What is hacker culture?

At our open day(s) a frequent question is ‘what is a hacker?’ This conversation thread is where we can help orient people to hacker traditions, histories and cultures. It can also start to compile a list of resources and point to ideas for possible workshops and seminars on hacker cultures.

The Wikipedia article on the subject is quite informative:

and also:

For a really interesting historical perspective on where the term came from, have a look at this, from RMS:


Bruce Sterling wrote a great book about hackers and hacking called “The Hacker Crackdown” which is free to download and well worth a read:

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Here is the wikipedia entry for McKenzie Wark’s ‘A Hacker Manifesto’ from 2004.


here is a link to ‘A Hacker Manifesto’ from monoskop http://monoskop.org/images/8/85/Wark_McKenzie_A_Hacker_Manifesto.pdf

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Anne Galloway - Design for Hackability


“Design for hackability is best described as critical and playful design practice inspired by historical and current hacker, net art, ‘do-it-yourself’ and ‘re-mix’ cultures and practices.”

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Hacking Design by Avinash Rajagopal


Originally written by Rajagopal as a thesis for the School of Visual Arts Master’s program in design criticism, Hacking Design examines both common histories and persisting misunderstandings between hackers and designers and uncovers shared ground on which the two creative communities can work together. Rajagopal nimbly skips between the computer and design communities, from Makerbot to the Hacking Ikea site, from 3-D printing to DIY, providing 23 illustrated examples.

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This is great. For anybody interested in reading the text, a PDF is available here:


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Oops, didn’t see the other link and reply.