A few of my favorite lines from this reading:
What hackers and painters have in common is that they’re both makers.
They’re not doing research per se, though if in the course of trying to make good things they discover some new technique, so much the better.
If what they’re doing is called science, it makes them feel they ought to be acting scientific. So instead of doing what they really want to do, which is to design beautiful software, hackers in universities and research labs feel they ought to be writing research papers.
We need a language that lets us scribble and smudge and smear,
The place to fight design wars is in new markets, where no one has yet managed to establish any fortifications.
The fact that hackers learn to hack by doing it is another sign of how different hacking is from the sciences. Scientists don’t learn science by doing it, but by doing labs and problem sets. Scientists start out doing work that’s perfect, in the sense that they’re just trying to reproduce work someone else has already done for them. Eventually, they get to the point where they can do original work. Whereas hackers, from the start, are doing original work; it’s just very bad. So hackers start original, and get good, and scientists start good, and get original.
Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.