Free nerdy culture

Although we tend to emphasize the technical aspects of our Free and Open Source Software Community, the truth is that hackers and nerds in general value all kinds of Free Knowledge. Actually, Eric S. Raymond points this out in his text, How to Become a Hacker;

“The hacker mind-set is not confined to this software-hacker culture. There are people who apply the hacker attitude to other things, like electronics or music — actually, you can find it at the highest levels of any science or art. Software hackers recognize these kindred spirits elsewhere and may call them ‘hackers’ too — and some claim that the hacker nature is really independent of the particular medium the hacker works in.”

This said, of course, in modern days all the tools allowing the base for free sharing of knowledge are technical ones, and pretty much of them are based on free and open source software. The biggest example here is Wikipedia, who is based on the free software MediaWiki, widely used within several communities who want to share their knowledge. Another important component is the Creative Commons licenses who allow all sorts of media (written text, music, movies, drawing and arts) to be developed in a free and collaborative manner, still recognizing the creators of whatever it is — even software, methodologies, processes and hardware blueprints.

LPI’s mission is to promote the use of open source by supporting the people who work with it. And the people working with open source are big supporters of all kinds of knowledge-openness and freedom. Including freedom of expression. So, other than supporting several initiatives aligned with the LPI worldwide mission, LPI also supports FOSSlife, a community (Drupal based) portal where you will read technical articles, of course, seasoned with a lot of free culture elements.

The idea behind FOSSlife is to provide a voice and open space for all aspects of the culture that surrounds the life of free and open source software professionals. You can read about topics such as mindfulness techniques for dealing with life in tech, what refactoring has to do with roman numerals and who are the drive-thru contributors to open source, among other things. Of course you can expect more technical articles in there too. 

Hackers also love science fiction, so we will end with a quote from StarGate SG1 (episode 11, first season). Daniel is trying to gather information that might give him a whole new perspective on how our civilization started but the world they are in is about to be destroyed and he must join his team and go back to the StarGate. An elder, Ernest, who have been trapped in that world for fifty years tells Daniel, with tears in his eyes;
“No prize is worth attaining if you can never share it! There would be no point! Believe me.”

So, let’s share! Let us — and all of our readers — know, here in the comments, what are the sources of knowledge that you use in your daily life. 

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About Cesar Brod:

Cesar Brod is the LPI's Community Engagement Director for Latin America and a long time free and open source technology user and advocate. He has been able to help start and grow several companies in Brazil by combining free and agile thinking and methods, mostly partnering with educational institutions. He is a proud user of Linux before the kernel reached version 1.0.

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