Howard Rheingold

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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, 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, 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, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

For a full accounting of Whole Earth Catalog finances 1968 –1971, see Stewart Brand, “Money,” in Brand, Last Whole Earth Catalog, 438. 33. Basch, “Living on the Net.” 34. Rheingold, “Slice of My Life in My Virtual Community,” 425; Howard Rheingold, “Da WELL Been Beddy, Beddy Goot to Me,” post 6, December 7, 1989. 35. humdog, “Pandora’s Vox,” 438 –39; Coate, “Cyberspace Innkeeping.” Marc Smith notes that in 1992, 50 percent of the contributions to the WELL came from 70 people—approximately 1 percent of the overall membership. See Smith, “Voices from the WELL,” 29. 36. Coate, “Cyberspace Innkeeping”; Basch, interview, August 8, 2004. 37. Howard Rheingold, interview, July 20, 2001; John Perry Barlow, interview, August 25, 2003; John Coate, interview, August 25, 2003. 38. Stark, “Ambiguous Assets for Uncertain Environments,” 71. For an early and important application of Stark’s theories of heterarchy to media production, see Boczkowski, Digitizing the News, 165. 39.

For all of their help, I’d like to thank Bob Albrecht, Dennis Allison, John Perry Barlow, Reva Basch, Keith Britton, Lois Britton, John Brockman, Michael Callahan, John Coate, Doug Engelbart, Bill English, Lee Felsenstein, Cliff Figallo, David Frohman, Asha Greer (formerly Barbara Durkee), Katie Hafner, Paul Hawken, Alan Kay, Kevin Kelly, Art Kleiner, Butler Lampson, Liza Loop, John Markoff, Jane Metcalfe, David Millen, Nancy Murphy, Richard Raymond, Danica Remy, Howard Rheingold, Louis Rossetto, Peter Schwartz, Mark Stahlman, Gerd Stern, Shirley Streshinsky, Larry Tesler, Paul Tough, Jim Warren, and Gail Williams. Most of all, I thank Stewart Brand, whose openness to this project has been a lesson in itself. I am also grateful to a number of people and institutions for permission to quote conversations and to reprint previously published material. I conducted all interviews myself.

In 1968 Brand brought members of the two worlds together in the pages of one of the defining documents of the era, the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1985 he gathered them again on what would become perhaps the most influential computer conferencing system of the decade, the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, or the WELL. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Brand and other members of the network, including Kevin Kelly, Howard Rheingold, Esther Dyson, and John Perry Barlow, became some of the most-quoted spokespeople for a countercultural vision of the Internet. In 1993 all would help create the magazine that, more than any other, depicted the emerging digital world in revolutionary terms: Wired. By recounting their history, this book reveals and helps to explain a complex intertwining of two legacies: that of the military-industrial research culture, which first appeared during World War II and flourished across the cold war era, and that of the American counterculture.

pages: 369 words: 80,355

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 by David Weinberger


airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix,, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

A mob is a crowd stirred to the basest of actions. For example, an anti-draft crowd in New York City in 1863 turned into a mob when it threw stones, started fires, and looted. Before too long, it had lynched black men and torched the Colored Orphan Asylum on Fifth Avenue.10 So, it’s interesting that in the past few years we’ve grabbed onto the terms “crowd” and “mob” and applied them as positive characterizations of Internet sociality. Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs in 2003 applied the term to people connected through instantaneous digital communication,11 and James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds12 in 2004 pointed to ways that unassociated groups of people can come up with more accurate answers than can individuals. Both books—each excellent—had titles that played upon our negative feelings about groups of people who are sharing space.

Moderators are allowed to participate, but they are there primarily to keep the conversation just diverse enough. If someone becomes uncivil beyond the norms for the group, the moderator may step in. On occasion, people are banned from the discussion for a cooling-off period—the conversational equivalent of a time-out. If the conversation steers off course, the moderator may remind people what they are there to discuss. Howard Rheingold, one of the founding parents of online discussion and a denizen of The WELL since 1985, urges community forums to have moderators. Even the mere presence of moderators—even if they never moderate a single posting—is enough to keep out the trolls, he says.13 Moderation does not have to occur through designated moderators. Sometimes there is simply too much traffic to make that feasible. Community moderation frequently does the trick—as at Beth Noveck’s OpenGov site, where the group of people actually interested in open government policy moderated the “birthers” into their own corner.

This first task is the easiest, although still considerable. Given the complexity and magnitude of the Net, it is remarkably easy to learn how to operate it. But knowing how to click buttons is the least of our concerns. The second task—learning how to evaluate knowledge claims—is never-ending. Now that the temple priests don’t control what we encounter, we need those critical-thinking skills more than ever. The Internet pioneer Howard Rheingold talks about these as “literacies.” For example, we need to get better at distinguishing lying crap from well-documented conclusions, becoming more open to new ideas, and learning how to participate in a multi-way, multi-cultural discussion.18 The journalist Dan Gillmor has been writing about the skills citizens need to make sense of—and participate in—the new media ecology.19 Ethan Zuckerman has been thinking deeply about our tendency toward a smug homophily (our preference for others like us) and about structural ways we might get ourselves interested in something other than our own echoes.20 We are just at the beginning of figuring out what behaviors and attitudes lead to a smarter network.

pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky


Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle,, crowdsourcing,, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Kuiper Belt, liberation theology, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe’s law, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra

In 1999 the Falun Gong, a Chinese religious organization, astonished and terrified the Chinese government by assembling ten thousand people in Zhongnanhai, a secure complex in Beijing where many of China’s leaders reside. The gathering was peaceful, but its execution stunned the Chinese government, as it had had no idea it was coming, having been organized by text messages via mobile phones. Howard Rheingold, in Smart Mobs, documented an event in the Philippines in which thousands of outraged citizens quickly coordinated a protest in Manila after President Joseph Estrada’s government voted to weaken his corruption trial. The rapid assembly of thousands of Filipinos in the streets, who had forwarded text messages advising people where to go and exhorting them to “Wear Blck,” convinced the government to let the trial go forward, thereby dooming Estrada.

These kinds of efforts are unlikely to be long-lived or self-sustaining—no office in D.C., no budget from donations—but the unpredictability of that kind of effort makes it a signal of a kind of commitment that is hard for any ordinary membership organization to produce effectively. The story of the rapidly coordinated protest by ordinary citizens is one of the most durable stories we have about social media. Since Howard Rheingold’s descriptions of the political protest in the Philippines coordinated by text message, we’ve had countless examples, from the Belarusian flash mob kids to the Latino high school students in LA to the HSBC protesters in the UK. Despite the number of stories about collective action, though, they have one thing in common: they all rely on “stop energy,” on an attempt to get some other organization or group to capitulate to the demands of the collected group.

Beinhocker, Harvard Business School Press (2006) provides a literature review of economic work on cooperation and its effects. Small Groups as Complex Systems: Formation, Coordination, Development, and Adaptation, by Holly Arrow, Joseph E. McGrath, and Jennifer L. Berdahl, Sage (2000) provides a good review of work on small group dynamics, and Why Humans Cooperate: A Cultural and Evolutionary Explanation, by Natalie Henrich and Joseph Henrich, Oxford University Press (2007) provides a one for larger groups. Howard Rheingold, whose The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, Basic Books (1993) was a critical early work on online community, is working on a multiyear study of cooperation in collaboration ( with the Institute for the Future. Page 51: “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (3859), December 13, 1968, pp. 682-83. Garrett Hardin was a biologist, and the tragedy of the commons formulation often appears in discussions about natural resources.

pages: 407 words: 103,501

The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Netwo Rking by Mark Bauerlein


Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer,, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application

(Anonymous) 4 spoonman, The WELL, conference on virtual communities (vc.20.65), June 11, 1992. 5 Kenneth Gergen, The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life (Basic Books, 1991). 6 bluefire (Bob Jacobson), The WELL, conference on virtual reality (vr.85.146), August 15, 1993. 7 The WELL, conference on virtual reality (vr.85.148), August 17, 1993. 8 Art Kleiner, The WELL, conference on virtual reality (vr.47.41), October 2, 1990. 9 Gergen, The Saturated Self, p. 6. 10 Ibid., p. 17. 11 hlr (Howard Rheingold), The WELL, conference on virtual reality (vr.47.351), February 2, 1993. 12 McKenzie Wark, The WELL, conference on virtual reality (vr.47.361), February 3, 1993. 13 hlr (Howard Rheingold), The WELL, conference on virtual reality (vr.47.362), February 3, 1993. 14 James M. Glass, Shattered Selves: Multiple Personality in a Postmodern World (Cornell University Press, 1993). 15 Robert Jay Lifton, The Protean Self: Human Resilience in an Age of Fragmentation (Basic Books, 1993), p. 192. 16 Ibid., pp. 229–32. 17 See, for example, “Aion: Phenomenology of the Self,” in The Portable Jung, ed.

The mass embrace of hypertext is like the Seinfeld “Betrayal” episode: a cultural form that was once exclusively limited to avant-garde sensibilities, now happily enjoyed by grandmothers and third graders worldwide. I won’t dwell on this point, because the premise that increased interactivity is good for the brain is not a new one. (A number of insightful critics—Kevin Kelly, Douglas Rushkoff, Janet Murray, Howard Rheingold, Henry Jenkins—have made variations on this argument over the past decade or so.) But let me say this much: The rise of the Internet has challenged our minds in three fundamental and related ways: by virtue of being participatory, by forcing users to learn new interfaces, and by creating new channels for social interaction. Almost all forms of sustained online activity are participatory in nature: writing e-mails, sending IMs, creating photo logs, posting two-page analyses of last night’s Apprentice episode.

I am interested in . . . how this natural assumption of the “many” creates an alternative psychology.7 Another writer concurred:Did you ever see that cartoon by R. Crumb about “Which is the real R. Crumb?” He goes through four pages of incarnations, from successful businessman to street beggar, from media celebrity to gut-gnawing recluse, etc., etc. Then at the end he says: “Which is the real one?” . . . “It all depends on what mood I’m in!” We’re all like that online. 8 Howard Rheingold, the member of the WELL who began the discussion topic, also referred to Gergen’s notion of a “saturated self,” the idea that communication technologies have caused us to “colonize each other’s brains.” Gergen describes us as saturated with the many “voices of humankind—both harmonious and alien.” He believes that as “we absorb their varied rhymes and reasons, they become part of us and we of them.

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, 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

Some very smart people can get swept up by hyperbole, as when John Perry Barlow, a cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, declared the Internet “the most important human advancement since the printing press.” Barlow later recanted, calling it simply the most important discovery since fire. Nor was he the sole prophet acclaiming an egalitarian realm of unlimited opportunity for all, just around the corner. As the number of users grows geometrically, some anticipate that by 2008 the Net might encompass the entire world population. In his 1993 book Virtual Reality, Howard Rheingold called for redefining the word community, since in the near future each sovereign individual may be able to sift among six or more billion souls, sorting by talent or avocation to find those compatible for consorting with at long range, via multimedia telepresence, in voluntary associations of shared interest. No longer will geography or birth-happenstance determine your friendships, but rather a natural affinity of passions and pastimes.

But society acquired the PC and other wonders because a cohort of young minds were indoctrinated to seek novelty where standard organizations never looked. Would another culture put up with the likes of Stewart Brand, always poking at stagnant structures, from state government to the stuffy profession of architecture? Would Steve Jobs or Andrew Grove be billionaires in an economy based on inherited advantage? Where else might happy magicians like Howard Rheingold and Kevin Kelly be more influential than establishment priests or scientists? Would important power brokers hang on the words of Esther Dyson, Sherry Turkle, and Dorothy Denning if this culture did not value original minds? Listening to such remarkable individuals, one can tell they know how lucky they are. Few other cultures would reward oddball iconoclasts whose sole common attribute is a hatred of clichés.

People are already accustomed to fair use. It is very doubtful in the short term that citizens will accept being hounded for pennies each time they photocopy a clipping, browse a Web page, or crib a brief quote from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., to use in a speech before the local rotary club. What might happen if the conduit companies and content owners ever get together? Stranger things have happened. Howard Rheingold, author of The Virtual Community , worries about this possibility when the Internet is commercialized. “If the company that carries the communication also creates the content, are they going to discriminate against competing content?” Rheingold believes they will if they are allowed to. It could be the worst possible combination of both worlds. On copyright, the EFF and its allies seem to be pushing hard for “transparency.”

pages: 509 words: 132,327

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, 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, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, 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, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

The stunned organizers received sixty abstracts from artists, technologists, computer scientists, entrepreneurs, architects, and sociologists, many of them WELL members, some from as far as Sweden and Italy. And the organizers were amazed again when these people actually arrived in Austin by plane, fresh out of cyberspace. Several of the fifty attendees would go on and shape the emerging debate, including the colorful author Howard Rheingold and science fiction legend Bruce Sterling, best known for Mirrorshades, an anthology that defined the cyberpunk genre. John Perry Barlow was one of the first to respond. He mailed in an abstract titled “Music in Cyberspace.” The cattle rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist pointed out that his band had long been trying to blur the line between audience and performer. Jaron Lanier’s data glove, Barlow remarked, had been developed as a means for the guitar player wannabe to fulfill that desire, and then he asked, “Could we develop a system of shared cyberspace in which the band and members of the audience could get together and ‘jam’ in real time?”

In Austin the entire idea became a more abstract concept, a metaphor. Henceforth, Barlow and Rheingold and others would talk about “cyberspace” in metaphoric terms, just as the scholars at the conference had done. The conference volume was one of MIT’s best sellers for several years. Tightly coupling man and machine, of course, retained a nearly irresistible appeal. The most bizarre articulation of cyberspace must be Howard Rheingold’s vision of teledildonics. After hearing Stenger’s wild presentation in Austin, Rheingold articulated his own vision of future sex in the summer of 1990 in Mondo 2000. The first fully functional teledildonics system, Rheingold clarified at the outset, would not be “a fucking machine.” Users did not want to have intercourse with a cold piece of technology; they wanted to make love to other people.

Mondo 2000, a San Francisco underground magazine, shaped the cyberpunk aesthetic between 1989 and 1993. It linked psychedelic drugs, virtual reality, and the rise of computer networks, as this typical illustration shows. The group attending Michael Benedikt’s Cyberconf, May 1990. Of note in this photo are John Perry Barlow (tall in the first row); to Barlow’s left, Sandy Stone; to Barlow’s right, Howard Rheingold, and then gaming theorist Brenda Laurel, followed by Michael and Amelie Benedikt. Behind the Benedikts stands Nicole Stenger, and behind her are Habitat pioneers Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer. French virtual-reality artist Nicole Stenger, in VPL gear. Stenger gaveone of the most widely read presentations at Cyberconf: “Mind Isa Leaking Rainbow.” Jaron Lanier, founder of the virtual-reality company VPL, wearing one of the company’s prototypes, the head-mounted display as an output device.

pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson


3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp,, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

Now, none of these three digital biases is immutable, because they’re the product of software and hardware, and can easily be altered or ended if the architects of today’s tools (often corporate and governmental) decide to regulate the tools or find they’re not profitable enough. But right now, these big effects dominate our current and near-term landscape. In one sense, these three shifts—infinite memory, dot connecting, explosive publishing—are screamingly obvious to anyone who’s ever used a computer. Yet they also somehow constantly surprise us by producing ever-new “tools for thought” (to use the writer Howard Rheingold’s lovely phrase) that upend our mental habits in ways we never expected and often don’t apprehend even as they take hold. Indeed, these phenomena have already woven themselves so deeply into the lives of people around the globe that it’s difficult to stand back and take account of how much things have changed and why. While this book maps out what I call the future of thought, it’s also frankly rooted in the present, because many parts of our future have already arrived, even if they are only dimly understood.

“It’s not the outright lies that you have to teach them to watch out for,” Harris tells me. “It’s just this vast sea of mediocre stuff. But I see them start to get really paranoid. They keep on asking, ‘Wait, wait, is this a content farm?’ And this is what you want. Most people in their lives aren’t going to be writing term papers, but they’re going to be looking for information their whole lives.” Crap detection, to use Howard Rheingold’s phrase, isn’t easy. Among other things, it’s easier to do if you already know about the world. For instance, Harris found that students had difficulty distinguishing a left-wing parody of the World Trade Organization’s Web site from the real WTO site. Why? Because you need to understand why someone would want to parody the WTO in the first place—knowledge the average eighth grader does not yet possess.

As generations of journalists before me have said, you can’t figure out how the world works from sitting behind your desk. I’m grateful to everyone who gave me a glimpse into their lives. Behind the scenes, there are also dozens more who offered ideas, conversation, and feedback that shaped my work. That includes Tricia Wang, An Xiao Mina, Debbie Chachra, Liz Lawley, Zeynep Tufekci, Clay Shirky, Brooke Gladstone, Tom Igoe, Max Whitney, Terri Senft, Misha Tepper, Fred Kaplan, Howard Rheingold, danah boyd, Liz Lawley, Nick Bilton, Gary Marcus, Heidi Siwak, Ann Blair, Eli Pariser, Ethan Zuckerman, Ian Bogost, Fred Benenson, Heather Gold, Douglas Rushkoff, Rebecca MacKinnon, Cory Menscher, Mark Belinsky, Quinn Norton, Anil Dash, Cathy Marshall, Elizabeth Stock, Philip Howard, Denise Hand, Robin Sloan, Tim Carmody, Don Tapscott, Steven Johnson, Kevin Kelly, Nina Khosla, Laura Fitton, Jillian York, Hilary Mason, Craig Mod, Bre Pettis, Glenn Kelman, Susan Cain, Noah Schachtman, Irin Carmon, Matthew Battles, Cathy Davidson, Linda Stone, Jess Kimball, Phil Libin, Kati London, Jim Marggraff, Dan Zalewski, Sasha Nemecek, Laura Miller, Brian McNely, Duncan Watts, Kenyatta Cheese, Nora Abousteit, Deanna Zandt, David Wallis, Nick Denton, Alissa Quart, Stan James, Andrew Hearst, Gary Stager, Evan Selinger, Steven Demmler, and Vint Cerf.

pages: 267 words: 82,580

The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett


3D printing, 4chan, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, carbon footprint, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Chrome, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, life extension, litecoin, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, moral hazard, moral panic, Occupy movement, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, slashdot, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, The Coming Technological Singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

., ‘Bullies in a Wired World: The Impact of Cyberspace Victimization on Adolescent Mental Health and the Need for Cyberbullying Legislation in Ohio’, Journal of Law and Health, Vol.25, Issue 1, pp.155–90. p.186 ‘In another American high school . . .’ ‘3 Juveniles Accused of Sexually Exploiting Female Classmates’, p.187 ‘In his famous 1990 article . . .’ Howard Rheingold, ‘Teledildonics: Reach out and Touch Someone’; p.189 ‘“We’re not a community” . . .’, by @thecultofleo. Chapter 7 The Werther Effect p.192 ‘Eighteen per cent of US . . .’ p.192 ‘Studies consistently find that speaking . . .’, p.2;

Vex might emphasise her ums and ahs, but she doesn’t make them up. Everything is real. That’s healthy. For all the social panic about the ubiquity of hard-core porn on the net, there is something quite comforting about this. The net has always been accompanied by utopian dreams of sex without limits, of fantasies without boundaries. In his famous 1990 article about the future of sex in the magazine Mondo 2000, Howard Rheingold argued that ‘the definition of Eros’ would ‘soon be up for grabs’, because everyone will be as beautiful as they want and will be able to have virtual sex with anyone, anywhere. But most people don’t want fantastical sex with robots or supermodels. They want ordinary sex with real people. Yet something about the phrase ‘real girlfriend experience’ bothers me. I like Vex a lot. I understand why her fans keep coming back.

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 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, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, 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

Some media theorists like Mark Poster and Jodi Dean are critical of efforts to associate a print-centered nostalgic phenomenon with the cacophony of cultural NOTES TO PAGES 137– 41 245 and political activities in global cyberspace. Others, like Yochai Benkler and Howard Rheingold, see the practice of “peer production” and the emergence of impressive and efficient organizational practices as a sign that Habermas’s dream could come true in the form of digital signals and democratic culture. See Mark Poster, “The Net as a Public Sphere?” Wired, November 1995; Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000); Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002); Craig J. Calhoun, “Information Technology and the International Public Sphere,” in Digital Directions, ed.

pages: 326 words: 106,053

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki


AltaVista, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Cass Sunstein, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, experimental economics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Howard Rheingold, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, lone genius, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market design, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, offshore financial centre, Picturephone, prediction markets, profit maximization, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

First, they show that people can find their way to collectively beneficial results not only without centralized direction but also without even talking to each other. As Schelling wrote, “People can often concert their intentions and expectations with others if each knows that the other is trying to do the same.” This is a good thing because conversation isn’t always possible, and with large groups of people in particular it can be difficult or inefficient. (Howard Rheingold’s book Smart Mobs, though, makes a convincing case that new mobile technologies—from cell phones to mobile computing—make it much easier for large collections of people to communicate with each other and so coordinate their activities.) Second, the existence of Schelling points suggests that people’s experiences of the world are often surprisingly similar, which makes successful coordination easier.

There have been many very good books that deal with collective decision making, collective action, and the way in which seemingly small pieces can add up to bigger (although not always better) wholes. Two that I found especially useful are Kenneth J. Arrow, The Limits of Organization (New York: Norton, 1974); and Thomas C. Schelling, Micromotives and Macrobehavior (New York: Norton, 1978). More recent, sophisticated takes on self-organization and the emergence of bottom-up order are Steven Johnson, Emergence (New York, Scribner, 2001); and Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs (Boston: Perseus, 2002). The account of John Craven’s success is taken from Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Blind Man’s Bluff (New York: Public Affairs, 1998): 146–50. Drew and Sontag also detail Craven’s success in using the same search method to find an H-bomb that had been lost in the ocean off Spain (58–60). PART I 1. The Wisdom of Crowds The data about the performance of the audience and the “experts” in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Brian Arthur, “Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality,” American Economic Review 84 (1994): 406–11. Ann M. Bell and William A. Sethares, “Avoiding Global Congestion Using Decentralized Adaptive Agents,” IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing 49 (2001): 2873–79. The Grand Central experiment is in Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960): 54–67. Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs (Boston: Perseus Books, 2002). As the similarity in the titles suggests, there are obvious resonances between Rheingold’s book and this one—particularly in the possibilities for groups to cooperate and coordinate without top-down leadership. But the central concerns of the books are quite different. Smart Mobs illuminates the way technology may make it easier for people to organize collectively to good (or, conceivably, bad) ends.

pages: 212 words: 49,544

WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency by Micah L. Sifry


1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Network effects, RAND corporation, school vouchers, Skype, social web, source of truth, Stewart Brand, web application, WikiLeaks

It didn’t matter who I was or whether I had been credentialed by the “authorities” running the event as an expert. All that mattered was whether what I had to say had any credibility. I was now a full-fledged member of the group that NYU scholar Jay Rosen has dubbed “the people formerly known as the audience.”4 Being connected in real-time also meant that we, the ex-audience, had a new ability to talk back to the powers that be, or as digital visionary Howard Rheingold likes to say, to be “crap-detectors” and “call bullshit” when we see it.5 Nothing illustrates that better than a moment at the first Personal Democracy Forum in May 2004. Having caught the real-time interactivity bug from ETech, Andrew and I installed a similar online back channel at PdF. With the help of our friends David Isenberg and Greg Elin, we got the auditorium at the New School for Social Research wired for WiFi and set up a simple chat tool with a big screen on stage behind our panelists.

Sifry, “The Rise of Open Source Politics,” The Nation, November 22, 2004, 2 Interview with the author, June 2004. 3 See Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (University of Chicago Press, 2006). 4 Jay Rosen, “The People Formerly Known as the Audience,” PressThink. org, June 27, 2006, html. 5 Howard Rheingold, “Crap Detection 101,”, June 30, 2009, 6 Micah L. Sifry, “The Deaning of America,” The Nation, March 25, 2004, 7 See Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), Chapter Seven: “Political Freedom, Part Two: The Emergence of the Networked Public Sphere,” for a detailed exploration of the Diebold case.

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


3D printing, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, 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

“I’ve had to argue my case every day since I left. When I say ‘I’m gay,’ nobody is like ‘Oh, have you considered being straight?’ But they do say ‘Oh, what if you had stayed in school?’ ” The unschooling movement may be a niche, but alternative education is a growing marketplace. “Our education system was used to make industrial workers out of agricultural workers. It is no longer adequate,” Howard Rheingold told us. Rheingold, sixty-seven, is the former editor of Whole Earth Review. Founded in 1985, Whole Earth Review was a countercultural publication evolving out of Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog and rooted in “that old American tradition of self-reliance,” Rheingold shared, “building on that misfit streak started by Emerson.” In Rheingold’s perspective, Whole Earth Review was all about sharing tools and ideas to get people to take more control over their lives.

“School is largely about compliance,” he told us, “sitting in your desk and keeping quiet.” Rheingold is working to develop models of peer education in which students are no longer passive consumers of content but are able to co-learn with each other. It is provoking a similar ideal to Whole Earth, with the message “Take charge of your life; don’t depend on formal (educational) institutions, but do it yourself.” Howard Rheingold, Kio Stark, and Dale Stephens belong to a tribe of misfits who are provoking the education conversation: questioning dogmas and assumptions about how we learn and how we teach, and pioneering different approaches to education. As Rheingold told us, “We are in an era of extremely rapid change. What works today won’t work tomorrow. We are going to need misfits for society to find its way. Misfits who can point out tomorrow.”

pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson


Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

It took me a while, but eventually all these nudges came together to form Future Perfect. My thinking on these issues has been greatly expanded—if not downright borrowed—from conversations with Beth Noveck, Yochai Benkler, Fred Wilson, Brad Burnham, Larry Lessig, Denise Caruso, John Mackey, John Geraci, Paul Miller, Roo Rogers, Rachel Botsman, Reid Hoffman, Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, Clay Shirky, Stewart Brand, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, Jon Schnur, Raj Sisodia, Gordon Wheeler, Nick Grossman, Jay Haynes, Eric Liftin, John Battelle, and my mother, Bev Johnson. Special thanks to the group who were generous enough to comment on the manuscript in draft: Bill Wasik, David Sloan Wilson, Dan Hill, Henry Farrell, and my father and longtime political sparring partner, Stan Johnson. As usual, my wife, Alexa Robinson, shared her invaluable talent for improving my sentences and my arguments.

For more on Marian Zeitlin’s original work, see Positive Deviance in Child Nutrition (with Emphasis on Psychosocial and Behavioural Aspects and Implications for Development), coauthored with Hossein Ghassemi and Mohamed Mansour. The key books and essays that have shaped my thinking on the power of peer networks and the framework of peer-progressive values include Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks; Beth Noveck’s WikiGovernment; Carne Ross’s The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century; Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs; Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations; Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom’s The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations; Tim O’Reilly’s “The Architecture of Participation”; Henry Farrell and Cosma Shalizi’s “Cognitive Democracy”; and just about everything written by Manuel Castells, starting with The Rise of the Network Society.

pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler


affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, commoditize, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto

What these suggest to us is a transition, as the capabilities of both systems converge, to widespread availability of the ability to register and communicate observations in text, audio, and video, wherever we are and whenever we wish. Drazen Pantic tells of how listeners of Internet-based Radio B-92 in Belgrade reported events in their neighborhoods after the broadcast station had been shut down by the Milosevic regime. Howard Rheingold describes in Smart Mobs how citizens of the Philippines used SMS to organize real-time movements and action to overthrow their government. In a complex modern society, where things that matter can happen anywhere and at any time, the capacities of people armed with the means of recording, rendering, and communicating their observations change their relationship to the events that surround them.

We see collective action emerging from the convergence of independent individual actions, with no hierarchical control like that of a political party or an organized campaign. There may be some coordination and condensation points--like or Like other integration platforms in peer-production systems, these condensation points provide a critical function. They do not, however, control the process. One manifestation of distributed coordination for political action is something Howard Rheingold has called "smart mobs"--large collections of individuals who are able to coordinate real-world action through widely distributed information and communications technology. He tells of the "People Power II" revolution in Manila in 2001, where demonstrations to oust then president Estrada were coordinated spontaneously through extensive text messaging. 93 Few images in the early twentyfirst century can convey this phenomenon more vividly than the demonstrations around the world on February 15, 2003.

Zehnder, "Mapping the Political Blogosphere: An Analysis of LargeScale Online Political Discussions," 2005. Poster presented at the International Communication Association meetings, New York. 92. Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Case Program: " `Big Media' Meets `Bloggers': Coverage of Trent Lott's Remarks at Strom Thurmond's Birthday Party," http:// 93. Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs, The Next Social Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2002). 94. Data taken from CIA World Fact Book (Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2004). 95. Lawrence Solum and Minn Chung, "The Layers Principle: Internet Architecture and the Law" (working paper no. 55, University of San Diego School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory, June 2003). 96. Amnesty International, People's Republic of China, State Control of the Internet in China (2002). 97.

pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

An informative chart of twentieth-century technology adoption rates in the United States can be found at John Cloud’s “The Gurus of YouTube” offers a history of the company’s founding. For a compelling overview of the Web’s “generative” powers, see Jonathan Zittrain’s The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It. For more on the evolution of software interfaces, see Howard Rheingold’s Tools for Thought and my Interface Culture. The notion of “patterns” of innovation is loosely based on the concept of patterns and metapatterns developed by Gregory Bateson in Mind and Nature. The “long zoom” approach is discussed in more detail in the appendices of my earlier books Everything Bad Is Good for You and The Invention of Air. The idea has roots in Edward O. Wilson’s notion of “consilience,” and was partially inspired by a “pace-layered” drawing of civilization that I first encountered in Stewart Brand’s How Buildings Learn.

Wikipedia maintains an excellent “timeline of innovations,” which provided a useful starting point for the charts of historical innovation that are included in this book. On the emergence and innovations of early Renaissance towns, Braudel’s Wheels of Commerce remains the canonical text. The history of double-entry accounting is told in John Richard Edwards’s History of Financial Accounting. For more on the power of collective decision-making, see James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds, Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs, Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, and Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control. Jaron Lanier’s critique of the “hive mind” appears in his book You Are Not a Gadget, and in shorter form in the essay “Digital Maoism.” For more on Kevin Dunbar’s research, see “What Scientific Thinking Reveals About the Nature of Cognition.” Malcolm Gladwell’s take on the Jane Jacobsian future of workspace design appeared in the New Yorker in the essay “Designs for Working.”

pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld


Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Here are the tales of Microsoft stock bought at twenty dollars and sold at two thousand, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard working in their rented Palo Alto garage, Ross Perot quitting IBM to found Computer Data Systems in Texas, Jeff Bezos opening an online bookstore, naming it after the largest river in the world, and then getting on the cover of Time magazine as the CEO of, and Mark Zuckerberg transforming the Harvard University first-year-student listing service into Facebook, the dominant and most valuable social media site in the world. These are the stories that have sustained the bulk of people’s interests in the history of computing. This is the history of computing as plutography, stories about money. There is another small but growing strain that locates the transformations of our world in the work of computing’s visionaries. As far back as Howard Rheingold’s Tools for Thought written in the mid-1980s, there has been an alternative narrative featuring people like the irrepressible hypertext impresario Ted Nelson and even drug guru turned cyberpundit Timothy Leary—an intellectual’s history of computing.2 For the scholars studying hypertext poetry, the students in new media departments, and those with a cultural interest in computing, these are stories of secular saints, a hagiography of sorts.

‘Mimeme’ comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like ‘gene.’ I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme. If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought of as being related to ‘memory,’ or to the French word même. It should be pronounced to rhyme with ‘cream.’” Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976; repr., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 192. 2. Howard Rheingold, Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology (1985; repr., Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000); available at <>. 3. See Vannevar Bush, Science: The Endless Frontier (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1945). 4. For an analysis of this transformation, see Paul N. Edwards, Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Cold War America (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996). 5.

Raw Data Is an Oxymoron by Lisa Gitelman


collateralized debt obligation, computer age, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Filter Bubble, Firefox, fixed income, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, index card, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, social graph, software studies, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, text mining, time value of money, trade route, Turing machine, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush

Still, as my Firefox add-on, Collusion, reminds me, data collection companies are continually tracking my browsing behavior in spite of my efforts to thwart them, a cogent reminder that targeting is not impractical at the level of the individual. When considered in these terms, it is difficult to dismiss escape, whether in the form of 129 130 Rita Raley disappearance or disconnectivity, as merely a counterfantasy.39 Critical Art Ensemble’s injunction is to the point: “Avoid using any technology that records data facts unless it is essential.”40 Howard Rheingold and Eric Kluitenberg make a comparable case for “selective connectivity”: techniques by which we can “choose to extract ourselves from the electronic control grid from time to time and place to place.”41 Similarly, for MayerSchönberger, the solution lies in the adoption of a certain care in the management of one’s online interactions, practices of selective disclosure and revelation in order to limit “uncontrollable information flows through individual choice.”42 If we are able to opt out of a single company’s personalized retargeting scheme, that is, should we not also be able to opt out of all advertising databases or indeed out of the whole system of “cybernetic capitalism” itself?

John Poindexter’s plans for the Total Information Awareness Program (TIA) drew on Gelernter’s paradigm, endeavoring to use the principle of topsight to establish a terror network that could ostensibly be seen and disciplined, though not eliminated because of its regenerative ends. 37. Ibid., 112. 38. Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (New York: Penguin Books, [1973] 1995), 703. 39. See Irving Goh, “Prolegomenon to a Right to Disappear,” Cultural Politics 2, no. 1 (March 2006): 97–114. 40. Critical Art Ensemble, Electronic Disturbance, 135. 41. Howard Rheingold and Eric Kluitenberg, “Mindful Disconnection: Counterpowering the Panopticon from the Inside,” OPEN 11 Hybrid Space (Amsterdam: NAi Publishers, 2007), 32. 42. Mayer-Schönberger, Delete, 129. 43. Critical Art Ensemble, Electronic Disturbance, 132. 44. Rubinstein, Lee, and Schwartz, “Data Mining and Internet Profiling,” 277. It is not uncommon to hear this argument made with respect to social media; in other words, if everyone’s intimate details are available, we are essentially hidden in plain sight. 143 144 Rita Raley 45.

The Fugitive Game: Online With Kevin Mitnick by Jonathan Littman


Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, centre right, computer age, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, profit motive, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, telemarketer

Attorney that we will not give them a full tape back-up, but will cooperate in providing only the files they need to try the case. The Well has promised its subscribers it would not turn over personal e-mail, but the FBI doesn't appear to care about the Well's commitment to protect subscribers' privacy. At 4:19 p.m. one of the Well's most prestigious subscribers, former board member Howard Rheingold, a celebrated author and columnist, uploads his current syndicated newspaper column to the thread, and asks whether the zealous manhunt threatens basic constitutional protections. #452 CIVIL LIBERTIES, VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES, AND HACKERS By Howard Rheingold The recent arrest of alleged super-hacker Kevin Mitnick has focused the attention of the public on the dangers of putting sensitive information online: communication networks, by their nature, will always be technically insecure.... This knowledge should not cause us to act out of ignorance and fear. . . .

The following publications, organizations, articles, transcripts, documents and book provided source material: Lewis De Payne tape recording of his conversation with Mitnick; All Things Considered radio broadcast; CBS Evening News; the New York Times; LeVord Burns's FBI affidavit; the FBI; radio transcript of Shimomura press conference; The Hacker Crackdown, by Bruce Sterling; federal statutes; The Nation, "Cyberscoop"; Wired; Communications Daily, "Immunity Needed, Markey Panel Sees Dark Side of Electronic Frontier"; "Civil Liberties, Virtual Communities, and Hackers," by Howard Rheingold; the Washington Post; the Hollywood Reporter; the Daily Variety; USA Today; the San Jose Mercury; Associated Press. Fair use or permitted quotations were made of public posts by: Patrizia DiLucchio, Larry Person, Bruce Katz, Mark Graham, HuaPei Chen, Claudia Stroud, Emmanuel Goldstein, Douglas Fine, Netta Gilboa, Mike Jennings, Devoto, Charles Piatt, Aaron Barnhart, Bruce Koball, David Lewis, Chip Bayers, Chris Goggans.

pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Taleb Calling You on Your Crap: Sean Carroll How I Think About How I Think: Lera Boroditsky I Am Not Exactly a Thinking Person— I Am a Poet: Jonas Mekas Kayaks Versus Canoes: George Dyson The Upload Has Begun: Sam Harris Hell if I Know: Gregory Paul What I Notice: Brian Eno It’s Not What You Know, It’s What You Can Find Out: Marissa Mayer When I’m on the Net, I Start to Think: Ai Weiwei The Internet Has Become Boring: Andrian Kreye The Dumb Butler: Joshua Greene Finding Stuff Remains a Challenge: Philip Campbell Attention, Crap Detection, and Network Awareness: Howard Rheingold Information Metabolism: Esther Dyson Ctrl + Click to Follow Link: George Church Replacing Experience with Facsimile: Eric Fischl and April Gornik Outsourcing the Mind: Gerd Gigerenzer A Prehistorian’s Perspective: Timothy Taylor The Fourth Phase of Homo sapiens: Scott Atran Transience Is Now Permanence: Douglas Coupland A Return to the Scarlet-Letter Savanna: Jesse Bering Take Love: Helen Fisher Internet Mating Strategies: David M.

And universities are developing online repositories of their outputs, though with limited success. Whatever works! Those wishing to promote the visibility and, dare one say, usefulness of their own work and of their disciplines should hotly pursue online availability of all types of substantive texts and, crucially, inclusive indexing. Attention, Crap Detection, and Network Awareness Howard Rheingold Communications expert; author, Smart Mobs Digital media and networks can empower only the people who learn how to use them—and pose dangers to those who don’t know what they are doing. Yes, it’s easy to drift into distraction, fall for misinformation, allow attention to fragment rather than focus, but those mental temptations pose dangers only for the untrained mind. Learning the mental discipline to use thinking tools without losing focus is one of the prices I am glad to pay to gain what the Web has to offer.

pages: 791 words: 85,159

Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid


AltaVista, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, George Santayana, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K

For the paranoid, spooky tales alone are often enough to get a good conspiracy theory going. It can be enough for the innocent, too, as the former Kennedy press secretary Pierre Salinger showed when he slapped his personal warrant on a 'Net-borne conspiracy theory about flight TWA 800. More experienced users have learned to triangulate what comes across the 'Net in other ways. The celebrated "virtual community" that Howard Rheingold wrote about, for example, was backed up by a good deal of old-fashioned telephone calling, meeting, and conventional neighborliness.23 Many people buy only from companies with an established off-line existence. On-line auction houses suggest that bidders get in touch with suppliers to judge their reliability for themselves. Services such as try to provide the equivalent of wear and tear, by indicating how often a Web site is "hit" and how often updated.24 Page 189 Nevertheless, the comparative ease with which conventional documents provide institutional and personal warrants, carrying these with them wherever they go, indicates why paper may not disappear as readily as the logic of information suggests.

The community-forming character of the 'Net has drawn significant attention. Books, scholarly dissertations, and miles of newsprint have considered these "virtual communities." Roger Fidler's Mediamorphosis noted how in France, enterprising freelancers turned the Minitel system, designed by the post Page 190 office to serve principally as an electronic phone book, into a messaging system and in the process created innumerable interest groups. Howard Rheingold's The Virtual Community described the friendships and even marriages that sprang out of an early West Coast messaging system called the WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link), while Julian Dibbell's My Tiny Life has made public his account of a digital community that developed through a computer running at PARC that anyone could reach from an Internet connection. (In all these cases, sexual shenanigans make up the lead, but there was a great deal more to these stories than the sex.) 26 Though histories of the 'Net often assume that the past was another world entirely, these 'Net communities extend a long tradition of communities forming around documents.

pages: 322 words: 84,752

Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, digital map, Edward Snowden,, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day

It’s not always clear that the protests are, in fact, protests. Belarus’s security services are often unsure about how to react. Yakub Kolas Square normally contains skateboarders, promenading couples, and grandmothers herding grandchildren. But on particular days, chosen by some mysterious process of consensus, the square fills to capacity. The park benches are suddenly all occupied. People perch on curbs. Howard Rheingold famously called these gatherings “smart mobs.”11 And at 8 P.M., a chorus of mobile phones goes off: chirps, chimes, and pop music come together to make a cacophony of absurd ringtones. The police are there, because they too can read the website where instructions for how to pull off this smart mob are posted. Who should be arrested? Can someone be arrested for having her mobile phone go off?

Jarrett Murphy, “1 Billion Live in Slums,” CBS News, October 8, 2003, accessed September 30, 2014, 10. “Global Issues: Refugees,” UN Global Issues, accessed June 20, 2014,; Imogen Foulkes, “Global Refugee Figures Highest Since WW2, UN Says,” News, June 20, 2014, accessed September 30, 2014, 11. Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (New York: Basic, 2003). 12. F. Edwards, Philip N. Howard, and Mary Joyce, Digital Activism and Non-Violent Conflict (Seattle: Digital Activism Research Project, November 2013), accessed September 30, 2014, 13. Jason Motlagh, “Protesters Broaden Tactics as Belarus Cracks Down,” Christian Science Monitor, July 12, 2011, 14.

words: 49,604

The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy by Diane Coyle


barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, George Santayana, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McJob, microcredit, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, night-watchman state, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, two tier labour market, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, working-age population

It was not long after the Bank for International Settlements published a reassuring assessment of the threat e-money posed to monetary control that the first financial company in London, Currency Management Corporation, launched a currency trading service on the Internet. It opened without authorisation from the local regulator, the Securities and Futures Association, but is nevertheless perfectly free to trade. As Net expert Howard Rheingold points out,13 money is already an electronic abstraction. Of course we still use a lot of the crinkling and jangling stuff in everyday life, but the bulk of the developed world’s monetary transactions take place between computers. The technology for private currencies is already in place. Their emergence waits only for our monetary habits to change. The biggest challenge The dematerialisation of the economy means the structure of trade is changing so that trade rules will have to adapt.

Danny Quah (July 1996) ‘Twin Peaks: growth and convergence in models of distribution dynamics’, Economic Journal. Danny Quah (October 1996) Discarding Non-stick Frying Pans for Economic Growth, Centrepiece, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics, London. Gregory Rawlins (1996) Moths to the Flame, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Robert Reich (1991) The Work of Nations, Simon & Schuster, London. Howard Rheingold (1994) The Virtual Community, Secker & Warburg, London. David Ricardo (first published 1817) Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Jeremy Rifkin (1995) The End of Work, Tarcher/Putnam. Gillian Rose (1996) Mourning Becomes the Law: Philosophy and Representation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Nathan Rosenberg (1982) Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer


agricultural Revolution, banks create money, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, clean water, complexity theory, corporate raider, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, Golden Gate Park, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invention of writing, Lao Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Norbert Wiener, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, price stability, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Future of Employment, the market place, the payments system, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, working poor

Information, the raw material for creating knowledge, is the next likely candidate for that role. 'As far into the future as we can see, information will be playing the prima donna role in economic history that physical labour, stone, bronze, land, minerals, metals and energy once played.’ As information becomes that key resource, its unique features will shape a very different society. For our purposes, Harlan Cleveland and Howard Rheingold have made the best inventories of those characteristics: - Information is shared, not exchanged. With any of the previous focus resources from a flint spear-point to land, from a horse to a barrel of oil - if you acquired it from me, I lost it to you. After an exchange that involves information, both of us have it. In buying this book, for instance, or a magazine or permission to access a database, it may look as if a traditional exchange has occurred.

As of 1998, the Commonweal system is in its pilot phase in the Lyndale neighbourhood of Minneapolis. Besides the non-profit sector, the Mall of the Americas and other mainstream businesses are involved, including National City Bank which provides the accounting system and statements in C$Ds. Internet Money for Virtual Communities One of the most intriguing and encouraging aspects of Internet developments has been the mushrooming of virtual communities compellingly documented in Howard Rheingold’s Virtual Communities: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Community has become such a scarce resource in our societies that the appearance of a new way to create it is indeed remarkable. Virtual communities versus a monopoly of national currencies on the Net The process by which this miracle has occurred is often not fully understood. Even some of the people who created virtual communities have not always been aware that the secret of their success relates to the fact that they had created a gift economy on the Net.

pages: 103 words: 32,131

Program Or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age by Douglas Rushkoff


banking crisis, big-box store, citizen journalism, cloud computing, digital map, East Village, financial innovation, Firefox, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the printing press, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, peer-to-peer, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, WikiLeaks

To most people, this meant a confirmation of copyright—that everything we posted on the bulletin boards belonged to us, and couldn’t be published by someone else without permission. To others, including me, You Own Your Own Words served as an ethical foundation: You, the human being on the other side of the modem, are responsible for what you say and do here. You are accountable. Given that the WELL was developed by farsighted cultural pioneers such as Stewart Brand, Larry Brilliant, Kevin Kelly, and Howard Rheingold, we shouldn’t be surprised that they sought to compensate for some of the disconnection online between people and their words. And that’s why, from the very beginning, I decided to be myself online. I’ve only used one name on the Internet: Rushkoff. I figured the only real danger was from government, corporations, or some other “big brother” out there using what I posted against me in some future McCarthy hearings.

pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick


Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

The first service on the Internet that captured substantial numbers of nontechnical users—long before the invention of the World Wide Web—was the Usenet. Begun in 1979, it enabled people to post messages to groups dedicated to specific topics. It functions to this day. In 1985, Stewart Brand, Larry Brilliant, and a couple of others launched an electronic bulletin board called The Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, or Well, in San Francisco. In 1987, Howard Rheingold, a big user of the Well, published an essay in which he coined the term virtual community to describe this new experience. “A virtual community is a group of people who may or may not meet one another face to face,” Rheingold wrote, “and who exchange words and ideas through the mediation of computer bulletin boards and networks.” More and more people became familiar with electronic communication, initially by commenting in online groups and chat rooms.

Check Down the Hall,” Newsweek, August 2, 2004, (accessed December 11, 2009). 3. Social Networking and the Internet Page 66 In a 1968 essay by J. C. R. Licklider: J. C. R. Licklider and Robert Taylor, “The Computer as a Communication Device,” Science and Technology (April 1968), (accessed December 11, 2009). 67 “A virtual community is a group of people”: Howard Rheingold, “Virtual Communities—Exchanging Ideas Through Computer Bulletin Boards,” Whole Earth Review (Winter 1987), (accessed November 15, 2009). 67 Two Internet sociologists, danah boyd and Nicole Ellison: danah boyd and Nicole Ellison, “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, And Scholarship,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13 (2007), (accessed November 15, 2009). 69 Nonetheless, by 1999 sixdegrees had reached: Details about sixdegrees from interview and email followup with Andrew Weinreich, 2009. 74 But, according to Stealing MySpace: Julia Angwin, Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America (New York: Random House, 2009), 52. 76 In 2003, Angwin notes, the percentage of Americans: Ibid. 77 Buyukkokten himself once bragged: Luke O’Brien, “Poking Facebook,” 02138 Magazine (November 2007), (accessed November 28, 2009). 80 Previously they’d won a gold medal: Ibid. 83 The civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the three alleges: ConnectU, Inc. v.

pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly


Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller,, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Engelbart,, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

The following readers endured the first draft of this book and provided me with valuable and constructive feedback: Russ Mitchell, Michael Dowd, Peter Schwartz, Charles Platt, Andreas Lloyd, Gary Wolf, and Howard Rheingold. During the course of researching this book I interviewed, spoke with, or corresponded with the smartest people I know. Listed in alphabetical order, each of these experts lent their valuable time and insight for my project. Of course, any errors in transmitting their thoughts are mine. Chris Anderson Gordon Bell Katy Borner Stewart Brand Eric Brende David Brin Rob Carlson James Carse Jamais Cascio Richard Dawkins Eric Drexler Freeman Dyson George Dyson Niles Eldredge Brian Eno Joel Garreau Paul Hawken Danny Hillis Piet Hut Derrick Jensen Bill Joy Stuart Kauffman Donald Kraybill Mark Kryder Ray Kurzweil Jaron Lanier Pierre Lemonnier Seth Lloyd Lori Marino Max More Simon Conway Morris Nathan Myhrvold Howard Rheingold Paul Saffo Kirkpatrick Sale Tim Sauder Peter Schwartz John Smart Lee Smolin Alex Steffen Steve Talbot Edward Tenner Sherry Turkle Hal Varian Vernor Vinge Jay Walker Peter Warshall Robert Wright Annotated Reading List Of the hundreds of books I consulted for this project, I found the following selected ones to be the most useful for my purposes.

pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

THE NETWORK AND THE COMPUTER To understand how far any notion of the Internet in the 1960s might be from our present experience, consider how far were the machines it meant to link from any we would call by the same name today. Computers were fearsome creatures, the size of rooms, jealously guarded by companies and government agencies. Their main function was mass-produced arithmetic—“data processing.” The archetype was the IBM AN/FSQ-7, the largest computer in human history, an electronic version of the Flying Fortress. As the scholar of media Howard Rheingold describes it, “the computers weighed three hundred tons, took up twenty thousand feet of floor space, and were delivered in eighteen large vans apiece. Ultimately, the air force bought fifty-six of them.”3 There could be no Internet as we know it without a concept of the computer as something beyond an adding machine—this had to come first. The philosophy of the Internet and the computer are so intertwined that is difficult to discuss just one of the two.

Licklider, “Memorandum for Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network,”, 2. For Licklider’s early years and career, see H. Peter Alesso and Craig Forsythe Smith, Connections: Patterns of Discovery (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2008), 60; for his life, M. Mitchell Waldrop, The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal (New York: Penguin, 2002). 3. For Rheingold’s description of the AN/FSQ-7, see Howard Rheingold, Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000), 142–44. 4. J.C.R. Licklider, “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics HFE-1 (1960): 4. 5. John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (New York: Penguin, 2005), 9. 6. For an extensive discussion of Baran’s career and innovations, see Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (New York: Touchstone, 1996), 53–67.

pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig


AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Large computing projects can be carved into manageable bites and then shipped to cooperating computers everywhere on the Net. The computers simply process the data as instructed by the organizing machine, and the processed data is then shipped back to the organizing machine. From the user's perspective, the nature of the data being processed could be completely obscure. The point is that the idle time of the machine could be harnessed to the end of getting something done. 30 As Howard Rheingold describes it: At its most basic level, distributed processing is a way of harvesting a resource that until now has been squandered on a massive scale: unused CPU cycles. Even if you type two characters per second on your keyboard, you're using only a fraction of your machine's power. [Distributed computing bands together millions of computers] on the Net to create, with their downtime, ad hoc supercomputers.31 The potential of peer-to-peer technologies reaches far beyond simple file transfer or the sharing of processing cycles.

(Beijing and Cambridge, Mass: O'Reilly, 2001), 3-15 (describing how the original Internet was “fundamentally designed as a peer-to-peer system” but became increasingly client/server oriented over time owing to Web browser applications, firewalls, and other factors). 28 For background on SETI, see “History of SETI,” at general/history.html; Eric Korpela et al., “SETI@home: Massively Distributed Computing for SETI,” at 29 Howard Rheingold, “You Got the Power,” Wired (August 2001), at http://www.wired. com/wired/archive/8.08/comcomp.html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set=. 30 For a useful survey of issues related to P2P, see Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Benefits of a Disruptive Technology, Andrew Oram, ed. (Beijing and Cambridge, Mass.: O'Reilly, 2001). See also (collecting articles). Xerox PARC has conducted an interesting study of the free-riding problem with p2p technologies.

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend


1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

Overhauling the power grid is an urgent priority for smart cities because without a stable supply of electricity everything comes to a stop. When a tsunami struck Japan in 2011, triggering the shutdown of most of the nation’s nuclear generators, the multistory digital screens of Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing—the Asian equivalent of Manhattan’s Times Square—went dark for weeks. Normally crisscrossed by mobile phone–toting “smart mobs,” as author Howard Rheingold dubbed them, it is a place that lives in my memory as the paragon of future urbanism. Tokyo survived its digital lobotomy—there’s still enough of the conventional infrastructure in place to live life manually, so to speak. But in future cities even the most mundane tasks will draw upon sensors, computers, and communications networks scattered across the cloud. Electricity, even more than the digital data it conveys, will be the lifeblood of smart cities.

As Red Burns, the cofounder of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, once described the curriculum’s goal: “we are training a new kind of professional—one who is comfortable with both analytical and creative modes of thinking.”35 Similarly, it won’t be enough to just put together teams with both planners and programmers. Smart-city designers will also need to be transdisciplinary—able to think across disciplines inside their own minds. As author Howard Rheingold describes it, transdisciplinarity “means educating researchers who can speak languages of multiple disciplines—biologists who have an understanding of mathematics, mathematicians who understand biology.”36 Architects and engineers of smart cities will need to draw on both informatics and urbanism simultaneously. There are about a dozen people in the world today who can do this proficiently.

pages: 675 words: 141,667

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


barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, creative destruction, 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

For consistency, I will use “ARPA.” 7 The proper rendering of the network’s name is ARPANET, but I have chosen to use “Arpanet” for aesthetic purposes. 8 J. C. R. Licklider, “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics Vol. HFE-1 (March 1960), 4–11; M. Mitchell Waldrop, The Dream Machine: J. C. R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal (New York: Viking, 2001); Howard Rheingold, Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000 [1985]), 132–151. 9 David Hart, Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Public Policy in the United States, 1921–1953 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998); Bruce L. R. Smith, American Science Policy since World War II (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1990); Andrew L.

Russell, “Ideological and Policy Origins of the Internet, 1957–1969,” paper presented to TPRC 2001, the 29th Research Conference on Communication, Information, and Internet Policy, Washington, DC, October 28, 2001. 10 Fubini, as director of defense research and engineering, was the only step in the chain of command between the director of ARPA and the secretary of defense. Ruina was ARPA director between February 1961 and September 1963. Jack Ruina, oral history interview by William Aspray, April 20, 1989, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. 11 Howard Rheingold, Tools for Thought, 138. The evocative language of “religious conversion” also appears in J. C. R. Licklider, oral history interview by William Aspray and Arthur L. Norberg, October 28, 1988, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and John A. N. Lee and Robert Rosin, “The Project MAC Interviews,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 14 (1992): 16–17. 12 Licklider interview, Charles Babbage Institute. 13 J.

pages: 239 words: 45,926

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Work, Health & Wealth by Juan Enriquez


Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, creative destruction, double helix, global village, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, personalized medicine, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell, the new new thing

Drucker has also been detailing these changes for decades, starting with The End of the Economic Man (1939). See also his Post-Capitalist Society (1993). 8. Robert Metcalf, founder of 3Com, argues the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of people in it. 9. Attempting to regulate these decentralized networks is certain to give bureaucrats ulcers— or worse. See, for example, Peter Maas, “Silicorn Valley,” Wired, September 1997: 131–38. 10. You can read about SETI in Howard Rheingold’s “You Got the Power,” Wired, August 2000: 176. Or go directly to 11. See 12. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. 1997 Annual Report: “Time Well Spent: The Declining Real Cost of Living in America.” 13. While the Internet has certainly changed the nature of shopping, it is still hard to go up against merchandising behemoths like Wal-Mart. The skills and techniques that allowed Amazon to dominate in one arena now have to be honed in others to achieve that incidental part of business … making a profit. 14.

pages: 229 words: 68,426

Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield


augmented reality, business process, defense in depth, demand response, demographic transition, facts on the ground, game design, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, James Dyson, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, profit motive, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method

See also everyware; ubicomp breakdowns/failures literature on modularity opting out of seamlessness Unified Modeling Language (UML) Uniform resource Identifier (URI) UPC numbers user experience (UX) users, See also human body; people UWB (ultra-wideband) technology V voice-recognition W wall screens Want, Roy wearable computing Web standards. See also Internet Weiser, Mark Wi-Fi technology Wikipedia WiMaX standard X Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (ParC) XML (eXtensible Markup Language) Acknowledgments The three greatest friends this book ever had have been Liz Danzico, Howard Rheingold and Christina Wodtke. very simply, Everyware would not exist without their influence; my gratitude to them is immense. I would also like to thank Peter Morville and Jeffrey Zeldman for their crucial early enthusiasm. At Peachpit, Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel showed extraordinary faith in my vision for this book, affording me leeway few authors ever enjoy; I was both moved and inspired. I would like to thank Marjorie Baer, Michael Nolan and Camille Peri for their insightful and untiring efforts on behalf of this book.

pages: 193 words: 19,478

Memory Machines: The Evolution of Hypertext by Belinda Barnet


augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Duvall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, game design, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, John Markoff, linked data, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, publish or perish, Robert Metcalfe, semantic web, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons

Both Malloy’s and McDaid’s work remarkably prefigure the movement in contemporary e-literature toward what Victoria Vesna, following Lev Manovich, calls ‘database aesthetics’ (Vesna 2007, 234).12 Those hypertexts that were written in Storyspace had a strange ‘preoccupation with the “topography” of hypertext’ (Ciccoricco 2007, 197). The metaphor also seemed to stick in hypertext theory for many years; Joyce (1998), Dickey (1995), Landow (1992), Nunes (1999) and Johnson-Eilola (1994), to name but a few of the ‘first wave’ theorists, explicitly conjure images of exploration and mapmaking to describe the aesthetics of hypertext, due in no small part to Storyspace and to Bolter’s book Writing Space. Some ideas, as Howard Rheingold wrote in Tools for Thought more than 20 years ago, are like viruses: if they are released at the right moment, they can infect an entire culture (Rheingold 1985, 128). At the time he started working with Bolter, Joyce had ambitions of his own: he wanted to write a book that changed with each reading, as we have seen. According to the Markle Report (and Joyce’s own memory)13 he was also ‘insistent on the non-hierarchical and associative working habits’ of writers 122 Memory Machines (Bolter and Joyce 1986, 24).

pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

This means that you are responsible for the words you post on the WELL, and that reproduction of those words without your permission in any medium outside the WELL’s conferencing system may be challenged by you, the author.” But in 1989 something weird happened. The notion of the “hacker ethic” became a contested trope. It started with an online forum on the WELL organized by Harper’s Magazine. The subject was hacking, and Paul Tough, a Harper’s editor, had recruited Brand and a few of his most important WELL members, including Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, and John Perry Barlow, to participate. Barlow, a shaggy, bearded man with a fondness for colorful cowboy shirts, is a true American character. He is a failed Wyoming rancher, a former Catholic mystic, and a former Grateful Dead lyricist. He was also an early proponent of cyberspace as the new American frontier—as lawless as Wyatt Earp’s Tombstone. Barlow wanted it to stay that way, but his romantic notion of the hacker as countercultural brigand was about to be confronted with something more real and more dangerous.

pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells


Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

Ironically, this countercultural approach to technology had a similar effect to the military-inspired strategy of horizontal networking: it made available technological means to whoever had the technical knowledge and a computing tool, the PC, which soon began a spectacular progression of increasing power and decreasing price at the same time. The advent of personal computing and the communicability of networks spurred the development of bulletin board systems (BBS), first in the United States, then worldwide. Bulletin board systems did not need sophisticated computer networks, just PCs, modems, and the telephone line. Thus, they became the electronic notice-boards of all kinds of interests and affinities, creating what Howard Rheingold named “virtual communities.”52 In the late 1980s, several million computer users were using computer-mediated communication in cooperative or commercial networks that were not part of the Internet. Often, these networks used protocols that were not compatible, so they shifted to Internet protocols, a move that, in the 1990s, assured their integration into the Internet and thus the expansion of the Internet itself.

Moreover, the meager empirical record is still marked by the kind of questions arising in the pre-www era, that is before 1995, when computer-mediated communication was a small affair of a few hundreds of thousands of devoted users. This is particularly the case for the question that dominated the debate on the social dimensions of the Internet during the 1990s: does the Internet favor the development of new communities, virtual communities, or, instead, is it inducing personal isolation, severing people’s ties with society, and ultimately, with their “real” world? Howard Rheingold, in his pioneering book Virtual Communities marked the tone of the debate by forcefully arguing for the birth of a new form of community, bringing people together on-line around shared values and interests.85 Furthermore, on the basis of his own experience with WELL, a cooperative computer network in the San Francisco Bay area, he proposed the notion that communities built on-line could develop, as in his own case, into physical meetings, friendly parties, and material support for members of their virtual community.

pages: 268 words: 112,708

Culture works: the political economy of culture by Richard Maxwell


1960s counterculture, AltaVista, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business process, commoditize, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, intermodal, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, talking drums, telemarketer, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Lasica, “When Marketing Overwhelms Journalism,” AJR NewsLink (September 1998). Available: (July 25, 1999); USWeb and Rick E. Bruner, Net Results: Web Marketing That Works (Indianapolis: Hayden Books, 1998), 245, 274, 303; Nicholas Stein, “New Media, Old Values,” Columbia Journalism Review (July 1999). Available: (July 25, 1999). 49. Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1993). 50. USWeb and Bruner, Net Results, 159–62, 270–71. 51. Shapiro and Varian, Information Rules, 35. 52. USWeb and Bruner, Net Results, 283. 53. Ibid., 40. 54. Vincent Mosco, The Political Economy of Communication (London: Sage Publications, 1996), 150–56. 55. DoubleClick, “Increasing Effectiveness” (1999). Available: http://www.doubleclick. com/advertisers/brand/increasing.htm (July 12, 1999). 56.

pages: 317 words: 84,400

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner


23andMe, Ada Lovelace, airport security, Al Roth, algorithmic trading, backtesting, big-box store, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, dumpster diving, Flash crash, Gödel, Escher, Bach, High speed trading, Howard Rheingold, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, medical residency, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Sergey Aleynikov, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

William Dunham, Euler: The Master of Us All (Albuquerque, NM: Integre Technical Publishing, 1999), p. xx. 40. Charles Gillespie, Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976), p. 468. 41. Robert Bradley, Leonhard Euler, p. 412. 42. David Richeson, Euler’s Gem: The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), p. 86. 43. Howard Rheingold, Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986), p. 39. 44. Ivor Grattan-Guinness and Gérard Bornet, eds., George Boole: Selected Manuscripts on Logic and Its Philosophy (Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, 1997), p. xiv. 45. Margaret A. Boden, Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), vol. 2, p. 151. 46.

pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis


23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, commoditize, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

When something is happening live online, we can have conversations around it, we can share the same experience and discuss it, we can influence events. But it also makes the web perilous for businesses being talked about—unless they have the facility to listen to and join the conversation as it happens. Mobs form in a flash In this live connection machine, people of similar interests and goals—call them communities or call them mobs—can find each other, coalesce, organize, and act in an instant. Howard Rheingold dubbed them Smart Mobs in the title of his 2002 book. Rheingold chronicled the fall of Philippine president Joseph Estrada at the hands of a smart mob of tens of thousands who were gathered together in only an hour by SMS messages on phones that told them to “Go 2 EDSA,” an address in Manila, and to “Wear blck.” On a much less grand and profound scale, I watched Twitter form mobs at the South by Southwest conference in Austin in 2008 after attendees excitedly swarmed to the most anticipated party—Google’s, of course—only to find a line three geeks thick running three blocks long.

pages: 411 words: 95,852

Britain Etc by Mark Easton


agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, credit crunch, financial independence, garden city movement, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, mass immigration, moral panic, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, social software

The Internet could be the ultimate isolating technology that reduces our participation in communities even more than did automobiles and television before it.’ In Britain, where the web was expanding rapidly, it was noted that the dire warnings of social catastrophe were matched by cyber-evangelists proclaiming the reverse. ‘The most transforming technological event since the capture of fire’ was how John Perry Barlow, lyricist for the Grateful Dead and digital rights activist, described the development of the Internet. The writer Howard Rheingold, one of the first to log on to an online community in San Francisco in the mid-1980s, claimed to have been ‘participating in the self-design of a new kind of culture’. In his book The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, Rheingold wrote of how he had plugged his computer into his telephone and made contact with the WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link), a very early email network.

pages: 193 words: 98,671

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper


Albert Einstein, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, natural language processing, new economy,, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, urban planning

Cringely, Troy Daniels, Lisa Powers, Philip Englehardt, Karen Evensen, Ridgely Evers, Royal Farros, Pat Fleck, David Fore, Ed Forman, Ed Fredkin, Jean-Louis Gassee, Jim Gay, Russ Goldin, Vlad Gorelik, Marcia Gregory, Garrett Gruener, Chuck Hartledge, Ted Harwood, Will Hearst, Tamra Heathershaw-Hart, J.D. Hildebrand, Laurie Hills, Peter Hirshberg, Larry Keeley, Gary Kratkin, Deborah Kurata, Tom Lafleur, Paul Laughton, Ellen Levy, Steven List, T.C. Mangan, David Maister, Robert May, Don McKinney, Kathryn Meadows, Lisa Mitchell, Geoffrey Moore, Bruce Mowery, Nate Myers, Ed Niehaus, Constance Petersen, Keith Pleas, Robert Reimann, John Rivlin, Howard Rheingold, Heidi Roizen, Neil Rubenking, Paul Saffo, Josh Seiden, Russ Siegelman, Donna Slote, Linda Stone, Toni Walker, Kevin Weeks, Kevin Welch, Dan Willis, Heather Winkle, Stephen Wildstrom, Terry Winograd, John Zicker, and Pierluigi Zappacosta. This "year long" project took 20 months, and my family showed great patience with me. I owe the greatest debt of love and thanks to my wife, Sue Cooper, and to my handsome young sons, Scott and Marty.

pages: 313 words: 84,312

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


1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics,, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, 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, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, 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

Many other classical electric guitar videos have had several million hits. 2 For more on the likes of charlieissocoollike see Celia Hannon, Peter Bradwell, Charlie Tims, Video Republic, Demos, 2008. charlieissocoollike 3 The World Turned Upside Down, Christopher Hill, Penguin, 1972 Chapter 1 1 Thomas Homer-Dixon (2006), The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilisation (Souvenir Press Ltd, 2007) 2 Jane McGonigal, ‘Why I Love Bees: A Case Study in Collective Intelligence Gaming’, February 2007. Available from WhyILoveBees_Feb2007.pdf 3 In April 2007, for example, about 4,000 flash mobbers took over the main concourse of Victoria Station in London, armed with personal stereos, to dance for two hours, in the middle of the afternoon. See Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs (Perseus Books, 2002) 4 Sanger’s work was funded by a company called Bomis, of which Wales was one of the directors. 5 Larry Sanger, ‘The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia’, in Chris DiBona, Danese Cooper and Mark Stone (Eds), Open Sources 2.0 (O’Reilly, 2006) 6 The most famous example was when an article alleged that a former aide to Robert Kennedy was involved in President John F.

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, pirate software, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

Out came the Whole Earth Software Catalog of 1984, arousing headscratching doubts among the tie-dyed faithful, and rabid enthusiasm among the nascent "cyberpunk" milieu, present company included. Point Foundation started its yearly Hackers Conference, and began to take an extensive interest in the strange new possibilities of digital counterculture. CoEvolution Quarterlyfolded its teepee, replaced by Whole Earth Software Review and eventually by Whole Earth Review (the magazine's present incarnation, currently under the editorship of virtual-reality maven Howard Rheingold). 1985 saw the birth of the "WELL"—the "Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link." The Well was Point Foundation's bulletin board system. As boards went, the Well was an anomaly from the beginning, and remained one. It was local to San Francisco. It was huge, with multiple phonelines and enormous files of commentary. Its complex UNIX-based software might be most charitably described as "user-opaque." It was run on a mainframe out of the rambling offices of a non-profit cultural foundation in Sausalito.

pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff


algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

They understand better than almost anyone how the best way to navigate the increasingly programmed landscape ahead is to know something about programming, oneself. Having their adventure ahead served as a light at the end of the long tunnel. Many people have engaged with me about the ideas in this book. These ideas are as much yours as they are mine. You are, in an order that makes sense to me on a fractalnoid level, Dr. Mark Filippi, Ryan Freilino, Jerry Michalski, Kevin Slavin, Curtis Faith, Howard Rheingold, Terence McKenna, Stewart Brand, Ken Goldberg, Clay Shirky, Amber Case, Cintra Wilson, Jonathan Lethem, Samantha Hinds, David Bennahum, Walter Kirn, Steven Bender, Jeff Newelt, Barak Goodman, Rachel Dretzin, David Pescovitz, Janet Sternberg, Lance Strate, Mark Stahlman, Paul Levinson, Alan Burdick, Renee Hobbs, Nathalis Wamba, and Hermenauts everywhere. Thanks also to my mother, Sheila, who passed away before I started this one but always thought it was “a good idea.”

pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff


3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

I am grateful to every person who asked a question at a talk, e-mailed me about your situation, called in to a radio show, raised your hand in class, commented on an article, or tweeted me a link. Don’t stop. I am:,, and @rushkoff on Twitter. For implanting the dream of how a digital society and economy might function, I thank Internet cultural pioneers including Howard Rheingold, Mark Pesce, David Pescovitz, Mark Frauenfelder, Xeni Jardin, Cory Doctorow, John Barlow, Jaron Lanier, RU Sirius, Andrew Mayer, Richard Metzger, Evan Williams, everyone on the Well, Richard Stallman, George P’or, Neal Gorenflo, Marina Gorbis, and Michel Bauwens. For leading digital enterprises in ways worth writing about, thanks to Scott Heiferman, Ben Knight, Zach Sims, Slava Rubin, the Robin Hood Cooperative, Enspiral, and Jimmy Wales.

pages: 371 words: 108,317

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


3D printing, 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, 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, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

The recurring insight was simple: What happens if we turn the old model inside out and have the audience/customers in charge? They would be Toffler’s prosumers—consumers who were producers. As innovation expert Larry Keeley once observed: “No one is as smart as everyone.” Or as Clay Shirky puts it: “Here comes everybody!” Should we simply let the “everyone” in the audience create the online magazine themselves? Should editors step back and just approve what the wisdom of the crowd creates? Howard Rheingold, a writer and editor who had been living online for a decade before Wired, was one of many pundits who argued that it was now possible to forget the editor. Go with the crowd. Rheingold was at the forefront of the then totally radical belief that content could be assembled entirely from the collective action of amateurs and the audience. Rheingold would later write a book called Smart Mobs.

pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

—Frederic Mazzella, OuiShare magazine interview, January 14, 2013 The Internet has existed as space for commercial exchange for over two decades. Now well into the new millennium, it is easy to forget that in the mid to late 1990s, the Internet was both a scene of frenzied excitement and a site of deep apprehension, fear, and moral panic. After all, although some Internet enthusiasts like Howard Rheingold were staking out the “virtual frontier” of the Internet, others were warning people that the Internet was a potential minefield of illicit affairs, pornography, and (of course) fraudulent activities. Over the past two decades, as both the utopian speculations and paranoid misconceptions about the Internet have receded, it has become an integral part of our everyday lives. However, although nearly as old as the commercial Internet itself, peer-to-peer exchange has only recently graduated from supplementing or extending existing forms of commerce to creating entirely new business models and consumer behaviors—models and behavior that were not fully conceivable in the early years of the Web.

pages: 329 words: 88,954

Emergence by Steven Johnson

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, edge city, epigenetics, game design, garden city movement, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, pez dispenser, phenotype, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, slashdot, Socratic dialogue, stakhanovite, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush

(For the first few years of its existence, the Grateful Dead discussion area on the Well was larger than all the other areas combined.) Because each topic area attracted a smaller subset of the overall population, visiting each one felt like returning to an old block in a familiar part of town, and running into the same cast of characters that you had found there the last time you visited. ECHO and the Well had a certain homeostatic balance in those early years—powerfully captured in Howard Rheingold’s book The Virtual Community—and part of that balance came from the community’s own powers of self-organization. But neither was a pure example of bottom-up behavior: the topic areas, for instance, were central-planning affairs, created by fiat and not by footprints; both communities benefited from the strong top-down leadership of their founders. That their overall populations never approached a “climax stage” reflected the slow modem-adoption curve of the general public, and the limited marketing budgets at both operations.

pages: 313 words: 92,053

Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life by Colin Ellard

augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, megastructure, more computing power than Apollo, Oculus Rift, Peter Eisenman, RFID, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, sentiment analysis, smart cities, the built environment, theory of mind, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen

Available at: 10Much illuminating information about the video game industry can be found at the website of the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Available at: 11An early and entertaining account of teledildonics titled “Teledildonics: Reach Out and Touch Someone” was written by Howard Rheingold in the journal Mondo 2000 (Summer, 1990). The article, complete with an opening cheeky limerick, is available in the book Arthur Berger (Ed.), The Postmodern Presence: Readings on Postmodernism in American Culture and Society (Rowman Altamira, New York, 1998). 12Project Syria and the virtual Aleppo experience is described at the Immersive Journalism website at: 13The article by Rosenberg, Baughman and Bailenson describing the virtual superhero effect, titled “Virtual Superheroes: Using Superpowers in Virtual Reality to Encourage Prosocial Behavior,” was published in the journal PLOS One (2013, Volume 8, pages 1–9). 14George Stratton’s description of the inverting goggles experiments can be found in an ancient paper titled “Some Preliminary Experiments on Vision Without Inversion of the Retinal Image,” in the journal Psychological Review, (1896, Volume 3, pages 611–617).

pages: 542 words: 161,731

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle


Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce

So, online, we read about people admitting to murder (these are often interpreted as soldiers writing about the experience of war) and enjoying child pornography: “A recent message on reads, ‘I have killed four people. One of them was a 17 year old boy.’” See Fantz, “Forgive Us Father.” 8 Ray Oldenberg. The Great Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Ships, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts, and How They Get You Through the Day (New York: Paragon House, 1989). On virtual environments as communities, see Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier (Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 1993). 9 There is, too, the word “world.” Sociologist William Bainbridge, a student of World of Warcraft, takes its title seriously and talks of the game as a world. See William Bainbridge, The Warcraft Civilization: Social Science in a Virtual World (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010). For an interchange on the game as a “world,” or perhaps a “neighborhood,” see Tom Ashcroft’s On Point interview with William Bainbridge, “Deep in the ‘World of Warcraft,’” WBUR, March 30, 2010, (accessed August 10, 2010).

pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man,, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation,, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Tushman, Exploitation, Exploration, and Process Management: The Productivity Dilemma Revisited, 28 ACAD. MGMT. REV. 238, 239 (2003). 17. See Ross Rubin, Players Scramble for Consumer Market, INTERACTIVE HOME, Sept. 1, 1996; Steve Kovsky & Paula Rooney, Online Service Providers Upgrade UIs, PC WEEK, June 24, 1996, at 14. 18. A Little Microcomputer BBS History, (last visited June 1, 2007). 19. See HOWARD RHEINGOLD, THE VIRTUAL COMMUNITY, at xxiii-xxiv (1993), available at; Jack Rickard, Home-Grown BB$, WIRED, Sept.—Oct. 1993, at 42, available at 1.04/bbs.html. 20. See Tom Jennings, Fido and FidoNet, (last visited June 1, 2007); Living Internet, Bulletin Board Systems & FidoNet, http://www.livinginternet.eom/u/ui_fidonet.htm (last visited June 1, 2007). 21.

pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg


A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall,, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook,, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

“In science the whole system builds”: Linus Torvalds, quoted in Business Week, August 18, 2004, at /aug2004/tc20040818_1593.htm. Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think” first appeared in the Atlantic in July 1945. It is available at My account of Douglas Engelbart’s work draws on readings from his work collected at the Bootstrap Institute Web site at, as well as the accounts in Thierry Bardini, Bootstrapping (Stanford University Press, 2000); Howard Rheingold, Tools for Thought (Simon & Schuster, 1985); and John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said (Viking, 2005). The video of Engelbart’s 1968 demo is at “store ideas, study them”: From the Invisible Revolution Web site, devoted to Engelbart’s ideas, at “successful achievements can be utilized”: From the “Whom to Augment First?”

pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff


affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, peer-to-peer, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional, zero-sum game

Thank you all. Katinka Matson Richard Metzger John Brockman Jay Babcock Will Murphy Steven Johnson Dan Hind Eamon Dolan Shawn Kittelsen Amy Hertz Janine Saunders Gillian Blake Sally Marvin Bálazs Szekfü Ramona Pringle Media-Squatters Nick Hasty Suzan Eraslan Lian Amaris David Lanphier, Jr. Ari Wallach Felipe Ribeiro Andrew Mayer Fernando Cervantes Bernard Lietaer Armanda Lewis Howard Rheingold David Pescovitz John Merryman Jonathan Taylor Propaganda Lance Strate John Leland John Rogers Darren Sharp Jules Marshall Amy Sohn Christina Amini Jason Liszkiewicz Jeff Newelt Kevin Werbach Xeni Jardin Timothy Mohn Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza Matthew Burton Max Brockman Josh Klein Russel Weinberger Jeff Gordiner Helen Churko Getachew Mengistie Courtney Turco Justin Vogt Joost Raessens Nancy Hechinger Rachel Dretzen Benjamin Kirshbaum Barak Goodman Ken Miller Naomi Klein David Feuer Kate Norris and, most of all, Barbara and Mamie Rushkoff NOTES CHAPTER ONE Once Removed: The Corporate Life-Form 4 Most history books recount For the best descriptions of late Middle Ages and Renaissance life and commerce, see Fernand Braudel, The Wheels of Commerce: Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992), and Carlo M.

pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar


3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

National Center on Education Statistics, “Table 318.30: Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by sex of student and discipline division: 2011–12.” 19. Off-the-record interview with Columbia University student for this book. 20. Author interview with Lutz for this book. 21. Robert S. Kaplan, “The Topic of Quality in Business School Education and Research,” Selections (Autumn 1991): 13–22; Howard Rheingold, Virtual Reality (New York: Summit Books, 2001). 22. John R. Graham, Campbell R. Harvey, and Shivaram Rajgopal, “Value Destruction and Financial Reporting Decisions,” Financial Analysts Journal 62, no. 6 (December 2006): 8. 23. Anthony J. Mayo, Nitin Nohria, and Laura G. Singleton, Paths to Power: How Insiders and Outsiders Shaped American Business Leadership (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2006). 24.

pages: 475 words: 149,310

Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri


affirmative action, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, David Graeber, Defenestration of Prague, deskilling, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, global village, Howard Rheingold, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, land reform, land tenure, late capitalism, liberation theology, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Paul Samuelson, private military company, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Richard Stallman, Slavoj Žižek, The Chicago School, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, union organizing, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

For Schumpeter’s theory of crisis, see also “The Analysis of Economic Change,” Review of Economic Statistics 17, (May 1935): 2-10; and “Theoretical Problems of Economic Growth,” Journal of Economic History 7 (November 1947): 1-9. 119 See Antonio Damasio, Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (New York: Harcourt, 2003). 120 Eric Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 1999). For another technology-based analysis of how people are increasingly able to create collaboratively in networks, see Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs (New York: Basic, 2002). 121 Thomas Hobbes, On the Citizen, trans. Richard Tuck and Michael Siverthorne (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), chapter 14. 122 Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, Dialogues II, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 136, translation modified. 123 Ward Churchill argues against pacifist politics but assumes that the only alternative to pacifism is armed struggle in traditional form.

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman


23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Unfortunately, at the time the sophomore had received his “free” laptop, he was too young to have yet studied the prophetic warning about Greeks bearing gifts, a topic he would likely cover two years later when assigned Virgil’s Aeneid in his senior English class. Candid Camera You can’t assume any place you go is private because the means of surveillance are becoming so affordable and so invisible. HOWARD RHEINGOLD When a public school district, an organ of the state, has the ability to spy on us in our homes at will and without warrant, it is clear the age of pervasive universal surveillance has upon us. From London to New York and Chicago to Beijing, massive video surveillance, or CCTV, networks have been installed to protect us from threats, real and imagined. In one city alone, Chongqing in southwest China, officials have installed 500,000 cameras to deal with religious and political unrest, in addition to other “organized crimes.”

pages: 636 words: 202,284

Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns


active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, commoditize, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog

Some of these groups, like the WELL, were fairly small and localized; others were larger and adopted fictional locations, leading at length to ventures like Second Life. It did not take users long to testify that they felt themselves approaching the McLuhanite dream of having the psyche merge into a global electronic net. More influential language for articulating online communities, however, evoked concepts of community and frontier. Their principal exponent, Howard Rheingold, was a WELL veteran who came up with the expression “virtual community” in 1987 in a successor volume to the Whole Earth Catalog. Rheingold’s representation of an emergent frontier domain – at once a village full of diverse skills, bound together by an “informal, unwritten social contract,” and an unsettled landscape of new stakes and homesteads – became probably the most widely adopted model for these pseudosocieties.

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

Now he was several years out of school, with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering plus two years' experience as a navy radar techni- cian. He was working at a good job at Ames Research in California, where he did electrical engineering for one of NASA's ancestors, the National Advisory Com- mittee on Aeronautics. He had met a girl there. And that very weekend, the two of them had decided to get married. And yet, as Engelbart explained to Howard Rheingold for the latter's 1985 book, Toolsfor Thought, "the Monday after we got engaged, I was driving to work when I was hit with the shocking realization that I no longer had any goals. As a kid who had grown up in the Depression, I was imbued with three goals: get an education, get a steady job, get married. Now I had achieved them. Nothing was left. "5 Driving onward through the vast prune orchards of what would later be known as Silicon Valley, Engelbart calculated that he had about 5.5 million working minutes remaining in his life.