Re: comment wrt. ESR's talk in Vienna

Autor: Rene Pfeiffer (
Datum: Sam Jul 13 2002 - 23:11:18 CEST

Hash: SHA1

On Jul 13, 2002 at 1940 +0200, Karin Kosina appeared and said:
> +----- Eric S. Raymond -- Sat, Jul 13, 2002 at 12:25:49PM -0400 ----
> | Nor, I think, would a hacker be likely to cite copyright law as a
> | reason for not changing attributions. Hackers behave as though their
> | concern about giving proper credit is moral (based on a conception of
> | right behavior), not legalistic (based on a reluctance to violate the
> | law).
> [...]
> I also think that "moral" reasons are the real cause, but I still have
> doubts about your gift culture theory. Not stealing somebody else's work
> is anyway a question of basic honour. [...]

I don't think that I like the term honour in connection with this. I
just dug up some notes of a seminar I attended years ago [1]. It dealt
with the mechanisms of scientific publications and the motivation of
doing research. Publications have a similar system of giving proper
credit (and yes there exists also stolen credit and all the problems you
get when dealing with human beings). The number of publications and of
being credited can be viewed as a quest for credibility. Not using
proper credit dilutes this system of gaining reputation.

Bear in mind that this is an association of mine and that my memory is a
bit rusty on this subject. You might find more insights (and a less
simplified treatment of this topic) in [2]. I know that science and
hacker culture are not the same but I think there are similarities.


[1] "Abstraction in Sciences - Sociological Approaches",
    Eric Brian (Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)

[2] "Laboraty Life - The social Construction of scientific Facts",
    Bruno Latour & Steve Woolgar, Princeton University Press

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