Rampant Exploitation of Resources.
thunda at manor.downunder.net.au
Wed Oct 20 01:51:47 UTC 1999
Yes, I know the subject is awfully inflationary.
As this email is written, I am a few weeks away from completing
my IB Diploma. As it is being *sent*, however, I am finished.
This means that I have the time to pursue some things I've not
had time for previously.
I am eyeballing creating a series of "Briefings", focused on the
Hacker world. Specifically:
A document describing the roots of the Hacker
world, both cultural and temporal.
An overview of major ideological camps in the
Hacker community, and their precursors (if any).
A brief introduction to Economics and Hackerdom.
An introduction to Hacker politics: what forms
it takes, how it operates, 'power' and suchlike.
The Hacker psyche; motivations and common
A summary of common Source Law issues
A researcher's guide to the Hackerspace: pointers
to documents and fields of further work.
I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a 'real' Hacker.
If anything I am more of an ivory-tower man, or a suit
perhaps. I am no 'authority' on Hackerdom, in that sense; only an
The goal is to be as neutral and as factual as possible.
Of course, the social sciences (which constitute the majority
of the briefings proposed) have critical flaws when it
comes to assessing *anything*. I can summarise these for
Of the list outlined, "Hacker Politics" would probably be
the most contentious, followed closely by "Hacker History"
and "Hacker Economics".
The documents are not targeted at Hackers. They are to be
targeted at parties who want a serious, concise and relatively
non-partisan introduction to these areas.
I am doing this because it's something I *want* to do: in
that sense, none of you can stop me doing this. But I
also do this because I want to do *something* for the
Hacker community. My best conclusion drawn from observation
and participation in this forum, Slashdot and other
lists and newsgroups is that:
a) Authorities and factual statements are rarely checked,
challenged or validated.
b) Threads split into several lines of debate and argument.
c) It is easy to lose track of a thread's logical form and
structure across multiple posts.
d) Logic is applied, but not in a consistent, thorough way
None of this is a criticism, mind you. Were one to, say, try to
*enforce* such measures, we would see a classical free-market
response: the list would parallelise, reform someplace else.
Instead, such research would need to be provided as a charity,
of sorts. A Merit Good: never enough is provided by normal
As for "Rampant Exploitation", that's where this list comes in.
In order to construct these briefings, I would rely on the
documentary material that Hackerdom can provide me. ESR's work
is a beginning, but does not seem to address the same ends as
the briefings would - at least, not as explicitly.
What an outsider needs is the combined knowledge and memory
of a community. This list houses many of the 'big names'; and
it is a start. I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has
references to documents I should be reading, people I should
ask, and what I should ask them.
Please remember that
a) this is a fairly large project
b) this email is not conclusive; it is merely an opening
c) the project is a collection of what you might call
Thank you all very much in advance;
More information about the License-discuss