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 GrahamWe 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 Processing Power In It Than A Room Sized Mainframe Did In Letters, Encyclopedias, Newspapers, And Even Your Local Store Are Being Replaced By The InternetHackers 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 The hackers and painters link is tenuous at best, and I didn t find much of the stuff in here revolutionary, but it was published in 2004 and I tend to agree with most of it It seems to be mostly geared toward inspiring nerds to make conscious decisions in the career, be it starting a business or otherwise even if it does claim to be aimed at anyone interested in learning about software and software systems All that said, Graham is a decent writer He adopts an authoritative tone which people might find annoying, but when it comes down to it these are opinion pieces and it s tough to expect otherwise. I had serious problems with this book So Paul Graham is a successful Lisp hacker who made a lot of money from his start up Good for him To be sure, this earns him some credibility in discussing languages and start ups Unfortunately, he takes it upon himself to extrapolate from this single data point to universal laws of what makes you successful Moreover, he seems to think that his success as a geek entrepreneur somehow lends validity to whatever unsubstantiated thoughts, feelings and prejudices he may cook up, including some completely ridiculous views on the general superiority of geeks over regular people The only reason so many of his readers seem to accept these views must be that he s preaching to the choir certainly his geek audience would dearly like them to be true His arcane and naive notions of art and aesthetics are too embarrassing to even discuss Oh, and the smugness is just insufferable. Meh This started out promising While it may provide inspirational fodder for young, technological entrepreneurs, everyone else might soon find the tone obnoxious and constant extrapolation tedious Graham is at his best when he sticks to what he knows programming and business technology As such, the best chapter is programming languages explained This chapter held the most accessible explanation on language analytic that I ve ever come across, and is a pleasure to read Other chapters, such as how to make wealth might be of interest to someone with little understanding of economies of wealth, but to anyone else, it pretty much comes off as an Ayn Rand diatribe The hacker painter metaphor wears thin pretty fast thankfully, he doesn t return to it.Not a waste of a book, but I expected Great for a first year comp sci arts minor It s easily possible to pick and choose what you would like to read, for this book is written as a collection of essays If your looking for something in the same vein, but far rewarding godel escher bach. What I expected going in was interested parallels on the process of creating software versus other creative arts, and what Graham had learned across multiple disciplines That I can dig.What I got is a string of thinly justified essays that are lionising The Uber1337 Hacker as a misunderstood maverick agent for changing that is only being kept back by The Man.Graham is a smart man far smarter than me, and he s written a lot software But the tone of the book is grating, because a he keeps coming back to that one point again and againb he never stoops to justifying his claims with a backing argument.In Graham s view, the hacker is the central agent of change, of creating value, and while that may be true in his experience, it s a tremendously limited viewpoint, and he comes across as remarkably arrogant towards anything outside his experience The biggest danger in this is people with half his intelligence justifying their own worldview via his writing.I d be a lot less annoyed with this book if Graham did himself a giant favour and didn t introduce his views on how economics interacts with society He s obviously entitled to a viewpoint, but it s a remarkably cloistered one, and without justifying his opinion, it just comes off as another rich white guy wondering why people are griping instead of getting out there and Making Stuff go get em tiger The essays in here on programming and what he s learned from art are interesting I d love to read a whole book extrapolating on these points.
Paul Graham is an essayist, programmer, and programming language designer In 1995 he developed with Robert Morris the first web based application, Viaweb, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998 In 2002 he described a simple statistical spam filter that inspired a new generation of filters He s currently working on a new programming language called Arc, a new book on startups, and is one of the
- 272 pages
- Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
- Paul Graham
- 14 March 2019 Paul Graham