The Hacker Ethic, and the Spirit of the Information Age

Front Cover
Random House, 2001 - Computers - 232 pages
2 Reviews
Nearly a century ago, Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism articulated the animating spirit of the industrial age, the Protestant ethic. Now, Pekka Hinamen - together with Linus Torvalds and Manuel Castells - articulates how hackers* represent a new, opposing ethos for the information age. Underlying hackers' technical creations - such as the Internet and the personal computer, which have become symbols of our time - are the hacker values that produced them and that challenge us all. These values promoted passionate and freely rhythmed work; the belief that individuals can create great things by joining forces in imaginative ways; and the need to maintain our existing ethical ideals, such as privacy and equality, in our new, increasingly technologized society. The Hacker Ethic takes us on a journey through fundamental questions about life in the information age - a trip of constant surprises, after which out time and our lives can be seen from unexpected perspectives.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

A transformative book. It compares and contrasts the three main work ethic systems to answer the question, "Why do we work?" It doesn't so much teach you things you didn't know as much as provide a framework, or vocabulary, to understand what you already intuitively already know, but can't quite explain.  

Other editions - View all

About the author (2001)

Pekka Himanen earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Helsinki at the age of twenty. His ongoing mapping of the meaning of technological development has brought him into dialouge with academics, artists, ministers, and CEOs. Himanen works at the University of Helsinki and at the University of California at Berkeley.

Linus Torvalds has become one of the most respected hackers within the computer community for creating the Linux operating system in 1991 while a student at the University of Helsinki. Since then, Linux has grown into a project involving thousands of programmers and millions of users worldwide.

Manuel Castells is a professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of the highly acclaimed trilogy The

Bibliographic information