WE OWE IT ALL TO THE HIPPIES

FORGET ANTIWAR PROTESTS, WOODSTOCK, EVEN LONG HAIR. THE REAL LEGACY OF THE SIXTIES GENERATION IS THE COMPUTER REVOLUTION

Newcomers to the Internet are often startled to discover themselves not so much in some soulless colony of technocrats as in a kind of cultural Brigadoon -- a flowering remnant of the '60s, when hippie communalism and libertarian politics formed the roots of the modern cyberrevolution. At the time, it all seemed dangerously anarchic (and still does to many), but the counterculture's scorn for centralized authority provided the philosophical foundations of not only the leaderless Internet but also the entire personal- computer revolution.

We -- the generation of the '60s -- were inspired by the ``bards and hot- gospellers of technology,''...