I wrote Little Brother

I wrote Little Brother in a white-hot fury between May 7, 2007 and July 2,2007: exactly eight weeks from the day I thought it up to the day I fin-ished it (Alice, to whom this book is dedicated, had to put up with meclacking out the final chapter at 5AM in our hotel in Rome, where wewere celebrating our anniversary). I’d always dreamed of having a bookjust materialize, fully formed, and come pouring out of my fingertips, nosweat and fuss — but it wasn’t nearly as much fun as I’d thought itwould be. There were days when I wrote 10,000 words, hunching overmy keyboard in airports, on subways, in taxis — anywhere I could type.
The book was trying to get out of my head, no matter what, and I missedso much sleep and so many meals that friends started to ask if I wasunwell.
When my dad was a young university student in the 1960s, he was oneof the few “counterculture" people who thought computers were a goodthing. For most young people, computers represented the de-humaniza-tion of society. University students were reduced to numbers on apunchcard, each bearing the legend “DO NOT BEND, SPINDLE, FOLDOR MUTILATE," prompting some of the students to wear pins that said,"I AM A STUDENT: DO NOT BEND, SPINDLE, FOLD OR MUTILATEME." Computers were seen as a means to increase the ability of the au-thorities to regiment people and bend them to their will.
When I was a 17, the world seemed like it was just going to get morefree. The Berlin Wall was about to come down. Computers — which hadbeen geeky and weird a few years before — were everywhere, and themodem I’d used to connect to local bulletin board systems was now con-necting me to the entire world through the Internet and commercial on-line services like GEnie. My lifelong fascination with activist causes wentinto overdrive as I saw how the main difficulty in activism — organizing— was getting easier by leaps and bounds (I still remember the first timeI switched from mailing out a newsletter with hand-written addresses tousing a database with mail-merge). In the Soviet union, communicationstools were being used to bring information — and revolution — to thefarthest-flung corners of the largest authoritarian state the Earth had everseen.

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