Himanen has a powerful grasp on that strangely intoxicating contradiction that is open-source.-
--The New York Times Book Review
-Engagingly written and provocative, and indubitably commendable in its vision of a transformation of how all of us relate to our working life....We should all be more like hackers.-
--Salon.com

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Torvalds, Linus; Himanen, Pekka; Castells, Manuel
Published by Vintage (2001)
ISBN 10: 0099426927 ISBN 13: 9780099426929
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Vintage, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0099426927

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