Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", May 18, 2004 - Computers - 272 pages
145 Reviews

"The computer world is like an intellectual Wild West, in which you can shoot anyone you wish with your ideas, if you're willing to risk the consequences. " --from Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham

We are living in the computer age, in a world increasingly designed and engineered by computer programmers and software designers, by people who call themselves hackers. Who are these people, what motivates them, and why should you care?

Consider these facts: Everything around us is turning into computers. Your typewriter is gone, replaced by a computer. Your phone has turned into a computer. So has your camera. Soon your TV will. Your car was not only designed on computers, but has more processing power in it than a room-sized mainframe did in 1970. Letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, and even your local store are being replaced by the Internet.

Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls "an intellectual Wild West."

The ideas discussed in this book will have a powerful and lasting impact on how we think, how we work, how we develop technology, and how we live. Topics include the importance of beauty in software design, how to make wealth, heresy and free speech, the programming language renaissance, the open-source movement, digital design, internet startups, and more.


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Good collection of essays, nice advice for startups. - Goodreads
PG is such an incredible writer. - Goodreads
Inspiring writing about design thinking to be a maker. - Goodreads
I enjoy his stories and insights. - Goodreads
Graham has a great writing style. - Goodreads
He is a good writer, besides an investor. - Goodreads

Review: Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

User Review  - Nick Cammarata - Goodreads

PG is such an incredible writer. Each paragraph seems to present a concise idea I haven't thought about before. His essay on kids and school is incredible. If I could have PG read every book and rewrite it in his writing style I would. Read full review

Review: Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

User Review  - Emil - Goodreads

Great insights from Paul Graham regarding business, technology, startups, money and everything. The book makes you think hard. His writings are clear and precise and to the point. Read full review

All 17 reviews »


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Page 15 - ... that hacking was cold, precise, and methodical, and that painting was the frenzied expression of some primal urge. Both of these images are wrong. Hacking and painting have a lot in common. In fact, of all the different types of people I've known, hackers and painters are among the most alike. What hackers and painters have in common is that they're both makers. Along with composers, architects, and writers, what hackers and painters are trying to do is make good things.

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