The Hackers Conference

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pages: 611 words: 188,732

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

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

Andy Hertzfeld was on the committee, I remember. Andy Hertzfeld: So I got a phone call from Stewart Brand, and once a week for seven weeks we drove up to Sausalito. There were like seven hackers he got to design the Hackers Conference. Stewart Brand: We got a pretty good influx of folks. There was Ted Nelson, obviously. Lee Felsenstein, the sort-of master of ceremonies for the Homebrew meetings, which I had never gone to. But his reputation was good. Lee Felsenstein: By that time, Homebrew had ossified. It wasn’t new people coming anymore. There was the same old faces. I called it “the old farts society.” We had the meetings for the Hackers Conference at the tugboat that Stewart Brand lived on in Sausalito. The meetings were mostly where we threw out names of who else ought to be invited. Andy Hertzfeld: My main contribution was just corralling the Apple crowd.

Because it was so participatory. People were chafed and they all wanted to talk. Everyone wanted to get in on it there. Doug Carlson (at the Hackers Conference): The dissemination of information as a free object is a worthy goal. It’s the way most of us learned in the first place. But the truth of the matter is, what people are doing has more and more commercial value, and if there’s any way for people to make money off it, somebody’s going to try to get an angle on it. So I think that it ought to be up to the people who design the product whether or not they want to give it away or sell it. It’s their product and it should be a personal decision. Robert Woodhead (at the Hackers Conference): Tools I will give away to anybody. But the product? That’s my soul that’s in the product. I don’t want anyone fooling with that.

I don’t want anyone fooling with that. I don’t want anyone hacking into that product and changing it—because then it won’t be mine. Steve Wozniak (at the Hackers Conference): Hackers frequently want to look at code, like operating systems, listings, and the like, to learn how it was done before them. Source should be made available reasonably to those sort of people. Not to copy, not to sell, but to learn from. Stewart Brand: Wozniak made the point that there’s a whole bunch of work creating a piece of software that does something useful and actually works well. Steve Wozniak (at the Hackers Conference): Information should be free—but your time should not. Stewart Brand: So, putting these things out for free is kind of nuts. And, I said, “Well, software—this kind of information—wants to be expensive, but it also wants to be free because it’s so easy to copy.”


pages: 398 words: 107,788

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

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

While lifeworlds are most often experienced as free of contradiction and ambiguity (in contrast to the large-scale events and tribulations usually thought to make up the stuff of history, which I visit in the next chapter), they are invariably stamped by particular events, material conditions, and time. There is one event, however, which is generally experienced as startlingly unique and special—the hacker conference, which I cover in detail at the end of the chapter. The conference is culturally significant because it allows hackers to collectively enact, make visible, and subsequently celebrate many elements of their quotidian technological lifeworld. Whether it is by laying down cable, setting up a server, giving talks about technology, or hacking up some new source code, these actions at the hacker conference unfold in an emotionally charged setting. What the conference foremost allows for is a “condition of heightened intersubjectivity” (Collins 2004, 35) where copious instances of hacking are brought into being and social bonds between participants are made manifest, and thus felt acutely.

Chapter 1 (“The Life of a Free Software Hacker”) provides what is a fairly typical life history of a F/OSS hacker from early childhood to the moment of discovering the “gems” of free software: source code. Compiled from over seventy life histories, I demonstrate how hackers interact and collaborate through virtual technologies, how they formulate liberal discourses through virtual interactions, how they came to learn about free software, and how they individually and collectively experience the pleasures of hacking. I also offer an extended discussion of the hacker conference, which I argue is the ritual (and pleasurable) underside of discursive publics. Chapter 2 (“A Tale of Two Legal Regimes”) presents what were initially two semi-independent legal regimes that over the last decade have become intertwined. The first story pertains to free software’s maturity into a global movement, and the second turns to the globalization and so-called harmonization of intellectual property provisions administered through global institutional bodies like the World Trade Organization.

By fable, I don’t mean false, yet it is imperative to acknowledge the constructed nature of the accounts. Choices have to be made about what to include, what to exclude, and most important, how to include them. For the life history chapter, I have chosen stories, elements, and events that I hope faithfully capture the zeitgeist of becoming a free software hacker, ending with one of the most memorable hacker events: the hacker conference. The subsequent chapter, by examining the dual character of our age, whereby we are subject to an omnipresent legal system and also have at our disposal a vibrant set of legal alternatives, is meant to inspire a paradoxical degree of hope and despair, thereby contributing, in its reading, to the making of history. CHAPTER 1 The Life of a Free Software Hacker One may say that true life begins where the tiny bit begins—where what seems to us minute and infinitely small alterations take place.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

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

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

For instance, participants agreed that hackers were driven to compute and that they would regard people who impeded their computing as bureaucrats rather than legitimate authorities. By and large, they agreed that although the free dissemination of information was a worthy ideal, in some cases it was clearly only an ideal. If they could not agree on proper hacker business practice, they could agree that being a hacker—in this case, being the sort of person who was invited to the Hackers’ Conference—was valuable in its own right. Lee Felsenstein explained, “That little bit of cultural identity [was] extremely important.” In the popular press, hackers had been characterized as machine-obsessed, antisocial, and potentially criminal loners. Gathered in the stucco halls of Fort Cronkhite, hackers could recognize themselves as something else. Lee Felsenstein recalls feeling empowered: “Don’t avoid the word Hackers.

Lee Felsenstein recalls feeling empowered: “Don’t avoid the word Hackers. Don’t let somebody else define you. No apologies: we’re hackers. We define what a hacker is . . . nobody else.”66 In the end, the group did not come to any consensus on the right approach to take toward the emerging challenges of the software industry. But they had begun to reformulate their own identities, partially in terms of Whole Earth ideals. In the Hackers’ Conference, Brand and company provided computer workers with a venue in which to develop and live a group identity around the idea of hacking and to make sense of emerging economic forms in terms of that identity. This work had the effect of rehabilitating hackers in the public eye, but it also explicitly and securely linked Whole Earth people and the Whole Earth ethos to the world of computing. Virtually all of the journalistic reports that came from the Conference echoed John Markoff ’s comments in Byte magazine: “Anyone attending would instantly have realized that the stereotype of computer hackers as isolated individuals is nowhere near accurate.”67 Some of [ 138 ] Chapter 4 those same reports picked up on another theme as well, however.

That is, they linked the particular issues facing hackers to the broad themes of countercultural work generally and of the Whole Earth group in particular. They did not “report” a consensus generated by the invited hackers themselves so much as they melded the voices heard within the events’ various forums with the principles along which those forums were organized and with the experience of unity within the forums. At the Hackers’ Conference, Brand and his colleagues translated the individual experiences of three generations of hackers into a shared experience, an experience organized by Whole Earth people according to Whole Earth norms in the Catalog’s hometown.71 In the post-event reporting, the concerns of conference-goers and the culture of the conference itself—the Whole Earth culture—became one, and Stewart Brand, rather than any of the hackers, arose as this fused culture’s spokesman.


pages: 345 words: 105,722

The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling

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

The FBI, in pursuit of a hacker called "NuPrometheus," were tracing attendees of a suspect group called the Hackers Conference. The Hackers Conference, which had been started in 1984, was a yearly Californian meeting of digital pioneers and enthusiasts. The hackers of the Hackers Conference had little if anything to do with the hackers of the digital underground. On the contrary, the hackers of this conference were mostly well-to-do Californian high-tech CEOs, consultants, journalists and entrepreneurs. (This group of hackers were the exact sort of "hackers" most likely to react with militant fury at any criminal degradation of the term "hacker.") Barlow, though he was not arrested or accused of a crime, and though his computer had certainly not gone out the door, was very troubled by this anomaly. He carried the word to the Well. Like the Hackers Conference, "the Well" was an emanation of the Point Foundation.

The crackdown raid may have done little to dissuade Phiber Optik, but its galling affect on the Wellbeings was profound. As 1990 rolled on, the slings and arrows mounted: the Knight Lightning raid, the Steve Jackson raid, the nation-spanning Operation Sundevil. The rhetoric of law enforcement made it clear that there was, in fact, a concerted crackdown on hackers in progress. The hackers of the Hackers Conference, the Wellbeings, and their ilk, did not really mind the occasional public misapprehension of "hacking;" if anything, this membrane of differentiation from straight society made the "computer community" feel different, smarter, better. They had never before been confronted, however, by a concerted vilification campaign. Barlow's central role in the counter-struggle was one of the major anomalies of 1990.


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

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

Agent Baxter's puzzlement was the heart of the encounter between him and Barlow. Not only Agent Baxter, but his sources of information, seemed exceedingly unclear about the nature of whatever it was they were supposed to be investigating. It turned out that Barlow had been contacted by the FBI because his name was on the roster of an annual private gathering called the Hackers' Conference. Baxter reported that he had been informed that the Hackers' Conference was an 26-04-2012 21:46 howard rheingold's | the virtual community 15 de 36 http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/9.html underground organization of computer outlaws that was probably part of the same grand conspiracy as the NuPrometheus League. Hacker used to mean something different from what it means now. Steven Levy's 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution was about the unorthodox young programmers who created in the 1960s and 1970s the kind of computer technology that nonprogrammers used in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Deadheads came online and seemed to know instinctively how to use the system to create a community around themselves, for which I think considerable thanks are due to Maddog, Marye, and Rosebody. Not long thereafter we saw the concept of the online superstar taken to new heights with the advent of the True Confessions conference. . . . Suddenly our future looked assured. . . ." Kevin Kelly had been editor of Whole Earth Review for several years when the WELL was founded. The Hackers' Conference had been his idea. Kelly recalled the original design goals that the WELL's founders had in mind when they opened for business in 1985. The design goals were: 26-04-2012 21:42 howard rheingold's | the virtual community 7 de 27 http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/2.html 1) That it be free. This was a goal, not a commitment. We knew it wouldn't be exactly free but it should be as free (cheap) as we could make it. . . . 2) It should be profit making . . .

., an important Star Wars contractor." And Draper was suspected of having "Soviet contacts." Just about everything Baxter told Barlow was wrong, and Barlow knew it. There was a wacky near-miss element to the way Baxter was wrong. It was true that Draper had once worked at Autodesk as a programmer, but that was as close to being the CEO of Autodesk that he ever got; the real CEO of Autodesk, John Walker, definitely was on the Hackers' Conference list of attendees himself. Autodesk makes computer-aided design software for personal computers and was in the process of developing a cyberspace toolkit for architects and designers, but it was hardly a top-secret defense contractor. John Draper did have some Russian programmer friends, but by 1990, the Evil Empire was in the throes of disintegration. 26-04-2012 21:46 howard rheingold's | the virtual community 16 de 36 http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/9.html Baxter's story was hilariously misinformed enough to make anybody worry about how well the FBI is doing against the real techno-criminals, the nuclear terrorists and large-scale data thieves.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

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

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

So when I did the piece for Rolling Stone (the magazine’s publisher) Jann Wenner said at the time, ‘Well, you’ve just set in motion a whole new body of journalism that’s going to track down all this stuff.’ And in fact, it was ten years later that Steven Levy did the book Hackers, which sort of told the rest of the story.” Spurred on by Levy’s Hackers, in 1984, the same year of the inaugural Chaos Communication Congress in Germany, Brand convened the US’s first Hacker Con, in Marin County, California. “Organising the Hackers Conference was like some of the early hacking at MIT, so collaborative and rapid you couldnt keep track of who did what…” he wrote at the time, “But once they were on the scene, they were the worlds easiest group to work with. If anything went wrong 1) they didnt care, 2) they could fix it.” In the end, Brand attracted around 125 hackers to the upmarket camping resort, providing tools, a place to sleep and “enough candy and soda to get them through the night”.


pages: 371 words: 78,103

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers by Michael Schrenk

Amazon Web Services, corporate governance, fault tolerance, Firefox, Marc Andreessen, new economy, pre–internet, SpamAssassin, The Hackers Conference, Turing test, web application

If, however, you thirst for detailed information, or you see yourself as a future Hacker Jeopardy contestant,[64] you should read the SSL specification. The full details are available at http://wp .netscape.com/eng/ssl3/ssl-toc.html. * * * [64] Hacker Jeopardy is a contest where contestants answer detailed questions about various Internet protocols. This game is an annual event at the hacker conference DEFCON (http://www .defcon.org). Local Certificates Corporate networks sometimes use local certificates to authenticate both client and server. In the vast majority of cases, however, there is no need for a local certificate—in fact, I have never been in a situation that required one. However, PHP/CURL supports local encryption certificates, and it's important to configure them even if you don't use them.


pages: 394 words: 108,215

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

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

., p. 8. 16.Horace Enea, e-mail to author, November 10, 2001. 17.Michael L. Mauldin, “Chatterbots, Tinymuds, and the Turing Test: Entering the Loeb-ner Prize Competition,” paper presented at AAAI-94, January 24, 1994. 18.Sean Colbath’s e-mail from Les Earnest, posted to alt.foklore.computers, February 20, 1990. 19.Les Earnest, e-mail to author, September 15, 2001. 20.Les Earnest, comments during a seminar at the Hackers Conference, Tenaya Lodge, Caif., November 11, 2001. 4 | Free U 1.Larry McMurtry, “On the Road,” The New York Review of Books, December 5, 2002. 2.Midpeninsula Free University catalog, spring 1969. 3.Ibid., fall 1969. 4.Author interview, Jim Warren, Woodside, Calif., July 16, 2001. 5.John McCarthy, “The Home Information Terminal—a 1970 View,” in Man and Computer, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Man and Computer, Bordeaux, 1970, ed.


pages: 397 words: 110,222

Habeas Data: Privacy vs. The Rise of Surveillance Tech by Cyrus Farivar

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, John Markoff, license plate recognition, Lyft, national security letter, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, Port of Oakland, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Hackers Conference, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

In a dense urban area, stingrays are sometimes only effective within a radius of about 50 meters, whereas in a rural area they can be effective up to five kilometers, given that there is less physical interference due to the lack of buildings and other structures. Stingrays can also be reprogrammed to work for nearly any carrier in nearly any country. As stingrays become cheaper and smaller, they will undoubtedly be used not just by large organizations like the FBI, but also by small-town police forces, or worse, organized crime. In 2010, Kristin Paget (then known as Chris Paget) demonstrated to an audience at the hacker conference DEF CON how he built a rudimentary, but functional, stingray for about $1,500 in parts. In that talk, he controlled (“pwned”) around 30 audience members’ phones with his homebrew device. Like many other enforcement tools, the federal government has used grants to encourage local law enforcement to acquire this hardware in the name of fighting terrorism. But, as the Rigmaiden case shows, over time, particularly as these tools become cheaper and more commonplace—they’re used to bust criminal suspects like him.


pages: 312 words: 93,504

Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak

Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

High-tech guilds in the era of global capital. Anthropology of Work Review, 22(1), 28–32. Coleman, E. G. (2009). Code is speech: Legal tinkering, expertise, and protest among free and open source software developers. Cultural Anthropology, 24(3), 420–454. Coleman, E. G. (2010a). Ethnographic approaches to digital media. Annual Review of Anthropology, 39, 487–505. Coleman, E. G. (2010b). The hacker conference: A ritual condensation and celebration of a lifeworld. Anthropological Quarterly, 83(1), 47–72. Coleman, E. G. (2011). Hacker politics and publics. Public Culture, 23(3), 511–516. Coleman, E. G. (2013). Coding freedom. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Coleman, E. G., & Golub, A. (2008). Hacker practice. Anthropological Theory, 8(3), 255–277. Coleman, E. G., & Hill, B. M. (2004).


pages: 474 words: 130,575

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

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

Constitution,” he wrote in an introduction to a photo spread of the 1984 Hackers’ Conference. “No other group that I know of has set out to liberate a technology and succeeded.… High tech is now something that mass consumers do, rather than just have done to them, and that’s a hot item in the world.” He added, “The quietest of the ’60s sub- subcultures has emerged as the most innovative and most powerful—and most suspicious of power.”35 The Hackers’ Conference was a big moment in the cultural history of Silicon Valley. It helped introduce computer programmers to the public in a totally different way. These were no longer engineers working for big corporations and military contractors but “hackers”—geniuses and rebels bucking the system. Although Brand was an important figure driving this change of perception, he was not operating in isolation but represented a bigger cultural sea change.


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, Charles Lindbergh, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kubernetes, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, The Hackers Conference, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

He ended his pamphlet with this battle cry: “Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences.” The “Crypto Anarchist Manifesto” already contained the seeds of what would become a potent political ideology: technology itself, not humans, would make violence obsolete. May distributed his pamphlet electronically and in print among like-minded activists at the Crypto ’88 conference in Santa Barbara and again at the Hackers Conference that year. But something was missing. The message didn’t quite get out. By early 1992, Timothy May and a friend, Eric Hughes, were becoming annoyed with the glacial progress of actual cryptographic technologies that could be used by normal people. Yes, Phil Zimmermann had just released his home-brewed PGP (for “Pretty Good Privacy”) 1.0 to the public. This was a significant step. Zimmermann, in violation of export control regulations as well as patent law, gave public-key encryption to the people.


pages: 598 words: 183,531

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

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

I was in a state of high anxiety, perched among one hundred fifty potential nit-picking critics who had been issued copies of my first book. Those included in the text immediately found their names in the index and proceeded to vet passages for accuracy and technological correctness. Those not in the index sulked, and to this day whenever they encounter me, in person or in the ether of cyberspace, they complain. Ultimately, the experience was exhilarating. The Hacker Conference, which would become an annual event, turned out to be the kickoff for a spirited and public debate, continued to this day, about the future of hacking and the Hacker Ethic as defined in this book. The term “hacker” has always been bedeviled by discussion. When I was writing this book, the term was still fairly obscure. In fact, some months before publication, my editor told me that people in Doubleday’s sales force requested a title change—“Who knows what a hacker is?”


pages: 993 words: 318,161

Fall; Or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson

Ada Lovelace, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, bitcoin, blockchain, cloud computing, coherent worldview, computer vision, crossover SUV, cryptocurrency, defense in depth, demographic transition, distributed ledger, drone strike, easy for humans, difficult for computers, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, life extension, microbiome, Network effects, off grid, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, planetary scale, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, short selling, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, Turing test, Works Progress Administration

His area of specialization is the ancient city of Ugarit, which to make a long story short was an interesting place from a religious standpoint, sitting in the Venn diagram intersection of what we think of as Semitic and what we think of as Greek ideas about god(s), and in an interesting transitional phase between poly- and monotheism. Some of the ideas mentioned in the Moab section of the book, under the heading of the Ethical Network Sabotage Undertaking, have been floating around for decades; Matt Blaze first mentioned them in my hearing under the name of the Encyclopedia Disinformatica, during the mid-1990s, at the Hackers Conference. The term “Meatspace,” frequently used in this novel, appears to have been coined by Doug Barnes in 1993. Finally, there have been various big-picture conversations over the years with George Dyson and Jaron Lanier that undoubtedly influenced this book. About the Author NEAL STEPHENSON is the bestselling author of the novels The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. (with Nicole Galland), Seveneves, Reamde, Anathem, The System of the World, The Confusion, Quicksilver, Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac, and the groundbreaking nonfiction work In the Beginning . . .