A Timeline of Cyberculture and Hacker Culture

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

(Copyright © 2012-2021 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)
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)
Ted Nelson's "hypertext" (1965)
SRI Intl: Shakey the Robot (1966)
Benoit Mandelbrot: "How Long Is the Coast of Britain? Statistical Self-Similarity and Fractional Dimension" (1967)
Alan Westin publishes “Privacy and Freedom” (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: The email program (1972)
Dick Karp proves that 21 problems are NP-complete (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)
Alvin Toffler's "The Third Wave" (1980) coins the term "prosumer"
John Searle's "Minds, Brains, and Programs" (1980)
Wau Holland founds the Chaos Computer Club in Berlin (1981)
Ian Murphy hacks into telecoms giant AT&T (1981)
William Gibson: the cyberspace (1982)
Richard Feynman's "Simulating Physics with Computers" on quantum computing (1982)
Peter Russell predicts the rise, out of the global telecom network, of a "global brain" by 2000 and that it will become conscious (1982)
John Badham: "War Games" movie (1983)
Peter Russell: "The Global Brain" (1983)
Bruce Bethke: "Cyberpunk" (1983)
Hajime Sorayama's book of illustrations "Sexy Robots" (1983)
Richard Stallman launches the GNU project of free software (1983)
Apple Macintosh (1984)
Scientific American publishes its first issue devoted to software (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)
The WELL (1985)
David Chaum: "Security without Identification: Transaction Systems to Make Big Brother Obsolete" (1985)
Donna Haraway: "A Cyborg Manifesto" (1985)
Toshiba: the T1100, the first mass-market laptop (1985)
Lucasfilm: online game "Habitat" (1985) that introduces "avatars"
Richard Stallman founds the Free Software Foundation (1985)
Don Norman's "User Centered System Design" (1986)
Per Bak: "Self-organized criticality" (1987)
Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin: PowerPoint (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 fr 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)
Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz & Arstid Lindenmayer: "The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants" (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)
Daniel Sandin & Thomas DiFanti's CAVE (1991)
Brenda Laurel's book "Computers as Theatre" (1991)
Linus Thorvald: the open-source operating system Linux (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)
Peter Schor's quantum algorithm for finding the prime factors of an integer (1994)
Karl Sims unveils virtual creatures (1994)
Jaron Lanier: "Agents of Alienation" (1995)
Nicholas Negroponte: "Being Digital" (1995)
Manuel Castell: "The Rise of the Network Society" (1996)
Francis Heylighen and Johan Bollen: "The World-Wide Web as a Super-Brain" (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)
Kevin Warwick at the University of Reading implants an RFID tag above his left elbow (1998)
Eric Raymond's "Open Source Initiative" (1998)
Donald Norman's "The Invisible Computer" (1998)
Wei Dai describes a cryptocurrency on the "cypherpunk" forum (1998)
Shawn Fanning releases Napster for P2P file exchanges (1999)
Richard Coyne's book "Technoromanticism" (1999)
Jon Johansen releases the DeCSS software that enables copies of encrypted DVD films (1999)
Alan Cooper's book "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum" (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 (2000)
Douglas Repetto at the Columbia University Computer Music Center starts Dorkbot to sponsor grassroots meetings of "people doing strange things with electricity" (2000)
Stephen Wolfram: "A New Kind of Science" (2002)
Bram Cohen unveils the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol BitTorrent (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)
Albert Gonzalez's hackers steal customer information from department store chain TJX (2008)
Satoshi Nakamoto's paper "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" (Oct 2008)

The USA creates a Cyber Command under the command of general Keith Alexander (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)
Israel's company NSO introduces the spyware Pegasus (2011)
Ross Ulbricht founds the Silk Road darknet marketplace, mainly used by drug and gun dealers (2011)
Kate Darling's "Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots" (2012)
John Preskill coins the term "quantum supremacy" (2012)
James Zhong steals $3.36 billion of bitcoin from the Silk Road darknet marketplace (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)
May 2014: The first-ever non-fungible token (NFT) is minted during a hackathon by artist Kevin McCoy and software engineer Anil Dash, "Quantum", first demonstrated at the New Museum in New York City
Aug 2014: A user of the online platform 4chan, Eron Gjoni, launches an harassment campaign (later known as "Gamergate" because of the hashtag #GamerGate) against his ex-girlfriend, the videogame developer Zoe Quinn
2015: The government of China unleashes the "distributed denial of service" attack ever against GitHub, de facto shutting it down
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
December 2015: Russian cyber-intelligence disrupts the power grid of western Ukraine
2017: The WannaCry virus spreads in several countries infecting 300,000 computers and is accidentally stopped by Marcus Hutchins
2017: Hackers steal the private information of 143 million US consumers from Equifax
Feb 2018: Ukraine arrests Gennady Kapkanov, who set up the "Avalanche" network used by more than 200 cybercriminals around the world
Mar 2018: A former Cambridge Analytica employee, Christopher Wylie, reveals that Cambridge Analytica, using a software developed by Aleksandr Kogan at Cambridge University, stole the private information of millions of Facebook users and used it to manipulate political elections
May 2019: Georgia arrests Alexander Konovolov, the ringleader of GozNym cyber-crime gang which stole millions from banks, and others are arrested in the USA, Bulgaria, Germany, Moldova and Ukraine
May 2019: San Francisco becomes the first city to ban face-recognition technology
June 2019: The New York Times reveals an extensive program by the USA to attack the Russian power grid with malware
Oct 2019: Google claims that its quantum processor "Sycamore" achieved quantum supremacy
Nov 2019: The picture of an egg posted by Chris Godfrey on Instagram becomes the most liked online post (on any media platform) in history
Jul 2020: Some of the world's richest and most influential people and companies are the victims of a massive Twitter hack masterminded by a teenager, Graham Ivan Clark
Dec 2020: Russian hackers working for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service breach multiple US government agencies (the "SolarWind" hack)
Mar 2021: Microsoft accuses China of a state-sponsored cyber-attack on Microsoft Exchange servers worldwide
May 2021: Russian hackers "DarkSide" disrupts a major fuel pipeline of the USA, Colonial Pipeline
Jun 2021: Russian hackers "REvil" unleashes a ransomware attack on the IT firm Kaseya that provides software to thousands of corporations
2021: Chainalysis estimastes that North Korean hackers stole $400m of cryptocurrency in 2021
2021: Fincen (US government) estimates that cryptocurrencies enable a $5.2B/year ransomware industry
Mar 2022: North Korean hackers Lazarus carry out a massive cryptocurrency heist worth $615 million targeting players of online game Axie Infinity
Jul 2022: Chinese hacker ChinaDan offers data on one billion Chinese citizens for 10 Bitcoin

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi)
See also my history of cyberwarfare, cyber-espionage and cyber-propaganda
See also my timeline of computing