• Hackers & Painters

  • Big Ideas from the Computer Age
  • By: Paul Graham
  • Narrated by: Mark Sando
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"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.

©2008 Paul Graham (P)2021 Upfront Books

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Audible misrepresents the release date

It's a decent book, there are timeless aspects to a few chapters. But I downrated it because it because it's being sold as a recent release. It is not.

Audible shows the release date for this as 2021, but it was actually written in 2008. Still a great book but downrating because of the mis-representation. It was an interesting trip back in time, allowing reminiscing about the dot-com days. But unless you are looking for a historical perspective of the internet's potential *as it was being realized* it might be disappointing.

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  • r
  • 02-16-22

the book is 15 years old

so this book is really a re-release and it's very dated. Other than a few general observations about Europe in the Renaissance it's hard

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a mindsett that sets people apart

I honestly have to say this is one of the few books this spoken about issues of American Education American culture and the highlights of the individualized mindset AKA what we call the American mindset. It does gets a bit technical near the end which is hard to follow in audiobook, but overall it gives a great interdisciplinary look at what a maker is and what an entrepreneur has to do.

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  • Rouge
  • 12-31-21

very interesting collection of tech essays

very enriching. the only flaw is that it's not read personally by Paul Graham, who would have add, I am quite sure, a touch of extra passion to the reading.