The readings for this week are:

  1. Why Nerds Are Unpopular

  2. Hackers and Painters

  3. Good Bad Attitude

  4. What You Can't Say


In these essays, Paul Graham paints1 a portrait of the modern hacker, who though "unruly" is a "maker" that "learn[s] ... by doing" and is "the essence of Americanness".

For this upcoming week, you are to consider the following questions as you perform the readings and participate in class:

Note, you should not simply list the questions and answer each one directly. Instead, the questions are there to help you brainstorm about the question:

Is Paul Graham's version of a hacker compatible with Steven Levy's description? Do his arguments for and description of the modern hacker change your mind about what it means to be a hacker or the desirability of being one?

  1. No pun intended.