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Steve Silberman
Steve Silberman

I'm Steve Silberman, and I'm a writer for Wired and other national magazines. I also co-host several conferences on The Well, one of the most perspicacious and longest-lasting online communities.

I share daily thoughts and links on Twitter as @stevesilberman.


I was the editorial consultant for Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy by Judy Estrin, a pioneering Internet engineer, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and former CTO of Cisco Systems. The book was chosen by Business Week as one of the Top Ten Books on Innovation of 2008.

My email address is steve-at-stevesilberman-dot-com. Please do not add me to email lists without my consent, but personal correspondence is welcome if you're forgiving of brief replies.

Quotes of the Moment:

"I speak the pass-word primeval, I give the sign of democracy."
-- Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

"Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste."
-- Theodore Roethke

"Many ingenious lovely things are gone
That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude."

-- William Butler Yeats

Walt Whitman,
a Kosmos

A visual marriage between the poet of inclusion and the multiplicity of the Web.

Philip Whalen's
The Invention of the Letter,
a never-republished hand-drawn fable from 1966.

Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg's
Scrap Leaves
The poet's rare 1968
handwritten manuscript.

A remembrance of Ginsberg for Patti Smith's website, 2007

Two of my conversations with Ginsberg:
Whole Earth Review, 1987

HotWired, 1996
(In 2008, this interview was translated into Spanish and reprinted in Minerva magazine.)

Celestial Homework

A hypertext version of the syllabus from the poet's course on the Literary History of the Beat Generation, Naropa Institute, summer 1977.

Do you want to be a writer?
Excellent advice from Annie Dillard, author of one of my favorite books, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Steve Silberman

Recent Features

  • Paul Wicks, Technology Review's Humanitarian of the Year
    Technology Review, Sept./Oct. 2011
    A profile of Paul Wicks, director of research and development for PatientsLikeMe, an online community of people with serious, life-changing medical conditions. Wicks' philosophy of radical openness about personal medical data has proven to be a disruptive innovation that is accelerating disease research and drug discovery, as well as enabling patients with conditions such as cancer and Lou Gehrig's disease to share information that can dramatically improve their quality of life.
  • Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors
    NeuroTribes, June 2, 2011
    For help and inspiration as I undertook researching and writing a book about autism and neurodiversity for publication by Avery/Penguin in 2013, I asked 23 of my smartest author-friends, "What do you wish you knew before writing your first book?" Their sensible, insightful answers -- from a broad range of bestselling writers, including Jonah Lehrer (science), Carl Zimmer (science), Cory Doctorow (science fiction), August Kleinzahler (poetry), Sylvia Boorstein (Buddhism), and Deborah Blum (medicine) -- turned this post into a viral phenomenon that proliferated widely.
  • The Meal that Ended My Career as a Restaurant Critic
    NeuroTribes, January 19, 2011
    "What's your dream job?" For many people, the answer would be "restaurant critic." For me, however, becoming the food critic for a major San Francisco magazine in the 1980s was a decidedly mixed blessing. In this humorous piece, I tell readers everything they never wanted to know about the dark side of getting paid to eat for free in one of the greatest restaurant cities on Earth.
  • Oliver Sacks on Vision, His Next Book, and Surviving Cancer
    NeuroTribes, Sept. 1, 2010
    My first blog post: The first in-depth interview with the neurologist-author of An Anthropologist on Mars about his new book, The Mind's Eye, and surviving cancer. For my new blog on the Public Library of Science, Sacks goes into detail about his diagnosis and treatment and how his patients cope with visual disorders like blindness and prosopagnosia (a failure to recognize faces). He also talks about his apprenticeships with poets W.H. Auden and Thom Gunn and the role of science writing in an era when the authority of science is being undermined.
  • Review: "Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters" and "The Typewriter is Holy"
    San Francisco Chronicle, July 16, 2010
    A collection of letters from two of the most enduring voices of the Beat Generation casts light on their early days in New York and unravels some myths perpetuated by the Beats themselves, while a historical overview of the time by Ginsberg archivist Bill Morgan regrettably falls short of capturing the significance of their work.
  • Impossible Happiness: An Elegy for Peter Orlovsky
    Shambhala Sun blog, June 2010
    An intimate memoir of Peter Orlovsky, who was the poet Allen Ginsberg's partner for four decades. Ginsberg, author of "Howl," scandalized academia in the 1960s by referring to Orlovsky as his "spouse" in Who's Who, but few people outside their circle knew much about the younger man, despite their many public appearances together. In this elegy, written on the occasion of Orlovsky's death in a Vermont hospice at age 76, I probe the intricacies of their relationship, Orlovsky's own quirky poetry and song, his enthusiasm for organic farming, and their influence on a generation of young writers at Naropa University. With previously unseen photographs by Cliff Fyman.
  • Libraries of Flesh
    Wired magazine, 18.06, June 2010
    State-of-the-art medical care and research are increasingly dependent on the storage of human cells and tissue in cryogenic facilities called biobanks. Located in universities, hospitals, and private institutions all over the world, these archives of the human organism are the biological back end of data-driven medicine. Unfortunately, while the sciences that depend on biobanks have advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years (including genetic research, molecular drug design, and genomic medicine), the technology of biobanking itself has not kept up, resulting in a tragic shortage of human tissue for research. Now Carolyn Compton of the National Cancer Institute is leading a campaign to reform this crucial industry and launch a national biobank called caHUB to support cancer research.
  • Wired Arts: Motion Captured
    Wired magazine, 18.04, April 2010
    New York artist and TEDster Tom Shannon employs a simple pendulum and six remote-controlled nozzles to create paintings of organic complexity and insistent life. A brief description of his process and inspirations (from Fra Angelico to "the indelible reference point of LSD") with an online gallery.
  • The Woman Behind HeLa
    Nature, February 4, 2010 [subscription link]
    A review of Rebecca Skloot's moving and masterful The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which tells the story of the woman behind the first immortal human cell line. So-called HeLa cells, taken by a surgeon from a young black woman with cervical cancer on a segregated ward in 1951 without her knowledge, became the foundation of the modern biotech industry, and made possible many of the landmark discoveries in 20th century biology. "Impressive... The emotional impact of Skloot's tale is intensified by its skilfully orchestrated counterpoint between two worlds: the heady pioneer days of cell research, and the hardscrabble existence of the Lacks family, troubled by poverty, disease and a succession of people -- including a professional con man -- who tried to turn Henrietta’s legacy to their own advantage... A true-life detective story, the book probes deeply into racial and ethical issues in medicine."
  • Did You Get the Message?
    Shambhala Sun, March 2010
    How to save your sanity while swimming in an endless stream of email, tweets, texts, online news, Facebook updates, and instant messages. With advice from bestselling Buddhist author Sylvia Boorstein, Google's Chade-Meng Tan, and Zen teacher John Tarrant.
  • Book Review: "The Awakener"
    San Francisco Chronicle, December 13, 2009
    A poignant memoir of Greenwich Village in the '50s by Helen Weaver, lover of Jack Kerouac and translator of Antonin Artaud.
  • The Placebo Problem
    Wired magazine, 17.09, September 2009
    The placebo effect is of the most provocative mysteries of medicine, raising questions about the role of belief and expectation in healing. At the same time, positive response to the fake drugs used as controls in clinical trials of new drugs seems to be growing stronger worldwide. This is causing a crisis in the development of treatments for depression, anxiety, Parkinson's, chronic pain, and other ailments, as more experimental drugs fail in late-stage tests. Merck's William Potter, placebo pioneer Fabrizio Benedetti, Columbia researcher Tor Wager, and Harvard's Ted Kaptchuk talk about the biological foundations of the body's self-healing networks, the role that advertising may be playing in the rise of the placebo effect, and a new under-the-radar effort by companies like Merck and Lilly to understand why so many drugs are struggling to prove themselves more effective than sugar pills. [Update: This article has been selected to appear in The Best Technology Writing of 2010, edited by Julian Dibbell, published by Yale University Press. Stephen Colbert also based an amusing segment of "The Colbert Report" on it.]
  • Happily Ever After
    Shambhala Sun, May 2009
    A personal essay on same-sex marriage, the passage of Proposition 8 in California, Buddhism, and the struggle for marriage equality. Download the PDF. [Update: This article has been selected to appear in The Best Buddhist Writing of 2010, edited by Melvin McLeod, published by Shambhala Books.]
  • National Insecurity
    California Magazine, September/October 2008
    A talk with multimedia pioneer Laurie Anderson about her show on post-9/11 America, Homeland (with a silent appearance by her husband, Lou Reed).
  • The Beats in India
    Shambhala Sun, September 2008
    A review of Deborah Baker's A Blue Hand, which recounts the travels of poets Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, and Joanne Kyger to India in the early '60s, including a visit to the young Dalai Lama, and their association with a group of Bengali poets known as the Hungry Generation. [Download the PDF.]
  • The Only Choice is Kindness
    Shambhala Sun cover story, January 2008
    A profile of Sylvia Boorstein, Buddhist teacher and author of Happiness is an Inside Job, It's Easier Than You Think, That's Funny You Don't Look Buddhist, and other bestselling books on mindfulness, loving-kindness ("metta") meditation, and life as a Buddhist Jew. [Download the PDF.]
  • Oliver Sacks on Earworms, Stevie Wonder, and the View from Mescaline Mountain
    Wired magazine, 15.10, October 2007
    A probing interview with neurologist Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. In anticipation of his new book Musicophilia, we talk about how the brain processes music, musical disorders and hallucinations, his own psychedelic experiences, Darwin, Mozart, the neurological danger of music in public places, and why music can act as a catalyst of mystical experience even for atheists. In an online-only extra, Sacks' IPod Playlist, the good doctor compiles his own list of desert-island recordings, with marvelous annotations: "Here again, Bach's piece was a musical and moral declaration, an affirmation of the transcendence of art in the face of violence and fear." [Update: This interview has been translated into German and reprinted in Emotion magazine.]
  • The King of Mo-Cap
    Wired magazine, 15.10, October 2007
    A conversation with Andy Serkis, who won acclaim for his role as Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, about the future of acting in the age of digital cinema.
  • Where is Jim Gray?
    Inside the High-Tech Hunt for a Missing Silicon Valley Legend
    Wired magazine, 15.08, August 2007
    On January 28, 2007, Microsoft researcher Jim Gray and his sailboat Tenacious vanished off the coast of San Francisco. There was no sign of trouble and no distress call. A digital pioneer whose work helped make possible e-commerce, cash machines, and deep databases like Google, Gray became the object of a heroic search-and-rescue mission organized by scientists and top executives at Microsoft, Oracle, NASA, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Despite the best efforts of the Coast Guard, Gray's brilliant friends, and more than 12,000 volunteers on who helped analyze satellite data of the Pacific, not a trace of the programmer or his boat has been found. What happened? Includes interviews with Gray's wife Donna Carnes, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, astronomer Alex Szalay, oceanographer Jim Bellingham, and Coast Guard commander David Swatland.
  • Sick London
    Urban Design Review, Spring 2007 - Scribd link
    A review of Steven Berlin Johnson's perceptive and engaging account of the birth of public health in cholera-ridden Victorian-era London, The Ghost Map.
  • Terra Cognito
    Shambhala Sun, July 2007
    A review of Sharon Begley's Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, which discusses the discovery of neuroplasticity -- the brain's ability to change its form and function in response to injury, illness, or directed attention and effort -- and its implications for Buddhist meditators, musicians, athletes and others.
  • The Invisible Enemy
    Wired magazine, 15.02, February 2007
    The first in-depth media investigation of an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria among American troops who fought in the Iraq war that has spread into civilian hospitals in the US and Europe. Since Operation Iraqi Freedom began, more than 700 US soldiers -- plus a significant number of British and Canadian troops and Iraqi civilians -- have been infected or colonized with an organism called Acinetobacter baumannii. Now on the rise in hospitals worldwide, the bacteria infects people who are already weak or sick (particularly the elderly, burn victims, newborns, and patients in ICUs) causing blood and bone infections, and in many cases, death. For years, the Defense Department claimed that the source of this bacteria is Iraqi soil blown into soldiers' wounds by IED attacks. Interviews with current and former military medical staff, and the Pentagon's own internal reports, however, reveal that the primary source of these infections was contaminated healthcare facilities along the "evacuation chain" that transports wounded soldiers out of Iraq. "For an aspiring superbug, war is anything but hell." [See also the online-only sidebar Requiem for the Magic Bullets.]
  • California Seekin'
    Shambhala Sun, January 2007
    A review of Visionary State, Erik Davis and Michael Rauner's history of spiritual movements on the West Coast, from the sublime to the absurd.
  • The Outsider
    Wired magazine, 14.11, November 2006
    The making of Darren Aronofsky's controversial science-fiction film The Fountain. Seven years ago, indie-film prodigy Aronofsky -- director of Pi and the Oscar-winning Requiem for a Dream -- set out to make a love story that would span a thousand years, explore essential questions about life and death, and reinvent the cinematic representation of outer space in the process, without relying on computer graphics. Along the way, Brad Pitt quit the lead role over script issues and funding for the film collapsed. How Aronofsky resurrected his ambitious project and employed the imagery of microphotography pioneer Peter Parks to create the most visually original depiction of space travel since 2001 and Star Wars.
  • Scientific Fiction
    Wired magazine, 14.11, November 2006
    A brief interview with novelist Richard Powers, MacArthur fellow and acclaimed author of The Gold Bug Variations, Plowing the Dark, Gain, and The Time of Our Singing. His new book, The Echo Maker, winner of the National Book Award for fiction, focuses on a fascinating neurological disorder called Capgras Syndrome, building a compelling mystery story from new insights into how the brain compiles a stable sense of self from the raw data of the senses.
  • Married to the Guru
    Shambhala Sun cover story, November 2006
    A conversation with Diana Mukpo, the widow of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Naropa University and one of the most influential and controversial Buddhist teachers of the modern era. [Download the PDF.]
  • Don't Try This at Home
    Wired magazine, 14.06, June 2006
    Do-it-yourself chemistry has always played a crucial role in boosting kids' interest in science -- from chemistry sets, to Mr. Wizard's home demonstrations, to chem labs at school. Now, however, new laws sparked by fears of terrorism, the war on drugs, and concerns about safety are putting an end to amateur chemical experimentation. Classic chemistry sets have all but disappeared, and some online vendors are facing prison sentences for selling common chemicals used in science fairs and model rocketry. An in-depth exploration of the effects of "chemophobia" on science and education, featuring interviews with Bill Nye (the Science Guy), Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, Nobel-winning chemist Roald Hoffman, leading science educator Bassam Shakhashiri, Popular Science columnist Theodore Gray, and Shawn Carlson of the Society for Amateur Scientists. [Update: On March 3, 2008, I was interviewed by the National Science Teachers Association for their podcast Lab Out Loud.]
  • Don't Even Think About Lying
    Wired magazine, 14.01, January 2006
    What if a government interrogator could tell you were lying before you opened your mouth? A look at the effort to build a new, highly accurate generation of lie-detection technologies based on brain scanning methods like fMRI, focusing on the work of Daniel Langleben and Britton Chance at the University of Pennsylvania. For nearly a century, US law enforcement and intelligence agencies have relied on the polygraph to detect deception. Despite the polygraph's unreliability, its use has greatly expanded in the post-9/11 era. In 2006, two startups called Cephos and No Lie MRI will start offering fMRI lie detection as an alternative to the polygraph for use by federal agencies, foreign governments, and criminal defendants who seek to prove their innocence. What are the implications for privacy, security, and civil liberties? [Update: This article has been translated by the US State Department into Hindi and Urdu for reprinting in their magazine Span.]
  • Life After Darth
    Wired magazine cover story, 13.05, May 2005
    Now that Star Wars is finished, George Lucas says that he wants to return to the kind of experimental filmmaking he pursued with his first feature, THX 1138. After 30 years of mainstream success, how serious is he about making what he describes as "esoteric, personal films"? An in-depth examination of a previously unexplored dimension of the director's life, focusing on his immersion in the edgy first wave of independent cinema, including the work of Stan Brakhage, Arthur Lipsett, Jordan Belson, and Norman McLaren. Features interviews with Lucas and his peers and critics, including Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, film critic Roger Ebert, and sound designer/editor Walter Murch. In this online-only continuation of my conversation with Lucas, the director talks about his changing relationship to his most famous creation, good vs. evil and Fahrenheit 9/11, and public mythmaking.
  • The Painful Truth
    Wired magazine, 13.02, February 2005
    More wounded soldiers are surviving their combat wounds in the Iraq War than in previous conflicts, but because of advances in modern weaponry, body armor, and medical evacuation procedures, Operation Iraqi Freedom is also a new kind of hell -- a litany of exploded muscles, shattered bones, and amputated limbs. A look at breakthrough anesthesia techniques (including continuous peripheral nerve blocks) explored on the front lines by Dr. Chester "Trip" Buckenmaier of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and their potential for preempting phantom-limb and other forms of chronic pain in veterans decades from now.
  • The War Room
    Wired magazine, 12.09, September 2004
    The first look inside the Pentagon's new way to train soldiers for battle: semi-virtual environments designed by a think tank called the Institute for Creative Technologies that can synthesize combat conditions on the ground in Iraq or the mountains of Afghanistan, designed by Hollywood special-effects artists. The Joint Fires and Effects Trainer System is the ultimate immersive war game and the future of home theater systems -- and the young recruits being trained in JFETS are just weeks away from Baghdad. The Army's chief scientist told ICT: "Build us a holodeck." [Update: This article has been translated into Mandarin and reprinted in the May 2005 issue of GQ Taiwan.]
  • The Key to Genius
    Wired magazine, 11.12, December 2003
    Jazz pianist Matt Savage has released four albums and performed on the Today show, NPR, and at New York's famed Blue Note jazz club. He's also 11 years old. Savage is a "musical savant," born with a mild form of autism. An in-depth examination of what the brains of rare prodigies like Savage tell us about the biological nature of intelligence and creativity, including interviews with neurologist Oliver Sacks and Darold Treffert, the author of Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome.
  • Taming the Electricity Beast
    Wired magazine, 11.11, November 2003
    An editorial criticizing the Bush administration's energy policy, stressing the need to incorporate more small-scale, environmentally sound power sources into the grid. An expanded version of the ideas in this piece can be found in my 2001 cover story, "The Energy Web."
  • Matrix2
    Wired magazine cover story, 11.05, May 2003
    The original Matrix brought a new level of realism to special effects. For a scene in the first sequel, Reloaded, visual effects supervisor John Gaeta had to achieve the holy grail of computer graphics: the photorealistic rendering of known human faces. This massive fight scene, code-named "the Burly Brawl," is the most impressive deployment of virtual cinematography to date. The first in-depth look inside ESC, the stealth visual effects company launched to make the Matrix sequels.
  • The Bacteria Whisperer
    Wired magazine, 11.04, April 2003
    A profile of MacArthur-winning microbiologist Bonnie Bassler and her discoveries in the young field of "quorum sensing" -- the study of a system of molecular communication employed by bacteria to make collective decisions, such as delaying the unleashing of virulence until a critical mass of microbes is reached. The ability to conspire and cooperate, it appears, is basic to all life.
  • Science and Spirit
    Wired magazine, 10.12, December 2002
    For a special issue on science and religion, I spoke with scientists, technologists, and writers -- including Oliver Sacks, Roald Hoffman, Larry Wall, Lynn Margulis and others -- about their spiritual lives.
  • The United States of America v. Adam Vaughn
    Wired magazine, 10.10, October 2002
    A deep and unsettling look at an FBI dragnet called Operation Candyman, focusing on the case of a former Marine and small-town cop who was one of over 100 people arrested for accessing child pornography online in the spring of 2002. (Update: Two federal judges found in March 2003 that the FBI had engaged in "reckless" misconduct during Operation Candyman, "misleading" prosecutors and using "false information" to obtain the search warrants in these cases. My article was the first in a national publication to question the integrity of these warrants.)
  • The Fully Immersive Mind of Dr. Oliver Sacks
    Wired magazine, 10.04, April 2002
    An intimate profile of the neurologist-author of Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, An Anthropologist on Mars, and other tales from the borderlands of the mind. A comprehensive look at Dr. Sacks' work in the context of the role of anecdote in medical practice and evolving models of the brain. (Update: This article has been selected for The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003, edited by Richard Dawkins, coming out in November from Houghton Mifflin. It has also been translated into Italian, and is available as a PDF file on Adelphiana.)
  • The Geek Syndrome
    Wired magazine, 9.12, December 2001
    An examination of the possible role of genetics in a rise in diagnoses of autism among children in Silicon Valley, including a history of the persistent and provocative association between autistic people and technology. For this story, I received a media award from the Cure Autism Now foundation in January 2002 for increasing public understanding of autism and Asperger's Syndrome. (Update: This issue of Wired was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. With the publication of Time magazine's cover story, "The Secrets of Autism," on May 6, 2002, the phrase geek syndrome, coined by Wired editor Bob Cohn as the headline for my article, seems to have entered wide use.)
  • The Energy Web
    Wired magazine cover story, 9.07, July 2001
    A practical vision of a new, networked "smart" power grid emerging from places like EPRI and the nation's energy labs. This piece was published when most of the public discourse on energy was about the threat of blackouts, and anticipated the idea that the problem at hand was not simply generating more power, but generating, transmitting, and using power more intelligently. [Update: The blackouts of 2003 confirmed the warnings in this article about the sad state of the grid, and Jeremy Rifkin's 2002 bestseller The Hydrogen Economy: The Creation of the Worldwide Energy Web elaborates on the central ideas set forth in it, with quotes from the article.]
  • The New Hot Medium: Paper
    Wired magazine, 9.04, April 2001
    A profile of an ambitious Swedish company called Anoto building a global network that will allow writing or drawing on paper to become part of the digital datastreams. This article was reprinted in The Best Business Stories of the Year, 2002, edited by Andrew Leckey and Ken Auletta, from Vintage Press.
  • Ginsberg's Last Soup
    The New Yorker, March 19, 2001
    In 1997, poet Allen Ginsberg drew up a shopping list in his newly acquired loft on East 13th Street in New York City. He signed and dated the list--as he did with nearly every scrap of paper that passed through his hands, for the benefit of future scholars--and then gave it to a friend, who went out to buy the ingredients Ginsberg needed for a meal he had never prepared before. He was going to cook fish chowder. The next evening, Ginsberg served the soup to a handful of friends and stashed the leftovers in the freezer. A little more than two weeks later, on April 5th, he died, suddenly, of liver cancer. But what happened to the soup?
  • Talking to Strangers
    Wired magazine cover story, 8.05, May 2000
    Soon computers will be able to perform instantaneous translation from one language to another, they say -- as they've been saying for 50 years. True? A comprehensive look at the historical development, promise, and pernicious limitations of machine translation, including an exploration of why language isn't just another form of code.
  • Just Say Nokia
    Wired magazine cover story, 7.09, September 1999
    Why has Scandanavia been the laboratory of our technological future? An in-depth investigation of Nokia and the role of the GSM standard in the evolution of the telecom culture of Finland, including an interview with Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila.

    My writing has also been published in The New Yorker, Time, Dwell, Salon, The Urban Design Review, The Shambhala Sun, Tikkun, the Whole Earth Review, and many other national publications. Links to older features can be found in the archive below.


My 1996 interview with Allen Ginsberg is the final interview in Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews 1958-1996. I also co-edited Ginsberg's Snapshot Poetics. An interview with me appears in David Shenk's The End of Patience: Cautionary Notes on the Information Revolution. My essays on the Grateful Dead have appeared in The Grateful Dead Reader from Oxford University Press and in numerous other books and magazines. My 1993 book co-authored with David Shenk, Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads, is available used at Amazon or at your local used bookstore. (Update: In October of 2004, the book was translated and republished in Japan.)

Music-Related Links

I got a gold record in 1999 for co-producing the Grateful Dead's 5-CD box set of previously unreleased recordings, So Many Roads (1965-1995) -- which was Rolling Stone's Box Set of the Year -- and a second one in 2001 for my liner notes for the Dead's Workingman's Dead and Europe '72 in The Golden Road (1965-73). I also wrote essays for Dead Set in Beyond Description (1973-1989); the Dead Ahead DVD; Reflections in the Jerry Garcia box set All Good Things; the Jerry Garcia Band album How Sweet It Is and concert DVD Live at Shoreline; and David Crosby and Graham Nash's Wind on the Water, Whistling Down the Wire, Crosby/Nash Live, and Another Stoney Evening. I've also written so many essays for the Dead's ongoing Road Trips series of archival recordings that I've lost track. A biographical essay called "A Thread from the Weave" is the primary text in David Crosby's Voyage, a box set spanning his career from the Byrds to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, CPR and beyond. An abridged version of "Singing Their Way Home" appears in Crosby, Stills and Nash's Greatest Hits. Beck: The Wired Outtakes is a mostly-unpublished interview about Guero, multimedia art, and the future of music from April 2005. Also see the interviews with Crosby, Trey Anastasio, Mickey Hart, and Bruce Hornsby linked below.

A Scattered Archive of Old Writing and Miscellany
for the Relentlessly Curious

Alas, several links may be outdated here. Proceed with patience.
  • A Gift of Hypertext - Spirituality and Health
  • The "Atomic Duty" of Private Bill Bires - Wired News
  • Black Flight to the Net - Synapse
  • Buying Microsoft A Soul - Packet
  • Chills in the Hot Seat: An Interview with Bruce Hornsby, 1993 -
    Dupree's Diamond News
  • Defending the First Amendment in the Global Public Square - HotWired
  • Dreaming in Namespace - Packet
  • The Drum Circle -
  • An Egg Thief in Cyberspace: An Interview with David Crosby, 1995 -
  • Elegy for Poet Gregory Corso - San Francisco Chronicle
  • Energy is Eternal Delight: Dean Budnick and Steve Silberman on the Dead, Phish, and Improvised Music --
  • Ex Libris: The Joys of Curling Up with a Digital Reading Device - Wired
  • Generation Net: Being A Post-Boomer Online - Packet
  • The Club Wired Interview with Allen Ginsberg - HotWired
  • Growing A Community - Part 1 and Part 2, on Packet
  • Hate, American Style:
    The True Saga of - Wired News
  • How Beat Happened - Christian Crumlish's Enterzone
  • In Dylan's Basement Laboratory: On Greil Marcus' Invisible Republic - San Francisco Chronicle
  • In Memory of Philip Whalen - Slow Trains Literary Journal
  • Intimate Practice: On Zen, Fear, and the Gifts of Online Texts - Wired News
  • Kid-Porn Vigilante Hacked Media -Wired News
  • Life After X: On Douglas Coupland's Polaroids from the Dead - HotWired
  • Meet the Bellbusters: A Profile of Judy Estrin and Bill Carrico - Wired
  • Modern Inferno: On Alice Notley's The Descent of Alette - HotWired
  • Mysteries of the Universe Revealed - Wired News
  • The New ID: IDEO Reinvents the Business Card - Wired
  • No More Bagels: An Interview with Allen Ginsberg, 1987 - from the Whole Earth Review
  • "Old, Weird America" Returns on CD: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music - Wired News
  • On A Jack Kerouac ROMnibus - HotWired
  • The Only Song of God: My Years as a Deadhead
  • Our Traditional Non-Traditional Wedding: Thoughts on Marriage Rights for All
  • A Phish Tale: Control for Smilers Can't Be Bought - The San Diego Reader
  • Phone Sects: The Story of an Early Online Community - Packet
  • Planet Drummer: The Club Wired Interview with Mickey Hart - HotWired
  • Products of Love: On Suckster Carl Steadman's Placing - HotWired
  • RealNetworks' Rob Glaser Gets Real - Wired News
  • A Rose Isn't Always A Rose: Being a Woman on AOL - Packet
    {Note: This essay is also available in Japanese from HotWired Japan.}
  • Scripting on the Lido Deck: Cruising to Alaska with the Father of Perl - Wired
  • A Sense of WELL Being - Salon
  • Standing in the Soul: An Interview with Robert Hunter -
    David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics Page
  • And the Song Poured Out: A Conversation with Phish's Trey Anastasio, 1994 -
    Dupree's Diamond News
  • Stella: A Master Painter Makes Art from Smoke - Wired
  • The End of the Beginning: Reflections on 3 Years of Wired Web Culture - Wired News
  • The Search for Meaning:
    On Bayesian Inference Text Processing and Autonomy - Wired
  • Thanks, Mozilla - Wired News
  • The Unsung Heroes of Ones and Zeroes:
    On the Architects of the Reed-Solomon Codes - HotWired
  • Visions of Connectivity - Packet
  • The War Against Fandom - Packet
  • The Weight: Meditations on Living Large - Tweak
  • We're Teen, We're Queer, and We Have E-mail - Wired
  • In 1995, I gave a little rambling talk on the successful hosting of online forums, archived for The WELL's hosts-on-hosting page, called The Underdog Carries the Secret.