The Hacker Ethic takes us on a journey through fundamental questions about life in the information age - a trip of constant surprises, after which our time and our lives can be seen from unexpected perspectives.
Nearly a century ago, Max Weber's The
Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism articulated the animating spirit of the industrial age, the Protestant work ethic. In the original meaning of the word, hackers are enthusiastic computer programmers who share their work with others; they are not computer criminals. Now Pekka Himanen - together with Linus Torvalds and Manuel Castells - articulates how hackers represent a new opposing ethos for the information age.
Underlying hackers' technical creations - such as the Internet and the personal computer, which have become symbols of our time - are the hacker values that produced them. These values promote passionate and freely rhythmed work; the belief that individuals can create great things by joining forces in imaginative ways; and the need to maintain our existing ethical ideals, such as privacy and equality, in our new increasingly technologized Society.