The Wars of Tech

A session at SXSW Interactive 2012

Saturday 10th March, 2012

5:00pm to 6:00pm (CST)

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.

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
Steven Levy

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.


Take collaborative notes on this session with hackpad


29 attendees

  • Olga Kazakova
  • Alex Gurevich
  • Andy Pressman
  • Brian Levin
  • Bryan Owens
  • Charley Walton
  • Matthias Weber
  • Clemens Brandt
  • Cristiano Dias
  • David Stallard
  • Dean Cruse
  • George Prest
  • Joseph Miller
  • Juliana Nascimento
  • Mason Rothman
  • Micah Sifry
  • Michael Moyer
  • Mathew Ray
  • Peter S. Magnusson
  • Remco Bron
  • Renda Morton
  • Robin Scharpf
  • sermad
  • Shrupti Shah
  • Steven Levy
  • Garrett Tillman
  • theupexperience
  • toft
  • Z. Bryant

23 trackers

  • Alex Bilstein
  • angus wolf
  • Keith Chu
  • Rick Mason
  • Evan Prodromou
  • havi hoffman
  • Geoff Kim
  • Gordon Ross
  • Dan W
  • Joel Parr
  • Margaret Ngai
  • Matthew Levine
  • Mercedes Gray
  • ɹǝɯoɹʞ (dılɟ) dılıɥd
  • Nicholas Wang
  • Patricia Marinho
  • Philip Chiang
  • Goody
  • Roman Karachinsky
  • Ryan Berg
  • Simon Doggett
  • Chris Sparks
  • Todd Budnikas

Coverage of this session

Sign in to add slides, notes or videos to this session

Sign in to track this session

Tell your friends!


Time 5:00pm6:00pm CST

Date Sat 10th March 2012


Ballroom D, Austin Convention Center

Session type


Session Hash Tag


Short URL


View the schedule



Books by speaker

  • In The Plex
  • Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
  • Insanely Great

See something wrong?

Report an issue with this session