Synchronicity rules OK

posted 30 October 2003

Hot on the heels of my earlier question about why it is that geeks all seem to have an instinctive desire for the freedom of information, Eric S. Raymond has proposed a logo for hackers (he uses "hacker" in roughly the same sense that I use the word "geek"). It seems people don't like it much, and I have to say it's intellectually okay -- the pattern from the Game of Life is a good idea -- but it's just not satisfying like Tux and the BSD Daemon are. We don't need a logo, we need a mascot. And mascots need to be cute, and modifiable -- a logo is way too corporate and unchanging.

However, the interesting part comes with the accompanying How To Be A Hacker guide (and a more cringeworthily-titled document you won't find today). Specifically, ESR states that a fundamental hacker belief is that Freedom Is Good:

Authoritarians thrive on censorship and secrecy. And they distrust voluntary cooperation and information-sharing — they only like `cooperation' that they control. So to behave like a hacker, you have to develop an instinctive hostility to censorship, secrecy, and the use of force or deception to compel responsible adults. And you have to be willing to act on that belief.
Now, there are few higher authorities on being geeky than ESR -- Linus (what a crappy homepage he has) and Richard Stallman, but then the list runs out pretty quickly. So I think this is a fairly ringing endorsement of my assertion that geeks hate censorship. But why?
tagged with
0 comment