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Author
Title Transnationality, Morality, and Politics of Computing Expertise
URL
Publication Date
Discipline/Department Anthropology
University/Publisher UCLA
Abstract In this dissertation I examine the alterglobalization of computer expertise with a focus on the creation of political, economic, moral, and technical ties among computer technologists who are identified by peers and self-identify as “computer hackers.” The goal is to investigate how forms of collaborative work are created on a local level alongside global practices and discourses on computer hacking, linking local sites with an emergent transnational domain of technical exchange and political action. In order to advance an understanding of the experience and practice of hacking beyond its main axes of activity in Western Europe and the United States, I describe and analyze projects and career trajectories of programmers, engineers, and hacker activists who are members of an international network of community spaces called “hackerspaces” in the Pacific region. Based on ethnographic research at community spaces, professional meetings, and informal gatherings I pursue the question of the conditions for cultivation of skills, moral sensibilities, and political orientations which allow for active participation in computer expert collectives. Drawing from ethnographic work, I suggest that “hacking” has become a global rubric for disparate cultural practices due to the confluence of Free and Open Source technologies and elite technologists with local community centers to support pedagogical practices for technical experimentation and political formation. In describing global and local level applications of computing expertise, I demonstrate how hackerspaces and computer technologists are, respectively, formed at cross-cultural contact points with the project of rearranging, challenging, and transforming established technical practices, infrastructures, and political imaginaries.
Subjects/Keywords Cultural anthropology; computer hacking; expertise; free software; morality; open hardware; transnationality
Language en
Rights public
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID california:qt2rd8656g
Other Identifiers qt2rd8656g
Repository california
Date Indexed 2018-02-26

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…CHAPTER 4. Imagined Spaces and Convivial Places of Hacking..................................................................234 4.1. Noisebridge Hackerspace.....................................................................................238…

Hardware Business..................................................................290 Open Source Hardware Supply-Chain...................................................................296 Shenzhen's “Creative Class…

…365 Open Source Hardware Bricolage..........................................................................369 “Safecasting” Gunma.............................................................................................378 Responsibility of Open…

…maravilha viver!). To my Free Software and Open hardware friends, thank you for being who you are and doing what you do: Niibe Yutaka for his friendship, his investment in the project, and his teachings (of Free Software and Buddhism); Mitch…

…Micro-Controller Unit Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan Mitsubishi Research Institute Noisebridge Non-Governmental Organization Non-Practicing Entity Open Source Hardware Open Source Software Printed Circuit Board Science, Technology…

…instruments, practices, and moral orientations. This common rubric is that of “hacking” whose agent has been depicted in various narrative positions as trickster, rebel, government ally, occultist magician, or virtuous technologist and architect of new…

…sociotechnical formations. What counts as hacking today? Why is this question worth asking from an anthropological perspective? Computer experts have not only come to exercise an ever-increasing degree of technical power in contemporary Euro-American societies…

…mainstream media, creating a spectacularized version of the cultural practice of hacking. The term itself has served as an identifier for a fairly heterogeneous set of practices with either positive or negative overall valence: in the 1960's it was…

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