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don't push!

Scott on Wired's "Push" story and a few other things:

In its heyday, Wired magazine gave the entire technology and Internet press a steady stream of wacky, outrageous material to react to. On the blog he has created to accompany his new history of Wired, "Wired: A Romance" (Andrew Leonard's Salon review is here), Gary Wolf is posting some reminiscences and other Wired miscellany.
I have to agree with his judgment that Wired's worst story ever was the "Push" cover story he was credited as co-author of. Wolf's recollections of how that absurd piece of puffery came into existence is illuminating and worth reading; Wired, it seems, was even more seat-of-the-pants in its editorial process than those of us on the outside could tell. I'll stand by my assessment of February, 1997, that the story wounded the publication's credibility. But reading Wolf's account, you can't help feeling a little more charitable toward the people responsible for the open-ended, improvisatory provocation that was the Wired game. Viewed as a moment rather than a movement, it all seems a little funnier and less heinous. After all, the next three years would see far vaster corporate scams unfold -- and ones with far less style.

I remember this story really well--and I have to admit that it really had me going for some time after. Of course, reality settled in pretty soon (not that Wired ever published a revision of some kind though--and they should have! A story as big, with the covered changed to say " don'tpush" or something). Misinformation was not spread "on purpose" but it was all part of the big machinery of hype that took over the tech world during those times; Wired just became the amplifier for all sorts of madness that was going on in The Valley. Strange how these feedback cycles can occur--and interesting how the process behind them eventually comes to light, to the everlasting wonder and amazement of all. :-)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 15, 2003 at 9:28 PM

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