Tim O’Reilly Loves Hackers

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Tim discusses why he loves hackers and why eTech is important. It’s working at the edges. He distinguishes between received vs. original/created knowledge and how eTech is all about original knowledge.

The work hackers do is not done not for the money, but for the technology that matters. Tim goes through history describing how inventors throughout time have been hackers, including Archimedes. Tim speaks of the passion that drives hackers. They believe in themselves and what’s possible.

These are the areas that are interesting to Tim. These are the things that are small tomorrow, but may be big tomorrow.

  • Developing world’s use of technology
  • Space
  • Open Source
  • Sensors and Ambient Computing – moving beyond keyboards to sensors doing the data collection
  • Reality Mining
  • Connecting you life to the web
  • Phones as controllers
  • New interfaces
  • Information visualization
  • Body Hacking and wearable computing
  • Personal robotics
  • Open source vision and machine learning
  • Brain hacks/imaging
  • Personalized geonomics – 23 and me as social
  • Synthetic biology – building new organisms
  • Collective intelligence such as digital democracy, coding against corruption, prediction markets, ensemble learning
  • Green

Tim ends with a poem called The Man Watching

The Man Watching

by Rainer Maria Rilke

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestler’s sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.

Via http://www.cdra.org.za/

Don’t choose the easy path. Find a hard problem and try to solve it!

[tags]gspwest08, graphing social, Why I Love Hackers, Tim O’Reilly[/tags]

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