Screw Sunday Yak Shows: Watch Wired Co-Founder Louis Rossetto Talk About Digital Revolution!


Back in 1993, Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe founded Wired,
the magazine (and, eventually, website, publishing house, search
engine, you name it) that chronicled the digital revolution even as
it helped make it reality.

A Reason reader since our first issues, Rossetto has long been
propounding the virtues of “Free Minds and Free Markets” in words
and action (he and Metcalfe run TCHO,
a chocolate company that is awesome in exactly all the ways you’d
expect from the co-founders of Wired; think Willy Wonka Meets
Stewart Brand). We recently sat down with Rossetto to talk about
what’s happened to cyberspace in the two decades since Wired first
hit the shelves and blew our minds more than any drug we’ve yet

This interview originally aired at Reaon TV on
November 22. Here’s the original writeup:

“We came out and said there was a digital revolution happening
and it was going to change everything,” says Louis Rossetto, who
co-founded Wired magazine 20 years ago in 1993. “And [that] it
wasn’t the priests, the pundits, the politicians, and the generals
who were creating positive change.”

Rossetto was no stranger to bold predictions. In 1971, he
co-authored a cover story in the New York Times Magazine announcing
that libertarianism was the next great transformative ideology and
that young people were rejecting the played-out politics of the
right and the left. After editing a publication called Electric
Word in the late 1980s, he and Jane Metcalfe launched Wired, the
publication that not revolutionized magazine design but chronicled,
critiqued, and in many ways created the Internet Age. The concept
was to cover the real change makers, far from the halls of power in
Washington or established business capitals such as New York, who
were ushering in a new digital era that would transform society.
“That meta-story,” says Rossetto, “was absolutely spot on.”

A critical and commercial hit, Conde Nast purchased the magazine
in 1997 and Metcalfe and Rossetto raised a family, did angel
investing, and ultimately started the award-winning chocolate
company TCHO.

Metcalfe and Rossetto were the recipients of the inaugural Lanny
Friedlander Lifetime Achievement Prize at the Reason Media Awards,
which were held in New York City on November 6, 2013. The prize is
named for the founder of Reason magazine (whom Rossetto knew
personally) and honors people who have created a distribution
platform that expands human freedom by increasing our ability to
express ourselves, engage in debate, and generate new ways of
understanding the power of “Free Minds and Free Markets.”

Rossetto sat down with
Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie to talk about the origins of Wired, the
promise of the digital revolution, and why “in its death throes,
the megastate is going to make a lot of mess.”

About 15 minutes.

Shot and edited by Jim Epstein, with help from Anthony

Go here for more links,
downloadable versions, and other videos.

from Hit & Run

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