Steven Levy

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pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

And, I said, “Well, software—this kind of information—wants to be expensive, but it also wants to be free because it’s so easy to copy.” John Markoff: It was a dialectic, right? Stewart is not a Marxist, but it was a very Marxist view of the information economy. Steven Levy: It was a conversation, they were engaging. The whole thing was almost like a jazz improvisation. Just like building up in one of those long Coltrane songs or something like that. Stewart Brand: I was really just restating something that was written down in Levy’s book as “the hacker ethic.” Steven Levy: Information should be free. Stewart Brand: My only addition to that was to take away the “should” and turn it into a “want.” Steven Levy: He hacked me! That’s the way I put it. Stewart Brand: “Information wants to be free” was the meme that got loose and went viral from that discussion. Kevin Kelly: It was just another throwaway line at the time.

But while the engineers fought their individual battles for money and credit, it took a writer from New York City to realize that this new class of creatives added up to a bona fide culture complete with its own lore, jokes, and ethic. Steven Levy made the argument in a popular ethnography entitled Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, and the weekend-long book party for its release was the first Hackers Conference. At the confab, the hackers of Silicon Valley (and beyond) met each other for the first time and awoke to the fact that they had nearly everything in common. Steven Levy: When I first started writing about technology, I did a story for Rolling Stone about hackers at Stanford, but it turned out to be totally different than what I thought it was going to be. I thought I was writing about kids in college that were computer addicts.

We’ll have a Whole Earth Software Catalog. Steven Levy: The publisher spent $1.3 million for it. It was the most that was ever spent at the time for a softbound book. Fred Davis: The Whole Earth Software Catalog would be the digital follow-on to the Whole Earth Catalog and this would be a mega-blockbuster. That was what we all hoped. Kevin Kelly: When they started to hire for the Whole Earth Software Catalog, Stewart wrote me an e-mail and asked me if I’d come out and work for them. I like to say that I was the first person hired online. This was early ’84. A lot of people were hired. Fred Davis: I was young and wet behind the ears, just excited to have a chance to work for one of my heroes reviewing products. Fabrice Florin: I edited the video section. I was a budding television producer at the time. Steven Levy: I became the games editor of the Whole Earth Software Catalog and, you know, played volleyball at Gate 5 Road and got to know Stewart, who’s like one of the most amazing people on the planet.


pages: 275 words: 84,418

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution by Fred Vogelstein

Apple II, Ben Horowitz, cloud computing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Dynabook, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Googley, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, zero-sum game

Twenty-Four Weeks, Three Days, and Three Hours Until Launch But Forstall had: Adam Satariano, Peter Burrows, and Brad Stone, “Scott Forstall, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice at Apple,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/12/2011; Jessica Lessin, “An Apple Exit over Maps,” Wall Street Journal, 10/29/2012. Fadell is not shy: Leo Kelion, “Tony Fadell: From iPod father to thermostat start-up,” BBC News, 11/29/2012. Fadell was truly: Steven Levy, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006), 54–74. Forstall couldn’t have been: Satariano et al., “Scott Forstall.” Despite the feuding: Christina Kinon, “Say What? Mike stolen during live Q&A on Fox,” New York Daily News, 6/30/2007; Steven Levy’s interview on FOX News is accessible at www.youtube.com/watch?v=uayBcHDxfww. Levy wrote about: Steven Levy, “A Hungry Crowd Smells iPhone, and Pounces,” Newsweek, 12/22/2007. Looking back, the iPhone launch: These two paragraphs come from Apple financial statements and various news reports and reviews widely available at the time.

url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Fpublic%2Fresources%2Fdocuments%2FViacom031207.pdf; Saul Hansell, “Google and Yahoo Settle Dispute over Search Patent,” New York Times, 8/10/2004; see also Google IPO documents (for Yahoo! settlement). The final push wasn’t: Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 213–37. It had a slide-out keyboard: Walt Mossberg, “Google Answers the iPhone,” AllThingsD.Com, 10/15/2008. Compared to the iPhone’s: My reporting and Levy, In the Plex, 227. “Put yourself in Steve’s shoes”: Isaacson’s biography was the first to report that Jobs had been battling cancer since his first surgery in 2005. Jobs’s public position until he died was that his cancer had been cured. Like Android, Google Voice: These three paragraphs combine my own reporting with Steven Levy’s from In the Plex, 213–37. Almost all the media coverage: These are publicly available documents that news organizations secured through a Freedom of Information Act request—see www.apple.com/hotnews/apple-answers-fcc-questions and www.scribd.com/doc/18983640/Google-Response-to-FCC.

Frustrated consumers would flock to phones that worked better. Software developers would rush to write software for a platform in such demand. A self-reinforcing software ecosystem would be born. Page listened gamely. He looked at the prototype Rubin had brought with him. But Page had pretty much decided what he was going to do before the meeting even started: What if Google just bought Android? he asked. He later told Steven Levy, the author of In the Plex, “We had that vision [about what the future of mobile should look like], and Andy came along and we were like ‘Yeah we should do it. He’s the guy.’” Google bought Android for about $50 million plus incentives, and by July 2005 Rubin and his seven other Android cofounders were sharing their vision of the world with the rest of Google’s management team. * * * Rubin was surprised and thrilled about Google’s decision to buy his company.


Free as in Freedom by Sam Williams

Asperger Syndrome, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, Debian, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, Larry Wall, Marc Andreessen, Maui Hawaii, Murray Gell-Mann, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, urban renewal, VA Linux, Y2K

During his final stages of conflict with the administrators at the Laboratory for Computer Science over password systems, Stallman initiated a software " strike,"See Steven Levy, Hackers (Penguin USA [paperback], 1984): 419. refusing to send lab members the latest version of Emacs until they rejected the security system on the lab's computers. The move did little to improve Stallman's growing reputation as an extremist, but it got the point across: commune members were expected to speak up for basic hacker values. "A lot of people were angry with me, saying I was trying to hold them hostage or blackmail them, which in a sense I was," Stallman would later tell author Steven Levy. "I was engaging in violence against them because I thought they were engaging in violence to everyone at large." Over time, Emacs became a sales tool for the hacker ethic.

Dubbing it a "master hack" and Stallman himself a "virtual John Henry of computer code," author Steven Levy notes that many of his Symbolics-employed rivals had no choice but to pay their idealistic former comrade grudging respect. Levy quotes Bill Gosper, a hacker who eventually went to work for Symbolics in the company's Palo Alto office, expressing amazement over Stallman's output during this period: I can see something Stallman wrote, and I might decide it was bad (probably not, but somebody could convince me it was bad), and I would still say, "But wait a minute-Stallman doesn't have anybody to argue with all night over there. He's working alone! It's incredible anyone could do this alone!"See Steven Levy, Hackers (Penguin USA [paperback], 1984): 426. For Stallman, the months spent playing catch up with Symbolics evoke a mixture of pride and profound sadness.

From a hacker perspective, sitting in a car amidst all this mess is like listening to a CD rendition of nails on a chalkboard at full volume. "Imperfect systems infuriate hackers," observes Steven Levy, another warning I should have listened to before climbing into the car with Stallman. "This is one reason why hackers generally hate driving cars-the system of randomly programmed red lights and oddly laid out one-way streets causes delays which are so goddamn unnecessary [Levy's emphasis] that the impulse is to rearrange signs, open up traffic-light control boxes … redesign the entire system."See Steven Levy, Hackers (Penguin USA [paperback], 1984): 40. More frustrating, however, is the duplicity of our trusted guide. Instead of searching out a clever shortcut-as any true hacker would do on instinct-the driver ahead of us has instead chosen to play along with the city planners' game.


pages: 280 words: 71,268

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World With OKRs by John Doerr

Albert Einstein, Bob Noyce, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Haight Ashbury, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, web application, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

. * They loved the notion of laying out what mattered most to them—on one or two succinct pages—and making it public to everyone at Google. They intuitively grasped how OKRs could keep an organization on course through the gales of competition or the tumult of a hockey-stick growth curve. Along with Eric Schmidt, who two years later became Google’s CEO, Larry and Sergey would be tenacious, insistent, even confrontational in their use of OKRs. As Eric told author Steven Levy, “Google’s objective is to be the systematic innovator of scale. Innovator means new stuff. And scale means big, systematic ways of looking at things done in a way that’s reproducible.” Together, the triumvirate brought a decisive ingredient for OKR success: conviction and buy-in at the top. * * * — As an investor, I am long on OKRs. As Google and Intel alumni continue to migrate and spread the good word, hundreds of companies of all types and sizes are committing to structured goal setting.

Virtually the entire sales force went to Tahiti. And a stretch goal had made all the difference. The Gospel of 10x If Andy Grove is the patron saint of aspirational OKRs, Larry Page is their latter-day high priest. In technology, Google stands for boundless innovation and relentless growth. In the world of objectives and key results, the company is synonymous with exponentially aggressive goals, or what author Steven Levy calls “the gospel of 10x.” Consider Gmail. The main problem with earlier web-based email systems was meager storage, typically 2 to 4 megabytes. Users were forced to delete old emails to make room for new ones. Archives were a pipe dream. During Gmail’s development, Google’s leaders considered offering 100MB of storage—an enormous upgrade. But by 2004, when the product was released to the public, the 100MB goal was dead and forgotten.

That , my friends, is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Gmail didn’t merely improve on existing systems. It reinvented the category and forced competitors to raise their game by orders of magnitude. Such 10x thinking is rare in any sector, on any stage. Most people, Larry Page observes, “ tend to assume that things are impossible, rather than starting from real-world physics and figuring out what’s actually possible.” In Wired , Steven Levy elaborated: The way Page sees it, a ten percent improvement means that you’re doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly. That’s why Page expects Googlers to create products and services that are ten times better than the competition. That means he isn’t satisfied with discovering a couple of hidden efficiencies or tweaking code to achieve modest gains.


pages: 281 words: 71,242

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

artificial general intelligence, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, Colonization of Mars, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global village, Google Glasses, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, income inequality, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, PageRank, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, yellow journalism

“One of the things I thought was amazing”: “Time Talks to CEO Larry Page About Its New Venture to Extend Human Life,” Time, September 18, 2013. “There was a cloak-and-dagger element to the procedure”: Steven Levy, In the Plex (Simon & Schuster, 2011), 354. “If you don’t have a reason to talk about it, why talk about it?”: Levy, In the Plex, 355. “Google’s leadership doesn’t care terribly much about precedent or law”: Levy, In the Plex, 353. “We are not scanning all those books to be read by people”: George Dyson, Turing’s Cathedral (Pantheon, 2012), 312–13. “Being negative is not how we make progress”: Page, Google Keynote, May 15, 2013. “How exciting is it to come to work if the best you can do”: Steven Levy, “Google’s Larry Page on Why Moon Shots Matter,” Wired, January 17, 2013. how Google will someday employ more than one million people: Levy, Wired, January 17, 2013.

The audacity of this claim made the audience laugh, a bit uncomfortably. But their discomfort only stirred Page to push forward with his point. “If we solve the problem I outlined, then we’re doing everything.” In moments of candor, Page and Brin admit that they imagine going even further than that—it’s not just about creating an artificial brain but welding it to the human. As Brin once told the journalist Steven Levy, “Certainly if you had all the world’s information directly attached to your brain, or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you’d be better off.” Or as he added on a separate occasion, “Perhaps in the future, we can attach a little version of Google that you just plug into your brain.” Google may or may not ever achieve these grandiose goals, but that’s how the company views its role.

Its approach is to barrel forward with alacrity, confident in its own goodness. When the company decided to digitize every book in existence, it considered copyright law a trivial annoyance, hardly worth a moment’s hesitation. Of course, Google must have had an inkling of how its project would be perceived. That’s why it went about its mission quietly, to avoid scrutiny. “There was a cloak-and-dagger element to the procedure, soured by a clandestine taint,” Steven Levy recounts of the effort, “like ducking out of a 1950s nightclub to smoke weed.” Google’s trucks would pull up to libraries and quietly walk away with boxes of books to be quickly scanned and returned. “If you don’t have a reason to talk about it, why talk about it?” Larry Page would argue, when confronted with pleas to publicly announce the existence of its program. The company’s lead lawyer on this described bluntly the roughshod attitude of his colleagues: “Google’s leadership doesn’t care terribly much about precedent or law.”


pages: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Marissa Mayer (who once dated Larry Page) once pointed out that if you want to understand Page and his cofounder, you had to know they both went to Montessori schools, where the philosophy emphasizes firing students’ imaginations rather than just stuffing their heads with book learning. Mayer believes their unconventional educations fostered in both Googlers a willful independence and determination to go their own way, regardless of the expectations of others. As she put it to tech journalist Steven Levy in his wonderfully reported book about Google, In the Plex, one of the best sources for early history on the company, “In Montessori school you go paint because you have something to express or you just want to do it that afternoon, not because the teacher said so. This is really baked into how Larry and Sergey approach problems.”14 Just how much their early educations shaped them is impossible to tell, but there’s no question that their college years only reinforced this freewheeling “rules are made to be broken” ideal.

They knew that the majority of the world’s books were protected under copyright from such unauthorized copying and distribution. But the Googlers felt, in typical form, that such pesky rules didn’t apply to them. Plus, they couldn’t understand why anyone would think it was better for authors to make money on books than for the entire world to have free access to information. So in 2002, they simply began scanning pages, albeit covertly. As tech writer Steven Levy put it in his book, In the Plex, which devotes twenty pages to the book-scanning project, “The secrecy was yet another expression of the paradox of a company that sometimes embraced transparency and other times seemed to model itself on the NSA.”19 Schmidt, who had by then decided that “evil is what Sergey says is evil,”20 was all for the project, which he declared “genius.”21 The publishing industry disagreed.

“The Biggest Kingmaker on Earth” While far from the only tech company engaged in a massive campaign for Washington mindshare, it was Google, whose executives visited the White House more than any other corporation’s during the Obama years, that had by that time become “the biggest kingmaker on this earth.”19 How they have wielded that influence underscores the way in which money in politics has completely distorted our economy, undermining both competitiveness and public trust in institutions. Consider the issues of data privacy and antitrust, for example. One of the major turning points for Google on those issues was the acquisition in 2007 of the ad network DoubleClick, which was the leading firm that helped advertisers and ad agencies decide which websites would be best for hosting their ads. As Steven Levy writes in In the Plex, “the DoubleClick deal radically broadened the scope of the information Google collected about everyone’s browsing activity on the Internet.”20 Competitors and regulators alike questioned the deal, which eventually went through, in large part because Chicago School thinking didn’t really leave any room for a good antitrust argument against it (despite the fact that it would allow Google to essentially control the vast majority of advertising online).


pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

., July 28, 2001. 4.Gregory Yob, “Hunt the Wumpus,” in The Best of Creative Computing, vol. 1, ed. David H. Ahl, 2d ed. (Morristown, N.J.: Creative Computing Press, 1976), pp. 247–50. 5.Ibid. 6.Author interview, Lee Felsenstein, Palo Alto, Calif., August 9, 2001. 7.Fred Moore, unpublished interview with Steven Levy, n.d. 8.John Draper website http://www.webcrunchers.com/crunch/story.html. 9.Author interview with Steven Jobs, Cupertino, Calif., June 2000. 10.Fred Moore, personal journal, 1975. 11.Fred Moore, unpublished interview with Steven Levy, n.d. 12.Ibid. 13.Homebrew Computer Club newsletter 1, March 15, 1975. 14.Ibid. 15.Author interview, Lee Felsenstein, Palo Alto, Calif., August 9, 2001. 16.Tape of San Francisco computer-club planning meeting, April 1975, courtesy of Irene Moore. 17.Doerr’s remark would later be linked to the dot-com era, but he made the claim first with respect to the personal-computer industry.

In this innovative, lively narrative, veteran technology reporter and cultural critic John Markoff demonstrates how the values and obsessions of the 1960s, especially as centered in the San Francisco Bay Area, created the environment for the emergence of the personal computer as social tool and cultural catalyst.” —Kevin Starr, author of Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990–2003 “John Markoff ’s wonderful recounting of the origins of personal computerdom makes a mind-blowing case that our current silicon marvels were inspired by the psychedelic-tinged, revolution-minded spirit of the Sixties. It’s a total turn-on.” —Steven Levy, author of Hackers, Crypto, and Insanely Great “Beautifully written, What the Dormouse Said does that important job of placing in a historical context the development of modern computer technology. It tells us not only what happened, but why. These people changed our world as much as any group ever and now I understand not only how it came to be but also why it was probably inevitable.” —Robert X.

It became such a trademark expression that he later obtained a license plate that read “MUMBLE,” the hacker’s ambiguous response to statements or questions that he would rather not answer. Musicologist John Chowning, who at SAIL invented the technology that underlies modern music synthesizers, called it a “Socratean abode.” SAIL embodied what University of California computer scientist and former SAIL systems programmer Brian Harvey called the “hacker aesthetic.” Harvey’s description was a reaction to what Steven Levy in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution had described as a “hacker ethic,” which he characterized as the unspoken manifesto of the MIT hackers: Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative! All information should be free. Mistrust Authority—Promote Decentralization.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Chapter 7 - What You Want, Whether You Want It or Not Chapter 8 - Escape from the City of Ghettos Acknowledgements FURTHER READING NOTES INDEX Advance Praise for The Filter Bubble “Internet firms increasingly show us less of the wide world, locating us in the neighborhood of the familiar. The risk, as Eli Pariser shows, is that each of us may unwittingly come to inhabit a ghetto of one.” —Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus “ ‘Personalization’ sounds pretty benign, but Eli Pariser skillfully builds a case that its excess on the Internet will unleash an information calamity—unless we heed his warnings. Top-notch journalism and analysis.” —Steven Levy, author of In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives “The Internet software that we use is getting smarter, and more tailored to our needs, all the time. The risk, Eli Pariser reveals, is that we increasingly won’t see other perspectives. In The Filter Bubble, he shows us how the trend could reinforce partisan and narrow mindsets, and points the way to a greater online diversity of perspective.”

There’s just a clean, white page for you to fill, an opportunity to build a better place, a home, from the ground up. No wonder you’re a geek. This isn’t to say that geeks and software engineers are friendless or even socially inept. But there’s an implicit promise in becoming a coder: Apprentice yourself to symbolic systems, learn to carefully understand the rules that govern them, and you’ll gain power to manipulate them. The more powerless you feel, the more appealing this promise becomes. “Hacking,” Steven Levy writes, “gave you not only an understanding of the system but an addictive control as well, along with the illusion that total control was just a few features away.” As anthropologist Coleman points out, beyond the Jocks-and-Nerds stereotypes, there are actually many different geek cultures. There are open-software advocates, most famously embodied by Linux founder Linus Torvalds, who spend untold hours collaboratively building free software tools for the masses, and there are Silicon Valley start-up entrepreneurs.

One of the best parts of the writing process was the opportunity to call up or sit down with extraordinary people and ask them questions. I’m thankful to the following folks for responding to my inquiries and helping inform the text: C. W. Anderson, Ken Auletta, John Battelle, Bill Bishop, Matt Cohler, Gabriella Coleman, Dalton Conley, Chris Coyne, Pam Dixon, Caterina Fake, Matthew Hindman, Bill Joy, Dave Karpf, Jaron Lanier, Steven Levy, Diana Mutz, Nicholas Negroponte, Markus Prior, Robert Putnam, John Rendon, Jay Rosen, Marc Rotenberg, Douglas Rushkoff, Michael Schudson, Daniel Solove, Danny Sullivan, Philip Tetlock, Clive Thompson, and Jonathan Zittrain. Conversations with Ethan Zuckerman, Scott Heiferman, David Kirkpatrick, Clay Shirky, Nicco Mele, Dean Eckles, Jessi Hempel, and Ryan Calo were especially provocative and helpful.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

Bruce Damer DigiBarn TV: Mary Allen Wilkes Programming the LINC Computer in the mid-1960s, YouTube, 15:41, April 25, 2011, accessed August 16, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cmv6p8hN0xQ. “a jig right around the equipment”: Joe November, “LINC: Biology’s Revolutionary Little Computer,” Endeavour 28, no. 3 (September 2004): 125–31. began to cluster around the lab: This section is drawn from Steven Levy’s superb book, particularly chapters 3 (“Spacewar”) and 4 (“Greenblatt and Gosper”): Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution—25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010). “in milliseconds to what you were doing”: Levy, Hackers, 67. “of the sun or moon it was”: Levy, Hackers, 139. a $120,000 machine: Russell Brandom, “ ‘Spacewar!’: The Story of the World’s First Digital Video Game,” The Verge, February 4, 2013, accessed August 16, 2018, https://www.theverge.com/2013/2/4/3949524/the-story-of-the-worlds-first-digital-video-game.

Surrounded by a growing crew of young men—and they were all men—the students would spend all night in the lab, often with the lights turned out, lit by the eerie cathode rays. They were enthralled by the feeling of being in a direct, intellectual loop with the computer—“the rush of having this live keyboard under you and having this machine respond in milliseconds to what you were doing,” as Gosper later told the journalist Steven Levy in Levy’s book Hackers. They’d have an idea, code it, and instantly see the results; then tweak more and more, watching each idea come alive on-screen. When they started pursuing a new coding challenge, time stood still. “I was really proud of being able to hack around the clock and not really care what phase of the sun or moon it was,” Gosper said. Greenblatt would program in 30-hour shifts, eventually so destroying his classroom schedule that he flunked out of MIT.

So if a rule got in the way, they just broke it. If they were hacking in the wee hours, as was typical, and their computer broke down, they’d need the proper tools to fix it—only to find that the daytime staff had locked the tools away. So they’d simply hack the locks (making a “master” key from a blank), and abscond with what they needed. “To a hacker, a closed door is an insult, and a locked door is an outrage,” as Steven Levy wrote of those MIT coders in Hackers. “Just as information should be clearly and elegantly transported within a computer, and just as software should be freely disseminated, hackers believed that people should be allowed access to files or tools that might promote the hacker quest to find out and improve the way the world works. When a hacker needed something to create, explore, or fix, he did not bother with such ridiculous concepts as property rights.”


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

By crawling the entire Web and indexing all its pages and links, they turned the Web into what Brin, a National Science Foundation fellow at Stanford, identified as “a big equation.” The end result of this gigantic math project was an algorithm they called PageRank, which determined the relevance of the Web page based on the number and quality of its incoming links. “The more prominent the status of the page that made the link, the more valuable the link was and the higher it would rise when calculating the ultimate PageRank number of the web page itself,” explains Steven Levy in In the Plex, his definitive history of Google.62 In the spirit of Norbert Wiener’s flight path predictor device, which relied on a continuous stream of information that flowed back and forth between the gun and its operator, the logic of the Google algorithm was dependent on a self-regulating system of hyperlinks flowing around the Web. Page and Brin’s creation represented the realization of Licklider’s man-computer symbiosis.

But they quickly needed more capital to invest in both engineers and hardware, which inevitably led them to KPCB’s John Doerr. “How big do you think this could be?” Doerr asked them when they met in 1999. “Ten billion,” Larry Page immediately shot back about a “business” that, at that point, not only didn’t have any revenue, but didn’t even have a coherent model for making money. “And I don’t mean market cap. I mean revenues.” Doerr, Steven Levy noted, “just about fell off his chair” at Page’s boldness.67 But he nonetheless invested in Google, joining Michael Moritz from Sequoia Capital in a joint $25 million Series A round. But two years after the investment, in spite of Google’s establishing itself as the Web’s dominant search engine with 70 million daily search requests, the company—which by now had appointed the “grown-up” Eric Schmidt as CEO—hadn’t figured out a successful business model for monetizing the popularity of its free technology.

Advertising thus became baked into search and Google, for all its technical brilliance, became an electronic advertising sales company. Doing away with the CPM pricing, Google introduced the auction sales model to AdWords, which some of America’s leading academic economists later described as “spectacularly successful” and “the dominant transaction mechanism in a large and rapidly growing industry.”68 Rather than buying online advertising at a set price, advertisers were now able to bid in what Steven Levy calls a real-time “unique auction” that simultaneously made online advertising more effective and profitable.69 Alongside AdWords, Google also developed an increasingly successful product called AdSense, which provided the tools to buy and measure advertising on websites not affiliated with the search engine. Google’s advertising network was becoming as ubiquitous as Google search. AdWords and AdSense together represented what Levy calls a “cash cow” to fund the next decade’s worth of Web projects, which included the acquisition of YouTube and the creation of the Android mobile operating system, Gmail, Google+, Blogger, the Chrome browser, Google self-driving cars, Google Glass, Waze, and its most recent roll-up of artificial intelligence companies including DeepMind, Boston Dynamics, and Nest Labs.70 More than just cracking the code on Internet profits, Google had discovered the holy grail of the information economy.


Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age by Steven Levy

Albert Einstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, Donald Knuth, Eratosthenes, Extropian, invention of the telegraph, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knapsack problem, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Network effects, new economy, NP-complete, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web of trust, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

Ltd, 182–190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England First published in 2001 by Penguin, A member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © Steven Levy, 2001 All rights reserved ISBN 0-7865-2194-5 Electronic edition: February 2002 Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. Making or distributing electronic copies of this book constitutes copyright infringement and could subject the infringer to criminal and civil liability. also by steven levy Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything Artificial Life: How Computers Are Transforming Our Understanding of Evolution and the Future of Life The Unicorn’s Secret: Murder in the Age of Aquarius Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution To Teresa and Andrew acknowledgments The backbone of Crypto is a series of interviews conducted over the past decade with the people who populate, or have had an impact on, the world of cryptography.

Victoria Wright was both a master transcriber and sharp observer. My agent, Flip Brophy, was once again a flawless advisor and facilitator. And some early readers caught mistakes and offered great suggestions (I won’t cite them by name because any errors are solely mine). Those who discover more are encouraged to get in touch with me through my Web site (www.steven levy.com), where I will post corrections and updates. Words, even in plaintext, can’t express what I owe my family, Andrew and Teresa. Steven Levy, September 2000 preface the telegraph, telephone, radio, and especially the computer have put everyone on the globe within earshot—at the price of our privacy. It may feel like we’re performing an intimate act when, sequestered in our rooms and cubicles, we casually use our cell phones and computers to transmit our thoughts, confidences, business plans, and even our money.

Davis, “Use of Clipper Chip in AT&T TSD 3600 During Phase of Production,” memo to Sessions, December 23, 1992. 240 Encryption, Law Enforcement Briefing document sent to Tenet, February 19, 1993. 244 slide show “Telecommunications Overview” prepared by the FBI’s Advanced Telephony Unit. 248 Barlow “Jackboots on the Infobahn,” reprinted in Ludlow’s High Noon on the Electronic Frontier, pp. 207–13. 249 Denning See Steven Levy, “Clipper Chick,” Wired, September 1996. 249 Pilgrim maiden Sterling, The Hacker Crackdown, p. 299. 249 important step “Statement by the Press Secretary,” The White House, April 16, 1993. 250 Times article John Markoff, “New Communication System Stirs Talk of Privacy vs. Eavesdropping,” April 16, 1993. 252 It’s not America Steven Levy, “Uncle Sam.” 252 Safire “Sink the Clipper,” New York Times, February 4, 1994. 253 lion’s den Baker’s speech was adapted as “Don’t Worry Be Happy: Why Clipper Is Good for You,” in Wired, June 1994. 253 Skipjack E. F. Brickell, D.


pages: 915 words: 232,883

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

air freight, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fixed income, game design, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Jony Ive, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, profit maximization, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

CHAPTER 35: ROUND ONE Cancer: Interviews with Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell, Art Levinson, Larry Brilliant, Dean Ornish, Bill Campbell, Andy Grove, Andy Hertzfeld. The Stanford Commencement: Interviews with Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell. Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement address. A Lion at Fifty: Interviews with Mike Slade, Alice Waters, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Avie Tevanian, Jony Ive, Jon Rubinstein, Tony Fadell, George Riley, Bono, Walt Mossberg, Steven Levy, Kara Swisher. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher interviews with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, All Things Digital conference, May 30, 2007; Steven Levy, “Finally, Vista Makes Its Debut,” Newsweek, Feb. 1, 2007. CHAPTER 36: THE iPHONE An iPod That Makes Calls: Interviews with Art Levinson, Steve Jobs, Tony Fadell, George Riley, Tim Cook. Frank Rose, “Battle for the Soul of the MP3 Phone,” Wired, Nov. 2005. Multi-touch: Interviews with Jony Ive, Steve Jobs, Tony Fadell, Tim Cook.

The article also described the mix of volatility and charisma displayed by his boss: “Jobs sometimes defends his ideas with highly vocal displays of temper that aren’t always bluster; rumor has it that he has threatened to fire employees for insisting that his computers should have cursor keys, a feature that Jobs considers obsolete. But when he is on his best behavior, Jobs is a curious blend of charm and impatience, oscillating between shrewd reserve and his favorite expression of enthusiasm: ‘Insanely great.’” The technology writer Steven Levy, who was then working for Rolling Stone, came to interview Jobs, who urged him to convince the magazine’s publisher to put the Macintosh team on the cover of the magazine. “The chances of Jann Wenner agreeing to displace Sting in favor of a bunch of computer nerds were approximately one in a googolplex,” Levy thought, correctly. Jobs took Levy to a pizza joint and pressed the case: Rolling Stone was “on the ropes, running crummy articles, looking desperately for new topics and new audiences.

Instead of beige boxes and monitors with a welter of cables and a bulky setup manual, here was a friendly and spunky appliance, smooth to the touch and as pleasing to the eye as a robin’s egg. You could grab its cute little handle and lift it out of the elegant white box and plug it right into a wall socket. People who had been afraid of computers now wanted one, and they wanted to put it in a room where others could admire and perhaps covet it. “A piece of hardware that blends sci-fi shimmer with the kitsch whimsy of a cocktail umbrella,” Steven Levy wrote in Newsweek, “it is not only the coolest-looking computer introduced in years, but a chest-thumping statement that Silicon Valley’s original dream company is no longer somnambulant.” Forbes called it “an industry-altering success,” and John Sculley later came out of exile to gush, “He has implemented the same simple strategy that made Apple so successful 15 years ago: make hit products and promote them with terrific marketing.”


From Satori to Silicon Valley: San Francisco and the American Counterculture by Theodore Roszak

Buckminster Fuller, germ theory of disease, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet Archive, Marshall McLuhan, megastructure, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

"Buddhist Anarchism" by Gary Snyder, Copy- From The Journal for Beings, McClure, Ferlinghetti & the Protection of All Meltzer, editors, City Lights, San Francisco. DELACORTE PRESS for "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" by Richard Brautigan, copyright 1968. Excerpted from The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, reprinted by permission of Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, New York. DOUBLEDAY & CO. for Hackers by Steven Levy, copyright 1984. PRAEGER PUBLISHERS Society, edited for quote by Bill Voyd from Shelter and by Paul Oliver, copyright 1969. SAN FRANCISCO FOCUS MAGAZINE view with Stewart Brand in the for quotes from an inter- February 1985 issue. SAN FRANCISCO ORACLE for quotes from issues #6, 1967, and #12, 1967. Reprinted with permission of Allan Cohen, Editor. ST. MARTIN'S PRESS for Buckminster Fuller, An Autobiographical Monologue!

Gary Snyder, "Buddhist Anarchism," Journal for the Protection of All Beings, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1961. 2. Resurgence, No. 59, Nov. -Dec, 1976, London, p.12. 3. Robert Snyder, Buckminster Fuller, graphical Monologue! Scenario, New An Autobio- Martin's Press, York, 1970, p. 38. 4. Bill Voyd, "Drop City", Sources, Harper 5. St. Hugh Press, & Row, in New Theodore Roszak, Gardner, Children of Prosperity, New St. Martin's York, 1978, p. 37. New 6. Steven Levy, Hackers, Doubleday, p. 169-170. 7. Hackers, 8. San Francisco Oracle, No. 9. San Francisco Focus Magazine, Feb. 1985, 10. ed. York, 1972, p. 276. p. York, 1984, 251. 6, 1967. San Francisco Oracle, No. 56 12, 1967. p. 107. FROM SATORI TO SILICON VALLEY Theodore Roszak Theodore Roszak General Studies at is Professor of History and Chairman of California State University, Hay ward.


pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, buy and hold, call centre, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?, zero-sum game

Six months after that investment, over the summer of 1998, Bezos and MacKenzie were in the Bay Area for a camping trip with friends, and Bezos told Shriram that he wanted to meet the Google guys. On a Saturday morning, Shriram picked up Bezos and his wife at a local hotel, the Inn at Saratoga, and drove them to his home. Page and Brin met them there for breakfast and demonstrated their modest search engine. Years later, Bezos told journalist Steven Levy that he was impressed by the Google guys’ “healthy stubbornness” as they explained why they would never put advertisements on their home page.6 Brin and Page left Shriram’s house after breakfast. Revealing once again his utter faith in passionate entrepreneurs’ power to harness the Internet, Bezos immediately told Shriram that he wanted to personally invest in Google. Shriram told him the financing round had closed months ago, but Bezos insisted and said he wanted the same deal terms as other early investors.

Oprah Winfrey included the Rocketbook among her Ten Favorite Things in the inaugural issue of O magazine, and Wired wrote of the device, “It’s like an object that has tumbled out of the future.”2 NuvoMedia had an aggressive road map for rapid development. Eberhard planned to exploit economies of scale and advances in technology to improve the Rocketbook’s screen quality and battery life while driving down its price. (Over the 1999 holiday season, the basic model cost $169.) “Within five years,” he told Newsweek’s Steven Levy that December, “We’ll have front-surface technology that doesn’t require you to read behind glass.”3 But NuvoMedia still needed fresh capital, and Eberhard was growing nervous about the unsustainable dot-com bubble and the deteriorating fund-raising climate. In February 2000, he sold NuvoMedia to a Burbank-based interactive TV-guide firm called Gemstar in a stock transaction worth about $187 million.

Josh Tyrangiel, Brad Wieners, Romesh Ratnesar, Ellen Pollock, and Norman Pearlstine gave me incredible support and leeway to write this book. My editor Jim Aley provided a careful first read. Diana Suryakusuma helped me assemble the photographs under a tight deadline. My friend and colleague Ashlee Vance proved an invaluable sounding board when I needed to discuss the thornier challenges of telling this story. I also want to thank fellow journalists Steven Levy, Ethan Watters, Adam Rogers, George Anders, Dan McGinn, Nick Bilton, Claire Cain Miller, Damon Darlin, John Markoff, Jim Brunner, Alan Deutschman, Tom Giles, Doug MacMillan, Adam Satariano, Motoko Rich, and Peter Burrows. Nick Sanchez provided stellar research and reporting assistance for this book, and Morgan Mason from the journalism program at the University of Nevada at Reno assisted with interviews of Amazon associates at the fulfillment center in Fernley, Nevada.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

One result was one of the most famous pieces of television advertising in history, the jaw-dropping spot broadcast into millions of American living rooms during the 1984 Super Bowl, when a lithe young woman ran through a droning audience, hurled a hammer at a Big Brother–like image projected on a blue screen, and shattered it.5 The barely veiled punch at IBM, Apple’s chief rival, reflected a broader anti-establishment streak in this techie rhetoric that went beyond marketing plans and ad slogans. “Mistrust Authority—Promote Decentralization,” read one plank of the “hacker ethic” journalist Steven Levy used in 1984 to describe the remarkable new subculture of hardware and software geeks who had helped make the computer personal. “Authority” meant Big Blue, big business, and big government. It was the perfect message for the times. After more than ten years of unrelentingly dismal business news—plant shutdowns, blue-collar jobs vanishing overseas, fumbling corporate leaders, and the pummeling of American brands by foreign competitors—high-tech companies presented a bright, promising contrast.

Now it was the playground of the gamers and hackers, masters of the microcomputer and modem, just like the young hero played by Matthew Broderick in Badham’s film. The personal computer had triumphantly moved in, particularly for American children and teenagers. Computer nerds had become familiar, sympathetic pop-culture characters, whether they were fictional figures from movies or television, or real-life multimillionaires like Jobs and Gates. Right at the same time that the SDI battles were brewing, journalist Steven Levy was immortalizing the history of this rebellious breed in Hackers. (The Valley tech community had been so delighted by their heroic portrayal in the book that they reclaimed the label as an honorific, and Stewart Brand began holding an annual “Hackers Conference” to celebrate the movement they had forged.) An outlaw programmer was the hero of William Gibson’s sci-fi novel Neuromancer, a cult bestseller published right around the same time.

Most of the people going online were high-income men in their thirties—no surprise, given the fact that this was the demographic targeted by the micro makers—and discussion threads reflected their priorities. In 1985 came the most famous of the early BBSs: The WELL, or Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, started by Stewart Brand and his merry band of hackers up in Marin County. The WELL’s fame came from the Silicon Valley celebrities who made it their first online hangout, including Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow, journalist Steven Levy, Lotus founder Mitch Kapor, and of course Brand himself. The bland Ohioans running CompuServe (now owned by even blander tax preparer H&R Block) couldn’t compete with The WELL’s glamour and dash. The WELL’s pedigree was decidedly countercultural, as it hired a clutch of its founding staff from the legendary Tennessee commune The Farm, and devoted considerable discussion-thread and file-swapping bandwidth to the Dead.


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In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, turn-by-turn navigation, undersea cable, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

ALSO BY STEVEN LEVY The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government— Saving Privacy in the Digital Age Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything Artificial Life: The Quest for a New Creation The Unicorn’s Secret: Murder in the Age of Aquarius Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution Simon & Schuster 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2011 by Steven Levy All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Simon & Schuster Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition April 2011 SIMON & SCHUSTER and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at www.simonspeakers.com. Designed by Ruth Lee Mui Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Levy, Steven. In the plex : how Google thinks, works, and shapes our lives / Steven Levy. —1st Simon & Schuster hbk. ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Google (Firm). 2. Google. 3. Internet industry—United States. I. Title. HD9696.8.U64G6657 2011 338.7'6102504—dc22 2010049964 ISBN 978-1-4165-9658-5 ISBN 978-1-4165-9671-4 (ebook) Contents Prologue Searching for Google One The World According to Google: Biography of a Search Engine Two Googlenomics: Cracking the Code on Internet Profits Three Don’t Be Evil: How Google Built Its Culture Four Google’s Cloud: Building Data Centers That Hold Everything Ever Written Five Outside the Box: The Google Phone Company and the Google TV Company Six GuGe: Google’s Moral Dilemma in China Seven Google.gov: Is What’s Good for Google Good for Government—or the Public?

I also drew on the accounts of the company provided by other journalists, notably John Battelle, The Search (Portfolio, 2005), David Vise and Mark Malseed, The Google Story (Delacorte, 2005), Randall Stross, Planet Google (Free Press, 2008), Richard Brandt, Inside Larry and Sergey’s Brain (Portfolio, 2009), and Ken Auletta, Googled (Penguin, 2009). I also consulted the hundreds of articles in magazines, newspapers, and online sources. Prologue 1 “Have you heard of Google?” I wrote about the APM trip in “Google Goes Globe-Trotting,” Newsweek, November 3, 2007. 2 “Google, the Net’s hottest search engine” Steven Levy, “Free PCs … for a Price,” Newsweek, February 22, 1999. It was an article about Bill Gross, contrasting his GoTo search engine’s prowess unfavorably to Google’s. 4 “We envision a world” The description is reprinted in a blog item by Dan Siroker, “What would you say you do here?” Siroker Brothers (blog), May 11, 2006. Part One: The World According to Google 9 “There is just too much” Transcript of The Authors Guild, Inc., et al., v.


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Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Charles Lindbergh, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kubernetes, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, The Hackers Conference, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

ANARCHY 1.James Ellis, The Story of Non-secret Encryption (Cheltenham, UK: GCHQ/CESG, 1987), para. 4. 2.Walter Koenig, Final Report on Project C-43: Continuation of Decoding Speech Codes, NDRC contract no. OEMsr-435 (New York: Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1944). 3.James Ellis, The Possibility of Secure Non-Secret Digital Encryption, research report no. 3006 (Cheltenham, UK: GCHQ/CESG, 1970). 4.Quoted in Steven Levy, Crypto (New York: Penguin, 2000), 396. 5.Clifford Cocks, quoted in Simon Singh, The Code Book (London: Fourth Estate, 1999), 285. 6.Ellis, Possibility. 7.“You did more with it than we did,” Ellis once told fellow cryptographer Whitfield Diffie, but he refused to say more. See the last paragraph of Steven Levy’s Crypto. 8.Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, “New Directions in Cryptography,” IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 22, no. 6 (November 1976): 644–54. 9.For an excellent and more detailed description, see Levy, Crypto, 90–124. 10.Martin Gardner, “A New Kind of Cipher That Would Take Millions of Years to Break,” Scientific American 237, no. 2 (August 1977): 120–24. 11.Singh mentions three thousand letters; Levy, seven thousand.

The article that spelled out the idea became one of his most influential papers, “Numbers Can Be a Better Form of Cash Than Paper.” But using this improved form of cash was not only about convenience and security. If crypto cash would not be adopted widely, Chaum feared, “invisible mass surveillance” would be inevitable, “perhaps irreversible.”17 Chaum’s idea was magically simple and powerful. Steven Levy, a perceptive chronicler of the grand cryptography debate of the 1990s, called him the “Houdini of crypto.”18 So powerful were Chaum’s ideas that an entire movement arose. That movement believed crypto was en route to making the state as we know it obsolete. Many of these early cryptographers had been exposed to a powerful streak of American culture: civil libertarianism with its deep-seated distrust of the federal government—or of any government.

The crypto rebels had been inspired by Martin Gardner’s famous 1977 column from Scientific American, fifteen years after it came out. “Wow, this is really mind-blowing,”27 May had thought when he read the piece. May and Hughes began to rope in others. A group of sixteen people started meeting every Saturday in an office building near Palo Alto full of small tech start-ups. The room had a conference table and corporate-gray carpeting. Stewart Brand was at one of the first meetings, as were Kevin Kelly and Steven Levy, the two Wired writers. They were all united by that unique Bay Area blend: passionate about technology, steeped in counterculture, and unswervingly libertarian. The crypto group also shared one other thing: a frustration with the slow pace of cryptographic progress. Chaum’s ideas were ten years old, yet there was still no digital cash, no anonymity by remailer, no privacy, and no security built into the emerging cyberspace.


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The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

The members of the “Signals and Power Subcommittee” tended to the relays, wires, circuits, and crossbar switches, which were rigged together on the underside of the board to provide a complex hierarchy of controllers for the numerous trains. In this tangled web they saw beauty. “There were neat regimental lines of switches, and achingly regular rows of dull bronze relays, and a long, rambling tangle of red, blue, and yellow wires—twisting and twirling like a rainbow-colored explosion of Einstein’s hair,” Steven Levy wrote in Hackers, which begins with a colorful depiction of the club.2 Members of the Signals and Power Subcommittee embraced the term hacker with pride. It connoted both technical virtuosity and playfulness, not (as in more recent usage) lawless intrusions into a network. The intricate pranks devised by MIT students—putting a live cow on the roof of a dorm, a plastic cow on the Great Dome of the main building, or causing a huge balloon to emerge midfield during the Harvard-Yale game—were known as hacks.

The first issue, in October 1972, had on its cover a drawing of a boat sailing into the sunset and the hand-scrawled declaration “Computers are mostly used against people instead of for people; used to control people instead of to free them; Time to change all that—we need a PEOPLE’S COMPUTER COMPANY.”81 Most issues featured lots of line drawings of dragons—“I loved dragons ever since I was thirteen,” Albrecht recalled—and stories about computer education, BASIC programming, and various learning fairs and do-it-yourself technology festivals.82 The newsletter helped to weave together electronic hobbyists, do-it-yourselfers, and community-learning organizers. Another embodiment of this culture was Lee Felsenstein, an earnest antiwar protestor with an electrical engineering degree from Berkeley who became a featured character in Steven Levy’s Hackers. Felsenstein was far from being a Merry Prankster. Even in the heady days of student unrest at Berkeley, he eschewed sex and drugs. He combined a political activist’s instinct for community organizing with an electronic geek’s disposition for building communications tools and networks. A faithful reader of the Whole Earth Catalog, he had an appreciation for the do-it-yourself strand in American community culture along with a faith that public access to communications tools could wrest power from governments and corporations.83 Felsenstein’s community-organizing streak and love for electronics were instilled as a child in Philadelphia, where he was born in 1945.

But if they did a search and returned right away to revise their query, it meant that they were dissatisfied and the engineers should learn, by looking at the refined search query, what they had been seeking in the first place. Anytime users scrolled to the second or third page of the search results, it was a sign that they were unhappy with the order of results they received. As the journalist Steven Levy pointed out, this feedback loop helped Google learn that when users typed in dogs they also were looking for puppies, and when they typed in boiling they might also be referring to hot water, and eventually Google also learned that when they typed in hot dog they were not looking for boiling puppies.158 One other person came up with a link-based scheme very similar to PageRank: a Chinese engineer named Yanhong (Robin) Li, who studied at SUNY Buffalo and then joined a division of Dow Jones based in New Jersey.


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Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

Historically the word meant an amateur tinkerer, an autodidact who might try a dozen solutions to a problem before eking out a success.7 Aptitude and perseverance have always eclipsed rote knowledge in the hacking community. Hackers are the type of technophiles you like to have around in a pinch, for given enough time they generally can crack any problem (or at least find a suitable kludge). Thus, as Bruce Sterling writes, the term hacker “can signify the freewheeling intellectual exploration of the highest and deepest potential of computer systems.”8 Or as Steven Levy glowingly reminisces about the original MIT hackers of the early sixties, “they were such fascinating people. . . . Beneath their often unimposing exteriors, they were adventurers, visionaries, power, it exists as an abstraction” (p. 13). A protocological analysis shows that control is almost never in abstract form. Rather, protocol ensures that control is literally inscribed onto the very cells and motherboards of bioinformatic networks. 6.

Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position. You can create art and beauty on a computer. Computers can change your life for the better.12 Several of Levy’s points dovetail with my earlier conclusions about protocol. Like the hacker’s access to computers, protocol is unlimited and total. Like the hacker’s mistrust of authority, protocol also seeks to eliminate arbitrary 9. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), p. ix. 10. This dictum is attributed to Stewart Brand, who wrote that “[o]n the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.

Michelle Slatalla and Joshua Quittner, Masters of Deception: The Gang that Ruled Cyberspace (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), p. 57. Hacking 161 Access to computers . . . should be unlimited and total. All information should be free. Mistrust authority— promote decentralization. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position. You can create art and beauty on a computer. Computers can change your life for the better. —Steven Levy, 1984 We explore . . . and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge . . . and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias . . . and you call us criminals . . . Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.


A People’s History of Computing in the United States by Joy Lisi Rankin

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, corporate social responsibility, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Howard Zinn, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pink-collar, profit motive, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, wikimedia commons

Computer c. 1971–72, Box 11, Kurtz Papers. 50. Corbató, oral history interview; Arthur L. Norberg, Judy E. O’Neill, and Kerry J. Freedman, Transforming Computer Technology: Information Pro­ cessing for the Pentagon, 1962–1986 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996); M. Mitchell Waldrop, The Dream Machine: J. C. R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal (New York: Penguin Books, 2002); Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010). 51. Corbató, Merwin-­ Daggett, and Daley, “An Experimental Time-­ Sharing System,” 337. 52. Kurtz, Rieser, and Meck, “Application to the National Science ­Foundation”; Kemeny, “A Computing Center at a Liberal Arts College.” 53. Kemeny, “A Computing Center at a Liberal Arts College,” 162. 54. Kemeny and Kurtz, Back to BASIC , 4.

Kiewit Comments 1, no. 2 (February 13, 1967): 5, Dartmouth College Rauner Special Collections Library (hereafter Rauner Library). Note that all subsequent references to Kiewit Comments refer to the Rauner Library collection. 6. United States President’s Science Advisory Committee, Panel on Computers in Education (John R. Pierce et al.), Computers in Higher Education: Report of the President’s Science Advisory Committee (Washington, DC: The White House, February 1967). 7. Detail on copies sold from Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010), 168; and from Bob Johnstone, Never Mind the Laptops: Kids, Computers, and the Transformation of Learning (New York: iUniverse, 2003), 66. 8. “Huntington,” ­People’s Computer Com­pany 1, no. 1 (October 1972): 3. 9. Thomas E. Kurtz, Leonard M. Rieser, and John F. Meck, “Application to the National Science Foundation Mathe­matics Division for the Establishment and Support of the Dartmouth Computation Center, 22 April 1963,” 10, Box 11, Papers of Thomas E.

Fano (1989), Charles Babbage Institute, retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://­hdl​ .­handle​.­net​/­11299​/­107281; David Walden and Tom Van Vleck, eds., The Compatible Time Sharing System (1961–1973), 50th Anniversary Commemorative Overview (Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society, 2011), http://­multicians​.­org​ /­t hvv​/­compatible​-­t ime​-­sharing​-­system​.­pdf; Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010). 12. John L. Rudolph, Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education (New York: Palgrave, 2002); Audra J. Wolfe, “Speaking for Nature and Nation: Biologists as Public Intellectuals in Cold War Culture” (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2002); Audra J. Wolfe, Competing with the Soviets: Science, Technology, and the State in Cold War Amer­i­ca (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013); Jamie Cohen-­Cole, The Open Mind: Cold War Politics and the Sciences of ­Human Nature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016); Christopher J.


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The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

.*7 The walled garden made AOL money, some of it real, but also hastened the site’s loss of allure to the Internet, whose open design was the opposite of AOL’s, and which was by now growing a greater variety of things to see and do. By 2000, many people were just using AOL to connect to the web, finding ways to escape the walled garden and avoid AOL’s advertising blight altogether. These were only some of AOL’s many hidden weaknesses that contributed to its catastrophic implosion over the early 2000s. It was already, in Steven Levy’s memorable description, a “dead man walking”22 in advance of a meltdown fully chronicled elsewhere. Suffice it to say here: despite a $164 billion merger with Time Warner and its rich troves of content, AOL, as originally conceived, would become irrelevant, ultimately brought down by the rise of the popular, open Internet and its fast-multiplying attractions. Prodigy did no better. As it continued to shed users and cash, by the late 1990s the original owners had given up and sold out for $200 million to a group of executives funded in part by the Mexican telecom authority, Telmex.

For what really seemed like nothing, the public got the best search ever designed and, in time, other goodies as well, like free email with unlimited storage, peerless maps, the world’s libraries, and even research devoted to exciting innovations like self-driving cars. Of course, there was, as there always is, a quid pro quo: in its ripest state, the buying public was exposed to sales pitches; which might prove useful but then again might not. Google also began to collect a lot of information about a lot of people. Nevertheless, Page, who had the most qualms about advertising, told Wired’s Steven Levy that he’d begun to feel that AdWords was a good and just innovation. “From that point on,” writes Levy, “Brin and Page saw nothing but glory in the bottom line.”18 Page may have felt he’d outwitted the Devil, but so do all Faustian characters. While the safeguards in AdWords would keep Google’s core product uncompromised for the time being, corporate life is long, and shareholder demand for growth unremitting.

Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks, I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution (New York: Penguin, 2011), 140. 17. Klein, Stealing Time, 247. 18. Swisher, Aol.com, 280. 19. William Forbes, Behavioural Finance (West Sussex, UK: Wiley, 2009), 158. 20. Klein, Stealing Time, at 167. 21. Complaint, SEC v. Kelly, 817 F.Supp.2d 340 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (08 Civ. 04612), 2008 WL 2149270, at *2. 22. Steven Levy, “Dead Man Walking?,” Newsweek, January 21, 1996, http://www.newsweek.com/​dead-men-walking-176866. CHAPTER 17: ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CELEBRITY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX 1. Edwin Diamond, “Why the Power Vacuum at Time Inc. Continues,” New York, October 23, 1972. 2. Alan Brinkley, The Publisher (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010); David L. Larsen, Telling the Old, Old Story: The Art of Narrative Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1995). 3.


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Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

Larry and Sergey left red and blue inflatable gym balls around, less as an aesthetic statement and more because they liked to work out with them.25 Google soon moved again, to an office-park facility in Mountain View. This office space later became known as the NullPlex, the space before the Googleplex itself. But again, the space was crude—a “mishmash,” said the facilities manager, George Salah. A “mongrel style,” said Steven Levy, journalist and unofficial historian of Google. One of the first high-priority projects to be tackled in the new space was the problem of how to make searches more responsive to the latest news. Google set up a war room, and again, it was a straightforward, unassuming space. Half a dozen engineers grabbed a conference room, set up their computers the way they wanted, and got to work. Then there was the time that one Google engineer decided he didn’t like the wall of his office.

Neither did he complain when the engineer later changed his mind and decided he’d like to put the wall back again; instead, he mused that the process had “made it a more Googley environment.” Any veteran of MIT’s Building 20 would recognize the thought process. And when the suit-and-tie executive Eric Schmidt joined Google as the new boss in 2001, he reassured Salah, “Don’t change a thing. Make sure it looks like a dorm room.”26 “No matter what happened,” writes Steven Levy, “engineers would have the run of the place.”27 • • • The offices at Chiat/Day may have looked superficially different from the offices at Kyocera, but they were managed with fundamentally the same tidy-minded aesthetic: This place should look the way the boss wants it to look. Google’s offices, like Building 20 at MIT, have been managed very differently: It doesn’t matter how this place looks.

currentPage=all; “A Last, Loving Look at an MIT Landmark—Building 20,” RLE Undercurrents 9, no. 2 (Fall 1997), http://www.rle.mit.edu/media/undercurrents/Vol9_2_Spring97.pdf; Philip J. Hilts, “Last Rites for a ‘Plywood Palace’ That Was a Rock of Science,” The New York Times, March 31, 1998, http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/31/science/last-rites-for-a-plywood-palace-that-was-a-rock-of-science.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm; Eve Downing, “Letting Go,” Spectrum (Spring 1998), http://spectrum.mit.edu/articles/letting-go/; and Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, 25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010). 19. A lovely half-hour documentary, “Building 20: The Magical Incubator” was made by MIT in 1998. It’s tape T1217 in the MIT archives, online at: http://teachingexcellence.mit.edu/from-the-vault/mits-building-20-the-magical-incubator-1998; a definitive account of the merits of Building 20 is in chapter three of Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built (New York: Viking, 1994). 20.


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Track Changes by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum

active measures, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, David Brooks, dematerialisation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, forensic accounting, future of work, Google Earth, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, HyperCard, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Joan Didion, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, mail merge, Marshall McLuhan, Mother of all demos, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, pattern recognition, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, text mining, thinkpad, Turing complete, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, Year of Magical Thinking

Flip through an issue of Writer’s Digest from around 1981 and you will see page after page of advertising for computers, word processors, and word processing software alongside images of manual and electric typewriters and fountain pens—not least because the ads for the new technology often used the latter to convey a sense of trust and continuity with the past. A wrong choice on the part of a first-time buyer—who might arrive at the local computer store primed with good or bad advice from friends and the latest industry gossip gleaned from computer magazines, only to first be subjected to a hard sell from the sales staff—could mean thousands of dollars wasted or worse. Steven Levy, a technology journalist, summed up the nature of the decision: “I compare using a word processor to living with somebody. You go into it with all kinds of enthusiasms, and things are wonderful. Then, you see other word processors promising more. More features, friendlier style. The question is, is it worth tossing over a relationship in which you’ve invested months for a word-transpose toggle, an indexing function you’ll use maybe twice, and a split-screen capability?

VisiCalc, the spreadsheet program which debuted in 1979 for the Apple II, quickly sold several hundred thousand copies; indeed, its availability helped drive sales of the Apple computer itself.4 Its conception was influenced by the kind of early computer-generated imagery then on the big screen in films like Star Wars, particularly the “heads-up” combat displays: “Like Luke Skywalker jumping into the turret of the Millennium Falcon, [Dan] Bricklin saw himself blasting out financials, locking onto profit and loss numbers that would appear suspended in space before him,” wrote one commentator, tongue not entirely in cheek. “It was to be a business tool cum video game, a Saturday Night Special for M.B.A.s.”5 Journalist Steven Levy described the competitive culture that would arise around VisiCalc hacks and tricks, the quest for the “perfect” spreadsheet: “Spreadsheet hackers lose themselves in the world of what-if,” he wrote.6 Spreadsheets indeed lent themselves to speculation and scenario-spinning, to a future-oriented fugue state induced by the rows and columns scrolling past, figures rippling across the screen as fingertips adjusted a variable in a hidden formula.

Whole Earth Software Catalog, ed. Stewart Brand (New York: Quantum / Doubleday, 1984), 2. 6. For Bukowski and his Macintosh, see Jed Birmingham, “Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, and the Computer,” RealityStudio, September 11, 2009, http://realitystudio.org/bibliographic-bunker/charles-bukowski-william-burroughs-and-the-computer/. 7. Charles Bukowski, “16-Bit Intel 8088 Chip,” Aileron 6, no. 1 (1985). 8. Steven Levy, quoted in Whole Earth Software Catalog, 46. 9. Judy Grahn, email to the author, January 2, 2012. 10. See Alexis C. Madrigal, “The Time Exxon Went Into the Semiconductor Business (and Failed),” Atlantic, May 17, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/05/the-time-exxon-went-into-the-semiconductor-business-and-failed/275993/. 11. Grahn, email to the author, January 2, 2012. 12.


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100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, disruptive innovation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

www.genome.gov/11006943 55 The genome in 2000 was not exactly complete, and researchers are still working to sequence enough genomes to reach a standard definition of complete. See “President Clinton Announces the Completion of the First Survey of the Entire Human Genome, Hails Public and Private Efforts Leading to This Historic Achievement,” Human Genome Project Information, June 25, 2000, www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/project/clinton1.shtml; and www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/project/clinton2.shtml. 56 Ibid. 57 Steven Levy, “Geek Power: Steven Levy Revisits Tech Titans, Hackers, Idealists,” Wired, April 19, 2010, www.wired.com/magazine/2010/04/ff_hackers/all/1. 58 Jeff Bezos, “We Are What We Choose,” Princeton University address to the Class of 2010 Baccalaureate, May 30, 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBmavNoChZc. 59 Nicholas Wade, “Researchers Say They Created a Synthetic Cell,” New York Times, May 20, 2010, www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/science/21cell.html. 60 J.

Suddenly, biology became a field that computer geeks could attempt to tackle, which not only resulted in smart biohackers forming do-it-yourself biology clubs, but also increased the pace of advances in biology. Bioinformatics are moving at the speed of Moore’s Law and sometimes faster. To the extent that wealthy technology moguls influence public opinion and hackers seem cool, the context for the longevity meme is sizzling hot. In a Wired magazine interview in April 2010, Bill Gates, America’s richest man, told reporter Steven Levy that if he were a teenager today, “he’d be hacking biology.”57 Gates elaborated, saying, “Creating artificial life with DNA synthesis, that’s sort of the equivalent of machine-language programming.” Whether or not his comments were meant as an endorsement of the field, the smart whiz kids who read Wired probably see it that way. And Gates isn’t the only technology mogul to express great interest in biology becoming a technology project.


pages: 159 words: 42,401

Snowden's Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance by Jessica Bruder, Dale Maharidge

anti-communist, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, cashless society, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, medical malpractice, Occupy movement, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Robert Bork, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web of trust, WikiLeaks

This cutting-edge microchip would encrypt users’ communications, but it would also provide direct access for eavesdropping by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Privacy advocates, politicians, technologists, and civil libertarians were alarmed by the Orwellian plan. Together, they formed a motley opposition with members ranging from the ACLU to Rush Limbaugh. “The precise object of their rage is the Clipper chip, officially known as the MYK-78 and not much bigger than a tooth,” wrote journalist Steven Levy. “Just another tiny square of plastic covering a silicon thicket. A computer chip, from the outside indistinguishable from thousands of others. It seems improbable that this black Chiclet is the focal point of a battle that may determine the degree to which our civil liberties survive in the next century. But that is the shared belief … The Clipper chip has prompted what might be considered the first holy war of the information highway.”

., A Report on the Surveillance Society, “for the Information Commissioner by the Surveillance Studies Network” (Information Commissioner’s Office, 2006), https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/documents/1042390/surveillance-society-full-report-2006.pdf. p. 5 “peak indifference”: Cory Doctorow, “We Cannot Afford to Be Indifferent to Internet Spying,” Guardian, December 9, 2013. pp. 5–6 Clipper chip: Andi Wilson Thompson, Danielle Kehl, and Kevin Bankston, “Doomed to Repeat History? Lessons from the Crypto Wars of the 1990s,” New America, June 17, 2015, https://newamerica.org/; Steven Levy, “The Battle of the Clipper Chip,” New York Times Magazine, June 12, 1994; Philip Elmer-Dewitt, “Who Should Keep the Keys?” Time, March 14, 1994; Stewart A. Baker, “Don’t Worry Be Happy: Why Clipper Is Good for You,” Wired, May 1994. For a more appropriate soundtrack to government intrusion, try “Be Worry, Don’t Happy,” Oleg Berg’s minor-key transposition of the Bobby McFerrin classic: youtube.com/watch?


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The Bitcoin Guidebook: How to Obtain, Invest, and Spend the World's First Decentralized Cryptocurrency by Ian Demartino

3D printing, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buy low sell high, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, Steven Levy, the medium is the message, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

In her 1994 article in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Dorothy Denning, then a chair of computer science at Georgetown University, wrote about one of these dangers: “[Cryptography] can be used to implement untraceable cash and anonymous, untraceable transactions. While such services can offer many privacy benefits, they also could facilitate money laundering and fraud.”5 Denning wasn’t the only one to express such misgivings. In a December 1994 Wired article, Steven Levy quotes a member of the American Bankers Association, Kawika Daguio, who writes: Speaking for myself, it would be dangerous and unsound public policy to allow fully untraceable, unlimited value digital currency to be produced…. It opens up opportunities for abuse that aren’t available to criminals now. In the physical world, money is bulky. In the physical world, it is possible to follow people, so a kidnapper can potentially be caught if the currency is marked, if the money was being observed on location, or if the serial numbers were recorded.

Competitive employee poaching is a serious concern for a lot of businesses and having employee salaries publicly available might not be an ideal situation. There is also the concern of becoming a target. If people can publicly see that you have just come into a large amount of money, this presents its own set of problems. Beyond that, privacy is just a human-rights issue. In an article about Digicash, the pre-Bitcoin attempt at a digital currency I talked about in an earlier chapter, Wired’s Steven Levy quotes the cryptographer and then-Digicash employee Niels Ferguson: Oh, the number of times I’ve had to argue with people that they need privacy! They’ll say, “I don’t care if you know where I spend my money.” I usually tell them, “What if I hire a private investigator to follow you around all day? Would you get mad?” And the answer always is, “Yes, of course I would get mad.” And then my argument is, “If we have no privacy in our transaction systems, I can see every payment—every cup of coffee you drink, every Mars bar you get, every glass of Coke you drink, every door you open, every telephone call—you make.

We might expect to hear Internet advocates and computer geeks talk about how important encryption is to privacy and freedom, but the point is really driven home when it is echoed by such a conservative, mainstream, and international entity as the UN.3 What does this have to do with the topic of Bitcoin and the criminal element? As it turns out, a lot, because the encryption techniques that are essential to Bitcoin have been the focus of a public debate since at least the early 1990s, and that debate ended up placing everything related to the topic of encryption under the umbrella of criminal activity. The association between Bitcoin and criminal elements was born directly from that. Back in 1995, author Steven Levy visited the offices of the now-defunct Cygnus Solutions, an early Internet cryptography company, and spoke about what the early Cypherpunks of the day were trying to accomplish: The people in this room hope for a world where an individual’s informational footprints—everything from an opinion on abortion to the medical record of an actual abortion—can be traced only if the individual involved chooses to reveal them; a world where coherent messages shoot around the globe by network and microwave, but intruders and feds trying to pluck them out of the vapor find only gibberish; a world where the tools of prying are transformed into the instruments of privacy.


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The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, animal electricity, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, MITM: man-in-the-middle, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

They helped prove that user interface design, long derided as dull—the province of grey user settings and drop-down menus; “knobs and dials” as Christie puts it—was ripe for innovation. As Bas and Imran’s stars rose inside Apple, they started casting around for new frontiers. Fortunately, they were about to find one. While training to be a civil engineer in Massachusetts, Brian Huppi idly picked up Steven Levy’s Insanely Great. The book documents how in the early 1980s Steve Jobs separated key Apple players from the rest of the company, flew a pirate flag above their department, and drove them to build the pioneering Macintosh. Huppi couldn’t put it down. “I was like, ‘Wow, what would it be like to work at a place like Apple?’” At that, he quit his program and went back to school for mechanical engineering.

Siri is really a constellation of features—speech-recognition software, a natural-language user interface, and an artificially intelligent personal assistant. When you ask Siri a question, here’s what happens: Your voice is digitized and transmitted to an Apple server in the Cloud while a local voice recognizer scans it right on your iPhone. Speech-recognition software translates your speech into text. Natural-language processing parses it. Siri consults what tech writer Steven Levy calls the iBrain—around 200 megabytes of data about your preferences, the way you speak, and other details. If your question can be answered by the phone itself (“Would you set my alarm for eight a.m.?”), the Cloud request is canceled. If Siri needs to pull data from the web (“Is it going to rain tomorrow?”), to the Cloud it goes, and the request is analyzed by another array of models and tools.

In 1968, an idealistic computer scientist named Doug Engelbart brought together hundreds of interested industry onlookers at the San Francisco Civic Center—the same civic center where the iPhone 7 demo was made nearly forty years later—and introduced a handful of technologies that would form the foundational DNA of modern personal computing. Not only did Engelbart show off publicly a number of inventions like the mouse, keypads, keyboards, word processors, hypertext, videoconferencing, and windows, he showed them off by using them in real time. The tech journalist Steven Levy would call it “the mother of all demos,” and the name stuck. A video feed shared the programs and technologies being demoed onscreen. It was a far cry from the more polished product launches Jobs would become famous for decades later; Engelbart broadcast his own head in the frame as, over the course of an hour and a half, he displayed new feats of computing and made delightfully odd quips and self-interruptions.


The Unicorn's Secret by Steven Levy

Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, card file, East Village, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, index card, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

Finally, I was lucky in having the companionship of Teresa Carpenter, who had been down this path before; besides her constant love and patience, I was able to get free advice at odd hours. STEVEN LEVY New York City, 1988 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Steven Levy is editor in chief of the online tech publication Backchannel. Former senior staff writer for WIRED and former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek, he is the author of seven books, including Hackers, Insanely Great, Artificial Life, The Perfect Thing, and Crypto. His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives. All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this ebook or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher. Copyright © 1988 by Steven Levy Cover design by Olivia Brodtman ISBN: 978-1-5040-4213-0 This edition published in 2016 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. 180 Maiden Lane New York, NY 10038 www.openroadmedia.com Find a full list of our authors and titles at www.openroadmedia.com FOLLOW US @OpenRoadMedia

The Unicorn’s Secret Murder in the Age of Aquarius Steven Levy CONTENTS PROLOGUE: Of Excellent Reputation 1 A CONDITION OF MYSTERY 2 THE MAKING OF THE GURU 3 DOODLEBUG 4 THE MAYOR OF POWELTON 5 FALLEN ANGEL 6 TURNING THE CORNER 7 WHERE FEAR COMES FROM 8 A PRISONER ON THE PLANET OF PATIENCE 9 PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS 10 “I DIDN’T KILL HER” 11 THE DARK SIDE 12 THE UNICORN’S SECRET 13 THE FLIGHT OF THE UNICORN EPILOGUE A NOTE ON SOURCES IMAGE GALLERY ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR Prologue: Of Excellent Reputation First to take the stand was a corporate attorney. Like the others, he seemed steeped in an air of unreality. He had known the defendant since both were boys. Now, two decades later, he was called on to defend his friend, under oath. He had never dreamed such an endorsement would be required of him, especially in circumstances such as these.


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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, book scanning, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Ford paid five dollars a day, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, impulse control, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, linked data, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, multi-sided market, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, off grid, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, precision agriculture, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Mercer, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, union organizing, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

., “Employee Lawsuit Accuses Google of ‘Spying Program,’” Information, December 20, 2016, https://www.theinformation.com/employee-lawsuit-accuses-google-of-spying-program. 6. See Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 116; Hal R. Varian, “Biography of Hal R. Varian,” UC Berkeley School of Information Management & Systems, October 3, 2017, http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~hal/people/hal/biography.html; “Economics According to Google,” Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2007, http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2007/07/19/economics-according-to-google; Steven Levy, “Secret of Googlenomics: Data-Fueled Recipe Brews Profitability,” Wired, May 22, 2009, http://archive.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/17-06/nep_googlenomics; Hal R.

We celebrated the promise of “help is on the way” while troubling questions broke through the haze with increasing regularity, each one followed by a predictable eruption of dismay and anger. Why did Google’s Gmail, launched in 2004, scan private correspondence to generate advertising? As soon as the first Gmail user saw the first ad targeted to the content of her private correspondence, public reaction was swift. Many were repelled and outraged; others were confused. As Google chronicler Steven Levy put it, “By serving ads related to content, Google seemed almost to be reveling in the fact that users’ privacy was at the mercy of the policies and trustworthiness of the company that owned the servers. And since those ads made profits, Google was making it clear that it would exploit the situation.”64 In 2007 Facebook launched Beacon, touting it as “a new way to socially distribute information.”

Pressure for profit mounted sharply, despite the fact that Google Search was widely considered the best of all the search engines, traffic to its website was surging, and a thousand résumés flooded the firm’s Mountain View office each day. Page and Brin were seen to be moving too slowly, and their top venture capitalists, John Doerr from Kleiner Perkins and Michael Moritz from Sequoia, were frustrated.25 According to Google chronicler Steven Levy, “The VCs were screaming bloody murder. Tech’s salad days were over, and it wasn’t certain that Google would avoid becoming another crushed radish.”26 The specific character of Silicon Valley’s venture funding, especially during the years leading up to dangerous levels of startup inflation, also contributed to a growing sense of emergency at Google. As Stanford sociologist Mark Granovetter and his colleague Michel Ferrary found in their study of valley venture firms, “A connection with a high-status VC firm signals the high status of the startup and encourages other agents to link to it.”27 These themes may seem obvious now, but it is useful to mark the anxiety of those months of sudden crisis.


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Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

Apple II, banking crisis, British Empire, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Computer Numeric Control, Dynabook, global supply chain, interchangeable parts, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, race to the bottom, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the built environment, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple

Apple iMac G4 , 2011, video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ky_vxFBeJ8 9. “Apple Takes a Bold New Byte at iMac,” New Zealand Herald, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=787149, January 21, 2002. 10. Email from Ken Segall, April 2013. 11. Interview with Dennis Boyle, October 2012. 12. Steven Levy, “The New iPod” Newsweek, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2004/07/25/the-new-ipod.html, July 25, 2004. 13. Steven Levy, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (Simon & Schuster, 2006) 102. 14. Jonathan Ive in conversation with Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ, following his award of honorary doctor at the University of the Arts London, © Nick Carson 2006. First published in issue 5 of TEN4, http://ncarson.wordpress.com/2006/12/12/jonathan-ive/, November 16, 2006. 15.

Lev Grossman, “How Apple Does It,” Time, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1118384,00.html, October 16, 2005. 4. Interview with a former Apple engineer, June 2013. 5. Interview with Jon Rubinstein, October 2012. 6. Interview with Doug Satzger, January 2013. 7. Christopher Stringer testimony, Apple v. Samsung trial, San Jose Federal Courthouse, July 2012. 8. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Interview with Gautam Baksi, June 2013. CHAPTER 8 Design of the iPod 1. Steven Levy, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness (Simon & Schuster, 2006), 36. 2. Ibid., 38. 3. Ibid., 133. 4. Sheryl Garratt, “Jonathan Ive: Inventor of the decade,” The Guartdian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/nov/29/ipod-jonathan-ive-designer, November 28, 2009. 5. Leander Kahney, “Straight Dope on the IPod’s Birth,” http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultofmac/2006/10/71956, October 26, 2006. 6.


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, low cost airline, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Platforms are the company’s long-term memory, where knowledge and experience is stored and hard-coded into habits, routines, and autonomic functions. Notes for Chapter Sixteen HOTEL CHECK-INS “Designing Service Systems by Bridging the ‘Front stage’ and ‘Back stage,’ by Robert J. Glushko and Lindsay Tabas, Information Systems and E-Business Management, 7, no. 4 (September 2009): 407–427. CUSTOMER SERVICE AT AMAZON VS ZAPPOS Steven Levy, “Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think,” Wired, November 13, 2011. AMAZON AUCTIONS, ZSHOPS, AND MARKETPLACE Consumer Reports Talks with Amazon.com, recorded live on May 11, 2011, http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14630179. Chapter 17. Power and control in networks An organization’s data is found in its computer systems, but a company’s intelligence is found in its biological and social systems

Those interactions aren’t planned or organized. But such areas create conditions that are conducive to connection. Those very casual, simple conversations, when repeated over a long period of time, give people a greater awareness of the information patterns in the company as a whole. Google’s Director of Facilities, George Salah, intentionally increased density to increase the energy in the company. Steven Levy tells the story in his book In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (Simon & Schuster): Salah was surprised that when Silicon Graphics occupied the building, all the cubicles had relatively high walls. And the desks were all oriented inward, with almost no one facing out. So as you walk through the building, you couldn’t find a soul,” he says. “They were all there, you just didn’t know it.

The Ghost in the Machine By Arthur Koestler, Macmillan, 1968. The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity By Richard Florida, Harper, 2010. How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built By Stewart Brand, Viking Adult, 1994. Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter By John Fleming and Jim Asplund, Gallup Press, 2007. In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives By Steven Levy, Simon and Schuster, 2011. Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy By Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian, Harvard Business Review Press, 1998. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail By Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business Review Press, 1997. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations By Adam Smith, 1776. Jack: Straight from the Gut By Jack Welch and John A.


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Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy

air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, Donald Knuth, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Hackers Steven Levy Editor Mike Hendrickson Copyright © 2010 Steven Levy O’Reilly books may be purchased for educational, business, or sales promotional use. Online editions are also available for most titles (http://my.safaribooksonline.com). For more information, contact our corporate/institutional sales department: (800) 998-9938 or corporate@oreilly.com. The O’Reilly logo is a registered trademark of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Hackers and related trade dress are trademarks of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and O’Reilly Media, Inc. was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in caps or initial caps.

Stallman has also been an instrumental force in the League for Software Freedom, a group reflecting his belief that proprietary software is a pox upon the digital landscape. In 1991, his efforts came to the attention of those in charge of parceling out the coveted McArthur Fellowship “genius grants.” The last time I saw him, Stallman was organizing a demonstration against the Lotus Development Corporation. His protest regarded their software patents. He believed, and still does, that information should be free. —Steven Levy August 1993 Appendix C. Afterword: 2010 “It’s funny,” says Bill Gates. “When I was young, I didn’t know any old people. When we did the microprocessor revolution, there was nobody old, nobody. They didn’t make us meet with journalists who were old people. I didn’t deal with people in their 30s. Now there’s people in their 50s and 60s. And now I’m old and I have to put up with it. It’s weird how old this industry has become.

“If you want to change the world in some big way, that’s where you should start—biological molecules. Those are all pretty deep problems that need the same type of crazy fanaticism of youthful genius and naiveté that drove the PC industry, and can have the same impact on the human condition.” In other words, Gates expects hackers to be the heroes of the next revolution, too. Sounds good to me. —Steven Levy May 2010 Appendix D. Notes The main source of information for Hackers was over a hundred personal interviews conducted in 1982 and 1983. Besides these, I refer to a number of written sources. Part One Chapter 1 Some of the TMRC jargon was codified by Peter Samson in the unpublished "An Abridged Dictionary of the TMRC Language," circa 1959. This was apparently the core of a hacker dictionary, kept online at MIT for years, which eventually was expanded to The Hacker Dictionary by Gus Steele et al.


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Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

So for the same reason I was paying attention to Ken Kesey, I was paying attention to Doug Engelbart.” In December 1968, Engelbart demonstrated a number of his experimental ideas to a conference of computer scientists in the San Francisco Convention Center. The event was later dubbed “The Mother of all Demos”, thanks to the fact that it was the world’s first sighting of a number of computing technologies, including the mouse, email and hypertext. According to Steven Levy, author of Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, “Engelbarts support staff was as elaborate as one would find at a modern Grateful Dead concert” and that support staff included Stewart Brand, who volunteered a lot of time to set up the networked video links and cameras that made Engelbart’s demonstration go off with such a bang. Today, you can watch the 100-minute demonstration online, on the Stanford University website.

Brand had a sense that profound things were going on, “and I’ve sort of been drumming my fingers ever since because so many of the things that were foreseen at that point took a long time to arrive. So when I did the piece for Rolling Stone (the magazine’s publisher) Jann Wenner said at the time, ‘Well, you’ve just set in motion a whole new body of journalism that’s going to track down all this stuff.’ And in fact, it was ten years later that Steven Levy did the book Hackers, which sort of told the rest of the story.” Spurred on by Levy’s Hackers, in 1984, the same year of the inaugural Chaos Communication Congress in Germany, Brand convened the US’s first Hacker Con, in Marin County, California. “Organising the Hackers Conference was like some of the early hacking at MIT, so collaborative and rapid you couldnt keep track of who did what…” he wrote at the time, “But once they were on the scene, they were the worlds easiest group to work with.


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The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z. Muller

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Chelsea Manning, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, deskilling, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, performance metric, price mechanism, RAND corporation, school choice, Second Machine Age, selection bias, Steven Levy, total factor productivity, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

Not only that, but with an eye on their eventual exit to some better job with another organization, mobile managers are on the lookout for metrics of performance that can be deployed when the headhunter calls. THE LURE OF IT Yet another factor is the spread of information technology (IT). In the early 1980s the invention and rapid adoption of the electronic spreadsheet and the resulting ease of tabulating and manipulating figures had wide-ranging effects. As a prescient analyst of the phenomenon, Steven Levy, wrote in 1984, The spreadsheet is a tool, but it is also a worldview—reality by the numbers…. Because spreadsheets can do so many important things, those who use them tend to lose sight of the crucial fact that the imaginary businesses that they can create on their computers are just that—imaginary. You can’t really duplicate a business inside a computer, just aspects of a business. And since numbers are the strength of spreadsheets, the aspects that get emphasized are the ones easily embodied in numbers.

.), Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education (Washington, D.C., 2012). 13. Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman, Six Simple Rules: How to Manage Complexity Without Getting Complicated (Boston, 2014), p. 6. 14. Rakesh Khurana, Searching for a Corporate Savior: The Irrational Quest for Charismatic CEOs (Princeton, 2002), esp. chap. 3. The phenomenon is by no means confined to the corporate sector. 15. Steven Levy, “A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge,” Harper’s, November 1984, now online at https://medium.com/backchannel/a-spreadsheet-way-of-knowledge-8de60af7146e. 16. Seth Klarman, A Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing for the Thoughtful Investor (New York, 1991). CHAPTER 5. PRINCIPALS, AGENTS, AND MOTIVATION 1. Michael Jensen and William H. Meckling, “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure,” Journal of Financial Economics 3, no. 4 (1976), pp. 305–60; Bengt Holmström and Paul Milgrom, “Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design,” Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization [Special Issue: Papers from the Conference on the New Science of Organization, January 1991] 7 (1991), pp. 24–52; Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics, rev. ed.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

That year, a handful of selfdescribed computer hackers had been working with Art Kleiner, Kevin Kelly, and others to help generate ideas for the Software Catalog. But hackers as a group came to Brand’s attention only when one of the Catalog’s reviewers, a Bay area freelancer named Steven Levy, finished his book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. In the book, Levy traced the origin of “hacking” back to the 1940s and the campus of MIT. There, at least a decade before the school began to teach computer programming to its undergraduates, the term referred to a particular style of work. According to Steven Levy, a Tak i n g t h e W h o l e E a r t h D i g i t a l [ 133 ] “hack” was “a project undertaken or a product built not solely to fulfill some constructive goal, but with some wild pleasure taken in mere involvement.”58 The first computer hackers emerged at MIT in 1959.

Having been alerted to the existence of a new and potentially influential community by a member of their own Whole Earth network (Levy), Brand and Kelly reached out to that community and entrepreneurially extended and diversified their own networks. In that sense, Brand and Kelly bridged what sociologist Ronald Burt would call a “structural hole” between their own, largely countercultural, network and the networks that governed production within key parts of the computer and software industries. Steven Levy, of course, had made the first connection, along with Whole Earth staffers such as Art Kleiner, who had been talking with hackers like Lee Felsenstein about directions for the Software Catalog. Now Brand, Kelly, and others were building on these connections and opening a much broader road between the two communities. This outreach turned out to be of more than a little [ 136 ] Chapter 4 short-term use as they worked to start up the Whole Earth Software Catalog and the Review.

These tactics enabled Kelly not only to link new forms of computing and commerce to the Whole Earth community’s long-standing synthesis of cybernetic theory and countercultural politics, but also to transform both digital technologies and the New Economy into Darwinian variations on a New Communalist ideal. When CoEvolution Quarterly became the Whole Earth Review in 1984, Kelly inherited a growing network of potential writers and sources, one that increasingly spanned countercultural and technical communities. Kelly soon began to publish writers who had first appeared on the WELL or in connection with either the Hackers’ Conference or the Software Catalog, such as Steven Levy and Howard Rheingold. As Kelly began to travel in the Bay area’s digital circles, and especially as he and other Whole Earth regulars became interested in the emerging technologies of virtual reality, he picked up new writers. In 1989, for instance, he published an interview with novelist William Gibson, as well as a “Cyberpunk 101” reading list. He also published a lengthy interview with virtual-reality entrepreneur Jaron Lanier, an article by computer maven Esther Dyson, and Stewart Brand’s own description of his first immersion in virtual reality, “Sticking Your Head in Cyberspace.”


pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K

ALSO BY STEVEN LEVY In the Plex Crypto The Perfect Thing Insanely Great Artificial Life The Unicorn’s Secret Hackers An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC penguinrandomhouse.com Copyright © 2020 by Steven Levy Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader. Blue Rider Press is a registered trademark and its colophon is a trademark of Penguin Random House LLC. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Names: Levy, Steven, author.

Blue Rider Press is a registered trademark and its colophon is a trademark of Penguin Random House LLC. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Names: Levy, Steven, author. Title: Facebook: the inside story / Steven Levy. Description: [New York] : Blue Rider Press, [2020] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019047909 (print) | LCCN 2019047910 (ebook) | ISBN 9780735213159 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780735213166 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Facebook (Firm)—History. | Facebook (Electronic resource)—Social aspects. Classification: LCC HM743.F33 L48 2020 (print) | LCC HM743.F33 (ebook) | DDC 302.30285—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019047909 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019047910 International Edition ISBN: 9781524746834 While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers, Internet addresses, and other contact information at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors or for changes that occur after publication.

Classification: LCC HM743.F33 L48 2020 (print) | LCC HM743.F33 (ebook) | DDC 302.30285—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019047909 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019047910 International Edition ISBN: 9781524746834 While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers, Internet addresses, and other contact information at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content. pid_prh_5.5.0_c0_r1 In memory of Lester Levy, 1920–2017. Sorry you didn’t see that Super Bowl, Dad. Contents Also by Steven Levy Title Page Copyright Dedication Introduction PART ONE 1. ZuckNet 2. Ad-Boarded 3. Thefacebook 4. Casa Facebook 5. Moral Dilemma 6. The Book of Change PART TWO 7. Platform 8. Pandemic 9. Sheryl World 10. Growth! 11. Move Fast and Break Things 12. Paradigm Shift 13. Buying the Future PART THREE 14. Election 15. P for Propaganda 16.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Narrative Science’s technology is used by top media outlets, including Forbes, to produce automated articles in a variety of areas, including sports, business, and politics. The company’s software generates a news story approximately every thirty seconds, and many of these are published on widely known websites that prefer not to acknowledge their use of the service. At a 2011 industry conference, Wired writer Steven Levy prodded Narrative Science co-founder Kristian Hammond into predicting the percentage of news articles that would be written algorithmically within fifteen years. His answer: over 90 percent.2 Narrative Science has its sights set on far more than just the news industry. Quill is designed to be a general-purpose analytical and narrative-writing engine, capable of producing high-quality reports for both internal and external consumption across a range of industries.

A few places in which the story of the sardine fishermen of Kerala has been told are The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley, A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor, The Mobile Wave by Michael Saylor, Race Against the Machine by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Content Nation by John Blossom, Planet India by Mira Kamdar, and “To Do with the Price of Fish,” The Economist, May 10, 2007. And now this book joins the list. CHAPTER 4 1. David Carr, “The Robots Are Coming! Oh, They’re Here,” New York Times (Media Decoder blog), October 19, 2009, http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/19/the-robots-are-coming-oh-theyre-here. 2. Steven Levy, “Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?,” Wired, April 24, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/04/can-an-algorithm-write-a-better-news-story-than-a-human-reporter. 3. Narrative Science corporate website, http://narrativescience.com. 4. George Leef, “The Skills College Graduates Need,” Pope Center for Education Policy, December 14, 2006, http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?

Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, “The Rise of Big Data,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2013, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139104/kenneth-neil-cukier-and-viktor-mayer-schoenberger/the-rise-of-big-data. 6. Thomas H. Davenport, Paul Barth, and Randy Bean, “How ‘Big Data’ Is Different,” MIT Sloan Management Review, July 20, 2012, http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/how-big-data-is-different. 7. Charles Duhigg, “How Companies Learn Your Secrets,” New York Times, February 16, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html. 8. As quoted in Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011), p. 64. 9. Tom Simonite, “Facebook Creates Software That Matches Faces Almost as Well as You Do,” MIT Technology Review, March 17, 2014, http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525586/facebook-creates-software-that-matches-faces-almost-as-well-as-you-do/. 10. As quoted in John Markoff, “Scientists See Promise in Deep-Learning Programs,” New York Times, November 23, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/24/science/scientists-see-advances-in-deep-learning-a-part-of-artificial-intelligence.html. 11.


pages: 334 words: 104,382

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

23andMe, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, Airbnb, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, California gold rush, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, gender pay gap, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, high net worth, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, post-work, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, women in the workforce

AdWords allowed advertisers to place ads directly on the search results page, and AdSense enabled website owners to display Google ads that matched their content. Through AdSense, Wojcicki and the team at Google saw the chance to make all content on the web a potential advertising platform for the company. The potential was earth-shattering. “You do the content and leave the selling of the ads to Google,” she told Steven Levy in 2003, when he was a reporter at Newsweek. She predicted that the new technology would “change the economics of the web.” That proved to be an enormous understatement. Google’s new advertising platforms not only changed the economics of the web but also disrupted the economics of the magazine, newspaper, and television industries, and advertising itself. • • • ABOUT THE SAME TIME that Wojcicki rented her garage to Page and Brin, Marissa Mayer was graduating from Stanford.

And it’s worth examining: Erik Larson, “Google Sued for Allegedly Paying Women Less Than Male Peers,” Bloomberg, Sept. 14, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-14/google-sued-by-women-workers-claiming-gender-discrimination. Google had no marketing budget: Adam Levy, “Susan Wojcicki: From Google Doodles to YouTube CEO,” Motley Fool, July 5, 2015, https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/07/05/susan-wojcicki-from-google-doodles-to-youtube-ceo.aspx. “You do the content”: Steven Levy, In the Plex (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 84. In this particular column: Rachel Hutton, “Meeting Our Campus Celebrities,” Stanford Daily, Nov. 9, 1998, https://stanforddailyarchive.com/cgi-bin/stanford?a=d&d=stanford19981109-01.1.4&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-------. “outstandingly attractive woman”: Hutton, “Meeting Our Campus Celebrities.” Research backs this up: “Stereotype Threat Widens Achievement Gap,” American Psychological Association, July 15, 2006, http://www.apa.org/research/action/stereotype.aspx.

“Thank you, we’re all leaving”: Ibid. hide her exit time: Ibid. “Of course I do”: Sheryl Sandberg, “Sheryl Sandberg: Bloomberg Studio 1.0 (Full Show),” interview by author, Bloomberg, Aug. 9, 2017, video, 24:16, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-08-10/sheryl-sandberg-bloomberg-studio-1-0-full-show-video. “broader group of employees”: “Uber Report: Eric Holder’s Recommendations for Change.” A true marvel: Steven Levy, “One More Thing: Inside Apple’s Insanely Great (or Just Insane) New Mothership,” Wired, May 16, 2017, https://www.wired.com/2017/05/apple-park-new-silicon-valley-campus. “everything an Apple employee”: Beth Spotswood, “Apple’s Campus Has Everything—Oh, Except Daycare,” SFist, May 19, 2017, http://sfist.com/2017/05/19/apples_campus_has_everything_-_oh_e.php. Because child care has proven: Rose Marcario, “Patagonia’s CEO Explains How to Make On-Site Child Care Pay for Itself,” Fast Company, Aug. 15, 2016, https://www.fastcompany.com/3062792/patagonias-ceo-explains-how-to-make-onsite-child-care-pay-for-itself.


pages: 397 words: 102,910

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

4chan, activist lawyer, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bayesian statistics, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Lean Startup, moral panic, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The early ARPANET consisted almost entirely of academic affiliates using institutional computers. The US government provided the network infrastructure and initially decided to restrict commercial use of the service. (The last of these restrictions wasn’t lifted until 1995.) Thus these early users, prohibited from exploiting the network for profit, used it instead to foster the free exchange of information. This munificent ideology was encoded into what the author Steven Levy described in his insightful book Hackers as the “hacker ethic.” Hackers—a term for early computer programmers—wrote computer code and believed that other hackers should share their code and computing resources with their peers. This policy was, in part, a pragmatic one: at the time, computing resources were scarce, and possessiveness impeded productivity. But the attitude was also a conscious philosophical choice, a statement that the world ought to be open, efficient, and collaborative.

There are many battles to fight, and we need to keep going.70 Later that night, Swartz returned to the Supreme Court steps, where he talked and laughed and played the board game SET with the other members of his tribe, waiting for morning to come and the world to set itself right. The next morning, the courtroom was completely full. The Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan was there; so was Hackers author Steven Levy. Jack Valenti was there, as was Sonny Bono’s widow, Representative Mary Bono. “The courtroom itself was an impressive structure,” Swartz noted on his blog. “Everything was very, very tall.”71 The court seemed skeptical of Lessig’s argument. “Many Justices repeatedly said that they felt [the CTEA] was a dumb law, that it took things out of the public domain without justification,” Swartz reported later on his blog.

., September 11, 1997. 15 Eldred, “Battle of the Books.” 16 Michael Hart to Book People mailing list, October 19, 1998, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/bparchive?year=1998&post=1998-10-22$5. 17 Michael Hart to Book People mailing list, October 19, 1998, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/bparchive?year=1998&post=1998-10-19$5. 18 Eric Eldred to Book People mailing list, October 19, 1998, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/bparchive?year=1998&post=1998-10-19$4. 19 Kaplan, “Online Publisher Challenges.” 20 Steven Levy, “Lawrence Lessig’s Supreme Showdown,” Wired, October 2002, http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/10.10/lessig.html. 21 David Streitfeld, “The Cultural Anarchist vs. the Hollywood Police State,” Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2002, http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/22/magazine/tm-copyright38. 22 Naftali Bendavid, “Lawyer in Microsoft Case Cut Teeth at U. of C.” Chicago Tribune, January 26, 1998, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-01-26/news/9801260179_1_lawrence-lessig-judge-richard-posner-judge-thomas-penfield-jackson. 23 Lawrence Lessig, “How I Lost the Big One,” Legal Affairs, March/April 2004, http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/March-April-2004/story_lessig_marapr04.msp. 24 Richard Poynder, “The Basement Interviews: Free Culture,” The Basement Interviews, April 7, 2006, http://ia802307.us.archive.org/23/items/The_Basement_Interviews/Lawrence_Lessig_Interview.pdf. 25 Foster, “Bookworm’s Battle.” 26 Eldred, “Battle of the Books.” 27 Lisa Rein, “Seth’s Eldred Experience,” On Lisa Rein’s Radar, November 15, 2002, http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/wp/seths-eldred-experience/. 28 Lisa Rein, “Aaron Swartz Camping Out at Eldred Oct 2002,” Archive.org, https://archive.org/details/AaronSwartzEldredOct2002. 29 Aaron Swartz, “to the courthouse,” Aaron Swartz: The Weblog, October 5, 2002, http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/000637. 30 Aaron Swartz, “Ahh, the first day of school,” Schoolyard Subversion, August 29, 2000, http://web.archive.org/web/20010516224049/http://swartzfam.com/aaron/school/2000/08/29/. 31 Aaron Swartz, “Assorted Documents,” 2002, http://www.aaronsw.com/2002/bizcard; and Swartz, “everyone looks like me,” Aaron Swartz: The Weblog, July 22, 2002, http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/000435. 32 Interview with Robert Swartz, January 2013. 33 Philipp Lenssen, “A Chat with Aaron Swartz,” Google Blogoscoped, May 7, 2007, http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-05-07-n78.html. 34 To be clear, The Info Network was never nearly as popular as Wikipedia. 35 Lisa B.


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Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, always be closing, augmented reality, Clayton Christensen, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, game design, Gordon Gekko, hindsight bias, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, information trail, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kodak vs Instagram, linear programming, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, subscription business, telemarketer, the medium is the message, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, women in the workforce

It Wants More,” New York Times, May 5, 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/05/06/business/facebook-bends-the-rules-of-audience-engagement-to-its-advantage.html?_r=0. Talking was social; radio was broadcast: Derek Thompson, “Facebook and Fear,” The Atlantic, May 10, 2016, www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/05/the-facebook-future/482145/. “the perfect personalized newspaper”: Steven Levy, “Inside the Science That Delivers Your Scary-Smart Facebook and Twitter Feeds,” Wired, April 22, 2014, www.wired.com/2014/04/perfect-facebook-feed/. the “dozen doughnuts” problem: Steven Levy, “How 30 Random People in Knoxville May Change Your Facebook News Feed,” Backchannel, January 30, 2015, https://backchannel.com/revealed-facebooks-project-to-find-out-what-people-really-want-in-their-news-feed-799dbfb2e8b1#.srntqeuy7. “vicarious goal fulfillment”: Keith Wilcox, Beth Vallen, Lauren G.

Facebook’s ability to watch its readers as they read is the dream of any publisher, going back to George Gallup.59 But it turns out that when a personalized newspaper holds up a perfect mirror before its audience, the reflection can be kind of gross. When the News Feed relies exclusively on user behavior, it can become pure sludge, an endless stream of nutrition-free diversions. The journalist Steven Levy has called this the “dozen doughnuts” problem. People know they shouldn’t eat doughnuts all day, but if a coworker puts a dozen doughnuts by your desk each afternoon, you might eat until your mouth is caked in sugar. The News Feed, too, can be a daily tabloid—a hyperminiaturized serving of celebrities, quizzes, and other forms of empty calories that people click on, telling Facebook’s algorithms to serve more doughnuts.


pages: 173 words: 14,313

Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-To-Peer Debates by John Logie

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, publication bias, Richard Stallman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, search inside the book, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog

While it is already difficult to recall in full the culture and language of the first wave of hackers, there are a number of texts that function effectively as “time capsules,” offering snapshots of early hackers and their activities. Among the most important of these is a 1984 book by Steven Levy with the telling title, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Levy’s choice of “heroes” is underscored by the paperback edition’s front cover blurb, which reads, “What Tom Wolfe did for the original astronauts, Steven Levy has done for hackers.” Implicit in this comparison is the suggestion that hackers, like astronauts, are explor- Pa r l orPr e s s wwwww. p a r l or p r e s s . c om Hackers, Crackers, and the Criminalization of Peer-to-Peer Technologies 25 ers. Levy himself makes this connection in his preface, referring to hackers as “digital explorers” and writing: Though some in the field used the term “hacker” as a form of derision, implying that hackers were either nerdy social outcasts or “unprofessional” programmers who wrote dirty, “nonstandard” computer code, I found them quite different.


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To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Our new algorithmic overlords should not aspire to act like ethical automatons; only by being self-reflexive and morally imaginative can they live up to the heavy burden of their civic responsibilities. Alas, their current attitude is nowhere near that ideal. Wired ’s Steven Levy, in his hagiographic biography of Google, observes that “Brin and Page both believed that if Google’s algorithms determined what results were best—and long clicks indicated that the algorithms were satisfying the people who did the searching—who were they to mess with it.” Believe this they did—but why didn’t Steven Levy bother to inquire why? It’s time our technology reporters learn to control their hagiographic impulses and start challenging the just-so narratives spouted by Silicon Valley. We need to explain, not take for granted, why Brin and Page believed this or that and how they got almost everyone else to believe it.

pagewanted=all. 133 “if the geeks take over”: Jeff Jarvis, What Would Google Do?, 1st ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 48. 133 “to the extent that . . . new media”: Anthony Ha, “Sean Parker: Defeating SOPA was the ‘Nerd Spring,’” TechCrunch, March 12, 2012, http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/12/sean-parker-defeating-sopa-was-the-nerd-spring. 133 “a vegetarian trapped inside the sausage factory”: quoted in Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 327. 133 “an incumbent protection machine”: Derek Thompson, “Google’s CEO: ‘The Laws Are Written by Lobbyists,’” The Atlantic, October 1, 2010, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/10/googles-ceo-the-laws-are-written-by-lobbyists/63908. 133 “it is overdue to rethink”: Noveck, Wiki Government, 16. 133 “the digital environment offers”: ibid., 40. 133 “most of the work”: ibid., 40. 134 “a generative governance system can”: Parag Khanna and Ayesha Khanna, Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization, Kindle ed.

Siegler, “Marissa Mayer’s Next Big Thing: ‘Contextual Discovery’—Google Results without Search,” TechCrunch, December 8, 2010, http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/08/googles-next-big-thing. 144 “It is a mistake to look into the mirror”: James Robinson, “Twitter and Facebook Riot Restrictions Would Be a Mistake, Says Google Chief,” The Guardian, August 27, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/27/twitter-facebook-riot-restrictions-eric-schmidt. 145 “our role in the system”: Ian Paul, “Facebook CEO Challenges the Social Norm of Privacy,” PCWorld, January 11, 2010, http://www.pcworld.com/article/186584/facebook_ceo_challenges_the_social_norm_of_privacy.html. 145 What sociologist Donald MacKenzie wrote: Donald MacKenzie, An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008). 146 “Brin and Page both believed”: Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 174. 147 “democracy on the Web works”: “Ten Things We Know to Be True,” Google, http://www.google.com/about/company/philosophy. 147 “We’re scientists”: quoted in Shawn Donnan, “Think Again,” Financial Times, July 8, 2011, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/b8e8b560-a84a-11e0–9f50–00144feabdc0.html. 148 “It never occurred to me”: quoted in Levy, In the Plex, 171. 148 “criticize the consumer for doing things”: Julie Moos, “Transcript of Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Q&A at NAA,” Poynter.org, April 7, 2009, http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/95079/transcript-of-google-ceo-eric-schmidts-qa-at-naa. 149 “filters no longer filter out”: David Weinberger, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now that the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room (New York: Basic Books, 2012), 11. 149 “instead of reducing information and hiding”: ibid., 13. 149 Weinberger identifies five “most basic properties”: ibid., 50. 150 This was the case with the Occupy Wall Street discussion: Tarleton Gillespie, “Can an Algorithm Be Wrong?


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Electronic and Algorithmic Trading Technology: The Complete Guide by Kendall Kim

algorithmic trading, automated trading system, backtesting, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, family office, financial innovation, fixed income, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, linked data, market fragmentation, money market fund, natural language processing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, short selling, statistical arbitrage, Steven Levy, transaction costs, yield curve

Macgregor’s software is a central hub for trading used by 100 blue-chip 146 Electronic and Algorithmic Trading Technology institutional clients including Babson Capital, Delaware Investments, and T. Rowe Price with about $5.5 trillion in assets. Rumors circulated that Reuters, SunGard, and Thomson Financial were among the bidders for Macgregor, according to industry sources.6 Broker neutrality will remain an important element in acquiring other order management systems. Steven Levy, president and CEO of Macgregor, says, ‘‘It is important to note that your broker neutrality and anonymity requirements will continue to be held paramount. You will continue to be able to trade with any broker and liquidity venue you chose.’’ This may possibly be the beginning trend of broker-dealers acquiring order management systems. The purchase of an order management system involves several departments.

Herring, 44 Risk Effect, 11 Rule 390, 39, 43, 44, 45, 46, 49 P S Paper Portfolio, 54 Pegging, 101 Peter Bergan, 63 Piper Jaffray, 61, 62 Plexus Group, 36, 63, 94, 106, 143 Portfolio Insurance, 8, 11 Portware, 3, 35, 108, 165, 169 Post-trade, 21, 24, 53, 54, 68, 86, 103, 105, 134 Pre-trade, 21, 24, 53, 54, 63, 64, 67, 86, 91, 103, 107, 108, 109, 134 Prime Broker, 34, 153, 154, 155, 156, 158, 159, 160, 162 Program Trading, 8, 10, 12, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 80, 81, 100 Proprietary trading, 62 Putnam Investments, 92 Sales trader, 26 Salomon Brothers, 3 S&P 500, 10, 11, 12 Sarbanes-Oxley, 44 Security Exchange Act of 1934, 43 Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), 2, 6, 7, 10, 47, 75, 125, 126, 128, 130, 134, 135, 136, 137 Securities Industry Automation Corp (SIAC), 83, 87, 89 Self Regulatory Organizations (SRO), 126, 131, 133, 135 Sell-side, 4, 20, 77 Settlements, 15, 17, 18, 27, 43, 89, 153, 154 Slippage, 65 Smart order routing, 22, 101 Soft dollars, 21, 51 Sonic Financial Technologies, 36, 80, 143 Specialist, 43 Speer Leads & Kellog (SLK), 143 Straight Through Processing (STP), 19, 27, 116, 162 Strategy enabler, 19, 85 STN, 36 Sungard, 75, 89, 172, 173, 175 SunGard Transaction Network (STN), 145 Sub-penny Rule, 125, 128, 132, 140 Steven Levy, 146 Q Quant House, 170 Quantitative Services Group (QSG), 36, 106, 170 R Rabbit Portfolio, 54 Radianz, 173 Ray Killian, 143 Real Time (TCA), 65 Real-time data, 19 Reconciliation, 18 REDIPlus, 72, 74, 143 T T. Rowe Price, 146 TABB Group, 21, 72, 75, 81, 84, 87, 103, 104, 131, 144, 153, 155, 158, 160, 163 Index 203 Telekurs Financial, 121 Thomas Loeb, 94 Thomson, 89, 116, 117, 118, 119 Time slicing, 101 Time Weighted Average Price (TWAP), 10, 60, 62, 101, 150 TowerGroup, 161 Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) Reporting, 70, 120, 121 Trade Through Rule, 39, 125, 131, 132 TradeWeb, 69, 116, 117, 118, 119, 121 Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA), 22, 63, 147 Transaction Cost Research (TCR), 103 Transaction Network Services, Inc.


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The Wide Lens: What Successful Innovators See That Others Miss by Ron Adner

barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, minimum viable product, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, RFID, smart grid, smart meter, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

The value blueprint builds on these perspectives, with a focus on designing the most effective configuration to deliver the value proposition. 88 $550 device: “Sony Shows Data Discman,” New York Times, September 13, 1991. 88 The Rocket, developed by NuvoMedia: Martin Arnold, “From Gutenberg to Cyberstories,” New York Times, January 7, 1999. 88 That same year the SoftBook: Peter Lewis, “Taking on New Forms, Electronic Books Turn a Page,” New York Times, July 2, 1998. 88 Gemstar released two models: Ken Feinstein, “RCA REB1100 eBook Review,” CNET.com, February 21, 2001, http://reviews.cnet.com/e-book-readers/rca-reb1100-ebook/4505-3508_7-4744438.xhtml. 89 proof that the electronic book was ready for the mainstream: Doreen Carvajal, “Long Line Online for Stephen King E-Novella,” New York Times, March 16, 2000. 90 Random House’s e-book revenues doubled: Nicholas Bogaty, “eBooks by the Numbers: Open eBook Forum Compiles Industry Growth Stats,” International Digital Publishing Forum, press release, July 22, 2002, http://old.idpf.org/pressroom/pressreleases/ebookstats.htm. 90 “difficult to find, buy and read e-books”: Steven Levy, “The Future of Reading,” Newsweek, November 26, 2007. 90 Paltry content and intense digital rights management: Ginny Parker Woods, “Sony Cracks Open New Book with Reader,” Toronto Star, February 20, 2006. 90 “We’ve been very cautious in launching [the Reader]”: Michael Kanellos, “Sony’s Brave Sir Howard,” CNET.com, January 17, 2007, http://news.cnet.com/Sonys-brave-Sir-Howard/2008-1041_3-6150661.xhtml. 90 almost 20 percent cheaper than the Librié: Sony Librié ebook Review, eReaderGuide.Info, www.ereaderguide.info/sony_librie_ebook_reader_review.htm. 90 10,000 titles available at Connect.com: Edward Baig, “Sony Device Gets E-Book Smart,” USA Today, October 5, 2006. 91 the iPod of the book industry: David Derbyshire, “Electronic BookOpens New Chapter for Readers,” Daily Telegraph, September 28, 2006. 91 much fanfare from the press: Amanda Andrews, “Sony’s Hitting the Books,” Australian, February 28, 2006. 92 lowering publisher confidence: George Cole, “Will the eBook Finally Replace Paper?

Accessed July 15, 2011. 201 “no Kenyan is locked out of accessing basic banking services”: “M-Kesho: ‘Super Bank Account’ from Safaricom and Equity Bank,” Techmtaa.com, May 18, 2010, http://www.techmtaa.com/2010/05/18/m-kesho-super-bank-account-from-safaricom-and-equity-bank/. 207 “Creative Zen Vision:M certainly has the goods”: “CNET Editors Cover the Best of CES 2006,” CNET.com, http://www.cnet.com/4520-11405_1-6398234-1.xhtml. 207 “hand-held computer that’s fully in the iPhone’s class”: Walt Mossberg, “Palm’s New Pre Takes On iPhone,” Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2009. 207 “the Android tablet concept”: David Pogue, “It’s a Tablet. It’s Gorgeous. It’s Costly,” New York Times, November 10, 2010. 209 90 percent of the world that used Windows: Ian Fried, “Are Mac Users Smarter?” CNET.com, July 12, 2002, http://news.cnet.com/2100-1040-943519.xhtml. 210 iPod, boasting 100 million customers: Steven Levy, “Why We Went Nuts About the iPhone,” Newsweek, July 16, 2007. 210 Apple’s stock shot up 44 percent: Matt Krantz, “iPhone Powers up Apple’s Shares,” USA Today, June 28, 2007. 211 “four times the number of PCs that ship every year”: Morris, “Steve Jobs Speaks Out.” 211 Ericsson released the R380: Dave Conabree, “Ericsson Introduces the New R380e,” Mobile Magazine, September 25, 2001. 211 Palm followed up with its version: Sascha Segan, “Kyocera Launches First Smartphone in Years,” PC Magazine, March 23, 2010, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2361664,00.asp#fbid=C81SVwKJIvh. 211 “one more entrant into an already very busy space”: “RIM Co-CEO Doesn’t See Threat from Apple’s iPhone,” InformationWeek, February 12, 2007. 212 the phone was exclusively available from only one carrier: In a handful of markets regulators ruled the exclusivity arrangement illegal. 212 “The bigger problem is the AT&T network”: David Pogue, “The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype,” New York Times, June 27, 2007. 212 priced at a mere $99 in 2007: Kim Hart, “Rivals Ready for iPhone’s Entrance; Pricey Gadget May Alter Wireless Field,” Washington Post, June 24, 2007. 212 “cause irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software”: Apple, press release, September 24, 2007. 213 “I say I like our strategy”: Steve Ballmer interviewed on CNBC, January 17, 2007. 213 They ran out of the older model six weeks before the July 2008 launch: Tom Krazit, “The iPhone, One Year Later,” CNET.com, June 26, 2008, http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-9977572-37.xhtml. 213 60 percent went to buyers who already owned at least one iPod: Apple COO Tim Cook’s comments at Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, cited in JPMorgan analyst report, “Strolling Through the Apple Orchard: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Scenarios,” March 4, 2008. 215 the average iPhone user paid AT&T $2,000: Jenna Wortham, “Customers Angered as iPhones Overload AT&T,” New York Times, September 2, 2009. 215 as high as $18 per user per month: Tom Krazit, “Piper Jaffray: AT&T Paying Apple $18 per iPhone, Per Month,” CNET.com, October 24, 2007, http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-9803657-37.xhtml. 216 Apple announced its 10 billionth app download: Apple.com, “iTunes Store Tops 10 Billion Songs Sold,” February 25, 2010, http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/02/25iTunes-Store-Tops-10-Billion-Songs-Sold.xhtml.


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This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers by Andy Greenberg

Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, computerized markets, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, domain-specific language, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, hive mind, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, Mahatma Gandhi, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Mohammed Bouazizi, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, X Prize, Zimmermann PGP

Then the band of twentysomethings, split between one room for software hacking and the other for hardware, would systematically and gleefully defeat their own systems’ security. That strategy meant that the members of the L0pht, hackers with names like Kingpin, Weld Pond, Count Zero, Space Rogue, Brian Oblivion, Silicosis, and Dildog, could refine their skills and break ground in digital penetration without ever stepping across the law. The L0pht’s misfits adhered instead to a sort of modernized version of the hacker code laid out ten years before by Steven Levy in the book Hackers: Don’t hack anyone else’s machines. Don’t break the law. Share everything, both physical materials and information. Ethics aside, the L0pht was a wellspring of epic mischief. Kingpin, a brilliant baby-faced hacker in his early twenties, had developed a hardware kit to eavesdrop on the unencrypted signals from pagers, a protocol known as POCSAG. Space Rogue, a former army soldier with close cropped hair, hosted the Mac Whack Archive, an FTP download site with the world’s largest collection of Apple hacking tools.

With the exception of any stray facts that may have been missed in my efforts to note all sources, everything I’ve written that’s not cited below can be attributed to my own reporting. Primary sources and interviews aside, I’m particularly indebted to a few prior books and articles as instructive signposts for my reporting and primary sources in their own right. They include Daniel Ellsberg’s memoir Secrets, Suelette Dreyfus and Julian Assange’s Underground, Steven Levy’s Crypto, Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s memoir Inside WikiLeaks, Robert Manne’s “The Cypherpunk Revolutionary: Julian Assange” in Australia’s The Monthly, Nathaniel Rich’s “The Most Dangerous Man In Cyberspace” in Rolling Stone, and Raffi Khatchadourian’s spectacular New Yorker article “No Secrets.” PROLOGUE: THE MEGALEAK trick companies’ employees into revealing their passwords over the phone Suelette Dreyfus and Julian Assange.

The Shockwave Rider (Ballantine Books, 1976). a history of the National Security Agency and its shadowy work James Bamford. The Puzzle Palace (New York: Penguin Books, 1983). only weakness is the identity that ties them to their frail bodies Vernor Vinge. “True Names.” In True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier (New York: Tor, 2001), first published in Dell Binary Star #5, 1981. M. T. Graves and the Dungeon Steven Levy. Crypto (New York: Penguin Books, 2001), p. 187. Herbert Zim’s Codes & Secret Writing Ibid. produce a solution in minutes Levy, p. 188. remove the pad’s random noise, breaking the ciphers “The Vernon Story,” published by the Center for Cryptologic History, NSA.gov, available at http://www.nsa.gov/about/_files/cryptologic_heritage/publications/coldwar/venona_story.pdf “Poe’s dictum will be hard to defend in any form” Martin Gardner.


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Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, data acquisition, data is the new oil, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Google Glasses, high net worth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, information retrieval, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, performance metric, profit maximization, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Scott Forstall, quoted in “How the iPhone Was Born,” Wall Street Journal video, June 25, 2017, http://www.wsj.com/video/how-the-iphone-was-born-inside-stories-of-missteps-and-triumphs/302CFE23-392D-4020-B1BD-B4B9CEF7D9A8.html. Chapter 13 1. Steve Jobs in Memory and Imagination: New Pathways to the Library of Congress, Michael Lawrence Films, 2006, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob_GX50Za6c. Chapter 14 1. Steven Levy, “A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge,” Wired, October 24, 2014, https://backchannel.com/a-spreadsheet-way-of-knowledge-8de60af7146e. 2. Nick Statt, “The Next Big Leap in AI Could Come from Warehouse Robots,” The Verge, June 1, 2017, https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/1/15703146/kindred-orb-robot-ai-startup-warehouse-automation. 3. L. B. Lusted, “Logical Analysis in Roentgen Diagnosis,” Radiology 74 (1960): 178–193. 4.

This discussion is based on Dirk Bergemann and Alessandro Bonatti, “Selling Cookies,” American Economic Journal: Microeconomics 7, no. 2 (2015): 259–294. 7. One example is Mastercard Advisors consulting services, which use Mastercard’s vast quantity of data to provide a variety of predictions, ranging from consumer fraud to retention rates. See http://www.mastercardadvisors.com/consulting.html. Chapter 17 1. As told to Steven Levy. See Will Smith, “Stop Calling Google Cardboard’s 360-Degree Videos ‘VR,’” Wired, November 16, 2015, https://www.wired.com/2015/11/360-video-isnt-virtual-reality/. 2. Jessir Hempel, “Inside Microsoft’s AI Comeback,” Wired, June 21, 2017, https://www.wired.com/story/inside-microsofts-ai-comeback/. 3. “What Does It Mean for Google to Become an ‘AI-First’ (Quoting Sundar) Company?” Quora, April 2016, https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-mean-for-Google-to-become-an-AI-first-company. 4.


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Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe

3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks

Hip-Hop Dancer,” TechRepublic, July 27, 2015, http://www.techrepublic.com/article/julia-hu-lark-founder-digital-health-maven-hip-hop-dancer/. 4 And expected to increase in value to $3 trillion by 2020. Michael De Waal-Montgomery, “China and India Driving $3T Consumer Electronics Boom, Smart Home Devices Growing Fastest,” VentureBeat, n.d., http://venturebeat.com/2015/11/05/china-and-india-driving-3t-consumer-electronics-boom-smart-home-devices-growing-fastest/. 5 Steven Levy, “Google’s Larry Page on Why Moon Shots Matter,” WIRED, January 17, 2013, http://www.wired.com/2013/01/ff-qa-larry-page/. 6 David Rowan, “Chinese Pirates Are Tech’s New Innovators,” Wired UK, June 1, 2010. 7 David Barboza, “In China, Knockoff Cellphones Are a Hit,” New York Times, April 27, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/technology/28cell.html. 8 Robert Neuwirth, “The Shadow Superpower,” Foreign Policy, accessed May 29, 2016, https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/10/28/the-shadow-superpower/. 9 Douglas S.

., A Century of Excellence in Measurements, Standards, and Technology: A Chronicle of Selected NIST Publications 1901–2000, NIST Special Publication 958 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2001). 38 W. Diffie and M. Hellman, “New Directions in Cryptography,” IEEE Transactions in Information Theory 22, no. 6 (November 1976): 644–54, doi:10.1109/TIT.1976.1055638. 39 Steven Levy, “Battle of the Clipper Chip,” New York Times Magazine, June 12, 1994, http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/12/magazine/battle-of-the-clipper-chip.html. 40 R. L. Rivest, A. Shamir, and L. Adleman, “A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystems,” Communications of the ACM 21, no. 2 (February 1978): 120–26, doi:10.1145/359340.359342. 41 AP, “Firm Shuts Down Privacy Feature,” Calgary Herald, October 9, 2001. 42 CCNMatthews (Canada), “Radialpoint CEO a Finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards,” MarketWired, July 29, 2005. 43 Roberto Rocha, “What Goes Around Comes Around; Montreal-Based Akoha.com Encourages Acts of Kindness by Turning Altruism into a Game,” Gazette, July 14, 2009. 44 The Akoha Team, “Akoha Shutting Down August 15 2011,” Akoha Blog, August 2, 2011, https://blog.akoha.com/2011/08/02/akoha-shutting-down-august-15-2011/. 45 Michael J.


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Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, death of newspapers, Debian, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, Firefox, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, Induced demand, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, node package manager, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, pull request, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, urban planning, web application, wikimedia commons, Zimmermann PGP

Just as a vegetarian doesn’t eat meat, to the extent that he’s able Bradley doesn’t use proprietary software.16 This means not using websites like Twitter, Medium, YouTube, or GitHub. Code, like livestock, needs liberation from humanity, even at the expense of personal convenience. To write free software, then, was to be free of the constraints that normally plagued commercial software environments. Free software was counterculture, and it fell right in line with the burgeoning hacker culture of the times. The term “hacker” was popularized by author Steven Levy, who memorably captured a portrait of the 1980s hacker generation in the book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. In Hackers, Levy profiles a number of well-known programmers of the time, including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Richard Stallman. He suggests that hackers believe in sharing, openness, and decentralization, which he calls the “hacker ethic.”17 According to Levy’s portrait, hackers care about improving the world, but don’t believe in following the rules to get there.

., “This Year in JavaScript: 2018 in Review and Npm’s Predictions for 2019,” Npm (blog), Medium, December 6, 2018, https://medium.com/npm-inc/this-year-in-javascript-2018-in-review-and-npms-predictions-for-2019-3a3d7e5298ef. 9 Steve Weber, The Success of Open Source (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), Loc 867. 10 “The State of the Octoverse,” GitHub, 2019, https://octoverse.github.com/. 11 DinoInNameOnly, “Most of What You Read on the Internet Is Written by Insane People,” R/slatestarcodex, Reddit, October 27, 2018, https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/9rvroo/most_of_what_you_read_on_the_internet_is_written/. 12 CBS News, “Meet the Man behind a Third of What’s on Wikipedia,” CBS News, CBS Interactive, January 26, 2019, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/meet-the-man-behind-a-third-of-whats-on-wikipedia/. 13 Kristen Roupenian, “What It Felt Like When ‘Cat Person’ Went Viral,” The New Yorker, January 9, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/what-it-felt-like-when-cat-person-went-viral. 01 14 “The State of the Octoverse,” GitHub, 2019, https://octoverse.github.com/. 15 Free Software Foundation, “What Is Free Software?,” GNU Operating System, July 30, 2019, https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html. 16 Nicole Martinelli, “Walking the Walk: Why It’s a Crooked Path for Free Software Activists,” Super User, February 8, 2019, https://superuser.openstack.org/articles/walking-the-walk-why-its-a-crooked-path-for-free-software-activists/. 17 Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 2010). 18 Linus Torvalds (torvalds), “Add Support for AR5BBU22 [0489:e03c],” Linux Pull Requests, GitHub, May 11, 2012, https://github.com/torvalds/linux/pull/17#issuecomment-5654674. 19 Eric S. Raymond, “Sex Tips for Geeks,” Catb, n.d., http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/sextips/. 20 Eric S.


pages: 474 words: 130,575

Surveillance Valley: The Rise of the Military-Digital Complex by Yasha Levine

23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bitcoin, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collaborative editing, colonial rule, computer age, computerized markets, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global village, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Howard Zinn, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Hackers Conference, uber lyft, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

It acted like a feedback loop that taught the search engine to be “smarter.” An auto-suggest spellchecker feature allowed Google to recognize minor but important quirks in the way people used language in order to guess the meaning of what people typed rather than just matching text to text. “Today, if you type ‘Gandhi bio,’ we know that ‘bio’ means ‘biography.’ And if you type ‘bio warfare,’ it means ‘biological,’” another Google engineer explained. Steven Levy, a veteran tech journalist whose early career included a stint at Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Software Catalog in the 1980s, gained unprecedented insider access to write the history of Google. The result was In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives, a hagiographic but highly informative story of Google’s rise to dominance. The book demonstrates that Page and Brin understood early on that Google’s success depended on grabbing and maintaining proprietary control over the behavioral data they captured through their services.

The story of Sergey Brin’s search for terrorists in Google’s logs comes from I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59, an amazing insider account by former Google employee Douglas Edwards. All direct quotes of Edwards in this chapter come from his book. 2. Vivian Marino, “Searching the Web, Searching the Mind,” New York Times, December 23, 2001. 3. Google engineer Amit Patel, quoted in Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), 46. 4. Douglas Edwards, I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), chap. 16. 5. President George W. Bush, “Remarks on Improving Counterterrorism Intelligence,” the American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa Barbara, February 14, 2003, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?

Sergey Brin’s Home Page, Stanford University, accessed June 11, 2004, http://www-db.stanford.edu:80/~sergey/. 30. Battelle, The Search, 73. 31. John Ince, “The Lost Google Tapes,” January 2000, quoted in Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators, chap. 11. 32. “It’s all recursive. It’s all a big circle,” Larry Page later explained at a computer forum a few years after launching Google. “Navigating Cyberspace,” PC forum held in Scottsdale, AZ, 2001, quoted in Steven Levy’s In the Plex, 21. 33. John Battelle, “The Birth of Google,” Wired, August 1, 2005. 34. Ince, “The Lost Google Tapes,” quoted in Isaacson, The Innovators, chap. 11. 35. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, “The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web,” Stanford University InfoLab, January 29, 1998, http://ilpubs.stanford.edu:8090/422/1/1999-66.pdf. 36. Steering Committee on the Changing Nature of Telecommunications/Information Infrastructure, National Research Council, The Changing Nature of Telecommunications/Information Infrastructure (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 1995). 37.


pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, Kickstarter, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

Details of his recruitment and his relationship with the agents come from interviews with Max and Max’s Internet writings immediately following his guilty plea. See http://www.securityfocus.com/comments/articles/203/5729/threaded (May 24, 2001). Max says he did not consider himself an informant and only provided technical information. Chapter 4: The White Hat 1 The first people to identify themselves as hackers: The seminal work on the early hackers is Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984). Also see Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2006). 2 Tim was at work one day: This anecdote was recalled by Tim Spencer. Max later recalled Spencer’s advice in a letter to his sentencing judge in Pittsburgh. 3 If there was one thing Max: Details of Max’s relationship with Kimi come primarily from interviews with Kimi. 4 Max went up to the city to visit Matt Harrigan: Harrigan’s business and his work with Max were described primarily by Harrigan, with some details confirmed by Max.

District Court for the Eastern District of New York. 4 “We were lucky in this case, because Salgado’s purchaser was cooperating with the FBI”: Written testimony of Robert S. Litt, deputy attorney general, before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection, House Commerce Committee, September 4, 1997 (http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/daag9_97.htm). 5 But the feds lost the crypto wars: For a detailed history, see Steven Levy, Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government—Saving Privacy in the Digital Age (New York: Penguin Books, 2002). Chapter 31: The Trial 1 “So, you take my girls out to party now?”: Interview with Giannone. 2 Once a jury is seated, a defendant’s chances for acquittal are about one in ten: Fiscal year 2006. Calculated from “Federal Justice Statistics, 2006—Statistical Tables,” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, May 1, 2009 (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?


pages: 239 words: 80,319

Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, Chris Wanstrath, citation needed, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, feminist movement, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, packet switching, PageRank, pre–internet, profit motive, QAnon, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

So what about those of us who can’t rally similar support? What if our memories and lifework disappear, too? We can back up our files, but this is a time-consuming task that isn’t exactly fail-proof. While backing up files is an individual solution, Google’s deletion of information is a break in shared knowledge: blog readers looking to reread an old post that has been lost are left with only their faulty memories of it. Steven Levy’s 2011 book In the Plex details a baffling exchange with Sergey Brin, who couldn’t understand why he was writing a book about the company in the first place. “Why don’t you just write some articles?” Brin asked Levy. “Or release this a chapter at a time?” (Mark Zuckerberg had similar antipathy. On his own social network, in its early years, he responded to the profile topic “Favorite Books” with “I don’t read.”)

Earlier she wrote about this experience for Medium (Jessamyn West, “Google’s Slow Fade with Librarians,” February 2, 2015). Information about the event I was part of at the Institute of Contemporary Arts is on its website (“The Influence of Technology,” February 25, 2014), along with the dead YouTube link. The transcript of my talk is available here: https://archive.fo/OcY4H. In addition to the quotes from Sergey Brin about books in “That horrid Google on the prowl!!!,” in Steven Levy’s In the Plex (Simon & Schuster, 2011), and Ken Auletta’s Googled: The End of the World as We Know It (Penguin Press, 2009, 124), I found Zuckerberg’s statement “I don’t read” in Katherine Losse’s memoir The Boy Kings (Free Press, 2012, 6). In addition to Auletta and Levy’s encounters with Brin, John Battelle says in the footnotes of his book The Search (Portfolio, 2005) that “in exchange for sitting down with me, Page wanted the right to review every mention of Google, Page, or Brin in my book, then respond in footnotes.


pages: 744 words: 142,748

Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley

air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, card file, cuban missile crisis, dumpster diving, Hush-A-Phone, index card, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the new new thing, the scientific method, undersea cable, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

Other companies formed to supply accessory circuit boards to these new computers, such as Cromemco, Morrow’s MicroStuff, Godbout Electronics, North Star Computers. Every one needed hardware and software hackers to help them. Riches, or promises of riches, or maybe just a fun job that might pay the bills beckoned. In 1976 former phone phreaks Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were selling Apple I computers to their fellow hobbyists. “Jobs placed ads in hobbyist publications and they began selling Apples for the price of $666.66,” journalist Steven Levy wrote. “Anyone in Homebrew could take a look at the schematics for the design, Woz’s BASIC was given away free with the purchase of a piece of equipment that connected the computer to a cassette recorder.” The fully assembled and tested Apple II followed later that year. By 1977 microcomputers had begun to enter the mainstream. You could stroll down to your local Radio Shack and buy a TRS-80 microcomputer off the shelf, something absolutely unheard of just a year earlier.

An Apple II with a Charley Board, in fact, became the ultimate phone phreaking tool. Just as the phone company thought it was natural to mix computers and phone switches, John Draper thought it was natural to mix computers and phone phreaking. Draper was not the first to have this insight; students at MIT in the mid-1960s had interfaced one of the school’s PDP-6 microcomputers to the telephone line and used it as a computerized blue box. According to hacker historian Steven Levy, “At one point, [the telephone company] burst into the ninth floor at Tech Square, and demanded that the hackers show them the blue box. When the hackers pointed to the PDP-6, the frustrated officials threatened to take the whole machine, until the hackers unhooked the phone interface and handed it over.” Still, the small size and low cost of the Apple II changed the game, and the fact that Charley could listen to a call in progress meant that it could do tricky things like crack codes for WATS extenders.

Bevard, “Five Students Psych Bell System, Place Free Long Distance Calls,” Harvard Crimson, May 31, 1966 <db991>. 8 Locke dug up the Herald article: Ron Kessler, “Student Dialers Play Their Way to Global Phone Calls, Non-Pay,” Boston Herald, May 27, 1966, p. 1 <db471>. 10 “Signaling Systems for Control of Telephone Switching”: C. Breen and C. A. Dahlbom, “Signaling Systems for Control of Telephone Switching,” Bell System Technical Journal, vol. 39, no. 6, November 1960, p. 1381 <db445>. 11 used a telephone dial to select the train to be controlled: Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, 25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media), p. 8. Chapter 2: Birth of a Playground 14 the best known was created by Claude Chappe: J-M Dilhac, “The Telegraph of Claude Chappe—An Optical Telecommunications Network for the XVIIth Century,” IEEE Global History Network, at http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/images/1/17/Dilhac.pdf. 15 In America the inventor was Samuel Morse: The Supreme Court of the United States declared Morse to be the sole inventor of the telegraph; see Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers (New York: Walker Publishing Company, 2007), p. 183.


pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin

affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, information asymmetry, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

When the CDA was argued before the United States Supreme Court, one aspect in dispute was whether Internet-based services such as America Online should be viewed as “common carriers,” which are not responsible for content, or whether their role is more that of “publishers,” answerable if some client uses their channels to pander or commit libel. At that level, the arguments may seem picky and recondite. But the fundamental issue can be expressed more simply. As Newsweek correspondent Steven Levy put it, Here is the nub: in cyberspace, the most democratic of mediums, should priority be given to allowing adults to exercise their constitutional right to speech? Or, as the CDA dictates, should they have to curb their expression—even certain constitutionally protected speech with redeeming social value like sex-education, highfalutin nude art, and George Carlin comedy routines—so that Net-surfing children will not be exposed to so-called patently offensive content?

In theory these advances can be compensated for. By constantly ratcheting up the number of bits in their keys, encryptors should retain the advantage at any particular point in time. Assuming both sides truly have the same level of power available. But what if one side quietly gets its mitts on a petaflop machine, or a potent quantum unit, years ahead of its competitors? Then the inherent advantage shifts dramatically. As Steven Levy of Newsweek put it, “The strength of cryptography determines whoʼs going to try to break in.... if itʼs the Mafia or a national government, theyʼll have plenty of resources.” (Recall box 3 of the “plausibility matrix” on page 272.) The important thing to realize is that you can never know if this is not already the case. At least, you cannot know except in a fiercely open society, where enough light shines that even the NSA would find it hard to hide a technological breakthrough for very long.

It shows how suppliers of information could band together and set up a system for aggregating and apportioning revenues. In fact, both companies are said to be developing high-speed Web browsers to patrol the Net looking for music infringements. Well-funded content owners may be among the first to have truly sophisticated software agents doing their work of policing their own self-interest on the Net around the clock. 108 ... one paramount source of danger ... Steven Levy, Newsweek technology columnist and author of Crypto, a book about the cryptography revolution, who has been following the “Clipper chip” controversy and its followons, observed the persistence of single-direction ire in the controversy over encryption. “As the years go by, the subject gains more attention, almost all of it directed at attacking the governmentʼs case....” 109 ... governments that are well grounded in what works ...


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

“This is the most dangerous road in the world,” one marine yelled to Jack. “There are IEDs everywhere.” (IEDs were “improvised explosive devices” planted by insurgents to kill Americans.) “Interesting,” Jack said nervously, pulling his head back inside and taking a deep breath. He looked at the others in his helicopter and smiled slightly. Scott was snapping pictures with a digital camera, Cohen was on his BlackBerry, and Steven Levy, a reporter, was writing in his notepad. Beyond Cohen’s ability to talk his way into almost any situation, he also had another very impressive skill: an knack for bringing the press along on his excursions. Levy, a columnist for Wired, had been invited to come along as this particular delegation’s embedded reporter. “The idea is to use the brains of this small collective to give ideas to Iraqi government officials, companies and users that will help it rebuild,” Levy wrote on Wired’s Web site when he arrived in Baghdad.

Marin, Ryan Block, Tom Bodkin, Danah Boyd, Matt Buchanan, David Carr, Brian Chen, Mathias Crawford, Tony and Mary Conrad, Tom Conrad, Paddy Cosgrave, Dennis Crowley, Damon Darlin, Anil Dash, Mike Driscoll, Aaron Durand, Josh Felser, Tim Ferris, Brady Forrest, David Gallhager, Michael Galpert, John Geddes, Shelly Gerrish, Ashley Khaleesi Granata, Mark Hansen, Quentin Hardy, Leland Hayward, Erica Hintergardt, Mat Honan, Arianna Huffington, Kate Imbach, Larry Ingrassia, Walter Isaccson, Mike Issac, Joel Johnson, Andrei Kallaur, Paul Kedrosky, Kevin Kelly, Jeff Koyen, Brian Lam, Jeremy LaTrasse, Steven Levy, Allen Loeb, Kati London, Om Malik, John Markoff, Hubert McCabe, Christopher Michel, Claire Cain Miller, Trudy Muller, Tim O’Reilly, Carolyn Penner, Nicole Perlroth, Megan Quinn, Narendra Rocherolle, Jennifer Rodriguez, Evelyn Rusli, Naveen Selvadurai, Ryan and Devon Sarver, Elliot Schrage, Mari Sheibley, MG Siegler, Courtney Skott, Robin Sloan, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Suzanne Spector, Brad Stone, David Streitfeld, Gabriel Stricker, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Kara Swisher, Clive Thompson, Deep Throat, Baratunde Thurston, Mark Trammell, Sara Morishige Williams, Nick Wingfield, Jenna Wortham, Aaron Zamost, Edith Zimmerman.


pages: 317 words: 98,745

Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert

4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day

MIT Museum Hack archivist Brian Leibowitz notes that in the 1960s students on campus began to use the word as a noun to describe a great prank, and by the late 1960s the meaning included activities that “tested limits of skill, imagination, and wits.” By the mid-1980s, the term was primarily being used at MIT to describe “pranks” and “unapproved exploring” of parts of the Institute or inaccessible places on campus. Over time hacking came to connote a wide range of often extreme methods and ends. Steven Levy, author of Hackers, points out that “the word now has two branches, one used among computer programmers and the one used in the media.” But few self-identified hackers remain faithful to the original spirit and ethic that first attracted people like Oxblood Ruffin and me; and, worse, today “hacker” and “hacking” are almost entirely synonymous with criminal acts, one or the other word invariably emblazoned in headlines each time Anonymous strikes or a data breach occurs.

The relationship between the Occupy Movement and Anonymous is detailed in Sean Captain, “The Real Role of Anonymous in Occupy Wall Street,” Fast Company, October 17, 2011, http​://www.f​astcompa​ny.com/​178839​7/th​e-real-ro​le-of-anon​ymo​us-at-occ​upy-wa​ll-str​eet. 8 is it wise to actually encourage DDoS attacks: Yochai Benkler explains why Anonymous should not be viewed as a threat to national security in “Hacks of Valor,” Foreign Affairs, April 4, 2012, http​://ww​w.forei​gnaffa​irs.com​/arti​cles​/1​3738​2​/​yocha​i-benk​ler​/​hack​s-of-val​or. 9 One of the few to study this question in depth: Gabriella Coleman’s work offers a comprehensive history and analysis of Anonymous: Gabriella Coleman “Our Weirdness Is Free: The Logic of Anonymous – Online Army, Agent Chaos, and Seeker of Justice,” Triple Canopy (2012), http​://canop​ycano​pycan​opy.com​/​15​/our​_​weir​dness​_​is​_​free; and “Peeking Behind the Curtain at Anonymous: Gabriella Coleman at TEDGlobal 2012,” TED Blog, June 27, 2012, http​://blo​g.ted.c​om/20​12/06​/27​/peeki​ng-behi​nd-the-cur​tain-at-an​onymo​us-gabr​iell​a-colem​an-at-te​dglob​al–201​2/. 10 MIT Museum Hack archivist: A history of MIT hacks is detailed in T.F. Peterson, Nightwork: A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011). See especially Brian Leibowitz, “A Short History of the Terminology,” in Nightwork, ed. T.F. Peterson. See also Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2010). 11 “… and the one used in the media”: Molly Sauter’s SXSW presentation on media portrayals of hackers is available at “Policy Effects of Media Portrayals of Hacktivists,” SXSW, http​://schedule.​sxsw.co​m/201​2/eve​nts​/eve​nt​_IA​P1​2520. 12 numerous examples of security research being stifled: The Electronic Frontier Foundation traces the chilling effects of the “anti-circumvention” provisions in the DMCA on research in “Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years Under the DMCA,” http​s://ww​w.eff.or​g/wp​/uninte​nded-cons​equence​s-und​er-dm​ca/#fo​otnote​ref1​3_p​du4g​gq.


pages: 371 words: 93,570

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans

"side hustle", 4chan, Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, colonial rule, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Doomsday Book, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, East Village, Edward Charles Pickering, game design, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, old-boy network, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pets.com, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, rolodex, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

Cavers seek connections, which they discover through systematic survey, collective effort, and a willingness to forge ahead into the darkness, knowing full well that when the end appears, it may be a small place, a crack in the rock so tight only the wind can broach it. The game is a set of instructions for re-creating Mammoth; those instructions explode into pencil passageways, antechambers, and pits. Adventure can be won only with a map, just as caves are survived only by those who know the way back out. Steven Levy, in his history of computer culture, compares Adventure to the craft of programming itself, writing that “the deep recesses you explored in the Adventure world were akin to the basic, most obscure levels of the machine that you’d be traveling in when you hacked assembly code. You could get dizzy trying to remember where you were in both activities.” I’m telling you the story of the Mammoth Cave, of Stephen Bishop and Patricia Crowther and her husband Will, heartbroken as he memorialized their adventures in code, as a way of reminding you that every technological object, be it a map or a computer game, is also a human artifact.

“completely different from the real cave”: Jerz, “Somewhere Nearby Is Colossal Cave.” “Adventure’s Colossal Cave, at least”: Walt Bilofsky, “Adventures in Computing,” Profiles: The Magazine for Kaypro Users 2, no. 1 (1984): 25, https://archive.org/stream/PROFILES_Volume_2_Number_1_1984-07_Kaypro_Corp_US/PROFILES_Volume_2_Number_1_1984-07_Kaypro_Corp_US_djvu.txt. “the deep recesses you explored”: Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, 25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010), 113. His daughters were told to use it: Jerz, “Somewhere Nearby Is Colossal Cave.” “analogous to the democratization of reading”: Mary Ann Buckles, “Interactive Fiction: The Computer Storygame ‘Adventure’” (PhD thesis, University of California, San Diego, 1985). “a mythological urtext”: Espen J.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Satya Nadella, Reid Hoffman, Jeff Immelt, Peter Schwartz, Peter Bloom, Andy McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson, David Autor, Larry Katz, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Sebastian Thrun, Yann LeCun, Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Mike George, Rana Foroohar, Robin Chase, David Rolf, Andy Stern, Natalie Foster, Betsy Masiello, Jonathan Hall, Lior Ron, Paul Buchheit, Sam Altman, Esther Kaplan, Carrie Gleason, Zeynep Ton, Mikey Dickerson, Wael Ghonim, Tim Hwang, Henry Farrell, Amy Sellars, Mike McCloskey, Hank Green, Brandon Stanton, Jack Conte, Limor Fried, Phil Torrone, Seth Sternberg, Palak Shah, Keller Rinaudo, Stephane Kasriel, Bryan Johnson, Patrick Collison, Roy Bahat, Paddy Cosgrave, Steven Levy, Lauren Smiley, Bess Hochstein, Nat Torkington, Clay Shirky, Lawrence Wilkinson, Jessi Hempel, Mark Burgess, Carl Page, Maggie Shiels, Adam Davidson, and Winnie King, you also gave me the gift of your time and insight during the research and writing that led up to this book. I’d also like to thank the people who taught me much of what I’ve shared in this book. As the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, “What I do and what I dream include thee, as the wine must taste of its own grapes.”

Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff, and Niall Richard Murphy (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 2016), online at https://www.safaribooksonline.com/library/view/site-reliability-engineering/9781491929117/ch01.html. CHAPTER 7: GOVERNMENT AS A PLATFORM 125 “subsidized access to data they were willing to pay for”: Carl Malamud, “How EDGAR Met the Internet,” media.org, retrieved March 30, 2017, http://museum.media.org/edgar/. 126 freely available on the Internet: Steven Levy, “The Internet’s Own Instigator,” Backchannel, September 12, 2016, https://backchannel.com/the-internets-own-instigator-cb6347e693b. 128 “the first Internet president”: Omar Wasow, “The First Internet President,” The Root, November 5, 2008, http://www.theroot.com/the-first-internet-president-1790900348. 129 “vending machine government”: “The Next Government: Donald Kettl,” IBM Center for the Business of Government, retrieved March 30, 2017, http://www.businessofgovernment.org/blog /presidential-transition/next-government-donald-kettl. 130 “not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day”: “Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C.

,” talk given at Next:Economy Summit, San Francisco, October 10–11, 2016, https://www.safaribooksonline.com/library/view/next economy-summit-2016/9781491976067/video282513.html. 332 automate the application for asylum: Elena Cresci, “Chatbot That Overturned 160,000 Parking Fines Now Helping Refugees Claim Asylum,” Guardian, March 6, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/tech nology/2017/mar/06/chatbot-donotpay-refugees-claim-asylum-legal-aid. 335 with an apprenticeship: Steven Levy, “How Google Is Remaking Itself as a ‘Machine Learning First’ Company,” Backchannel, June 22, 2016, https://backchannel.com/how-google-is-remaking-itself-as-a-machine-learning-first-company-ada63defcb70. 336 “The Internet Was Built on O’Reilly Books”: Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2000. That cover was reproduced in a blog post by brian d. foy, “The Internet Was Built on O’Reilly Books,” program mingperl.com, October 28, 2015, https://www.programmingperl.org/2015/10/the-internet-was-built-on-oreilly-books/. 337 the cover story featured Charles Benton: Make, January 2005, https://www.scribd.com/doc/33542837/MAKE-Magazine-Volume-1. 337 “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it”: Phil Torrone, “Owner’s Manifesto,” Make, November 26, 2006, http://makezine.com/2006/11/26/owners-manifesto/. 338 denying them the right to repair: Cory Doctorow, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age (San Francisco: McSweeney’s, 2014). 338 who controls products that the consumers nominally own: Jason Koebler, “Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors with Ukrainian Firmware,” Vice, March 21, 2017, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-american-farmers-are-hacking-their-tractors-with-ukrainian-firmware. 338 we wrote a book together: Dale Dougherty and Tim O’Reilly, Unix Text Processing (Indianapolis: Hayden, 1987). 339 study of motivations of people working on open source software projects: Karim Lakhani and Robert Wolf, “Why Hackers Do What They Do: Understanding Motivation and Effort in Free/Open Source Software Projects,” in Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software, ed.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global pandemic, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application, zero-sum game

The only two references to the sex act such a search generated from Charlottesville, Virginia, in February 2010 included a Wikipedia entry and the definition of the term on Urbandictionary.com. In the late 1990s, a search for “Asian” on almost any other search engine would have generated torrents of pornography featuring Asian models. Today, such a search on Google generates a first page of links devoted to Asian American history and culture and Asian foods. 5. Introduction to the Google Ad Auction, 2009, video online at www .youtube.com; Steven Levy, “Secret of Googlenomics: Data-Fueled Recipe Brews Profitability,” Wired, May 22, 2009; Search Advertising: Dr. Hal Varian, SIMS 141, course in the School of Information, University of California at Berkeley, 2007, video available at www.youtube.com; “Talking Business: Stuck in Google’s NOT ES TO PAGES 15 –18 223 Doghouse,” New York Times, September 13, 2008; “Big Brands? Google Brand Promotion: New Search Engine Rankings Place Heavy Emphasis on Branding,” SEOBook, February 25, 2009, www.seobook.com/google-branding; “Corporate Information: Our Philosophy,” Google.com, www.google.com/corporate/ tenthings.html. 6.

Amnesty International, Undermining Freedom of Expression in China; Justine Nolan, The China Dilemma: Internet Censorship and Corporate Responsibility, University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series (2008): 57; J. S. O’Rourke IV, B. Harris, and A. Ogilvy, “Google in China: Government Censorship and Corporate Reputation,” Journal of Business Strategy 28, no. 3 (2007): 12–22. NOTES TO PAGES 130–35 243 34. Matt Looney and Evan Hansen, “Google Pulls Anti-scientology links,” CNET News, March 21, 2002, http://news.cnet.com. 35. Schrage, Testimony of Google Inc.; Steven Levy, “Google and the China Syndrome,” Newsweek, February 13, 2006, 14; “Here Be Dragons,” Economist, January 28, 2006, 59–60. 36. Nolan, The China Dilemma, 57. 37. Ibid. 38. Iris Hong, “Google Boosts China Revenues but Falls Back in Share of Searches,” Telecomasia.net, June 8, 2009, www.telecomasia.net. 39. “Google Q1 China Market Share Falls to 20.9 Pct,” Caijing.com.cn, June 8, 2009, http://english.caijing.com.cn. 40.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, superconnector, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

When he recruited Sebastian Thrun to develop their autonomous car, Page declared that 100,000 miles was the incredible target for how far that car was supposed to be able to drive on its own (today the car has driven well over 500,000 miles).40 When Google wanted to do simultaneous translation between languages, they found some machine-learning researchers and, as Page explains, “We asked them, ‘Do you think you can set up an algorithm to translate between any two languages and do it better than a human translator?’ They laughed at us and said it was impossible. But they were willing to try. . . . And now, six years later we can translate between sixty-four different languages. In many languages, we’re better than an average human translator and we can do it instantly and for free.”41 Or, to offer an even more colorful example, in a Steven Levy story for Wired, Astro Teller talked about wheeling an imaginary time machine into Page’s office, plugging it in, and then demonstrating that it works. “Instead of being bowled over,” says Teller, “Page asks why it needs a plug. Wouldn’t it be better if it didn’t use power at all? It’s not because he’s not excited about time machines or ungrateful that we built it. It’s just core to who he is.

v=9pmPa_KxsAM. 40 Joann Muller, “No Hands, No Feet: My Unnerving Ride in Google’s Driverless Car,” Forbes, March 21, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2013/03/21/no-hands-no-feet-my-unnerving-ride-in-googles-driverless-car/. 41 Robert Hof, “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013: Deep Learning,” MIT Technology Review, April 23, 2013, http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/513696/deep-learning/. 42 Steven Levy, “Google’s Larry Page on Why Moon Shots Matter,” Wired, January 17, 2013, http://www.wired.com/2013/01/ff-qa-larry-page/all/. 43 Larry Page, “Beyond Today—Larry Page—Zeitgeist 2012.” 44 Larry Page, “Google+: Calico Announcement,” Google+, September 2013, https://plus.google.com/+LarryPage/posts/Lh8SKC6sED1. 45 Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, “Google vs. Death,” Time, September 30, 2013, http://time.com/574/google-vs-death/. 46 Jason Calacanis, “#googlewinseverything (part 1),” Launch, October 30, 2013, http://blog.launch.co/blog/googlewinseverything-part-1.html.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator

We named the company after it partly because we thought it was such a cool concept, and partly as a secret signal to the kind of people we hoped would apply.” Carleen Hawn, “The F|R Interview: Y Combinator’s Paul Graham,” Gigaom, May 3, 2008, http://gigaom .com/2008/05/03/the-fr-interview-y-combinators-paul-graham/. 4. PG, “Great Hackers,” July 2004, www.paulgraham.com/gh.html. 5. PG, “The Word ‘Hacker,’ ” April 2004, http://paulgraham.com/gba.html. Steven Levy’s Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1984) extricates the word “hacker” from derogatory associations. To Levy, “hacker” simply means “those computer programmers and designers who regard computing as the most important thing in the world.” He traces the hacker culture back to the Tech Model Railroad Club at MIT in the late 1950s. 6. “Airbnb Celebrates 1,000,000 Nights Booked!”

HT, “And Then There Were Three,” January 28, 2007, http://mealticket.wordpress.com/2007/01/28/and-then-there-were-three. 12. HT, “Second Week.” 13. HT, “What I Expected.” 14. HT, “Demo Day,” Meal Ticket blog, February 13, 2007, http://mealticket.wordpress.com/2007/02/13/demo-day/. 15. HT, “What I Expected.” 16. HT, “What I Expected.” 17. Patrick Collison, “Surprises,” Patrick Collison blog, October 18, 2009, http://collison.ie/blog/2009/10/surprises. 18. Steven Levy, “Taking the Millions Now,” Newsweek, April 5, 2008, www.newsweek.com/2008/04/05/taking-the-millions-now.html. 19. “Graduate Entrepreneurs Sell Business for Millions,” University of Oxford press release, May 7, 2008, www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2008/080507b.html. 20. HT, “Leaving Live Current and Vancouver,” HT blog, September 5, 2009, http://blog.harjtaggar.com/leaving-live-current-and-vancouver. 21.


Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design by Giles Colborne

call centre, Firefox, HyperCard, Menlo Park, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy

Then you get into the problem, and you see that it’s really complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That’s sort of the middle, and that’s where most people stop…. But the really great person will keep on going and find the key, the underlying principle of the problem—and come up with an elegant, really beautiful solution that works.” —Steve Jobs (quoted in Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything by Steven Levy) As Luke Wroblewski, former Chief Design Architect at Yahoo!, says, ”Your first design may seem like a solution, but it is usually just an early definition of the problem you are trying to solve.” In my experience, roughly the first third of any project is spent trying to figure out what’s really important. It’s a nerve-wracking time, as complexity seems to spiral and there’s no solution in sight.


pages: 382 words: 105,819

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee

4chan, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boycotts of Israel, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, computer age, cross-subsidies, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, game design, income inequality, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, laissez-faire capitalism, Lean Startup, light touch regulation, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer, by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine (Berkeley: Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 1984), is the best book I know on the early days of the personal computer industry, from computer clubs to the start of Microsoft and Apple, to the battle that followed. The revised edition, which bears a different subtitle, follows the industry into its declining years. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, by Steven Levy (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), investigates a key subculture in Silicon Valley. Levy wrote this as it was happening, which makes the book particularly helpful, as in the case of The Facebook Effect. Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier, by Katie Hafner and John Markoff (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), picks up the story of Hackers and carries it forward. * * * — I RECOMMEND LEARNING ABOUT the origin stories of the other internet platforms.

I remember the day Jeff Bezos first presented to my partners, the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. There is a very strong argument that the success of Amazon represents the greatest accomplishment of any startup since 1990. Bezos is amazing. His relatively low profile masks the pervasive influence of his company. Like The Facebook Effect, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives, by Steven Levy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), is exceptionally sympathetic to its subject. That is the price of getting access to a tech giant. As long as you remind yourself that Google adjusts search results based on what it perceives to be your interests and that YouTube’s algorithms promote conspiracy theories, you will get a great deal of value from this book. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, by Nick Bilton (New York, Portfolio, 2013), is worth reading because of Twitter’s outsized influence on journalists, an influence out of proportion with the skills of Twitter’s leadership.


pages: 345 words: 105,722

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling

Apple II, back-to-the-land, game design, ghettoisation, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Mitch Kapor, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, the scientific method, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

The term can signify the free-wheeling intellectual exploration of the highest and deepest potential of computer systems. Hacking can describe the determination to make access to computers and information as free and open as possible. Hacking can involve the heartfelt conviction that beauty can be found in computers, that the fine aesthetic in a perfect program can liberate the mind and spirit. This is "hacking" as it was defined in Steven Levy's much-praised history of the pioneer computer milieu, Hackers, published in 1984. Hackers of all kinds are absolutely soaked through with heroic anti-bureaucratic sentiment. Hackers long for recognition as a praiseworthy cultural archetype, the postmodern electronic equivalent of the cowboy and mountain man. Whether they deserve such a reputation is something for history to decide. But many hackers—including those outlaw hackers who are computer intruders, and whose activities are defined as criminal—actually attempt to LIVE UP TO this techno-cowboy reputation.

This was the first large-scale, official meeting of what was to become the electronic civil libertarian community. Sixty people attended, myself included—in this instance, not so much as a journalist as a cyberpunk author. Many of the luminaries of the field took part: Kapor and Godwin as a matter of course. Richard Civille and Marc Rotenberg of CPSR. Jerry Berman of the ACLU. John Quarterman, author of The Matrix. Steven Levy, author of Hackers. George Perry and Sandy Weiss of Prodigy Services, there to network about the civil-liberties troubles their young commercial network was experiencing. Dr. Dorothy Denning. Cliff Figallo, manager of the Well. Steve Jackson was there, having finally found his ideal target audience, and so was Craig Neidorf, "Knight Lightning" himself, with his attorney, Sheldon Zenner. Katie Hafner, science journalist, and co-author of Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier.


pages: 502 words: 107,657

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel

Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, backtesting, Black Swan, book scanning, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, butter production in bangladesh, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data is the new oil, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Google Glasses, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, lifelogging, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mass immigration, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, personalized medicine, placebo effect, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Shai Danziger, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steven Levy, text mining, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Davenport, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

However, in 2011, Google’s “search quality gurus,” describing an update (called Panda) to Google search ranking methodology to Wired magazine (cf. the citation below), said they designed a method to “look for signals that recreate. . . that same experience [of user satisfaction]”. They “came up with a classifier” by working to “find a plane [in hyperspace] which says that most things on this side of the place are red, and most of the things on that side of the plane are the opposite of red.” This is descriptive and definitional of machine learning. Steven Levy, “TED 2011: The ‘Panda’ That Hates Farms: A Q&A with Google’s Top Search Engineers,” Steven Levy interview with Amit Singhal and Matt Cutts of Google, March 3, 2011. www.wired.com/business/2011/03/the-panda-that-hates-farms/all/. Aaron Wheeler, “How Google’s Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices Forever—Whiteboard Friday,” Daily SEO blog, June 23, 2011. www.seomoz.org/blog/how-googles-panda-update-changed-seo-best-practices-forever-whiteboard-friday.


Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

A Pattern Language, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business climate, citizen journalism, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, experimental economics, experimental subject, Extropian, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telephone, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, more computing power than Apollo, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, pez dispenser, planetary scale, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, social intelligence, spectrum auction, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, web of trust, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

A brief detour into the history of personal computing and networking illuminates more than the origins of smart mob technologies; the commons that fostered technical innovations is also the fundamental social technology of smart mobs. It all started with the original hackers in the early 1960s. Before the word “hacker” was misappropriated to describe people who break into computer systems, the term was coined (in the early 1960s) to describe people who create computer systems. The first people to call themselves hackers were loyal to an informal social contract called “the hacker ethic.” As Steven Levy described it, this ethic included these principles: Access to computers should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative. All information should be free. Mistrust authority—promote decentralization.45 Without that ethic, there probably wouldn’t have been an Internet to commercialize. Keep in mind that although many of the characters involved in this little-known but important history were motivated by altruistic concerns, their collaboration was aimed at creating a resource that would benefit all—starting with the collaborators who created it.

G. S. Wilkinson, “Reciprocal Food Sharing in the Vampire Bat,” Nature 308 (March 8, 1984): 181184. 43. Manfred Milinski, “TIT FOR TAT in Sticklebacks and the Evolution of Cooperation,” Nature 325 (29 January 1987): 433435. 44. P. Farb, Man’s Rise to Civilization as Shown by the Indians of North America from Primeval Times to the Coming of the Industrial State (New York: Dutton, 1968). 45. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Doubleday, 1984). 46. J. H. Saltzer, D. P. Reed, and D. D. Clark, “End-to-End Arguments in System Design,” ACM Transactions on Computer Systems 2 (November 1984): 277288. 47. Howard Rheingold, Tools for Thought (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000). 48. Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (New York: Touchstone, 1998). 49.


pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, off grid, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, scientific worldview, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, zero-sum game

Walter Isaacson recounts the lively history of computer science in The Innovators (Simon & Schuster, 2014). “Spreadsheet data manipulation using examples,”* by Sumit Gulwani, William Harris, and Rishabh Singh (Communications of the ACM, 2012), is an example of how computers can program themselves by observing users. Competing on Analytics, by Tom Davenport and Jeanne Harris (HBS Press, 2007), is an introduction to the use of predictive analytics in business. In the Plex, by Steven Levy (Simon & Schuster, 2011), describes at a high level how Google’s technology works. Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian explain the network effect in Information Rules (HBS Press, 1999). Chris Anderson does the same for the long-tail phenomenon in The Long Tail (Hyperion, 2006). The transformation of science by data-intensive computing is surveyed in The Fourth Paradigm, edited by Tony Hey, Stewart Tansley, and Kristin Tolle (Microsoft Research, 2009).

Steven Pinker summarizes the symbolists’ criticisms of connectionist models in Chapter 2 of How the Mind Works (Norton, 1997). Seymour Papert gives his take on the debate in “One AI or Many?” (Daedalus, 1988). The Birth of the Mind, by Gary Marcus (Basic Books, 2004), explains how evolution could give rise to the human brain’s complex abilities. Chapter Five “Evolutionary robotics,” by Josh Bongard (Communications of the ACM, 2013), surveys the work of Hod Lipson and others on evolving robots. Artificial Life, by Steven Levy (Vintage, 1993), gives a tour of the digital zoo, from computer-created animals in virtual worlds to genetic algorithms. Chapter 5 of Complexity, by Mitch Waldrop (Touchstone, 1992), tells the story of John Holland and the first few decades of research on genetic algorithms. Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization, and Machine Learning,* by David Goldberg (Addison-Wesley, 1989), is the standard introduction to genetic algorithms.


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Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

c_id=137&objectid=10890750; “Google Tests Out Internet-Beaming Balloons in Skies Over New Zealand,” (San Francisco) SFist, June 16, 2013, http://sfist.com/2013/06/16/google_tests_out_internet-beaming_b.php; Derek Thompson, “Google X and the Science of Radical Creativity,” Atlantic, November 2017, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/11/x-google-moonshot-factory/540648/; Loon.com, “Loon: The Technology,” video, YouTube, uploaded June 14, 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcw6j-QWGMo&feature=youtu.be; Alex Davies, “Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google,” Wired, July 11, 2018, www.wired.com/story/alphabet-google-x-innovation-loon-wing-graduation; Steven Levy, “The Untold Story of Google’s Quest to Bring the Internet Everywhere—by Balloon,” Wired, August 13, 2013, www.wired.com/2013/08/googlex-project-loon. 2. Chris Anderson, “Mystery Object in Sky Captivates Locals,” Appalachian News-Express, October 19, 2012, www.news-expressky.com/news/article_f257128c-1979-11e2-a94e-0019bb2963f4.html. 3. Thompson, “Radical Creativity.” 4. Telefónica, “Telefónica and Project Loon Collaborate to Provide Emergency Mobile Connectivity to Flooded Areas of Peru,” Telefónica, May 17, 2017, www.telefonica.com/en/web/press-office/-/telefonica-and-project-loon-collaborate-to-provide-emergency-mobile-connectivity-to-flooded-areas-of-peru. 5.

,” Forbes, August 8, 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/innovatorsdna/2017/08/08/how-does-amazon-stay-at-day-one/#36d005d67e4d. 45. Tim Ferriss, “Maria Sharapova,” episode 261 (transcript), Tim Ferriss Show, May 30, 2018, https://tim.blog/2018/05/30/tim-ferriss-show-transcript-maria-sharapova. 46. Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (New York: Riverhead Books, 2015), 259. 47. Steven Levy, “Google Glass 2.0 Is a Startling Second Act,” Wired, July 18, 2017, www.wired.com/story/google-glass-2-is-here. 48. Heather Hargreaves, “How Google Glass Will Change How You Do Business,” Entrepreneur Handbook, March 25, 2019. 49. Ian Osterloh, “How I Discovered Viagra,” Cosmos, April 27, 2015, https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/how-i-discovered-viagra; Jacque Wilson, “Viagra: The Little Blue Pill That Could,” CNN, March 27, 2013, www.cnn.com/2013/03/27/health/viagra-anniversary-timeline/index.html. 50.


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The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7415/full/nature11421.html 60 Stephen Hawking, Stuart Russell, Max Tegmark, Frank Wilczek, “Stephen Hawking: ‘Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence – but are we taking AI seriously enough?”, The Independent, 2 May 2014. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stephen-hawking-transcendence-looks-at-the-implications-of-artificial-intelligence-but-are-we-taking-9313474.html 61 Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever & the OpenAI team, “Introducing OpenAI”, 11 December 2015 https://openai.com/blog/introducing-openai/ 62 Steven Levy, “How Elon Musk and Y Combinator Plan to Stop Computers From Taking Over”, 11 December 2015 https://medium.com/backchannel/how-elon-musk-and-y-combinator-plan-to-stop-computers-from-taking-over-17e0e27dd02a#.qjj55npcj 63 Sara Konrath, Edward O’Brien, and Courtney Hsing. “Changes in dispositional empathy in American college students over time: A meta-analysis.” Personality and Social Psychology Review (2010). 64 Quoted in: Simon Kuper, “Log out, switch off, join in”, FT Magazine, 2 October 2015. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fc76fce2-67b3-11e5-97d0-1456a776a4f5.html 65 Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Penguin, 2015. 66 Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: How the Internet is changing the way we think, read and remember, Atlantic Books, 2010. 67 Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, Simon and Schuster, 2014. 68 Quoted in: Elizabeth Segran, “The Ethical Quandaries You Should Think About the Next Time You Look at Your Phone”, Fast Company, 5 October 2015.


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Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, do-ocracy, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, George Santayana, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, low cost airline, mandatory minimum, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

Thus, it is no wonder that their actions spilled over from strictly technical engagements to include mockery, spectacle, and transgression. They quickly distinguished their politics and ethics from the university hackers of MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford; these hackers, who in the 1960s stayed up all night to access their beloved computers otherwise tied up for official use during the day, were chronicled majestically by journalist Steven Levy.14 Though these early hackers also had an affinity for pranking, they abided by a a more robust ethos of transparency and access than underground hackers. Many underground hackers were puckish in their pranking and hacking pursuits. They were mischief-makers and merry wanderers of the network. There was, however, a cohort of underground hackers who more closely resembled the Loki archetype in their network jaunts and haunts.

Many of these insights are delectably explored in Lewis Hyde’s majestic account Trickster Makes this World: Mischief, Myth, and Art (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998). 11. Ibid. p. 9 12. Alex Galloway and Eugene Thacker. The Exploit: A Theory of Networks (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2007). 13. Phil Lapsley, Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell (New York: Grove Press, 2013), 226. 14. Steven, Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution—25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastapol: CA O’Reilly Media, 2010). 15. Adam L. Penenberg, “A Private Little Cyberwar,” forbes.com, Feb. 21, 2000. 16. “Biography of u4ea,” soldierx.com, last accessed May 21, 2014, available at https://www.soldierx.com/hdb/u4ea. 17. Marco Deseriis, “ ‘Lots of Money Because I Am Many’: The Luther Blissett Project and the Multiple-Use Name Strategy,” in Cultural Activism: Practices, Dilemmas and Possibilities (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011), 65–93. 18.


pages: 387 words: 119,409

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, citizen journalism, clean water, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, helicopter parent, immigration reform, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, nudge unit, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, random walk, Richard Thaler, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

“I’d say this is something that followed me into adulthood.”21 Larry’s and Sergey’s ideas about how work could be were also informed by their early experiences at school. As Sergey has commented: “I do think I benefited from the Montessori education, which in some ways gives the students a lot more freedoms to do things at their own pace.” Marissa Mayer, at the time a Google vice president of product management and now CEO of Yahoo, told Steven Levy in his book In the Plex: “You can’t understand Google… unless you know that both Larry and Sergey were Montessori kids.”22 This teaching environment is tailored to a child’s learning needs and personality, and children are encouraged to question everything, act of their own volition, and create. In March 1995, a twenty-two-year-old Larry Page was visiting Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Adam Lashinsky, “Larry Page: Google should be like a family,” Fortune, January 19, 2012, http://fortune.com/2012/01/19/larry-page-google-should-be-like-a-family/. 20. Larry Page’s University of Michigan Commencement Address, http://googlepress.blogspot.com/2009/05/larry-pages-university-of-michigan.html. 21. Mark Malseed, “The Story of Sergey Brin,” Moment, February–March 2007, http://www.momentmag.com/the-story-of-sergey-brin/. 22. Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011). 23. John Battelle, “The Birth of Google,” Wired, August 2005, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.08/battelle.html. “Our History in Depth,” Google, http://www.google.com/about/company/history/. 24. Those investments would eventually be worth in excess of $1 billion. Each. Bechtolsheim’s and Cheriton’s investments weren’t the original source of support for what would eventually become Google.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Nilsson, The Quest for Artificial Intelligence, 2010, 77, web version, http://ai.stanford.edu/~nilsson/QAI/qai.pdf. 11.Margaret Boden, Mind as Machine (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2006), 381. 12.AI@50, Dartmouth College Artificial Intelligence Conference, July 13–15, 2006. 13.Boden, Mind as Machine, 381. 14.John McCarthy, book review of B. P. Bloomfield, The Question of Artificial Intelligence: Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives, in Annals of the History of Computing 10, no. 3 (1998). 15.Ibid. 16.Nilsson, The Quest for Artificial Intelligence, 77. 17.AI@50, Dartmouth College Artificial Intelligence Conference, July 13–15, 2006. 18.Interview with John McCarthy, Stanford University, July 19, 2001. 19.Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984). 20.Interview with John McCarthy, Stanford University, July 19, 2001. 21.Raj Reddy, “Celebration of John McCarthy’s Accomplishments,” Stanford University, March 25, 2012, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_QGryGFb2o. 22.Arthur L. Norberg, “An Interview with Bruce G. Buchanan,” June 11–12, 1991, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, http://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/107165/1/oh230bb.pdf. 23.Hans Moravec, Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), 20. 24.John McCarthy, “A Proposal for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence,” August 31, 1955, http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/history/dartmouth/dartmouth.html. 25.William J.

Interface Agents: Excerpts from Debates at IUI 97 and CHI 97,” Association for Computing Machinery Interactions, November-December 1997, http://ritter.ist.psu.edu/misc/dirk-files/Papers/HRI-papers/User%20interface%20design%20issues/Direct%20manipulation%20vs.%20interface%20agents.pdf. 27.Ibid. 6|COLLABORATION 1.Rodney Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (New York: Pantheon, 2002), 28. 2.Ibid., 29. 3.Ibid., 31. 4.Rodney Brooks, “Elephants Don’t Play Chess,” Robotics and Autonomous Systems 6 (1990): 3–15, people.csail.mit.edu/brooks/papers/elephants.ps.Z. 5.Ibid. 6.Brooks, Flesh and Machines, 31. 7.Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), 132. 8.R. H. MacMillan, Automation: Friend or Foe, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1956), 1. 9.Levy, Hackers, 130. 10.Lee Felsenstein, “The Golemic Approach,” LeeFelsenstein.com, http://www.leefelsenstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Golemic_Approach_MS.pdf. 11.Ibid., 4. 12.Evgeny Morozov, “Making It,” New Yorker, January 13, 2014, http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2014/01/13/140113crat_atlarge_morozov?


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Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

American ideology, animal electricity, barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

This “hacker critique” of IBM emphasized the importance of access to computers and a rejection of authority in favor of decentralization. In many ways, hackers were responding to the prevailing closed world discourse that was obsessed with geopolitical containment and driven by the military centralization of command and control. The hacker ideology of the 1960s had its roots in communities of programmers at MIT and in the San Francisco Bay area. According to Steven Levy’s account, East Coast hackers emphasized their technical fascination with computers (the Hands-On Imperative) and disdain for any gatekeepers that interfered; West Coast hackers tended to situate their tinkering within a broader countercultural critique of technology and authority in modern society. In all cases, hacker culture dovetailed nicely with the growing recognition of the importance of user groups for sales and continued innovation in the computer industry.29 A third response – a “regulatory critique” – to IBM’s dominance was articulated by the same officials in the FCC and Justice Department who had set limits on AT&T’s telephone monopoly in the 1950s and 1960s.

Bresnahan and Franco Malerba, “Industrial Dynamics and the Evolution of Firms’ and Nations’ Competitive Capabilities in the World Computer Industry,” in David C. Mowery and Richard R. Nelson, Sources of Industrial Leadership: Studies of Seven Industries (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 79–132; Chandler, Inventing the Electronic Century, 94–106; Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, 128–143, 161–173; Gerald W. Brock, The Second Information Revolution (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2003), 106–111. 29 Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Doubleday, 1984); Edwards, Closed World; Atsushi Akera, “Voluntarism and the Fruits of Collaboration: The IBM User Group, Share,” Technology and Culture 42 (2001): 710–736; Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006); John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (New York: Penguin, 2006); Ted Friedman, Electric Dreams: Computers in American Culture (New York: New York University Press, 2005); Steven W.


Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

There were two main ways to interface with NLS, through teletypes, for the purpose of com- munications over the ARPANET, and through display terminals or consoles in the "special device channel." The teletype terminal, a distant offspring of research in type printing for te- legraphy, had been the standard interface for time-sharing systems since the early 1960's. It was basically a typewriter transformed for telegraphy input and printing, accurately described by Steven Levy as "a typewriter converted 128 SRI and the oN-Line System for tank warfare, its bottom anchored In a military gray housing" (Levy 1984a, 28). As John McCarthy recollected: My first attempts to do something about time sharing was in the fall of 1957, when I came to the MIT Computation Center on a Sloan Foundation fellowship from Dartmouth College. It was immediately clear to me that the time-sharing IBM 704 would require some kind of interrupt system.

In the graphical user interface, signs do exhibit a "similarity" with the thing in the world that they represent: they are iconic previsualiza- tions of objects that they participate in creating in the world: papers, docu- ments, texts, pictures, and so on. 17 It is obvious from the start, therefore, that the graphical interface is iconic in essence, since with it, we move from an in- dexical manipulation to iconic visualization. As Steven Levy realized, and as Alan Kay very often commented, this tran- sition happened with the creation of an illusion. The virtual desktop was not a mere metaphor, since the user did not identify the false residual of the meta- phor. Instead, it was an effect produced by the craft of the designer in making the user believe that there is a correspondence between the icons that he or she moves and transforms on the screen and the referential paper objects that they represent.


Howard Rheingold by The Virtual Community Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier-Perseus Books (1993)

Apple II, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, commoditize, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, experimental subject, George Gilder, global village, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, license plate recognition, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Oldenburg, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, The Great Good Place, The Hackers Conference, urban decay, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, young professional

There were others around the country, chafing to get their hands on the kind of computing resources that didn't exist in the punched card and mainframe era. They wanted to reinvent computing; the computer industry giants and the mainstream of computer science weren't interested in reinventing computing. So Licklider and his successors at ARPA, Robert Taylor and Ivan Sutherland (both in their twenties), started funding the young hackers--the original hackers, as chronicled in Steven Levy's book Hackers, not the ones who break into computer systems today. They also funded Engelbart, whose Augmentation Research Center (ARC) at Stanford Research Institute lasted for more than a decade and created the first word processors, conferencing systems, hypertext systems, mouse pointing devices, mixed video and computer communications--the technical foundation for half a dozen of the biggest high-tech industries today.

It turned out that Barlow had been contacted by the FBI because his name was on the roster of an annual private gathering called the Hackers' Conference. Baxter reported that he had been informed that the Hackers' Conference was an 26-04-2012 21:46 howard rheingold's | the virtual community 15 de 36 http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/9.html underground organization of computer outlaws that was probably part of the same grand conspiracy as the NuPrometheus League. Hacker used to mean something different from what it means now. Steven Levy's 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution was about the unorthodox young programmers who created in the 1960s and 1970s the kind of computer technology that nonprogrammers used in the 1980s and 1990s. Although they kept odd hours and weren't fashion plates, and although they weren't averse to solving lock-picking puzzles, the original hackers were toolmakers, not burglars. The first Hackers' Conference was a gathering of the traditional kind of hacker, not the system cracker that the mass media have since identified with the word hacker.


From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry by Martin Campbell-Kelly

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business process, card file, computer age, computer vision, continuous integration, deskilling, Donald Knuth, Grace Hopper, information asymmetry, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, linear programming, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, popular electronics, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

See Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago Press, 1962); Thomas Parke Hughes, Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880–1930 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983); Nathan Rosenberg, Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics (Cambridge University Press, 1982). 26. Douglas K. Smith and R. C. Alexander, Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer (Morrow, 1988); Michael A. Hiltzik, Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (HarperBusiness, 1999). 27. Steven Levy, Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything (Penguin, 1994). 28. See, e.g., “A Fierce Battle Brews Over the Simplest Software Yet,” Business Week, November 21, 1983: 61–63. 29. Phil Lemmons, “A Guided Tour of VisiOn,” Byte, June 1983: 256ff. 30. Irene Fuerst, “Broken Windows,” Datamation, March 1, 1985: 46, 51–52. 31. John Markoff, “Five Window Managers for the IBM PC,” Byte Guide to the IBM PC, fall 1984: 65–66, 71–76, 78, 82, 84, 87. 32.

Ralph Watkins, A Competitive Assessment of the US Video Game Industry (US International Trade Commission, 1984); Yankee Group, Software Strategies; Creative Strategies International, Computer Home Software (1983); Creative Strategies International, Cartridge-Based Software: Further Developments (1984). 2. Enthusiasts have not done such a good job of recording the corporate and intellectual history of videogames, although there are some important exceptions. The best and most systematic historical account of the industry is Leonard Herman’s Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames (second edition: Rolenta, 1997). 3. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Penguin, 1994). 4. Interview with Nolan Bushnell in Slater, Portraits in Silicon, pp. 296–307. 5. Scott Cohen, Zap! The Rise and Fall of Atari (McGraw-Hill, 1984), p. 30. 6. Watkins, Competitive Assessment of the US Video Game Industry, p. 7. 7. Cohen, Zap!, p. 77. 8. Watkins, Competitive Assessment, p. 42. 9. Cohen, Zap!, p. 94. 10. Yankee Group, Software Strategies, p. 179. 11.


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The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

The company ran an experiment in which professional media was removed from the main news feed in several countries and placed on a second ‘explore’ feed. One journalist in Guatemala said 66 per cent of their traffic disappeared overnight. Similarly, Google tweaked its algorithm to make sure – so it said – that fake news fell down its ranking. It clobbered Alternet, a site dedicated to fighting white supremacy – their traffic collapsed, falling by 40 per cent almost overnight. 17 Steven Levy, ‘Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s Future, From Virtual Reality to Anonymity’, Wired, 30 April 2014. 18 Andrew Wilson, ‘The Ideas Industry’, www.thinktheology.co.uk, 16 August 2017. 19 This is all available from the website http://googletransparencyproject.org. While there are doubtless instances where collaboration and funding from the private sector benefits academics, institutions and students, according to the Google Transparency Project, of 330 studies about policy issues directly relevant to Google’s operations and revenue – subjects like anti-trust, privacy and data security, net neutrality, copyright – 54 per cent were either partly funded by, or affiliated with academics or institutions funded by Google.


pages: 209 words: 53,175

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel

"side hustle", airport security, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, computer age, coronavirus, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial independence, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, stocks for the long run, the scientific method, traffic fines, Vanguard fund, working-age population

If you were a technology optimist in the 1950s you may have predicted that practical storage would become 1,000 times larger. Maybe 10,000 times larger, if you were swinging for the fences. Few would have said “30 million times larger within my lifetime.” But that’s what happened. The counterintuitive nature of compounding leads even the smartest of us to overlook its power. In 2004 Bill Gates criticized the new Gmail, wondering why anyone would need a gigabyte of storage. Author Steven Levy wrote, “Despite his currency with cutting-edge technologies, his mentality was anchored in the old paradigm of storage being a commodity that must be conserved.” You never get accustomed to how quickly things can grow. The danger here is that when compounding isn’t intuitive we often ignore its potential and focus on solving problems through other means. Not because we’re overthinking, but because we rarely stop to consider compounding potential.


pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Charles Lindbergh, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

When one councilwoman tried to joke with him that perhaps the city should get free Wi-Fi in return for approving the move, Steve said, “Well, you know, I’m kind of old-fashioned. I believe that we pay taxes, and that the city then gives us services.” Over the last few months, a steady flow of visitors came by the house in Palo Alto. Bill Clinton came to visit, as did President Obama, for dinner with a select group of Silicon Valley leaders. John Markoff, of the New York Times, and Steven Levy, who had written several books about Silicon Valley, including ones about the development of the Macintosh and the iPod, dropped by together to pay their respects. Bill Gates wound up spending four hours with Steve one afternoon. “Steve and I will always get more credit than we deserve, because otherwise the story’s too complicated,” Gates says. “I mean, yes, Steve did brilliant work, and if you had to say—you know, leave me out of it—one person who had the most impact on the personal computer industry, particularly from where we sit now, you’d pick Steve Jobs.

We also relied on passages from the following books: Gates, by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews; Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future, by John Sculley; The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs, by Chrisann Brennan; Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, by Owen W. Linzmayer; Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age, by Michael A. Hiltzik; and Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything, by Steven Levy; as well as Moritz’s The Little Kingdom, and Wozniak and Smith’s iWoz. Other journalistic sources included “The Fall of Steve” by Bro Uttal, published in Fortune on August 5, 1985; and the PBS television documentary The Entrepreneurs, broadcast in 1986. The Golden Gate Weather website, http://ggweather.com/sjc/daily_records.html#September, provided the precise weather data for the day of Jobs’s visit to the Garden of Allah.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

in 2011, it banned e-mail addresses: eBay (1 Oct 2011), “E-mail addresses and some links no longer permitted in listings,” http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/news/links2011.html. in 2012, it banned them from user-to-user: eBay (2 Oct 2012), “Sellers: E-mail addresses and some URLs no longer allowed in member-to-member messages,” http://announcements.ebay.com/2012/10/sellers-e-mail-addresses-and-some-urls-no-longer-allowed-in-member-to-member-messages. Websites that profit from advertising: Steven Levy (22 Apr 2014), “Inside the science that delivers your scary-smart Facebook and Twitter feeds,” Wired, http://www.wired.com/2014/04/perfect-facebook-feed. sites that allow you to opt out: Nate Anderson (24 Jul 2008), “.06% opt out: NebuAd hides link in 5,000-word privacy policy,” Ars Technica, http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2008/07/06-opt-out-nebuad-hides-link-in-5000-word-privacy-policy.

Branstad (Mar 1996), “A taxonomy for key escrow encryption systems,” Communications of the ACM 39, http://faculty.nps.edu/dedennin/publications/Taxonomy-CACM.pdf. over 800 encryption products: Lance J. Hoffman et al. (10 Jun 1999), “Growing development of foreign encryption products in the face of U.S. export regulations,” Report GWU-CPI-1999-02, Cyberspace Policy Institute, George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science, http://cryptome.org/cpi-survey.htm. the crypto wars: This is a good account of those times. Steven Levy (May 1993), “Crypto rebels,” Wired, http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/1.02/crypto.rebels_pr.html. NSA surveillance is costing: These three aspects were discussed in this document. Danielle Kehl et al. (29 Jul 2014), “Surveillance costs: The NSA’s impact on the economy, Internet freedom and cyberspace,” Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation, http://www.newamerica.net/publications/policy/surveillance_costs_the_nsas_impact_on_the_economy_internet_freedom_cybersecurity.


pages: 547 words: 160,071

Underground by Suelette Dreyfus

airport security, invisible hand, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Loma Prieta earthquake, packet switching, pirate software, profit motive, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, zero day

They had to be stolen from dumpsters out the back of office buildings when a company upgraded its system. It was basically impossible to learn about computer security unless you broke into secret security mailing list repositories to read what the system administrators – the keepers of all power in the early internet – were doing behind the scenes to secure their machines. Underground, along with Bruce Sterling’s The Hacker Crackdown and Steven Levy’s Hackers, shine a light onto this now lost world. The project called on a network of good people around the world who decided to let us in. These were not just hackers but others, people who were just willing to share resources because they wanted a good story, told well, for history’s sake. The critics have been kind to Underground; I hope it’s because it has delivered that. When we released an early e-book version in 2001, I was astonished to see more than 400,000 downloads of the book in the first two years alone.

All Anthrax could think of as he left the theatre was how much he wanted to learn how to hack. He had already developed a fascination for computers, having received the simplest of machines, a Sinclair ZX81 with 1 k of memory, as a birthday present from his parents. Rummaging through outdoor markets, he found a few second-hand books on hacking. He read Out of the Inner Circle by Bill Landreth, and Hackers by Steven Levy. By the time he was fourteen, Anthrax had joined a Melbourne-based group of boys called The Force. The members swapped Commodore 64 and Amiga games. They also wrote their own demos – short computer programs – and delighted in cracking the copy protections on the games and then trading them with other crackers around the world. It was like an international penpal group. Anthrax liked the challenge provided by cracking the protections, but few teenagers in his town shared an interest in his unusual hobby.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

The inside story of Xerox PARC is told in Michael Hiltzik’s Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (1999) and in Douglas Smith and Robert Alexander’s earlier Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer (1988). Thierry Bardini’s Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (2000) does justice to a once-unsung hero of the personal-computer revolution. Books focusing on the Macintosh development include John Sculley’s insider account Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple (1987) and Steven Levy’s external view Insanely Great (1994). A selection of business histories of Microsoft (all of which discuss the Windows operating system) was listed in the notes to Chapter 10. We found the most thoughtful account of Microsoft’s forays into CD-ROM publishing and consumer networks to be Randall Stross’s The Microsoft Way (1996). The history of consumer networks has largely been sidelined by the rise of the Internet.

The early days are chronicled in Robert Reid’s Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days That Built the Future of Business (1997), while the crash is recounted in John Cassidy’s Dot.con (2003). As individual enterprises rise to prominence, business histories of them soon appear. We found useful Robert Spector’s Amazon.com: Get Big Fast (2000) and Karen Angel’s Inside Yahoo! (2001). The most significant work on Google to date is Steven Levy’s Into the Plex: How Google Works and Shapes Our Lives (2011). While highly celebratory, Andrew Lih’s The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World’s Greatest Encyclopedia (2009) is nevertheless useful. Social networking discussion draws in part from David Kirkpatrick’s study of Facebook, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World (2010).


pages: 554 words: 149,489

The Content Trap: A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand

Airbnb, Benjamin Mako Hill, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Minecraft, multi-sided market, Network effects, post-work, price discrimination, publish or perish, QR code, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, selection bias, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, two-sided market, ubercab, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Information in this section draws on Bharat Anand and Peter Olson, “The Random House Response to the Kindle,” HBS No. 709-486 (Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, February 27, 2009); Peter Olson and Bharat Anand, “The Kindle: Igniting the Book Business,” Book Business 12, no. 4 (June 2009): 26–28. Disclosure: I taught a paid executive education program for senior executives at Penguin Random House in 2013 and 2015. “Reinventing the Book” Steven Levy, “Amazon: Reinventing the Book,” Newsweek , November 17, 2007. “If it’s allowed to take hold” Ken Auletta, “Publish or Perish: Can the iPad Topple the Kindle, and Save the Book Business?,” New Yorker, April 26, 2010. the top ten CEOs of the past decade “The Entrepreneurs of the Decade: 2000 to 2009,” Inc ., December 2009. is the day big problems and questions arose Luis Alfonso Dau and David T.

the numbers hadn’t increased much “Apple’s iTunes Store Passes 35 Billion Songs Sold Milestone,” MacDailyNews, May 29, 2014, accessed March 30, 2016; http://mac -dailynews.com/​2014/​05/​29/​apples-itunes-store-passes-35-billion-songs-sold-milestone-itunes-radio-now-has-40-million-listeners/ . “If anything can play on anything” John Markoff, “Jobs Calls for End to Music Copy Protection,” New York Times . A tire manufacturer I owe this example to Felix Oberholzer-Gee. “This isn’t a device, it’s a service” Jeff Bezos quoted in Steven Levy, “Amazon: Reinventing the Book,” Newsweek . In 2009 Tata Motors Information about Tata Nano here and elsewhere in the book is drawn primarily from Krishna Palepu, Bharat Anand, et al., “Tata Nano—The People’s Car,” HBS No. 710-420 (Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, rev. March 28, 2011), and public sources where listed. Safety concerns Information in this paragraph also draws from Vikas Bajaj, “Tata’s Nano, the Car That Few Want To Buy,” New York Times , December 9, 2010; Pankaj Doval, “Cheapest Car Tag Hit Tata Nano: Creator,” Times of India , August 21, 2014; Vipin Nair, “Tata Doubles Nano Warranty, Adds Maintenance Plan as Sales Fall,” Bloomberg.com , December 9, 2010.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

Woodruff, “Applications of the Shannon-Hartley Theorem to Data Streams and Sparse Recovery,” 2012, retrieved from IBM Watson researcher site May 8, 2015, http://researcher.watson.ibm.com/researcher/files/us-dpwoodru/pw12.pdf. 29.  For the OptIPuter project, for example, each major component could be on a different continent, but they all work together as if it were a single self-contained machine. See http://www.optiputer.net/. 30.  See, for example, Steven Levy, “Going with the Flow: Google's Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking,” Wired, April 17, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/04/going-with-the-flow-google/ and James C. Corbett, Jeffrey Dean, Michael Epstein, Andrew Fikes, Christopher Frost, JJ Furman, Sanjay Ghemawat, Andrey Gubarev, Christopher Heiser, Peter Hochschild, Wilson Hsieh, Sebastian Kanthak, Eugene Kogan, Hongyi Li, Alexander Lloyd, Sergey Melnik, David Mwaura, David Nagle, Sean Quinlan, Rajesh Rao, Lindsay Rolig, Yasushi Saito, Michal Szymaniak, Christopher Taylor, Ruth Wang, and Dale Woodford, “Spanner: Google's Globally-Distributed Database,” technical paper, October 2012, http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.com/en/us/archive/spanner-osdi2012.pdf. 31. 

Sebastian Thrun, “Google's Driverless Car,” TED, March 2011, http://www.ted.com/talks/sebastian_thrun_google_s_driverless_car. The relative “autonomy” of the car from the driver is a gradient. The design problem is not one of full autonomy of the car replacing full autonomy of the driver, but of varying degrees of cyborgization, drawing on those with which car culture is already comfortable. 56.  Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011). 57.  For those who honestly don't know, the Google driverless car project is a research initiative to develop cars that can autonomously navigate all roads without human steerage (or much of it), using a combination of laser-guided mapping, video cameras, radar, motion sensors, on-board computing, and other tools.

Such a system doesn't need independent taxi drivers, because the system knows where the quickest routes are and what streets are blocked, and can set an ideal route from the outset. The system knows all the conditions and can institute a more sophisticated set of rules that determines how the taxis proceed, and even figure whether some taxis should stay in their garages while fire trucks pass.” Steven Levy, “Going with the Flow: Google's Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking,” Wired.com, April 15, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/04/going-with-the-flow-google/all/. 59.  John Thackara, “Lightness,” in In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), 18–19: “Power tools are another example. The average consumer power tool is used for ten minutes in its entire life—but it takes hundreds of times its own weight to manufacture such an object.


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Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, G4S, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, ubercab, urban planning, Zipcar

If you search for flights to Maui, for example, you might receive an ad for a nice deal on a place to stay. However, if after you returned you were looking up the name of the wonderful little shop you discovered up-island, you might see the same offer. In the former situation the ad is relevant; in the latter it’s worthless. Sometimes such ads are beneath worthless; they are downright tasteless. When tech author and journalist Steven Levy tweeted that a plane had crashed at San Francisco International Airport in June 2013, he reported that an Expedia ad suddenly appeared “urging me to fly somewhere on vacation.” Such gaffes are far from uncommon and often leave a long-lasting negative impression on the very people they are trying to attract. Sometimes ads jump in at the right time—but they just don’t know when to quit. When Israel blogged that he wanted advice on buying a new refrigerator, friends mentioned KitchenAid as a good choice, and he almost immediately saw an ad for a closeout model at a great price.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

Once he grasped the crucial aspects of the protocol (which took him six months), Roberts developed a system that could control the base station and handle both mobile calls and SMS messages. He had built a mobile network from his own bedroom. Today Sam Roberts is working with his brother Oliver on 4G mobile telecommunication network deployments throughout Europe, and continuing to embrace the hacker imperative: the driving need to understand how systems work and then put them back together in enhanced forms. THE HACKER MOVEMENT In his book Hackers, Steven Levy chronicles the birth and development of the hacker movement. He starts with the first iteration of hackers: the group who coalesced during the early 1960s, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) acquired its first programmable computer. This cohort’s obsessive programming of the machines, and the relationship they built with the systems, gave rise to the Hacker Ethic, an informal, organically developed and agreed-upon manifesto that, in several iterations, still drives the hacker movement forward: • Access to computers—and anything that might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total


The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game

But it just so happened that among the students in their class were several members of the Tech Model Railroad Club, a band of techno-geek undergradu- ates who spent their free time creating ever more elaborate train layouts con- trolled by ever more intricate electrical switching networks, the more ingenious the better. Borrowing an ancient MIT slang word for a practical joke, the railroad club's members had taken to calling any particularly clever bit of controller de- sign a hack. And as the writer Steven Levy described in 1984, the hackers in McCarthy and Rochester's course soon got so caught up in the fiendishly intri- cate joys of programming that they started hanging around the Computation Center till all hours, the better to gain access to the 704. There they were discov- ered one day by former railroad-club member Jack Dennis, now the staffer in charge of the TX-O, who asked them if they would like to come upstairs and see that machine.

At a minimum, the notion of passwords in an academic en- vironment seemed vaguely insulting; as Corbato heard it expressed a few years later when the same issue came up at Bell Labs, "We just don't even lock our desk at night. Anyone can walk into anybody else's office, and a gentleman doesn't read anybody else's mail."24 But to the hackers-that fiendishly clever band of obsessives who had learned to program one-on-one at the TX-O and the PDP-1, and who had now found a haven on the ninth floor of Tech Square, in Marvin Minsky's AI Lab-passwords were anathema. As Steven Levy noted in his 1984 book, Hackers, "to the hackers, passwords were even more odious than locked doors. What could be worse than someone telling you that you weren't authorized to use his computer?" The whole thing was so . . . corporate, like hav- ing to wear a nametag and sign in with a guard in the lobby. "To the hackers," wrote Levy, "CTSS represented bureaucracy and IBM-ism." Corbato understood their grievance but stood his ground.

Taylor, "The Computer as a CommunICatIon Device," Sczence & Technology 76 (1968): 21-31. Reprinted in In Memoriam:}. C. R. Llcklzder, 1915-1990, ed. Robert W. Taylor, Digital Systems Research Center Reports, vol. 61 (Palo Alto, Calif., 1990). 32. LICklIder, "Interactive Information Processing." 33. J. C. R. LicklIder, "The System System," In Human Factors In Technology, ed. E. Bennett, J. Degan, and J. Spiegel (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963), 627-28. 34. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Double- day, 1984), 28-29. 35. Ibid., 47. 36. Olsen, NMAH oral history. 37. Ibid. 38. QIoted In Clark, "The LINC Was Early and Small," 368. 39. "The Project MAC Interviews," 42. 40. "The CTSS Interviews," 44, 46. 41. Ibid., 42. 42. McCarthy, "Tlme-Shanng Computer Systems," 236. 43. Martin Greenberger, "The Computers of Tomorrow," AtlantIc Monthly, May 1964. 44.


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The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data by Michael P. Lynch

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, Internet of things, John von Neumann, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, patient HM, prediction markets, RFID, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, WikiLeaks

While neuromedia is currently still in the realm of science fiction, it may not be as far off as you think.1 The migration of technology into our bodies—the cyborging of the human—is no longer just fantasy.2 And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the possibilities are not lost on companies such as Google: “When you think about something and don’t really know much about it, you will automatically get information,” Google CEO Larry Page is quoted as saying in Steven Levy’s recent book In the Plex. “Eventually you’ll have an implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer.”3 This possibility raises some disquieting questions about society, identity and the mind. But as Larry Page’s remark suggests, the deeper question is about information and knowledge itself. How is information technology affecting what we know and how we know it? And what happens to society if we not only know more about the world but the world knows more about us?


pages: 215 words: 61,435

Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick J. Deneen

David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, mortgage debt, Nicholas Carr, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, Steven Levy, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

For a fuller discussion of this history, see Anthony Kronman, Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), especially chapters 3–4. 6. A locus classicus that wed radical feminism with optimistic belief in technology’s ability to alter human nature remains Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex (New York: Morrow, 1970). 7. Steven Levy, “GU NAACP President Discusses Diversity Issues,” Hoya, October 19, 2010. “I feel [that] money and the lack of it, as well as the lack of opportunity to participate in our consumerist, capitalist society and economy, proves difficult. For many minorities, they find that they’re not located on the same playing field as the rest of the nation.” http://www.thehoya.com/gu-naacp-president-discusses-diversity-issues/#.


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business cycle, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

C3. http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/economics/gordon/WSJ_121222.pdf. 8: The Yin and Yang of Behavior and Data Yoky Matsuoka was known as a robot wizard: Matsuoka’s descriptions and quotes come mainly from an interview on Nov. 18, 2011. Nest was cofounded by Tony Fadell: I did an article on Nest when it introduced its first thermostat in October 2011. But the definitive account of Nest’s founding was by Steven Levy, published online by Wired, titled “Brave New Thermostat: How the iPod’s Creator Is Making Home Heating Sexy,” Oct. 25, 2011. I’ve talked to Fadell several times in recent years, but his descriptions and quotes here, unless otherwise noted, come from two interviews, on May 8, 2012, and Nov. 13, 2013. “I had to live a double life”: The program aired on July 16, 2008, and a transcript is available on the PBS Web site. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/yoky-matsuoka.html.


pages: 244 words: 66,599

Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything by Steven Levy

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, information retrieval, information trail, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, rolodex, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush

Insanely Great: the Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything by Steven Levy ISBN 13: 9780670852444 ISBN 10: 0670852449 Hardcover New York, New York, U.s.a.: Viking Adult, 1994 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I owe a huge debt to my sources at Apple, the thirdparty community, and the wider Macintosh world at large. For ten years they have patiently answered my queries, explained technical issues to me, and more often than not provided me with enlightening conversation that illuminated my thinking about matters both Mac and non-Mac. I am especially grateful to the help far beyond the call of duty to Mac Team members Bill Atkinson, Steve Capps, Andy Hertzfeld, Joanna Hoffman, and Susan Kare, who have always been there for me when I needed them. They also helped produce a fairly impressive computer, which of course was the tool I used to generate this manuscript.


pages: 641 words: 182,927

In Pursuit of Privilege: A History of New York City's Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis by Clifton Hood

affirmative action, British Empire, coherent worldview, David Brooks, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, family office, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, jitney, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, P = NP, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ray Oldenburg, ride hailing / ride sharing, Scientific racism, selection bias, Steven Levy, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, urban planning, We are the 99%, white flight

Social Register Association, Social Register, 1986 (New York: Social Register Association, 1985), 501; Social Register Association, Social Register, 1988 (New York: Social Register Association, 1987), 939, 998; Social Register Association, Social Register, 1990 (New York: Social Register Association, 1989), 910; Social Register Association, Social Register, 2013 (New York: Social Register Association, 2012), 887. 120. Quoted in Steven Levy, “Getting In,” New York Magazine 13 (June 30, 1980): 23. 121. Ibid., 23–24. 122. New York Times, April 7 and June 23, 1985. 123. New York Tribune, May 3, 1903, January 3, 1904; New York Times, May 4, 1902; “Town & Country Life,” Town and Country, 52 (June 14, 1902): 29–35; and “Town & Country Life,” Town and Country, 52 (June 21, 1902): 22–25. 124. New York Tribune, May 3, 1903; New York Times, May 4, 1902; and “Town and Country Life,” Town & Country 52 (June 14, 1902): 29–34. 125.

The importance of social diversity to the antielitist elite is also evident from the New York Times wedding page. Once a bastion of white Protestants and a trifling number of Jews and Catholics, it did not run its first photograph of an African American bride until 1954. In the 1970s and 1980s, the presence of representative Asian Americans and African Americans became routinized, and in 2002 the Times began carrying announcements for same-sex couples. New York Times, May 29, 1983, August 18, 2002; and Steven Levy, “Getting In,” New York Magazine 13 (June 30, 1980): 23–24. 136. New York Times, September 14, 1997; W. P. Carey, 2011 Annual Report (New York: n.p., 2012), 2–5, 9–17; “Profiles: Executive Profile of Thomas E. Zacharias,” Bloomberg Businessweek, accessed June 26, 2011, http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=8923450&ticker=WPC:US; Yale School of Management Alumni Profiles, “Profile of Thomas E.


pages: 289 words: 22,394

Virus of the Mind by Richard Brodie

cognitive dissonance, Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach, joint-stock company, New Journalism, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy

Until we start letting software loose to evolve on its own, it’s just another type of meme.* When we use the word evolution, as in “the evolution of species by natural selection,” we’re making a distinction between the winners of that battle, which continue to exist, and the losers, *Experiments in modeling evolution through computers are part of the fascinating new field known as artificial life. Read Steven Levy’s excellent book Artificial Life (Vintage Books, 1993) to learn more about it. 48 Evolution which don’t. Natural selection means that the forces of nature are doing the selecting, as opposed to the artificial selection of breeding pedigreed dogs, for example, in which people do the selecting. The things that are not good at sticking around eventually disappear through entropy, the tendency of things to randomize and level out over time, like sand castles on a beach or a decaying log.


pages: 275 words: 77,017

The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers--And the Coming Cashless Society by David Wolman

addicted to oil, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, cashless society, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, Diane Coyle, fiat currency, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, German hyperinflation, greed is good, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, offshore financial centre, P = NP, Peter Thiel, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, Steven Levy, the payments system, transaction costs, WikiLeaks

v=VemU6EZtnwc. 22 Digital Money Blog, May 10, 2010; and Dave Birch, personal correspondence, November 2010. 23 William Greider, Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country (New York: Touchstone, 1987), p. 53. 24 Michael Salmony, Digital Money Forum address, London, March 10, 2010. 25 http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/rptcongress/annual09/sec5/c1t11.htm; and “As Plastic Reigns, the Treasury Slows Its Printing Presses,” New York Times, July 6, 2011. 26 John McCormick, “Loomis Fargo & Co.: Making Money Move, Efficiently,” http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/Projects-Processes/Loomis-Fargo-Co-Making-Money-Move-Efficiently/, November 8, 2005; also Steven Levy, “E-Money (That’s What I Want),” Wired, December 1994. 27 Ronald Mann, Charging Ahead: The Growth and Regulation of Payment Card Markets (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 39, quoting Swartz. 28 Daniel D. Garcia Swartz, Robert W. Hahn, and Anne Layne-Farrar, “The Economics of a Cashless Society: An Analysis of the Costs and Benefits of Payment Instruments,” Washington, D.C.: AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, 2004), p. 25, citing Humphrey et al. 29 Currency News, July 2009, pp. 6–7. 30 Digital Money Blog, May 11, 2009, “Viking Expedition,” citing “China sees change scarcity,” chna.org.cn, November 20, 2007. 31 David Birch, The Digital Money Reader (Guildford, UK: Mastodon Press, 2010), pp. 54–55, citing “Police Escort for Elderly ATM Users,” Daily Telegraph, May 6, 2009, and “DIY Students Tackle Japanese ATM Fraud,” Finextra.com, November 8, 2008. 32 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704482704576072231420350872.html?


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, IKEA effect, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, private space industry, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

As then, the sudden liberation of industrial technology inspires exuberant imagination and some sweeping predictions (including here). The leaders of the Maker Movement echo the fervor of Steve Jobs, who saw in the personal computer not just the opportunity to start a company but also a force that would change the world. But don’t forget: he was right. Indeed, Jobs himself was inspired by his Maker upbringing. Writing in Wired,12 Steven Levy explained the connection, which led to the original Apple II in 1977: His dad, Paul—a machinist who had never completed high school—had set aside a section of his workbench for Steve, and taught him how to build things, disassemble them, and put them together. From neighbors who worked in the electronics firm in the Valley, he learned about that field—and also understood that things like television sets were not magical things that just showed up in one’s house, but designed objects that human beings had painstakingly created.


pages: 263 words: 75,610

Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, full text search, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, information retrieval, information trail, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, John Markoff, Joi Ito, lifelogging, moveable type in China, Network effects, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, RFID, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Market for Lemons, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Vannevar Bush

Telang, Rahul, Tridas Mukhopadhyay, and Ronald Wilcox, “An Empirical Analysis of Internet Search Engine Choice.” Darden School of Business Working Paper No. 03–05. 2003. Telegeography. Global Bandwidth Research Service. Washington, DC: Pri-Metrica 2008. Executive Summary available free of charge at http://www.telegeography.com/products/gb/index.php. Thompson, Clive. “A Head for Detail,” in The Best of Technology Writing, Steven Levy, ed. 94–114. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press. 2007. Timmer, John. “Google Bows to EU Pressure, Cuts Data Retention Period Again.” Ars Technica (Sept. 9, 2008). http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080909-google-bows-to-eu-pressure-cuts-data-retention-period-agaom.html. Turow, Joseph, Jennifer King, Chris Hoofnagle, Amy Bleakley, and Michael Hennessy. “Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities That Enable It.”


pages: 255 words: 76,834

Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Kocienda

1960s counterculture, anti-pattern, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bash_history, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, HyperCard, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, premature optimization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, zero-sum game

When it comes to happiest times, she’s first and last. Notes Please note that some of the links referenced in this work may no longer be active. 2. The Crystal Ball 1. Free Software Foundation, GNU Operating System. [Online]. Accessed November 12, 2017. Various pages on this website provide the history, the philosophy, and licenses for the GNU Project. https://www.gnu.org 2. Steven Levy, Insanely Great, the Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything (New York: Penguin Books, 1994). The Mac has been an inspiration to me from the moment I first saw one in college in 1984, and if Steven hadn’t written his book about how the people at Apple created it, you wouldn’t be reading this book right now. 3. David Winton, Code Rush: Full Film. Vimeo. [Online].


pages: 296 words: 78,631

Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry

23andMe, 3D printing, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Brixton riot, chief data officer, computer vision, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Firefox, Google Chrome, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, ransomware, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, selection bias, self-driving car, Shai Danziger, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web of trust, William Langewiesche

Feng-Hsiung Hsu, ‘IBM’s Deep Blue Chess grandmaster chips’, IEEE Micro, vol. 19, no. 2, 1999, pp. 70–81, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/755469/. 3. Garry Kasparov, Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2017). 4. TheGoodKnight, ‘Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov Game 2 (1997 Match)’, YouTube, 18 Oct. 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Bd1Q2rOmok&t=2290s. 5. Ibid. 6. Steven Levy, ‘Big Blue’s Hand of God’, Newsweek, 18 May 1997, http://www.newsweek.com/big-blues-hand-god-173076. 7. Kasparov, Deep Thinking, p. 187. 8. Ibid., p. 191. 9. According to Merriam–Webster. The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition makes more of the mathematical nature of algorithms: ‘a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer’. 10.


pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, disruptive innovation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, lifelogging, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

A parallel to CourseSmart is the kind of deep data analytics Google uses to track its own workforce. Like many high-tech businesses, Google models itself as a libertarian utopia: the type of company where employees used to be allowed one extra day per week to pursue their own lines of inquiry, and are as likely to spend their time ascending Google’s indoor rock-climbing wall or having free food served up to them by a former Grateful Dead chef as they are to be coding. However, as Steven Levy points out in In the Plex, his 2011 study of Google, the search leviathan’s apparent loopiness is “the crazy-like-a-fox variety and not the kind calling for straightjackets.”26 Despite Google’s widely publicized quirks, its irreverent touches are data-driven to a fault. “At times Google’s largesse can sound excessive,” notes an article in Slate. “Yet it would be a mistake to conclude that Google doles out such perks just to be nice.


pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin

Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial cluster, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City uses Watson . . . http://www.mskcc.org/blog/msk-trains-ibm-watson-help-doctors-make-better-treatment-choices. Corporate Insight, a research firm . . . http://public.corporateinsight.com/blog/will-ibms-watson-make-your-financial-advisor-obsolete. A company called Narrative Science . . . Much of the description of the company comes from Steven Levy, “Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?” Wired, 24 April 2012. Updated at www.narrativescience.com. In mid-2014, the Associated Press assigned . . . “The A.P. Plans to Automate Quarterly Earnings Articles,” New York Times, 1 July 2014, p. B5. Schools from the elementary level . . . “Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break,” New York Times, 4 April 2013, p.


pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, twin studies, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

“like coming ashore after a life of bobbing up and down”: “I Am a Survivor,” Mark Morris Goodman. Asperger’s Association of New England, http://www.aane.org/asperger_resources/articles/adults/i_am_a_survivor.html 172 spacecraft: National Space Science Data Center. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftSearch.do?launchDate=1967&discipline=All the first undergraduate course in computer programming: Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy. O’Reilly Media, 2010, p. 11. he coined the term artificial intelligence: “A Proposal for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence,” J. McCarthy, M. L. Minsky, N. Rochester, and C. E. Shannon. Aug. 31, 1955. If his colleagues wanted him to read a paper: Scientific Temperaments, Philip Hilts. Simon & Schuster, 1982, p. 203. “His greeting consisted of an expectant stare”: Ibid.

Zerbe. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22766/22766-h/22766-h.htm He advocated installing a terminal in every home: “The Home Information Utility,” John McCarthy. Man and Computer: Proceedings of the International Conference, Bordeaux, France, 1970. Basel. S. Karger, 1972, pp. 48–57. habitually unwashed, Coke-guzzling, Chinese-takeout-eating obsessives: See the descriptions of TMRC hackers in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy. O’Reilly Media, 2010. As hard-core fans of science fiction, ham radio, and Japanese monster movies: “Spacewars and Beyond: How the Tech Model Railroad Club Changed the World,” Henry Jenkins. http://henryjenkins.org/2007/10/spacewars_and_beyond_how_the_t.html#sthash.vNI7iDoK.dpuf equal parts of “science, fiction, and science fiction”: Scientific Temperaments, p. 266. “Do the arithmetic or be doomed to talk nonsense”: “John McCarthy, 84, Dies; Computer Design Pioneer,” John Markoff.


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We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Available from http:// msu.edu/%7enellison/facebook_ica_2006.pdf 12 Danah Boyd, ‘None of This Is Real: Identity and Participation in Friendster’, University of California, Berkeley. Available from http://www.danah.org/ papers/NoneOfThisIsReal.pdf 13 http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiHistory 14 The Economist New Media Survey, ‘The Wiki Principle’, The Economist, April 2006. Available from http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory. cfm?story_id=6794228 15 See Steven Levy and Brad Stone, ‘The New Wisdom of the Web’, Newsweek, April 2006. Available from http:// www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12015774/site/newsweek 16 Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (Chicago, IL/London: University of Chicago Press, 2006) 17 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 18 Charles Leadbeater, ‘The DIY State’, Prospect 130, January 2007 19 Fred Turner, op. cit. 20 John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (Penguin, 2006) 21 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 22 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 23 Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 162 (1968), pp. 1243–48 24 Elenor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1990) 25 Lawrence Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999) and Free Culture (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2004) 26 Melvyn Bragg, The Routes of English (BBC Factual and Learning, 2000); Melvyn Bragg, The Adventure of English (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2003) 27 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 28 Cory Doctorow et al., ‘On “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” By Jaron Lanier’, Edge (2006). http://www.edge.org/discourse/digital_ maoism.html 29 Paul A.


pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, Donald Davies, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

In 2011, Facebook reported: Facebook engineer Justin Mitchell provided the number on the website Quora, January 25, 2011 (http://www.quora.com/How-many-photos-are-uploaded-to-Facebook-each-day). Google confirms at least one billion searches per day: Matt McGee, “By The Numbers: Twitter Vs. Facebook Vs. Google Buzz,” Search Engine Land, February 23, 2010 (http://searchengineland.com/by-the-numbers-twitter-vs-facebook-vs-google-buzz-36709). Its total cost was $1.8 million: For an account of Google’s arrival in The Dalles, see Steven Levy, In the Plex (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), pp. 192–95. “It was visionary—this little town…”: Ibid., p. 192. I’d even read a little note about it: The site has since been changed, but it was accessible as of June 2011 at http://www.google.com/corporate/datacenter/index.html; a copy is preserved here: http://kalanaonline.blogspot.com/2011/02/where-is-your-data-google-and-microsoft.html.


pages: 337 words: 86,320

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

affirmative action, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, working poor

Also see Marcelle Chauvet, Stuart Gabriel, and Chandler Lutz, “Mortgage Default Risk: New Evidence from Internet Search Queries,” Journal of Urban Economics 96 (2016). 60 Bill Clinton: Sergey Brin and Larry Page, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” Seventh International World-Wide Web Conference, April 14–18, 1998, Brisbane, Australia. 61 porn sites: John Battelle, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (New York: Penguin, 2005). 61 crowdsource the opinions: A good discussion of this can be found in Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011). 64 “Sell your house”: This quote was also included in Joe Drape, “Ahmed Zayat’s Journey: Bankruptcy and Big Bets,” New York Times, June 5, 2015, A1. However, the article incorrectly attributes the quote to Seder. It was actually made by another member of his team. 65 I first met up with Seder: I interviewed Jeff Seder and Patty Murray in Ocala, Florida, from June 12, 2015, through June 14, 2015. 66 Roughly one-third: The reasons racehorses fail are rough estimates by Jeff Seder, based on his years in the business. 66 hundreds of horses die: Supplemental Tables of Equine Injury Database Statistics for Thoroughbreds, http://jockeyclub.com/pdfs/eid_7_year_tables.pdf. 66 mostly due to broken legs: “Postmortem Examination Program,” California Animal Health and Food Laboratory System, 2013. 67 Still, more than three-fourths do not win a major race: Avalyn Hunter, “A Case for Full Siblings,” Bloodhorse, April 18, 2014, http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/115014/a-case-for-full-siblings. 67 Earvin Johnson III: Melody Chiu, “E.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Lehane: Conor Dougherty and Mike Isaac, “Airbnb and Uber Mobilize Vast User Base to Sway Policy,” New York Times, November 5, 2015. 12. “Uber and the American Worker,” a speech Plouffe delivered at “the DC tech incubator 1776,” dated November 3, 2015, and available on the Uber website. http://newsroom.uber.com/2015/11/1776. 13. Schmidt can be seen making these statements in a YouTube recording of his SXSW talk, which also featured his coauthor, Jared Cohen, and the interviewer Steven Levy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmzcCSF_zXQ. 14. It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us (Simon & Schuster, 1996), p. 294. 15. The economist Dean Baker suggested to me this interpretation of inno-as-circumvention. See “The Opportunities and Risks of the Sharing Economy,” his testimony before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, September 29, 2015. 16. 


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

. [>] On quotation “In God we trust—all others bring data”—This is often attributed to W. Edwards Deming. On Ted Kennedy and No-Fly List—Sara Kehaulani Goo, “Sen. Kennedy Flagged by No-Fly List,” Washington Post, August 20, 2004, p. A01 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17073-2004Aug19.html). [>] Google’s hiring practices—See Douglas Edwards, I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011), p. 9. See also Steven Levy, In the Plex (Simon and Schuster, 2011), pp. 140–141. Ironically, Google’s co-founders wanted to hire Steve Jobs as CEO (despite his lack of a college degree); Levy, p. 80. Testing 41 gradations of blue—Laura M. Holson, “Putting a Bolder Face on Google,” New York Times, March 1, 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/business/01marissa.html). Google’s chief designer’s resignation—Quotation is excerpted (without ellipses for readability) from Doug Bowman, “Goodbye, Google,” blog post, March 20, 2009 (http://stopdesign.com/archive/2009/03/20/goodbye-google.html). [>] Jobs quotation—Steve Lohr, “Can Apple Find More Hits Without Its Tastemaker?”


pages: 302 words: 85,877

Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Chrome, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Peter Thiel, pirate software, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, ransomware, Richard Stallman, Robert Mercer, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

For kindly housing and looking after me during my research trips, I would like to thank Ralph and Shan Logan, Andrea Shallcross and Jonathan Burn, Rachel Layne and John Mulrooney, Barbara Bestor and Tom Stern, and assorted relatives. I am also indebted to a number of talented and hardworking authors who brought clarity to various aspects of historic and current issues in security touched on here, including John Markoff, Phil Lapsley, Fred Kaplan, Ronald Deibert, Shane Harris, Andy Greenberg, Bruce Sterling, Steven Levy, and Gabriella Coleman. For those interested in learning more about the bulletin board era, I strongly recommend Jason Scott Sadofsky’s multipart documentary and his text file collection, both publicly available. I would especially like to thank my keen-eyed editor, Colleen Lawrie, agent David Patterson, and media advisor Elinor Mills. I have been fortunate to work since 2012 at Reuters, which has some of the finest journalists in the world.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

I don’t remember ever making a decision to tell someone to go away. It’s really very bizarre, but this was a self-energizing community. These hackers had their own language. They could get things done in three days that would take a month. If somebody appeared who had the talent, the magic touch, they would fit in.” The TMRC and Minsky’s lab were later immortalized in Stewart Brand’s The Media Lab and Steven Levy’s Hackers: The Heroes of the Computer Revolution, in addition to many other publications.6 The hacker ethic is also what inspired Mark Zuckerberg’s first Facebook motto: “Move fast and break things.” Minsky was part of Zuckerberg’s curriculum at Harvard. Minsky and a collaborator, John McCarthy, organized the very first conference on artificial intelligence, at the Dartmouth Math Department in 1956.


pages: 327 words: 84,627

The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth by Jeremy Rifkin

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, failed state, ghettoisation, hydrogen economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, megacity, Network effects, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, renewable energy credits, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Levy, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

“The AT&T Issue Brief on Energy Management,” August 2018, https://about.att.com/ecms/dam/csr/issuebriefs/IssueBriefs2018/environment/energy-management.pdf (accessed February 22, 2019); “Intel Climate Change Policy Statement,” December 2017, https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/corporate-responsibility/environment-climate-change-policy.html (accessed February 22, 2019); Cisco, “CSR Environmental Sustainability,” https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/csr/impact/environmental-sustainability.html (accessed February 22, 2019). 24.  Steven Levy, “The Brief History of the ENIAC Computer: A Look Back at the Room-Size Government Computer That Began the Digital Era,” Smithsonian Magazine, November 2013, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-brief-history-of-the-eniac-computer-3889120/ (accessed March 12, 2019). 25.  Simon Kemp, Digital in 2018: Essential Insights into the Internet, Social Media, Mobile, and Ecommerce Use Around the World, Hootsuite and We Are Social Global Digital Report, 3. 26.  


The Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work by Vishen Lakhiani

Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, performance metric, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, web application, white picket fence

I’ve heard people say: “So much wastage happens at Mindvalley, we start something, then kill it.” “We run before planning well. And then the project goes wrong.” They are right. But these are wasting bullets. Wasting bullets is 100 percent correct, according to the OODA philosophy. Because you will shoot down more enemy planes. The pace of innovation is the most important thing. I don’t care if we fail 40 to 50 percent of the time. Google fails that often too. According to Steven Levy in his book In the Plex Google fails at 40 percent of everything they start. (Remember the Google Glass or Google Plus?) But by moving fast we learn, orient, adapt, and innovate faster than the competition. Failure is completely OKAY. In fact, it’s enshrined in our OKRs (50 percent of your OKRs must have a 50 percent rate of failure). Failing is OKAY. But Being Slow is NOT. Here’s what OODA means to us


pages: 297 words: 89,820

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy

Apple II, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, en.wikipedia.org, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technology bubble, Thomas L Friedman

Each chapter of this book was written to stand on its own, a deeply researched, wittily observed take on a different aspect of the iPod. The sequence of the chapters in the book has been shuffled in different copies, with only the opening and concluding sections excepted. "Shuffle" is a hallmark of the digital age—and The Perfect Thing, via sharp, insightful reporting, is the perfect guide to the deceptively diminutive gadget embodying our era. STEVEN LEVY is a senior editor and the chief technology correspondent for Newsweek magazine. He is the author of five previous books, including Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, which was voted the best sci-tech nonfiction book of the last twenty years by readers of PC magazine, and Insanely Great, the definitive account of the Macintosh computer. A native of Philadelphia, Levy lives in New York City with his wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Teresa Carpenter, and their son.


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In my description of Central Park East schools, I quoted and drew heavily from Seymour Fliegel’s excellent article “Debbie Meier and the Dawn of Central Park East,” City Journal, Winter 1994. 22 “an astonishingly rich educational program” . . . Ibid. 23 But such schools still represent just . . . From my interviews with Nikhil Goyal, April 2013; for more, see Goyal’s book, One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School (Bravura Books, 2012). 24 alumni have become known as the Montessori Mafia . . . Peter Sims, “The Montessori Mafia,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2011. 25 Marissa Mayer—now the head of Yahoo! . . . Steven Levy, “Larry Page Wants to Return Google to Its Startup Roots,” Wired, April 2011. 26 Dan Meyer, a high school math teacher . . . Meyer gave his talk, “Math Class Needs a Makeover,” at TEDxNYED, March 2010. 27 Why do movie tickets cost the same for hits or duds? . . . Robert H. Frank, “How Can They Charge That? (and Other Questions),” New York Times, May 11, 2013. 28 Dennie Palmer Wolf, a professor . . .


pages: 298 words: 89,287

Who Are We—And Should It Matter in the 21st Century? by Gary Younge

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, David Brooks, equal pay for equal work, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, feminist movement, financial independence, glass ceiling, global village, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Skype, Steven Levy, upwardly mobile, Wolfgang Streeck, World Values Survey

Johnson, Lyndon Joint Committee of Women’s Societies and Social Workers Jones, Melanie Jordan, Michael Judaism Jewish identity Jewish Life Information Center (ITIM) Zionism and Judge, Timothy Judiciary (American) Judt, Tony Kaiser, Jens Kamiya, Gary Karelitz, Avraham Yeshayahu Kasrils, Ronnie Katičić, Radoslav Katy, Judith Keane, Roy Kennedy, Geraldine Kennedy, Martin Kennedy, Robert Kerry, John Kerry, Teresa Heinz Khan, Chaka KhoiKhoi people King, Martin Luther King-O’Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko Kinsley, Michael Koppel, Ted Kroft, Steve Kyl, Jon Labour Party (UK) Lacorne, Denis Laing, Abraham Laing, Sandra Lajitas (Texas) Latif, Farasat Latinos/Latinas Lee, J. J. Leningrad Leterme, Yves Lévesque, René Levi sisters, Lilia and Alma Levitt, Steven Levy, Andrea Limbaugh, Rush Linkebeek List, Friedrich Little People of America Lloyd, T. Walker Locke, Jeremiah Lulu da Silva, Luiz Inácio MacIntyre, Alasdair McCain, John McCarthy, Joseph McCarthy, Mick McCourt, Frank McKay, Ruth B. Malcolm X Mamdani, Mahmood Marcerelli, Matthew Markiewicz, Countess Constance Marley, Bob Marriage– childbirth, parenthood and marital status forced marriage gay intermarriage Marshall, Thurgood Marx, Karl Marxism Marylebone Cricket Club Matthews, Chris Maupin, Armistead May, Rollo May, Theresa Melvin, Harold Metropolitan Police (UK) Mexico City student massacre Mfume, Kweisi Miles, Thomas J.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

Stephenson makes this rather obscure mythic history more familiar to his readers by putting it in the hands of hackers, who by the book’s publication in 1992 were already imbued with their their own contemporary mythos. In Snow Crash, Hiro Protagonist satirically defines the icon of the hacker figure, working at the periphery of monolithic cultural systems to make crucial interventions through technical skill, idealistic motivation, and a blithe disregard for traditional mores. Hiro is a character right out of the trickster archetype that technology journalist Steven Levy chronicles in Hackers; a character who came to life around Silicon Valley pioneer Stewart Brand’s Hackers Conference in 1984.2 The computational systems of the novel, from the various security systems to the Metaverse itself, were created by hackers and are subject to their manipulations. As a high-water mark in the cyberpunk genre, Snow Crash both embellished and consecrated hackers as potent and capricious architects of computational reality.


pages: 316 words: 90,165

You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves by Hiawatha Bray

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, digital map, don't be evil, Edmond Halley, Edward Snowden, Firefox, game design, Google Earth, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, license plate recognition, lone genius, openstreetmap, polynesian navigation, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFID, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thales of Miletus, trade route, turn-by-turn navigation, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Zipcar

NielsenWire, May 25, 2012, http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/april-2012-top-u-s-online-brands-and-travel-websites. 5. Jerry Brotton, A History of the World in Twelve Maps (London: Allen Lane, 2012), 417–418. 6. Kevin Maney, “Tiny Tech Company Awes Viewers,” USA Today, March 21, 2003. 7. John Timmer, “New Satellite to Give Google Maps Unprecedented Resolution,” Ars Technica, http://arstechnica.com/business/2008/09/new-satellite-to-give-google-maps-unprecedented-resolution/. 8. Steven Levy, “The Earth Is Ready for Its Close-Up,” Newsweek, June 6, 2005, 13. 9. UNOSAT Humanitarian Rapid Mapping Service, “Overview 2011,” http://unosat.web.cern.ch/unosat/unitar/Overview2011UNOSATRapidMapping_final2.pdf. 10. Danny Bradbury, “Taking Your Network to Extremes,” Computer Weekly, March 27, 2007. 11. Patrick Meier, “The Past and Future of Crisis Mapping,” iRevolution, October 18, 2008, http://irevolution.net/2008/10/18/future-of-crisis-mapping/. 12.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

A map on your personalized home page would show you where rides that originated near you were going that day, letting serendipity guide your travel. You could pay for your share of the driving expenses online, without having to awkwardly hand over exact change for your share of the trip expenses (we would charge each party 10 percent of the transaction for doing so). And both passengers and drivers could say whether they would ride with the other person again, creating a trusted network. I was proud of the product we launched with, and Steven Levy, the author of popular books about Apple and Google, broke the story about GoLoco in Newsweek: “If Chase has her way, GoLoco will be the behavioral equivalent of the Prius, zapping enviro-guilt while cooling off Gaia.”1 We persuaded close friends and employees to create complete personal profiles to fuel our start. But all too quickly we learned that we had vastly overbuilt the website. Just about no one voluntarily created a profile.


Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

crack epidemic, desegregation, Ronald Reagan, Steven Levy, the scientific method, urban planning, urban renewal

Bailey given money by at police robbery in politics popularity of promotion of prostitution and random gunshots and recruiting by at regional meeting Robert Taylor demolition feared by Robert Taylor survey by sales directors of on sex trade S.V. made gang leader by S.V.’s first meeting with S.V.’s information and on S.V.’s legal concerns S.V.’s relationship with S.V.’s teaching and S.V.’s underground-economy studies approved by S.V.’s writings as source of pride for Taneesha incident and at voter-registration drive Wilson family helped by worries of Justice Department, U.S. Justin (Taneesha’s baby) Kalia (gang member) Katchen (S.V.’s girlfriend) Keisha Kennedy-King College Kenny (gang member) Kris Lake Park projects scheduled demolition of LaShona (J.T.’s cousin) Las Vegas, Nev. Latin King Lee-Lee Legends South Levitt, Steven Levy, Cordella liberals Local Advisory Council (LAC) Los Angeles, Calif. ”Lounge,” Mae, Ms. (J.T.’s mother) background of at back-to-school party cooking of move of on prostitutes on sex trade visitors to Mafia Marcus, Reggie, see Reggie, Officer marijuana Marna Mayne (gang leader) MCs (Mickey Cobras) MC Southside Fest Medicaid men of neighborhood network of Mexican Americans Michael (gang member) Millie Milwaukee, Wis.


pages: 322 words: 99,066

The End of Secrecy: The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks by The "Guardian", David Leigh, Luke Harding

4chan, banking crisis, centre right, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, Downton Abbey, drone strike, eurozone crisis, friendly fire, global village, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, post-work, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

David House, a Boston University graduate who set up the hackerspace there, says that hacking is not the shady skull-and-crossbones activity of breaking into computers that it is often assumed to be. Rather, it is a way of looking at the world. “It’s about understanding the environment in which we operate, taking it apart, and then expanding upon it and recreating it. Central to it is the idea that information should be free, combined with a deep distrust of authority.” House points to a book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, by Steven Levy, which chronicles the rise of the “hacker ethic” at MIT. “Hackers believe that essential lessons can be learned about … the world from taking things apart, seeing how they work, and using this knowledge to create new and even more interesting things,” Levy writes. “They resent any person, physical barrier, or law that tries to keep them from doing this. All information should be free. If you don’t have access to the information you need to improve things, how can you fix them?”


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, national security letter, online collectivism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

Today, things are more subtle”: Jailan Zayan, “Egypt, Tunisia Finding that Road to Freedom Is Rocky,” Agence France Presse, May 26, 2011. 6 President Barack Obama waxed enthusiastic about the political power of social networking: Full transcript at www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/04/20/remarks-president-facebook-town-hall (accessed June 21, 2011). 7 A classic example was Google’s clash with the Chinese government: A full account of those events can be found in Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011). Also see John Pomfret, “In China, Google Users Worry They May Lose an Engine of Progress,” Washington Post, March 20, 2010, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031900986.html (accessed June 21, 2011). 9 geopolitical vision for a digitally networked world: Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, “The Digital Disruption: Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power,” Foreign Affairs 89, no. 6 (November/December 2010), 75–85. 10 In his book The Filter Bubble, Eli Pariser: Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (New York: Penguin Press, 2011). 10 Siva Vaidhyanathan warns: Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011). 10 As Harvard’s Joseph Nye points out in The Future of Power: Joseph S.


pages: 352 words: 96,532

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon

air freight, Bill Duvall, computer age, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, fault tolerance, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, natural language processing, packet switching, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy

Marsha Longshore of IEEE sent technical articles our way, and Earl Swartzlander lent us his copies of the IEEE computer history annals. Steve Wolff helped us understand the often labyrinthine events that took place in the 1980s, particularly concerning NSF’s role in the development of the Internet. The manuscript was read in whole or in part in various stages of completion by Vint Cerf, Lyman Chapin, Steve Crocker, Peter Denning, Frank Heart, Bob Kahn, John Kelley, Larry Landweber, Steven Levy, Hank Long, Paul McJones, Alex McKenzie, Peter Preuss, Larry Roberts, Einar Stefferud, Bob Taylor, John Vittal, Dave Walden, and Susan Zacharias. Everett Hafner, perfectionist and workhorse, kept us honest. The manuscript benefited tremendously from the keen mind and careful pen of Richard Lyon. Responsibility for errors, of course, rests with us. Jon Coifman, our ace research assistant, helped immensely with the final stages of the manuscript preparation, and Andrea Perry was a careful proofreader.


The Pirate's Dilemma by Matt Mason

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, Firefox, future of work, glass ceiling, global village, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, patent troll, peer-to-peer, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog

Page 58 Cory Doctorow, “Big Cable’s ridiculous Net Neutrality smear video,” Boing Boing, October 27, 2006. www.boingboing.net/2006/10/27/big_cables_ridiculou.html. Anders Bylund, “Mark Cuban on the tiered Internet,” Arstechnica.com, February 8, 2006. http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/cuban.ars. Page 59 Nicol Wistreich, “Disney Co-Chair recognises ‘piracy is a business model’,” Netribution.co.uk, October 10, 2006. www.netribution.co.uk/2/content/view/ 972/182/. Steven Levy, “Q&A: Jobs on iPod’s Cultural Impact,” Newsweek, October 15, 2006. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15262121/site/newsweek/print/1/displaymode/ 1098/. Page 59 Associated Press, “‘Patent trolling’ firms sue their way to profits,” MSNBC, March 18, 2006. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11860819/. Page 60 Kristen Philipkoski, “Monsanto Prevails in Patent Fight,” Wired, May 21, 2004. www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/05/63555.


pages: 493 words: 98,982

The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? by Michael J. Sandel

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, global supply chain, helicopter parent, High speed trading, immigration reform, income inequality, Khan Academy, laissez-faire capitalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Washington Consensus

Kim Parker, “The Growing Partisan Divide in Views of Higher Education,” Pew Research Center, August 19, 2019, pewsocialtrends.org/essay/the-growing-partisan-divide-in-views-of-higher-education . 73. Obama quoted in Adam J. White, “Google.gov ,” The New Atlantis , Spring 2018, p. 15, thenewatlantis.com/publications/googlegov . The video of Obama’s talk at Google is at youtube.com/watch?v=m4yVlPqeZwo&feature=youtu.be&t=1h1m42s . 74. Ibid. See also Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011), p. 317. 75. Author’s search of Obama’s use of “cost curve,” using the online archive of the American Presidency Project, presidency.ucsb.edu/advanced-search . 76. Author’s search of Obama’s use of “incentivize,” using the online archive of the American Presidency Project, presidency.ucsb.edu/advanced-search . 77.


pages: 240 words: 109,474

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, book scanning, Columbine, corporate governance, game design, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Marc Andreessen, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, X Prize

Then one day he realized he wasn’t. 19 The book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution was a revelation. Carmack had heard about hackers: In 1982 a Disney movie called Tron told the story of a video game designer, played by Jeff Bridges, who hacked himself into a video game world; in a 1983 movie called WarGames, Matthew Broderick played a young gamer who hacked into a government computer system, and nearly triggered Armageddon. But this book’s story was different–it was real. Written by Steven Levy in 1984, it explored the uncharted history and culture of the “Whiz Kids Who Changed Our World.” The book traced the rise ol renegade computer enthusiasts over twenty-five rollicking years, from the mainframe experimentalists at MIT in the fifties and sixties to the Homebrew epoch of Silicon Valley in the seventies and up through the computer game start-ups of the eighties. These were not people who fit neatly into the stereotypes of outlaws or geeks.


pages: 398 words: 107,788

Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking by E. Gabriella Coleman

activist lawyer, Benjamin Mako Hill, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Debian, Donald Knuth, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, ghettoisation, GnuPG, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Larry Wall, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, pirate software, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, software patent, software studies, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, web application, web of trust

Hackers, however, evince considerable diversity and are notoriously sectarian, constantly debating the meaning of the words hack, hacker, and hacking. Yet almost all academic and journalistic work on hackers commonly whitewashes these differences, and defines all hackers as sharing a singular “hacker ethic.” Offering the first definition in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, journalist Steven Levy (1984, 39) discovered among a couple of generations of MIT hackers a unique as well as “daring symbiosis between man and machine,” where hackers placed the desire to tinker, learn, and create technical beauty above all other goals. The hacker ethic is shorthand for a list of tenets, and it includes a mix of aesthetic and pragmatic imperatives: a commitment to information freedom, a mistrust of authority, a heightened dedication to meritocracy, and the firm belief that computers can be the basis for beauty and a better world (ibid., 39–46).


pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Justin.tv, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

More important, Napster would have had to change the expectations of an audience it had conditioned to expect free music, and it would have had to do so while competing with illegal services that were still free—and free to offer copyrighted movies and unreleased music when it couldn’t. That hasn’t kept technology pundits from insisting the music business missed its big chance. In The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness, the former Newsweek technology correspondent Steven Levy blames the labels for not making their content free online the way newspapers did, although that didn’t work out very well for them (or for Newsweek, for that matter).20 Levy writes that when he interviewed Barry, he saw a look in his eyes that said, “Why didn’t they work with us?”21 But Barry is hardly as naive as Levy makes him sound, and even he doesn’t think the labels were as clueless as some people say.


pages: 397 words: 109,631

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard E. Nisbett

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive dissonance, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, endowment effect, experimental subject, feminist movement, fixed income, fundamental attribution error, glass ceiling, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Shai Danziger, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, William of Occam, Zipcar

Kim, Beom Jun KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Kissinger, Henry Kitayama, Shinobu Korea Kremer, Michael Krugman, Paul Kuhn, Thomas Kunda, Ziva kurtotic curves Lakatos, Imre Larrick, Richard Latané, Bibb Latin law of large numbers; observations and; sample values and learning; animal studies of; classroom size and; of language; machine; standardized tests as measures of; statistics, everyday benefits of; unconscious; about Venn diagrams; see also reinforcement learning theory Lehman, Darrin Lempert, Richard Lepper, Mark leptokurtic curve Levi, Primo Levitt, Steven Levy, Dan Lewicki, Pawel Life of Samuel Johnson, The (Boswell) LifeSkills Training Lincoln, Abraham Lingua Franca Literary Digest Liu, Amy Liu, Shu-hsien Logan, Robert logic; conditional; of cost-benefit theory; of decision theory; deontic; formal (see also syllogisms); propositional; violations of; see also reasoning London: weather in London School of Economics loss aversion Lowell, Amy Lysenko, Trofim macroeconomics Maier, N.R.F.


pages: 392 words: 108,745

Talk to Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Think by James Vlahos

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, computer age, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, lateral thinking, Loebner Prize, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

What he did not anticipate was how much other people would, too. After a colleague shared Colossal Cave Adventure on a computer network, the game was passed around to more and more players. It attained a 1970s sort of virality and inspired other popular interactive text-based adventure games including Zork. In 1981 Crowther’s creation was honored by being the first game available for the original IBM PC. Decades later, the noted technology writer Steven Levy would note, “Playing adventure games without tackling this one is like being an English major who’s never glanced at Shakespeare.” Like Eliza, text-based computer games such as Colossal Cave Adventure were also many people’s first experience of something powerful: communicating with what felt like a sentient machine. In the 1980s and 1990s, conversational computing would advance significantly beyond the clipped exchanges of Colossal Cave Adventure—until it reached what felt like an unsurmountable wall, one that would require researchers to question core assumptions about how best to teach computers to talk.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Somewhere along the way, the money changers had taken over the temple. The internet had transformed many things, but it had not transformed us. The New New Age The yearning for a higher consciousness didn’t burst with the bubble. Web 1.0 may have turned out to be spiritual vaporware, but now we have the hyper-hyped upgrade: Web 2.0. In a new profile of the influential technology publisher Tim O’Reilly, Wired writer Steven Levy suggests that “the idea of collective consciousness is becoming manifest in the internet.” He quotes O’Reilly: “The internet today is so much an echo of what we were talking about at Esalen in the ’70s—except we didn’t know it would be technology-mediated.” Levy then asks, rhetorically, “Could it be that the internet—or what O’Reilly calls Web 2.0—is really the successor to the human potential movement?”


pages: 422 words: 104,457

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin

AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

And in 1999, the United States dropped: Jeri Clausing, “White House Eases Export Controls on Encryption,” New York Times, September 17, 1999, http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/09/biztech/articles/17encrypt.html. It developed the “Clipper chip” to encrypt: John Markoff, “Technology; Wrestling over the Key to the Codes,” New York Times, May 9, 1993, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/05/09/business/technology-wrestling-over-the-key-to-the-codes.html. copies of the encryption keys: Steven Levy, “Battle of the Clipper Chip,” New York Times, June 12, 1994, http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/12/magazine/battle-of-the-clipper-chip.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm. In 1994, Matt Blaze at AT&T Bell Labs: Matt Blaze, in discussion with author, May 8, 2013. “It is insufficient to protect ourselves”: Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptology: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C (New York: Wiley, 1996).


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Nelson, “Complex Information Processing: A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing and the Indeterminate,” in ACM ’65: Proceedings of the 1965 20th National Conference (New York: ACM, 1965), 84–100. “transclusion”: Theodor H. Nelson, Literary Machines (South Bend, IN: Mindful Press, 1980). “intertwingularity”: Theodor H. Nelson, Computer Lib: You Can and Must Understand Computers Now (South Bend, IN: Nelson, 1974). total number of web pages: “How Search Works,” Inside Search, Google, 2013, accessed April 26, 2015. 90 billion searches a month: Steven Levy, “How Google Search Dealt with Mobile,” Medium, Backchannel, January 15, 2015. 50 million blogs in the early 2000s: David Sifry, “State of the Blogosphere, August 2006,” Sifry’s Alerts, August 7, 2006. 65,000 per day are posted: “YouTube Serves Up 100 Million Videos a Day Online,” Reuters, July 16, 2006. 300 video hours every minute, in 2015: “Statistics,” YouTube, April 2015, https://goo.gl/RVb7oz.


pages: 363 words: 105,039

Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers by Andy Greenberg

air freight, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, clean water, data acquisition, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, global supply chain, hive mind, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, pirate software, pre–internet, profit motive, ransomware, RFID, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

Extra thanks to Dan Novack for his steel backbone as legal counsel, and others at Doubleday/Penguin Random House, including Sean Yule, Beth Pizio, Kate Hughes, Todd Doughty, Michael Goldsmith, Hannah Engler, and Ingrid Sterner. Other miscellaneous but heartfelt thanks go out (in no particular order) to Mike Assante, Sam Chambers, James Lewis, Kenneth Geers, Alan Paller, Oleh Derevianko and the staff of ISSP in Kiev, Anne Applebaum, Cliff Stoll, Steven Levy, Alex Gladstein, Maryna Antonova, Khatuna Mshvidobadze, Zurab Akhvlediani, Elena Ostanina, Autumn Maison, Roman Dobrokhotov, Fyodor Mozgovoy, Adrian Chen, Joshua Corman, Trevor Timm, Ben Wizner, Edward Snowden, Patrick Neighorn, Cristiana Brafman Kittner, Marina Krotofil, Ben Miller, Anna Keeve, Ranson Burkette, Ilina Cashiola, Jessica Bettencourt, Sarah Kitsos, Jaime Padilla, Mike Smith, Walter Weiss, Nadya and Stephan Wasylko, Natalie Jaresko, Tom Mayer, Jasmine Lake, Bryan Fogel, Sarahana Shrestha, Sabrina Bezerra, Sam Greenberg, Naima Zouhali, and Steve Worrall, and a very big, special thank-you to Bertha Auquilla.


pages: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega

Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, defense in depth, Donald Davies, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Firefox, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, market design, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Nick Leeson, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, packet switching, peer-to-peer, performance metric, pirate software, Robert Bork, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, security theater, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, statistical model, Steven Levy, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, web application, web of trust, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

In 1990, the cultural attitude about cryptography could be described as, Why do you need that? What do you have to hide? Twenty years later, the cultural attitude is closer to, Why don’t you have it? Don’t you understand that you have to protect your data? The definitive history of The Crypto Wars and the cultural shift in cryptography has not yet been written. Nonetheless, a good place to start is Steven Levy’s Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age (Penguin). From PGP 3 to OpenPGP After the status of PGP 2 became calmer, Phil, along with Derek Atkins and Colin Plumb, started work on a new version of PGP software, PGP 3. PGP 3 contained a number of improvements to the RFC 1991 protocol, including: • Support for multiple public-key pairs in a PGP key. In particular, its design called for separate signing and encryption keys, as a way to enforce key use. • Support for DSA public-key signatures, as well as ElGamal for public-key encryption. • Support for CAST5 and Triple DES for symmetric encryption. • Replacing the MD5 hash function with SHA-1, after Hans Dobbertin found pseudocollisions in its compression function (see “References” on page 129).


pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, intangible asset, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra, your tax dollars at work

Absent that fancy gadget, try the web site NerdsonWallStreet.com. It has links in to all of these references, plus color and animated versions of the black & white screen grabs found in the book. The site will be updated often with new and topical items. Notes 1. A term of respect popularized by Michael Lewis in his 1989 book, Liar’s Poker (W.W. Norton). 2. Emanuel Derman, “Finance by the Numbers,” Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2007. 3. Much of Steven Levy’s 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Doubleday) takes place in the PDP-1 lab at MIT. Hacking had no criminal connotation at the time. The book is still in print. 4. Start with Herman Kahn’s On Thermonuclear War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1960) for a weighty tome, or “How RAND Invented the Postwar World,” by Virginia Campbell, in Invention & Technology magazine (Summer 2004) for a much more compact read. 5.


pages: 429 words: 114,726

The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise by Nathan L. Ensmenger

barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, deskilling, Donald Knuth, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Grace Hopper, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, loose coupling, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Shoshana Zuboff, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

Steve Silberman, “The Geek Syndrome,” Wired 9, no. 12 (2001): 175–183; Majia Holmer Nadesan, Constructing Autism: Unravelling the “Truth” and Understanding the Social (London: Routledge, 2005), 199. 6. David Anderegg, Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 2007); Benjamin Nugent, American Nerd: The Story of My People (New York: Scribner, 2008). 7. Joseph Weizenbaum, Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation (New York: Penguin, 1976); Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Garden City, NY: Anchor Press, 1984); Katie Hafner, CYBERPUNK: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier, Revised (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995). 8. Philip Scranton, “None-too-Porous Boundaries: Labor History and the History of Technology,” Technology and Culture 29, no. 744–778 (1988); Stephen Barley, “Technicians in the Workplace: Ethnographic Evidence for Bringing Work into Organization Studies,” Administrative Science Quarterly 41, no. 3 (1996): 404–441; Nelly Oudshoorn and Trevor Pinch, eds., How Users Matter: The Co-construction of Users and Technologies (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003). 9.


pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, lifelogging, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

—John Halamka, MD Chief Information Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Professor of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School “Wachter not only has unmatched insider knowledge of healthcare but deeply understands technology as well. This breadth allows him to prescribe commonsense solutions to the problems emerging from the inevitable marriage between the fields, which he reveals as a more troubled union than many suspect. The Digital Doctor not only enlightens and awakens, but is a delight to read—rare for such an important book.” —Steven Levy author of Hackers and In the Plex “A fascinating and insightful look at the digital transformation of healthcare, thoroughly researched and brought to life by dozens of stories and interviews with practicing clinicians. Wachter plots a realistic road map for navigating the obstacles ahead, without the hype that frequently accompanies digital health solutions. It’s an essential read for anyone involved in our healthcare system, from everyday providers in exam rooms to politicians and policy makers who shape the system.”


pages: 394 words: 117,982