Ethics and Law in New Media/The Hacker Ethic in a Networked World

  • Browse the Jargon File. Write a small blog entry about a term/definition which was the most intriguing for you.

First of all I find the Jargon File quite interesting and funny sometimes (when I get their jokes;)) I didn’t know that hackers are so specific. I was mostly interested in  A Portrait of J. Random Hacker, as I am not very keen on technology. It got my attention mainly because there exists this stereotype about hackers and geeks and regarding to the text it was not always right, but right in some places that you wouldn’t think of. Starting with the dressing which seems quite common to all people connected with IT. That’s why I remembered the great guy from IT crowd (Roy). Well, he always wears some interesting T-shirts and has a lot of facial and normal hair.

What’s funny: They have a very low tolerance of suits and other business attire; in fact, it is not uncommon for hackers to quit a job rather than conform to a dress code.

This says a lot about their conventions and free style of life. You might think that it’s not difficult to find a job for them as there is a huge demand for programmers and similar positions, so they don’t have to care that much about it. But still I admire their rather hedonistic approach towards life.

Talking about the pleasures I was quite surprised reading about the food. I was pretty sure that they give preference to junk food but it seems that their taste is rather exquisite. (ex.: the Japanese-food fans among them will eat with gusto such delicacies as fugu (poisonous pufferfish) and whale.)

Another points that seemed to me a bit bizarre:

Agreeing with the stereotype:

Also, they are mentioning a good point that words cracker and hacker are mixed very often. S0mehow I never thought about hackers as about positive persons but after investigating more I am officially changing my mind.


  • Write a short blogged analysis about the hacker ethic found in today’s world (is it there or not, how much of it etc).

I don’t know the hacker’s environment very well, actually I now barely few geeks so my perceptions might not be right. I will analyze the topic according to the points mentioned in the lecture material (from Pekka Himanen’s Hacker Ethic).

  • passion – I think is still very common as hackers are well educated people seeking their goals in spite of needs (non-profit work).
  • freedom – is very connected with passion. Unfortunately, in Lithuania people still are seeking material goods (still feel results from being incorporated into CCCP) and very slowly moving towards new values as free and friendly work environment that would stimulate creativity.
  • (hacker) work ethic [the hacker ethic is a descendant (in a way) of Plato’s Academy, where the truth was born in debates] — I think nowadays it’s a very important point because nothing ever is black or white and by judging the world only by good or wrong puts us into some kind of extremity. Open-mindedness and tolerance are one of the most valuated attributions.
  • (hacker) money ethic – when the money is not a priority. Of course this may be reached only by people that do not already need money for surviving and then they are able to put values like creativity or freedom on the first place.
  • (hacker) network ethic — in my opinion it grows more and more powerful – people want to get access to all information sources and be able to create their proper opinion, not implanted by mass media. As it puts Eriksen: people now do not lack information but do lack the freedom from information. This way decentralization becomes stronger every day.
  • creativity – is one of the values that move any kind of production. It makes things more attractive and facilitates to sell them with outstanding ads. Now the employee has no more to be wise but creative. In hackers’ world I see it extremely important, starting with their original sense of humor 🙂 Just for fun, I remembered Pirate’s bay responses (after being accused of breaking copyrights) to some biggest corporations, like the following:
As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States
of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe.
Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here.
For your information, no Swedish law is being violated.

Please be assured that any further contact with us, regardless of medium,
will result in
a) a suit being filed for harassment
b) a formal complaint lodged with the bar of your legal counsel, for
sending frivolous legal threats.

It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are ....... morons, and
that you should please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.

Please also note that your e-mail and letter will be published in full on
http://www.thepiratebay.org.

Go fuck yourself.

Polite as usual,
anakata
more here

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