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The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the New Economy Hardcover – 1 Nov 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade; First Edition edition (1 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375505660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375505669
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,048,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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VINE VOICEon 26 May 2002
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