Start: 6:00 pm
In Exploding the Phone ($26.00), Phil Lapsley illuminates the forgotten history of the proto-hackers, tinkerers, and pranksters who turned AT&T’s telephone system into their electronic playground. Before smartphones and iPads, before the Internet or the personal computer, a misfit group of technophiles, blind teenagers, hippies, and outlaws figured out how to hack the world’s largest machine: the telephone system. By the middle of the twentieth century the telephone system had grown into something extraordinary, a web of cutting-edge switching machines and human operators that linked together millions of people like never before. But the network had a billion-dollar flaw, and once people discovered it, things would never be the same. Phil Lapsley co-founded two high technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and was a consultant at McKinsey & Company where he advised Fortune 100 companies on strategy. He holds a Master's degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences from U. C. Berkeley and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Lapsley has been interviewed by NPR and the BBC and quoted in The New York Times and Boston Globe on telephone and computer security issues, and is the author of one textbook, sixteen patents, an Internet standard, and many technical articles.
Start: 7:00 pm
Margaret Wrinkle’s luminous, affecting debut novel is the impassioned story of two men and a woman joined by slave breeding in early-nineteenth-century Tennessee. Written as an accusation, a revelation, and a prayer, Wash ($25.00) challenges contemporary assumptions as it transcends time, revealing anew this explosive shard of national history.Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Margaret Wrinkle is a writer, filmmaker, educator, and visual artist. Her award-winning documentary feature, broken\ground, explores contemporary race relations in her historically conflicted hometown. broken\ground was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition and won the Council on Foundations’ Film Festival. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Yale University and a Masters in Elementary Education from University of Alabama, Birmingham. She has studied fiction with Chinua Achebe, Pinckney Benedict, and AJ Verdelle, and traditional spiritual practices with Malidoma and Sobonfu Somé, and Mayumi Oda. She teaches part-time at the San Francisco Art Institute and lives in rural New Mexico.