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I think what pg might have overlooked, looking back at his old essays, is that hackers of old, driven by their love for their work turned into paper-toiler entrepreneurs today. There is nothing precluding a hacker from leveraging the economy to scale up his favourite hack (which I believe pg's early essays were about) or, as Notch did, just to secure himself a peaceful and secure environment to continue his hacking without having to worry about things like food, health and shelter. But that is a different type of hacker than the ones that are attracted to the startup scene nowdays.

I guess part of the reason I feel the word "hacker" lost its meaning today is the rise of paper-toilet hackers (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8319102).

yes. just right.

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