Similar to the Hacker Attitude, something named the 'Hacker Ethic' came from the famous book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution.
As defined by the author of the book Steven Levy, the Hacker Ethic can be broken down into a few key words:
- Free access to computers
- World Improvement
- Foremost, upholding democracy and the fundamental laws we live by as a society
Explained a little further, the ethic comes out to six key beliefs:
- Access to computers and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative!
- All information should be free (A topic of debate, this means free as in free speech, rather than free as in free beer)
- Mistrust authority, promote decentralization
- Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.
- You can create art and beauty on a computer. The concept of "hack value" is doing something that is worth doing because of the "playful cleverness" required.
- Computers can change your life for the better
This ethic is meant to be a positive one, designed to guide behavior of a large number of very different people in a positive manner. I can't find anything to disagree with and try to generally follow these rules.
As an important note, no one will ever quiz you on the Hacker Ethic or Hacker Attitude, and it isn't like this is common knowledge that people talk about to show off how smart they are. I include this lesson so that you can try to wrap your head around what motivates a great portion of the community and give you time to start thinking about how you feel on these subjects.