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Boston Globe: Economic Principals — Scientists and hackers

“If the essence of politics is to be found in the shifting
meaning of words, then few words carry a more interesting
charge these days than ”hacker.””

“if you listen carefully to the leading innovators in computer
systems, you realize that the applicability of the term is
expanding rapidly.

“Consider the story of how Linus Torvalds, and not Richard
Stallman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came to pose
the chief threat to the world’s first centibillionaire, Bill
Gates.”

“Stallman would seem to be the hacker par excellence – ”the
last true hacker,” as author Steven Levy called him in his famous
book.”

“Cut to Helsinki in 1991. A young Finnish graduate student named
Linus Torvalds…” Linux today has millions of users, thousand of
developers…”

“And the point? Simply that the neatly barbered and quietly
circumspect Torvalds is every bit as much a hacker as Stallman – a
fact the flamboyant Stallman readily concedes.

“So what is a hacker, after all? Eric Raymond offers this
definition…”


Complete story
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