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“Hackers” and “Information Wants to Be Free”

The most famous phrase in the book wasn’t mine. And it wasn’t in the book.

Steven Levy
Nov 21, 2014 · Unlisted
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In my more indulgent moments I can tick off a few career highlights. I found Einstein’s brain. Bill Gates once threw a pencil at me. I interviewed Bob Marley. I wrote books on artificial life, the Macintosh, Google, and the crypto wars of the 1990s. Oh, and I started Backchannel.

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By the time the hackers had gathered for a huge discussion on the first morning, I was a dizzy passenger on the high spirit bus.

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Bob Wallace.
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Woz: “That’s a hiding of information, and it’s wrong.”

Still, no one in that room understood that Brand had uttered a phrase that would remain steadily viral for thirty years.

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Brand: “The right information at the right place just changes your life.”

For me, Brand’s remark has had lasting impact because it reflected something I saw as key to Hackers: the drama that comes when commerce thwarts people’s impulse to share their creations, and limits those who build upon the work of others.

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The author
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Backchannel

Mining the tech world for lively and meaningful tales and…

Thanks to Sandra Upson

Unlisted

Steven Levy

Written by

Writing for Wired, Used to edit Backchannel here. Just wrote Facebook: The Inside Story.

Backchannel

Mining the tech world for lively and meaningful tales and analysis.

Steven Levy

Written by

Writing for Wired, Used to edit Backchannel here. Just wrote Facebook: The Inside Story.

Backchannel

Mining the tech world for lively and meaningful tales and analysis.

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