The nerds have already subsumed much under their regime: social interactions, mass media, restaurant delivery, dating, books, and nearly everything else of value in modern American society, including money itself. But only now have they conquered the very definition of an elite cultural institution, one of the primary means by which today's most privileged are minted:
The longhairs with the pocket protectors had already set up the lines between USC and Stanford and UC Santa Barbara. It was 1969, a weird year of technological and social progress (Apollo 11, Mariner 6 and 7, the Stonewall Riots) and de-evolution (President Richard Nixon, the Manson Murders). Students were still seizing campus buildings—SDS took the Harvard administration building that spring—but on this day 43 years ago, the hippie nerds in the computer labs made the last connection in their four-node Defense Department-funded networked computer project. The fourth computer came online at the University of Utah.