Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

by Paul Graham


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"The computer world is like an intellectual Wild West, in which you can shoot anyone you wish with your ideas, if you're willing to risk the consequences. " —from Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham

We are living in the computer age, in a world increasingly designed and engineered by computer programmers and software designers, by people who call themselves hackers. Who are these people, what motivates them, and why should you care?

Consider these facts: Everything around us is turning into computers. Your typewriter is gone, replaced by a computer. Your phone has turned into a computer. So has your camera. Soon your TV will. Your car was not only designed on computers, but has more processing power in it than a room-sized mainframe did in 1970. Letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, and even your local store are being replaced by the Internet.

Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls "an intellectual Wild West."

The ideas discussed in this book will have a powerful and lasting impact on how we think, how we work, how we develop technology, and how we live. Topics include the importance of beauty in software design, how to make wealth, heresy and free speech, the programming language renaissance, the open-source movement, digital design, internet startups, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449389550
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/01/2010
Pages: 258
Sales rank: 649,275
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Paul Graham , designer of the new Arc language, was the creator of Yahoo Store, the first web-based application. His technique for spam filtering inspired most current filters. He has a PhD in Computer Science from Harvard and studied painting at RISD and the Accademia in Florence.

Table of Contents

Image Credits;
Note to readers;
Chapter 1: Why Nerds Are Unpopular;
Chapter 2: Hackers and Painters;
Chapter 3: What You Can't Say;
3.1 The Conformist Test;
3.2 Trouble;
3.3 Heresy;
3.4 Time and Space;
3.5 Prigs;
3.6 Mechanism;
3.7 Why;
3.8 Pensieri Stretti;
3.9 Viso Sciolto?;
3.10 Always Be Questioning;
Chapter 4: Good Bad Attitude;
Chapter 5: The Other Road Ahead;
5.1 The Next Thing?;
5.2 The Win for Users;
5.3 City of Code;
5.4 Releases;
5.5 Bugs;
5.6 Support;
5.7 Morale;
5.8 Brooks in Reverse;
5.9 Watching Users;
5.10 Money;
5.11 Customers;
5.12 Son of Server;
5.13 Microsoft;
5.14 Startups but More So;
5.15 Just Good Enough;
5.16 Why Not?;
Chapter 6: How to Make Wealth;
6.1 The Proposition;
6.2 Millions, not Billions;
6.3 Money Is Not Wealth;
6.4 The Pie Fallacy;
6.5 Craftsmen;
6.6 What a Job Is;
6.7 Working Harder;
6.8 Measurement and Leverage;
6.9 Smallness = Measurement;
6.10 Technology = Leverage;
6.11 The Catch(es);
6.12 Get Users;
6.13 Wealth and Power;
Chapter 7: Mind the Gap;
7.1 The Daddy Model of Wealth;
7.2 Stealing It;
7.3 The Lever of Technology;
7.4 Alternative to an Axiom;
Chapter 8: A Plan for Spam;
Chapter 9: Taste for Makers;
Chapter 10: Programming Languages Explained;
10.1 Machine Language;
10.2 High-Level Languages;
10.3 Open Source;
10.4 Language Wars;
10.5 Abstractness;
10.6 Seat Belts or Handcuffs?;
10.7 OO;
10.8 Renaissance;
Chapter 11: The Hundred-Year Language;
Chapter 12: Beating the Averages;
12.1 The Secret Weapon;
12.2 The Blub Paradox;
12.3 Aikido for Startups;
Chapter 13: Revenge of the Nerds;
13.1 Catching Up with Math;
13.2 What Made Lisp Different;
13.3 Where Languages Matter;
13.4 Centripetal Forces;
13.5 The Cost of Being Average;
13.6 A Recipe;
13.7 Appendix: Power;
Chapter 14: The Dream Language;
14.1 The Mechanics of Popularity;
14.2 External Factors;
14.3 Succinctness;
14.4 Hackability;
14.5 Throwaway Programs;
14.6 Libraries;
14.7 Efficiency;
14.8 Time;
14.9 Redesign;
14.10 The Dream Language;
Chapter 15: Design and Research;
Chapter 1;
Chapter 2;
Chapter 3;
Chapter 4;
Chapter 5;
Chapter 6;
Chapter 7;
Chapter 8;
Chapter 9;
Chapter 10;
Chapter 11;
Chapter 12;
Chapter 13;
Chapter 14;

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