The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age

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Vintage, 2001 - Computer hackers - 232 pages
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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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User Review  - Miche11e - LibraryThing

This book compares the hacker ethic with the protestant work ethic, which we are more familiar with: Protestant Work Ethic - work is seen as an end onto itself (it prevents idleness, which can only ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

Pekka Himanen earned his Ph. D. in philosophy from the University of Helsinki at the age of twenty. His ongoing mapping of the meaning of technological development has brought him into dialogue with academics, artists, ministers and CEOs. Himanen works at the University of Helsinki and at the University of California at Berkeley. Linus Torvalds has become one of the most respected hackers within the computer community for creating the Linux operating system in 1991 while a student at the University of Helsinki. Since then, Linux has grown into a project involving thousands of programmers and millions of users worldwide. Mauel Castells is a professor of sociology at the university of California at Berkeley. He is the author of the highly acclaimed trilogy The Information Age and of The City and The Grassroots (winner of the 1983 C. Wright Mills Award) and of more than twenty other books.

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