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If you want to see how true "hacker ethos" existed as compared to today's "WE HIRE HACKERS" brandvertising placed in IPO filings, check out early or pre-www FAQs.

Here's a good one (a few MB of text) about hacker encryption: https://www.cypherpunks.to/faq/cyphernomicron/cyphernomicon.... — other traditional sources are the anarchist's cookbook and anything with more of a "fight the man" sense from the 70s and less of a "give us billions of dollars" sense from the post-popular-Internet era.

Hacking is about a nerd underclass fighting an oblivious overclass. Up until the late 90s, hackers had never "won." But with Internet mania sweeping the world, the nerds started to win. They became "the new man." Now the new overclass needs to be brought down themselves. You don't win hacking, you just become a more prominent target.

Hacking is also about exactly not that.

Hacking is just ignoring everybody else and doing good work you can be proud of. It's the only reason Apple exists. Hacking is about not trying to win, it's just about being clever.

Companies promote hiring the second kind of hacker because those people pay no attention to the value they create as long as they're having fun. So, you get someone puzzle-obsessed, give them a $50 million problem to solve, they solve it, and you keep paying them their $125k/year. Everybody's happy and the CEO gets to join the three comma club even sooner thanks to the selfless hackers who enjoy subsidizing billionaires while living at the bottom of the org chart.

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