Essays on Cost, Buchanan and Thirlby, ed.

Desire turned out to be the norm, not the exception. Half the people were feeling some desire when their phones went off — to snack, to goof off, to express their true feelings to their bosses — and another quarter said they had felt a desire in the past half-hour. Many of these desires were ones that the men and women were trying to resist, and the more willpower people expended, the more likely they became to yield to the next temptation that came along. When faced with a new desire that produced some I-want-to-but-I-really-shouldn’t sort of inner conflict, they gave in more readily if they had already fended off earlier temptations, particularly if the new temptation came soon after a previously reported one.

in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.

Case 2 (heard at 3:10 p.m.): A Jewish Israeli serving a 16-month sentence for assault.

Or, as the following modern Zen poem has it:

Under Mac OS X it's possible, but only part of the system is opensource — you're likely to hit a lot of walls, and you have to becareful not to develop the bad habit of depending on Apple'sproprietary code. If you concentrate on the Unix under the hoodyou can learn some useful things.

1. In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower.

It’s simple enough to imagine reforms for the parole board in Israel — like, say, restricting each judge’s shift to half a day, preferably in the morning, interspersed with frequent breaks for food and rest. But it’s not so obvious what to do with the decision fatigue affecting the rest of society. Even if we could all afford to work half-days, we would still end up depleting our willpower all day long, as Baumeister and his colleagues found when they went into the field in Würzburg in central Germany. The psychologists gave preprogrammed BlackBerrys to more than 200 people going about their daily routines for a week. The phones went off at random intervals, prompting the people to report whether they were currently experiencing some sort of desire or had recently felt a desire. The painstaking study, led by Wilhelm Hofmann, then at the University of Würzburg, collected more than 10,000 momentary reports from morning until midnight.

Case 3 (heard at 4:25 p.m.): An Arab Israeli serving a 30-month sentence for fraud.

Rick Moen has written an excellent document on .

If you don't have a Unix installed on your machine yet,elsewhere on this page I include pointers to where to get the mostcommonly used free Unix. To be a hacker you need motivation andinitiative and the ability to educate yourself. Start now...

If you enjoyed the Zen poem, you might also like .

This seems unlikely — so far, the open-source softwareindustry seems to be creating jobs rather than taking them away. Ifhaving a program written is a net economic gain over not having itwritten, a programmer will get paid whether or not the program isgoing to be open-source after it's done. And, no matter how much"free" software gets written, there always seems to be more demand fornew and customized applications. I've written more about this at thepages.

How do I tell if I am already a hacker?

No, you don't. Not that Microsoft isn't loathsome, but there was ahacker culture long before Microsoft and there will still be one long afterMicrosoft is history. Any energy you spend hating Microsoft wouldbe better spent on loving your craft. Write good code — that willbash Microsoft quite sufficiently without polluting your karma.

If you are reading a snapshot of this document offline, thecurrent version lives at .

Develop your appreciation of puns and wordplay.

Also, like other Basics, Visual Basic is apoorly-designed language that will teach you bad programminghabits. No, ask me to describe them indetail; that explanation would fill a book. Learn a well-designedlanguage instead.

The basic difference is this: hackers build things, crackersbreak them.

Don't use a silly, grandiose user ID or screen name.

The term "open source", however, had not yet emerged; it wouldnot do so until early 1998. When it did, most of the hacker communityadopted it within the following six months; the exceptions were aminority ideologically attached to the term "free software". Since1998, and especially after about 2003, the identification of 'hacking'with 'open-source (and free software) development' has becomeextremely close. Today there is little point in attempting todistinguish between these categories, and it seems unlikely that willchange in the future.

So, if you want to be a hacker, repeat the following things untilyou believe them:

It is worth remembering, however, that this was not always so.

I have written a paper, , which explains a lot about how theLinux and open-source cultures work. I have addressed this topic evenmore directly in its sequel .