1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent on startups and programming, pinch of salt on politics/ Philosophy,
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This review is from: Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Paperback)
Paul Graham has a lot to say in this book, and he says it very clearly.
When he confines himself to start-ups and programming he makes a lot of good points. He's undoubtedly an excellent programmer and his thoughts on start-ups and lisp (mainly) are interesting and backed up by experience. His essays on why nerds re unpopular is excellent.
However on essays such as `How to make Wealth' and `Mind the Gap' he demonstrates the shallowness of his thinking. His politics are libertarian, and he repeatedly justifies the idea that inequality doesn't matter and that the rich earn their money. Both of these are debatable at best, and he makes various howlers - such as the amount of dollars the US government creates has a top limit, programmers tend to be libertarians (maybe in the US but I've ever met one in Britain) etc. He has a point when he says differences in productivity should give rise to differences in wealth but it's very hard to believe that's what's happening in the top 1% of income.
So as long as you ignore this, it's an interesting read, note also that all of these essays are free on PG's website.