A Timeline of Cyberculture and Hacker Culture

An appendix to the book "A History of Silicon Valley"
History pages | Editor | Correspondence

(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi)


Hephaestus in Homer's "Iliad" builds girls made of gold
Samuel Butler's "Darwin among the Machines" (1863)
Walter Cannon's "Organization for physiological homeostasis" (1929)
Orson Welles broadcasts live a fictitious invasion of the Earth by Martians (1938)
Norbert Wiener's "Behavior, Purpose and Teleology" (1943)
Vannevar Bush: "As We May" (1945)
The first Macy Conference on Cybernetics (1946)

Ross Ashby's "Principles of the self-organizing dynamic system" (1947)
George Orwell: Big Brother (1948)
John von Neumann: "The general and logical theory of automata" (1948)
Claude Shannon & Warren Weaver: "The Mathematical Theory of Communication" (1949)
Alan Turing: "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" (1950)
Isaac Asimov's tales "I Robot" (1950)
Jose Delgado: "Permanent Implantation of Multi-lead Electrodes in the Brain"
Groff Conklin's anthology of sci-fi stories "Science Fiction - Thinking Machines" (1954)
John McCarthy: the Dartmouth conference on Artificial Intelligence (1956)
Noam Chomsky: "Syntactic Structures" (1957)
Julian Huxley's article "Transhumanism" (1957)
J.C.R. Licklider: "Man-Computer Symbiosis" (1960)
Manfred Clynes & Nathan Kline: "Cyborgs and Space" (1960)
Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline: "Cyborgs and Space" (1960)
Morton Heilig: the Sensorama (1962)
Marshall McLuhan: "The Gutenberg Galaxy" (1962)
MIT's student Ivan Sutherland demonstrates "Sketchpad", "A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System" (1963)
J.C.R. Licklider: "Intergalactic Computer Network" (1963)
Irving John Good: "Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine" (1965) - Quote: "the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make"
Stanislaw Lem's "Cyberiada" (1965)
SRI Intl: Shakey the Robot (1966)
Benot Mandelbrot: "How Long Is the Coast of Britain? Statistical Self-Similarity and Fractional Dimension" (1967)
Konrad Zuse suggests that the entire universe is being computed on a computer (1967)
Douglas Engelbart: The mother of all demos (1968)
Arthur Clarke's "2001" features HAL 9000, an artificial intelligence
Frank Malina: Leonardo magazine (1968)
Phillip Dick: "Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep" (1968)
Stanley Kubrick: "2001 A Space Odyssey" (1968)
Dennis Ritchie and Keith Thompson: UNIX (1968)
Licklider & Robert Taylor: "The Computer as a Communication Device" (1968)
DARPA: The Arpanet (1969)
Nicholas Negroponte: "The Architecture Machine" (1970)
Masahiro Mori: "The Uncanny Valley" (1970)
Alvin Toffler: "Future Shock" (1970)
John Conway: The Game of Life (1970)
George Martin's "Brief Proposal on Immortality" (1971), i.e. mind uploading
Stafford Beer's Project Cybersin for the socialist government of Salvador Allende (1971-73)
Edward Lorenz: "Does The Flap Of A Butterfly's Wings In Brazil Set Off A Tornado In Texas?" (1972)
Ray Tomlinson: Email (1972)
Hubert Dreyfus: "What Computers Can't Do" (1972)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder: "Welt am Draht/ World on a Wire" movie (1973)
Xerox Alto (1973)
Michael Foucault's biopolitics "Society Must Be Defended" (1976)
Richard Laing's paradigm of self-replication by self-inspection (1976)
Richard Dawkins: the meme (1976)
Martin Heidegger: "The Question Concerning Technology" (1977)
Richard Bartle at Essex University creates the first Multi-User-Dungeon or MUD virtual world (1978)
Ars Electronics (1979)
The Usenet (1980)
John Searle's "Minds, Brains, and Programs" (1980)
Wau Holland founds the Chaos Computer Club in Berlin (1981)
William Gibson: the cyberspace (1982)
John Badham: "War Games" movie (1983)
Bruce Bethke: "Cyberpunk" (1983)
Hajime Sorayama's book of illustrations "Sexy Robots" (1983)
Apple Macintosh (1984)
Steven Levy's book "Hackers - Heroes of the Computer Revolution" (1984)
NASA Ames: Virtual Planetary Exploration Workstation (1984)
Steven Levy: "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" (1984)
MIT Media Lab (1985)
Donna Haraway: "A Cyborg Manifesto" (1985)
Toshiba: the T1100, the first mass-market laptop (1985)
Lucasfilm: online game "Habitat" (1985) that introduces "avatars"
Per Bak: "Self-organized criticality" (1987)
Howard Rheingold coins the term "virtual community" (1987)
Chris Langton: "Artificial Life" (1987)
Rudy Rucker: "Mind Tools" (1987)
Robert Morris: the first computer virus on the Arpanet (1988)
Mark Weiser's "Ubiquitous Computing" (1988)
The magazine "Extropy" debuts (1988)
Hans Moravec: "Mind Children" (1988) - Quote: "Robots will eventually succeed us: humans clearly face extinction"
Vernor Vinge: the singularity (1988)
Zentrum fr Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe - ZKM (1989)
Fereidoun Esfandiary's "Are You a Transhuman?" (1989)
Mondo 2000 magazine (1989)
Raymond Kurzweil: "Age of Intelligent Machines" (1990)
The FBI launches "Operation Sundevil" to arrest hackers involved in electronic fraud (1990)
Edward Fredkin: "Digital Mechanics" (1990)
Thomas Ray: "Evolution and optimization of digital organisms" (1991)
Brenda Laurel: "Computers as Theatre" (1991)
Linus Thorvald: Linux open-source operating system (1991)
Neal Stephenson: the metaverse (1992)
Tim May's "The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto" (1992)
Wired magazine (1993)
Kevin Kelly's book "Out of Control" (1994)
Jaron Lanier: "Agents of Alienation" (1995)
Nicholas Negroponte: "Being Digital" (1995)
Manuel Castell: "The Rise of the Network Society" (1996)
John Perry Barlow: "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" (1996)
Robert Markley's "Boundaries - Mathematics, Alienation and the Metaphysics of Cyberspace" (1996)
SixDegrees social network (1997)
Eric Raymond's article "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" (1997)
Kevin Warwick at the University of Reading implants an RFID tag above his left elbow (1998)
Donald Norman's "The Invisible Computer" (1998)
Wei Dai describes a cryptocurrency on the "cypherpunks" forum (1998)
Wei Dai describes "cryptocurrency" (1998)
Napster (1999)
Seth Lloyd's "Ultimate physical limits to computation" (2000)
Bill Joy writes an article titled "The Future doesn't need us" warning against the danger of robots, genetics and nanotech
Douglas Repetto at the Columbia University Computer Music Center starts Dorkbot to sponsor grassroots meetings of "people doing strange things with electricity"
Stephen Wolfram: "A New Kind of Science" (2002)
Philip Rosedale: Second Life (2003)
Nick Bostrom's "Are you living in a computer simulation?" (2003)
Jackrit Suthakorn and Gregory Chirikjian at Johns Hopkins University build an autonomous self-replicating robot (2003)
Robert Freitas' and Ralph Merkle's "Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines" (2004)
Hod Lipson's "self-assembling machine" at Cornell University (2005)
Sony installs software that modifies a computer's operating system to prevent compact discs from being copied (2005)
Nintendo Wii (2006) that transforms the player's physical movements into movements in the game
Amal Graafstra has a microchip in each hand, one for storing data (that can be uploaded and downloaded from/to a smartphone) and and one for a code that unlocks his front door and logd into his computer (2006)
Apple's iPhone (2007)
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations described in Ori Brafman's "Starfish And The Spider" (2007) and Yochai Benkler's "The Wealth of Networks" (2007)
Teenage hacker George Hotz illegally unlocks the Apple iPhone (2007)
Adrian Bowyer's 3D Printer builds a copy of itself at the University of Bath (2008)
Michel Bauwens' "Peer-to-peer Manifesto" (2008)
Kevin Kelly & Gary Wolf's website "Quantified Self" (2008)
The malware Regin begins systematic spying against a range of international targets, mainly in Russia and Saudi Arabia (2008)
The first ToorCamp hacker camp is held at the Titan-1 Missile Silo in Washington State (2009)
Satoshi Nakamoto introduces the digital currency Bitcoin (2009)
Barnaby Jack hacks two ATMs and makes them dispense money live on the stage of a computer security conference (2010)
The computer worm Stuxnet damages Iranian nuclear centrifuges (2010)
The New York stock market is shut down after algorithmic trading by Navinder Singh Sarao has wiped out a trillion dollars within a few seconds (2010)
Sony sues George Hotz for breaching the security of the PlayStation 3 (2011)
Matti Mintz replace a rat's cerebellum with a computerized cerebellum (2011)
Hacking group Anonymous launches a coordinated attack against Sony stealing the personal information of 77 million customers (2011)
Kate Darling's "Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots" (2012)
Miguel Nicolelis uses brain implants to make two rats communicate over the Internet (2013)
Rajesh Rao's brain controls the movement of Andrea Stocco's hand (2013)
Hackers attack discount retailer Target stealing the personal information of 40 million customers (2013)
Duncan Parcells spends two years building a virtual world, Titan City, in the videogame Minecraft (2014)
Under threat from hackers (claimed to be from North Korea by the US government), Sony Pictures cancels the release of a film on North Korea's dictatorship (2014)
The government of China unleashes the "distributed denial of service" attack ever against GitHub, de facto shutting it down (2015)
2015: Over 1,000 high-profile Artificial Intelligence scientists sign an open letter calling for a ban on "offensive autonomous weapons"
2015: The US issues warrants for the arrest of two Israeli hackers, Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein, as well as Joshua Aaron who stole personal information of 100 million people between 2012 and 2015
2017: The WannaCry virus spreads in several countries infecting 300,000 computers and is accidentally stopped by Marcus Hutchins
See also A History of Silicon Valley and Computing
(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi)
See also my Timeline of Computing and my book "A History of Silicon Valley" (2010)