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Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking - E. Gabriella Coleman Although this book is a PhD dissertation and contains some anthropology technical jargon, Coleman's tone is casual, making it surprisingly accessible.

I learned a lot about the F/OSS movement and being surrounded by developers all day (and pretending to be one myself) I think she perfectly captured the culture. Through this book I also learned more about my own political stance, coming to open source from a political background rather than from pure development.

The particular dichotomies she describes (between meritocratism and communal action; and between free speech and intellectual property law) are thought-provoking and spurred me to find out more. Although I had used Ubuntu, I had no experience or knowledge of Debian and began to investigate. To put it another way, this book has influenced how I do my personal computing (eg. being aware of and making more ethical choices, where possible).

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the ethics of computing (which should be everyone IMHO) or developers who are not already inside the F/OSS community.