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Making Our World

The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context


Edited By Jeremy Hunsinger and Andrew Schrock

Making Our World: The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context describes and situates the political, historical, national, and organizational elements of hacking and making. Hackers and makers are often mythologized, leading to people misunderstanding them as folk heroes for the modern age. In response, this book describes and critiques these movements from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives to help readers appreciate their worldwide scope and highly localized interpretations. Making Our World is essential reading for students and scholars of technology and society, particularly those interested in social movements and DIY cultures.

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7. Hacking Administration—A Report From Los Angeles (Morgan Currie)


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7. Hacking Administration—A Report From Los Angeles


University of Edinburgh

In 2012 the City of Los Angeles began an alliance with a burgeoning civic hack scene. In this context the term “civic hacking” remains the umbrella moniker for a series of informal meet-ups and weekend-long events organized around software demos, conversations, and power-point presentations that all pose technology as a balm for civic and administrative problems. More broadly in the United States, civic hacking has prospered in several cities since Obama took office and oversaw the launch of, a website where federal agencies publish datasets for free reuse by the public. Yet both the term and the form draw from several broader traditions: geek culture, for which hackers are deft manipulators of computer software and hardware; open source software culture, with its dedication to clever code, free speech and open licenses; and Silicon Valley, where frenzied, time-limited, overnight hackathons became a cheap means to rapid prototyping and recruiting young talent. Civic hacking—drawing more from these traditions than negative, shadowy depictions of hackers rooting out security breaches—captures a trend to harness the craft, ingenuity, and aesthetics of these variably outsider or industry traditions by fiscally and design-challenged governments. Says a “civic designer” in a blog post for the non-profit Code for America’s website, “What began as a niche theory about the potential to improve government using technology has quickly expanded to focus...

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