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Making Our World

The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context

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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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10. Women’s Hacking of the Poison Gift of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (Jennifer Maher)

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10. Women’s Hacking of the Poison Gift of Free/Libre/Open Source Software

JENNIFER MAHER

University of Maryland Baltimore County

A revolutionary approach to software development for the micro- or personal computer began in September 1983 with an announcement from Richard Stallman. In his post “new UNIX implementation” made to the Arpanet newgroup net.unix-wizards, a bulletin board for discussion of the proprietary UNIX operating system, Stallman wrote of his desire to counter what had become the dominant proprietary software model that restricted users ability to share, modify, and redistribute software. Rather than a closed-model rooted in the basic tenets of a capitalist exchange of software as a commodity, free software was to be rooted in the principle of the Golden Rule. As Stallman explained in his post, “I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it … So that I can continue to use computers without violating my principles, I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get along without any software that is not free” (1983). Using the recursive acronym “GNU’s not UNIX,” the GNU Project would expand over the years not only through the work of other free software developers but also open source developers. “Open source,” a term created in 1998 to shake off the negative connotations of “free” that struck some...

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