- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 7, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449389554
- ISBN-13: 978-1449389550
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 112 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age 1st Edition
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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.
Top customer reviews
Oh the chapter about nerds! oh my. Growing up a severe bookworm I always felt traditional schooling was the kid version of the shawshank redemption. Apparently I wasn't the only one.
What this Paul fellow is doing with his ycombinator startup monopoly in Silicon Valley is fixing the inefficiencies of a broken school system and sharing the education on his blog and youtube.
If you haven't seen Stanford CS -183b (his is lecture 3) it is a refreshing reminder of where the focus should be ~ learning how to create things people actually want not gaming and tricking the system with a bunch of hype.
The first article is triggered by Pauls growing up and asks why nerds are unpopular when you are younger. He explores memories of his childhood and tries to clarify them. He continues with a article after which the book is named. He explains that he has *some* education in painting and explores the similarity between hacking and painting.
The next couple chapters are an attack to taboos in general. What can we say? Why can we say that? And he claims that hackers are more comfortable breaking taboos, breaking the rules.
In the article "The road ahead" he is making predictions related to web-based server software, of which some are insightful (or were insightful). He claims that server-based software will be the future and the recent years have certainly shown that to be true.
The next couple of articles relate to capitalism and I did disagree with a lot of the statements he made in here. Though, often his points are carefully crafts.. here I found them simplistic. It annoyed me and even thought about stop reading it. The well-written-ness made me continue though.
The middle of the book contains an article about spam. This one doesn't fit well in the book and could have better left out, in my opinion.
The last articles in the book relate to programming languages and were fun to read. Paul is a serious Lisp fan and tries to argue about programming languages in such a way that it always supports his chose of lisp. He does make a couple of good points.
All in all, I've enjoyed reading "Hackers & Painters". Its an easy read with interesting strong opinions from Paul. I'd rate it between 3 and 4 stars, mainly because the amount of learning is not high. Though, I remember some articles got me laughing out loud, so decided to go for a 4. Worth reading if you like strong opinions relate to hacker cultures.
I recently decided to purchase and read Graham's book, "Hackers & Painters", to casually read through some of his favorite essays. This book is comprised of 15 of Graham's essays pulled from his blog, which he updates several times a year. The topics of his essays are diverse, but all represent a hacker's point of view.
What makes this book worth reading is that you get inside of Paul Graham's mind. He has an amazingly clear writing style (one that I am extremely fond of), and is able to walk you through his thoughts and arguments in a clear manner.
If you're at all interested in entrepreneurship, technology, or programming, I would give this book a read. It can be read casually in a day or so, and will make you think deeply about the topics discussed for weeks afterwards.
Even for non hackers it's a good book to understand that approach and how important is to have that technical founder in your startup.