Buy Used
£2.80
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Hacker Ethic Hardcover – 1 Feb 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover, 1 Feb 2001
£0.01
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd (1 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436205505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436205507
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 914,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 22 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Interesting book. Personaly I thinik that Himanen's discourse of the hacker ethic is probably based on too few informants. Eric Raymond is used heavily, and he is an eccentric even among hackers. Being such a thin book it's also quite superficial I feel. But his points about work ethic does stand even so. Definitly worth a read, and if you ever speak to a sociologist that's interested in technology it's sure to give you something to talk about :-)
Getting to the epilogue by Castells I completely lost track. Castells kept pulling in more and more context until I overflowed.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great for the first six chapters. You'll come away from reading this knowing exactly why you should work on Sunday and play on Friday and why if your boss doesn't understand it's because he's still stuck in the 19th century. But after that it tries to overextend the analogies of corporate life and industrialisation. There's nothing wrong with the analogy but it didn't need to be pushed so far.
A great comparison of individualism and indutrialisation, creativity and the production line, morality and profit, (linux and microsoft?), intellectual honesty and trade secrets. Its comparisons of the two models are not investigated very deeply but if you have more than a passing familiarity with the two models you'll recognise why one wins over the other in all cases. Unfortunately I suspect that unless you have that understanding this wi ll do little to explain what the difference really is.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If you expecting a book about the guys who created Linux or founded the open source movement then look elsewhere. What you get here is a discussion on ethics and the philosophy behind meaningful work which, to my mind, is much more interesting.
In particular, Himanen's comparison of the hacker ethic to the protestant work ethic struck me as apposite. There's lots of other good stuff in there too, including a great joke about God designing the earth by committee (well, it made me smile).
The introduction by Linus Torvalds is certainly worth a read, although I found the final chapter by Manuel Castells a little verbose - to me, it was stylistically quite different from either of the other authors and seemed out of place.
All in all though, I'd thoroughly recommend this book. It's a quick read and most people will get something out of it.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This isn't at all bad, but if you want an idea of what makes hackers tick, you'd be better off reading Glyn Moody's history of open source software, Rebel Code. He's interviewed all the great hackers about their reasons for doing what they do (which are about as varied as you can imagine, whatever the author of the Hacker Ethic might like to think).
One other thing, the author is Pekka Himanen. Linus Torvalds only wrote a short introduction.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback