Tomorrow, I’m hoping to give a lightning talk at Book Hackday, an event being hosted at the Free Word Centre in London for hackers and writers to explore the next step in the evolution of the digital book. Tucked under my arm will be the third chapter of my book Barefoot Into Cyberspace, as well as an audio recording and transcript of the interview with Stewart Brand that contributed to the chapter. This is the first time any of this book has been published anywhere, so I’m getting a bit excited.
The chapter is called “Information wants to be free”, the observation made in 1984 at the Hacker Con in Marin County for which Brand will probably go down in history. I’ve chosen this chapter because I think it lends itself particularly well to being enriched by supplementary materials available online. The history of the development of the personal computer and the net is very well represented online: so many of the original materials which bear witness to this history are freely available, from a video of Douglas Engelbart’s 1968 Mother of All Demos to John Perry Barlow’s 1996 “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace“. I’ve highlighted the major references and material used in Chapter 3 in my delicious feed – hopefully the hackers at tomorrow’s event will be able to make use of this, too.
I’m licensing the chapter CC-BY-SA, in the hope that people will share it as widely as possible. You can download the pdf below via Scribd. You can also download the transcript (for now licensed CC-BY-SA-NC) of the interview with Brand, which I recorded in January last year. If you can, do please come to the event tomorrow, show some support, and get hacking. But if you can’t make it, mail me at becky DOT hogge AT gmail DOT com for a copy of the html files. And if you come up with anything interesting, please share it in the comments.