Digerati - Chapter 20


Chapter 20


John McCrea

THE WEBMASTER (Kip Parent): John McCrea has been a tremendous force at Silicon Graphics. He was able to rally the engineering and marketing people in the company around the Web, and he managed to build the WebFORCE product line into a rapidly growing business within the company. It is a tremendous success. John is definitely someone who sees the big picture and has a vision. He rallies people around him and makes things happen. 

John McCrea is the manager of Cosmo, Silicon Graphics's next-generation Web software product line.

Digerati - Chapter 19


Chapter 19


John Markoff

THE ORACLE (Paul Saffo): Markoff is a special kind of infonaut. He has an academic's curiosity and doggedness, but his wonderful practical streak, much to our good fortune, means he's writing in The New York Times rather than in some dry academic journal. The important thing about Markoff is that he doesn't just get the scoop. He gets the scoop behind the scoop. He tells us about something we didn't know was happening, then goes down another layer to what it means in the larger context.

John Markoff covers the computer industry and technology for The New York Times. He is the coauthor of The High Cost of High Tech (with Lennie Siegel, 1985); Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier (with Katie Hafner, 1991); and Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of America's Most Wanted Computer Outlaw (with Tsutomu Shimomura, 1995). 

Digerati - Chapter 18


Chapter 18


Ted Leonsis

THE GADFLY (John C. Dvorak): One of the most high-energy guys in the business. Always attracted good-looking women. Tells a good joke, maybe that's the key.

Ted Leonsis is president of the America Online Services Company.

Digerati - Chapter 17


Chapter 17


Jaron Lanier

THE ORACLE (Paul Saffo): When we get a century or so into this revolution, Jaron Lanier is going to prove to be one of the most prominent, deep thinkers. As brilliant as Jaron is, we only have a vague glimpse that there's somebody very special in our midst. This is an intelligence that comes once in a generation. It's not an exaggeration to say it's a little bit like meeting a Mozart.

Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist and musician, is a pioneer of virtual reality, and founder and former CEO of VPL.

Digerati - Chapter 16


Chapter 16


Kevin Kelly

THE PUBLISHER (Jane Metcalfe): Kevin's on the road to Buddha-hood. He's a deeply spiritual man. He has an intellectual curiosity that is infinite. His Socratic method of inquiry and development is wonderful. It used to annoy me. I used to think, This guy's an editor. He's a futurist‹that's fine‹but I've got to do some business. Why is he bothering me with these questions? But the more time I spend with Kevin, the more I realize that the way his mind wanders across things keeps us all on the edge.

Kevin Kelly is the executive editor of Wired magazine. He is the author of Out of Control (1994).

Digerati - Chapter 15


Chapter 15


Brewster Kahle

THE WEBMASTER (Kip Parent): Brewster is one of those guys who has been successful in spite of the fact that he has never been after that kind of success. He's been pushing protocols for the benefit of humanity in order to make things run better. What he's done with Wais and protocols has been instrumental in bringing about the success of the Internet.

Brewster Kahle is inventor and founder of Wide Area Information Servers Inc., which was recently acquired by America Online, and founder of the Internet Archive.

Digerati - Chapter 14


Chapter 14


David R. Johnson  

THE IDEALIST (Denise Caruso): David was the voice of reason when I was on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation‹sometimes too reasonable, in fact, when what was required was to be uncompromising. But one of the most memorable experiences I had during my time on the board was watching and listening while David and John Gilmore debated the issue of absolute anonymity on the Internet. Begrudgingly, they came to an agreement they both could live with. I learned a ton‹not just about anonymity, but about how compromise can sometimes be the best solution for everyone.

David R. Johnson serves as chairman of Counsel Connect, the online meeting place for the legal profession, and is codirector of the Cyberspace Law Institute. 

Digerati - Chapter 13


Chapter 13


The Genius

THE THINKER (Doug Carlston): Danny is one of the great spirits of the computer industry. He's the one fellow every techie I know would give his right arm to work for. Although his last company, Thinking Machines, didn't survive, Danny is the sort of guy to place your bets on.

Danny Hillis is vice president of research and development at the Walt Disney Company and a Disney Fellow. He was cofounder and chief scientist of Thinking Machines Corporation.

Digerati - Chapter 12


Chapter 12


Mike Godwin

THE JUDGE (David R. Johnson): Mike is a tenacious defender of First Amendment rights, and he knows the constitutional issues involved better than almost anybody. His online discussion style is such that everybody who tangles with him is careful before they dive in. He takes every aspect of every sentence that somebody has written and provides the refutation in detail.

Mike Godwin, an attorney, is counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the San Francisco-based cyber-liberties organization.

Digerati - Chapter 11


Chapter 11


David Gelernter

THE SKEPTIC (Cliff Stoll): There are lots of clever computer scientists; David Gelernter is one of the few who is wise. He understands the need to interact with people rather than computers. He understands the limitations of computer science. He speaks to the problems of technologists, namely, how come there are so few women online. He addresses serious questions‹why there is so little useful stuff on the Net. He realizes that there is much more to context and content than merely bits of information here and hypertext jumps over there. He is a historian, social commentator, and sage with a snicker. In Mirror Worlds, Gelernter predicted the power of computer models. His book on the 1939 World's Fair is a joy, showing how we've gained the future but lost our way. Despite, or because, of his deep experience in computing, he questions the maniacal adoption of computers and hypertext in schools and society.

David Gelernter, a Yale University computer scientist, is the author of Mirror Worlds (1991), The Muse in the Machine (1994), and 1939: The Lost World of the Fair (1995).


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