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Network Celebrity: Entrepreneurship and the New Public Intellectuals

Fred Turner
Christine Larson

This article identifies a mode of intellectual influence and popular celebrity that has emerged alongside American computer science and collaborative engineering: “network celebrity.” By tracking the tactics and impact of three key intellectual entrepreneurs — Norbert Wiener, Stewart Brand, and Tim O’Reilly — the article traces the rise of this mode of celebrity. It outlines both the new shape of network- driven intellectual fame and the dangers inherent in networked modes of power.