György Galántai: The 100% recycling hack
How to Discover

the Hacker Hidden in Us?

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1/1. Vilém Flusser:
We only really become an “I” if we are there with and for others. “I” is the one to whom someone says “you.”[1]

1/2. Eric S. Raymond:
To behave like a hacker, you have to believe that the thinking time of other hackers is precious – so much so that it’s almost a moral duty for you to share information, solve problems and then give the solutions away just so other hackers can solve new problems instead of having to perpetually re-address old ones.[2

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2/1. Vilém Flusser:
At the heart of telematics is a type of anthropology that does not perceive the human person as an individual, but rather as the manner how systems of relations function; as the realization of possible links. The intersubjective field is a virtual space in which an individual is a node in the net, inasmuch as materiality is a node in the energetic space.[3]

2/2. Eric S. Raymond:
Specifically, hackerdom is what anthropologists call a gift culture. You gain status and reputation in it not by dominating other people, nor by being beautiful, nor by having things other people want, but rather by giving things away. Specifically, by giving away your time, your creativity, and the results of your skill.[2]

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3/1. Vilém Flusser:
The prefix “tele-” not only means bringing closer events happening far away from us but also of people far from us; therefore, thanks to telematics we are able to establish relations with numerous people through whom we can fulfill our ambitions and who can fulfill their ambitions through us. A dialogical relationship forms between people who were once far from each other and now brought close.[3]

3/2. Eric S. Raymond:
The hacker culture doesn’t have leaders, exactly, but it does have culture heroes and tribal elders and historians and spokespeople. When you’ve been in the trenches long enough, you may grow into one of these. Beware: hackers distrust blatant ego in their tribal elders, ...[2]

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4/1. Vilém Flusser:
For our parents time was seen as flowing from the past into the future, and not stopping in the present but drifting, taking everything away with itself. Such a dramatic approach to time is of course nonsense. Firstly, because time is not coming to us from the past but from the future, and secondly because it is exactly the present that it arrives in.[3]

4/2. Eric S. Raymond:
If you revere competence, you’ll enjoy developing it in yourself — the hard work and dedication will become a kind of intense play rather than drudgery. That attitude is vital to becoming a hacker.[2]

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5/1. Vilém Flusser:
[...] At least two things characterize this relearning of thought: first, that we think images and only images, for everything we called perceptions – whether external or internal – are nothing but images computed in the brain; second, that thinking is not a continuous, discursive process – thinking “quantizes”. That is an insight diametrically opposed to the concept of thinking that distinguishes Western culture.[4]

5/2. Eric S. Raymond:
Learning to program is like learning to write good natural language. The best way to do it is to read some stuff written by masters of the form, write some things yourself, read a lot more, write a little more, read a lot more, write some more ... and repeat until your writing begins to develop the kind of strength and economy you see in your models.[2]

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6/1. Vilém Flusser:
From this incipient reflection on thinking has come, among other things and above all of them, the informatic revolution. It is a revolution because it turns from its point of departure to the world and to human beings.[4]

6/2. Eric S. Raymond:
To be a real hacker, you need to get to the point where you can learn a new language in days by relating what’s in the manual to what you already know. This means you should learn several very different languages.[2]

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7/1. Vilém Flusser:
The new digital codes arose from the new understanding of thought, and feedback is making us think in quanta and images more clearly the more we use the new codes.[4]

7/2. Eric S. Raymond:
I can’t give complete instructions on how to learn to program here — it’s a complex skill. But I can tell you that books and courses won’t do it — many, maybe most of the best hackers are self-taught. You can learn language features — bits of knowledge — from books, but the mind-set that makes that knowledge into living skill can be learned only by practice and apprenticeship. What will do it is (a) reading code and (b) writing code.[2]

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8/1. Vilém Flusser:
We are responsible for the relationships we build but definitely not for those that are predetermined. I think that those who regard predetermined relationships as valuable are the enemies of freedom. And those who place an emphasis on relationships they have built are men of the new era,...[3]

8/2. Eric S. Raymond:
Hackers solve problems and build things, and they believe in freedom and voluntary mutual help. To be accepted as a hacker, you have to behave as though you have this kind of attitude yourself. And to behave as though you have the attitude, you have to really believe the attitude.[2]

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9/1. Vilém Flusser:
Perception theory, ethics and aesthetics, and even our very sense of being alive are in crisis. We live in an illusory world of technical images, and we increasingly experience, recognize, evaluate, and act as a function of these images.[1]

9/2. Eric S. Raymond:
The hacker mind-set is not confined to this software-hacker culture. There are people who apply the hacker attitude to other things, like electronics or music — actually, you can find it at the highest levels of any science or art.[2]

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10/1. Vilém Flusser:
“Probable” and “improbable” are concepts from informatics, in which information can be defined as an improbable situation: the more improbable, the more informative.[1]

10/2. Eric S. Raymond:
The hacker culture (and the engineering development of the Internet, for that matter) is run by volunteers. [...] People who do this sort of thing well get a lot of respect, because everybody knows these jobs are huge time sinks and not as much fun as playing with code. Doing them shows dedication.[2]

[1] Vilém Flusser: Into the Universe of Technical Images, Univ. of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis – London, 2011
[2] Eric Steven Raymond: How To Become A Hacker, 2001
[3] Vilém Flusser: Die Informationsgesellschaft als Regenwurm, in: G. Kaiser – D. Matejovski – J. Federowitz (eds.): Kultur und Technik im 21. Jahrhundert, Campus, FfM, NY 1993, pp. 69–78.
[4] Vilém Flusser: Does Writing Have a Future?, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis – London, 2011