Josh Harris had been New York's first net millionaire. He founded the city's first dotcom, Pseudo.com, and paved the way for a cadre of net-savvy 20-somethings to follow, riding a wave of tech euphoria to unimagined wealth and fame for five years, before losing it all in the great dotcom crash of 2000. Long before then, however, Harris's view of where the web would take us had darkened, and he began a series of lurid social experiments aimed at illustrating his worst fear: that the internet would soon alter the very fabric of society - cognitive, social, political, and otherwise.
In Totally Wired, award-winning author and journalist Andrew Smith seeks to unravel the opaque and mysterious episodes of the 20th-century dotcom craze, in which the seeds of our current reality were sown. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Harris and the former pioneers who worked alongside him in downtown Manhattan's "Silicon Alley", the narrative moves from a compound in the wild south of Ethiopia, through New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, London, and Salt Lake City, Utah; from the dawn of the web to the present, taking in the rise of retro-truth, troll society, and the unexpected origins of the net itself, as our world has grown uncannily to resemble the one Harris predicted - and had urged us to evade.