Steven Levy


    In late 1981, I got an assignment from Rolling Stone to write about the then-obscure subculture of computer hackers. I knew little about them and, in fact, had never touched a computer myself. Though I understood that digital technology was a coming thing, I still viewed the subject from the stance I’d taken during my college days—computers were depersonalizing machines that made war and surveillance more efficient while turning us all into numbers. I expected hackers to be antisocial recluses with an element of the mad scientist.

    But while doing my background reading, I had a shock. Almost