I’ve spent about four years exploring the dark side of innovation, trying to convince people that there’s actually a lot that we can learn from those who work in the unseen corners of the world. You know, so-called misfits. Pirates, hackers, gangsters, con artists, pranksters, ex-prisoners.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that many of us here today like to see our work as a continuation of say the Tech Model Railroad Club or the Homebrew Computer Club, and certainly the terminology and the values of this conference, like open source for example, have their roots in that era. As a consequence it’s easy to interpret any criticism of the hacker ethic—which is what I’m about to do—as a kind of assault.