Mitch Kapor on techno-utopias

I’m currently reading Bruce Sterling’s ‘The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier‘. It’s “Literary Freeware” and can be found online in several forms. I’m a sucker for clean simplicity, so I’m loving the early-90s-HTML version archived at MIT.  I’m learning all sorts of things, including a lot more than I previous knew about the EFF.

Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus, co-founder of EFF, and these days an investor in Second Life, gets a big mention in chapter 4, and these facts really caught my eye too.

  • Apparently his surname is pronounced KAY-por. I’ve been doing that wrong forever. Oops.
  • The name Lotus is a reference to Eastern mysticism, something Mitch had a long-term interest in.
  • Lotus bought VisiCalc and quietly extinguished it. I didn’t know that.

Best of all though is this quote:

“I’m very opposed to techno-utopias. Every time I see one, I either run away, or try to kill it.”

Of Lotus, EFF and Second Life, I have to wonder which he ran away from and which he’s trying to kill 😉

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