Hacker’s Book

Table of contents

  1. Why Nerds Are Unpopular
  2. Hackers and Painters
  3. What You Can’t Say
  4. Good Bad Attitude
  5. The Other Road Ahead
  6. How to Make Wealth
  7. Mind the Gap
  8. A Plan for Spam
  9. Taste for Makers
  10. Programming Languages Explained
  11. The Hundred-Year Language
  12. Beating the Averages
  13. Revenge of the Nerds
  14. The Dream Language
  15. Design and Research

Hackers and Painters

 by Paul Graham

“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.

Paul Graham ( born 13 November 1964) is an English born computer scientist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, and blogger. He is best known for his work on Lisp, his former startup Viaweb (later renamed “Yahoo! Store”), co-founding the influential startup accelerator and seed capital firm Y Combinator, his blog, and Hacker News. He is the author of several programming books, such as: On Lisp (1993), ANSI Common Lisp (1995), and Hackers & Painters (2004). Technology journalist Steven Levy has described Graham as a ‘hacker philosopher’.

Paul Graham’s Essays