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Hacker Ethic   book icon  
by Pekka Himanen (2001)

read: 30 March 2002
rating: [+]
category: uncategorized

This book made me happy. It describes the differing work ethic of the hacker set [emphasis on project over working hours, cooperative not competitive, not hung up on money etc] as opposed to the old and tired Protestant work ethic. It put into words what I had been feeling about myself for a long time -- that I didn’t work badly, merely differently, and perhaps awkwardly in the current economy. As someone who grew up with Atari video games, I have always viewed computers as a source of entertainment. Working and messing about with them is fun. Spendinhg as long as i need to hash out a computer project is likewise fun. Trying to fit my idea of fun into a plausible job description is more difficult. This book delves somewhat into the history of the Protestant work ethic and a lot of our current cultural values in the US with regards to work, carrer and avocation. While the ending chapter -- which describes Genesis as if it were writen by a hacker -- is a bit much, this books was an eye-opening exploration of an alternative view of the concept of work and the concept of jobs.

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