The Hacker Ethic, 2010 edition.

Partly because I never really gave The Hacker Ethic a proper review, and partly because the video above is so awesome, I’m reblogging this post from The Linuxologist, via this tweet dent on

The voice is that of Dan Pink, giving a talk at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). The drawings were done by a UK company called Cognitive Media.

And the message? The age of the office drone may well be over and the almighty dollar might not be so almighty after all.

The Hacker Ethic connection first jumped out at me as I heard Mr. Pink (!) talk about money not being a prime motivator for employee “engagement”. So what is? According to The Hacker Ethic it’s fun, passion, interest — you get the idea.

Just as Pink goes on to laud mastery — that is, our natural urge to become better at something we like doing — Pekka Himanen makes the case that hackers (really just a pseudonym for the technologically “engaged”) are as motivated by the desire to improve their skills as by the wish to succeed in the meritocracy within their peer groups.

A sense of purpose also figures prominently in both employee engagement and “hackerism”, but I would assume (or at least hope) that we all want to do something meaningful with our lives. And the desire for autonomy that Pink talks about could also be seen as the fall of the Protestant Work Ethic, that Himanen also discusses at length in his book.

None of this is meant to suggest that one author is merely ripping off another. If this video speaks to you (especially the part about Linux) you might want to check out The Hacker Ethic. If not, the video stands on its own as a great visualization of many of the concepts described and discussed therein.


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