Why hackers are so much funnier than you are


The popular stereotype is that hardcore techies are, well, humor-challenged. But software hackers are another matter. Despite his inability to keep a straight face when a reporter calls asking about supreme moral vigilance in the programming world, Bob Nystrom is living proof that hackers thrive on humor in ways other techies rarely do... You’ll hear much the same thing from Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist who spent three years living with hardcore software hackers and recently documented the experience in a book called Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking. “Hacking is a rearrangement of form — and that’s what humor is,” she says. “Hackers don’t accept a given. They try to turn things on their head or repurpose it or use it in a way it wasn’t supposed to be used for. There is a formal similarity with humor.”

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