Hacker Ethic

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Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy

air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, Donald Knuth, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

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The precepts of this revolutionary Hacker Ethic were not so much debated and discussed as silently agreed upon. No manifestos were issued. No missionaries tried to gather converts. The computer did the converting, and those who seemed to follow the Hacker Ethic most faithfully were people like Samson, Saunders, and Kotok, whose lives before MIT seemed to be mere preludes to that moment when they fulfilled themselves behind the console of the TX-0. Later there would come hackers who took the implicit Ethic even more seriously than the TX-0 hackers did, hackers like the legendary Greenblatt or Gosper, though it would be some years yet before the tenets of hackerism would be explicitly delineated. Still, even in the days of the TX-0, the planks of the platform were in place. The Hacker Ethic: Access to computers—and anything that might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total.

As for convincing skeptics, bringing the outside world into the secret, proselytizing for the Hacker Ethic—all that was not nearly as interesting as living it. Chapter 5. The Midnight Computer Wiring Society Greenblatt was hacker of systems and visionary of application; Gosper was metaphysical explorer and handyman of the esoteric. Together they were two legs of a techno-cultural triangle which would serve as the Hacker Ethic’s foundation in its rise to cultural supremacy at MIT in the coming years. The third leg of the triangle arrived in the fall of 1963, and his name was Stewart Nelson. Not long after his arrival, Stew Nelson displayed his curiosity and ability to get into uncharted electronic realms, traits which indicated his potential to become a master magician in service to the Hacker Ethic. As was the custom, Nelson had come a week early for Freshman Rush.


pages: 398 words: 107,788

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman

activist lawyer, Benjamin Mako Hill, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Debian, Donald Knuth, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, GnuPG, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Larry Wall, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, pirate software, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, software patent, software studies, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, web application, web of trust

Hackers, however, evince considerable diversity and are notoriously sectarian, constantly debating the meaning of the words hack, hacker, and hacking. Yet almost all academic and journalistic work on hackers commonly whitewashes these differences, and defines all hackers as sharing a singular “hacker ethic.” Offering the first definition in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, journalist Steven Levy (1984, 39) discovered among a couple of generations of MIT hackers a unique as well as “daring symbiosis between man and machine,” where hackers placed the desire to tinker, learn, and create technical beauty above all other goals. The hacker ethic is shorthand for a list of tenets, and it includes a mix of aesthetic and pragmatic imperatives: a commitment to information freedom, a mistrust of authority, a heightened dedication to meritocracy, and the firm belief that computers can be the basis for beauty and a better world (ibid., 39–46).

Then, about ten years later, I thought back about it: ‘You know, if there was a fourth section in that book, maybe I would be in there!’ That’s a nice thought.”11 As I delved deeper into the cultural politics of hacking, though, I began to see serious limitations in making any straightforward connections between the hacker ethic of the past and the free software of the present (much less other hacker practices). Most obviously, to do so is to overlook how ethical precepts take actual form and, more crucially, how they transform over time. For example, in the early 1980s, “the precepts of this revolutionary Hacker Ethic,” Levy (1984, 39; emphasis added) observes, “were not so much debated and discussed as silently agreed upon. No Manifestos were issued.” Yet (and somewhat ironically) a mere year after the publication of his book, MIT programmer Richard Stallman charted the Free Software Foundation (FSF) ([1996] 2010) and issued “The GNU Manifesto,” insisting “that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it.”12 Today, hacker manifestos are commonplace.

If hackers did not discuss the intricacies of ethical questions when Levy first studied them, over the span of two decades they would come to argue about ethics, and sometimes as heatedly as they argue over technology. And now many hackers recognize ethical precepts as one important engine driving their productive practices—a central theme to be explored in this book. Additionally, and as the Mitnick example provided above illustrates so well, the story of the hacker ethic works to elide the tensions that exist among hackers as well as the different genealogies of hacking. Although hacker ethical principles may have a common core—one might even say a general ethos—ethnographic inquiry soon demonstrates that similar to any cultural sphere, we can easily identify great variance, ambiguity, and even serious points of contention. Therefore, once we confront hacking in anthropological and historical terms, some similarities melt into a sea of differences.


Free as in Freedom by Sam Williams

Asperger Syndrome, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, Debian, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, Larry Wall, Marc Andreessen, Maui Hawaii, Murray Gell-Mann, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, urban renewal, VA Linux, Y2K

At a time when the Reagan Administration was rushing to dismantle many of the federal regulations and spending programs that had been built up during the half century following the Great Depression, more than a few software programmers saw the hacker ethic as anticompetitive and, by extension, un-American. At best, it was a throwback to the anticorporate attitudes of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Like a Wall Street banker discovering an old tie-dyed shirt hiding between French-cuffed shirts and double-breasted suits, many computer programmers treated the hacker ethic as an embarrassing reminder of an idealistic age. For a man who had spent the entire 1960s as an embarrassing throwback to the 1950s, Stallman didn't mind living out of step with his peers. As a programmer used to working with the best machines and the best software, however, Stallman faced what he could only describe as a "stark moral choice": either get over his ethical objection for " proprietary" software-the term Stallman and his fellow hackers used to describe any program that carried private copyright or end-user license that restricted copying and modification-or dedicate his life to building an alternate, nonproprietary system of software programs.

Recognizing the utility of this feature, Wall put the following copyright notice in the program's accompanying README file: Copyright (c) 1985, Larry Wall You may copy the trn kit in whole or in part as long as you don't try to make money off it, or pretend that you wrote it.See Trn Kit README. http://www.za.debian.org/doc/trn/trnreadme Such statements, while reflective of the hacker ethic, also reflected the difficulty of translating the loose, informal nature of that ethic into the rigid, legal language of copyright. In writing the GNU Emacs License, 108 Stallman had done more than close up the escape hatch that permitted proprietary offshoots. He had expressed the hacker ethic in a manner understandable to both lawyer and hacker alike. It wasn't long, Gilmore says, before other hackers began discussing ways to "port" the GNU Emacs License over to their own programs. Prompted by a conversation on Usenet, Gilmore sent an email to Stallman in November, 1986, suggesting modification: You should probably remove "EMACS" from the license and replace it with "SOFTWARE" or something.

To be a hacker, a person had to do more than write interesting software; a person had to belong to the hacker "culture" and honor its traditions the same way a medieval wine maker might pledge membership to a vintners' guild. The social structure wasn't as rigidly outlined as that of a guild, but hackers at elite institutions such as MIT, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon began to speak openly of a "hacker ethic": the yet-unwritten rules that governed a hacker's day-to-day behavior. In the 1984 book Hackers, author Steven Levy, after much research and consultation, codified the hacker ethic as five core hacker tenets. In many ways, the core tenets listed by Levy continue to define the culture of computer hacking. Still, the guild-like image of the hacker community was undermined by the overwhelmingly populist bias of the 175 software industry. By the early 1980s, computers were popping up everywhere, and programmers who once would have had to travel to top-rank institutions or businesses just to gain access to a machine suddenly had the ability to rub elbows with major-league hackers via the ARPAnet.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

As Levy explains, MIT and DEC had “an easy arrangement,” since “the Right Thing to do was make sure that any good program got the fullest exposure possible because information was free and the world would only be improved by its accelerated flow.”62 Tak i n g t h e W h o l e E a r t h D i g i t a l [ 135 ] This ethic also accorded well with the values espoused in the Whole Earth Catalog. Like the Catalog, the hacker ethic suggested that access to tools could change the world, first by changing the individual’s “life for the better” and, second, by creating art and beauty. In keeping with the Catalog’s habit of systems thinking, the hacker ethic characterized the tools themselves as prototypes: the computer was a rule-bound system that could serve as a model of the world; to study computers was to learn something about the world at large. Like the Catalog, the hacker ethic suggested that work should be organized in a decentralized manner and that individual ability, rather than credentials obtained from institutions, should determine the nature of one’s work and one’s authority.

Some of the hackers worked alone, part-time, at home; others represented such diverse institutions as MIT, Stanford, Lotus Development, and various software makers. Most had come to meet others like themselves. Their hosts offered them food, computers, audiovisual supplies, and places to sleep— and a regular round of facilitated conversations. By all accounts, two themes dominated those conversations: the definition of a hacker ethic and the description of emerging business forms in the computer industry. The two themes were, of course, entwined. The hacker ethic that Levy described—the single thread ostensibly running through all of the participants’ careers—had emerged at a moment when sharing products and processes improved profits for all. By the mid-1980s, however, the finances of computer and software development had changed radically. As Stewart Brand pointed out, in what would soon become a famous formulation, information-based products embodied an economic paradox.

“I don’t want anyone fooling with that.”65 In discussion Bob Wallace said he had Tak i n g t h e W h o l e E a r t h D i g i t a l [ 137 ] marketed his text editor PC-WRITE as shareware (in shareware, users got the software for free but paid if they wanted documentation and support), whereas Andrew Fluegelman indicated that he had distributed his telecommunications program PC-TALK as freeware (users voluntarily paid a small fee to use the software). Others, including Macintosh designer Bill Atkinson, defended corporate prerogatives, arguing that no one should be forced to give away the code at the heart of their software. The debate took on particular intensity because, according to the hacker ethic, certain business practices—like giving away your code—allowed you to claim the identity of hacker. In part for this reason, participants in a morning-long forum called “The Future of the Hacker Ethic,” led by Levy, began to focus on other elements of the hacker’s personality and to modify their stance on the free distribution of information goods. For instance, participants agreed that hackers were driven to compute and that they would regard people who impeded their computing as bureaucrats rather than legitimate authorities.


pages: 173 words: 14,313

Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-To-Peer Debates by John Logie

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, publication bias, Richard Stallman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, search inside the book, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog

This is especially apparent in Levy’s codification of the “Hacker Ethic,” a summation of the shared principles adhered to by the majority of the first generation of hackers. According to Levy, the generally recognized principles of the Hacker Ethic were: • Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. • Always yield to the Hands-on Imperative! • All information should be free. • Mistrust authority—promote decentralization. • Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race or position. • You can create art and beauty on a computer. • Computers can change your life for the better. (39–45) In Levy’s articulation of the Hacker Ethic it is possible to trace the convergence of the U.S.’s historic valorization of exploration, exemplified at the time by the space program, with the idealistic social visions that grew out of the youth culture of the 1960s.

Rather, they are contested sites where interested parties struggle to frame the activities at the heart of the term according to their preferences and perceived needs. In the introduction to his 2002 book Hacker Culture, Douglas Thomas writes that “the very definition of the term ‘hacker’ is widely and fiercely disputed by both critics of and participants in the computer underground” (ix). In a similar vein, in the preface to his 2001 book, The Hacker Ethic, Pekka Himanen offers a compressed account of the key shifts in the use of the term: [A] group of MIT’s passionate programmers started calling themselves hackers in the early sixties. (Later, in the mid-eighties, the media started applying the term to computer criminals. In order to avoid the confusion with virus writers and intruders into information systems, hackers began calling these destructive computer users crackers.

Histories of the Internet have long acknowledged the degree to which the architects of the Internet understood their work as an extension of the countercultural movements of the 1960s. In his expansive account of the Internet’s development, Nerds 2.01, Stephen Segaller Pa r l orPr e s s wwwww. p a r l or p r e s s . c om Hackers, Crackers, and the Criminalization of Peer-to-Peer Technologies 27 argues that hippie culture thoroughly permeated the Internet throughout its first decade. Indeed, the language of Levy’s Hacker Ethic has rhetorical roots that extend back at least as far as the 1962 Port Huron Statement, in which the college-age members of Students for a Democratic Society set the agenda for the tumultuous decade to follow, writing: Men have unrealized potential for self-cultivation, self-direction, self-understanding, and creativity. It is this potential that we regard as crucial and to which we appeal, not to the human potentiality for violence, unreason, and submission to authority.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

Facebook has built a testing platform that allows employees to, at any given time, try thousands upon thousands of versions of Facebook’s website. Wrote Zuckerberg: “We have the words ‘Done is better than perfect’ painted on our walls to remind ourselves to always keep chipping.” With Facebook claiming a hacker ethic, we can certainly see the risk of corporations who look to co-opt hacker subculture. But co-optation is only one of the ways in which the hacker movement is mainstreaming. A lot of the hacker ethic is still oriented around disruptive innovation and challenging the underlying logics and norms of the establishment, and these are the cases we’re interested in—the hackers who are changing systems. HACKING THE ESTABLISHMENT Ivan Arreguín-Toft, an expert in asymmetric conflict, analyzed battles between larger armies and their smaller adversaries in his study “How the Weak Win Wars.”17 He found that in roughly 30 percent of these asymmetrical battles over the last two hundred years, the smaller, outnumbered army prevailed.

Misfit innovators may be their own bosses or operate in networks or communities where they feel they have the ability to help shape the rules they live by. Some open-source and hacker communities have become experts at creating their own operating principles. For example, the original hackers, the group of misfits at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, organically developed what is known as the Hacker Ethic, a code according to which they would operate: the importance of free access to computers, freedom of information, decentralization, and judgment based solely on merit. Every hacker we spoke to gave a nod to these principles, stating that they still animate many of the hacker movements today. WHY MISFITS ARE NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER Many of the principles we see operating in the Misfit Economy have emerged in direct opposition to the legacy of formalization born of the Industrial Revolution some two hundred and fifty years ago.

THE HACKER MOVEMENT In his book Hackers, Steven Levy chronicles the birth and development of the hacker movement. He starts with the first iteration of hackers: the group who coalesced during the early 1960s, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) acquired its first programmable computer. This cohort’s obsessive programming of the machines, and the relationship they built with the systems, gave rise to the Hacker Ethic, an informal, organically developed and agreed-upon manifesto that, in several iterations, still drives the hacker movement forward: • Access to computers—and anything that might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. • All information should be free. • Mistrust authority—promote decentralization. • Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position


pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

4chan, activist lawyer, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bayesian statistics, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Lean Startup, moral panic, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Thus these early users, prohibited from exploiting the network for profit, used it instead to foster the free exchange of information. This munificent ideology was encoded into what the author Steven Levy described in his insightful book Hackers as the “hacker ethic.” Hackers—a term for early computer programmers—wrote computer code and believed that other hackers should share their code and computing resources with their peers. This policy was, in part, a pragmatic one: at the time, computing resources were scarce, and possessiveness impeded productivity. But the attitude was also a conscious philosophical choice, a statement that the world ought to be open, efficient, and collaborative. Nowhere was this hacker ethic taken more seriously than at the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As Levy tells it in Hackers, the AI Lab was something of a socialist utopia for computer programmers.

In the early 1980s, at the dawn of the personal-computing era, some of the AI Lab’s hackers defected to a company called Symbolics, where they constructed commercial versions of the machines they once built at MIT. Others went to a competing firm. The AI Lab hacking corps dwindled, and its motivating principles came to seem increasingly obsolete. For Stallman, these defections only reinforced his commitment to free software. Stallman believed that proprietary software was inimical to the hacker ethic, and that it impeded the free flow of knowledge. Treating software users strictly as customers rather than potential collaborators implied that the public could contribute nothing of value but money. “The rule made by the owners of proprietary software was, ‘If you share with your neighbor, you are a pirate. If you want any changes, beg us to make them,’ ” Stallman wrote.47 He couldn’t abide this philosophy, so he quit MIT to develop a free computer-operating system.

“It should be obvious that if laws such as [the Copyright Term Extension Act] continued to be passed every 20 years or so, that nothing will ever enter into Public Domain status again and the work of people such as the Internet Wiretap, the Online Book Initiative, and Project Gutenberg will soon be over,” Hart wrote to supporters at the time.75 Just as the AI Lab exodus in the early 1980s had threatened the survival of the hacker ethic, the popularization of the Web in the mid-1990s—and the concurrent emergence of its commercial potential—threatened to marginalize the digital utopians who had been its first colonists. “While I certainly lay no claims to inventing the Internet, I was the first I have ever heard of to understand what it was to become over the first few decades of its existence,” Hart wrote on his blog. “This pioneering spirit is usually one of the first things to go—once the ‘dude’ and ‘suits’ have their way and starting with the politicking that places people in power who have no idea of the who, what, where, how, why and when power originated, the power they have usurped from those who created it.”76 For Project Gutenberg, this point was reinforced early in 1996.


Masters of Deception: The Gang That Ruled Cyberspace by Michelle Slatalla, Joshua Quittner

dumpster diving, East Village, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, job automation, Mitch Kapor, packet switching, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Review

Gone was the high-minded, theoretical discussion about the rights of privacy versus the right to explore. In its place appeared a challenge born of fluctuating hormones and adolescent invincibility: ACID PHREAK: There is no one hacker ethic. The hacker of old sought to find what the computer itself could do. There was nothing illegal about that. Today, hackers and phreaks are drawn to specific, often corporate, systems. It's no wonder everyone on the other side is getting mad. We're always one step ahead. Even as he typed, Eli was defining himself, creating his own new hacker ethic. It was a philosophy in which exploration for the sake of discovery is its own justification. And it was also a philosophy in which he saw himself as the baddest gunslinger to ever ride into town. But no hint of that teenage transformation got conveyed to the rest of the law-fearing, job-holding adult participants.

But now, here they are, typing on a piece of $300 equipment, hooked into what seems like one of the mightiest computers in the world. For someone else, it might have all sorts of catastrophic appeal. You could do anything, even cut off phone service to the whole Laurelton neighborhood. But that's anathema to them; they'd no sooner crash a computer system than they would cut off a finger. That's what they tell each other. They believe in the hacker ethic: Thou shalt not destroy. It's OK to look around, but don't hurt anything. It's good enough just to be here. It's late now, the mission has turned into an all-nighter, and it's the bold hour when all the authority figures they've ever known are already asleep, oblivious to the escalation of the shared kinetic energy in this room. They log in to one of New York Telephone's COSMOS computers, whose intricacies Mark is happy to explain.

Paul wondered if The Graduate ever told his parents what happened, or if he waited in fear for the Secret Service to return. The other boys didn't mention the incident, didn't talk about how whatever they did that day got away from them. It was an odd experience, crashing something. Even a lamer board. Never would any of the three have harmed a system intentionally. Never would any of them have violated the hacker ethic by destroying anything. They only mentioned the experience obliquely after that. Whenever something struck them as weird and inexplicable, this is what they would say: "Plik. " The summer had turned out to be a great one. By the time August rolled around, Paul, Mark, and Eli felt as if they'd known one another forever. They'd learned a lot, and there was more to learn one night in August, when New York Telephone's employees walked off the job to form strike lines.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

The Internet as we know it was built on an ethic of mutual self-help with the all purpose, reprogrammable personal computer as the main point of access. Yet if the personal computer is replaced with less open, adaptable devices – like the Apple iPhone – then it will be far harder for hackers, amateurs and kids to innovate at the edges of the system. The Apple personal computer helps people to create; it feeds the mutual, self-help, hacker ethic of the web. The Apple iPhone, the iPod and iTunes are very different. What you can do depends on what Apple allows you to do. The Apple iPhone is a seductively dangerous little tool. If the future web is accessed through constrained mobile devices then it will be considerably less free and easy than it has been to date. One of the most striking things about the Internet is that we call it the Internet – a singular shared space to which we can all go.

Moore cycled around Palo Alto posting flyers which announced: Amateur Computer Users’ Group, Homebrew Computer Club … you name it. Are you building your own computer … if so you might like to come to a gathering of people with like-minded interests, exchange information, swap ideas, talk shop, help work on a project, whatever … The club’s first meeting, in French’s garage, attracted 32 people, six of whom had built their own computers. The club embodied the hacker ethic: people making things for themselves and helping one another to do the same. Twenty-three high-tech companies can trace their lineage to this club of do-it-yourself amateurs, among them Apple. Fred Moore died in a car crash in 1997 at the age of 55, largely unknown, and yet he helped to shape modern America: the original student protester and co-founder of the club that spawned much of the digital revolution we now live with.

At the other end of the spectrum of participation are the self-styled hackers – the digital craft aristocracy – who will build online communities that are self-governing, do-it-yourself and highly sceptical of commercial brands.14 Where fans want their slice of something that is mainstream, hackers want to create an alternative to the mainstream. Hackers are suspicious of corporate brands and want to undertake self-governing craftwork.15 They do not want to be managed, nor do they want to be commercial. This is where it all starts to get rather confusing. More companies will try to follow Apple and persuade people to become fans of their products by claiming to have a hacker ethic beating inside them. Google is the prime exponent of this conjuring trick: never has the hacker spirit generated so much profit. Companies that create fans will, however, find them hacking their software and generating their own content and will be left wondering how to react. Lego, the Danish toy-brick company, found that a fan had hacked the software for its Mindstorms robots and made improvements that were proving popular with other players.


pages: 240 words: 109,474

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, book scanning, Columbine, corporate governance, game design, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Marc Andreessen, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, X Prize

“Though some in the field used the term hacker as a form of a derision,” Lew wrote in the preface, “implying that hackers were either nerdy social outcasts or ‘unprofessional’ programmers who wrote dirty, ‘nonstandard’ computer code, I found them quite different. Beneath their often unimposing exteriors, they were adventurers, visionaries, risk-takers, artists … and the ones who most clearly saw why the computer was a truly revolutionary tool.” This Hacker Ethic read like a manifesto. When Carmack finished the book one night in bed, he had one thought: I’m supposed to be in there! He was a Whiz Kid. But he was in a nowhere house, in a nowhere school, with no good computers, no hacker culture at all. He soon found others who sympathized with his anger. The kids from Raytown he liked were different from the ones he had left behind in Kansas City–edgier and more rebellious.

The company was helmed by Al Vekovius, a former math professor at Louisiana State University at Shreveport. Though only in his forties, Al had a receding hairline with strands sticking up as if he had just taken his hands off one of those static electricity spheres found at state fairs. He dressed in muted ties and sweaters but possessed the eccentric streak shared by the students and faculty he would visit in the university computer lab during his job there in seventies. At the time the Hacker Ethic was reverberating from MIT to Silicon Valley. As head of the academic computing section at the school, Al, by vocation and passion, was plugged in from the start. He wasn’t tall or fat, but the kids affectionately called him Big Al. Energized by this emerging Zeitgeist, in 1981 Al and another LSUS mathematician, Jim Mangham, hatched a business scheme: a computer software subscription club. For a small fee, a subscriber would receive a new disk every month filled with a variety of utility and entertainment programs, from 26 checkbook balancing software to solitaire.

“Wow,” he told Carmack, “you should patent this technology.” Carmack turned red. “If you ever ask me to patent anything,” he snapped, “I’ll quit.” Al assumed Carmack was trying to protect his own financial interests, but in reality he had struck what was growing into an increasingly raw nerve for the young, idealistic programmer. It was one of the few things that could truly make him angry. It was ingrained in his bones since his first reading of the Hacker Ethic. All of science and technology and culture and learning and academics is built upon using the work that others have done before, Carmack thought. But to take a patenting approach and say it’s like, well, this idea is my idea, you cannot extend this idea in anyway, because I own this idea–it just seems so fundamentally wrong. Patents were jeopardizing the very thing that was central to his life: writing code to solve problems.


pages: 611 words: 130,419

Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events by Robert J. Shiller

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, implied volatility, income inequality, inflation targeting, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, Jean Tirole, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, litecoin, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, publish or perish, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, superstar cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, yellow journalism, yield curve, Yom Kippur War

The Bitcoin story is especially resonant because it provides a counternarrative to the older antianarchist narratives depicting anarchists as bomb-throwing lunatics whose vision for society can lead only to chaos and violence. Bitcoin is a contagious counternarrative because it exemplifies the impressive inventions that a free, anarchist society would eventually develop. The term hacker ethic is another modern embodiment of such anarchism. Before the widespread availability of the World Wide Web, sociologist Andrew Ross wrote, in 1991, The hacker ethic, first articulated in the 1950s among the famous MIT students who developed multiple-access user systems, is libertarian and crypto-anarchist in its right-to-know principles and its advocacy of decentralized technology.6 In his 2001 book The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age, Pekka Himanen wrote about the ethic of the “passionate programmers.”7 In the Internet age, people’s willingness and ability to work together with new technology—in new frameworks that do not rely on government, on conventional profit, or on lawyers—have surprised many of us.

., 157 The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck), 131 The Great Crash, 1929 (Galbraith), 233 Great Depression of 1930s, 111–12; angry narratives in, 239; bimetallism epidemic during, 23; blamed on loss of confidence, 130; blamed on “reckless talk” by opinion leaders, 127; confidence narratives in, 114, 122; consumption demand reduced after, 307n3; crowd psychology and suggestibility in understanding of, 120; deportation of Mexican Americans during, 190; depression of 1920–21 and, 243, 251–53; difficulty of cutting wages during, 251–52; Dust Bowl and, 130–31; fair wage narrative during, 250; family morale during, 138–39; fear during, 109, 127–28, 141; flu epidemic of 1918 mirroring trajectory of, 108; frequency of appearance of the term, 133, 134f; frugality and compassion in, 135, 136–37, 140–43, 252; gold standard narrative during, 158–59; labor-saving machinery and, 174; lists of causes created at the time, 129–30; modern theories about causes of, 132–33; modesty narrative during, 135, 136–37, 139, 142–45, 147–48, 150; narratives after 2007–9 crisis and, 95; narratives focused on scarcity during, 129; narratives illuminating causes of, ix–x; not called “Great Depression” at the time, 133–34; not forecast by economists, xiv; ordinary people’s talking about, 90–91; photos providing memory of, 131; prolonged by avoidance of consumption, 139, 142, 144–46; as record-holder of economic downturns, 112; revulsion against excesses of 1920s during, 235–36; robot tax discussed during, 209; seen as stampede or panic, 128; technocracy movement and, 193–94; technological unemployment narrative and, 183, 184; today’s downturns seen through narratives of, 134–35, 264; underconsumption narrative during, 188–90; women’s writing about concerns during, 137–40, 145–46 The Great Illusion (Angell), 95 Great Recession of 1973–75, 112 Great Recession of 1980–82, 112 Great Recession of 2007–9, 112; bank failures as key narratives in, 132; fear about intelligent machines and, 273; fueled by real estate narratives, 212; predicted by few economists, xiv; rapid drop in confidence during, 272 Great Society, 50 Greenspan, Alan, 227 Gresham’s Law, and bimetallism, 169, 313n27 hacker ethic, 7 The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (Himanen), 7 Hackett, Catherine, 140, 253–54 Halley, Edmund, 124 “Happy Birthday to You” (song), 97–100 Harari, Yuval Noah, 208 Harding, Warren, 244–45 “hard times,” 134 Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (Terkel), 234 Harris, Sidney J., 263 Harvey, William Hope, 161, 162, 312n10 Hazlitt, Henry, 247 “Heads I win, tails you lose,” 110 health interventions, narrative presentation of, 78 Heathcote, Jonathan, 214 Heffetz, Ori, 144 Hepburn, Katharine, 201 Hero of Alexandria, 175 Hicks, John, 24, 26 Hill, Napoleon, 121–22 Himanen, Pekka, 7 historical databases, 279; of letters and diaries, 285 historical scholarship: compared with historical novel, 79; economics learning from, 78; use of narrative by, 14, 37 Hitler, Adolf, 122, 142, 195 HIV (human immune deficiency virus), 24; coinfective with tuberculosis, 294–95 Hoar, George Frisbie, 178 Hoffa, Jimmy, 260 Hofstadter, Douglas R., 47 Hofstadter, Richard, 36 Hollande, François, 151 Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr., 127 Holtby, Winifred, 140 homeownership: advantages over renting, 223, 317n18; advertising promotions for, 219–20; American Dream narrative and, 154–55; condominium conversion boom and, 223–24; seen as investment by many buyers, 226–27 home price indexes, 97, 215–16, 222 home price narratives, 215–17; declining by 2012, 227; fueling a speculative boom, 217–18, 222, 223–24 home prices: available on the Internet, 218; construction costs and, 215, 317n6; falling dramatically with financial crisis of 2007–9, 223; only going up, xii; price of land and, 215; ProQuest references to, 213–14, 216; rising again from 2012 to 2018, 223, 225; social comparison and, 218, 220; supply of housing and, 222; supply of land and, 221–22; surge leading up to financial crisis of 2007–9, 222–23.

Econometrica 5(2):147–59. Higgs, Robert. 1997. “Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Resumed after the War.” Independent Review 1(4):561–90, http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/24560785.pdf. Hill, Napoleon. 1925. The Law of Success in 16 Lessons. New York: Tribeca Books. ________. 1937. Think and Grow Rich. Meriden, CT: The Ralston Society. Himanen, Pekka. 2001. The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age. New York: Random House. Hofstadter, Douglas R. 1980. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. New York: Vintage Books. ________. 1981. “Metamagical Themas: The Magic Cube’s Cubies Are Twiddled by Cubists and Solved by Cubemeisters.” Scientific American 244(3):20–39. Hofstadter, Richard. 1964. “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” Atlantic, November. ________. 1967.


The Pirate's Dilemma by Matt Mason

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, Firefox, future of work, glass ceiling, global village, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, patent troll, peer-to-peer, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog

Systems creating free substitutes for all kinds of basic processes and services that used to be based on sharing are things you had to pay for, as advice from doctors, lawyers, and teachers becomes as downloadable as music. The customized information that lawyers, doctors, and teachers give will still be expensive; this isn’t about undermining their ability to earn money. What’s actually being undermined is the very idea of why we work. When Work Stops Working The success of open-source initiatives proves that money isn’t the only thing making the world go ’round. As Pekka Himanen observes in The Hacker Ethic, capitalism is based on the notion that it is our duty to work. The nature of the work doesn’t matter; it’s just about doing it. This notion, first suggested by St. Benedict, an abbot in the sixth century, evolved into the Western work ethic (where we do work that doesn’t always matter most to us, but it’s for money rather than the 166 | THE PIRATE’S DILEMMA monastery). This work ethic has never been perfect (even for Benedict— some of his monks tried to poison him), but is increasingly coming unstuck.

This work ethic has never been perfect (even for Benedict— some of his monks tried to poison him), but is increasingly coming unstuck. We live in a world that has been governed by competition for several millennia, but increasingly competition has to compete with cooperation. Work-centeredness was long ago replaced with self-centeredness, but this drive to express ourselves is also forging a new community spirit. As Linus Torvalds writes in The Hacker Ethic, “The reason that Linux hackers do something is that they find it to be very interesting and they like to share this interesting thing with others. Suddenly you both get entertainment from the fact you are doing something interesting, and you get the social part.” Our work ethic is more of a play ethic. We’ve always harbored desires to create and share, long before the Loft and the Homebrew Computer Club came about.

Page 163 Stephanie Dunnewind, “Teachers are reaching out to students with a new class of blogs,” Seattle Times, October 14, 2006. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ html/living/2003303937_teachblog14.html. Page 164 Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, Wikinomics (New York: Portfolio Hardcover, 2006), p. 157. Page 165 Andy Patrizio, “PlayStation 3 Users Power on to Cure Disease,” InternetNews .com, April 5, 2007. http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/ 3670066. Page 165 Pekka Himanen, The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (New York: Random House, 2002). This book is a fantastic read; the quote from Linus Torvalds can be found on p. xv. Page 166 Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, Wikinomics (New York: Portfolio Hardcover, 2006), front flap. CHAPTER 6: REAL TALK How Hip-Hop Makes Billions and Could Bring About World Peace Page 177 The Diddy and Burger King clip (which has since been posted back up) can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?


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What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Musicologist John Chowning, who at SAIL invented the technology that underlies modern music synthesizers, called it a “Socratean abode.” SAIL embodied what University of California computer scientist and former SAIL systems programmer Brian Harvey called the “hacker aesthetic.” Harvey’s description was a reaction to what Steven Levy in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution had described as a “hacker ethic,” which he characterized as the unspoken manifesto of the MIT hackers: Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative! All information should be free. Mistrust Authority—Promote Decentralization. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.

You must also epoxy the pieces of paper to the desk.”11 And yet, he demurred that when Richard Stallman, one of MIT’s best-known hackers, stated that information should be free, Stallman’s ideal wasn’t based on the idea of property as theft—an ethical position—but instead on the understanding that keeping information secret is inefficient: “it leads to unaesthetic duplication of effort.”12 Anyone who has spent time around the computer community, particularly as it evolved, will recognize that both writers are correct. Points were given for style, but there was a deeper substance, an ethical stance that has become a formidable force in the modern world of computing. Perhaps no one better represented both the hacker ethic and its aesthetic than Les Earnest. He had worked for the MITRE Corporation. In 1962, he was “loaned” to the CIA and several other intelligence agencies to help integrate various military computer systems. Not surprisingly, an individual with a deeply rooted hacker sensibility was never a perfect fit with a military-intelligence bureaucracy. Early on, he had been asked to fill out a form as part of an application for some new security clearance.

From Anarchy to Power: The Net Comes of Age. New York: New York University Press, 2001. Hafner, Katie, and Matthew Lyon. Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Hajdu, David. Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001. Himanen, Pekka. The Hacker Ethic, and the Spirit of the Information Age. New York: Random House, 2001. Lee, Martin A., and Bruce Shlain. Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1992. Levy, Steven. Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government, Saving Privacy in the Digital Age. New York: Viking, 2001. ———. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution.


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Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

ISBNs: 978-1-4555-5902-2 (hardcover), 978-1-4555-5901-5 (ebook), 978-1-5387-1449-2 (international trade) E3-20180511-JV-NF Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Epigraph PREFACE Silicon Valley, Explained: The story of the past, as told by the people of the future BOOK ONE Among the Computer Bums The Big Bang: Everything starts with Doug Engelbart Ready Player One: The first T-shirt tycoon The Time Machine: Inventing the future at Xerox PARC Breakout: Jobs and Woz change the game Towel Designers: Atari’s high-strung prima donnas PARC Opens the Kimono: Good artists copy, great artists steal 3P1C F41L: It’s game over for Atari Hello, I’m Macintosh: It sure is great to get out of that bag Fumbling the Future: Who blew it: Xerox PARC—or Steve Jobs? BOOK TWO The Hacker Ethic What Information Wants: Heroes of the computer revolution The Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link: Welcome to the restaurant at the end of the universe Reality Check: The new new thing—that wasn’t From Insanely Great to Greatly Insane: General Magic mentors a generation The Bengali Typhoon: Wired’s revolution of the month Toy Stories: From PARC to Pixar Jerry Garcia’s Last Words: Netscape opened at what?!

Live bits—where everything interoperates—we’ve lost that. Bruce Horn: We’re waiting for the right thing to happen to have the same type of mind-blowing experience that we were able to show the Apple people at PARC. There’s some work being done, but it’s very tough. And, yeah, I feel somewhat responsible. On the other hand, if somebody like Alan Kay couldn’t make it happen, how can I make it happen? BOOK TWO THE HACKER ETHIC We are as gods and might as well get good at it. —STEWART BRAND What Information Wants Heroes of the computer revolution By the mideighties, the technologists who were creating the future in Silicon Valley started to see themselves as more than simply engineers. Alvy Ray Smith and his midnight crew at Xerox PARC, the game makers at Atari, and the Macintosh team at Apple all became convinced that they were pioneers in a new expressive medium.

Kevin Kelly: He’d just done it the night before: just pulled it out of his own brain! But the cool thing was seeing him explain it and show it off to other hackers and see that this was actually the currency, this was the dynamic. He was doing stuff and giving it out to everybody: “Yeah, here’s a copy of it.” And they were going to go and hack on it some more. It was just the very thesis that Steven was talking about in his book, this hacker ethic of sharing and building upon in an open-source sense and there it was. It was right there. Steven Levy: It was just like endless demos and showing people things and cool stuff. They hooked up the games. David Levitt: Amazing games no one had ever seen before. Fabrice Florin: They were up until the wee hours just showing off stuff, discussing, hacking, teaching each other how to do stuff. Lee Felsenstein: A lot of people had stayed up pretty late.


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Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

, one of the world’s first graphical computer games, in which two players each piloted a ship around a black hole, trying to shoot the other. Using a $120,000 machine to play a video game would likely have seemed, to computer-makers at the time, a madly frivolous thing to do. But the MIT hackers regarded themselves as liberating programming from its mundane history of mere bean counting and scientific problem-solving. Coding itself, they felt, was a playful, artistic act. They were establishing, as Levy described it, a “hacker ethic.” They believed that there was a hands-on imperative, that everyone in the world ought to be allowed to interact directly with a computer. They also believed in radical openness with code: If you wrote something useful, you should freely share it with others. (This spirit of openness extended to the physical world: When MIT authorities locked cabinets with equipment they needed to fix the computer, they studied lock picking and liberated the equipment.)

“The truth is, we can attract more and different people into the field, but they’re just going to hit that wall in midcareer, unless we change how things happen higher up,” she says. Right now, though, the truth is that there are oodles of young people from all walks of life who want in. They admire tech’s self-image as a meritocracy; they crave a field that’s truly like that. Indeed, few people are hungrier for a true meritocracy than those who’ve historically been sealed out of so many industries and so many other opportunities. An industry run truly on hacker ethics—of being judged purely on the quality of your running code, with no one remarking on your identity? That would be a thrilling utopia for them. If the world of programming actually lived up to its implicit ideals, it would be a beacon for any historically screwed-over group. Indeed, that’s precisely why previously picked-on nerd boys found it so glorious when they stumbled upon it in the ’80s.

began to cluster around the lab: This section is drawn from Steven Levy’s superb book, particularly chapters 3 (“Spacewar”) and 4 (“Greenblatt and Gosper”): Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution—25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010). “in milliseconds to what you were doing”: Levy, Hackers, 67. “of the sun or moon it was”: Levy, Hackers, 139. a $120,000 machine: Russell Brandom, “ ‘Spacewar!’: The Story of the World’s First Digital Video Game,” The Verge, February 4, 2013, accessed August 16, 2018, https://www.theverge.com/2013/2/4/3949524/the-story-of-the-worlds-first-digital-video-game. a “hacker ethic”: Levy, Hackers, 26–37. “hacking in general”: Levy, Hackers, 107. tinker with the code: “GNU General Public License,” Free Software Foundation, June 29, 2007, accessed August 16, 2018, https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html. “bunch of other robots”: Levy, Hackers, 129. like the MIT hackers: Clive Thompson, “Steve Wozniak’s Apple I Booted Up a Tech Revolution,” Smithsonian, March 2016, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/steve-wozniaks-apple-i-booted-up-tech-revolution-180958112/.


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The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K

To understand Stallman’s view on the world, you have to understand the computer hacker ethic. The computing culture at MIT and other top scientific schools was one of sharing and openness. These institutions were full of people, after all, who were pursuing software programming not for dollar profits, but for the love of discovery and pioneering new solutions to problems. Worried little about where to live or when the next paycheck was arriving, these students could hun- A_Nupedia_25 ker down in a cloistered academic environment and concentrate on their programming creations. Hackers would regularly improve how the emerging LISP language and its tools worked, and let everyone in the academic community know by allowing them to share and download new improvements over computer networks that predated the Internet. This was an important part of the hacker ethic: sharing to improve human knowledge.

This was the precursor to today’s Internet and was a “live” connection of computers around the United States. Eric Raymond, in A Brief History of Hackerdom, describes the creation during the ARPANET days of the Jargon File, another precursor to Wikipedia’s group-edited document: The first intentional artifacts of the hacker culture—the first slang list, the first satires, the first self-conscious discussions of the hacker ethic—all propagated on the ARPANET in its early years. In particular, the first version of the Jargon File (http://www.tuxedo .org/jargon) developed as a cross-net collaboration during 1973–1975. This slang dictionary became one of the culture’s defining documents. It was eventually published as The New Hacker’s Dictionary. 86_The_Wikipedia_Revolution The Jargon File was much beloved by the hacker community and passed along like a family heirloom, with prominent computer scientists such as Richard Stallman, Guy Steele, and Dave Lebling all having a major hand in its editing.


Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

A Pattern Language, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business climate, citizen journalism, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, experimental economics, experimental subject, Extropian, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telephone, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, more computing power than Apollo, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, pez dispenser, planetary scale, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, social intelligence, spectrum auction, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, web of trust, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

A brief detour into the history of personal computing and networking illuminates more than the origins of smart mob technologies; the commons that fostered technical innovations is also the fundamental social technology of smart mobs. It all started with the original hackers in the early 1960s. Before the word “hacker” was misappropriated to describe people who break into computer systems, the term was coined (in the early 1960s) to describe people who create computer systems. The first people to call themselves hackers were loyal to an informal social contract called “the hacker ethic.” As Steven Levy described it, this ethic included these principles: Access to computers should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative. All information should be free. Mistrust authority—promote decentralization.45 Without that ethic, there probably wouldn’t have been an Internet to commercialize. Keep in mind that although many of the characters involved in this little-known but important history were motivated by altruistic concerns, their collaboration was aimed at creating a resource that would benefit all—starting with the collaborators who created it.

They knew that some community of hackers in the future would know more about networks than the original creators, so the designers of the Internet took care to avoid technical obstacles to future innovation.46 The creation of the Internet was a community enterprise, and the media that the original hackers created were meant to support communities of creators.47 To this end, several of the most essential software programs that make the Internet possible are not owned by any commercial enterprise— a hybrid of intellectual property and public good, invented by hackers. The foundations of the Internet were created by the community of creators as a gift to the community of users. In the 1960s, the community of users was the same as the community of creators, so self-interest and public goods were identical, but hackers foresaw a day when their tools would be used by a wider population.48 Understanding the hacker ethic and the way in which the Internet was built to function as a commons are essential to forecasting where tomorrow’s technologies of cooperation might come from and what might encourage or limit their use. Originally, software was included with the hardware that computer manufacturers sold to customers—mainframe computers attended by special operators. Programmers were required to submit their programs to the operators in the form of punched paper cards.

Based on GNU, all of Torvalds’s code was open according to the GPL, and Torvalds took the fateful step of posting his work to the Net and asking others for help. The kernel, known as Linux, drew hundreds, then thousands of young programmers. By the 1990s, opposition to the monolithic domination of the computer operating system market by Microsoft became a motivating factor for rebellious young programmers who had taken up the torch of the hacker ethic. “Open source” refers to software, but it also refers to a method for developing software and a philosophy of how to maintain a public good. Eric Raymond wrote about the difference between “cathedral and bazaar” approaches to complex software development: The most important feature of Linux, however, was not technical but sociological. Until the Linux development, everyone believed that any software as complex as an operating system had to be developed in a carefully coordinated way by a relatively small, tightly knit group of people.


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Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

The early WELL guidelines were very clear about intellectual property, as stated on the log-on screen: “You own your own words. This means that you are responsible for the words you post on the WELL, and that reproduction of those words without your permission in any medium outside the WELL’s conferencing system may be challenged by you, the author.” But in 1989 something weird happened. The notion of the “hacker ethic” became a contested trope. It started with an online forum on the WELL organized by Harper’s Magazine. The subject was hacking, and Paul Tough, a Harper’s editor, had recruited Brand and a few of his most important WELL members, including Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, and John Perry Barlow, to participate. Barlow, a shaggy, bearded man with a fondness for colorful cowboy shirts, is a true American character.

Maybe all his Jesse James fantasies were tied up in these kids, but it ended badly. On January 24, 1990, the Secret Service raided the apartment where Acid Phreak was living with his mother. By the end of the day Acid Phreak, Phiber Optik, and a third hacker, Scorpion, were in a New York City jail, accused of hacking the main AT&T computer system. And that is where Brand, Barlow, and their fellow communards changed course. Instead of recalibrating the hacker ethic in line with their earlier goals, they embraced the criminals on the theory that theirs was really a victimless crime. Tell that to AT&T, which had to spend millions restoring its system. Barlow went on to form the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has never met a hacker it couldn’t defend. No more defense of intellectual property for these boys—“Information wants to be free.” But of course that is a lie.


pages: 312 words: 93,504

Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak

Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Participation in virtual communities of practice, such as free/libre-and-opensource-software (F/LOSS) projects and other open-collaboration communities, has major influence on enculturation and shaping the shared values of the participants. For example, the Debian hacker ethic is to a huge extent socially constructed and strengthened in communal interactions in opposition to the traditional market-based concept of intellectual property (Coleman & Hill, 2005). It revolves around the strong belief in personal freedom (Coleman & Golub, 2008). Pekka Himanen describes the hacker ethic, a characteristic of the emerging network society (2001). This new paradigm is based on cooperation and joint production and is transforming the economy and society (Benkler, 2006b). Collaborative, altruistic efforts and peer equality play important roles.

The Wikipedia gender gap revisited: Characterizing survey response bias with propensity score estimation. PLOS One. Retrieved from http:// www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0065782 Hill, B. M., Shaw, A., & Benkler, Y. (2013). Status, social signaling and collective action in a peer production community. Unpublished manuscript, Berkman Center for Internet and Society working paper, Cambridge, MA. Himanen, P. (2001). The hacker ethic and the spirit of the information age. New York: Random House. Hine, C. (2000). Virtual ethnography. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Hine, C. (2008). Virtual ethnography: Modes, varieties, affordances. In N. Fielding, R. M. Lee, & G. Blank (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods (pp. 257–270). Los Angeles: Sage. Hippel, E. V. (1988). The sources of innovation. New York: Oxford University Press.


pages: 273 words: 76,786

Explore Everything by Bradley Garrett

airport security, Burning Man, call centre, creative destruction, deindustrialization, double helix, dumpster diving, failed state, Google Earth, Hacker Ethic, Jane Jacobs, Julian Assange, late capitalism, megacity, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, shareholder value, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight, WikiLeaks

Perhaps this is the reason urban exploration is taking on a rapidly increasing social relevance. As people become more curious about what a post-capitalist world would look like, urban explorers can supply imaginative depictions.36 * * * * To see and hear the actual demolition of West Park recorded by urban explorer Gina Soden, go to youtube.com/watch?v=qwEgaAz6uFQ (‘The Sounds of Demolition’). Chapter 4 THE RISE OF AN INFILTRATION CREW ‘There is no one hacker ethic. Everyone has his own. To say that we all think the same way is preposterous.’ – Acid Phreak It was the beginning of what was to be a long, cold winter in 2009. Team B explorers received information that a mothballed thirty-five-acre Ministry of Defence (MOD) nuclear bunker had been breached. Burlington, known as Britain’s ‘Secret Subterranean City’, had been constructed inside a deep abandoned Bath Stone quarry at the height of the Cold War.

Alex and Laura showed us how to dig properly, and before we knew it we had an assembly line going: the person digging ‘point’ pushed dirt out to the people widening walls, who put it in buckets and gave it to the people on break eating pizza and drinking Samuel Adams, where eventually it was dumped in sledges, which got dragged outside. We dug for six hours in frenzied rotation. Alex reckoned we might have gone forward a metre. Just as the hacker ethic cannot be simplistically reified, categorised or bounded, neither can explorers themselves. While universally shared motivations behind exploration exist, such as friendship or geography, it is impossible to define a coordinated explorer ethos; individuals simply follow their desires and do their own edgework. In MSP, a lot of the edgework was about working the ‘point’ of a tunnel being dug where it’s most likely to collapse and suffocate you in sand.


pages: 720 words: 197,129

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

119 The simple answer was that the computer, as it ran the programs, produced frequency interference that could be controlled by the timing loops and picked up as tone pulses by an AM radio. By the time his query was published, Gates had been thrown into a more fundamental dispute with the Homebrew Computer Club. It became archetypal of the clash between the commercial ethic that believed in keeping information proprietary, represented by Gates, and the hacker ethic of sharing information freely, represented by the Homebrew crowd. Paul Allen (1953– ) and Bill Gates (1955– ) in the Lakeside school’s computer room. Gates arrested for speeding, 1977. The Microsoft team, with Gates at bottom left and Allen at bottom right, just before leaving Albuquerque in December 1978. CHAPTER NINE SOFTWARE When Paul Allen wandered up to the cluttered news kiosk in the middle of Harvard Square and saw the January 1975 Popular Electronics cover with the Altair on it, he was both exhilarated and dismayed.

“I didn’t like the idea of Blogger being lost in the dotcom crash,” Bricklin said.75 After reading Williams’s forlorn post, he sent an email asking if there was anything he could do to help. They agreed to meet when Bricklin, who lived in Boston, came to an O’Reilly conference in San Francisco. Over sushi at a nearby restaurant, Bricklin told the tale of how, years earlier, when his own company was foundering, he had run into Mitch Kapor of Lotus. Though competitors, they shared a collaborative hacker ethic, so Kapor offered a deal that helped Bricklin stay personally solvent. Bricklin went on to found a company, Trellix, that made its own website publishing system. Paying forward Kapor’s band-of-hackers helpfulness to a semicompetitor, Bricklin worked out a deal for Trellix to license Blogger’s software for $40,000, thus keeping it alive. Bricklin was, above all, a nice guy. Throughout 2001 Williams worked around the clock from his apartment or in borrowed space to keep Blogger running.

As the technology journalist Steven Johnson has noted, “their open architecture allows others to build more easily on top of existing ideas, just as Berners-Lee built the Web on top of the Internet.”33 This commons-based production by peer networks was driven not by financial incentives but by other forms of reward and satisfaction. The values of commons-based sharing and of private enterprise often conflict, most notably over the extent to which innovations should be patent-protected. The commons crowd had its roots in the hacker ethic that emanated from the MIT Tech Model Railroad Club and the Homebrew Computer Club. Steve Wozniak was an exemplar. He went to Homebrew meetings to show off the computer circuit he built, and he handed out freely the schematics so that others could use and improve it. But his neighborhood pal Steve Jobs, who began accompanying him to the meetings, convinced him that they should quit sharing the invention and instead build and sell it.


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Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

Hacking 151 risk-takers, artists . . . and the ones who most clearly saw why the computer was a truly revolutionary tool.”9 These types of hackers are freedom fighters, living by the dictum that data wants to be free.10 Information should not be owned, and even if it is, noninvasive browsing of such information hurts no one. After all, hackers merely exploit preexisting holes made by clumsily constructed code.11 And wouldn’t the revelation of such holes actually improve data security for everyone involved? Levy distilled this so-called hacker ethic into several key points: Access to computers . . . should be unlimited and total. All information should be free. Mistrust authority—promote decentralization. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position. You can create art and beauty on a computer. Computers can change your life for the better.12 Several of Levy’s points dovetail with my earlier conclusions about protocol.

For more details on the Mitnick story, see the following texts: Katie Hafner and John Markoff, Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier (New York: Touchstone, 1991); Tsu- Chapter 5 170 A British hacker named Dr-K hardens this sentiment into an explicit anticommercialism when he writes that “[c]orporations and government cannot be trusted to use computer technology for the benefit of ordinary people.”59 It is for this reason that the Free Software Foundation was established in 1985. It is for this reason that so much of the non-PC computer community is dominated by free, or otherwise de-commercialized software.60 The hacker ethic thus begets utopia simply through its rejection of all commercial mandates. However, greater than this anti-commercialism is a pro-protocolism. Protocol, by definition, is open source, the term given to a technology that makes public the source code used in its creation. That is to say, protocol is nothing but an elaborate instruction list of how a given technology should work, from the inside out, from the top to the bottom, as exemplified in the RFCs described in chapter 4.


pages: 369 words: 80,355

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Twenty thousand people showed up to see “self-balancing two-wheeled vehicles, computer-controlled Etch-A-Sketches, biodiesel processing units, biologically-inspired multiprocessors, scratch-built RFID readers, wind-powered generators, networked citizen weather stations, ornithology research systems, flying pterosaur replicas, and hundreds of other projects,” in the words of Mark Frauenfelder, the editor of Make magazine, which inspired the event.22 In 2008, three times that number attended. Frauenfelder does not attribute this growth in interest to the Web directly. Rather, he says, in the past few years, “some of the folks who had been spending all their time creating the Web, and everything on it, looked up from their monitors and realized that the world itself was the ultimate hackable platform.” Maker Faire embodies the hacker ethic and aesthetics that have driven the Web and the culture of the Web. And there is no doubt that even for those who do not want to do the sort of science that involves both hacksaws and bags of marshmallows—marshmallow guns are a signature Maker artifact—the Web has been a godsend for the amateur scientist. So many sites, so many forums, so many YouTube videos. But amateurs can do more than invent clever gadgets that make you laugh.

Fortune magazine Foucault, Michel Frauenfelder, Mark FuelEconomy.gov Future Shock (Toffler) The Futurist journal Galapagos Islands Galaxy Zoo Galen of Pergamum Garfield, Eugene Gartner Group GBIF.org (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) Geek news General Electric Gentzkow, Matthew Gillmor, Dan Gladwell, Malcolm Glazer, Nathan Global social problems Goals, shared Google abundance of knowledge amateur scientists’ use of books and filtering information physical books and e-books zettabyte Gore, Al Gray, Jim Greece, ancient Green peas Group polarization Groupthink The Guardian newspaper Gulf of Mexico oil spill The Gutenberg Elegies (Birkerts) Habermas, Jürgen Hacker ethic Hague conference Haiti Halberstam, David Hannay, Timo Hard Times (Dickens) Hargittai, Eszter Harrison, John Harvard Library Innovation Lab Haumea (planet) Hawaii Heidegger, Martin Heidegger Circle Henning, Victor Heywood, Stephen Hidary, Jack Hillis, Danny Hilscher, Emily H1N1 virus Holtzblatt, Les Home economics Homophily Howe, Jeff Human Genome Project Humors Hunch.com Hyperlinks linked knowledge providing data links IBM computers Impact factor of scientific journals In vitro fertilization An Inconvenient Truth (film) Information crowd-sourcing data and networking information for fund managers Open Government Initiative reliability of Information Anxiety (Wurman) Information cascades Information overload as filter failure consequences of metadata value of information Infrastructure of knowledge InnoCentive Institutions, Net response to Insularity of Net users Intelligence Internet increasing stupidity providing hooks for Intelligence agencies Intelligent Design International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration Internet abundance of knowledge amateur scientists challenging beliefs crowds and mobs cumulative nature of data sharing diversity of expertise echo chambers forking Hunch.com improving the knowledge environment increasing institutional use indefinite scaling information information filtering interpretations knowledge residing in the network LA Times wikitorial experiment linked knowledge loss of body of knowledge permission-free knowledge public nature of knowledge reliability of information scientific inquiry shaping knowledge shared experiences sub-networks The WELL conversation unresolved knowledge See also Networked knowledge Interpretations, knowledge as iPhone Iraq Jamming Jarvis, Jeff Jellies de Joinville, Jean Journals, scientific Kahn, Herman Kantor, Jodi Kelly, Kevin Kennedy, Ted Kennedy administration Kepler, Johannes Kindle Kitano, Hiroaki Knowledge abundance of as interpretation changing shape of crisis of echo chambers hiding enduring characteristics of environmental niche modeling fact-based and analogy-based human pursuit of hyperlinked context improving the Internet environment Internet challenging beliefs linked permission-free public reason as the path to social elements of stopping points unresolved Knowledge clubs Kuhn, Thomas Kundra, Vivek Kutcher, Ashton Lakhani, Karim Language games Latour, Bruno Leadership Debian network decision-making and Dickover’s social solutions network distribution Lebkowsky, Jon Leibniz, Gottfried Lessig, Lawrence Levy-Shoemaker comet Librarians Library of Congress Library use Lili’uokalani (Hawaiian queen) Linked Data standard Linked knowledge Links filters as See also Hyperlinks Linnean Society Linux Lipson, Hod Literacies Loganathan, G.V.


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Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert

4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day

A hacker was someone who did not accept technology at face value, and who experimented with technical systems, exploring their limits and possibilities: that is, a hacker opened up technical systems and explored their inner workings. This original positive idea of hacking is what I had in mind in setting out to create a research hothouse that would bring together computer and social scientists. Hacktivism by my definition is the combination of social and political activism with that original hacker ethic, and this captures the gist of what I was hoping for in founding the Citizen Lab. Oriented around a specific set of values that would inform our research, as I saw it (and still do) hacktivism has a lot in common with a philosophical tradition stretching back to the ecological holism of Harold Innis, the pragmatism and experimentalism of William James and John Dewey, and the yearning for a return to a polytechnic culture of the early Renaissance articulated by Lewis Mumford.

But few self-identified hackers remain faithful to the original spirit and ethic that first attracted people like Oxblood Ruffin and me; and, worse, today “hacker” and “hacking” are almost entirely synonymous with criminal acts, one or the other word invariably emblazoned in headlines each time Anonymous strikes or a data breach occurs. That is, “computer hacking” is used unquestioningly to describe anyone who breaks the law or causes a ruckus in cyberspace. The association of the term with criminality is not just a semantic issue; it represents a much larger delegitimization of the underlying philosophy of experimentation at the heart of the hacker ethic. And herein lies an enormously important paradox, one that sits at the heart of our technologically saturated world: we have created a communications environment that is utterly dependent on existing (and emerging) technologies, and yet, at the same time, we are actively discouraging experimentation with, and an understanding of, these technologies. Never before in human history have we been so constantly plugged in and utterly connected.


pages: 122 words: 38,022

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, citizen journalism, crony capitalism, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, feminist movement, game design, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, mass immigration, moral panic, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, open borders, post-industrial society, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, The Wisdom of Crowds, WikiLeaks

In the US, one of the early cases of orchestrated attacks against such encroaching women was aimed at Kathy Sierra, a tech blogger and journalist. Sierra had been the keynote speaker at South by Southwest Interactive and her books were top sellers. The backlash against her was sparked when she supported a call to moderate reader comments, which at the time was seen as undermining the libertarian hacker ethic of absolute Internet freedom, although it has since become standard. Commenters on her blog began harassing and threatening her en mass, making the now routine rape and death threats received by women like Sierra. Personal details about her family and home address were posted online and hateful responses included photoshopped images of her with a noose beside her head, a shooting target pointed at her face and a creepy image of her being gagged with women’s underwear.


pages: 352 words: 120,202

Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology by Howard Rheingold

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, card file, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, popular electronics, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture

The same kind of iconoclastic mischief that had one meaning in the 1960s took on another meaning in the 1980s. "Phone-hacking" was another kind of prank pioneered by MAC hackers in the early 1960s that was to spawn anarchic variants in the 1970s. The self-taught mastery of complex technologies is the hallmark of the hacker's obsession, the conviction that all information (and information delivery technologies) ought to be free is a central tenet of the hacker ethical code, and the global telephone network is a complex technological system par excellence, a kind of ad hoc worldwide computer. The fact that a tone generator and a knowledge of switching circuits could provide access to long-distance lines, free of charge, led to a number of legendary phone hacks. But the mythology didn't die there. In California, the Stanford AI Laboratory (SAIL) and the proximity to Silicon Valley led to the growth of another phone-hacking subcult of "phone Phreaks" in the 1970s, whose hero was a fellow who went by the name of Captain Crunch.

By separating the inference engine from the body of factual knowledge, it became possible to produce expert tools for expert-systems builders, thus bootstrapping the state of the art. While these exotic programs might seem to be distant from the mainstream of research into interactive computer systems, expert-systems research sprouted in the same laboratories that created time-sharing, chess playing programs, Spacewar, and the hacker ethic. DENDRAL had grown out of earlier work at MIT (MAC, actually) on programs for performing higher level mathematical functions like proving theorems. It became clear, with the success of DENDRAL and MYCIN, that these programs could be useful to people outside the realm of computer science. It also became clear that the kind of nontechnical questions that Weizenbaum and others had raised in regard to AI were going to be raised when this new subfield became more widely known.


pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein

affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, John Markoff, late fees, license plate recognition, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, undersea cable, Y2K

Yet there are, nonetheless, subtle distinctions of badness, which allow the audience to draw markedly different conclusions concerning the morality of each of the characters. So it is that in Masters we meet some teenagers, all of whom commit crimes (at least, in the legal sense), all of whom belong to an exclusive hacking group, yet each retaining an individual moral sense in both spirit and action of what the hacker ethic entails. It is in terms of these two realms— that of the individual and that of the group—that Masters attempts to deconstruct the 239 94192c08.qxd 6/3/08 3:32 PM Page 240 240 Chapter 8 story of MOD, sometimes stressing one over the other, sometimes integrating the two, but always implying that both are integral to understanding what has become the most notorious network saga since that of Robert Morris and the Internet worm.

Readers will remember Mitnick as the spiteful and vindictive teenager featured in Katie Hafner and John Markoff’s Cyberpunk: Computers and Outlaws on the Electronic Frontier. At the time of its release, Cyberpunk’s portrayal of Mitnick was thought to be biased, allegedly because Mitnick was the only hacker featured who refused to be interviewed. Biased or not, he was portrayed by the authors as a “Dark Side” hacker, and the antithesis of the hacker ethic. He was considered more evil than Pengo, a West Berlin hacker who sold his knowledge of American systems on the Internet to the Russians for cash. But Mitnick’s worse crime, by comparison, seemed only to be a lack of respect for anyone who was not up to his level of computer expertise, and few people were. In Fugitive, Mitnick returns, only this time the reader is left with the distinct impression that something is missing.

There also is a certain allure to being a cybervillain, and this is what we have to be particularly careful about. Earlier in the year, hackers belonging to the group Legions of the Underground (LoU) held an online press conference to announce a campaign to cripple the infrastructures of China and Iraq, supposedly because of human rights abuses. Led by Germany’s Chaos Computer Club, virtually every major hacker organization (2600 included) condemned this action as counterproductive, against the hacker ethic, and potentially very dangerous. Fortunately, this had an effect, and other members of LoU quickly stepped in and denied any destructive intent. 94192c08.qxd 6/3/08 3:32 PM Page 261 Pop Culture and the Hacker World This incident served to bring up some rather important issues. While hacking an occasional web page is one thing that can even be thought of as an expression of free speech, declarations of war and attempts to cause actual damage are very different indeed.


pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

American ideology, animal electricity, barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

It came into being neither as a triumph of the centralizing forces of monopoly capitalism nor as a revolution of the countercultural or libertarian critics of the capitalist order. Rather, the ideological origins of digital networks lie primarily in critiques that emerged within the center of American society through conflicts among technical professionals who sought to impose their visions of order and control. The ideals of openness fit equally as comfortably in the spirit of entrepreneurial capitalism as they do in the liberatory impulse of the hacker ethic: witness the prominence of the term “open” in the marketing campaigns of IBM, American Express, free software collectives, and advocates of transparency in government. All of these groups traffic in the discourse of openness, and all have legitimate claims for doing so.39 The rhetorical success of “openness” depends on its ability to capture widely shared values that privilege individual autonomy, reject coercion from industrial monopolists, promote private cooperation over state coercion, and celebrate the liberating and empowering potential of information and communication technologies.

Andrew Updegrove, “Standard Setting Organizations and Standard List,” http://www.consortiuminfo.org/links/linksall.php (accessed September 25, 2013). See more generally David E. Nye, “Shaping Communication Networks: Telegraph, Telephone, Computer,” Social Research 64 (1997): 1067–1091; Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, “The Californian Ideology,” Science as Culture 6 (1996): 44–72; Paulina Borsook, Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High Tech (New York: PublicAffairs, 2001); Pekka Himanen, The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (New York: Random House, 2001); Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006). Bibliography Manuscript Collections Alex McKenzie Collection of Computer Networking Development Records (CBI 123), Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project by Karl Fogel

active measures, AGPL, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, collaborative editing, continuous integration, corporate governance, Debian, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Firefox, GnuPG, Hacker Ethic, Internet Archive, iterative process, Kickstarter, natural language processing, patent troll, peer-to-peer, pull request, revision control, Richard Stallman, selection bias, slashdot, software as a service, software patent, SpamAssassin, web application, zero-sum game

Conscious resistance As the world of unrestricted code swapping slowly faded away, a counterreaction crystallized in the mind of at least one programmer. Richard Stallman worked in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1970s and early '80s, during what turned out to be a golden age and a golden location for code sharing. The AI Lab had a strong "hacker ethic",[3] and people were not only encouraged but expected to share whatever improvements they made to the system. As Stallman wrote later: We did not call our software "free software", because that term did not yet exist; but that is what it was. Whenever people from another university or a company wanted to port and use a program, we gladly let them. If you saw someone using an unfamiliar and interesting program, you could always ask to see the source code, so that you could read it, change it, or cannibalize parts of it to make a new program.

It formalized a dichotomy that had long been unnamed, and in doing so forced the movement to acknowledge that it had internal politics as well as external. The effect today is that both sides have had to find common ground, since most projects include programmers from both camps, as well as participants who don't fit any clear category. This doesn't mean people never talk about moral motivations—lapses in the traditional "hacker ethic" are sometimes called out, for example. But it is rare for a free software / open source developer to openly question the basic motivations of others in a project. The contribution trumps the contributor. If someone writes good code, you don't ask them whether they do it for moral reasons, or because their employer paid them to, or because they're building up their résumé, or whatever. You evaluate the contribution on technical grounds, and respond on technical grounds.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

“Space War: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums.” Rolling Stone, December 7. http://www.wheels.org/spacewar/stone/rolling_stone.html. ———. 1974. “History – Demise Party etc.” Whole Earth Catalog, October. http://wholeearth.com/issue/1180/article/321/history.-.demise.party.etc. ———. 1985. “Keep Designing: How the Information Economy is Being Created and Shaped by the Hacker Ethic.” Whole Earth Review, May. Brandeis, Louis. 1913. “What Publicity Can Do.” Harpers Weekly. Burns, John F. 2010. “WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Trailed by Notoriety.” The New York Times, October 23. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/world/24assange.html. Bush, Vannevar. 1945. “As We May Think.” The Atlantic, July. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1945/07/as-we-may-think/3881/.


pages: 236 words: 62,158

Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock

4chan, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, anti-work, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, butterfly effect, call centre, collective bargaining, Columbine, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, David Graeber, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket

This can lead up to the possibility of entering professionalized esports competitions, with increasing rewards and fame. This is a far departure from the guiding spirit behind the first multiplayer online games, then known as MUDs (multi-user dungeons). Creator Richard Bartle envisioned that multiplayer videogames start from the position that “everyone starts off on an equal footing in this artificial world.” Creating them was a “political gesture,” he explained: The original hacker ethic was, you can do what you like as long as you don’t hurt anyone else. That fed into games and it has propagated outwards. The more games you play the more sense you have of things like fairness—if you play an unfair game it’s no fun, it’s not a good game. I think that makes you more resistant to examples of unfairness in the real world. You may start to think, why shouldn’t gay people get married, what the hell, it doesn’t affect me?


pages: 247 words: 71,698

Avogadro Corp by William Hertling

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, invisible hand, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, standardized shipping container, technological singularity, Turing test, web application, WikiLeaks

Preppy clothes and drama club seemed ridiculous. Though the football team would have loved James, James would rather be playing MMORPGs. They surely didn't fit in with the socialites, and their shallow interests. They weren't skaters or punks. They might have been labelled geeks, but the geeks rarely came in wearing military jackets or ditched school to smoke pot. They were too smart, and had too much of the hacker ethic to fit in with the stoners. No, they were just their own clique, and they made sure not to fit anyone else's stereotypes. Leon glanced over at Vito, who was fiddling with his ancient Motorola. Vito lavished care on the old phone. The case was worn smooth, thousands of hours of polishing from Vito's hands. Even the original plastic seams had disappeared with age. When a component died, Vito would micro-solder a replacement in.


pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Chapters 7 and 8 explore the origins of the Sharing Economy in Internet culture: the values and practices that permeate Silicon Valley companies and the wider world of technology enthusiasts, from open source programmers to Bitcoin advocates to the “maker movement” and beyond. Any short description will undoubtedly be an oversimplification, and of course there are disagreements and disputes among its adherents, but a coherent Internet culture does exist. It embraces values of rebellion, drawing from a loose set of attitudes sometimes called the hacker ethic. Facebook’s headquarters are at “One Hacker Way” and it has the word HACK laid out in 12-meter letters in the stone. The company’s mantra until last year was “move fast and break things,” and Mark Zuckerberg recently explained to potential investors: “Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it—often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.”


pages: 1,136 words: 73,489

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, death of newspapers, Debian, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, Firefox, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, Induced demand, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, node package manager, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, pull request, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, urban planning, web application, wikimedia commons, Zimmermann PGP

The term “hacker” was popularized by author Steven Levy, who memorably captured a portrait of the 1980s hacker generation in the book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. In Hackers, Levy profiles a number of well-known programmers of the time, including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Richard Stallman. He suggests that hackers believe in sharing, openness, and decentralization, which he calls the “hacker ethic.”17 According to Levy’s portrait, hackers care about improving the world, but don’t believe in following the rules to get there. Hackers are characterized by bravado, showmanship, mischievousness, and a deep mistrust of authority. Hacker culture still lives on today, in the way that beatniks, hippies, and Marxists still exist, but hackers don’t capture the software cultural zeitgeist in the same way that they used to.


pages: 636 words: 202,284

Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns

active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, commoditize, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog

New laws and police actions multiplied against a projected threat by criminal or even seditious hackerdom. This caused considerable soul searching among proponents of online sociability. In the late 1980s and early 1990s repeated debates took place about the implications for digital communities, and about the responsibilities that digital expertise carried with it. They focused on what became the vexed question of the day: whether there was a hacker “ethic.” A direct adoption from Merton’s portrait of science, the contention that there was such an ethic took its rise from Levy’s Hackers, which was overtly premised on the idea. But the point of the exchanges that now ensued was to determine whether the norms of such an ethic – assuming it existed – were consequential. Scientists, on a Mertonian account, were not particularly virtuous as individuals, but their work was shaped by moral norms that were upheld and enforced by the scientific community at large.

Its immediate trigger was the panic over the first widely distributed worm but the exchange had time to develop broader themes, with participants arguing, changing their minds, and at length diverging irreconcilably. They included a number of veterans, Lee Felsenstein among them. Richard Stallman took part from MIT. Emmanuel Goldstein and two crackers going by the monikers Acid Phreak and Phiber Optik also contributed. The initial subject was the hacker ethic itself, which they variously construed, credited, and disdained. Most accepted that hacking was characterized by contempt for obstacles to technical progress. That was what lay behind its commitment to the free exchange of information, and hence its repudiation of intellectual property. Hackers appeared antiauthoritarian because they claimed the right and ability to “undam the pipes” and allow information to flow freely – a very Wienerian image.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

One result was one of the most famous pieces of television advertising in history, the jaw-dropping spot broadcast into millions of American living rooms during the 1984 Super Bowl, when a lithe young woman ran through a droning audience, hurled a hammer at a Big Brother–like image projected on a blue screen, and shattered it.5 The barely veiled punch at IBM, Apple’s chief rival, reflected a broader anti-establishment streak in this techie rhetoric that went beyond marketing plans and ad slogans. “Mistrust Authority—Promote Decentralization,” read one plank of the “hacker ethic” journalist Steven Levy used in 1984 to describe the remarkable new subculture of hardware and software geeks who had helped make the computer personal. “Authority” meant Big Blue, big business, and big government. It was the perfect message for the times. After more than ten years of unrelentingly dismal business news—plant shutdowns, blue-collar jobs vanishing overseas, fumbling corporate leaders, and the pummeling of American brands by foreign competitors—high-tech companies presented a bright, promising contrast.

The new entrepreneurs were taking the open-source platforms, the broadband networks, and the extraordinary hardware and software inventions that came out of America’s seven-decade-long tech explosion, and they were building something new. These entrepreneurs weren’t necessarily doing it in Silicon Valley, nor were they doing it in “the next Silicon Valley.” They were doing it everywhere, in places that had a different rhythm, were more affordable, more diverse in outlook and experience. These technologists were thinking about a different kind of hacker ethic. It was one that built software to last rather than asking programmers to give over their lives to constant tweaks and updates. It was an ethic that brought in people from beyond the charmed circles that had dominated tech for so long, and one that blended engineering with humanism. It was one that postponed building colonies on Mars until technologists first tackled inequalities here on earth.


pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, Kickstarter, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

Their targets were marked on a map of the United States filling a wall of computer displays. Every one of them would be at home, the agents knew; at the Secret Service’s behest, Gonzalez had called an online meeting for that evening, and nobody said no to Cumbajohnny. At nine p.m., agents armed with MP5 semiautomatic assault rifles burst into Shadowcrew members’ homes around the country, grabbing three founders, T-Mobile hacker Ethics, and seventeen other buyers and sellers. It was the biggest crackdown on identity thieves in American history. Two days later, a federal grand jury handed down a sixty-two-count conspiracy indictment and the Justice Department went public with Operation Firewall. “This indictment strikes at the heart of an organization that is alleged to have served as a one-stop marketplace for identity theft,” Attorney General John Ashcroft boasted in a press release.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

As critics like Tim Wu have argued, the answer lies in our new digital elite becoming accountable for the most traumatic socioeconomic disruption since the industrial revolution. Rather than thinking differently, the ethic of this new elite should be to think traditionally. Rather than seceding to Burning Man or Mars, this plutocracy must be beamed back down to earth. “Move fast and break things” was the old hacker ethic; “you break it, you own it” should be the new one. Rather than an Internet Bill of Rights, what we really need is an informal Bill of Responsibilities that establishes a new social contract for every member of networked society. Silicon Valley has fetishized the ideals of collaboration and conversation. But where we need real collaboration is in our conversation about the impact of the Internet on society.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

He came out aggressively against the institutional nature of computers, hoping to bring them out of the big universities and military and into the homes of the masses, where they could serve what he saw as a truly liberating purpose. Home-Brewed for the People Inspired by Ted Nelson and others, a generation of nerds emerged from the late 1960s and 70s determined to disrupt the march of the institutional computer and bring the personal computer “to every desk in America,” as Bill Gates famously put it. Brand described this generation as embodying a “hacker ethic”: “Most of our generation scorned computers as the embodiment of centralized control. But a tiny contingent—later called ‘hackers’—embraced computers and set about transforming them into tools of liberation.”12 This contingent went to work in their parents’ garages and in their dorm rooms and eventually brought behemoths like Apple and Microsoft into existence. But the early products were considered hobbyist items on par with model trains and HAM radios, or, in today’s world, DIY craft beers and handmade artisan soaps.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

It’s really very bizarre, but this was a self-energizing community. These hackers had their own language. They could get things done in three days that would take a month. If somebody appeared who had the talent, the magic touch, they would fit in.” The TMRC and Minsky’s lab were later immortalized in Stewart Brand’s The Media Lab and Steven Levy’s Hackers: The Heroes of the Computer Revolution, in addition to many other publications.6 The hacker ethic is also what inspired Mark Zuckerberg’s first Facebook motto: “Move fast and break things.” Minsky was part of Zuckerberg’s curriculum at Harvard. Minsky and a collaborator, John McCarthy, organized the very first conference on artificial intelligence, at the Dartmouth Math Department in 1956. The two went on to found the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, which evolved into the MIT Media Lab, which remains a global epicenter for creative uses of technology and has generated ideas for everyone from George Lucas to Steve Jobs to Alan Alda to Penn and Teller.


pages: 534 words: 92,957

Digital Photography Hacks by Derrick Story

Hacker Ethic, index card, Steve Jobs

It is often referred to as the process for breaking into computers and turning them into weapons of discord. Among people who write code, though, the term hack refers to a "quick-and-dirty" solution to a problem, or a clever way to get something done. And the term hacker is taken as a compliment, referring to someone being creative and having the technical chops to get things done. The Hacks series is an attempt to reclaim the word, document the good ways people are hacking, and pass the hacker ethic of creative participation on to the uninitiated. Seeing how others approach systems and problems is often the quickest way to learn a new technology. This collection of hacks reflects the real-world experience of photographers who are steeped in photographic history and expertise. They share their no-nonsense and, sometimes, quick-and-dirty solutions to "getting the shot." This book contains tips for working indoors, outdoors, during the day, at night, in front of the computer, and even with a camera phone in hand.


pages: 322 words: 99,066

The End of Secrecy: The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks by The "Guardian", David Leigh, Luke Harding

4chan, banking crisis, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, Downton Abbey, drone strike, eurozone crisis, friendly fire, global village, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, post-work, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

Rather, it is a way of looking at the world. “It’s about understanding the environment in which we operate, taking it apart, and then expanding upon it and recreating it. Central to it is the idea that information should be free, combined with a deep distrust of authority.” House points to a book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, by Steven Levy, which chronicles the rise of the “hacker ethic” at MIT. “Hackers believe that essential lessons can be learned about … the world from taking things apart, seeing how they work, and using this knowledge to create new and even more interesting things,” Levy writes. “They resent any person, physical barrier, or law that tries to keep them from doing this. All information should be free. If you don’t have access to the information you need to improve things, how can you fix them?”


pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Justin.tv, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Although Google “may represent open systems,” as Michael Wolff wrote in an article than ran with Anderson’s in Wired, “it came to almost completely control that openness. It’s difficult to imagine another industry so thoroughly subservient to one player. In the Google model, there is one distributor of movies, which also owns all the theaters.”13 Many academics believe otherwise. In April 2010, when Apple introduced the iPad, the New America Foundation fellow Tim Wu—who coined the term “net neutrality”—wrote in Slate that Steve Jobs’s hostility to the hacker ethic made Apple “a self-professed revolutionary that is closely allied with establishment forces like the entertainment conglomerates and the telecommunications industry.”14 (The real rebels work for Google!) Around the same time, Wu participated in the New America Foundation panel called “Why Your Cell Phone Is So Terrible,” and the explanation had a lot to do with closed systems.15 In his 2010 book, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Wu shows how AT&T used its monopoly over the U.S. telephone system to prevent innovation until a 1968 FCC decision held that consumers could connect devices made by other companies, including modems and fax machines.


pages: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson

airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

Whenever I showed the magazine to a Chinese person they were baffled. “It means network, doesn’t it?” I said, thinking all the warm and fuzzy thoughts that we think about networks. “Yes,” they said, “this is the term used by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution for the network of spies and informers that they spread across every village and neighborhood to snare enemies of the regime.” GOING TO CHINA AND ASKING PEOPLE ABOUT THE HACKER ETHIC IS LIKE going to Peoria and talking to the folks down at Ned’s Feed & Grain about Taoism. The hacking part comes to them easily enough—China is, in a sense, a nation of analog hackers quickly entering the digital realm. But I didn’t see any urge to draw profound, cosmic conclusions from the act of messing around with technology. SHENZHEN HAS THE LOOK OF AN INFORMATION-AGE CITY, WHERE LOCATION IS basically irrelevant.


pages: 696 words: 111,976

SQL Hacks by Andrew Cumming, Gordon Russell

bioinformatics, business intelligence, business process, database schema, en.wikipedia.org, Erdős number, Firefox, full text search, Hacker Ethic, Paul Erdős, Stewart Brand, web application

They use it to refer to people who break into systems or wreak havoc with computers as their weapon. Among people who write code, though, the term hack refers to a "quick-and-dirty" solution to a problem, or a clever way to get something done. And the term hacker is taken very much as a compliment, referring to someone as being creative, having the technical chops to get things done. The Hacks series is an attempt to reclaim the word, document the good ways people are hacking, and pass the hacker ethic of creative participation on to the uninitiated. Seeing how others approach systems and problems is often the quickest way to learn about a new technology. This book is a collection of 100 different hacks. Each hack involves a specific problem that you may have already seen before, but perhaps tackled in a way you wouldn't have considered. The hacks range from solving simple, everyday problems, all the way to tackling complex data processing scenarios.


The Fugitive Game: Online With Kevin Mitnick by Jonathan Littman

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, centre right, computer age, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, profit motive, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, telemarketer

Shimomura's computer screen as the suspect wrote a message ... complaining that I had put his picture on the front page of The New York Times. ... I too became emmeshed in the digital manhunt for the nation's most wanted computer outlaw. Mr. Shimomura . .. [has] an uncanny ability to solve complex technical programs in the manner of Star Trek's Vulcan Mr. Spock. He seems to embody the very essence of the original hacker ethic — writing programs to create something elegant, not for gain.... Mr. Mitnick is not a hacker in the original sense of the word. Mr. Shimomura is. And when their worlds collided, it was obvious which one of them had to win. But outside the New York Times, the public spin on the capture of Kevin Mitnick is beginning to shift. The carefully orchestrated image of a duel between good and evil is beginning to crack.


A People’s History of Computing in the United States by Joy Lisi Rankin

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, corporate social responsibility, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Howard Zinn, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pink-collar, profit motive, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, wikimedia commons

National Council of Teachers of Mathe­matics, Computer Facilities for Mathe­m atics Instruction (Washington, DC: National Council of Teachers of Mathe­matics, 1967); National Council of Teachers of Mathe­matics, Introduction to an Algorithmic Language (BASIC) (Washington, DC: National Council of Teachers of Mathe­matics, 1968). 101. National Council of Teachers of Mathe­matics, Computer Facilities for Mathe­matics Instruction, abstract. 102. Levy employs the language of evangelization in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, such as Albrecht “spreading the gospel of the Hacker Ethic” (166), Albrecht as a “prophet of BASIC” (167), and “the mission of spreading computing to the ­people” (170). 103. Bob Albrecht, My Computer Likes Me When I Speak in BASIC (Menlo Park, CA: Dymax, 1972). 104. Ibid., 1. 105. Paul Sabin, The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our ­Gamble over Earth’s ­Future (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013). 106. Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W.


pages: 755 words: 121,290

Statistics hacks by Bruce Frey

Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, G4S, game design, Hacker Ethic, index card, Milgram experiment, p-value, place-making, reshoring, RFID, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Thomas Bayes

They use it to refer to people who break into systems or wreak havoc, using computers as their weapon. Among people who write code, though, the term hack refers to a "quick-and-dirty" solution to a problem or a clever way to get something done. And the term hacker is taken very much as a compliment, referring to someone as being creative, having the technical chops to get things done. The Hacks series is an attempt to reclaim the word, document the good ways people are hacking, and pass the hacker ethic of creative participation on to the uninitiated. Seeing how others approach systems and problems is often the quickest way to learn about a new technology. The technologies at the heart of this book are statistics, measurement, and research design. Computer technology has developed hand-in-hand with these technologies, so the use of the term hacks to describe what is done in this book is consistent with almost every perspective on that word.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

The fortuitous encounter by the three men had an almost unfathomable impact on the world. A number of the “six graduate students” were connected with the MIT Model Railway Club, an unorthodox group of future engineers drawn to computing as if by a magnet. Their club ethos would lead directly to what became the “hacker culture,” which held as its most prized value the free sharing of information.19 McCarthy would help spread the hacker ethic when he left MIT in 1962 and set up a rival laboratory at Stanford University. Ultimately the original hacker culture would also foment social movements such as free/open-source software, Creative Commons, and Network Neutrality movements. While still at MIT, McCarthy, in his quest for a more efficient way to conduct artificial intelligence research, had invented computer time-sharing, as well as the Lisp programming language.


pages: 480 words: 119,407

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, lifelogging, low skilled workers, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, phenotype, post-industrial society, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, the built environment, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

This is bad enough when it comes to human-on-human recruitment, but with the rise of algorithm-driven recruiting the problem is set to get worse, because there is every reason to suspect that this bias is being unwittingly hardwired into the very code to which we’re outsourcing our decision-making. In 1984 American tech journalist Steven Levy published his bestselling book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Levy’s heroes were all brilliant. They were all single-minded. They were all men. They also didn’t get laid much. ‘You would hack, and you would live by the Hacker Ethic, and you knew that horribly inefficient and wasteful things like women burned too many cycles, occupied too much memory space,’ Levy explained. ‘Women, even today, are considered grossly unpredictable,’ one of his heroes told him. ‘How can a [default male] hacker tolerate such an imperfect being?’ Two paragraphs after having reported such blatant misogyny, Levy nevertheless found himself at a loss to explain why this culture was more or less ‘exclusively male’.


pages: 480 words: 123,979

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier

4chan, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, cosmological constant, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, game design, general-purpose programming language, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, impulse control, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

(Don’t recall the name of the joint, but if anyone wants to figure it out, this was the one that put almond oil in their shrimp dumplings, and everyone talked about that.) The diners that day would go on to found companies like Pixar and Sun. Moondust was a hit with this crew, and they started pestering me. “How’d you do it? There are pixels changing all over the screen at once.” “Oh, I’m using a compressed lookup table through these shifting masks…” “Wait! Don’t tell them how you’re doing it!” “I thought the hacker ethic was all about sharing code.” “Well, yeah, if it helps bring down the big, bad old power. But this is your personal stuff.” “I don’t know what to do.” “Well, anyway, you’re one of us now.” One of us said with that emphatic, grunting rhythm from the movie Freaks. Code Culture Our world wasn’t made for us, yet. We were still profoundly strange. The Valley already had elite pockets, but it was mostly not so rich, and much of it was raunchy and depressing.


pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, young professional

Herkewitz, William, ‘Why Watson and Siri Are Not Real AI’, Popular Mechanics, 10 Feb. 2014 <http://www.popularmechanics.com> (accessed 23 March 2015). Hess, Charlotte, and Elinor Ostrom, Understanding Knowledge as a Commons (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011). Higgs, Eric, Andrew Light, and David Strong (eds.), Technology and the Good Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000). Hildebrandt, Mireille, and Antoinette Rouvroy, Law, Human Agency and Autonomic Computing, paperback edn. (London: Routledge, 2013). Himanen, Pekka, The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (London: Secker & Warburg, 2001). Hirschman, Albert, The Rhetoric of Reaction (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991). HM Revenue and Customs, ‘Making Tax Easier’, Mar. 2015, <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/413975/making-tax-easier.pdf> (accessed 14 March 2015). Hobbs, Abbi, ‘Big Data, Crime and Security’, Houses of Parliament Postnote no. 470, July 2014 <http://www.parliament.uk> (accessed 8 March 2015).


Howard Rheingold by The Virtual Community Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier-Perseus Books (1993)

Apple II, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, commoditize, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, experimental subject, George Gilder, global village, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, license plate recognition, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Oldenburg, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, The Great Good Place, The Hackers Conference, urban decay, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, young professional

When the Net upgrades its own software, the Net is used to 26-04-2012 21:43 howard rheingold's | the virtual community 36 de 43 http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/3.html distribute the upgrade. IRC, the program that connects Internet users into worldwide real-time chat "channels," started out as an experiment by a programmer in Finland. Multi-User Dungeons originated at a University in England. Among the original hackers at MIT, the ones who helped invent time-sharing, the hacker ethic was that computer tools ought to be free. The first personal-computer makers were outraged when William Gates, now the richest man in America, started selling BASIC, which PC hobbyists had always passed around for free. The software industry exists now and Microsoft is bigger than General Motors, but the Net continues to grow because of intellectual property that skilled programmers have given to the Net community.


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Stallman, August 8, 1997. 11 Peter Wayner, Free for All: How Linux and the Free Software Movement Undercut the High-Tech Titans (New York: HarperBusiness, 2000), 36. 12 For a discussion of Stallman and the history of GNU/Linux, see ibid., 9, 34-36, 67-68; Stallman, 53-66; Mark Leon, “Richard Stallman, GNU/Linux,” InfoWorld (October 9, 2000): 62. 13 See, e.g., Linus Torvalds and David Diamond, Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary (New York: HarperBusiness, 2001); Pekka Himanen, Manuel Castells (epilogue), and Linus Torvalds (prologue), The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (New York: Random House, 2001); Paula Rooney, “No. 11: The Dark Horse,” Computer Reseller News, November 15, 1999. 14 Stallman: “Around 1992, combining Linux with the not-quite-complete GNU system resulted in a complete free operating system. (Combining them was a substantial job in itself, of course.) It is due to Linux that we can actually run a version of the GNU system today.”


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Spafford, supra note 5, at 678—81. 37. Id. at 680. 38. Id. 39. Matt Blaze, Cryptography Policy and the Information Economy, WindowSecurity.com, Apr. 5, 2000, available athttp://windowsecuritycom/whitepapers/cryptography_Policy _and_the_Information_Economy.html. 40. Increases in computer crime have received attention from the hacker community. See Harmon, supra note 31; see also PEKKA HIMANEN & LINUS TORVALDS, THE HACKER ETHIC (2001); BRUCE STERLING, THE HACKER CRACKDOWN: LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER (2002), available at http://www.mit.edu/hacker/hacker.html; cf. Note, Immunizing the Internet, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Worm, 119 HARV. L. REV. 2442 (2006) (introducing the idea of “beneficial cybercrime,” which values system attacks for their tendency to draw attention to vulnerabilities in computer networks). 41.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Mary Beth Griggs, “3-D Printers Spit Out Fancy Food, Green Cars, and Replacement Bones,” Discover Magazine, March 26, 2012, http://discovermagazine.com/2012/mar/31-3-d-printers -spit-out-fancy-food-and-green-cars#.UnvIBPmkoSU (accessed November 7, 2013). 30. “Manitoba’s Kor Ecologic Debuts Hybrid Urbee,” Canadian Manufacturing, November 2, 2012, http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/designengineering/news/manitobas-kor-ecologic -debuts-hybrid-urbee-11992 (accessed November 1, 2013). 31. Stewart Brand and Matt Herron, “Keep Designing—How the Information Economy Is Being Created and Shaped by the Hacker Ethic,” Whole Earth Review (May, 1985): 44. 32. Deborah Desrochers-Jacques, “Green Energy Use Jumps in Germany,” Der Spiegel, August 30, 2011, http://www.spiegel.de/international/crossing-the-20-percent-mark-green-energy-use -jumps-in-germany-a-783314.html (accessed August 7, 2013); Berlin and Niebull, “Germany’s Energy Transformation: Eneriewende,” Economist, July 28, 2012, http://www.economist.com /node/21559667 (accessed October 1, 2013). 33.


pages: 467 words: 149,632

If Then: How Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, anti-communist, Buckminster Fuller, computer age, coronavirus, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, game design, George Gilder, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, index card, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, job automation, land reform, linear programming, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, Peter Thiel, profit motive, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

In Silicon Valley, nearly all of the leaders of companies selling snake oil were men, the great-grandsons of the scientists of Simulmatics, but they believed themselves to be orphans, parentless, fatherless, sui generis self-made geniuses.11 They made no room in their world for women, or family, or knowledge other than the calculations of computers. Places like MIT’s corporate-funded Media Lab cultivated a “hacker ethic,” which meant, in many quarters, no ethics at all. In 2016, the director of the Media Lab accepted $1.7 million from convicted felon Jeffrey Epstein, after he’d registered as a sex offender and pleaded guilty to procuring an underage girl for sex (Epstein helped the lab pull in another $7.5 million from other donors), and announced a “Disobedience Award” to celebrate “responsible, ethical disobedience,” making of heedless audacity a fetish.12 MIT’s Media Lab served as a convenient scapegoat, a distraction from a broader ethical aimlessness not only in Silicon Valley but on college campuses.


Bleeding Edge by Pynchon, Thomas

addicted to oil, AltaVista, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Burning Man, carried interest, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, East Village, Hacker Ethic, index card, invisible hand, jitney, late capitalism, margin call, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Y2K

Lucas and I came of age into VRML, realized we could have the graphics we wanted, so that’s what we did, or Lucas did.” “Only the framing material,” Lucas demurely, “obvious influences, Neo-Tokyo from Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Metal Gear Solid by Hideo Kojima, or as he’s known around my crib, God.” “The further in you go, as you get passed along one node to the next, the visuals you think you’re seeing are being contributed by users all over the world. All for free. Hacker ethic. Each one doing their piece of it, then just vanishing uncredited. Adding to the veils of illusion. You know what an avatar is, right?” “Sure, had a prescription once, but they always made me a little, I don’t know, nauseous?” “In virtual reality,” Lucas begins to explain, “it’s a 3-D image you use to represent yourself—” “Yeah, actually, gamers in the house forever, but somebody told me also that in the Hindu religion avatar means an incarnation.


pages: 542 words: 161,731

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, social intelligence, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce, Year of Magical Thinking

Using the computer, hackers would play tricks on each other—these were the “hacks”—but they never played tricks on people outside the group, who could not defend themselves. (A classic hack might be to make a computer seem to crash, only to have it revive when a hacker in the know touched it with a particular keystroke.) If a young hacker did not play by these rules, senior hackers would step in and make things right. Joel mourns the passing of the hacker ethic. In today’s virtual worlds, he says, “there is more mischief.” Clever people who don’t feel a commitment to the community are in a position to do real damage. On Second Life, through Rashi, Joel has become an enforcer of “old-school” hacker standards. His elephant is there to keep people in line. Property is to be respected. People’s work is not to be destroyed. Rashi, with his elephant ears and mournful eyes, is a disheveled superhero, but he gets the job done.


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

"Robert Solow", Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

Hewitt, P. (1993) About Time: the Revolution in Work and Family Life, London: IPPR/Rivers Oram Press. Hill, Christopher (ed.) (1996) The Actors in Europe’s Foreign Policy, London: Routledge. Hiltz, Starr Roxanne and Turoff, Murray (1993) The Network Nation: Human Communication via Computer, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Hiltzik, Michael (1999) Dealers of Lightning: Xerox Parc and the Dawn of the Computer Age, New York: Harper. Himannen, Pekka (2001) The Hackers’ Ethic and the Spirit of Informationalism, New Haven: Yale University Press, forthcoming. Hinrichs, Karl, Roche, William and Sirianni, Carmen (eds) (1991) The Political Economy of Working Hours in Industrial Nations, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Hirschhorn, Larry (1984) Beyond Mechanization: Work and Technology in a Postindustrial Age, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. —— (1985) “Information technology and the new services game”, in Manuel Castells (ed.), High Technology, Space and Society, Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, pp. 172–90.


pages: 915 words: 232,883

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

air freight, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fixed income, game design, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Jony Ive, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, profit maximization, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

He had written for the alternative newspaper Berkeley Barb and then gone back to being a computer engineer. Woz was usually too shy to talk in the meetings, but people would gather around his machine afterward, and he would proudly show off his progress. Moore had tried to instill in the Homebrew an ethos of swapping and sharing rather than commerce. “The theme of the club,” Woz said, “was ‘Give to help others.’” It was an expression of the hacker ethic that information should be free and all authority mistrusted. “I designed the Apple I because I wanted to give it away for free to other people,” said Wozniak. This was not an outlook that Bill Gates embraced. After he and Paul Allen had completed their BASIC interpreter for the Altair, Gates was appalled that members of the Homebrew were making copies of it and sharing it without paying him.