"It is a bracingly cool wind that rushes through the streets of
Helsinki in mid-March. And not only does it chill you to the bone,
it blows through your mind too."
"Imagine a society where the computer hacker isn't a figure of
fear or derision, but something of a national hero (Linus
Torvalds). Imagine a country where the leading thinkers and
policy-makers are comfortable with the idea of "open source" - not
just as software, but as a model for education, social services,
even democracy itself."
"As a technoculture, Finland is much more than the might of
Nokia and its latest stockmarket valuations. The higher values of
the net - participation, sharing of resources, love of knowledge -
seem deeply hard-wired into this culture. The latest evidence is a
new book by philosopher Pekka Himanen, endorsed by Torvalds, called
The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age."
"As I observed the fuss generated by its launch in Helsinki last
week - TV shows, newspaper editorials, high-level seminars - I was
stunned by the general willingness to embrace the ideas. One
Microsoft executive recently described the rise of open source as
an "un-American" activity. Listening to Himanen lead vibrant public
discussions on the extension of hacker values into the rest of
society, what he calls "social hackerism", the man from Seattle
probably got it right."