Neal Stephenson on wiring the globe
William Gibson on the weirdness of Singapore
John Heilemann on Microsoft’s darkest moment
Evan Ratliff on how to vanish in the digital age
Amy Wallace on a scientist turned killer
Charles Graeber on the tribulations of Kim Dotcom
Chris Anderson on the long tail of everything
Wired@20by Mark Robinson
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For two decades, WIRED has chronicled the people, ideas, and technologies that power the digital revolution. To celebrate the magazine’s 20th anniversary, the editors have chosen 20 of the most important and mind-blowing stories from the archives. With an introduction by features editor Mark Robinson and including all-new epilogues that bring the articles up todate, this anthology showcases the award-winning writing and crackling intelligence that has been the magazines trademark for 20 years.
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- Advance Magazine Publishers Inc.
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Neal Stephenson on wiring the globe
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I’ve been a longtime fan of the Wired magazine, and for the past few years a regular subscriber as well. In my mind no other publication properly captures the excitement, the ethos, and the aspirations of the digital world and culture, especially the way they are embodied in the Silicon Valley. Even though technology in all its manifestations is at the core of what Wired (and the Silicon Valley) is all about, the mindset to which it belongs far surpasses those confines. In a way Wired is about innovation and entrepreneurship applied to all aspects of our modern life, including the economic and social spheres. One important aspect of the Wired magazine has always been good, in-depth, writing. Many of their articles over they years have become intellectual reference points for our understanding of the entirety of digital economy (terms such as the “long tail” and “crowdsourcing” first appeared on the pages of this magazine). Most of the articles in this collection indeed reflect this high standard of tech penmanship and insight. The articles are exhaustive in their breadth and depth, and sometimes even exhausting to read – the article on Microsoft antitrust case alone reaches to hundred and twenty magazine-sized pages. Many of the articles could have been turned into short books in their own right, and all of them could have been published today separately as eBooks (or Amazon Singles for instance). Even thought the writing in this publication is invariably extraordinary, and the stories themselves give you a great glimpse into the tech world over the past two decades, not all of the content is equally interesting. While some of the articles have retained their freshness and relevance even today (a testament to the quality and the timelessness of their insight), some are quite onerous to read and feel like an exercise in navel-gazing. Well over a decade after the bursting of the 1990s tech bubble, it’s more than obvious to anyone how shallow and self-absorbed many of the most hyped products and services of that era were. A couple of articles that cover the “irrational exuberance” of that era are annoying to read today, but serve as a powerful reminder to be weary of the unfounded hype. They indirectly validate the common-sense notion that what ultimately works is the honesty, integrity, and products and services that are based on something that is solid and real. A couple of articles in this collection were truly inspiring. The article about the crazily optimistic people who are drawn to the Silicon Valley from all corners of the world reinforces the notion that if you are really smart, willing to work hard, and can stomach the unparalleled levels of risk then you can still make it over there. The story of the illegal-immigrant high-school kids who built an award-winning robotic submersible that bested even the most sophisticated teams from places such as MIT is such an all-American underdog tale. This is a wonderful collection of articles that can enlighten and inspire anyone who is interested in the ever-advancing digital revolution that we are a part of.