7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very diverse - but mostly good stuff,
This review is from: Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)Paul Graham is clearly a man with opinions. This collection of essays ranges from the trials of being a nerdy teenager (absolutely brilliant) to neo-liberal politics (definitely not my thing) to how to fix spam (interesting) to the merits of various programming languages (in case you're wondering, Lisp is the greatest...)
I'd recommend any programmer to read this book. He has a very different perspective to most modern writers and that's refreshing, though I don't always agree with his conclusions. He also writes very well and it's a good read.
Unfortunately I would guess that large sections of it are off limits to non-programmers: it's hard to buy a book when you're not going to get half of it. Even the supposedly non-techie chapters tend to throw in comments about (for example) static typing here and there.
Chapter 1 is a brilliantly insightful "nerd's eye" view into how secondary school culture works and everyone should read it (particularly anyone with an interest in teenage education).