It's easy to get caught up with the horse races of Facebook versus Google or Microsoft versus Apple or record labels versus the Internet. But in nearly 30 years of covering technology I find that the major conflicts are those of philosophy, politics and power. You could almost view the past few decades as a spectacular cycle of fantasy novels with the Hacker Spirit as the protagonist and amazing supporting characters including Steve Jobs, Richard Stallman, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Stephen Wolfram, Whitfield Diffie, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg (all of whom I've spent considerable time interviewing.) And as our lives are more intertwined with the giant digital shift, these conflicts are ever more vital. Here's an attempt to deconstruct a revolution--and point to what's ahead.
Sr Writer, Wired Magazine
Steven Levy is a senior writer for Wired, the former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek and the author of seven books. Washington Post describes him as “American’s premier technology journalist.” His most recent book, In The Plex: How Google Thinks Works and Shapes Our Lives has been a New York Times bestseller and is heralded as the definitive word on the search giant. His first book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, the computer history class which was named by the readers of PC Magazine as the best sci-tech book of 20 years; it was recently updated for a 25th anniversary edition. A longtime expert on Apple, Levy has written the history of the Macintosh, Insanely Great; and The Perfect Thing, about the iPod. Other books include Crypto, Artificial Life, and The Unicorn’s Secret.
Before he covered technology, Levy wrote about music, crime, sports and culture, and once made headlines by finding Albert Einstein’s brain in a cardboard box in Wichita, Kansas.
Sign in to add slides, notes or videos to this session