Stewart Brand

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pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

And as they rose to power, more than a few rightwing politicians and executives longed to share the hip credibility of people like Stewart Brand. This book, then, does not tell the story of a countercultural movement whose ideals and practices were appropriated by the forces of capital, technology, or the state. Rather, it demonstrates that the New Communalist wing of the counterculture embraced those forces early on and that in subsequent years, Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network continued to provide the intellectual and practical contexts within which members of the two worlds could come together and legitimate one another’s projects. At the same time, however, this book is not a biography of Stewart Brand. Brand certainly deserves a biography, and one will no doubt be written in the years to come, but this book makes relatively little effort to understand Brand’s personal history except insofar as it illuminates his role in reshaping the politics of information.

And how is it that the communitarian ideals of the counterculture should have become melded to computers and computer networks in such a way that thirty years later, the Internet could appear to so many as an emblem of a youthful revolution reborn? For answers to these questions, we need to turn to the biography of Stewart Brand and the history of the Whole Earth network. CHAPTER 2 Stewart Brand Meets the Cybernetic Counterculture In the spring of 1957, at the height of the cold war, Stewart Brand was a nineteen-year-old freshman at Stanford University, and he was deeply worried. Even though Europe lay more than six thousand miles to the east, Brand had begun to write at length in his diary about his fear that the Soviet Union would soon attack the United States. If the Soviets invaded, he wrote, he could expect That my life would necessarily become small, a gear with its place on a certain axle of the Communist machine.

From Counterculture to Cyberculture From Counterculture to Cyberculture Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism Fred Turner The University of Chicago Press / Chicago and London Fred Turner is assistant professor of communication at Stanford University. He is the author of Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637 The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London © 2006 by Fred Turner All rights reserved. Published 2006 Printed in the United States of America 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 1 2 3 4 5 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-81741-5 (cloth) ISBN-10: 0-226-81741-5 (cloth) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Turner, Fred. From counterculture to cyberculture : Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth network, and the rise of digital utopianism / Fred Turner. p. cm.


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Bill Paxton: I was the new guy and pretty much clueless, so what I was most impressed about was that Stewart Brand, of the Whole Earth Catalog, was our photographer. Talk about somebody to loosen up the atmosphere! John Markoff: Stewart was really the person who, more than anybody, shepherded psychedelic drugs from the spiritual and the therapeutic to the recreational. He was the vector of the counterculture. Stewart Brand: Some people through Engelbart’s office had been paying attention to the stuff I was doing with the Trips Festival and so on. They thought I might bring some production values, or knowledge about how to put on a show, to the demo that they were planning. So, they invited me over. Alan Kay: In those days the Whole Earth Catalog, which was actually a store as well, was located right across the street from SRI. Stewart Brand: I remember walking over there thinking, This could be interesting and maybe even important.

There was really nothing else to do then, because we were building things. PARC’s first outside visitor of note was Stewart Brand, fresh from editing and publishing The Last Whole Earth Catalog, and newly famous as a result of its countercultural success. He came to PARC for the tour in 1972. Stewart Brand: I went to Jann Wenner at Rolling Stone and said, “I want to do this story about what’s going on with computers,” and he said, “Fine, go ahead and do it.” He was doing it based, totally, on his good feelings about the Whole Earth Catalog. Alan Kay: Stewart and I knew each other a bit. He contacted me and said he was going to do a piece basically on Spacewar. Stewart Brand: What I had seen with Spacewar was that it drove the technology. It drove the human interface faster than any other application.

Lee Felsenstein: The line was that they were instruments of the future in terms of automating production. The New Left didn’t think that was such a great idea. Stewart Brand: Amongst the general flow of hippie romanticism, there was an opposition to technology and, by implication, an opposition to science. And I thought that was dreadful. Lee Felsenstein: Those who sneered at computers had no involvement with them. It was a convenient thing to do from a distance. But if you had any degree of involvement with them you came to love the magic of it, “the romance of it,” as Alan Kay put it. Bob Taylor: When Stewart Brand showed up, I had no idea he was coming. I didn’t know why he was there. I didn’t know who put him up to it. He said, “Well, we just want to talk to a few people.” Stewart Brand didn’t just want to just talk to me. He wanted to talk to a lot of people. He wanted to find out what was going on.


pages: 474 words: 130,575

Surveillance Valley: The Rise of the Military-Digital Complex by Yasha Levine

23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bitcoin, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collaborative editing, colonial rule, computer age, computerized markets, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global village, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Howard Zinn, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Hackers Conference, uber lyft, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

It’s as weird as waking up and seeing hippies marching for the military draft. So, what happened? How did a technology so deeply connected to war and counterinsurgency suddenly become a one-way ticket to global utopia? It’s an important question. Without it, we can’t begin to understand the cultural forces that have shaped the way we view the Internet today. In a way, it all started with a disillusioned entrepreneur named Stewart Brand.5 Hippies at ARPA October 1972. It’s evening, and Stewart Brand, a young, lanky freelance journalist and photographer, is hanging out at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, an ARPA contractor located in the Santa Cruz mountains above the campus. And he is having a lot of fun. He’s on assignment for Rolling Stone, the edgy house magazine of America’s counterculture, partying with a bunch of computer programmers and math geeks on ARPA’s payroll.

“Strong personality came to dominate the weaker members of the group, but the rules of a self-organizing system refused to allow any organized opposition to this oppression.” In the end, what were supposed to be experiments in freedom and new utopian societies simply replicated and magnified the structural inequality of the outside world that people brought with them. But Stewart Brand did not admit defeat, nor did he try to understand why the cybernetic-libertarian ideology underpinning the experiment failed so spectacularly. He simply transferred the utopian ideas of the mythical commune into something that had long fascinated him: the rapidly growing computer industry. Rebranding Stewart Brand On the surface, the worlds of ARPA and military computer research and the drugged-out hippie commune scene of the 1960s could not be more different. Indeed, they seemed to occupy different solar systems. One had uniforms, stuffy suits, pocket protectors, thoughts of war, punch cards, and rigid hierarchies.

But at Apple we’re trying to balance the scales by giving individuals the kind of computer power once reserved for corporations.” Apple cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs was a huge Stewart Brand fan.37 He was just a kid in the late 1960s when the magazine and commune culture were at their peak of popularity and power, but he read the Whole Earth Catalog and absorbed its culture into his own worldview. So it wasn’t surprising that the original Apple ad campaign that hinted at computers as corporate and government monsters was left in the Dumpster while Brand’s view of personal computers as a technology of freedom prevailed. Stewart Brand offered a powerful vision that was planted deep in the American psyche. His push to rebrand military computer technology as liberation coincided with a less visible force: the gradual privatization of the ARPANET and the creation of a global commercial Internet.


pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Charles Lindbergh, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kubernetes, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, The Hackers Conference, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

Anthropologist and social theorist Gregory Bateson was part of the original cybernetic Macy conferences and later applied cybernetics on a higher level, articulating his theory in the 1972 cult book Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Barry Schwartz Photography. The first issue of Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog was published in 1968. It was meant to be a printed feedback loop for back-to-the-land communards, and it reviewed six books on cybernetics. Stewart Brand (left) and company play with the Earth Ball at the New Games, an event that Brand organized in California, October 1, 1973.© Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS. Stewart Brand holds a copy of the Whole Earth Catalog on July 6, 1984.That same year, he launched the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, or WELL, the first real computerized social network. © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS. The US Air Force pioneered the concept of “virtual space” in the late 1970s.

Phillip Guddemi, “Gregory Bateson and Ross Ashby,” e-mail to the author, August 27, 2015. The reading list was published in the winter 1974 issue of Co-evolution Quarterly, p. 28. 54.Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, 323. 55.Ibid., 467. 56.Ibid., 468. 57.Ibid., 469. 58.Stewart Brand, Two Cybernetic Frontiers (New York: Random House, 1974), 9. 59.See ibid., 24–25, where the story is reprinted. 60.Ibid., 29. 61.Ibid., 7. 62.Ibid., 48. 63.Ibid., 39. 64.Ibid., 49. 65.Stewart Brand, “SPACEWAR: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972, 58. 66.Brand, Two Cybernetic Frontiers, 78. 67.Stewart Brand, “We Owe It All to the Hippies,” Time 145, no. 12 (March 1, 1995): 54–56. 68.Ken Goffman, “Wake Up, It’s 1984!” High Frontiers 1 (1984): 3. 69.Ibid. 70.Terence McKenna, “Phychopharmacognosticon,” High Frontiers 4 (1988): 12. 71.Ibid., 11–12. 72.Quoted in Goffman, “Wake Up, It’s 1984!”

Pedipulator courtesy of miSci—Museum of Innovation and Science. Photo of Handyman courtesy of miSci—Museum of Innovation and Science. Photo of Hardiman courtesy of miSci—Museum of Innovation and Science. Photo of Gregory Bateson. Courtesy of Barry Schwartz Photography. Cover of the first issue of the Whole Earth Catalog. Courtesy of Stewart Brand. Photo of Stewart Brand playing with the Earth Ball at the New Games. © Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS. Photo of Stewart Brand holding an issue of Whole Earth Catalog. © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS. Second Insert Photo of Staff Sergeant Vernon Wells with Visually Coupled Airborne Systems Simulator (VCASS) helmet. Department of Defense. Public domain. Computer-generated image projected inside the VCASS Helmet. Department of Defense. Public domain. Photo of Timothy Leary.


pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

It was the Alto that finally brought Doug Engelbart’s 1968 demonstration to life, making it accessible beyond the boundaries of a computer laboratory. And yet the first true personal computer remained more or less locked away in Xerox’s secretive corporate laboratory throughout the 1970s. It had not quite become public when Stewart Brand’s seminal Rolling Stone article appeared in December 1972. In an Annie Leibovitz photo that accompanied the piece and captured the long-haired spirit and free-flowing culture of the lab in the Palo Alto foothills, John Shoch’s face was hidden, his nose buried in a notebook. Having managed to navigate the antiwar demonstrations at Stanford, Shoch had developed a good instinct for avoiding trouble. Stewart Brand had been hanging around the lab with the photographer, talking to people, and Shoch had a notion that trouble was exactly what his visits might lead to. This can’t be good, he thought, and ducked his head into his notebook just as Leibovitz snapped a shot of a PARC research group relaxing in a corporate office setting that appeared more like a college dorm room.

Michael Keller, Stanford’s head librarian, was kind enough to offer me a library fellowship and access to the university’s invaluable special-collection materials. Henry Lowood and Alex Pang, Stanford University archivists and historians, took time out of their schedules to answer my questions. Paula Terzian was a wonderful transcriber on a moment’s notice. Finally, Leslie Terzian Markoff was there for me when I needed her most. NOTES Preface 1.Stewart Brand, “We Owe It All to the Hippies,” Time, special issue, spring 1995. 2.Stewart Brand, “Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972. 3.The meaning of the term “hacker” changed beginning in the early 1990s, when it came to refer to teenagers who used modems to break into computers. Originally the term was used to describe a group of almost exclusively young men who were passionate in their obsession with computing and computers.

., p. 7. 5 | Dealing Lightning 1.The origin of the phrase “dealing lightning with both hands” is intriguing. It was first reported in Stewart Brand’s seminal Rolling Stone article about PARC and SAIL in 1972 and attributed to Alan Kay. However, Kay does not remember if he used the phrase first, while Chuck Thacker has a clear recollection of exclaiming, “He sat on stage for an hour and a half dealing lightning with both hands,” after watching a video of Engelbart in 1970 or 1971. Robert Taylor, director of the computer-science laboratory at PARC, also remembers Thacker using the phrase first. Thus it is ironic that Michael Hiltzik chose the phrase “Dealers of Lightning” as the title of his thorough history of Xerox PARC, when in fact the term was first used to describe Engelbart’s work. 2.“Whole Earth Visionary: Stewart Brand,” The Guardian (London), August 4, 2001, p. 6. 3.Sam Binkley, “Consuming Aquarius: Markets and the Moral Boundaries of the New Class, 1968–1980,” Ph.D. dissertation, New School University, 2002. 4.Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools, Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration (San Rafael, Calif.: Point Foundation, 1998), p. 2. 5.Stewart Brand, personal journals, Stanford University Special Collections, March 24, 1957. 6.Charles Irby, “The Augmented Knowledge Workshop,” in A History of Personal Workstations, ed.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

Are the positive, intended effects of hacker culture enough to outweigh the negative, unintended effects? Is Rop prepared, I wonder, for the next generation to look back on the hacker counterculture and see that it failed? “Oh sure.” says Rop, “Nobody’s perfect.” * * * Chapter 3: Information wants to be free “What’s wrong with the corporate world? I don’t get what’s wrong with consumerism and I don’t get what’s wrong with corporations per se.” Stewart Brand is sitting across from me in the small private living room of a central London hotel. At 72, he’s looking remarkably well, although the trip over here from his hometown of Sausalito, California – where he lives on a tugboat with his wife – has taken its toll on his voice. We’ve already had to reschedule this interview once – the publicist for his current book was worried he might overdo it, and his slot on Radio 4’s Start the Week was certainly gravelish.

But his eyes are bright, and his old world courtesy combines well with his check shirt, leather waistcoat and slacks. I’m feeling very comfortable sitting across from him on a cosy sofa, as a particularly violent bout of January weather rages in the city outside. Brand is a 1960s original. When Tom Wolfe first came across him as one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, madly driving a souped-up pickup through the streets of San Francisco, he recorded the encounter thus: Stewart Brand, a thin blonde guy with a blazing disk on his forehead too, and a whole necktie made of Indian beads. No shirt, however, just an Indian bead necktie on bare skin and a white butcher’s coat with medals from the King of Sweden on it. Brand comes from a world I dreamed about in my teens, one I searched for through celluloid and print. A world where Steppenwolf growl “You know I smoked a lot of grass.

At it, the Grateful Dead and Big Brother & the Holding Company (a few months before they enlisted their iconic lead vocalist, Janis Joplin) play against fantastic light shows to “the heads”, who are “pouring in by the hundreds, bombed out of their gourds”. In the nights before the party, while planning the festival at Brand’s apartment in North Beach, Kesey racks up his second charge for marijuana possession, an inconvenience that would see him forced underground – paranoid and on the run – in the following months. But the party itself was a blast, and what’s more, it grossed over $12,000. He may have been a hippy, but Stewart Brand was good at making money. I’m not quite sure how I inspired the anti-anti-corporate rant Brand has just finished, but it serves to illustrate the time that stretches between his generation and mine. Whereas Brand’s generation had the military-industrial complex of the Cold War to haunt their nightmares, the politically conscious and privileged young hipsters of today are more likely to be found protesting Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Pharma.


pages: 720 words: 197,129

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Brand’s story was in a March 1995 special issue of Time on “Cyberspace,” which was a sequel to a February 8, 1993, Time cover by Phil Elmer-Dewitt called “Cyberpunks” that also explored the countercultural influences surrounding the computer, online services such as The WELL, and the Internet. 13. This section is based on author’s interviews with Stewart Brand; Stewart Brand, “ ‘Whole Earth’ Origin,” 1976, http://sb.longnow.org/SB_homepage/WholeEarth_buton.html; Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture; Markoff, What the Dormouse Said. Turner’s book is focused on Brand. 14. Author’s interview with Stewart Brand; Stewart Brand public comments on early draft of this chapter posted on Medium.com. 15. Stewart Brand, “Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, Dec. 7, 1972. 16. Stewart Brand comments on my crowdsourced draft on Medium; Stewart Brand interviews and emails with the author, 2013; poster and programs for the Trips Festival, http://www.postertrip.com/public/5577.cfm and http://www.lysergia.com/MerryPranksters/MerryPranksters_post.htm; Wolfe, Electric Kool-Aid Test, 259. 17.

By the 1980s the LSD evangelist Timothy Leary would update his famous mantra “Turn on, tune in, drop out” to proclaim instead “Turn on, boot up, jack in.”10 Richard Brautigan was the poet-in-residence in 1967 at Caltech, and that year he captured the new ethos in a poem, “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.”11 It began: I like to think (and the sooner the better!) of a cybernetic meadow where mammals and computers live together in mutually programming harmony like pure water touching clear sky. STEWART BRAND The person who best embodied and most exuberantly encouraged this connection between techies and hippies was a lanky enthusiast with a toothy smile named Stewart Brand, who popped up like a gangly sprite at the intersection of a variety of fun cultural movements over the course of many decades. “The counterculture’s scorn for centralized authority provided the philosophical foundations of the entire personal-computer revolution,” he wrote in a 1995 Time essay titled “We Owe It All to the Hippies.”

“The audience is invited to wear ECSTATIC DRESS & bring their own GADGETS (a.c. outlets will be provided).”16 Yes, the Trip Festival’s conjunction of drugs, rock, and technology—acid and a.c. outlets!—was jarring. But it turned out to be, significantly, a quintessential display of the fusion that shaped the personal computer era: technology, counterculture, entrepreneurship, gadgets, music, art, and engineering. From Stewart Brand to Steve Jobs, those ingredients fashioned a wave of Bay Area innovators who were comfortable at the interface of Silicon Valley and Haight-Ashbury. “The Trips Festival marked Stewart Brand’s emergence as a countercultural entrepreneur—but in a deeply technocratic mold,” wrote the cultural historian Fred Turner.17 A month after the Trips Festival, in February 1966, Brand was sitting on his gravelly rooftop in San Francisco’s North Beach enjoying the effects of 100 micrograms of LSD. Staring at the skyline, he ruminated on something that Buckminster Fuller had said: our perception that the world is flat and stretches indefinitely, rather than round and small, is because we have never seen it from outer space.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

—Jon Turney, The Guardian (London) “This is a short course on how to change your mind intelligently. Stewart Brand is the master guru of following the early warning signals of first adopters and the rough edges of science wherever it might lead. In this book he reveals how this discipline has landed him at the very front of cultural change once again.” —Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants “In the face of climate change, a founding father of the greens argues the movement must embrace whatever works—even if that happens to be nuclear power, mass urbanization, or genetic modification. . . . The environmental left needs to view the world afresh. Once it has done so, Brand writes, it is likely to see that many of its most cherished notions are inconsistent with reality.” —Mark Williams, Technology Review “It’s not what Stewart Brand says that is important (and there is quite a bit I disagree with in the book).

Brand’s discussion of genetic engineering of crops and food production is perhaps the best single exposition for the intelligent general reader why genetic engineering is needed for pragmatic solutions of important environmental challenges. . . . Fortunately Brand’s wonderful book will not be ignored because it makes its statements in a highly direct controversial fashion.” —David Tribe, Biofortified.org “I adored this book. Even the few parts I disagreed with. Stewart Brand’s mind is exhilaratingly clear, rational, and passionate. His pen is, too.” —Matt Ridley, author of Genome and Nature Via Nuture “On the first page of this landmark book, the lateral-thinking, San Francisco tugboat-based ecologist Stewart Brand sums up his philosophy in a single line: ‘We are as gods and HAVE to get good at it.’ It’s a staggeringly arrogant statement, guaranteed to offend everyone from religious fundamentalists to those at the mystical, misty-eyed end of the green spectrum, but after reading Whole Earth Discipline, you’ll find it difficult to disagree.”

Whole Earth Discipline contains every reason why they should: three hundred pages of data, anecdotes, and arguments that illustrate, in withering detail, the scale of ecological problems we face today, and the utter inability of faith-based environmentalism to fix them.” —Maywa Montenegro, Seed “Yet again, in a single book Stewart Brand provides us a clear catalog of everything important on Earth.” —Alan Weisman, author of The World Without Us “In these pages, Stewart Brand lays out a mind-blowing vision for the planet’s salvation: migration to the cities, power generated by mini-nuclear reactors, healthier crops through genetic engineering. This may well be the most important book I’ll read this year. Certainly, it’s the most aggressively optimistic book that’s also closely reported.” —Jesse Kornbluth, Headbutler.com “An important book on the collision between humanity and earth’s limits—on the facts, the problems, the passions, the politics, and the realistic possibilities for better outcomes. . . .


pages: 281 words: 71,242

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

artificial general intelligence, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, Colonization of Mars, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global village, Google Glasses, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, income inequality, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, PageRank, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, yellow journalism

“We can’t put it together. It is together”: The Last Whole Earth Catalog, June 1971. “[The catalog] helped create the conditions”: Turner, 73. “he was the guy who was giving us the early warning system”: Katherine Fulton, “How Stewart Brand Learns,” Los Angeles Times, October 30, 1994. “Those magnificent men with their flying machines”: Stewart Brand, “Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972. “When computers become available to everybody”: Brand, “Spacewar.” injected an important new phrase into the lexicon: Stewart Brand, II Cybernetic Frontiers (Random House, 1974). “Ever since there were two organisms”: Turner, 121. “Today, after more than a century”: Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (McGraw-Hill, 1964), 3. “desert of classified data”: Eric McLuhan and Frank Zingrone, eds., Essential McLuhan (Basic Books, 1995), 92.

They aspire to escape competition, to exist on their own plane, so they can fulfill their transcendent potential. Their dangerous dream has such a firm footing because it has such a long pedigree. Silicon Valley’s craving for monopoly stretches back, strangely enough, to the counterculture of the 1960s, where it emerged from the most lyrical of visions of peace and love. More specifically, it begins with a crown prince of hippiedom. • • • STEWART BRAND WOULD DRIVE his truck down the San Francisco Midpeninsula, through the dissipating fog of the early sixties. The sticker on his bumper protested, “Custer Died for Your Sins.” On his exposed chest rested a string of beads. Citizens of the acid scene, of which Brand was a leading light, thought of him as an “Indian freak.” It was a romance that first stirred when a family friend asked Brand to photograph the Warm Springs Reservation for a brochure, and that culminated in his marriage to Lois Jennings, an Ottawa.

That dream of transformation—a world healed by technology, brought together into a peaceful model of collaboration—carries a charming innocence. In Silicon Valley, this naive belief has been handed down through ages. Even the most hard-nosed corporations have internalized it. What began as a stirring dream—humanity tied together into a single transcendent network—has become the basis for monopoly. In the hands of Facebook and Google, Brand’s vision is a pretext for domination. • • • BEFORE STEWART BRAND COULD REMAKE technology, he needed to mold the sixties. It is a story that begins, as many tales of the prehippie years do, a bit aimlessly. After boarding at Exeter and graduating from Stanford, Brand enlisted in the army. His experience in the barracks ended unhappily, but it also supplied him with a measure of organizational acumen and managerial chops. These skills never did fail him, even after he placed tabs of LSD on his tongue.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

It is not an exaggeration to say that the work of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg stands on the shoulders of Doug Engelbart. Yet Engelbart’s vision of the computing future was different from today’s reality. In the run-up to the demonstration, Bill English had enlisted the help of Whole Earth Catalog publisher Stewart Brand, who had produced the Acid Tests with Ken Kesey two years earlier. Engelbart felt that Brand might help make his show into a multimedia event. Kesey and Brand’s LSD festival had forever cemented San Francisco’s link to what Fred Turner in his book From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism describes as the New Communalists. Engelbart himself had taken acid twice under the supervision of a Stanford psychology PhD, Jim Fadiman, at the International Foundation for Advanced Study, the Bay Area research hub for academic LSD studies, which were legal until 1967.

Engelbart had built a working prototype of what we today would easily recognize as a contemporary Internet device—fifteen years before the introduction of the Apple Macintosh. The next year Engelbart took a team from the Stanford Research Institute to the Lama Foundation commune, north of Taos, New Mexico. It was Stewart Brand who suggested that Lama might provide an atmosphere, as John Markoff wrote, “to create a meeting of the minds between the NLS researchers and the counterculture community animated by the Whole Earth Catalog.” The land outside Taos was full of alternative communities—Morningstar East, Reality Construction Company, the Hog Farm, New Buffalo, and the Family, to name a few. Steve Durkee and Steve Baer, both disciples of Buckminster Fuller and close friends of Stewart Brand, ran Lama, and the architecture of the buildings hewed closely to Bucky Fuller’s geodesic dome design. Fuller believed that what society needed was not more specialization but a new type of generalist, whom he called a comprehensive designer.

CHAPTER ONE The Great Disruption “Don’t Be Evil” —Google motto 1. The beginnings of the technical and social revolution that Martin Luther King referenced in his 1968 sermon at the National Cathedral were under way even as he was speaking. The revolution began in the moral precepts of the counterculture: decentralize control and harmonize people. The earliest networks—like the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link (WELL), organized by Stewart Brand, the founder of The Whole Earth Catalog—grew directly out of 1960s counterculture. Brand had helped novelist Ken Kesey organize the Acid Tests—epic be-ins where thousands of hippies ingested LSD and danced to the music of a new band, the Grateful Dead. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer, Inc., dropped acid as well. “Jobs explained,” wrote John Markoff in his book What the Dormouse Said, “that he still believed that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life, and he said he felt that because people he knew well had not tried psychedelics, there were things about him they couldn’t understand.”


Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive History's Most Iconic Extinct Creature by Ben Mezrich

butterfly effect, Danny Hillis, double helix, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, microbiome, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Stewart Brand

While Church stood by the columns that were holding back the bull elephant, Brand wandered over to an odd-looking device that reached almost to his shoulders. As he was running his hands over its curved plastic, he realized it was designed to look like a female elephant’s rear end. “Uh, Stewart,” Brand heard Church mumble, but he was too busy trying to figure out the device. “Hold on a second. This is quite remarkable.” “Stewart.” “Ah,” Brand continued. “I think this is an insemination machine. The male elephant goes in here . . .” “Stewart!” Brand turned around and saw that the bull elephant had gone completely ballistic—his eyes rolled back, his feet pounding at the metal pins. He wanted to stomp Brand into dust. “I think you’re messing with his girlfriend,” Church said. Brand jumped back from the device, his face turning red.

George Church strolled along a dirt path that led up from where the car had first deposited his family after the short trip from the runways of San Francisco International Airport, SFO. He was momentarily by himself; Ting and Marie had fanned out in opposite directions as soon as they’d arrived, wanting to check out the natural streams and nearby little bodies of water that spotted the gentle slope leading up toward the two-story guest house. But Church was more interested in the pair of figures sitting in deck chairs on the unique building’s front porch. One of them, Stewart Brand, rose from his chair with a warm smile on his triangular face. Animated and angular, like an amiable praying mantis, long and trim, even at seventy-three, he had an overflowing level of kinetic energy. He was wearing a gray safari shirt covered in pockets and had a hunting knife strapped to his waist. Ryan Phelan, Brand’s wife, still seated, her blond hair pulled up in a ponytail, exuded the intelligence and confidence of a serial entrepreneur; she’d sold at least two successful biotech start-ups in the past decade, and had her fingers in a couple more.

But their moose, horses, bison, reindeer, and elk had proved that Pleistocene Park could work. Now they needed something much bigger, something much more ambitious to capture the world’s attention. As Zimov had said at the end of his presentation, “To fight the forest, instead of Mammoths we now use military tanks. Unfortunately, they don’t create dung.” The rest of the scientists had laughed, while Church exchanged looks with Stewart Brand and Ryan Phelan. The Russian scientist had just given them their reason to resurrect their species. CHAPTER FOURTEEN Excerpted from “The Wild Field Manifesto” by Sergey Zimov For hundreds of millions of years, terrestrial ecosystems were an arena of struggle between plants and herbivores. To avoid being eaten, plants protected themselves with thorns, tall heights, bitterness, acids, and sharp smells.


pages: 194 words: 49,310

Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand

Albert Einstein, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Eratosthenes, Extropian, fault tolerance, George Santayana, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, longitudinal study, low earth orbit, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, pensions crisis, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

“Time & Bits: Managing Digital Continuity” was sponsored by the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Information Institute, and The Long Now Foundation. Participants were Peter Lyman, Howard Besser, Danny Hillis, Brewster Kahle, Jaron Lanier, Doug Carlston, Kevin Kelly, Brian Eno, Stewart Brand, Margaret MacLean, and Ben Davis. A book of the proceedings is available from The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049. 3 Just to try out the 10,000-year perspective, the remainder of this book employs the five-figure year dates proposed in the previous chapter. OTHER WORKS BY STEWART BRAND: Whole Earth Catalog Two Cybernetic Frontiers The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built

Published by Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Books Group Copyright © 1999 by Stewart Brand All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, address Basic Books, 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016. A CIP catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. eISBN : 978-0-786-72292-1 Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page NOTIONAL CLOCK KAIROS AND CHRONOS MOORE’S WALL THE SINGULARITY RUSH THE LONG NOW THE ORDER OF CIVILIZATION OLD-TIME RELIGION CLOCK/LIBRARY BEN IS BIG THE WORLD’S SLOWEST COMPUTER BURNING LIBRARIES DEAD HAND ENDING THE DIGITAL DARK AGE 10,000-YEAR LIBRARY TRAGIC OPTIMISM FUTURISMO USES OF THE FUTURE USES OF THE PAST REFRAMING THE PROBLEMS SLOW SCIENCE THE LONG VIEW GENERATIONS SUSTAINED ENDEAVOR THE INFINITE GAME APPENDIX: ENGAGING CLOCK/LIBRARY AFTERWORD: JANUARY 02000 Notes Recommended Bibliography Acknowledgments Index Other Works by Stewart Brand NOTIONAL CLOCK Time and Responsibility.

eISBN : 978-0-786-72292-1 Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page NOTIONAL CLOCK KAIROS AND CHRONOS MOORE’S WALL THE SINGULARITY RUSH THE LONG NOW THE ORDER OF CIVILIZATION OLD-TIME RELIGION CLOCK/LIBRARY BEN IS BIG THE WORLD’S SLOWEST COMPUTER BURNING LIBRARIES DEAD HAND ENDING THE DIGITAL DARK AGE 10,000-YEAR LIBRARY TRAGIC OPTIMISM FUTURISMO USES OF THE FUTURE USES OF THE PAST REFRAMING THE PROBLEMS SLOW SCIENCE THE LONG VIEW GENERATIONS SUSTAINED ENDEAVOR THE INFINITE GAME APPENDIX: ENGAGING CLOCK/LIBRARY AFTERWORD: JANUARY 02000 Notes Recommended Bibliography Acknowledgments Index Other Works by Stewart Brand NOTIONAL CLOCK Time and Responsibility. What a prime subject for vapid truisms and gaseous generalities adding up to the world’s most boring sermon. To spare us both, let me tie this discussion to a specific device, specific responsibility mechanisms, and specific problems and cases. The main problems might be stated, How do we make long-term thinking automatic and common instead of difficult and rare? How do we make the taking of long-term responsibility inevitable?


pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

CAE’s “present enemy,” I have argued in part I of this book, is in fact distributed rather than centralized. Thus, it makes sense that any forces desiring to resist distributed power should themselves be adept at distributed strategies. I discuss this idea in what follows. 30. “The Victor Spoiled,” 2600 (Winter 1998–1999), p. 4, emphasis mine. 31. Stewart Brand, “SPACEWAR: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972, p. 51. 32. Stewart Brand, The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT (New York: Viking, 1987), p. 264. Chapter 5 160 CAE proposes a “nomadic” (rather than sedentary) model for resistance. The nomadic model “seeks to undermine the symbolic order with more ephemeral, process-oriented methods,”33 it writes. Different nomadic cells, or tiger teams, would coalesce around a specific problem, allowing resistance “to originate from many different points.”34 Then the team would dissolve.

As an introduction to the emergence of autonomous life forms in the material realm, let me first consider the theory of life that is known as the “anti-entropic” position. The anti-entropic position states, simply, that life is precisely that force that resists entropy. Entropy is the physical principle derived from thermodynamics that states that, in any given system, things will tend to “fall apart” or tend toward disorder. Moreover, entropy means that 72. This might also be dubbed the “computers don’t know shit” ideology. See Stewart Brand, “SPACEWAR: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972, p. 58. 73. Leopoldseder, “Forward,” p. 6. 74. Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter, “Forward,” Incorporations (New York: Zone, 1992), p. 13. 75. Crary and Kwinter, “Forward,” p. 13. Power 103 information, defined as any nonrandom measurement or quality, has a tendency to be forgotten. This physical principle is seen throughout nature: When something falls apart, the information about its organization is in essence forgotten and chaotic arrangement sets in in the form of decay.

Computers can change your life for the better.12 Several of Levy’s points dovetail with my earlier conclusions about protocol. Like the hacker’s access to computers, protocol is unlimited and total. Like the hacker’s mistrust of authority, protocol also seeks to eliminate arbitrary 9. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), p. ix. 10. This dictum is attributed to Stewart Brand, who wrote that “[o]n the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.” See Whole Earth Review, May 1985, p. 49. 11. Many hackers believe that commercial software products are less carefully crafted and therefore more prone to exploits.


pages: 371 words: 93,570

Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans

"side hustle", 4chan, Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, British Empire, colonial rule, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Doomsday Book, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, East Village, Edward Charles Pickering, game design, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, old-boy network, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pets.com, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, rolodex, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y2K

“Our vision was making technology accessible: Hardt-English, interview with the author, February 6, 2017. “My brother came to live with me”: Ibid. “one of the great hustles of modern times”: Stewart Brand, “SPACEWAR: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972. “She had this way of sort of screwing up”: Felsenstein, interview with the author, March 7, 2017. “Pamela was about the only person”: Jane R. Speiser, Roadmap of the Promised Land (Turin: Edizioni Angolo Manzoni, 2006), 45. “If people needed something”: Hardt-English, interview with the author, February 6, 2017. “half or more of computer science is heads”: Stewart Brand, II Cybernetic Frontiers (New York: Random House, 1974), 49–50. “magnificent men with their flying machines”: Ibid., 50. totems of a “regimented order”: Lee Felsenstein, “Community Memory: The First Public-Access Social Media System,” in Social Media Archaeology and Poetics, ed.

It doesn’t care about the signal’s nature. Meaning is our business; the computer is a mirror that reflects us back to ourselves, and whoever controls it molds the world in their image. This might be why the counterculture’s magazine of record, the Whole Earth Catalog, always printed the same coda on the cover of every issue: Access to tools. The year Resource One installed its computer, the Whole Earth Catalogue’s Stewart Brand pronounced that “half or more of computer science is heads.” Brand was inspired by the Bay Area’s constellation of forward-thinking research labs, the hacker groups gathering to play games after hours in university basements, and the scene developing at Resource One, and he wrote about computer science as the realm of mystics, sages, weirdos, or as he put it, “magnificent men with their flying machines, scouting a leading edge of technology.”

Although the Social Services Referral Directory has not been included in the prevailing mythologies about San Francisco as a place where hackers and hippies came together to create the future, it mattered in more practical ways. The directory connected an unseen and pointedly nontechnological segment of the population—social workers and families in need—until well into the twenty-first century. It’s not clear that the hackers, misfits, and “magnificent men” about which Stewart Brand wrote so enthusiastically would have come up with, or actively maintained, anything quite like the Social Services Referral Directory, which was an unglamorous, drudgery-intensive community service. Since its interface was a three-ring binder rather than a Teletype terminal, its true nature as a digital object remained invisible to all but those who maintained it, although the database was printed out only for the benefit of those without “access to tools.”


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Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman

algorithmic trading, Anton Chekhov, Apple II, Benoit Mandelbrot, citation needed, combinatorial explosion, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, digital map, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, HyperCard, Inbox Zero, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Parkinson's law, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, software studies, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Therac-25, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

., The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, anniversary ed. (Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1995; orig. pub. 1975), 53. It seems that this quote is a Latin proverb, misattributed to Ovid. a process of accretion: This term is also used in Homer-Dixon, The Ingenuity Gap. “Typically, outdated legacy systems”: Stewart Brand, The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 85. only gingerly poke it: From an essay by Stewart Brand: “Beyond the evanescence of data formats and digital storage media lies a deeper problem. Computer systems of large scale are at the core of driving corporations, public institutions, and indeed whole sectors of the economy. Over time, these gargantuan systems become dauntingly complex and unknowable, as new features are added, old bugs are worked around with layers of ‘patches,’ generations of programmers add new programming tools and styles, and portions of the system are repurposed to take on novel functions.

Isaac Asimov is reputed to have noted: Howard Wainer and Shaun Lysen, “That’s Funny,” American Scientist 97, no. 4 (2009): 272, http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/thats-funny. one way that new drugs are created: Dan Hurley, “Why Are So Few Blockbuster Drugs Invented Today?” The New York Times Magazine, November 13, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/magazine/why-are-there-so-few-new-drugs-invented-today.html. This point about what we can learn from testing pharmaceuticals was made to me by Edward Jung. Stewart Brand noted about legacy systems: Stewart Brand, The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 85. a partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island plant: Peter G. Neumann, Computer-Related Risks (New York: ACM Press, 1995), 122. elaborates on the structure of the pantheon: Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon (New York: Avon Books, 1999; repr. 2002), 802–3. Corky Ramirez: Note that in the episode “The Van Buren Boys,” someone is referred to as “Ramirez” in a bar (though I believe his name is stressed differently than Kramer’s pronunciation of Corky Ramirez).

In the case of computers, technological systems often rely on machinery that is no longer manufactured and code written in programming languages that have long since been retired. Many pieces of scientific software exist as legacy tools, often written in Fortran, a powerful but archaic programming language. Given the speed with which technology moves, reading Fortran is almost the computational equivalent of being well-versed in Middle English. To quote the Whole Earth Catalog creator Stewart Brand in The Clock of the Long Now: “Typically, outdated legacy systems make themselves so essential over the years that no one can contemplate the prolonged trauma of replacing them, and they cannot be fixed completely because the problems are too complexly embedded and there is no one left who understands the whole system.” When we are left with a slowly growing, glitch-ridden legacy system, we can only gingerly poke it into doing our bidding, because those who designed it are long gone.


pages: 467 words: 149,632

If Then: How Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, anti-communist, Buckminster Fuller, computer age, coronavirus, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, game design, George Gilder, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, index card, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, job automation, land reform, linear programming, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, Peter Thiel, profit motive, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

Popkin never knew quite why he’d been the subject of so much grand jury attention, and historians have never been able to figure it out, either.37 The 1972 election obscured a turning point in the history of technology: the beginning of personal computing and the unveiling of what would become the Internet. “Ready or not, computers are coming to the people,” Stewart Brand predicted in Rolling Stone in December 1972.38 Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate story. Stewart Brand broke the story of the coming computer revolution. Hardly anyone else noticed, at least not in 1972, a year when all eyes turned to what had happened in the Watergate Hotel, but very few paid attention to what had gone on in another Washington hotel, the Hilton. On October 24, 1972, at the first ever meeting of the International Conference on Computer Communication, in the ballroom of the Washington, D.C., Hilton, ARPANET, the network first imagined by J.C.R.

IP, Technologies of Freedom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 226–51. Brand as quoted in Lloyd S. Etheredge, “What’s Next? The Intellectual Legacy of Ithiel de Sola Pool,” in IP, Humane Politics and Methods of Inquiry, ed. Lloyd S. Etheredge (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2000), 301–16. Stewart Brand, The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at M.I.T. (New York: Viking, 1987), 18, 44, 214–19, 253, 267. Ibid., 33. Ibid., 183–84, 222–32. Stewart Brand, “We Owe It All to the Hippies,” Time, March 1, 1995. Esther Dyson, George Gilder, George Keyworth, and Alvin Toffler, Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age (Progress and Freedom Foundation, 1994). John Perry Barlow, “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace,” February 8, 1996.

Fuller was the great-nephew of the radical writer, transcendentalist, and social utopian Margaret Fuller, and his futurism borrowed from transcendentalism and attached to it a mid-twentieth-century vision of technological utopia, an imagined escape from the dour and deathly machines of the Cold War and into a new era in which machines would be designed, and put to use, for human fulfillment, a realization of bliss. “If man is to continue as a successful pattern-complex function in universal evolution,” Fuller wrote in 1960, “it will be because the next decades will have witnessed the artist-scientist’s spontaneous seizure of the prime design responsibility and his successful conversion of the total capability of tool-augmented man from killingry to advanced livingry.” For Stewart Brand, an LSD advocate and one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, the commune answered the atomization of Cold War America. But communal living required tools, a taking back of the machine. In 1968, from his base in Menlo Park, California, Brand launched the Whole Earth Catalog, with the motto “access to tools.” (“The insights of Buckminster Fuller are what initiated this catalog,” Brand wrote in its inaugural issue.)40 In 1972, when ARPANET made its debut, Brand celebrated the liberation of the computer from big business.


pages: 224 words: 91,918

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

Asilomar, Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, edge city, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, stakhanovite, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen

And, oh yeah, there's a long-barreled Colt .45 revolver in her hand, only nobody on the street can tell it's a cap pistol as she pegs away, kheeew, kheeew, at the erupting marshmallow faces like Debra Paget in ... in ... —Kesey's coming out of jail! Two more things they are looking at out there are a sign on the rear bumper reading "Custer Died for Your Sins" and, at the wheel, Lois's enamorado Stewart Brand, a thin blond guy with a blazing disk on his forehead too, and a whole necktie made of Indian beads. No shirt, however, just an Indian bead necktie on bare skin and a white butcher's coat with medals from the King of Sweden on it. Here comes a beautiful one, attaché case and all, the day-is-done resentful look and the ... shoes—how they shine!—and what the hell are these beatnik ninnies—and Lois plugs him in the old marshmallow and he goes streaming and bouncing down the hill...

Back in New York City, Black Maria, I tell you, I am even known as something of a dude. But somehow a blue silk blazer and a big tie with clowns on it and ... a ... pair of shiny lowcut black shoes don't set them all to doing the Varsity Rag in the head world in San Francisco. Lois picks off the marshmallows one by one; Cool Breeze ascends into the innards of his gnome's hat; Black Maria, a Scorpio herself, rummages through the Zodiac; Stewart Brand winds it through the streets; paillettes explode—and this is nothing special, just the usual, the usual in the head world of San Francisco, just a little routine messing up the minds of the citizenry en route, nothing more than psyche food for beautiful people, while giving some guy from New York a lift to the Warehouse to wait for the Chief, Ken Kesey, who is getting out of jail. ABOUT ALL I KNEW ABOUT KESEY AT THAT POINT WAS THAT HE was a highly regarded 31-year-old novelist and in a lot of trouble over drugs.

I soon found out that the head life in San Francisco was already such a big thing that Kesey's return and his acid graduation plan were causing the heads' first big political crisis. All eyes were on Kesey and his group, known as the Merry Pranksters. Thousands of kids were moving into San Francisco for a life based on LSD and the psychedelic thing. Thing was the major abstract word in Haight-Ashbury. It could mean anything, isms, life styles, habits, leanings, causes, sexual organs; thing and freak; freak referred to styles and obsessions, as in "Stewart Brand is an Indian freak" or "the zodiac—that's her freak," or just to heads in costume. It wasn't a negative word. Anyway, just a couple of weeks before, the heads had held their first big "be-in" in Golden Gate Park, at the foot of the hill leading up into Haight-Ashbury, in mock observance of the day LSD became illegal in California. This was a gathering of all the tribes, all the communal groups.


pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, c2.com, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

New York: HarperCollins, p. 34. 83 slum at its peak in the 1880s: Robert Neuwirth. (2006) Shadow Cities. New York: Routledge. 83 “this serves all the purposes of the family”: Ibid., p. 177. 83 “bona fide legal title to their land”: Ibid., p. 198. 83 “half a dozen tents or shanties”: Ibid., p. 197. 84 “Cities are wealth creators”: Stewart Brand. (2009) Whole Earth Discipline. New York: Viking, p. 25. 84 “nearly 9 in 10 new patented innovations”: Ibid., p. 32. 84 “GNP growth occurs in cities”: Ibid., p. 31. 84 “in the city at least six years”: Mike Davis. (2006) Planet of Slums. London: Verso, p. 36. 85 but 94 percent of their kids were literate: Stewart Brand. (2009) Whole Earth Discipline. New York: Viking, pp. 42-43. 85 “Discomfort is an investment”: Ibid., p. 36. 85 “get education for her children”: Ibid., p. 26. 86 “more options for their future”: Donovan Webster. (2005) “Empty Quarter.”

The ragpickers and resellers and scavengers all live in the slums and scour the rest of the city for scraps to assemble into shelter and to feed their economy. Slums are the skin of the city, its permeable edge that can balloon as it grows. The city as a whole is a wonderful technological invention that concentrates the flow of energy and minds into computer chip-like density. In a relatively small footprint, a city not only provides living quarters and occupations in a minimum of space, but it also generates a maximum of ideas and inventions. Stewart Brand notes in the “City Planet” chapter of his book Whole Earth Discipline, “Cities are wealth creators; they have always been.” He quotes urban theorist Richard Florida, who claims that forty of the largest megacities in the world, home to 18 percent of the world’s population, “produce two-thirds of global economic output and nearly 9 in 10 new patented innovations.” A Canadian demographer calculated that “80 to 90 percent of GNP growth occurs in cities.”

As Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City (about Mumbai), says, “Why would anyone leave a brick house in the village with its two mango trees and its view of small hills in the East to come here?” Then he answers: “So that someday the eldest son can buy two rooms in Mira Road, at the northern edges of the city. And the younger one can move beyond that, to New Jersey. Discomfort is an investment.” Then Mehta continues: “For the young person in an Indian village, the call of Mumbai isn’t just about money. It’s also about freedom.” Stewart Brand recounts this summation of the magnetic pull of cities by activist Kavita Ramdas: “In the village, all there is for a woman is to obey her husband and relatives, pound millet, and sing. If she moves to town, she can get a job, start a business, and get education for her children.” The Bedouin of Arabia were once seemingly the freest people on Earth, roaming the great Empty Quarter at will, under a tent of stars and no one’s thumb.


pages: 520 words: 129,887

Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce

addicted to oil, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Menlo Park, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Title=Solar-plant-set-to-open-even-as-shadows-loom. 28 Energy Information Administration, “Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets 2007,” April 2008, http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/subsidy08.pdf, xvi. 29 Ibid. 30 Simon Lomax, “Nuclear Industry ‘Restart’ Means More Loan Guarantees, Chu Says,” Bloomberg, October 27, 2009, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601072&sid=aR1MVERYEgAs. 31 This is commonly called the Price-Anderson Act. For more, see Wikipedia, “Price Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price-Anderson_Nuclear_Industries_Indemnity_Act. 32 David Bradish, “Amory Lovins vs. Stewart Brand—Part Four,” NEI Nuclear Notes, November 16, 2009, http://neinuclearnotes.blogspot.com/2009/11/amory-lovins-vs-stewart-brand-part-four.html#links. 33 Note that the total in this report includes petroleum liquids. The EIA’s official statistics on electricity generation show that in 2007, natural gas total generation was 896.5 billion kilowatt-hours. See Energy Information Administration, “Net Generation by Energy Source by Type of Producer,” http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epat1p1.html. 34 Recall that wind gets $23.37 per megawatt-hour, and gas gets $0.25.

Today, 90 percent of the horsepower we use (or, if you prefer, 9 out of every 10 watts) comes from the burning of oil, natural gas, and coal.3 And the key attribute of hydrocarbons is their reliability. Renewable energy is dandy, but it simply cannot provide the gargantuan quantities of always-available power that we demand at prices we can afford. The production of electricity from the wind and the sun will continue growing rapidly in the years ahead. But those sources are incurably intermittent. As Stewart Brand, the environmental activist and creator of the Whole Earth Catalog, put it during a lecture in mid-2009, “wind and solar can’t help because we don’t have a way to store that energy.”4 Given our inability to store the energy that comes from wind and solar, those sources will remain bit players in our overall energy mix for the foreseeable future. After two decades of studying the energy business, I believe those points about energy and power are self-evident.

They allow us to enjoy mountains, plains, and deserts without having our views obstructed or disturbed by spinning wind turbines, sprawling solar arrays, towering transmission lines, or miles of monocultured crops. As the architect Witold Rybczynski wrote in Atlantic Monthly in an essay expounding the environmental benefits of cities, “density is green.”27 Rybczynski’s endorsement of cities echoes that of Stewart Brand, who, in his latest book, the Whole Earth Discipline, argues that cities, and even densely populated slums, provide a path out of poverty for millions of people. Brand says that “cities are probably the greenest things that humans do.”28 Embracing the density of cities make sense. And to properly fuel them, we need energy sources with the highest possible densities. Energy projects with small footprints are not only green, they reduce the potential for NIMBY objections.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

We saw that our parents had gone straight, and communes clearly weren’t the answer—but there was this entire new, uncharted world of “cyberspace” that was ours for the making. The connection wasn’t just metaphorical. The emerging Internet culture of the time was heavily influenced by the New Communalism movement of the 1960s, as Fred Turner writes in From Counterculture to Cyberculture, a history of digital utopianism.1 Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, laid out the connections between the counterculture and the personal computer revolution in an essay called “We Owe It All to the Hippies,” in a 1995 special issue of Time magazine called “Welcome to Cyberspace.”2 The early Internet was deeply groovy. By my junior year, I could make a web page or spin up a web server or write code in six different programming languages.

What would happen when it inevitably gets shot out of the sky by a freaked-out homeowner with a gun? Only a technochauvinist would imagine that a tacocopter is better than the human-based system that we have now. If you ask Siri if tacocopters are a good idea, she will look up that phrase for you online. What you’ll get are a bunch of news articles about the tacocopter, including one from Wired magazine (more on that publication and one of its founders, Stewart Brand, in chapter 6) that debunks the concept more fully than I have done here. The founder admits it’s logistically impossible, not least because of FAA regulations on the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles. But, she claims, keeping the vision of the idea alive is still important. “Like what cyberpunk did for the internet,” she says. “Mull the possibilities, give people things to think about.”4 What seems to be missing here is a more complete vision of what a world with functioning tacocopters would be like.

“The person would come for a week or two, we’d pay them enough to live on, and then they’d go away if they didn’t hit it off. I don’t remember ever making a decision to tell someone to go away. It’s really very bizarre, but this was a self-energizing community. These hackers had their own language. They could get things done in three days that would take a month. If somebody appeared who had the talent, the magic touch, they would fit in.” The TMRC and Minsky’s lab were later immortalized in Stewart Brand’s The Media Lab and Steven Levy’s Hackers: The Heroes of the Computer Revolution, in addition to many other publications.6 The hacker ethic is also what inspired Mark Zuckerberg’s first Facebook motto: “Move fast and break things.” Minsky was part of Zuckerberg’s curriculum at Harvard. Minsky and a collaborator, John McCarthy, organized the very first conference on artificial intelligence, at the Dartmouth Math Department in 1956.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

“Xerox Plans Laboratory for Research in California,” The New York Times, March 24, 1970, 89. 6. Lynn Conway, “Reminiscences of the VLSI Revolution,” IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine 4, no. 4 (Fall 2012): 12. Immediately prior to PARC, Conway had worked briefly for Ed Zschau at System Industries. 7. Stewart Brand, “Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972, 33–39; Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2006), 118. 8. A definitive profile of Taylor at PARC is found in Leslie Berlin, Troublemakers: Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017), 89–106. 9. Swaine and Freiberger, Fire in the Valley, 102–06. 10.

There was Pam Hardt, a Berkeley computer science dropout and co-founder of a San Francisco commune called Resource One; she secured a “long-term loan” of an aging SDS minicomputer, settled it in the commune’s living room, and made it the mothership of a time-shared bulletin-board system called Community Memory. There was Bob Albrecht, an engineer who quit his corporate gig at supercomputer maker Control Data Corporation to join an educational nonprofit called the Portola Institute, a far-ranging collective operated on a shoestring. Portola spawned the bible of the techno-counterculture, the Whole Earth Catalog, created by artist, utopian, and “happening” impresario Stewart Brand. High-tech met hippiedom on the Catalog’s pages, which featured fringed buckskin jackets and camp stoves alongside scientific calculators. Its motto: “Access to Tools.”13 Albrecht’s project was the People’s Computer Company, started in 1972 as a walk-in storefront for computer training, accompanied by a loose and loopy newsletter “about having fun with computers.” Festooned with hand-drawn dragons and off-kilter typesetting, the PCC had the rangy look and feel of an underground tabloid like the Berkeley Barb (where Felsenstein had become a staff writer).

While Esalen had meditation and encounter sessions, Engelbart used computers to, as his friend Paul Saffo later put it, “create a new home for the mind.”3 Engelbart’s December 1968 demo had been a revelation and an inspiration to the clan of Bay Area programmers and visionaries who were thinking about computers as tools for work, education, and play. Dean Brown’s lab used Engelbart’s mouse to test how computers augmented student learning. The event also brought new converts to the movement, notably Stewart Brand, who had joined the demo team as a journeyman videocam operator, and left having been turned on to the power of networked computing. Brand and Albrecht’s collaboration, the Portola Institute, and the Whole Earth Catalog followed. The demo “quite literally branched the course of computing off the course it had been going for the previous ten years,” remembered Saffo, “and things have never quite been the same again.”4 THE IDEA FACTORY Not too long after, three thousand miles away from the robot-trolled halls of SRI, a group of corporate executives were sitting in a wood-paneled office, trying to figure out where the next generation of their company’s products would come from.


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

“is admired by a large class of persons as a sage”: “John Stuart Mill Quote,” LibQuotes, accessed March 25, 2019, https://libquotes.com/john-stuart-mill/quote/lbn8u1p. “When things are improving we know we are on the right track”: Bjørn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 5. Stewart Brand explained how implausible this is: Stewart Brand, “We Are Not Edging Up to a Mass Extinction,” Aeon, accessed March 25, 2019, https://aeon.co/essays/we-are-not-edging-up-to-a-mass-extinction. documented extinctions are relatively rare… in the past fifty years: Douglas J. McCauley, Malin L. Pinsky, Stephen R. Palumbi, James A. Estes, Francis H. Joyce, and Robert R. Warner, “Marine Defaunation: Animal Loss in the Global Ocean,” Science 347, no. 6219 (2015), 1255641.

Join our mailing list to get updates on new releases, deals, recommended reads, and more from Simon & Schuster. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP Already a subscriber? Provide your email again so we can register this ebook and send you more of what you like to read. You will continue to receive exclusive offers in your inbox. To my mother, Nancy, who showed her children the world and taught them to love it We are as gods and might as well get good at it. —Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, 1968 INTRODUCTION README Listen! I will be honest with you, I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes —Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road,” 1856 We have finally learned how to tread more lightly on our planet. It’s about time. For just about all of human history our prosperity has been tightly coupled to our ability to take resources from the earth.

Most members of the back-to-the-land movement, which gained momentum in the 1960s and ’70s, were comparatively affluent and well educated. They came from urban or suburban backgrounds. Before they went back to the land they had little experience in getting food from it, or in other forms of rural self-sufficiency. If this population was going to have any chance at success with homesteading they needed both knowledge and tools. The iconic writer, entrepreneur, and organizer Stewart Brand set out to provide both. In 1968 he christened a Dodge truck the Whole Earth Truck Store and took it on a “commune road trip” to educate back-to-the-landers about the best tools and techniques for sowing a field, drilling a well, and other important tasks. He also began producing a catalog, an early issue of which had Earthrise on its cover. The Whole Earth Catalog quickly became a huge hit.


pages: 134 words: 22,616

Cool Tools in the Kitchen by Kevin Kelly, Steven Leckart

Community Supported Agriculture, crowdsourcing, Kevin Kelly, new economy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

The most effective sharpener I know is also the easiest to use—just carve straight down on the V of slender stones, a stroke on one side, a stroke on the other. The stones are triangular, so you can use either the flat side or the angle (which permits sharpening serrated blades such as bread knives). Spyderco has had the leading product for 20 years and now has a new improved “Sharpmaker” that looks pretty good. — Stewart Brand Spyderco Sharpmaker $54 Available from Amazon Inexpensive Great Chef Knife Forschner Victorinox Chef’s Knife A really great chef’s knife is insanely sharp, yet retains its edge easily and feels well-balanced and welcoming in your hand. These days, a decent high-grade chef’s knife can cost $100-$200. Several cooking publications, including Cook’s Illustrated, recently tested a bargain $30 chef’s knife that rated just about as good as the $100-plus knives.

However Cool Tools started even earlier, in 2000, as an email list run by Kevin Kelly, a founding editor of Wired Magazine and, prior to that, publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog and its quarterly journal. The Whole Earth Catalog was a reader-written publication, with no ads, long before the web. Much of Cool Tools’ DNA stems from the passionate amateur’s spirit of the Catalog. As Catalog founder Stewart Brand wrote in in the first Whole Earth Catalog in 1969: An item is listed in the CATALOG if it is deemed: Useful as a tool, Relevant to independent education, High quality or low cost, Easily available by mail. We continue to uphold this standard and sense of community. It is that lineage which attracted me to Cool Tools in 2007, when I became its editor. Web culture is obsessed with the latest and, supposedly, greatest.

Carlson, David Jacoby, David King, Debora Dekok, Dudley Irish, Ellen Rocco, Ethan Stettner, Gareth Branwyn, Ginger Cooper, J. P. Roosma, Jay Allison, Jeff Jewell, Jeff Zimmerman, Jim Rubel, Jon Braun, Jon Margolis, Kelly Spitzer, Kurt Bollacker, Mark D. Esswein, Mark Frauenfelder, Marsh Gardiner, Matt Field, Michael Ham, Michael Krakovskiy, Michael Raab, Patrick Handley, Paul Knuth, Paul Saffo, Pen Duby, Raquel Maria Dillon, Rene, Robert Narracci, Sam Putman, Sessalee Hensley, Steve Allen, Steve Golden, Stewart Brand, Ted Boydston, Tim Plumley, Tom Lundin, Tom Streeter, Walter Susong III. In addition, there are a handful of other people who’ve had a hand in keeping Cool Tools alive and well: Oliver Hulland is the site’s current editor; Wayne Bremser masterfully implements all changes to our CMS (Movable Type). Over the years, Cool Tools has been helmed by these previous editors: Elon Schoenholz, Bruce Sterling, and Charles Platt.


pages: 289 words: 112,697

The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris

back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, index card, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, off grid, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

The NEW VILLAGE GREEN 151 7 WHOLE EARTH CATALOG “ Civilization’s shortening attention span is mismatched with the pace of environmental problems. . . Environmental health requires peace, prosperity, and continuity.” — Stewart Brand 152 T he original Whole Earth Catalog was not “given” to me; it was “laid on” me by someone who had moved on to a newer edition. It was dog-eared then. It’s more dog-eared now. It has survived more than forty years of moves and life changes. The publication of the Whole Earth Catalog was fueled by new technology. The IBM Selectric typewriter now had changeable type fonts, bringing the world of typesetting, hitherto the exclusive province of printers and publishers, into the home. That was enough to convince a bunch of Berkeley counterculture mavens that the time was right to reinvent publishing. Stewart Brand enlisted family members, design instructor J. Baldwin, Kevin Kelly, and others to identify products, organizations, and services that passed the criteria of being useful as a tool, relevant to independent education, high quality or low cost, and easily available by mail.

But safe, nontoxic alternatives exist for nearly every real need around the home, and the search for them may help consumers distinguish between what they really do need, and what may be “luxuries” that could compromise their famSea-squirt ilies’ health. The NEW VILLAGE GREEN 205 Whole Earth Catalog The New Village Library How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built. Stewart Brand. Viking, 1994. The Clock of the Long Now. Stewart Brand. Basic Books, 1999. The Natural House: A Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy-Efficient, Environmental Homes. Dan Chiras. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2001. Earth Sheltered Houses: How to Build an Affortable Underground Home. Rob Roy. New Society Publishers, 2006. The New Independent Home: People and Houses that Harvest the Sun. Michael Potts. Chelsea Green Publishing, 1999.

. — Bill McKibben, author & activist When a decision is made to cope with the symptoms of a problem, it is generally assumed that the corrective measures will solve the problem itself.They seldom do. Bioregionalism, in combination with deep ecology, is the most important ecological idea of our time. — Kirkpatrick Sale, author and director of the Middlebury Institute All historians understand that they must never, ever talk about the future. — Stewart Brand, jack of all trades, master of more than a few The anti-nature attitude in our culture comes from some very respectable sources. — Euell Gibbons, forager The New Village Green is a testament that life endures, even flourishes... Do we know the factors that support community, enhance civility, and achieve sustainability. Read this book and find out. — Paul Freundlich, Founder and President Emeritus of Co-op America N EW S OCIETY P UBLISHERS C ATA L O G I N G IN P U B L I C AT I O N D ATA : A catalog record for this publication is available from the National Library of Canada.


pages: 226 words: 71,540

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker

4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

We routinely read and say things that we’d never say in real life. When someone lets loose with a string of expletives in a comments section I roll my eyes and keep scrolling. But if someone said those things to me on the street my heart would stop. During the early days on the Internet, there were no agreed-upon standards of etiquette. Templeton helped to define the way people would behave for decades to come. The Virtual Community: The Well In 1985 Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant founded the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link, or WELL. The WELL was made up of a new breed of techno-utopian ex-hippies who’d been experimenting with communal living and other alternative lifestyles. These baby boomers had grown up a bit, and where their ’60s brethren had failed, they believed they’d succeed, with the power of network technology. It was all very back-to-the-earth, but with a focus on the power of computing.

Back then it wasn’t so glamorous, and Cliff doesn’t have a whole lot of nostalgia for those days. He’s quick to point out how much a pain in the neck running the WELL could be. And he quickly dispels any image of the pre-AOL Internet as an anarchic proto-4chan. I only had to ban one person in ten years at the Well. It was too expensive and difficult to dial in; the people who were there had a good reason to be there. We were very friendly, but very hands off. I asked Stewart Brand, cofounder of the WELL and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, about the nature of anonymity in an effort to draw parallels between 4chan and the infancy of the Internet. Unlike other Internet communities of the day, the WELL forced identity on its users. Stewart attributes the success of the community to “continuity of community and absence of anonymity”—what he calls “the main preventatives of destructive flaming.”

After a while we did experiment with one anonymous conference, and it was so immediately destructive it was shut down within the week by popular demand. Where Usenet had newsgroups, the WELL had “conferences,” subject areas devoted to computing, religion, politics, whatever. The community was like the Wild West in the sense that it was writing the rules as it went along. This new territory didn’t have any mores. One defining maxim that Stewart Brand coined for the WELL was, “You own your own words,” which reinforced personal responsibility. Cliff told me a story about cantaloupes and how this early community dealt with unsubstantiated claims. Just after I was named Director of the WELL in August 1986, one of the WELL’s earliest members openly discussed her idea of starting an online news service using USENET (not the WELL) as her platform.


pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

I have clearly chosen the wrong seat. But, as the conversation behind me drifts towards the frame-shifting potential of alien civilisations, I reflect that my own chosen topic, on this trip to California, is hardly less fantastical. Nanotechnology, at first glance, sounds much like science fiction. Yet it seems likely that it will radically reshape our future. At least, that’s what future commentator and ‘eco-pragmatist’ Stewart Brand believes: ‘The science is good, the engineering feasible, the paths of approach are many, the consequences are revolutionary-times-revolutionary, and the schedule is: in our lifetimes.’ Brand wrote that in 1991. Today nanotechnology is infiltrating nearly every sphere of human endeavour, from health care to construction. It has the potential to end industrial capitalism, revolutionise energy production, boost the power of medicine, deal a death-blow to nearly any resource crisis and ask you to review your relationship with your cleaning habits.

We want more of the land, food, minerals, labour or fuel, and suddenly there isn’t enough. Nations try to ring-fence sufficient resources and sometimes that means taking them from someone else. As the population rises we have two choices: find a way to increase carrying capacity; or fight (justifying the latter with some form of ideology). But what has this to do with nanotechnology? The same Stewart Brand who suggested the impacts of nanotechnology would be ‘revolutionary-times-revolutionary’ provides a link in his book Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto: Peace can break out, though, when carrying capacity is pushed up suddenly, as with the invention of agriculture, or newly effective bureaucracy, or remote trade or technological breakthroughs. Nanotechnology can potentially (and dramatically) increase carrying capacity and, crucially, the distribution of resources – because everyone has the raw materials needed to make whatever they need, including food.

Most of us are familiar with this trend in the way computer-processing power has skyrocketed (‘a billionfold since I was a student,’ he says) but this rapid doubling can be found operating in many other places too. Its significance stems from the fact that each tool we build gives us a better platform on which to build its successor. Computers, for instance, allow us to design more powerful computers than themselves. This phenomenon is called ‘autocatalysis,’ where the output of a process can be fed back into the process itself, spurring it on. In the opening chapter of Whole Earth Discipline, Stewart Brand gives a useful perspective: Not all technologies are autocatalytic: New discoveries don’t make every technology advance faster. Progress in automobile technology and wind technology makes better cars and wind generators but not better tools for the engineering itself. The current autocatalytic technologies that goose themselves into exponential growth are infotech (including computers, communications, and artificial intelligence), biotech, and nanotech (which is blurring into biotech).


Howard Rheingold by The Virtual Community Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier-Perseus Books (1993)

Apple II, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, commoditize, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, experimental subject, George Gilder, global village, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, license plate recognition, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Oldenburg, rent control, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telepresence, The Great Good Place, The Hackers Conference, urban decay, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, young professional

Although dramatic incidents are what bring people together and stick in their memories, most of what goes on in the Parenting conference and most virtual communities is informal conversation and downright chitchat. The model of the WELL and other social clusters in cyberspace as "places" is one that naturally emerges whenever people who use this medium discuss the nature of the medium. In 1987, Stewart Brand quoted me in his book The Media Lab about what tempted me to log onto the WELL as often as I did: "There's always another mind there. It's like having the corner bar, complete with old buddies and delightful newcomers and new tools waiting to take home and fresh graffiti and letters, except instead of putting on my coat, shutting down the computer, and walking down to the corner, I just invoke my telecom program and there they are.

HLR http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/2.html Introduction Chapter One: The Heart of the WELL Chapter Two: Daily Life in Cyberspace: How the Computerized Counterculture Built a New Kind of Place Chapter Three: Visionaries and Convergences: The Accidental History of the Net Chapter Four: Grassroots Groupminds Chapter Five: Multi-user Dungeons and Alternate Identities Chapter Six: Real-time Tribes Chapter Seven: Japan and the Net Chapter Eight: Telematique and Messageries Rose: A Tale of Two Virtual Communities Chapter Nine: Electronic Frontiers and Online Activists Chapter Ten: Disinformocracy Bibliography Chapter Two: Daily Life in Cyberspace: How the Computerized Counterculture Built a New Kind of Place I was still toting around my 1969 edition of the Whole Earth Catalog when I read an article about a new computer service that Whole Earth publisher Stewart Brand and his gang were starting in the spring of 1985. For only $3 an hour, people with computers and modems could have access to the kind of online groups that cost five or ten times that much on other public telecommunication systems. I signed up for an account. I had previously suffered the initiation of figuring out how to plug in a modem and use it to connect to computer bulletin-board systems, or BBSs, and the Source (an early public information utility), so I was only a little dismayed that I had to learn a whole new set of commands to find my way through the software to the people.

A bunch of intelligent misfits have found each other, and now 26-04-2012 21:42 howard rheingold's | the virtual community 3 de 27 http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/2.html you're having a high old time." The shock of recognition that came with that statement seemed to resolve the matter between us. The WELL is rooted in the San Francisco Bay area and in two separate cultural revolutions that took place there in past decades. The Whole Earth Catalog originally emerged from the Haight-Ashbury counterculture as Stewart Brand's way of providing access to tools and ideas to all the communards who were exploring alternate ways of life in the forests of Mendocino or the high deserts outside Santa Fe. The Whole Earth Catalogs and the magazines they spawned--Co-Evolution Quarterly and its successor, Whole Earth Review--seem to have outlived the counterculture itself, since the magazine and catalogs still exist after twenty-five years.


pages: 431 words: 129,071

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

‘But that’s like having an exotic office without a telephone or door,’ replied Engelbart. Jobs, he said, just ignored him. Much of the spirit of Engelbart’s wider vision would be carried into the future by the man who was not only an invited speaker, along with Vasco, at Esalen’s bad-tempered ‘Spiritual Tyranny’ conference, but who acted as consultant and cameraman for the 1968 demo. To Engelbart’s technology, Stewart Brand would add the humanist-neoliberal ideology that still drives our computer culture today. The month following the demo saw the first proper publication of Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, whose headquarters was blocks from Engelbart’s lab. Open the cover of this esoteric bazaar of products and philosophies and you’d see its mission statement. Declaring ‘we are as gods and might as well get good at it’, it hailed a future in which ‘a realm of intimate, personal power is developing – power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested.’

For ‘open’ read ‘free’: markets free of regulation; business free to do whatever it pleased; individual women and men ‘free’ to play the neoliberal game of life. On paper, many members of GBN were libertarians, which is the political ideology most often associated with Ayn Rand and her followers. In practice, libertarianism and neoliberalism have a huge amount in common, not least in their core belief in the benevolence of free markets, and their hatred of central planning and the state. Alan Greenspan called himself a libertarian, as did many of Stewart Brand’s associates. Wired Magazine, which would do perhaps more than any other title to promote his worldview to the public, was partly funded by the GBN and co-founded by libertarian Louis Rosetto. (A 1994 edition covered the GBN itself, depicting the people in its network visually as a series of interconnected hubs – the member with the most connections of all was Esalen’s Michael Murphy.) Between them, the GBN, the Whole Earth Network and Wired Magazine were fantastically successful in popularizing this neoliberal vision for the digital future during the 1990s.

In 2008, this already intensely competitive, status-obsessed neoliberal realm collided with a global economic catastrophe. In the fallout of the financial crisis, even greater pressure was placed on the ordinary Western individual. The age of perfectionism was here. * My train passed through Menlo Park, where John Vasconcellos had recuperated following his heart bypass operation, where Doug Engelbart had developed his astonishing vision of personal computing and where Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth organization had been headquartered. It rolled through Palo Alto, home of Stanford University and Xerox PARC and then Mountain View, where Engelbart got his first job in the Valley, and which is now Googleland. The neighbourhoods were disappointingly ordinary to look at: blocks of bungalows – terracotta, dun, dusty white – with outsized SUVs in their drives. In the yards, great palm trees that had overgrown their plots gave the landscape a strangely hairy appearance.


From Satori to Silicon Valley: San Francisco and the American Counterculture by Theodore Roszak

Buckminster Fuller, germ theory of disease, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet Archive, Marshall McLuhan, megastructure, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

DELACORTE PRESS for "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" by Richard Brautigan, copyright 1968. Excerpted from The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, reprinted by permission of Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, New York. DOUBLEDAY & CO. for Hackers by Steven Levy, copyright 1984. PRAEGER PUBLISHERS Society, edited for quote by Bill Voyd from Shelter and by Paul Oliver, copyright 1969. SAN FRANCISCO FOCUS MAGAZINE view with Stewart Brand in the for quotes from an inter- February 1985 issue. SAN FRANCISCO ORACLE for quotes from issues #6, 1967, and #12, 1967. Reprinted with permission of Allan Cohen, Editor. ST. MARTIN'S PRESS for Buckminster Fuller, An Autobiographical Monologue!Scenario by Robert Snyder, copyright 1970. ST. MARTIN'S PRESS copyright 1978. for Children of Prosperity by Hugh Gardner, The Times They Are A-Changing A shortened version of this essay was presented at San Francisco State University Alvin Fine Lecture. 1985 as the in April A few weeks before the event, student in the Public Affairs Office called arrange some campus publicity.

man who in- was already on board a Fuller had a long, long His prefabricated Dymaxion House of the late twenties (also called "the four dimensional liv- ing machine") dates back to the grandparents of the countercultural ward, his generation. story life From that point went through many ups and downs; but there can be no question (when Fuller was in his seventies) Not only did he make the magazine (in that the sixties were his zenith. front cover of Time 1964) but he became one of the pro- phetical voices of the starting with a American counterculture - prolonged campus residency Jose State College that brought in early 1966. for- Thanks to that 18 him to the at San Bay Area appearance and subse- him quently to the prominence Stewart Brand gave in the Whole Earth Catalog, was launched on and most spectacular phase of the final On Fuller his career. the first page of the Catalog, the full corpus of Fuller's works was generously presented under the inscription: "the insights of itiated this catalog." became From Buckminster Fuller in- that point forward, Fuller the necessary presence at New Age confer- ences, symposia, and workshops: a sort of peripatetic global wizard audience down who might tie his awe-inspired for four or five hours at a stretch while he recited the history of the universe.


A People’s History of Computing in the United States by Joy Lisi Rankin

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, computer age, corporate social responsibility, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Howard Zinn, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pink-collar, profit motive, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, wikimedia commons

In addition to the prominence of My Computer Likes Me and The Limits to Growth, the Huntington Computer Proj­ect (to which I’ll turn momentarily)—­w ith programs for students and educators written in BASIC and distributed by DEC —­developed simulations about pollution and population modeling. A subset of the Bay Area population at the intersection of technology and counterculture cared deeply about computing and the environment. Albrecht helped launch the loose computing education division of the Portola Institute, which employed Stewart Brand, the f­ather of the quin­tes­sen­ tial countercultural publication the Whole Earth Cata­log.107 The Whole Earth Cata­log was favored by ­t hose interested in (among other ­things) ecol­ogy, the environment, and back-­to-­the-­earth communes. Albrecht mirrored ­t hese issues in My Computer Likes Me when he noted about population that “if the pres­ent growth rate persists,” ­t here would be “too many” ­people.108 The first edition of My Computer Likes Me was snapped up during 1972, the same year that Albrecht expanded his paired BASIC-­and-­ people-­computing mission with the publication of the ­People’s Computer Com­pany.

See, especially, Arthur Norberg, Judy O’Neill, and Kerry Freedman, Transforming Computer Technology: Information Pro­ cessing for the Pentagon, 1962–1986 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996) and Atsushi Akera, Calculating a Natu­ral World: Scientists, Engineers, and Computers during the Rise of U.S. Cold War Research (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007). Accounts that highlight the role of the counterculture in personal computing’s origins include Fred Turner’s From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006) and John Markoff’s What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture S ­ haped the Personal Computer Industry (New York: Viking Penguin, 2005). 5. ­T hese works include Susan Rosegrant and David Lampe, Route 128: Lessons from Boston’s High-­Tech Community (New York: Basic Books, 1992); 245 246 Notes to Pages 3–5 AnnaLee Saxenian, Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994); Christophe Lécuyer, Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930–1970 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006); and Barry Katz, Make It New: The History of Silicon Valley Design (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015).

Kemeny and Kurtz, The Dartmouth Time-­Sharing Computing System, 8. 55. John M. Nevison, The Computer as Pupil: The Dartmouth Secondary School Proj­ect, Final Report, October 1970, 16, Dartmouth College History Collection, Rauner Library. 56. Student version of Spacewar! in NSF-­Dartmouth Secondary School Proj­ect Monthly Bulletin 3, no. 2 (1969): 7–8, reprinted in Nevison, The Computer as Pupil, appendix C. For more on Spacewar!, see Stewart Brand, “SPACEWAR: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death among the Computer Bums,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972. 262 Notes to Pages 85–87 57. “LOVE Program,” in NSF-­Dartmouth Secondary School Proj­ect Monthly Bulletin 3, no. 2 (1969): 8–9, reprinted in Nevison, The Computer as Pupil, appendix C. 58. Nevison, The Computer as Pupil, 19. 59. Ibid. 60. Ibid., 18. 61. Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, November 1967 issue, article “The Computer in Secondary Education,” about the Secondary School Proj­ect.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

By 2008, less than twenty-five years after they were first invented, fully 10 per cent of all arable land, thirty million acres, was growing genetically modified crops: one of the most rapid and successful adoptions of a new technology in the history of farming. Only in parts of Europe and Africa were these crops denied to farmers and consumers by the pressure of militant environmentalists, with what Stewart Brand calls their ‘customary indifference to starvation’. African governments, after intense lobbying by Western campaigners, have been persuaded to tie genetically modified food in red tape, which prevents them being grown commercially in all but three countries (South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt). In one notorious case Zambia in 2002 even turned down food aid in the middle of a famine after being persuaded by a campaign by groups, including Greenpeace International and Friends of the Earth, that because it was genetically modified it could be dangerous.

All across Asia, Latin America and Africa, a tide of subsistence farmers is leaving the land to move to cities and find paid work. To many Westerners, suffused with nostalgie de la boue (nostalgia for mud), this is a regrettable trend. Many charities and aid agencies see their job as helping to prevent subsistence farmers having to move to the city by making life in the countryside more sustainable. ‘Many of my contemporaries in the developed world,’ writes Stewart Brand, ‘regard subsistence farming as soulful and organic, but it is a poverty trap and an environmental disaster.’ Surely a Nairobi slum or a São Paolo favela is a worse place to be than a tranquil rural village? Not for the people who move there. Given the chance they eloquently express their preference for the relative freedom and opportunity of the city, however poor the living conditions. ‘I am better off in all facets of life compared to my peers left behind in the village,’ says Deroi Kwesi Andrew, a teacher earning $4 a day in Accra.

Russia’s population is falling so fast it will be one-third smaller in 2050 than it was at its peak in the early 1990s. Do these statistics surprise you? Everybody knows the population of the world is growing. But remarkably few people seem to know that the rate of increase in world population has been falling since the early 1960s and that the raw number of new people added each year has been falling since the late 1980s. As the environmentalist Stewart Brand puts it, ‘Most environmentalists still haven’t got the word. Worldwide, birth-rates are in free fall ... On every part of every continent and in every culture (even Mormon), birth rates are headed down. They reach replacement level and keep on dropping.’ This is happening despite people living longer and thus swelling the ranks of the world population for longer, and despite the fact that babies are no longer dying as frequently as they did in the early twentieth century.


pages: 495 words: 144,101

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns

anti-communist, bank run, barriers to entry, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, creative destruction, desegregation, feminist movement, financial independence, George Gilder, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, lone genius, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing, urban renewal, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

This distinction is made by Andrew Kirk, Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007). Whether this set of ideas transcends or represents yet another iteration of what Donald Worster called the dialectic of “arcadian” and “imperialist” ecology is an important question to explore. Worster, Nature’s Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977/1994). 47. Stewart Brand, diary entries dated July 9, 1968 and August 16, 1968, Stewart Brand Papers, Stanford University Special Collections. 48. The Last Whole Earth Catalog (Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, 1971), 185. The catalogue included only books deemed either “useful as a tool” or “relevant to independent education,” making mention tantamount to endorsement. It also recommended the A Is A Directory and Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom (344).

Pragmatic or countercultural environmentalism focused on invention and innovation, rather than regulation, as solutions to the environmental crisis. The survivalist Whole Earth Catalog, a hippy-techno-geek bible, was an important node of this movement. “We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” the catalogue announced, striking a vaguely libertarian note with its intention to support “a realm of intimate, personal power” and “the power of the individual.” Not surprisingly the catalogue’s founder, Stewart Brand, thought Rand was an exciting thinker.46 In 1968 Brand noted in his diary, “I’m reading Atlas Shrugged these days, again, on quite a different level—keeping some watch on myself, but mostly letting the notions run on.” He returned to Rand during a period of deep thinking, aided by his near daily consumption of nitrous oxide. For more than a month his journal made occasional references to Rand and showed unmistakable traces of her thought.

Permission to include excerpts from the writings of Rose Wilder Lane has been granted by the copyright owner, Little House Heritage Trust. The Rothbard Papers are cited courtesy of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama. Material from Leonard Read is used with permission of the Foundation for Economic Education (www.fee.org). The Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, granted me permission to use material from the Stewart Brand Collection (M1237). Barry Goldwater is quoted with the permission of the Arizona Historical Foundation. Barbara Branden and Nathaniel Branden, Ph. D, kindly granted use of photographs and documents. Permission to quote from Ayn Rand’s unpublished material was granted by the Estate of Ayn Rand, and other material is used courtesy of the Ayn Rand Archives. The Ayn Rand Archives at the Ayn Rand Institute is a reference source.


pages: 480 words: 123,979

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier

4chan, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, cosmological constant, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, game design, general-purpose programming language, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, impulse control, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

This had been known since ancient times, and the flat-faced versions of the five solutions are known as the Platonic Solids. Plants had no choice but to work within the constraints of these forms. I became convinced our home should be made of spherical structures resembling those found in plants. Ellery said he thought I might enjoy another book, in that case. This turned out to be a roughly designed publication in the form of an extra-thick magazine called Domebook. It was an offshoot of Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog.5 Buckminster Fuller had been promoting geodesic domes as ideal structures, and they embodied the techie utopian spirit of the times. Initially I was skeptical of going geodesic. “I don’t want our house to be like any other house, and other people are building geodesic domes,” I complained. Ellery argued that I’d have to get approval from the authorities to build a design, and a few geodesic domes were already standing in hippie enclaves in the same county.

I should have learned about that material from a shipbuilding expert, but instead trusted what the book said. “Hog rings are the thing!” Thus spoke the Domebook. These are the little rings you crimp on a pig’s nose to make it less destructive. The innovative idea was to fasten sheets of metal lath together with hog rings and then press concrete into the layers. Bad idea. The lath density was inconsistent and the result was subject to cracking. About ten years later I’d meet Stewart Brand for the first time, and my first words to him were, “I grew up in a geodesic dome.” His first words to me were, “Did it leak?” “Of course it leaked!” We started first on the medium-size dome, because that was all we could afford. It was a strange feeling to move into it from the tents, like recapitulating deep human history. The inside of the dome was insulated with shiny silver-surfaced pads that were stapled between struts.

The science and math sections were the strongest in the library, and oh man, they sent me over the edge. (I was a Coxeter fanatic.)1 Some of the earliest nontechnical books about computing were split in two. One half would be about a systems approach to reality and the human future. That part would be nerdy. The other half would be about the personal experience of computing. It would be ecstatic, brimming with revelations. One example was II Cybernetic Frontiers, by Stewart Brand. The first half was an interview with Gregory Bateson2 about how cybernetics would change society and the way we know the world. The other half was devoted to Spacewar!, the first networked videogame, and the fanatical devotion the game inspired. Another example was cloaked as a grainy retort to the craft of printing, just like New York conceptual art ’zines. This was Computer Lib/Dream Machines, by Ted Nelson.


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Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Now, in nonfiction, this may make sense. But that’s not my thing. For artists, the most important thing is total engagement. So I always tell writers to follow their curiosity, obsessions, and fascinations. “Back when I was 75 (I’m 78 now), I checked out the local CrossFit ‘box’ and was enchanted by the absence of mirrors and machines, and by the presence of free weights.” Stewart Brand TW: @stewartbrand reviverestore.org STEWART BRAND is the president of the Long Now Foundation, established to creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years. He leads a project there called Revive and Restore, which seeks to bring back extinct animal species such as the passenger pigeon and woolly mammoth. Stewart is well known for founding, editing, and publishing The Whole Earth Catalog (1968–85), which received a National Book Award for its 1972 issue.

Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Nov. 6–Dec. 4, 2015) Soman Chainani Dita Von Teese Jesse Williams Dustin Moskovitz Richa Chadha Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Dec. 11, 2015–Jan. 1, 2016) Max Levchin Neil Strauss Veronica Belmont Patton Oswalt Lewis Cantley Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Jan. 8–Jan. 29, 2016) Jerzy Gregorek Aniela Gregorek Amelia Boone Sir Joel Edward McHale, Lord of Winterfell Ben Stiller Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: March 11–March 25, 2016) Anna Holmes Andrew Ross Sorkin Joseph Gordon-Levitt How to Say No: Wendy MacNaughton Vitalik Buterin Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Feb. 12–March 4, 2016) Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Julia Galef Turia Pitt Annie Duke Jimmy Fallon Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: April 1–April 15, 2016) Esther Perel Maria Sharapova Adam Robinson Josh Waitzkin Ann Miura-Ko Jason Fried Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: April 22–May 13, 2016) Arianna Huffington Gary Vaynerchuk Tim O’Reilly Tom Peters Bear Grylls Brené Brown Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: May 27–June 16, 2016) Leo Babauta Mike D Esther Dyson Kevin Kelly Ashton Kutcher Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: June 24–July 15, 2016) Brandon Stanton Jérôme Jarre Fedor Holz Eric Ripert Sharon Salzberg Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: July 22–Aug. 12, 2016) Franklin Leonard Peter Guber Greg Norman Daniel Ek Strauss Zelnick Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Aug. 12–Sept. 9, 2016) Steve Jurvetson Tony Hawk Liv Boeree Anníe Mist þórisdóttir Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Sept. 16–Oct. 14, 2016) Mark Bell Ed Coan Ray Dalio Jacqueline Novogratz Brian Koppelman Stewart Brand Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Oct. 21–Nov. 18, 2016) Sarah Elizabeth Lewis Gabor Maté Steve Case Linda Rottenberg Tommy Vietor Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Nov. 25–Dec. 30, 2016) Larry King Muna AbuSulayman Sam Harris Maurice Ashley How to Say No: Danny Meyer John Arnold Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Jan. 6–Jan. 27, 2017) Mr. Money Mustache David Lynch Nick Szabo Jon Call Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Feb. 3–Feb. 24, 2017) Dara Torres Dan Gable Caroline Paul Darren Aronofsky Evan Williams Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: March 10–March 24, 2017) Bram Cohen Chris Anderson Neil Gaiman Michael Gervais Temple Grandin Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: March 31–April 21, 2017) Kelly Slater Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir Mathew Fraser Adam Fisher Aisha Tyler Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: April 28–May 12, 2017) Laura R.

Clarke: For a kid growing up without TV in the boring enclaves of suburbia in the ’50s and early ’60s, science fiction opened up my universe. I devoured any and all science fiction our public library contained. Arthur C. Clarke’s stories in particular birthed a lifelong interest in science and a deep respect for the power of imagination. This story of a singularity always stuck with me as something to prepare for. The Whole Earth Catalog by Stewart Brand: When I was 17, this big catalog of choices gave me permission to have my own ideas, make my own tools, and unabashedly follow my two loves of art and science. I used it to invent my own life. Decades later, I worked at the Catalog in my first real job. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: I got sucked into reading this over-the-top manifesto of self-reliance during finals of my first year of college.


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Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff

algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

This notion of temporal diversity offers a new way of understanding the particular characteristics of different timescales. While chronobiologists looked at the various natural cycles influencing the processes of life, proponents of temporal diversity are encouraging us to understand and distinguish between the different rates at which things on different levels of existence change. Former Merry Prankster and Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand applied temporal diversity to different levels of society. In his book The Clock of the Long Now, he argues that we live in a world with multiple timescales, all moving simultaneously but at different speeds. Brand calls it the order of civilization. Nature, or geological time, moves the slowest—like the skater in the middle of the pinwheel. This is the rate at which glaciers carve out canyons or species evolve gills and wings—over eons.

What we really need is access to both: we want to take advantage of all the time that has been bound for us as well as stay attuned to the real-world feedback we get from living in the now. While they often seem to be at odds, they are entirely compatible, even complementary, if we understand the benefits and drawbacks of each. It’s not solely a matter of establishing appropriate “temporal diversity,” as Stewart Brand suggests. That may work for processes that are unfolding over historical time, but it doesn’t really have anything to do with the now that we’re contending with in a presentist reality. We’re not in nature’s time nor fashion’s time. We’re in no time. All we presentists get from zooming out to ten-thousand-year time spans is vertigo. The stuff of time binding—all that information, however dense—is like the data on a hard drive.

Decades of social control—from corporate advertising to manufacturing public consent for war—were exercised through simple one-to-many campaigns that discouraged feedback from them and between them. As long as people didn’t engage with one another and were instead kept happily competing with one another, their actions, votes, and emotions remained fairly predictable. Screech could be kept to a minimum. But the Cold War gave rise to something else: a space race, and the unintended consequence of the first photographs of planet Earth taken from the heavens. Former Merry Prankster Stewart Brand had been campaigning since 1966 for NASA to release a photo of Earth, aware that such an image could change human beings’ perception of not only their place in the universe but also their relationship to one another. Finally, in 1972, NASA released image AS17-148-22727, birthing the notion of our planet as a “big blue marble.” As writer Archibald MacLeish described it, “To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now that they are truly brothers.”11 Soon after that, the development of the Internet—also an outgrowth of the Cold War funding—concretized this sense of lateral, peer-to-peer relationships between people in a network.


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The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

That every programmer’s career begins with “Hello, World!” is not a coincidence. It’s the power to create new universes, which is what often draws people to code in the first place. Type in a few lines, or a few thousand, strike a key, and something seems to come to life on your screen—a new space unfolds, a new engine roars. If you’re clever enough, you can make and manipulate anything you can imagine. “We are as Gods,” wrote futurist Stewart Brand on the cover of his Whole Earth Catalog in 1968, “and we might as well get good at it.” Brand’s catalog, which sprang out of the back-to-the-land movement, was a favorite among California’s emerging class of programmers and computer enthusiasts. In Brand’s view, tools and technologies turned people, normally at the mercy of their environments, into gods in control of them. And the computer was a tool that could become any tool at all.

Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. New York: The Penguin Press, 2008. Solove, Daniel J. Understanding Privacy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008. Sunstein, Cass R. Republic.com 2.0. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2006. Watts, Duncan J. Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. Wu, Tim. The Master Switch : The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. Zittrain, Jonathan. The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.

Harris, “Facebook’s Advertising Fluke,” TechRepublican, Dec. 21, 2010, accessed Feb. 9, 2011, http://techrepublican.com/free-tagging/vincent-harris. 155 have the ads pulled off the air: Monica Scott, “Three TV Stations Pull ‘Demonstrably False’ Ad Attacking Pete Hoekstra,” Grand Rapids Press, May 28, 2010, accessed Dec. 17, 2010, www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/05/three_tv_stations_pull_demonst.html. 157 “improve the likelihood that a registered Republican”: Bill Bishop, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008), 195. 157 “likely to be most salient in the politics”: Ronald Inglehart, Modernization and Postmodernization (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), 10. 159 Pabst began to sponsor hipster events: Neal Stewart, “Marketing with a Whisper,” Fast Company, Jan. 11, 2003, accessed Jan. 30, 2011, www.fastcompany.com/fast50_04/winners/stewart.html. 159 “$44 in US currency”: Max Read, “Pabst Blue Ribbon Will Run You $44 a Bottle in China,” Gawker, July 21, 2010, accessed Feb. 9, 2011, http://m.gawker.com/5592399/pabst-blue-ribbon-will-run-you-44-a-bottle-in-china. 160 “I serve as a blank screen”: Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (New York: Crown, 2006), 11. 161 “We lose all perspective”: Ted Nordhaus, phone interview with author, Aug. 31, 2010. 162 “the source is basically in thought”: David Bohm, Thought as a System (New York: Routledge, 1994) 2. 163 “participants in a pool of common meaning”: David Bohm, On Dialogue (New York: Routledge, 1996), x–xi. 164 “define and express its interests”: John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (Athens, OH: Swallow Press, 1927), 146. Chapter Six: Hello, World! 165 “no intelligence or skill in navigation”: Plato, First Alcibiades, in The Dialogues of Plato, vol. 4, trans. Benjamin Jowett (Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1871), 559. 166 “We are as Gods”: Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog (self-published, 1968), accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://wholeearth.com/issue/1010/article/195/we.are.as.gods. 167 “make any man (or woman) a god”: Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Penguin, 2001), 451. 167 “having some troubles with my family”: “How Eliza Works,” accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://chayden.net/eliza/instructions.txt. 168 “way of acting without consequence”: Siva Vaidyanathan, phone interview with author, Aug. 9, 2010. 168 “not a very good program”: Douglas Rushkoff, interview with author, New York, NY, Aug. 25, 2010. 168 “politics tends to be seen by programmers”: Gabriella Coleman, “The Political Agnosticism of Free and Open Source Software and the Inadvertent Politics of Contrast,” Anthropological Quarterly, 77, no. 3 (Summer 2004): 507–19, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost. 170 “addictive control as well”: Levy, Hackers, 73. 172 “Howdy” is a better opener than “Hi”: Christian Rudder, “Exactly What to Say in a First Message,” Sept. 14, 2009, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/online-dating-advice-exactly-what-to-say-in-a-first-message. 173 “hackers don’t tend to know any of that”: Steven Levy, “The Unabomber and David Gelernter,” New York Times, May 21, 1995, accessed Dec. 16, 2010, www.unabombers.com/News/95-11-21-NYT.htm. 174 “engineering relationships among people”: Langdon Winner, “Do Artifacts Have Politics?”


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Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything by Peter Morville

A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business process, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, disruptive innovation, index card, information retrieval, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Lean Startup, Lyft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, Nelson Mandela, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

xlviii The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth by Christopher Alexander, Hans Joachim Neis, and Maggie Moore Alexander (2012), p.115. xlix Information Anxiety by Richard Saul Wurman (1989), p.72. l The Wurmanizer by Gary Wolf (2000). li Dutch Uncles, Ducks, and Decorated Sheds by Dan Klyn (2013). lii A Brief History of Information Architecture by Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati (2012). liii Wurman (1989), p.59. liv The Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand (1999), p.34. lv How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand (1995). lvi Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back by Andrew Zolli (2013), p.34. lvii Don’t Just Be the Change: Mass-Produce It by Alex Steffen (2007). lviii Why Dolphins Make Us Nervous by Robert Krulwich (2013). lix Nonhuman Rights Project, http://www.nonhumanrights.org. lx Your Body Is Younger Than You Think by Nicholas Wade. lxi What is the Function of the Claustrum?

It can only be organized by location, alphabet, time, category, or hierarchy.”liii At first the last was continuum, but he changed it to make LATCH. And, in that swap, we see his scheme is arbitrary. The acronym is catchy, but it’s the opposite of right. The ways of organizing information are infinite. As uncle Buddha once said, put no head above your own, because even Dutch uncles are wrong. To build strength and flexibility, we should open our minds to people and ideas we don’t like, and pick fights with those we do. For instance, Stewart Brand’s concept of pace layering gets a lot of love. He argues that in complex systems, it’s vital that distinct layers can change at differing rates. The combination of fast and slow creates resilience. Fast learns, slow remembers. Fast gets our attention. Slow has all the power.liv Figure 2-26. The pace layers of civilization. It’s a model he used brilliantly to explain buildings – site, structure, skin, services, space plan, stuff – and how, in time, they learn. lv It’s since been adapted widely in many fields.


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The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, buy and hold, call centre, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?, zero-sum game

That fall, Shel Kaphan drove a U-Haul full of his belongings up from Santa Cruz and officially joined Bezos and his wife as a founding employee of Amazon and as its primary technical steward. Kaphan had grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area and as a teenage computer enthusiast explored the ARPANET, the U.S. Defense Department–developed predecessor to the Internet. In high school, Kaphan met Stewart Brand, the writer and counterculture organizer, and the summer after he graduated, Kaphan took a job at the Whole Earth Catalog, Brand’s seminal guide to the tools and books of the enlightened new information age. Sporting long hippie-ish hair and a bushy beard, Kaphan worked at Brand’s Whole Earth Truck Store in Menlo Park, a mobile lending library and roving education service. He tended the cash register, filled subscriptions, and packed books and catalogs for shipment to customers.

Then he surprised Kaphan with what he dubbed the Shelebration, a weekend in Hawaii to celebrate Kaphan’s four-year anniversary at Amazon. Bezos flew in colleagues and Kaphan’s family and friends and put everyone up for three days in private cabins on a Maui beach. Every attendee received an ornamental tile coaster emblazoned with a picture of Kaphan wearing a goofy Cat in the Hat hat. That weekend spawned a fortuitous relationship for Bezos. One of Kaphan’s friends who came on the trip was Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog. Brand and his wife, Ryan, bonded with Bezos and MacKenzie, forging a connection that led to Bezos’s involvement in the Clock of the Long Now, an aspirational project aimed at building a massive mechanical clock designed to measure time for ten thousand years, a way to promote long-term thinking. A few years later, as a direct result of that weekend, Bezos would become the biggest financial backer of the 10,000-Year Clock and agree to install it on property he owned in Texas.

Outside, chunks of brick and mortar were shaken loose from the sixty-eight-year-old Pacific Medical building and rained to the ground. Inside, the sprinklers went off and employees rolled under their mercifully thick door-desks. Bezos’s tiny conference room was full of tchotchkes like Star Trek figurines and water guns, many of which noisily rattled to the floor. Also in the room was a twenty-two-pound ball made of the dense metal tungsten, a memento from Stewart Brand and the organizers of the Clock of the Long Now. Halfway through the earthquake, the executives in the room heard the ominous sound of the ball rolling off its stand. “I was the low man on the totem pole, so my legs were halfway exposed,” says Neil Roseman, only partly in jest. Fortunately, the ball thudded harmlessly to the floor. As the earthquake progressed, Killalea poked his head out, retrieved his laptop, and checked to see if the Amazon website was still running.


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Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson

Airbus A320, airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Donald Davies, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche, working poor, X Prize, your tax dollars at work

— In the mid-1950s, a Polish-born engineer named Paul Baran took a job at Hughes Aircraft while working on his graduate degree in engineering through night classes at UCLA. His work at Hughes gave him intimate access to the nascent technology of nuclear war—specifically the control systems that allowed the military to both detect inbound missiles and launch first strikes or retaliations. Years later, he would recall his horror at watching Hughes bid on the control system for the new Minuteman missile. “I was scared shitless,” he later told Stewart Brand, in a Wired magazine interview, “because you had all these missiles that could go off by anyone’s stupidity. The technology was never to be trusted.” As the cold war intensified after the launch of Sputnik in 1957, Baran took a new job at the RAND Corporation, where he got involved in a project to design a new command-and-control architecture for military communications. Baran was concerned that a nuclear detonation would disrupt high-frequency communications, so he began tinkering with a model whereby the military could hijack “ground wave” communications between broadcast stations, with each station relaying the message to others along the chain.

It took me a while, but eventually all these nudges came together to form Future Perfect. My thinking on these issues has been greatly expanded—if not downright borrowed—from conversations with Beth Noveck, Yochai Benkler, Fred Wilson, Brad Burnham, Larry Lessig, Denise Caruso, John Mackey, John Geraci, Paul Miller, Roo Rogers, Rachel Botsman, Reid Hoffman, Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, Clay Shirky, Stewart Brand, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly, Jon Schnur, Raj Sisodia, Gordon Wheeler, Nick Grossman, Jay Haynes, Eric Liftin, John Battelle, and my mother, Bev Johnson. Special thanks to the group who were generous enough to comment on the manuscript in draft: Bill Wasik, David Sloan Wilson, Dan Hill, Henry Farrell, and my father and longtime political sparring partner, Stan Johnson. As usual, my wife, Alexa Robinson, shared her invaluable talent for improving my sentences and my arguments.

Hayek’s arguments are nicely summarized in his 1945 essay “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” which appeared in The American Economic Review. Jane Jacobs’s attack on centralized planning appears in her classic work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. For a comprehensive history of the birth of the Internet, see Where Wizards Stay Up Late, by Matthew Lyon and Katie Hafner, as well as Stewart Brand’s interview with Paul Baran, “Founding Father,” in Wired. I first came across the concept of “positive deviance” in the article “Design Thinking for Social Innovation,” by Tim Brown and Jocelyn Wyatt, in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. For more on the approach, see the website of the Positive Deviance Initiative at http://www.positivedeviance.org/. For more on Marian Zeitlin’s original work, see Positive Deviance in Child Nutrition (with Emphasis on Psychosocial and Behavioural Aspects and Implications for Development), coauthored with Hossein Ghassemi and Mohamed Mansour.


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Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

AltaVista, Apple II, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer age, discovery of DNA, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, Leonard Kleinrock, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, packet switching, Ralph Nader, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, union organizing, upwardly mobile, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

Strassmann, The Computers Nobody Wanted: 113. 33. Dealer minutes, March 21, 1972, RWT. 34. Bob Taylor, performance review, 9/72–9/73, RWT; Stewart Brand, II Cybernetic Frontiers (New York: Random House, 1974): 88. Taylor’s boss, Jerry Elkind, was gone on a long-term assignment, and Taylor was acting as head of the lab when the magazine crew came by. Taylor says he assumed the Rolling Stone people had gotten permission to come to the lab from Elkind or someone else at the lab. 35. Bob Metcalfe, interview by author, May 22, 2014. 36. The CSL Activity Report for March 15–June 12, 1972, references Peter Deutsch’s volunteer work with Resource One. Kay’s library order: Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006): 124. 37.

So when someone in the lab suggested the beanbag chairs, other people liked the idea, and the chairs proved cheap, Taylor was happy to have his unconventional meeting room in PARC’s low-slung, glass-faced building in the Stanford Industrial Park, an easy walk from the spot where students had overturned a school bus during the anti-SRI protests three years earlier.2 Now he had some twenty-odd corduroy-covered chairs in the colors of the 1970s rainbow: burnt orange, goldenrod yellow, avocado green, midnight blue.XI In the spring of 1972, a young reporter named Stewart Brand came out to write about the lab for a magazine article on the “youthful fervor and firm dis-Establishmentarianism of the freaks who design computer science.”3 The article would be published in Rolling Stone, established five years before with support from Arthur Rock, the venture capitalist behind Fairchild, Intel, Scientific Data Systems, and soon Apple. The magazine sent a young photographer named Annie Leibovitz to accompany Brand to PARC.

“I talked with Bob Taylor often and it was apparent that he had a deep contempt for all persons from Rochester and Stamford,” recalled one.32 The rift between Taylor and the senior management of Xerox had opened the moment Taylor arrived in Palo Alto and told George Pake that Xerox had bought the wrong computer company. The lab was less than two years old when a Xerox executive visited a Dealer meeting, only to be pelted with questions as to “whether or not people at the corporate level were listening in a responsive way to what we at PARC have to say.” (The answer: “a qualified yes.”)33 The split deepened after Rolling Stone published Stewart Brand and Annie Leibovitz’s 1972 article that praised the PARC computer scientists’ “bent away from hugeness and centrality, toward the small and the personal, toward putting maximum computer power in the hands of every individual who wants it.” Brand recalled that the “East Coast headquarters embarked on a major flap about unauthorized information, photos, four-letter words, and the scurrilous Rolling Stone.”


pages: 459 words: 140,010

Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer by Michael Swaine, Paul Freiberger

1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Google Chrome, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Jony Ive, Loma Prieta earthquake, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

Our primary debt is to the people who lived this story and graciously granted us entry into what is in fact their personal history—through hundreds of hours of interviews and generous access to documents, records, letters, diaries, time lines, telexes, and photographs. Among others, we are grateful to the following individuals: Scott Adams, Todd Agulnick, David Ahl, Alice Ahlgren, Bob Albrecht, Paul Allen, Dennis Allison, Bill Anderson, Bill Baker, Steve Ballmer, Rob Barnaby, John Barry, Allen Baum, John Bell, Tim Berners-Lee, Tim Berry, Ray Borrill, Stewart Brand, Dan Bricklin, Keith Britton, David Bunnell, Nolan Bushnell, Maggie Canon, David Carlick, Douglas Carlston, Mark Chamberlain, Hal Chamberlin, Roger Chapman, Alan Cooper, Sue Cooper, Ben Cooper, John Craig, Andy Cunningham, Eddie Curry, Steve Dompier, John Draper, John Dvorak, Doug Engelbart, Chris Espinosa, Gordon Eubanks, Ed Faber, Federico Faggin, Lee Felsenstein, Bill Fernandez, Todd Fischer, Richard Frank, Bob Frankston, Paul Franson, Nancy Freitas, Don French, Gordon French, Howard Fulmer, Dan Fylstra, Mark Garetz, Harry Garland, Jean-Louis Gassee, Bill Gates, Bill Godbout, John Goodenough, Chuck Grant, Wayne Green, Dick Heiser, Carl Helmers, Kent Hensheid, Andy Hertzfeld, Ted Hoff, Thom Hogan, Rod Holt, Randy Hyde, Peter Jennings, Steve Jobs, Bill Joy, Philippe Kahn, Mitch Kapor, Vinod Khosla, Guy Kawasaki, Gary Kildall, Joe Killian, Dan Kottke, Barbara Krause, Tom Lafleur, Jaron Lanier, Phil Lemons, Phil Levine, Andrea Lewis, Bill Lohse, Mel Loveland, Scott Mace, Regis McKenna, Marla Markman, Mike Markkula, Bob Marsh, Patty McCracken, Dorothy McEwen, Patrick McGovern, Scott McNealy, Roger Melen, Seymour Merrin, Edward Metro, Vanessa Mickan, Jill Miller, Dick Miller, Michael Miller, Fred Moore, Gordon Moore, Lyall Morrill, George Morrow, Jeanne Morrow, Theodor Holm Nelson, Robert Noyce, Tom and Molly O’Neill, Terry Opdendyk, Adam Osborne, Chuck Peddle, Harvard Pennington, Joel Pitt, Fred “Chip” Poode, Frank and Susan Raab, Jeff Raikes, Janet Ramusack, Jef Raskin, Ed Roberts, Roy Robinson, Tom Rolander, Phil Roybal, Seymour Rubinstein, Sue Runfola, Chris Rutkowski, Paul Saffo, Art Salsberg, Wendell Sanders, Ed Sawicki, Joel Schwartz, John Sculley, Jon Shirley, John Shoch, Richard Shoup, Michael Shrayer, Bill Siler, Les Solomon, Deborah Stapleton, Alan Stein, Barney Stone, Don Tarbell, George Tate, Paul Terrell, Larry Tesler, Glenn Theodore, John Torode, Jack Tramiel, Bruce Van Natta, Jim Warren, Larry Weiss, Randy Wigginton, Margaret Wozniak, Steve Wozniak, Larry Yaeger, Greg Yob, and Pierluigi Zappacosta.

Ironically, many of those technological revolutionaries had themselves been part of the priesthood. Rebelling Against the Priesthood Bob Albrecht had left Control Data Corporation in the 1960s because of its reluctance to consider the idea of a personal computer, and had, with friends, started a nonprofit alternative-education organization called the Portola Institute. From Portola sprang The Whole Earth Catalog, under the orchestration of Stewart Brand, with its emphasis on access to tools. This, in turn, inspired actress Celeste Holm’s son Ted Nelson to write a book similar in spirit but about access to computers. Nelson’s Computer Lib proclaimed, well before the Altair was announced, “You can and must understand computers NOW!” Nelson was the Tom Paine and his book the Common Sense of this revolution. The other significant publication at the time that brought information about computers to the Bay Area general public was a tabloid called People’s Computer Company (PCC), another of Albrecht’s projects.

At least a few writers and several publishing houses were making a lot of money on books that explained how to use software, the very same task that a user manual was designed to accomplish. In one legendary deal, a publisher paid a $1.1 million advance for The Whole Earth Software Catalog, a book that offered reviews of software products. The huge advance was thought fair even though many of the reviews would already be out of date before the book was published, recalled Stewart Brand, who coordinated the project. Industry magazines were evolving right along with the products they featured. The more technically geared magazines, like Byte, spanned platforms (such as computers running the CP/M operating system, IBM PCs, and Macintosh computers) in their coverage and addressed readers interested in all kinds of computers. As the computer became more of a consumer product and the computer market settled into one of two camps, IBM-compatible or Macintosh, magazines became more platform-specific in their coverage.


pages: 369 words: 98,776

The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans by Mark Lynas

Airbus A320, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Haber-Bosch Process, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, planetary scale, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, Stewart Brand, undersea cable, University of East Anglia

This is the story of a species whose biological characteristics combined with an accident of fate to have world-shattering consequences. And it is a story that might shed some light on the central question of this book—whether we are rebel organisms destined to destroy the biosphere, or divine apes sent to manage it intelligently and so save it from ourselves. Perhaps the environmentalist and futurist Stewart Brand put it best when he wrote these words: “We are as gods and have to get good at it.”5 Amen to that. THE DESCENT OF MAN Listening to some environmentalists talk, it is easy to get the feeling that humanity is somehow unnatural, a malign external force acting on the natural biosphere from the outside. They have it wrong. We are as natural as coral reefs or termites; our inherited physiology is entirely the product of selective pressures operating over millions of years within living systems.

“One does not fight the corporate misdeeds of the automotive industry, for instance, by demanding that the wheel must be banned,” someone pointed out in a thought-provoking analogy. I decided to stop writing about genetic engineering for a while and read up on the science before tackling the subject again. A second eureka moment came in a book by an environmentalist who had already changed his mind about genetic engineering, the American writer Stewart Brand. In the opening sentence of the “Green Genes” chapter in his 2010 book Whole Earth Discipline, Brand writes: “I daresay the environmental movement has done more harm with its opposition to genetic engineering than any other thing we’ve been wrong about. We’ve starved people, hindered science, hurt the natural environment, and denied our own practitioners a crucial tool.” That is a strong statement, but the more I looked at the evidence, the harder I found it to disagree with him.

There can of course be no definitive answer to such a question, but if we say that 150 additional plants would by now have been running for 20 years, these would have avoided the emission of 18 billion tonnes of CO2.67 In climate change terms, opposing nuclear was a gargantuan error for the Greens, and one that will echo down the ages as our globe’s temperature rises. Some in the environmental movement have begun to realize this mistake, including members of the Green Party and the former director of Greenpeace U.K., Stephen Tindale, who courageously joined with me to make a front-page “mea culpa” declaration in the Independent newspaper on February 23, 2009.68 In the U.S., both Stewart Brand and NASA scientist (and planetary boundaries co-author) James Hansen have strongly supported nuclear in the battle against climate change. In Britain, my friend and colleague the writer George Monbiot, one of the Green movement’s most fearsome and well-known campaigners, wrote in the Guardian that the Fukushima disaster had convinced him that nuclear power was actually less dangerous than his environmental comrades confidently asserted, especially when compared to fossil fuels.


Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age by Alex Wright

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, barriers to entry, British Empire, business climate, business intelligence, Cape to Cairo, card file, centralized clearinghouse, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, European colonialism, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Law of Accelerating Returns, linked data, Livingstone, I presume, lone genius, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norman Mailer, out of africa, packet switching, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

Dressed in the white shirt of a working engineer, the soft-spoken former Navy telegraph operator demonstrated a working model of a system that struck many of the idealistic San Francisco counterculture types in attendance as representing nothing short of a revolution in human consciousness. Equipped with a video monitor, keyboard, and central pro­ cessor, Engelbart’s demo included applications for word processing, sending messages between users, and even building links from one document to another. Stewart Brand (of the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Whole Earth Catalog fame) manned a video camera trained on Engelbart’s on-stage keyboard, while Engelbart proceeded to show a working prototype of a fully functional hypertext system, including a word processor, video and graphics displays, and the ability to link one document to another, all connected to another computer in Menlo Park by a 1,200-baud modem.

As New York Times reporter John Markoff puts it, “Every significant aspect of today’s computing world was revealed in a magnificent hour and a half.”15 Some members of that audience became enthusiastic converts to the digital revolution. Brown University computer science professor and early hypertext pioneer Andy van Dam was there and subsequently dubbed the event “the Mother of all Demos.” Also in attendance were a few key members of the original NLS team, who migrated over to Xerox’s PARC research division under the direction of Alan Kay, with whom they began developing the first true personal computer, the Alto. Stewart Brand, who was of course there, later brought the novelist and ur–Merry Prankster Ken Kesey over to look at the system; Kesey promptly dubbed it “the next thing after acid.”16 By the early 1970s, a “People’s Computer Center” had appeared in Menlo Park, providing access to rudimentary computer tools that would allow customers to play games or learn to program. In the mid-1970s a young Steve Jobs (another LSD experimenter) first caught a glimpse of the graphical user interface (GUI) at Xerox PARC, soon licensing the software that would shape the subsequent trajectory of the Macintosh operating system and influence the design of the personal computer operating systems that most of us still use. 260 T he I ntergalactic N etwor k The counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s would play a formative role in shaping the personal computer revolution that followed.

Those values also found strong purchase in the academic computing centers, where the Internet first took root. In contrast to the topdown, centrally managed world of mainframe computers that still dominated in the corporate, military, and government power centers that funded the bulk of computer purchases, the new breed of counterculture programmers valued free expression and self-­ determination. “Half or more of computer science is heads” (meaning, roughly, hippies), wrote Stewart Brand in a landmark profile of the Bay Area computer science scene for Rolling Stone magazine.17 Imbued with an ethos of individual freedom and self-expression, many of the early acolytes of the digital revolution—like Brand, Kevin Kelly, Howard Rheingold, and others—came of age during this period when top-down schemes were seen as tools of suppression and control, administered by “the Man.” Those counterculture idealists all opposed war and believed in the possibility of emerging technologies to usher in a new age of planetary consciousness and spiritual enlightenment.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

Thanks to everyone who gave up their time to be interviewed for the book: David Allen, Gwyn Bevan, Stewart Brand, Shelley Carson, Mathijs de Vaan, Brian Eno, Digby Fairweather, Tim Gill, Nicola Green, Andy Haldane, Guy Haworth, Craig Knight, John Kounios, Charles Limb, Michael Norton, Gerald Ratner (interviewed by Emma Jacobs), Ken Regan, Keith Sawyer, Balázs Vedres, and Holly White. As a glance at the references will reveal, I have a considerable debt to the journalists, writers, and thinkers whose reporting or analysis has informed my own ideas, but in particular: On music: Ashley Kahn, Paul Trynka, and the BBC documentary teams behind For One Night Only: The Cologne Concert and Oblique Strategies. On creative prodigies: Paul Hoffman and Ed Yong. On architecture: Warren Berger, Stewart Brand, Alain de Botton, and Jonah Lehrer. On Martin Luther King, Jr.: Taylor Branch, David Garrow, and Stephen Oates.

But few modern offices boast the extreme reconfigurability of Building 20: when the atomic clock was being developed by a team led by Jerrold Zacharias, the group simply removed a couple of floors from their laboratory to accommodate it. And Building 20’s true advantage wasn’t so much that it was reconfigurable by design, but that the building’s inhabitants felt confident that they had the authority (if only by default) to make changes, even messy changes. It was that it was so cheap and ugly that in the words of Stewart Brand, author of How Buildings Learn, “Nobody cares what you do in there.” Unlike at Kyocera or Chiat/Day, Building 20’s inhabitants were in control. Heather Lechtman, professor of material science and archaeology, told Brand: “We feel our space is really ours. We designed it, we run it.” After Jerome Wiesner became president of MIT in 1971, he kept a secret office tucked away in Building 20. Why?

pagewanted=all&src=pm; Eve Downing, “Letting Go,” Spectrum (Spring 1998), http://spectrum.mit.edu/articles/letting-go/; and Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, 25th Anniversary Edition (Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010). 19. A lovely half-hour documentary, “Building 20: The Magical Incubator” was made by MIT in 1998. It’s tape T1217 in the MIT archives, online at: http://teachingexcellence.mit.edu/from-the-vault/mits-building-20-the-magical-incubator-1998; a definitive account of the merits of Building 20 is in chapter three of Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built (New York: Viking, 1994). 20. Robert Campbell, “Dizzying Heights in Frank Gehry’s Remarkable New Stata Center at MIT, Crazy Angles Have a Serious Purpose,” The Boston Globe, April 25, 2004. 21. Robin Pogrebin and Katie Zezima, “M.I.T. Sues Frank Gehry, Citing Flaws in Center He Designed,” The New York Times, November 7, 2007. See also Spencer Reiss, “Frank Gehry’s Geek Palace,” Wired (May 2004), http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.05/mit.html. 22.


pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, G4S, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, liberation theology, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

Much of the renewed interest derives from the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which “is stuffed with generous subsidies for nuclear power and other alternatives to fossil fuels.” As the head of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, has argued, “it’s hard to believe simultaneously in energy security and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions without believing in nuclear power.”43 Increasing numbers of environmentalists are conceding this point, among them the famous Stewart Brand, creator of The Whole Earth Catalog. Brand confessed to his traditional opponents: “I’m sorry. I was wrong, you were right. I’m sorry.” Brand has nevertheless maintained his utopian propensities despite this Utopia Reconsidered 153 change of heart and has embraced a decentralized corporate vision of information technologies and computer networks that nicely complements those of capitalist leaders such as Immelt.

No radioactivity was released, but this accident took place just as the plant’s owners had applied to the NRC for a twenty-year extension of its license beyond its 2012 expiration date. That twenty-year extension was later granted by the NRC, but both the governor and the state are fighting it. Yet Vermont Yankee provides a third of the state’s electricity generation, and the same dilemma that converted Stewart Brand confronts Vermont’s residents. As a New York Times reporter noted recently, at present Vermont has “only one commercial wind farm, eleven turbines along a mountain ridge. They have less than one percent of the capacity of Vermont Yankee,” itself a relatively small nuclear power plant.47 Should we be surprised that Maine Yankee’s most passionate defenders have made the same point in denouncing that plant’s closure?

These figures and the quotations come from Whitford, “Going Nuclear,” 45, 45–46. See also Matthew L. Wald, “After 35-Year Lull, Nuclear Power May Be in Early Stages of a Revival,” New York Times, October 24, 2008, B3; and Elizabeth Spiers, “The Case for Nukes,” Fortune, 157 (June 9, 2008), 22. Steward Brand quoted in Whitford, “Going Nuclear,” 54. See Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006). See Whitford, “Going Nuclear,” 48. One possible new—or, more precisely, partially new—plant could be the presently dismantled Unit 2 of Seabrook Station. Although there are no plans to reopen Unit 2, opponents of any revival have made their concerns amply known. At the fortieth anniversary of the Seacoast Anti-Pollution League in 2008, they contended that nuclear power remains obsolete and that renewable energy is still the wave of the future.


pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

(To be determined!) Working with composer Brian Eno on the sound of the clock chime, and with a team of geologists and physicists, Hillis had made the clock into a natural extension of his Tinkertoy tic-tac-toe machine, a device that served a purpose and sent a message. If there is an emotion the clock conveys in the way that Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne might inspire terror or joy, it is meant to be awe. Stewart Brand, one of the supporters of the clock and an early member of the New Caste too, would tell you that the idea for the clock had emerged from a desire to emphasize, to physicalize, the importance of longer-term thinking in a way that no one could forget. We’ve all arrived now, Brand and the other clock masters worried, at a moment in history when no one has a view that extends much past his or her own life—or sometimes past the next election, or the next fashion season, or the next financial quarter.

This demolishes an older, easier sense of pace. Computers were once switched on at nine and off at five—just like their human masters. But digital activity is constant now. The networks are paying attention all the time. They have to. Our machines—tractors and trains and cars—used to echo our pace of life. Now we echo theirs. We want them to be fast. To be instant. It was certainly true, as Stewart Brand insisted in his manifesto, that the Clock of the Long Now was meant as a reminder, as a kind of constant totem of the fact that we’re all just a small tick on the endless continuum. We do think in too short a time frame. But the clock also, I began to suspect as I considered it, had another role. Those ten thousand years of marked time were an attempt to scratch an itch bothering these pioneers of cyberspace.

The immense possibility: Ryan Gallagher, “Profiled: From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users’ Online Identities,” The Intercept, September 25, 2015; GCHQ documents, “PullThrough Steering Group Meeting #16,” at https://theintercept.com/document/2015/09/25/pull-steering-group-minutes/. “We were not aware”: John Maynard Keynes, “My Early Beliefs,” in Two Memoirs by J. M. Keynes: “Dr. Melchior, a Defeated Enemy,” and “My Early Beliefs” (New York: A. M. Kelley, 1949), 99. Chapter 8. “MAPREDUCE”: THE COMPRESSION OF SPACE AND TIME “Civilization is revving itself”: Stewart Brand, The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 2. “Summer afternoon”: Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance (New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1934). See chapter 8 for her tale of an afternoon with Henry James. “With each crossing”: Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life” (1903), in The Sociology of Georg Simmel, trans., ed., and intro by Kurt H. Wolff (New York: The Free Press, 1950), 410, 413.


pages: 559 words: 157,112

Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business cycle, computer age, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

Ingalls, LRG member, developer of “BitBlt” graphic program and principal developer of Smalltalk Adele Goldberg, LRG member, learning specialist and co-developer of Smalltalk Ted Kaehler, LRG member, co-developer of Smalltalk and “Twang” music program Diana Merry, LRG member and co-developer of Smalltalk Larry Tesler, LRG member, co-designer of Gypsy user-friendly word processing program and first PARC principal scientist to be hired by Apple John Shoch, LRG member, inventor of the Worm Tim Mott, co-designer of Gypsy Chris Jeffers, childhood friend of Kay’s and “chief of staff” of LRG Gary Starkweather, inventor of the laser printer Lynn Conway, co-developer (with Carver Mead) of VLSI tools and technology allowing the design of highly complex integrated circuits on silicon chips Douglas Fairbairn, hardware implementer of POLOS and co-designer (with Tesler) of the Notetaker portable computer Bill English, head of POLOS (PARC On-Line Office System) group, early but unsuccessful multimedia office network Bill Duvall, chief designer of POLOS David Liddle, head of System Development Division after 1978, supervisor of the development of the Xerox Star, first fully realized commercial version of a PARC computer GENERAL SCIENCE LABORATORY Gerald Lucovsky, associate manager (reporting to Pake) David Thornburg, scientist David Biegelsen, scientist OPTICAL SCIENCE LABORATORY (AFTER 1973): John C. Urbach, manager OTHERS: Max Palevsky, founder of Scientific Data Systems (SDS), sold to Xerox in 1969 Rigdon Currie, chief of sales at SDS Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog and author of “Spacewar,” 1972 article in Rolling Stone that introduced PARC to the general public Carver Mead, California Institute of Technology professor and co-developer of VLSI tools and technology at PARC James Clark, principal inventor of the “Geometry Engine” graphics chip at PARC, founder of Silicon Graphics Inc. and Netscape Communications Corp.

June: Bob Metcalfe encounters a technical paper describing Hawaii’s ALOHAnet, several principles of which he will incorporate into Ethernet. September: MAXC having been completed, Thacker and Lampson invite Kay to join their project to build a small personal computer. The machine will be known as the Alto. November 22: Thacker begins design work on the Alto. December 7: Rolling Stone publishes Stewart Brand’s article “Spacewar,” sparking months of controversy by its depiction of computer research at PARC. April: The first Alto becomes operational, displaying an animated image of Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. April: Dick Shoup’s “Superpaint” frame buffer records and stores its first video image, showing Shoup holding a sign reading, “It works, sort of.” May 22: Metcalfe writes a patent memo describing his networking system, using the term “Ethernet” for the first time.

“It’s some druggie magazine,” she reported. Jones swallowed hard. “We’d better get a look at it.” Together they drove to an off-campus newsstand where they found the magazine prominently displayed. Before they had read to the end of “Spacewar” they knew they had a major crisis on their hands. With Bob Taylor’s apparent permission, but to the complete ignorance of anyone else in PARC management, the writer Stewart Brand had apparently been ranging freely through the Computer Science Lab for weeks. Brand was a technology fancier whose recent sale of the Whole Earth Catalog, his popular offbeat guidebook, had left him with the money and time to conduct a personal grand tour of the Bay Area’s leading computer research facilities. (A few years later he would resurface as a founder of The Well, a pioneering on-line computer service.)


pages: 547 words: 148,732

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Mother of all demos, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, scientific mainstream, scientific worldview, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Whole Earth Catalog

Schwartz eventually realized that “everyone in that community”—referring to the Bay Area tech crowd in the 1960s and early 1970s, as well as the people in and around Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Network—“had taken Hubbard LSD.” Why were engineers in particular so taken with psychedelics? Schwartz, himself trained as an aerospace engineer, thinks it has to do with the fact that unlike the work of scientists, who can simplify the problems they work on, “problem solving in engineering always involves irreducible complexity. You’re always balancing complex variables you can never get perfect, so you’re desperately searching to find patterns. LSD shows you patterns. “I have no doubt that all that Hubbard LSD all of us had taken had a big effect on the birth of Silicon Valley.” Stewart Brand received his own baptism in Hubbard LSD at IFAS in 1962, with James Fadiman presiding as his guide.

No, it needs to be a question, and maybe a little paranoid—draw on that American resource. ‘Why haven’t we seen a photograph of the whole earth yet?’” Brand came down from his roof and launched a campaign that eventually reached the halls of Congress and NASA. Who knows if it was the direct result of Brand’s campaign, but two years later, in 1968, the Apollo astronauts turned their cameras around and gave us the first photograph of Earth from the moon, and Stewart Brand gave us the first edition of the Whole Earth Catalog. Did everything change? The case could be made that it had. Part II: The Crack-Up Timothy Leary came late to psychedelics. By the time he launched the Harvard Psilocybin Project in 1960, there had already been a full decade of psychedelic research in North America, with hundreds of academic papers and several international conferences to show for it.

“And suddenly I realized that the molecules of my body, and the molecules of my spacecraft, the molecules in the body of my partners, were prototyped, manufactured in some ancient generation of stars. [I felt] an overwhelming sense of oneness, of connectedness . . . It wasn’t ‘Them and Us,’ it was ‘That’s me! That’s all of it, it’s one thing.’ And it was accompanied by an ecstasy, a sense of ‘Oh my God, wow, yes’—an insight, an epiphany.”* It was the power of this novel perspective—the same perspective that Stewart Brand, after his 1966 LSD trip on a North Beach rooftop, worked so hard to disseminate to the culture—that helped to inspire the modern environmental movement as well as the Gaia hypothesis, the idea that Earth and its atmosphere together constitute a single living organism. I thought about this so-called overview effect during my conversations with volunteers in the psilocybin trials, and especially with those who had overcome their addictions after a psychedelic journey—to inner space, if you will.


pages: 280 words: 74,559

Fully Automated Luxury Communism by Aaron Bastani

"Robert Solow", autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, computer vision, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, G4S, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, land reform, liberal capitalism, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post scarcity, post-work, price mechanism, price stability, private space industry, Productivity paradox, profit motive, race to the bottom, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, working-age population

Together, these crises – encompassing climate change, resource scarcity, ever-larger surplus populations, ageing and technological unemployment as a result of automation – are set to undermine capitalism’s ability to reproduce itself. That is because they could dissolve some of its key features like the presumption of constant expansion and infinite resources, production for profit, and workers having to sell their labour. In 1984 the futurist Stewart Brand made the now-iconic declaration ‘Information wants to be free.’ He would later clarify what that meant, saying, On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.

What was now identified as the most valuable aspect of a commodity was also – technically, at least – capable of infinite replication at near zero cost: ‘once the cost of creating a new set of instructions has been incurred the instructions can be used over and over again at no additional cost. Developing new and better instructions is equivalent to incurring a fixed cost.’ Romer made no mention of the hacker movement, but this was starting to sound remarkably similar to Stewart Brand’s conclusion that ‘information wants to be free’ some six years earlier. This contradiction was particularly portentous for market capitalism. As Larry Summers and J. Bradford DeLong would write in August 2001, just a month after the file-sharing service Napster was taken down, ‘the most basic condition for economic efficiency … [is] that price equal marginal cost.’ They went on: ‘with information goods, the social and marginal cost of distribution is close to zero.’

Except now we know it won’t. _________________ * Addressing the General Assembly on 22 September 1960, President Eisenhower indeed proposed that the principles of the Antarctic Treaty be applied to outer space and celestial bodies. * In 1973 dollars it was calculated to have cost $25.4 billion. 7 Editing Destiny: Age and Post-Scarcity in Health We are as gods … we might as well get good at it. Stewart Brand An Ageing Species By 2020, for the first time in human history, there will be more people over the age of sixty-five than under the age of five. By 2050 there will be more people over sixty-five than under fourteen. This is perhaps the crowning achievement of our species – nowhere else in nature do the old outnumber the young. While certainly welcome, such a shift brings with it numerous problems, not least that living longer, while having fewer children, imperils forms of collective insurance which presume a larger ‘working age’ population than dependents.


pages: 141 words: 40,979

The Little Book That Builds Wealth: The Knockout Formula for Finding Great Investments by Pat Dorsey

Airbus A320, barriers to entry, business process, call centre, creative destruction, credit crunch, discounted cash flows, intangible asset, knowledge worker, late fees, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Network effects, pets.com, price anchoring, risk tolerance, risk/return, rolodex, shareholder value, Stewart Brand

But it would take years for a competitor to be able to do this, and it’s not certain that a competitor actually will. So, I’d say Deere has a narrow but solid economic moat, and we can have some confidence that the company will continue to generate solid returns on capital for some time into the future. Our next example takes us from the heartland to the Hamptons—Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which licenses the Martha Stewart brand and also produces magazines and TV shows. Given Martha’s popularity—even after a brief sojourn in the pokey—we might expect the company to be pretty profitable. Let’s check the numbers by referring to Exhibit 11.3. EXHIBIT 11.3 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Hmm. Not very impressive, are they? At first glance, it’s a bit of a concern that even in Martha’s heyday, before she ran afoul of the law, the company generated less than a 13 percent return on equity.

At first glance, it’s a bit of a concern that even in Martha’s heyday, before she ran afoul of the law, the company generated less than a 13 percent return on equity. While that’s not a terrible return on capital, we should expect better from a business that doesn’t have a whole lot of invested capital to begin with. After all, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia produces a magazine and a TV show, and licenses the brand to other companies; it doesn’t own a whole bunch of factories or expensive inventory. So, despite the resurgent popularity of the Martha Stewart brand, I have to conclude that her company has no economic moat. And that’s not a good thing. Moving from a firm without much invested capital to one with a whole lot of it, let’s take a look at Arch Coal, the country’s second-largest coal producer. It’s generally tough for commodity firms to dig an economic moat, so we’ll probably be a bit skeptical when we start the analysis. Looking at the numbers, however, returns on capital have shown modest improvement to decent, if not great, levels.


pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

A better model might be MIT’s legendary Building 20, the temporary structure built during World War II that somehow managed to last fifty-five years, in part because it had an extraordinary track record for cultivating both breakthrough ideas and organizations like Noam Chomsky’s linguistics department, Bose Acoustics, and the Digital Equipment Corporation. As MIT wrote in a press release commemorating the building’s remarkable history: “Not assigned to any one school, department, or center, it seems to always have had space for the beginning project, the graduate student’s experiment, the interdisciplinary research center.” The magic of Building 20, powerfully eulogized in Stewart Brand’s How Buildings Learn, lay in the balance the environment struck between order and chaos. There were walls and doors and offices, as in most academic buildings. But the structure’s temporary origins—it was originally built with the expectation that it would be torn down after five years—meant that those structures could be reconfigured with little bureaucratic fuss, as new ideas created new purposes for the space.

The notion of “patterns” of innovation is loosely based on the concept of patterns and metapatterns developed by Gregory Bateson in Mind and Nature. The “long zoom” approach is discussed in more detail in the appendices of my earlier books Everything Bad Is Good for You and The Invention of Air. The idea has roots in Edward O. Wilson’s notion of “consilience,” and was partially inspired by a “pace-layered” drawing of civilization that I first encountered in Stewart Brand’s How Buildings Learn. CHAPTER 1: THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE For a history of the incubator, see Jeffrey Baker’s “The Incubator and the Medical Discovery of the Premature Infant.” The site Neonatology on the Web (http://www.neonatology.org/) maintains an excellent archive on the history of incubators and other neonatal technologies. For more on Design That Matters’s approach to innovation, see Timothy Prestero’s “Better by Design.”

For more on the power of collective decision-making, see James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds, Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs, Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, and Kevin Kelly’s Out of Control. Jaron Lanier’s critique of the “hive mind” appears in his book You Are Not a Gadget, and in shorter form in the essay “Digital Maoism.” For more on Kevin Dunbar’s research, see “What Scientific Thinking Reveals About the Nature of Cognition.” Malcolm Gladwell’s take on the Jane Jacobsian future of workspace design appeared in the New Yorker in the essay “Designs for Working.” Stewart Brand devotes a chapter of How Buildings Learn to the “low road” approach of Building 20. MIT also maintains a website that includes reminiscences about the building at http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/mithistory/building20/quotes.html. CHAPTER 3: THE SLOW HUNCH The intelligence failures surrounding the Phoenix Memo and the Moussaoui investigation are addressed in the 9/11 Commission Report and in Bill Gertz’s Breakdown.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

By 2012 there were more than 3 billion email accounts around the world sending 294 billion emails, of which around 78% were spam.37 Another popular feature was the Bulletin Board System (BBS), which enabled users with similar interests to connect and collectively share information and opinions. Among the best known of these was the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link (the WELL), begun in 1985 by the Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand. The WELL captured much of the countercultural utopianism of early online users who believed that the distributed structure of the technology created by Internet architects like Paul Baran, with its absence of a central dot, represented the end of traditional government power and authority. This was most memorably articulated by John Perry Barlow, an early WELL member and lyricist for the Grateful Dead, in his later 1996 libertarian manifesto “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.”

This libertarian worship of the unregulated network and disdain for government destroys jobs “without creating new ones,” Cohen explains, and it compounds “the already dizzying chasm between the rich and the rest.”3 The origins of this infinitely disruptive libertarianism, of the only rule being the absence of rules, can be traced back to the 1960s. According to the Stanford University historian Fred Turner, the Internet’s borderless idealism, and its ahistorical disdain for hierarchy and authority, especially the traditional role of government, were inherited from the countercultural ideas of Internet pioneers like WELL founder Stewart Brand and the “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” author John Perry Barlow.4 Silicon Valley, Turner says, has become an extension of the fancy-dress affair in Marin County where I met Michael Birch. It’s a sixties nostalgia fantasy hosted by space cadets like Birch who appear to have seceded from both time and space. To borrow some of Apple’s most familiar marketing language, everybody now is supposed to “think different.”

I also got lucky in early 2010 when I recieved a call from my friend Keith Teare, Mike Arrington’s cofounder at TechCrunch, who was setting up the TechCrunchTV network. Keith recommended me to Paul Carr and Jon Orlin at TechCrunchTV, and my show Keen On . . . was the first program on the network, running for four years and including over two hundred interviews with leading Internet thinkers and critics. In particular, I’d like to thank Kurt Andersen, John Borthwick, Stewart Brand, Po Bronson, Erik Brynjolfsson, Nicholas Carr, Clayton Christensen, Ron Conway, Tyler Cowen, Kenneth Cukier, Larry Downes, Tim Draper, Esther Dyson, George Dyson, Walter Isaacson, Tim Ferriss, Michael Fertik, Ze Frank, David Frigstad, James Gleick, Seth Godin, Peter Hirshberg, Reid Hoffman, Ryan Holiday, Brad Horowitz, Jeff Jarvis, Kevin Kelly, David Kirkpatrick, Ray Kurzweil, Jaron Lanier, Robert Levine, Steven Levy, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Andrew McAfee, Gavin Newsom, George Packer, Eli Pariser, Andrew Rasiej, Douglas Rushkoff, Chris Schroeder, Tiffany Shlain, Robert Scoble, Dov Seidman, Gary Shapiro, Clay Shirky, Micah Sifry, Martin Sorrell, Tom Standage, Bruce Sterling, Brad Stone, Clive Thompson, Sherry Turkle, Fred Turner, Yossi Vardi, Hans Vestberg, Vivek Wadhwa, and Steve Wozniak for appearing on Keen On . . . and sharing their valuable ideas with me.


pages: 342 words: 86,256

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, car-free, carbon footprint, congestion charging, David Brooks, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, food miles, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, starchitect, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transit-oriented development, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

“We’re able to attract creative and tech talent because we are in the city,” acknowledges Colleen McCreary, Zynga’s head of human resources.31 Ultimately, though, it would seem that urban productivity has even deeper causes. There is mounting evidence that dense, walkable cities generate wealth by sheer virtue of the propinquity that they offer. This is a concept that is both stunningly obvious—cities exist, after all, because people benefit from coming together—and tantalizingly challenging to prove.● This hasn’t kept it from the lips of some of our leading thinkers, including Stewart Brand, Edward Glaeser, David Brooks, and Malcolm Gladwell. Speaking at the Aspen Institute, David Brooks pointed out how most U.S. patent applications, when they list similar patents that influenced them, point to other innovators located less than twenty-five miles away. He also mentioned a recent experiment at the University of Michigan, where “researchers brought groups of people together face to face and asked them to play a difficult cooperation game.

Newman, Beatley, and Boyer, 117. 33. Jeff Mapes, Pedaling Revolution, 81. 34. Witold Rybczynski, Makeshift Metropolis, 83. 35. Jeff Speck, “Six Things Even New York Can Do Better.” 36. Ken Livingstone, winner commentary by Mayor of London, World Technology Winners and Finalists. 37. Data taken alternately from two sources: Ibid., and Wikipedia, “London Congestion Charge.” 38. Ibid. 39. Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Discipline, 71. 40. Wikipedia, “New York Congestion Pricing.” 41. Ibid. 42. Ibid. 43. Nozzi, op. cit. 44. Bernard-Henri Lévy, American Vertigo. 45. Ivan Illich, Toward a History of Needs. 46. Ibid., 119. 47. Duany, Plater-Zyberk, and Speck, 91n. 48. Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez, Carjacked, 145. STEP 2: MIX THE USES 1. Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck, Suburban Nation, 10. 2.

air conditioners Alarm UK Alaskan Way Viaduct Alexander, Christopher Alfonzo, Mariela Allen, Paul Amazon.com American City American Dream Coalition American Recovery and Reinvestment Act anchors and paths ArtPlace Aspen Ideas Festival Aspen Institute asthma Atlantic, The autobahns Baacke, Adam Babjack, Kristen Barnes, Henry “Barnes Dance” intersections Barnett, David Beatley, Timothy Bed Bath & Beyond Belden Russonello & Stewart Bel Geddes, Norman Bellow, Saul Benfield, Kaid Bernstein, Andrea Bernstein, Scott Berreby, David Best Buy Bettencourt, Luis bicycle boulevards Bicycling (magazine) bikerealtor.com biking; accidents; bicycle boulevards and; cycle tracks and; docking stations; and “green waves”; health benefits of; housing values and; infrastructure for; investment in; lanes for; rise in commuter; safety and; separated path for; shared route; sharing programs for; sharrows and; statistics on; urbanism needed for; vehicular Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Birk, Mia Bloomberg, Michael Blue Zones Blue Zones, The (Buettner) Board of Trade (Washington, D.C.) Board of Zoning Appeals (Washington, D.C.) Boston Globe Boulevard Book, The (Jacobs) Bowling Alone (Putnam) Boyer, Heather Brady Bunch, The (TV show) Brancusi, Constantin Brand, Stewart Brand Muscle British Columbia, University of British Medical Journal Brookings Institution Brooks, David Broyard, Anatole Buehler, Ralph Buettner, Dan “Built Environment and Traffic Safety, The: A Review of Empirical Evidence” (Ewing and Dumbaugh) Burden, Dan buses Bush, George W. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Byrne, David Calder, Alexander California, University of, Los Angeles California Health and Safety Code Campanella, Thomas “Canadian and American Cities: Our Differences Are the Same” (London) Capital Bikeshare (Washington, D.C.)


pages: 345 words: 84,847

The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt

active measures, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, haute couture, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, lone genius, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, microbiome, Netflix Prize, new economy, New Journalism, pets.com, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, X Prize

., a piano repair facility, and a cell-culture lab.”22 Nuclear physicists worked near food researchers. In that ramshackle building, Noam Chomsky developed his pioneering theories about human language, Harold Edgerton pursued high-speed photography and Amar Bose patented his loudspeakers. The first video game was invented there, and a host of tech companies were born. The building came to be known as the “magical incubator.” As Stewart Brand wrote in his book How Buildings Learn: Building 20 raises a question about what are the real amenities. Smart people gave up good heating and cooling, carpeted hallways, big windows, nice views, state-of-the-art construction, and pleasant interior design for what? For sash windows, interesting neighbors, strong floors, and freedom.23 Working long-term in a temporary building is typically not an option.

id=29705435> 16 Nikil Saval, Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace (New York: Doubleday, 2014). 17 Patrick May, “Apple’s new headquarters: An exclusive sneak peek,” San Jose Mercury News, October 11, 2013. http://www.mercurynews.com/2013/10/11/2013-apples-new-headquarters-an-exclusive-sneak-peek/ 18 Pap Ndiaye, Nylon and Bombs: DuPont and the March of Modern America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). 19 “‘Forget the Free Food and Drinks – the Workplace is Awful:’ Facebook Employees Reveal the ‘Best Place to Work in Tech’ Can be a Soul-Destroying Grind Like Any Other,” Daily Mail, September 3, 2013, accessed May 11, 2016, <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2410298> 20 Maria Konnikova, “The Open-Office Trap,” New Yorker, January 7, 2014, accessed May 17, 2016, http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-open-office-trap 21 Anne-Laure Fayard and John Weeks, “Who Moved My Cube?” Harvard Business Review, July 2011, accessed May 11, 2016, <https://hbr.org/2011/07/who-moved-my-cube> 22 Jonah Lehrer, “Groupthink: The Brainstorming Myth,” New Yorker, January 30, 2012. 23 Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built (New York: Penguin, 1994). 24 Alex Osborn, Your Creative Power: How to Use Imagination (New York: Scribners and Sons, 1948), p. 254. 25 Jeff Gordiner, “At Eleven Madison Park, a New Minimalism,” New York Times, January 4, 2016, accessed May 17, 2016. 26 Pete Wells, “Restaurant Review: Eleven Madison Park in Midtown South,” New York Times, March 17, 2015, accessed May 17, 2016, <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/dining/restaurant-review-eleven-madison-park-in-midtown-south.html?

id=29705435> 16 Nikil Saval, Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace (New York: Doubleday, 2014). 17 Patrick May, “Apple’s new headquarters: An exclusive sneak peek,” San Jose Mercury News, October 11, 2013. http://www.mercurynews.com/2013/10/11/2013-apples-new-headquarters-an-exclusive-sneak-peek/ 18 Pap Ndiaye, Nylon and Bombs: DuPont and the March of Modern America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). 19 “‘Forget the Free Food and Drinks – the Workplace is Awful:’ Facebook Employees Reveal the ‘Best Place to Work in Tech’ Can be a Soul-Destroying Grind Like Any Other,” Daily Mail, September 3, 2013, accessed May 11, 2016, <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2410298> 20 Maria Konnikova, “The Open-Office Trap,” New Yorker, January 7, 2014, accessed May 17, 2016, http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-open-office-trap 21 Anne-Laure Fayard and John Weeks, “Who Moved My Cube?” Harvard Business Review, July 2011, accessed May 11, 2016, <https://hbr.org/2011/07/who-moved-my-cube> 22 Jonah Lehrer, “Groupthink: The Brainstorming Myth,” New Yorker, January 30, 2012. 23 Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built (New York: Penguin, 1994). 24 Alex Osborn, Your Creative Power: How to Use Imagination (New York: Scribners and Sons, 1948), p. 254. 25 Jeff Gordiner, “At Eleven Madison Park, a New Minimalism,” New York Times, January 4, 2016, accessed May 17, 2016. 26 Pete Wells, “Restaurant Review: Eleven Madison Park in Midtown South,” New York Times, March 17, 2015, accessed May 17, 2016, <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/dining/restaurant-review-eleven-madison-park-in-midtown-south.html?


pages: 158 words: 46,353

Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield by Robert H. Latiff

Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, cyber-physical system, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, Internet of things, low earth orbit, Nicholas Carr, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, self-driving car, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Wall-E

In July 2014, the Air Force launched two satellites designed to keep tabs on objects in geosynchronous orbit, home to the military’s critical communications and missile warning satellites. Space is no longer the sanctuary it once was. INCREASED COMPLEXITY By any measure, the rate of technology development and adoption is accelerating and has brought with it incredible advances for society and for the military. Yet rapid technology growth itself poses an ethical challenge. Time magazine columnist Stewart Brand wrote in 2000, prior to the latest burst of technological innovation, that “change that is too rapid can be deeply divisive; if only an elite can keep up, the rest of us will grow increasingly mystified about how the world works.” As he said, “We can understand natural biology, subtle as it is, because it holds still. But how will we ever be able to understand quantum computing or nanotechnology if its subtlety keeps accelerating away from us?”

The Department of Defense has decreed: Patrick Tucker, “NSA Chief: Rules of War Apply to Cyberwar Too,” Defense One, April 20, 2015. However, the chief of the U.S. Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence: Sandra Jontz, “Cyber Ethics Vex Online Warfighters,” Signal, January 1, 2016. The U.S. Air Force designed and built: George I. Seffers, “CHAMP Prepares for Future Fights,” Signal, February 1, 2016. Yet rapid technology growth itself poses: Stewart Brand, “Is Technology Moving Too Fast?,” Time, June 19, 2000. If the situation of dizzying complexity: Samuel Arbesman, “It’s Complicated,” Aeon, January 6, 2014. 2 HOW WE GOT TO NOW Happily, the total numbers of dead: Colin Schulz, “Globally, Deaths from War and Murder Are in Decline,” Smithsonian, March 21, 2014. As defined by the U.S. Special Operations Command: Philip Kapusta, “Gray Zone,” Special Warfare 28, no. 4 (October–December 2015): 18–25.


pages: 304 words: 88,773

The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks. by Steven Johnson

call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Dean Kamen, digital map, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, peak oil, side project, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, trade route, unbiased observer, working poor

The history books tend to orient themselves around nationalist story lines: overthrowing the king, electing the presidents, fighting the battles. But the history book of recent Homo sapiens as a species should begin and end with one narrative line: We became city dwellers. If you time-traveled back to the London of September 1854 and described to some typical Londoners the demographic future that awaited their descendants, no doubt many would react with horror at the prospect of a “city planet,” as Stewart Brand likes to call it. Nineteenth-century London was an overgrown, cancerous monster, doomed to implode sooner or later. Two million people crowded into a dense urban core was a kind of collective madness. Why would anyone want to do the same with twenty million? To date, those fears have proved unfounded. Modern urbanization has thus far offered up more solutions than problems. Cities continue to be tremendous engines of wealth, innovation, and creativity, but in the 150 years that have passed since Snow and Whitehead watched the death carts make their rounds through Soho, they have become something else as well: engines of health.

I’m indebted to a number of people who read the manuscript and improved the book immensely with their thoughts and corrections: Carl Zimmer, Paul Miller, Howard Brody, Nigel Paneth, Peter Vinten-Johansen, and Tom Koch. A number of scholars were kind enough to comment on specific sections of the manuscript, or to answer my questions about the material: Sherwin Nuland, Steven Pinker, Ralph Frerichs, John Mekalanos, Sallie Patel, and Stewart Brand. My research assistant, Ivan Askwith, was once again an invaluable collaborator, as was Russell Davies, who came through with some last-minute additions from the streets (and libraries) of London. Whatever errors remain are mine alone. I’m grateful to the many libraries whose resources I drew on in my research: those of Harvard, MIT, and NYU, and the New York Public Library. I am particularly indebted to two London institutions: the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine and, of course, the peerless British Library—even the remote newspaper reading rooms in Colindale.

There are innumerable portraits of Victorian London, but Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor is still the most riveting and thorough account of the city’s vast underclass, rivaled only by Engels’ London chapters from The Condition of the English Working Class. Among the contemporary accounts, Liza Picard’s Victorian London, Roy Porter’s London: A Social History, and Peter Ackroyd’s London: A Biography are all worth reading. On the future of cities, I recommend Stewart Brand’s essay “City Planet” and Richard Rogers’ Cities for a Small Planet. The best account of the psychological and cultural impact of urbanization remains Raymond Williams’ masterly The Country and the City. Stephen Halliday’s The Great Stink tells the amazing story of Joseph Bazalgette’s battle to build London’s sewer system. For a modern look at waste management, I recommend William Rathje and Cullen Murphy’s Rubbish: The Archaeology of Garbage.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

In Snow Crash, Hiro Protagonist satirically defines the icon of the hacker figure, working at the periphery of monolithic cultural systems to make crucial interventions through technical skill, idealistic motivation, and a blithe disregard for traditional mores. Hiro is a character right out of the trickster archetype that technology journalist Steven Levy chronicles in Hackers; a character who came to life around Silicon Valley pioneer Stewart Brand’s Hackers Conference in 1984.2 The computational systems of the novel, from the various security systems to the Metaverse itself, were created by hackers and are subject to their manipulations. As a high-water mark in the cyberpunk genre, Snow Crash both embellished and consecrated hackers as potent and capricious architects of computational reality. Tricksters and rebels, hackers performed feats of technological prowess akin to magic (and often depicted as quasi-magical in films like Hackers, Sneakers, and The Matrix, where the source code becomes what media critic Wendy Hui Kyong Chun calls “sourcery”).3 Their power over code was shamanic, and their very roles as peripheral figures reinforced the notion that computation itself was susceptible to mysterious external forces.

Organism is opposed to chaos, to disintegration, to death, as message is to noise.”35 This line of argument evolved into the theory of autopoiesis proposed by philosophers Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela in the 1970s, the second wave of cybernetics which adapted the pattern-preservation of homeostasis more fully into the context of biological systems. Describing organisms as information also suggests the opposite, that information has a will to survive, that as Stewart Brand famously put it, “information wants to be free.”36 Like Neal Stephenson’s programmable minds, like the artificial intelligence researchers who seek to model the human brain, this notion of the organism as message reframes biology (and the human) to exist at least aspirationally within the boundary of effective computability. Cybernetics and autopoiesis lead to complexity science and efforts to model these processes in simulation.

Tech. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/faq-googles-new-privacy-policy/2012/01/24/gIQArw8GOQ_story.html. Tully, C., ed. ISPW ’88: Proceedings of the 4th International Software Process Workshop on Representing and Enacting the Software Process. New York: ACM, 1988. Turing, Alan M. “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.” Mind. New Series 59 (236) (October 1, 1950): 433–460. Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. “2014 Financial Tables—Investor Relations—Google,” Q1 2014. http://investor.google.com/financial/tables.html. “Understanding Deposit Insurance.” Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, June 3, 2014. http://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/. Vaccari, Andrés, and Belinda Barnet. “Prolegomena to a Future Robot History: Stiegler, Epiphylogenesis and Technical Evolution.”


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Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

You might teach a computer to play chess in order to determine how intelligent the machine had become, but programming a computer to play games just for the sake of playing games would have seemed like a colossal waste of resources, like hiring a symphony orchestra to play “Chopsticks.” But the Spacewar! developers saw a different future, one where computers had a more personal touch. Or, put another way, developing Spacewar! helped them see that future more clearly. In 1972, during a hiatus between publishing issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, Stewart Brand visited the Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford to witness “the First Intergalactic Spacewar! Olympics.” He wrote up his experiences for Rolling Stone in an article called “Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums.” As one of the first essays to document the hacker ethos and its connection to the counterculture, it is now considered one of the seminal documents of technology writing.

My brilliant new editor, Courtney Young, widened the scope of this book—and its cast of characters—in many significant ways. And I’m also very grateful to Helen Yentus and Ben Denzer for what may well be my favorite jacket design of all of my books. A number of people were gracious enough to read the book (or sections of it) in draft form. I’m deeply indebted to the comments, corrections, and encouraging words from Alex Ross, Ken Goldberg, Stewart Brand, Steven Pinker, Mike Gazzaniga, Filipe Castro, Jane Root, Fred Hepburn, Chris Anderson, Juliet Blake, Angela Cheng, and Jay Haynes. As always, my wife, Alexa Robinson, read every word—but only improved every other word—with her wisdom and line-editing mojo. Thanks to Franco Moretti for introducing me to the kleptomaniacs of Paris more than two decades ago. And thanks to Jay Haynes, Annie Keating, Alex Ross, and Eric Liftin for so many conversations about music and the mind over the years.

Recent studies show that when latex from Castilla elastica is boiled with the juice of moon vine, sulfonic acids that occur naturally in the vine increase the plasticity and elasticity of the rubber and produce a degree of vulcanization.” Fox, Kindle location 1300. “It should demonstrate”: J. M. Graetz, “The Origin of Spacewar!,” Creative Computing, August 1981, www.wheels.org/spacewar/creative/SpacewarOrigin.html. “The game of Spacewar!”: Stewart Brand, “Spacewar!,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972, www.wheels.org/spacewar/stone/rolling_stone.html. “Using data from the American Ephemeris”: Graetz, “The Origin of Spacewar!” “mechanically well made”: Edward O. Thorp, “Wearable Computers,” Digest of Papers, Second International Symposium on. 1998. “It had perhaps a hundred thousand”: Ibid. “As we worked and during”: Ibid. “The computer’s techniques”: Ken Jennings, “My Puny Human Brain,” Slate, Newsweek Interactive Co.


pages: 598 words: 183,531

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy

air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, Donald Knuth, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

They not only did so against the active disinterest of corporate America, their success forced corporate America to adopt their style in the end. In reorganizing the Information Age around the individual, via personal computers, the hackers may well have saved the American economy . . . The quietest of all the ’60s sub-subcultures has emerged as the most innovative and powerful. --Stewart Brand Founder, Whole Earth Catalog In November 1984, on the damp, windswept headlands north of San Francisco, one hundred fifty canonical programmers and techno-ninjas gathered for the first Hacker Conference. Originally conceived by Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, this event transformed an abandoned Army camp into temporary world headquarters for the Hacker Ethic. Not at all coincidentally, the event dovetailed with the publication of this book, and a good number of the characters in its pages turned up, in many cases to meet for the first time.

Fred Moore’s interest in computers was not only for the pleasure they gave to devoted programmers, but also for their ability to bring people together. Fred was a vagabond activist, a student of nonviolence who believed that most problems could be solved if only people could get together, communicate, and share solutions. Sometimes, in the service of these beliefs, Feed Moore would do very strange things. One of his more notable moments had come four years earlier, in 1971, during the demise party of the Whole Earth Catalog. Editor Stewart Brand had thrown this farewell-to-the-Catalog bash into turmoil by announcing that he was going to give away twenty thousand dollars: it was up to the fifteen hundred party-goers to decide whom he should give it to. The announcement was made at 10:30P.M., and for the next ten hours the party turned, variously, from town meeting to parliamentary conference, to debate, to brawl, to circus, and to bitching session.

I hear that dozens of times a year and never tire of it. Just as satisfying is the fact that the issues raised by the book have become some of the central controversies of the information age. On the week of the book’s publication, many of my subjects, (along with other remarkable hackers I hadn’t included), met in Marin County, California, for the first Hackers Conference. It was there that Stewart Brand, hacker godfather and Whole Earth Catalog editor, hacked the “Information Should Be Free” principle. It’s worth citing his comment, uttered off the cuff at a session I hosted called “The Future of the Hacker Ethic,” because it’s so often misquoted. “On one hand, information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable,” Brand said. “The right information in the right place just changes your life.


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The Price of Everything: And the Hidden Logic of Value by Eduardo Porter

Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, new economy, New Urbanism, peer-to-peer, pension reform, Peter Singer: altruism, pets.com, placebo effect, price discrimination, price stability, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, ultimatum game, unpaid internship, urban planning, Veblen good, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

As the price of storing, copying, and transmitting information in digital form fell, the producers of songs, movies, and other digital media lost their ability to stop consumers from copying their products endlessly and distributing them as widely as they wanted. In June of 1999, Shawn Fanning, a teenager from Brockton, Massachusetts, known to his friends as the Napster, launched a system that allowed people to share over the Internet the music files stored on their hard drives. By July of the following year, one in four adults who used the Internet said they had downloaded music for free. Stewart Brand, a countercultural prankster of the acid-laced sixties who evolved into a revolutionary futurist, told the nation’s first hackers’ conference near San Francisco a quarter of a century ago that “information wants to be free.” In the 1990s, Apple advertised its new iMacs equipped with a writable CD drive as the tool to “Rip. Mix. Burn.” Today, creators have lost control of their creations. The minute they become a digital file they “belong” to everybody, so nobody owns them.

He argued that artists should not be given a free hold over their works because their talent was a God-given gift that should be used for the public benefit. He argued that piracy allowed the fruits of this talent to reach consumers who couldn’t afford the extortionate prices charged by the labels. But Willetts lost and was jailed. And the bootleggers were cowed out of existence. Information became expensive again. Ultimately, information cannot be free. It only looks that way sometimes. The quote by Stewart Brand that became the slogan of online freedom fighters has a prelude that acknowledges that information also “wants to be expensive” because of its enormous value to recipients. This is a reasonable proposition. Still, it leaves no space for the producer of information. Information can’t exist without her. CHAPTER SEVEN The Price of Culture DEMOCRACY SEEMS TO have taken over the world. By one account, at the end of the twentieth century 63 percent of the world’s population lived in democratic regimes, up from 12 percent at the end of the nineteenth.

The Korean reaction to spam is in Robert Kraut, Shyam Sunder, Rahul Telang, and James Morris, “Pricing Electronic Mail to Solve the Problem of Spam,” Yale ICF Working Paper, July 2005. 137-141 Napstering the World: The falling prices of computers are found in Bureau of Economic Analysis, NIPA table 1.5.4, Price Indices for GDP, expanded detail (www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=34&ViewSeries=NO&Java=no&Request3Place=N&3Place=N&FromView=YES&Freq=Year&FirstYear= 1980&LastYear=2009&3Place=N&Update= U pdate& Java Box=no#Mid, accessed on 08/16/2010). The explosion of free music downloads is detailed in Amanda Lenhart and Susannah Fox, “Downloading Free Music,” Pew Internet and American Life Project, September 28, 2000. Stewart Brand’s quote is in Jack Fuller, What Is Happening to News: The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), p. 104. Chris Anderson’s thoughts can be found in Free: The Future of a Radical Price (New York: Hyperion, 2009). Data on the declining sales of music recordings come from the Recording Industry Association of America (awww.riaa. org) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (www.ifpi.org).


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Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow

3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

The pros and cons of doing tech alone are that you are not constrained by anyone else’s tendency to go a different direction or do interpret an idea another way, but what you create is limited by your own technical skills—a dilemma. PS: Ted Nelson’s Computer Lib/Dream Machines had two front covers, no back cover. One front cover was for Computer Lib, which dealt with computer politics and tech. Flip the book over, start reading from the other cover and you have Dream Machines, dealing with the visionary use of computers. Stylistically Computer Lib/Dream Machines was modeled on Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, interspersed with hip illustrations, weaving odd stories and quotations into the text. The book was not meant to be read in a linear fashion. For 1974, it was completely revolutionary. LS: The forms Ted’s early books took showed the essence of the problem. We simply don’t think in sequential streams. Those early books of Ted’s did their best to circumvent the limitations of words on paper.

University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, pp 43–57 Nelson TH (1992) Silicon valley story, the preview 1.3. https://​www.​youtube.​com/​watch?​v=​AXlyMrv8_​dQ Excerpt (?) of “The Silicon Valley Show“ uploaded in 2010 to YouTube Nelson TH (1992) The silicon valley show. http://​archive.​org/​details/​Timothy_​Leary_​Archives_​189.​dv. A video short called “The Silicon Valley Show” featuring Ted Nelson, Douglas Engelbart, Rick Mascitti, Stewart Brand, and Timothy Leary. Directed by Ted Nelson Nelson TH (1992) Xanadu space, 1993. Autodesk, Sausalito. http://​archive.​org/​details/​01Kahle000838. Wide Area Information Servers Project Documentation, scanned in 2013 Nelson TH (1993) Literary Machines … 93.1 edn. Mindful Press, Sausalito, CA Nelson TH (1993) Publishing contracts for a point-and-click Universe. Xanadu World Publishing Repository, Sausalito. http://​archive.​org/​details/​01Kahle000846.


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The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling

Apple II, back-to-the-land, game design, ghettoisation, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Mitch Kapor, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Hackers Conference, the scientific method, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

(This group of hackers were the exact sort of "hackers" most likely to react with militant fury at any criminal degradation of the term "hacker.") Barlow, though he was not arrested or accused of a crime, and though his computer had certainly not gone out the door, was very troubled by this anomaly. He carried the word to the Well. Like the Hackers Conference, "the Well" was an emanation of the Point Foundation. Point Foundation, the inspiration of a wealthy Californian 60s radical named Stewart Brand, was to be a major launch-pad of the civil libertarian effort. Point Foundation's cultural efforts, like those of their fellow Bay Area Californians the Grateful Dead, were multifaceted and multitudinous. Rigid ideological consistency had never been a strong suit of the Whole Earth Catalog. This Point publication had enjoyed a strong vogue during the late 60s and early 70s, when it offered hundreds of practical (and not so practical) tips on communitarian living, environmentalism, and getting back-to-the-land.

Steve Wozniak (perhaps a bit stung by the NuPrometheus scandal) swiftly offered to match any funds Kapor offered the Foundation. John Gilmore, one of the pioneers of Sun Microsystems, immediately offered his own extensive financial and personal support. Gilmore, an ardent libertarian, was to prove an eloquent advocate of electronic privacy issues, especially freedom from governmental and corporate computer-assisted surveillance of private citizens. A second meeting in San Francisco rounded up further allies: Stewart Brand of the Point Foundation, virtual-reality pioneers Jaron Lanier and Chuck Blanchard, network entrepreneur and venture capitalist Nat Goldhaber. At this dinner meeting, the activists settled on a formal title: the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Incorporated. Kapor became its president. A new EFF Conference was opened on the Point Foundation's Well, and the Well was declared "the home of the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

What he really hopes to do is make the world safe for future Mitch Kapors. This world of decentralized, small-scale nodes, with instant global access for the best and brightest, would be a perfect milieu for the shoestring attic capitalism that made Mitch Kapor what he is today. Kapor is a very bright man. He has a rare combination of visionary intensity with a strong practical streak. The Board of the EFF: John Barlow, Jerry Berman of the ACLU, Stewart Brand, John Gilmore, Steve Wozniak, and Esther Dyson, the doyenne of East-West computer entrepreneurism—share his gift, his vision, and his formidable networking talents. They are people of the 1960s, winnowed-out by its turbulence and rewarded with wealth and influence. They are some of the best and the brightest that the electronic community has to offer. But can they do it, in the real world? Or are they only dreaming?


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The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet by Justin Peters

4chan, activist lawyer, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bayesian statistics, Brewster Kahle, buy low sell high, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, global village, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Lean Startup, moral panic, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, profit motive, RAND corporation, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

The oral tradition, the printing press, the railroad, the telephone, the radio, the television, the Internet—all of these innovations opened channels for what otherwise might have remained stray ideas, and gave those ideas velocity and direction. They are the mechanisms by which an entire society can come to consider and discuss the same ideas and events. Lawmakers have never been quite sure whether to feed or starve the cultural brain. As communications technologies have advanced, this conflict has intensified. In his 1987 book, The Media Lab, the entrepreneur and futurist Stewart Brand memorably asserted that “information wants to be free”: that it is effectively impossible to restrict the flow of (and artificially maintain high prices for) data in a world rife with photocopiers, tape decks, instant cameras, digital networks, and other such disseminative tools.32 Brand was the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, which, in the 1960s and 1970s, brought long-haired shoppers a message of conscientious consumption.

Soon after that, if history is any guide, the general copyright statute will be due for revision. Soon after that, if history is any guide, copyright stakeholders will gather in private to draft a statute that protects and advances their financial interests. Information wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free. Today, with the developed world linked by digital networks that have not entirely fulfilled their transformative promise, Stewart Brand’s paradox seems more relevant and more frustrating than ever. Aaron Swartz spent his life caught in this paradox, and while he didn’t quite succeed in disentangling it, he at least called attention to the fact that it exists. Three years on, the story of his life and death serves as a necessary reminder that there is a fundamental disconnect between our laws and our habits, between the way we are supposed to conduct ourselves online and the way we actually do.

“Stop Online Piracy Act, Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, on H.R. 3261.” Serial no. 112-154, November 16, 2011. Tirella, Joseph. Tomorrow-Land: The 1964–65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2014. Townley, Benjamin. The Quest for Nationality: An American Literary Campaign. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1957. Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. Twain, Mark. Autobiography of Mark Twain. Edited by Benjamin Griffin and Harriet Elinor Smith. 2 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. Unger, Harlow Giles. Noah Webster: The Life and Times of an American Patriot. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1998. US Senate Committee on the Judiciary.


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The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson

Albert Einstein, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, Danny Hillis, discovery of DNA, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kevin Kelly, planetary scale, side project, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, zero-sum game

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I’m grateful to several institutions for their willingness to let me work through the major themes of this book in public. First, NYU’s School of Journalism, for letting me teach a graduate seminar on Cultural Ecosystems, and my students there who contributed so many helpful ideas (and who, I’m thankful to report, shot down more than a few of my less helpful ones). My friends at the Long Now Foundation—Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, Brian Eno, Danny Hillis, and Alexander Rose—were kind enough to invite me to discuss the “long zoom” approach to cultural history at one of their seminars in long-term thinking in 2007. I was also lucky enough to be invited to discuss these issues onstage with Brian at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. I’m also indebted to Larry Lessig for the Jefferson quote at the beginning of this book, an early link that led me to one of the book’s major themes.

In part his prediction failed because he neglected other macro forces, including the capacity of capitalism to evolve corrections to the problems it created, and in part because he couldn’t shake off the organizing principle of Hegel’s dialectic. 44 “Aside from occasional brief asides” Kuhn, p. xii. 47 thousands (or millions) of years to play out This layered view of cultural development was directly inspired by the pace layered diagram of civilization that I first encountered in Stewart Brand’s wonderful book, How Buildings Learn. Brand’s levels are slightly different, and are focused primarily on the speed at which each layer changes. The main categories are, going from fast to slow: Fashion; Commerce; Infrastructure; Governance; Culture; Nature. 50 “By the way” Schofield 1966, p. 54. 54 “The impact of the introduction of coffee” Standage, p. 135. 55 “In electricity, in particular” Priestley 1775, p. xii Chapter Two: Rose and Nightshade 61 “The work of a button” Journal of Jonathan Williams, Jr., of His Tour with Franklin and Others through Northern England, May 28, 1771.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

“That’s exactly what we want companies to do,” he said. “We’re laying a foundation, and we want everyone to build on it.” Larry Wall, creator of Perl, was another of my mentors in how to think about free software. When I asked him why he had made Perl free software, he explained that he had gotten so much value from the work of others that he felt an obligation to give something back. Larry also quoted to me a variation of Stewart Brand’s classic observation, saying, “Information doesn’t want to be free. Information wants to be valuable.” Like many other free software authors, Larry had discovered that one way to make his information (that is, his software) more valuable was to give it away. He was able to increase its utility not only for himself (because others who took it up made changes and enhancements that he could use), but for everyone else who uses it, because as software becomes more ubiquitous it can be taken for granted as a foundation for further work.

Policy makers must understand the role of platforms in bringing small business into the twenty-first century, measure their economic impact, and craft tax policies to encourage the creation of broader economic value, not just the value companies extract for themselves. THE CLOTHESLINE PARADOX What we measure matters. I first became fascinated with the curious fact that we often ignore and take for granted many types of economic value when, in 1975, I read an essay by environmentalist Steve Baer published in Stewart Brand’s Co-Evolution Quarterly, the successor to The Whole Earth Catalog. The essay was called “The Clothesline Paradox.” “If you take down your clothesline and buy an electric clothes dryer, the electric consumption of the nation rises slightly,” Baer wrote. “If you go in the other direction and remove the electric clothes dryer and install a clothesline, the consumption of electricity drops slightly, but there is no credit given anywhere on the charts and graphs to solar energy, which is now drying the clothes.”

Might we one day be able to fill the blood with nanobots—tiny machines—that repair our cells, relegating the organ and hip replacements of today, marvelous as they are, to a museum of antiquated technology? Or will we achieve that not through a perfection of the machinist’s art but through the next steps in the path trod by Luther Burbank? Amazing work is happening today in synthetic biology and gene engineering. George Church and his colleagues at Harvard are beginning a controversial ten-year project to create from scratch a complete human genome. Ryan Phelan and Stewart Brand’s Revive and Restore project is working to use gene engineering to restore genetic diversity to endangered species, and perhaps one day to bring extinct species back to life. Technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 allow researchers to rewrite the DNA inside living organisms. Neurotech—direct interfaces between machines and the brain and nervous system—is another frontier. There has been great progress in creating prosthetic limbs that provide sensory feedback and respond directly to the mind.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

Labor Shortage Is Reaching a Critical Point,” CNBC Markets, July 5, 2018. See: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/05/the-us-labor-shortage-is-reaching-a-critical-point.html. Existential Risks: Vision, Prevention, and Governance Nick Bostrom: “Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards,” Journal of Evolution and Technology 9 (March 9, 2002). Vision Stewart Brand: Stewart Brand, Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility, The Ideas Behind the World’s Slowest Computer (Basic Books, 1999), p.1. Prevention Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times: Michael Kimmelman, “The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching,” New York Times, June 15, 2017. “Sentry System,” designed by NASA’s: Learn more about Sentry here: https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/sentry/vi.html.

Delayed gratification is the psychological term, and one distinguishing characteristic of our species is the ability to delay gratification beyond the limits of lifespan. Religions that shape behavior today by promising an afterlife tomorrow rely on this mechanism. No other animal can do this. But we seem to be losing this talent. “Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span,” writes Stewart Brand in an essay for the Long Now Foundation. “This trend might be coming from the acceleration of technology, the short-horizon perspective of market-driven economics, the next-election perspective of democracies, or the distractions of personal multi-tasking. All are on the increase. Some sort of balancing corrective to the short-sightedness is needed.” The corrective Brand came up with was his aforementioned Long Now Foundation, an organization most famous for constructing a clock that’s hidden in a cave in the hinterlands of Nevada’s Great Basin National Park.


pages: 239 words: 68,598

The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James E. Lovelock

Ada Lovelace, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, discovery of DNA, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, short selling, Stewart Brand, University of East Anglia

Countless numbers still die and are made ill by coal smoke in the world, especially in China and Mongolia. Yet it is not the coal itself that kills but the inefficient way we burn it in open fires. London’s air, apart from traffic pollution, is now almost clean to breathe, although 33 per cent of all the electricity we use still comes from burning coal. In 2008 Sandy and I were invited to have breakfast at a London hotel with James Rogers of Duke Energy, and Mary, his wife. My friend Stewart Brand had made the introduction and thought that we would both benefit from the meeting: he was right. I found Jim Rogers, a leading figure in the huge American coal industry, to be as concerned with our future as I was, and wonderfully practical. We shared the opinion that there was neither the time nor the resources to bury the carbon dioxide effluent of coal‐fired power stations on a global scale.

Were it not for the deadly serious consequences of using the wrong theory, the disagreement would be no more than the normal slow progress of scientific understanding. It is normal to debate a new hypothesis, so what went wrong? Why was the Gaia hypothesis thrown into the rubbish bin? The trouble started in 1979 when the Canadian biologist Ford Doolittle wrote his lively and well‐written critique of Gaia. Interestingly, he chose to publish it in the American New Age magazine Coevolution Quarterly, edited by Stewart Brand. Scientists may pretend to deplore the New Age, but that does not stop them reading its publications and in no time Gaia’s face was turned to the wall, especially in the neo‐Darwinist community of scientists. Neither Lynn Margulis nor I could make a convincing defence – partly because, as we had stated it, the Gaia hypothesis was wrong. We had said that organisms, or the biosphere, regulated the Earth’s climate and composition.


pages: 243 words: 65,374

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

A. Roger Ekirch, Ada Lovelace, big-box store, British Empire, butterfly effect, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, germ theory of disease, Hans Lippershey, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, inventory management, Jacquard loom, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Live Aid, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Murano, Venice glass, planetary scale, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, walkable city, women in the workforce

It is an exercise in a different kind of time discipline: the discipline of avoiding short-term thinking, of forcing yourself to think about our actions and their consequences on the scale of centuries and millennia. Borrowing a wonderful phrase from the musician and artist Brian Eno, the device is called “the Clock of the Long Now.” The Clock of the Long Now The organization behind this device, the Long Now Foundation—cofounded by Hillis, Eno, Stewart Brand, and a few other visionaries—aims to build a number of ten-thousand-year clocks. (The first one is being constructed for a mountainside location in West Texas.) Why go to such extravagant lengths to build a clock that might tick only once in your lifetime? Because new modes of measuring force us to think about the world in a new light. Just as the microseconds of quartz and cesium opened up new ideas that transformed everyday life in countless ways, the slow time of the Long Now clock helps us think in new ways about the future.

At PBS I’m indebted to the extraordinary vote of confidence from Beth Hoppe and Bill Gardner, as well as from Jennifer Lawson at CPB, Dave Davis from OPB, and Martin Davidson at the BBC. A book that covers so many different fields can only succeed by drawing on the expertise of others. I’m grateful to the many talented people we interviewed for this project, some of whom were kind enough to read portions of the manuscript in draft: Terri Adams, Katherine Ashenburg, Rosa Barovier, Stewart Brand, Jason Brown, Dr. Ray Briggs, Stan Bunger, Kevin Connor, Gene Chruszcs, John DeGenova, Jason Deichler, Jacques Desbois, Dr. Mike Dunne, Caterina Fake, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Gai Gherardi, David Giovannoni, Peggi Godwin, Thomas Goetz, Alvin Hall, Grant Hill, Sharon Hudgens, Kevin Kelly, Craig Koslofsky, Alan MacFarlane, David Marshall, Demetrios Matsakis, Alexis McCrossen, Holley Muraco, Lyndon Murray, Bernard Nagengast, Max Nova, Mark Osterman, Blair Perkins, Lawrence Pettinelli, Dr.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Once Toyota had extraordinary craftsmen that were known as Kami-sama, or “gods” who had the ability to make anything, according to Toyota president Akio Toyoda.49 The craftsmen also had the human ability to act creatively and thus improve the manufacturing process. Now, to add flexibility and creativity back into their factories, Toyota chose to restore a hundred “manual-intensive” workspaces. The restoration of the Toyota gods is evocative of Stewart Brand’s opening line to the 1968 Whole Earth Catalog: “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.” Brand later acknowledged that he had borrowed the concept from British anthropologist Edmund Leach, who wrote, also in 1968: “Men have become like gods. Isn’t it about time that we understood our divinity? Science offers us total mastery over our environment and over our destiny, yet instead of rejoicing we feel deeply afraid.

More than a decade ahead of its time, the Alto was the first modern personal computer with a windows-based graphical display that included fonts and graphics, making possible on-screen pages that corresponded precisely to final printed documents (ergo WYSIWYG, pronounced “whizziwig,” which stands for “what you see is what you get”). The machine was controlled by an oddly shaped rolling appendage with three buttons wired to the computer known as a mouse. For those who saw the Alto while it was still a research secret, it drove home the meaning of Engelbart’s augmentation ideas. Indeed, one of those researchers was Stewart Brand, a counterculture impresario—photographer, writer, and editor—who had masterminded the Whole Earth Catalog. In an article for Rolling Stone, Brand referred to PARC as “Shy Research Center,” and he coined the term “personal computing.” Now, more than four decades later, the desktop personal computers of PARC are handheld and they are in the hands of much of the world’s population. Today Google’s robot laboratory sits just several hundred feet from the building where the Xerox pioneers conceived of personal computing.

Gordon, “Why Innovation Won’t Save Us,” Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324461604578191781756437940. 48.Gordon, “The Demise of U.S. Economic Growth.” 49.Craig Trudell, Yukiko Hagiwara, and Jie Ma, “Humans Replacing Robots Herald Toyota’s Vision of Future,” BloombergBusiness, April 7, 2014, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-06/humans-replacing-robots-herald-toyota-s-vision-of-future.html. 50.Stewart Brand, “We Are As Gods,” Whole Earth Catalog, Fall 1968, http://www.wholeearth.com/issue/1010/article/195/we.are.as.gods. 51.Amir Efrati, “Google Beat Facebook for DeepMind, Creates Ethics Board,” Information, January 27, 2014, https://www.theinformation.com/google-beat-facebook-for-deepmind-creates-ethics-board. 52.“Foxconn Chairman Likens His Workforce to Animals,” WantChina Times, January 19, 2012, http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?


pages: 288 words: 76,343

The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--And How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity by Paul Collier

agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, business climate, Doha Development Round, energy security, food miles, G4S, information asymmetry, Kenneth Arrow, megacity, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stewart Brand

Eight-year-olds are not, on the whole, always repositories of good sense, and Daniel is no exception. But by chance his anger is right on target: son and father are ethically aligned in the battleground of natural assets. First, the left flank. I agree with environmentalists that nature is special: at some level most of us recognize that. But why is it special? Mainstream environmentalists, such as Stewart Brand, offer one answer. Nature is especially vulnerable and that matters because, being dependent upon it, mankind is thereby vulnerable. But as Brand argues, many environmentalists are carrying ideological baggage that needs to be discarded. For romantic environmentalists nature is incommensurate with the mundane business of the economy: it is in some way ethically prior. Echoing Baron d’Holbach’s diagnosis of modern angst, they see industrial capitalism as having divorced us from the natural world which it is rapidly destroying.

By far the most carbon-efficient advanced economy is France, which, following the oil shock of 1974, decided to achieve energy security by investing in nuclear power. France was able to do this because whereas elsewhere the political left was hostile to nuclear energy, in France it was nationalistic and so supported the idea of independence from imported oil. Wind, wave, and solar power may eventually become scalable (provided enough money is put into research), but for the moment pragmatists such as Stewart Brand, one of the pioneers of the environmental movement, have accepted that nuclear power is an essential part of the battle to contain global warming. They are in tune with the spirit of this book, which is that decisions over the management of natural assets and liabilities are too important to be guided by romanticism. Faced with a shadow price for carbon of around $40 per ton, the world will gradually respond efficiently to global warming.


pages: 675 words: 141,667

Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell

American ideology, animal electricity, barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

Nelson, Sources of Industrial Leadership: Studies of Seven Industries (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 79–132; Chandler, Inventing the Electronic Century, 94–106; Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, 128–143, 161–173; Gerald W. Brock, The Second Information Revolution (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2003), 106–111. 29 Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Doubleday, 1984); Edwards, Closed World; Atsushi Akera, “Voluntarism and the Fruits of Collaboration: The IBM User Group, Share,” Technology and Culture 42 (2001): 710–736; Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006); John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (New York: Penguin, 2006); Ted Friedman, Electric Dreams: Computers in American Culture (New York: New York University Press, 2005); Steven W. Usselman, “Comment: Mediating Innovation: Reflections on the Complex Relationships of User and Supplier,” Enterprise & Society 7 (2006): 477–484. 30 Steven W.

Nye, “Shaping Communication Networks: Telegraph, Telephone, Computer,” Social Research 64 (1997): 1067–1091; Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, “The Californian Ideology,” Science as Culture 6 (1996): 44–72; Paulina Borsook, Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High Tech (New York: PublicAffairs, 2001); Pekka Himanen, The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (New York: Random House, 2001); Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006). Bibliography Manuscript Collections Alex McKenzie Collection of Computer Networking Development Records (CBI 123), Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. American Engineering Standards Committee Minutes, American National Standards Institute, New York, New York.

New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987. Thompson, George V. “Intercompany Technical Standardization in the Early American Automobile Industry.” The Journal of Economic History 14 (1954): 1–20. Toth, Robert, ed. Standards Activities of Organizations in the United States. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1996. Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. United States Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. Global Standards: Building Blocks for the Future. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992. Updegrove, Andrew. “A Work in Progress: Government Support for Standard Setting in the United States, 1980–2004.” Consortium Standards Bulletin 4 (2005): 1–8.


Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

This link between evolutionary ecology and cybernetics through the notIon of co- evolution gained popular currency through the life and work of a former student of Paul R. EhrlIch's: Stewart Brand. According to hIs own account, Brand "was bit early by a series of biologists" including Ehrlich, who had supervised his undergraduate research at Stanford in I 9 5 9, and "last but deepest, Gregory Bateson" (Brand, in Kleiner and Brand 1986, 3). In 1968, Brand founded the Whole Earth Catalog, whIch he edIted and published untIl 1972. In 1974, with the proceeds of the catalog, Brand founded CoEvolutIon Quarterly (CQ). Both the catalog and CQ were institutions of the counterculture in the late 1960's and early I970'S. In his introduction to a col- lection of ten years of CQ entitled News that Stayed News, Art Kleiner recalled that the catalog was "started by Stewart Brand in I968 to cater (at first) to hippies liv- ing on commune" (Kleiner, in KleIner and Brand 1986, xi).

As a matter of fact, I think Bill English never did let me see how much it really cost. (laughs) But I know it was on the order of $IO-I5,000, which would be like $50,000 now- adays, or the equIvalent. A lot of money. (Engelbart 1996) Back in our lab, we dismantled a number of the display units in our display sys- tem, so that we could use the cameras in San Francisco and SRI. We borrowed a few tripods and got some extra people to be camera people. One of our friends, Stewart Brand, who was at that time workIng on his first Whole Earth Catalog, helped as well. So it was really a group project; there were about 17 of us. SRI and the oN-LIne System 141 On my console on the stage, there was a camera mounted that caught my face. Another camera, mounted overhead, looked down on the workstatIon controls. In the back of the room, Bill English controlled use of these two video signals as well as the two video sIgnals coming up from SRI that could brIng eIther camera or computer video.


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

Grayling, Joshua Greene, Cesar Hidalgo, Jodie Jackson, Lawrence Krauss, Branko Milanović, Robert Muggah, Jason Nemirow, Matthew Nock, Ted Nordhaus, Anthony Pagden, Robert Pinker, Susan Pinker, Stephen Radelet, Peter Scoblic, Martin Seligman, Michael Shellenberger, and Christian Welzel. Other friends and colleagues answered questions or made important suggestions, including Charleen Adams, Rosalind Arden, Andrew Balmford, Nicolas Baumard, Brian Boutwell, Stewart Brand, David Byrne, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Gregg Easterbrook, Emily-Rose Eastop, Nils Petter Gleditsch, Jennifer Jacquet, Barry Latzer, Mark Lilla, Karen Long, Andrew Mack, Michael McCullough, Heiner Rindermann, Jim Rossi, Scott Sagan, Sally Satel, and Michael Shermer. Special thanks go to my Harvard colleagues Mahzarin Banaji, Mercè Crosas, James Engell, Daniel Gilbert, Richard McNally, Kathryn Sikkink, and Lawrence Summers.

Transgenic crops are being developed with high yields, lifesaving vitamins, tolerance of drought and salinity, resistance to disease, pests, and spoilage, and reduced need for land, fertilizer, and plowing. Hundreds of studies, every major health and science organization, and more than a hundred Nobel laureates have testified to their safety (unsurprisingly, since there is no such thing as a genetically unmodified crop).28 Yet traditional environmentalist groups, with what the ecology writer Stewart Brand has called their “customary indifference to starvation,” have prosecuted a fanatical crusade to keep transgenic crops from people—not just from whole-food gourmets in rich countries but from poor farmers in developing ones.29 Their opposition begins with a commitment to the sacred yet meaningless value of “naturalness,” which leads them to decry “genetic pollution” and “playing with nature” and to promote “real food” based on “ecological agriculture.”

For example, Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society wrote, “We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. . . . Curing a body of cancer requires radical and invasive therapy, and therefore, curing the biosphere of the human virus will also require a radical and invasive approach.”2 Recently an alternative approach to environmental protection has been championed by John Asafu-Adjaye, Jesse Ausubel, Andrew Balmford, Stewart Brand, Ruth DeFries, Nancy Knowlton, Ted Nordhaus, Michael Shellenberger, and others. It has been called Ecomodernism, Ecopragmatism, Earth Optimism, and the Blue-Green or Turquoise movement, though we can also think of it as Enlightenment Environmentalism or Humanistic Environmentalism.3 Ecomodernism begins with the realization that some degree of pollution is an inescapable consequence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.


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We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

The computer industry did not realise his dream until cheap personal computers and the Internet were combined in the mid-1990s. Before Engelbart, the computer was distrusted as a dehumanising tool of corporate and bureaucratic control. His work re-imagined it as an instrument of personal liberation and freedom of expression, with the potential to flatten hierarchies, decentralise organisations and unleash collective creativity. The man recording Engelbart’s presentation in December 1968 was Stewart Brand, a 29-year-old itinerant artist and journalist. Brand’s eclectic interests meant he had links with avantgarde artists in Manhattan who were exploring new art forms; with backwoods communes in New Mexico where people were exploring new ways of living; and with the counter-culture of San Francisco, where technology, protest and drugs fused together. As technologists like Engelbart were imagining new ways for people to collaborate using computers, others were experimenting directly with communal living: by 1970 about 750,000 people were living in tens of thousands of recently established communes, in search of a simpler, more authentic way of life.

People often discussed ideas in the coffee room. They were exploring new territory, devising the process as they went along, so there were no fiefdoms to defend. Sharing ideas quickly became normal. As the community grew, researchers communicated their progress through the relentlessly practical Worm Breeder’s Gazette. (The Gazette was like a cross between Lean’s Engine Reporter, which organised innovation in the Cornish tin mines and Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, which listed useful technologies.) Brenner’s openness set off a virtuous cycle of knowledge-sharing, which was the only way to get the work done. He had identified a task so complex that no single laboratory could complete it. Knowledge about what a particular gene did was worthless unless it could be combined with information about other genes. The jigsaw puzzle had so many pieces it could be completed only through collaboration on a massive scale.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, hedonic treadmill, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Williams. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (Portfolio, 2008). Thackara, John. In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World (MIT Press, 2006). Thaler, Richard, and Cass R. Sunstein. Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Penguin, 2009). Tomasello, Michael. Why We Cooperate (MIT Press, 2009). Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (University of Chicago Press, 2006). Wilkinson, Richard, and Kate Pickett. The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger (Bloomsbury Press, 2009). Index The pagination of this electronic edition does not match the edition from which it was created. To locate a specific passage, please use the search feature of your e-book reader.

Michael Tomasaello’s research and new book Why We Cooperate were covered in Nicholas Wade, “Why We May Be Born with an Urge to Help,” New York Times (November 30, 2009), www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/science/01human.html?pagewanted=1. 3. Michael Tomasello, Why We Cooperate (MIT Press, 2009), 5. 4. Statistics retrieved from, “The Rise and Rise of eBay,” Nielsen//NetRatings. Retrieved October 2009, www.nielsen-online.com/pr/pr_050823_uk.pdf. 5. Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago University Press, 2006). 6. “Zipcar Rolls Out National Low-Car Diet.” Zipcar press release (July 21, 200), http://green.autoblog.com/2009/08/25/zipcars-low-car-diet-results-save-money-lose-weight 7. Ibid. 8. Philip Ball, Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006). As cited on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_mass_(sociodynamics). 9.


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The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Computer Lib You’ve heard of “women’s lib” coming out of the Vietnam era? Well, turns out there was “computer lib,” too. Ted Nelson’s pivotal 1974 book Computer Lib: You Can and Must Understand Computers Now confronted nerds everywhere with a rousing call to action, demanding that they claim computing for individuals so as to free them from the oppression of, you guessed it, large institutions. Computer Lib had a radical style similar to Stewart Brand’s countercultural publication The Whole Earth Catalog, yet Computer Lib devoted itself to computers, offering both a primer on the basics of programming and a breathtaking vision of computing’s future. The book’s cover art—a raised fist, à la the Black Panthers—left little doubt about its intended radicalism. Computer science was burgeoning as a discipline at major universities. At the same time, much of the country was still caught up in the turmoil of antiwar protests and other social movements.

In May 1970, a group of students at the University of Illinois organized a day of action to protest the construction on campus of a supercomputer called the ILLIAC IV, primarily because it was funded by the Defense Department. They called their protest Smash ILLIAC IV and included a cartoon of the mainframe computer with screens tracking things like a “kill-die factor” and a gaping mouth labeled “Feed $$$$$$ here!” 12. Stewart Brand is a particularly interesting figure because he bridged these two branches of nerd culture. He was the camera operator at Engelbart’s “Mother of All Demos,” but he was also one of the Merry Pranksters running around on Ken Kesey’s bus. The quotation is taken from his essay “We Owe It All to the Hippies,” Time, 1 Mar. 1995. 13. http://www.digibarn.com/collections/newsletters/peoples-computer/peoples-1972-oct/index.html 14. http://www.atariarchives.org/deli/homebrew_and_how_the_apple.php 15. http://www.digibarn.com/collections/newsletters/homebrew/V2_01/index.html 16. http://www.gadgetspage.com/comps-peripheral/apple-i-computer-ad.html 17.


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The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

This group performed the remarkable feat of transforming computers from enablers of stodgy government administration to countercultural cutting edge, from implements of technocratic experts to machines that empower everyday people. They “reconfigured the status of information and information technologies,” Turner explains, by contending that these new tools would tear down bureaucracy, enhance individual consciousness, and help build a new collaborative society.15 These prophets of the networked age—led by the WELL’s Stewart Brand and including Kelly and many other still-influential figures—moved effortlessly from the hacker fringe to the upper echelon of the Global Business Network, all while retaining their radical patina. Thus, in 1984 Macintosh could run an ad picturing Karl Marx with the tagline, “It was about time a capitalist started a revolution”—and so it continues today. The online sphere inspires incessant talk of gift economies and public-spiritedness and democracy, but commercialism and privatization and inequality lurk beneath the surface.

Marina Gorbis, “Ain’t Gonna Work on Arianna’s Farm No More,” Institute for the Future, Future Now (blog), September 1, 2010, http://www.iftf.org/future-now/article-detail/aint-gonna-work-on-ariannas-farm-no-more/. 14. For example, both Clay Shirky (in Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age [New York: Penguin Press, 2010]) and Lawrence Lessig (in Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy [New York: Penguin Press, 2008]) take time to dispute the digital sharecropping argument. 15. Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 238 and 247. 16. For a good discussion of this history, see Evgeny Morozov’s profile of Tim O’Reilly, supporter of the open source movement and founder of O’Reilly Media. Evgeny Morozov, “The Meme Hustler,” Baffler, no. 22 (2013). 17. Openness is the “key to success,” says Jeff Jarvis in What Would Google Do?


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The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Eric Schmidt of Google, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook all supported Obama and had close ties to the White House. Clinton, in a major 2010 speech, attacked the usual enemies like hackers and repressive regimes, in defence of an ‘open’ internet. She milked the last dismal vestiges of Californian hippy idealism: alluding to the hoary old sentiment that ‘information wants to be free’, as the hippy entrepreneur and Silicon Valley legend Stewart Brand didn’t quite say.23 She also took to task, as enemies of openness, those countries who didn’t trust the global regulatory oversight of ICANN, an industry-aligned Californian non-profit. Championing an open net was, in addition to being congruent with Washington’s liberal self-image, both a projection of American power and a logical political alliance. Democrats had always been close to telecommunications capital.

There is, and could be, no answer to that. If anyone knew what utopia looked like, it would have ceased to be utopia: we would be living in it. Utopia is, literally, a non-place, meaning that utopias at their best are not prescriptions but imaginative placeholders for human desires. At its worst, cyber-utopianism has been a neo-liberal sublimation of 1960s communalism, reflecting the journey from the hippy Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog to Wired magazine. The whole earth, according to this dispensation, is a ‘global, massively interconnected system of technology vibrating around us’, as executive editor of Wired, Kevin Kelly, put it.26 This conception, which he calls ‘the technium’, saw Kelly, Brand and their confederates serenaded by venture capital and lauded at Davos. But for Kelly, it had a more mystical significance.


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Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Chrome, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Peter Thiel, pirate software, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, ransomware, Richard Stallman, Robert Mercer, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

Along with shared creative efforts and antiestablishment attitude, that deep alliance meant experimental social structure, early technological adoption, and, as Mann put it, “better living through chemistry.” Even before the Dead had their name, they were a part of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, the eclectic and idealistic group that drove through America to have fun messing with people and to spread the good news about LSD. Another Prankster, visionary writer and marketer Stewart Brand, would also help spread the good news about the coming age of computing. Brand’s outlets included the ecology-oriented magazine Whole Earth Catalog and the WELL, the pioneering West Coast online community. Among Mann’s friends was Dead lyricist and future WELL regular John Perry Barlow. As a Wesleyan college student, Barlow had begun visiting acid guru Timothy Leary, and he introduced the Dead to Leary in 1967.

Neidorf knew the manual had been stolen, but he hadn’t broken into machines himself and had not profited from the theft—Phrack was free to readers. Neidorf’s trial became a pivotal moment for hackers and their defenders, in large part because of Jesse Dryden’s family friend, John Perry Barlow, the freewheeling Grateful Dead lyricist and early fan of online communities who would be a major influence on cDc. Barlow’s fellow acid-taking Deadhead Stewart Brand had spawned the online community the WELL in 1985, and Barlow was a prolific and eloquent contributor. For those with primitive online access via modems, university networks, or other means, it was a mega bulletin board, broken up by topic. Barlow appreciated the dialogue and the chance to connect with interesting people even from his Wyoming ranch. Barlow’s introduction to the rougher side of the internet came in late 1989, when he participated in a WELL group chat about the nature of hacking that was curated by Harper’s magazine, which printed excerpts.


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The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism by David Golumbia

3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, currency peg, distributed ledger, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, jimmy wales, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, smart contracts, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, Travis Kalanick, WikiLeaks

Technology Liberation Front (August 12). http://techliberation.com/. Tkacz, Nathaniel. 2012. “From Open Source to Open Government: A Critique of Open Politics.” Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization 12, no. 4: 386–405. Tucker, Jeffrey A. 2015a. Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World. Liberty.me. —. 2015b. “A Theory of the Scam.” Beautiful Anarchy (January 2). http://tucker.liberty.me/. Turner, Fred. 2008. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Tutino, Antonella, and Carlos E. J. M. Zarazaga. 2014. “Inflation Is Not Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon.” Economic Letter (June). http://www.dallasfed.org/. Varoufakis, Yanis. 2013. “Bitcoin and the Dangerous Fantasy of ‘Apolitical’ Money.” Yanis Varoufakis (April 22). http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/.


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Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game

City families live more compactly, do less damage to fragile ecosystems, burn less fuel, build stronger social ties to larger numbers of people, and, most significantly, produce fewer children, since large families have less economic utility in dense urban settings than they do in marginal agricultural areas. Wealthy westerners are capable of romanticizing truly desolate urban living conditions, as was evident with Hollywood’s embrace of the 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire. But humanely managing wholesale urban migration will play a critical part in any quest for global sustainability. Stewart Brand has written, “Already, as a result of headlong urbanization, birthrates have plummeted in the developing world from 6 children per woman in the 1970s to 2.9 now. Twenty ‘less developed’ countries, including China, Chile, Thailand, and Iran, have already dropped below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman.”8 That’s good news, both locally and globally, and Brand sees hope for the world in the spread of dense, jumbled urban neighborhoods very much like the ones that the Chinese have assiduously been leveling in Beijing.

Sachs, “Coping with a Persistent Oil Crisis,” Scientific American , October 2008. 5 Charles Dickens, Bleak House (New York: Modern Library Edition, 2002), p. 28. 6 There are some good hutong photographs here: http://beijingman.blogspot.com/2007/12/beijing-hutong-time-out.html. See also Wang Wenbo, Recollections of Hutong (Beijing: China Nationality Art Photograph Publishing House, 2006)—a wonderful book, if you can find it. 7 Peter Hessler, “Hutong Karma,” The New Yorker, February 13 and 20, 2006. 8 Stewart Brand, “City Planet,” Strategy + Business, Spring 2006: http://www.strategy-business.com/press/16635507/06109. 9 Elisabeth Rosenthal, “New Jungles Prompt a Debate on Saving Primeval Rain Forests,” The New York Times, January 30, 2009. 10 Danielle Pergament, “36 Hours: Dubai,” The New York Times, April 6, 2008. 11 Seth Sherman, “Dubai, Where Too Much Is Never Enough,” The New York Times, June 4, 2006. 12 William McDonough and Michael Braungart, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (New York: North Point Press, 2002). 13 Jennifer Conlin, “Going Green in Australia’s Blue Mountains,” The New York Times, April 6, 2008. 14 Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin Books, 2006), p. 242. 15 Michael Specter, “Big Foot,” The New Yorker, February 25, 2008. 16 From “Tesco, Carbon and the Consumer,” a speech by Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco’s CEO, given in London on January 1, 2007.


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Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI by John Brockman

AI winter, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, David Graeber, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, finite state, friendly AI, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Laplace demon, Loebner Prize, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Picturephone, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telemarketer, telerobotics, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, zero-sum game

We were ushered into a large space on the MIT campus, in the middle of which there was a “cold room” raised off the floor and enclosed in glass, in which technicians wearing white lab coats, scarves, and gloves were busy collating punch cards coming through an enormous machine. When I approached, the steam from my breath fogged up the window into the cold room. Wiping it off, I saw “the” computer. I fell in love. Later, in the fall of 1967, I went to Menlo Park to spend time with Stewart Brand, whom I had met in New York in 1965 when he was a satellite member of the USCO group of artists. Now, with his wife, Lois, a mathematician, he was preparing the first edition of the Whole Earth Catalog for publication. While Lois and the team did the heavy lifting on the final mechanicals for WEC, Stewart and I sat together in a corner for two days, reading, underlining, and annotating the same paperback copy of Cybernetics that Cage had handed to me the year before, and debating Wiener’s ideas.

It is an exercise in “perspectivism,” consisting of short, separate sections, each of which mentions blackbirds in some way. The poem is about his own imagination; it concerns what he attends to. The parable of the blind men and an elephant. Like the elephant, AI is too big a topic for any one perspective, never mind the fact that no two people seem to see things the same way. What do we want the book to do? Stewart Brand has noted that “revisiting pioneer thinking is perpetually useful. And it gives a long perspective that invites thinking in decades and centuries about the subject. All contemporary discussion is bound to age badly and immediately without the longer perspective.” Danny Hillis wants people in AI to realize how they’ve been programmed by Wiener’s book. “You’re executing its road map,” he says, “and you just don’t realize it.”


The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World by John Michael Greer

back-to-the-land, Black Swan, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, David Strachan, deindustrialization, European colonialism, Extropian, failed state, feminist movement, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, hydrogen economy, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, mass immigration, McMansion, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, Project for a New American Century, Ray Kurzweil, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

I should confess at the start that I have been a fan of Wright’s work for decades, and not merely because he was one of the handful of first-rate talents influenced by the modern Druid tradition.2 In his quest for an organic architecture, he reshaped the vocabulary of space and form in ways that are still being explored by architects today, and he also produced rather more than his share of stunningly beautiful buildings. Still, there are few geniuses whose works have no flaws, and Wright was not among them. Stewart Brand ably sets out the case for the prosecution.3 To begin with, he notes, Wright’s roofs leak. Since one essential purpose of shelter is to keep weather out, and making a roof watertight is not that difficult, Wright’s problems with this basic task are not a good sign. More broadly, Wright paid more attention to the aesthetics of building materials than their structural qualities, and built a good 121 122 T he E cotechnic F u t u re many splendid buildings that could not hold up to normal wear and tear, or in some cases, the mere force of gravity.

Recent disputes around the ethics of eating animal foods are complex and, in my view, badly in need of clear reasoning — ​enough so that limits of space do not permit a detailed discussion here. It may be clear from the following, however, that I find claims of the immorality of eating animals unconvincing. Chapter Seven: Home 1. In Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture, Dover, 1986. 2. See, for example, the introduction to Frank Lloyd Wright, Truth Against the World: Frank Lloyd Wright Speaks for an Organic Architecture, WileyInterscience­, 1987. 3. In Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built, Viking, 1994. 4. The R-value (resistance to heat) of a wall built with standard American domestic wooden construction practices averages 19, while three-string straw bale construction faced on both sides with plaster and cob has been rated with R-values from 52 to 74. See Nehemiah Stone, “Thermal Performance of Straw Bale Wall Systems,” Ecological Building Network (October 2003), ecobuildnetwork.org. 5.


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, low cost airline, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

I have also had the privilege to receive help and advice from true luminaries, such as Richard Saul Wurman, Saul Kaplan, Kevin Kelly, Jared Spool, Peter Vander Auwera, Dan Roam, Thor Muller, Paul Pangaro, Lane Becker, Peter Morville, Lou Rosenfeld, Nilofer Merchant, John Hagel III, JP Rangaswami, Doc Searls, Stowe Boyd, Jay Cross, Marcia Conner, Ben Cerveny, Chris Brogan, Bob Logan, David Armano, Alex Osterwalder, and Don Norman. Although I don’t know them personally, for the ideas in this book, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the works of Gary Hamel, Clayton Christensen, Arie de Geus, Ricardo Semler, Eric Beinhocker, Daniel Pink, Richard Florida, Stewart Brand, Bill McKelvey, Stafford Beer, Herbert Simon, John Boyd, and perhaps most of all, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, many of whose groundbreaking ideas are only now being realized. For the access they provided to connected companies and their inner workings, I must thank Ray LaDriere, Kevin Kernan, Michael Bonamassa, Jerry Rudisin, Sunny Gupta, Adrian Cockcroft, Harry Max, Mary Walker, Mark Interrante, Ben Hart, Livia Labate, Sherri Maxson, and Sharif Renno.

Freedom from Command and Control: Rethinking Management for Lean Service By John Seddon, Productivity Press, 2005. The Future of Management By Bill Breen and Gary Hamel, Harvard Business School Press, 2007. The Ghost in the Machine By Arthur Koestler, Macmillan, 1968. The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity By Richard Florida, Harper, 2010. How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built By Stewart Brand, Viking Adult, 1994. Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter By John Fleming and Jim Asplund, Gallup Press, 2007. In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives By Steven Levy, Simon and Schuster, 2011. Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy By Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian, Harvard Business Review Press, 1998. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail By Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business Review Press, 1997.


pages: 915 words: 232,883

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

air freight, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fixed income, game design, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Jony Ive, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, profit maximization, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

India: Interviews with Daniel Kottke, Steve Jobs, Al Alcorn, Larry Brilliant. The Search: Interviews with Steve Jobs, Daniel Kottke, Elizabeth Holmes, Greg Calhoun. Young, 72; Young and Simon, 31–32; Moritz, 107. Breakout: Interviews with Nolan Bushnell, Al Alcorn, Steve Wozniak, Ron Wayne, Andy Hertzfeld. Wozniak, 144–149; Young, 88; Linzmayer, 4. CHAPTER 5: THE APPLE I Machines of Loving Grace: Interviews with Steve Jobs, Bono, Stewart Brand. Markoff, xii; Stewart Brand, “We Owe It All to the Hippies,” Time, Mar. 1, 1995; Jobs, Stanford commencement address; Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (Chicago, 2006). The Homebrew Computer Club: Interviews with Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak. Wozniak, 152–172; Freiberger and Swaine, 99; Linzmayer, 5; Moritz, 144; Steve Wozniak, “Homebrew and How Apple Came to Be,” www.atariarchives.org; Bill Gates, “Open Letter to Hobbyists,” Feb. 3, 1976.

“The people who invented the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently,” he said. “The hierarchical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.” One person who encouraged the denizens of the counterculture to make common cause with the hackers was Stewart Brand. A puckish visionary who generated fun and ideas over many decades, Brand was a participant in one of the early sixties LSD studies in Palo Alto. He joined with his fellow subject Ken Kesey to produce the acid-celebrating Trips Festival, appeared in the opening scene of Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and worked with Doug Engelbart to create a seminal sound-and-light presentation of new technologies called the Mother of All Demos.

I also want to thank my father, Irwin, and my daughter, Betsy, for reading the book and offering advice. And as always, I am most deeply indebted to my wife, Cathy, for her editing, suggestions, wise counsel, and so very much more. SOURCES Interviews (conducted 2009–2011) Al Alcorn, Roger Ames, Fred Anderson, Bill Atkinson, Joan Baez, Marjorie Powell Barden, Jeff Bewkes, Bono, Ann Bowers, Stewart Brand, Chrisann Brennan, Larry Brilliant, John Seeley Brown, Tim Brown, Nolan Bushnell, Greg Calhoun, Bill Campbell, Berry Cash, Ed Catmull, Ray Cave, Lee Clow, Debi Coleman, Tim Cook, Katie Cotton, Eddy Cue, Andrea Cunningham, John Doerr, Millard Drexler, Jennifer Egan, Al Eisenstat, Michael Eisner, Larry Ellison, Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Gerard Errera, Tony Fadell, Jean-Louis Gassée, Bill Gates, Adele Goldberg, Craig Good, Austan Goolsbee, Al Gore, Andy Grove, Bill Hambrecht, Michael Hawley, Andy Hertzfeld, Joanna Hoffman, Elizabeth Holmes, Bruce Horn, John Huey, Jimmy Iovine, Jony Ive, Oren Jacob, Erin Jobs, Reed Jobs, Steve Jobs, Ron Johnson, Mitch Kapor, Susan Kare (email), Jeffrey Katzenberg, Pam Kerwin, Kristina Kiehl, Joel Klein, Daniel Kottke, Andy Lack, John Lasseter, Art Levinson, Steven Levy, Dan’l Lewin, Maya Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Mike Markkula, John Markoff, Wynton Marsalis, Regis McKenna, Mike Merin, Bob Metcalfe, Doug Morris, Walt Mossberg, Rupert Murdoch, Mike Murray, Nicholas Negroponte, Dean Ornish, Paul Otellini, Norman Pearlstine, Laurene Powell, Josh Quittner, Tina Redse, George Riley, Brian Roberts, Arthur Rock, Jeff Rosen, Alain Rossmann, Jon Rubinstein, Phil Schiller, Eric Schmidt, Barry Schuler, Mike Scott, John Sculley, Andy Serwer, Mona Simpson, Mike Slade, Alvy Ray Smith, Gina Smith, Kathryn Smith, Rick Stengel, Larry Tesler, Avie Tevanian, Guy “Bud” Tribble, Don Valentine, Paul Vidich, James Vincent, Alice Waters, Ron Wayne, Wendell Weeks, Ed Woolard, Stephen Wozniak, Del Yocam, Jerry York.


pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social intelligence, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

According to numbers included in that report, the US government spends 39 billion dollars each year on basic research. The report does not directly compute total worldwide governmental spending on basic research, and so the figure of 100 billion dollars is an estimate, based on several other numbers from that report. p 206: The Daniel Hillis quote “there are problems that are impossible&0;. . .” is from page 157 of Stewart Brand’s book The Clock of the Long Now [27]. Appendix p 211: A gentle introduction to the density Hales Jewett (DHJ) theorem, including on explanation of the concept of combinatorial lines, may be found in [66]. p 212: For Szemerédi’s theorem, see [218]. The Green-Tao theorem is proved in [84]. p 212: The original proof of DHJ was in [66]. References [1] Aotearoa. Comment on a blog post at Boing Boing (blog), May 3, 2009. http://www.boingboing.net/2009/05/03/wasting-time-for-a-g.html#comment-481275

Position paper for Astro2010 Decadal Survey State, available at http://arxiv.org/abs/0909.3892. [25] Todd A. Boroson and Tod R. Lauer. A candidate sub-parsec supermassive binary black hole system. Nature, 458:53–55, March 5, 2009. [26] Jean-Claude Bradley. Open notebook science. Drexel CoAS E-Learning (blog), September 26, 2006. http://drexel-coas-elearning.blogspot.com/2006/09/open-notebook-science.html. [27] Stewart Brand. The Clock of the Long Now. New York: Basic Books, 2000. [28] John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid. The Social Life of Information. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2000. [29] Zacary Brown. I’m a solver. Perspectives on Innovation (blog), February 4, 2009. http://blog.innocentive.com/2009/02/04/im-a-solver-zacary-brown/. [30] Admiral Bumblebee. Comment on submission “Kasparov versus the World,” 2007. http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/2hvex/kasparov_versus _the_world/


pages: 319 words: 100,984

The Moon: A History for the Future by Oliver Morton

Charles Lindbergh, commoditize, Dava Sobel, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, gravity well, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, multiplanetary species, Norman Mailer, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, UNCLOS, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

O’Neill imagined one such structure—he called it “Island Three”—as a hollow cylinder kilometres long, spinning on its axis so that the workers living within would enjoy a centrifugal force that emulated gravity.5 Sunlight would be let in through long windows; the neighbours would live overhead. This vision, published under the title “The High Frontier” (1976), proved to have a wide and eclectic appeal. Tech-heads liked it; hippies liked it, too; so did the ecology minded. Stewart Brand, a magnificent Californian impresario of ideas who had campaigned for NASA to release pictures of the whole Earth from space when they were not available, took up the cause in his publications Whole Earth Catalog and its spin-off CoEvolution Quarterly. The same publications had also, not coincidentally, been the venue for some of the first serious discussions of James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis.

I stopped, took off my shoes, cued the track back to its beginning. Grinning and turning, changing and sure to change again, I danced in the surf to the rising Moon. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS THIS BOOK HAS BENEFITTED FROM THE TIME AND GENEROSITY of many people, during both its long mostly unwitting latency and its somewhat frenetic execution. For various sorts of information, inspiration and practical help, I would like to thank Oded Aharonson, Eric Asphaug, Stewart Brand, Holly Jean Buck, Niall Campbell, Andrew Chaikin, Carissa Christensen, Charles Cockell, Ashley Conway, Olaf Corry, Ian Crawford, Martin Elvis, Jeff Foust, Mike French, Trevor Hammond, Bill Hartmann, Jim Head, Tracy Hester, Scott Hubbard, Laura Joanknecht, Roz Kaveney, John Kessel, Jeff Lewis, Simon Lewis, Simon Lock, John Logsdon, Neil Maher, Will Marshall, Chris McKay, Jay Melosh, Farah Mendelsohn, Philip Metzger, Clive Neal, Ted Nordhaus, Ted Parson, Stephen Pumfrey, Bob Richards, Paul Robbins, Stan Robinson, Simon Schaffer (as always), Jean Schneider, Rusty Schweickart, Sarah Stewart, Timothy Stubbs, Bron Szerszynski, David Waltham, Dennis Wingo, Nick Woolf, Pete Worden and Kevin Zahnle.


Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander

Alistair Cooke, commoditize, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, full employment, invention of agriculture, Menlo Park, music of the spheres, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, trickle-down economics

In this sense, the machine is literally dominant, and you are pas- SIve. 171 III. EFFECTS OF TELEVISION ON THE HUMAN BEING Health and Light As I began to look around for an explanation to account for the physical symptoms people were describing, particularly those related to "deadness," "zombielike feeling," "irritation," and so on-symptoms ordinarily explained as psychologically induced-Stewart Brand sent me a copy of a book called Health and Light by Dr. John Ott, a former banker who quit to become a time-lapse photographer and then founded the Environmental Health and Light Research Institute in Sara- sota, Florida. Now in his seven ties, Ott presides over a board of directors of doctors and medical researchers who do pio- neering work on the effects of light on the human body. I had heard of Ott as a major source for government agen- cies seeking evidence of the effects of X-radiation emanating from television sets.

Gossage exposed me to a way of thinking about media, its power and its absurdities, which probably affected my own perceptions more than any other single person or source. Often while working on this project, I found myself mentally checking things with the way he would have seen them, his mind remains that alive to me. Finally, for contributions of hot leads and miscellaneous good ideas, I would like to thank Larry Adleman, Rina AI- calay, Obie Benz, Jeff Brand, Stewart Brand, Susan Brock- man, Neeli Cherkovski, Sheldon Davis, Libby Edwards, Mali Gesmundo, Todd Gitlin, Rubin Glickman, Colette Goerner, Arlene Goldbard, Rasa Gustaitis, Jim Harding, Janet Kranz- berg, Ann Kyle, Marie Helene Laraque, George Leonard, Leo Litwak, Jerry Lubenow, Joan Lubenow, John Magnuson, Jane Margold, Susan Margolis, Katinka Matson, John Matt- son, Jeannie Milligan, Albert Morse, Stewart Mott, Mike Murphy, Michael Nolan, Mark Obenhaus, Zev Putterman, Michael Shamberg, Michael Singer, Dick Shouse, Sara Ur- quart-Duskin, Henry Weinstein, and the folks at the Ant Farm, Optic Nerve and Malvina's. .,. .f' - "..f'


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

In fact, this kind of surveillance capacity is already being sold to other countries, particularly in Africa, as a tool for regimes to control their populations and spy on political opponents. “Clean Rich” or High-Tech Monopolists? To a remarkable extent, the tech elites have presented themselves as dynamic, entrepreneurial outsiders who want to make the world better. In the early days of the tech revolution, some imagined an almost utopian, communitarian society on the horizon. The California author Stewart Brand, writing in Rolling Stone in 1972, predicted that when computers became widely available, we would all become “computer bums, all more empowered as individuals and as co-operators.” It would be a new era of enhanced “spontaneous creation and of human interaction.”36 The “early digital idealists” envisioned a “sharing” web that functioned “free from the constraints of the commercial order.”37 Instead, a technocratic economy is engendering a new kind of hierarchy, favoring highly skilled technicians and engineers.

Tech Giants Are Helping to Build China’s Surveillance State,” Intercept, July 11, 2019, https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/china-surveillance-google-ibm-semptian/; Mike Elgan, “Uh Oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system,” Fast Company, August 26, 2019, https://www.fastcompany.com/90394048/uh-oh-silicon-valley-is-building-a-chinese-style-social-credit-system; Dan Strumpf and Wenxin Fan, “Who Wants to Supply China’s Surveillance State? The West,” Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-wants-to-supply-chinas-surveillance-state-the-west-1509540111. 36 Stewart Brand, “Spacewar,” Rolling Stone, December 7, 1972, http://www.wheels.org/spacewar/stone/rolling_stone.html. 37 Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013), xii. 38 Will Oremus, “Most Americans Still Don’t Fear Big Tech’s Power,” Slate, March 16, 2018, https://slate.com/technology/2018/03/most-americans-still-dont-fear-big-techs-power-survey-finds.html; Aaron Smith, “Public Attitudes Toward Technology Companies,” Pew Research Center, June 28, 2018, http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/06/28/public-attitudes-toward-technology-companies/. 39 Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End?


Possiplex by Ted Nelson

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, cuban missile crisis, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, HyperCard, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Murray Gell-Mann, nonsequential writing, pattern recognition, post-work, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Vannevar Bush, Zimmermann PGP

This was a clue that he was going for the Nobel, which he later got. What would Thomas Kuhn have said? (2) 1987 In Cambridge I saw Tom Kuhn and asked him how he felt about my extensions to his terminology, like “paradigm lock” and “paradigm warp.” ‘Do what you like,’ he said, ‘I’ve run it into the ground already.’ What would Stewart Brand have said? ca. 1987 When Microsoft published a revised Computer Lib—an edition that still makes me deeply unhappy—they solicited comments from various people. Stewart Brand said: ‘Ted Nelson is the Thomas Paine of the computer revolution.’ I kind of liked that; I had admired Paine since highschool. But the remark makes me just a writer, not a designer, which is where a lot of people want to pigeonhole me. Chapter 14. AUTODAZE, 1988-92 === 1988 (I was 50) THE AUTODESK DEAL The deal with Autodesk didn't take long to set up, it turned out.


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Program Or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age by Douglas Rushkoff

banking crisis, big-box store, citizen journalism, cloud computing, digital map, East Village, financial innovation, Firefox, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the printing press, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, peer-to-peer, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, WikiLeaks

To most people, this meant a confirmation of copyright—that everything we posted on the bulletin boards belonged to us, and couldn’t be published by someone else without permission. To others, including me, You Own Your Own Words served as an ethical foundation: You, the human being on the other side of the modem, are responsible for what you say and do here. You are accountable. Given that the WELL was developed by farsighted cultural pioneers such as Stewart Brand, Larry Brilliant, Kevin Kelly, and Howard Rheingold, we shouldn’t be surprised that they sought to compensate for some of the disconnection online between people and their words. And that’s why, from the very beginning, I decided to be myself online. I’ve only used one name on the Internet: Rushkoff. I figured the only real danger was from government, corporations, or some other “big brother” out there using what I posted against me in some future McCarthy hearings.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Myers Navigating Physical and Virtual Lives: Linda Stone Not Everything or Everyone in the World Has a Home on the Internet: Barry C. Smith Ephemera and Back Again: Chris DiBona What Do We Think About? Who Gets to Do the Thinking?: Evgeny Morozov The Internet Is a Cultural Form: Virginia Heffernan Wallowing in the World of Knowledge: Peter Schwartz One’s Guild: Stewart Brand Trust Nothing, Debate Everything: Jason Calacanis Harmful One-Liners, an Ocean of Facts, and Rewired Minds: Haim Harari What Other People Think: Marti Hearst The Extinction of Experience: Scott D. Sampson The Collective Nature of Human Intelligence: Matt Ridley Six Ways the Internet May Save Civilization: David Eagleman Better Neuroxing Through the Internet: Samuel Barondes A Gift to Conspirators and Terrorists Everywhere: Marcel Kinsbourne The Ant Hill: Eva Wisten I Can Make a Difference Because of the Internet: Bruce Hood Go Virtual, Young Man: Eric Weinstein My Internet Mind: Thomas A.

Our effective personal memories are now vastly larger—essentially infinite. Our identity is embedded in what we know. And how I think is an expression of that identity. For me, the Internet has led to that deep sense of collaboration, awareness, and ubiquitous knowledge that means that my thought processes are not bound by the meat machine that is my brain, nor my locality, nor my time. One’s Guild Stewart Brand Founder, Whole Earth Catalog; cofounder, the WELL; cofounder, Global Business Network; author, Whole Earth Discipline I couldn’t function without them, and I suspect the same is true for nearly all effective people. By “them,” I mean my closest intellectual collaborators. They are the major players in my social, extended mind. How I think is shaped to a large degree by how they think. Our association is looser than a team but closer than a cohort, and it’s not a club or a workgroup or an elite.


pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Sean Carroll The Pointless Universe Looking at the universe through our anthropocentric eyes, we can’t help but view things in terms of causes, purposes, and natural ways of being. Samuel Arbesman The Copernican Principle We are not anywhere special. J. Craig Venter We Are Not Alone in the Universe There is a humancentric, Earthcentric view of life that permeates most cultural and societal thinking. Stewart Brand Microbes Run the World This biotech century will be microbe-enhanced and maybe microbe-inspired. Richard Dawkins The Double-Blind Control Experiment Why do half of all Americans believe in ghosts, three-quarters believe in angels, a third believe in astrology, three-quarters believe in hell? Max Tegmark Promoting a Scientific Lifestyle Our global scientific community has been nothing short of a spectacular failure when it comes to educating the public.

The recent discoveries by Dimitar Sasselov and colleagues of numerous Earth and super-Earth-like planets outside our solar system, including water worlds, greatly increases the probability of finding life. Sasselov estimates that there are approximately a hundred thousand Earths and super-Earths within our own galaxy. The universe is young, so wherever we find microbial life, there will be intelligent life in the future. Expanding our scientific reach farther into the skies will change us forever. Microbes Run the World Stewart Brand Founder, Whole Earth Catalog; cofounder, the WELL; cofounder, Global Business Network; author, Whole Earth Discipline “Microbes run the world.” That opening sentence of the National Research Council’s The New Science of Metagenomics sounds reveille for a new way of understanding biology and maybe of understanding society as well. The breakthrough was the shotgun sequencing of DNA, the same technology that gave us the human genome years ahead of schedule.


pages: 565 words: 122,605

The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Downton Abbey, edge city, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, land reform, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pensions crisis, Peter Calthorpe, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Seaside, Florida, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, starchitect, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the built environment, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, young professional

More than 80 percent of employment growth from 2007 to 2013 was in the newer suburbs and exurban areas.23 CITIES, SUBURBS, AND ENVIRONMENT In addition to economic arguments, claims of environmental superiority also drive the push for densification. Some environmentalists also celebrate the demographic impact of densification, seeing in denser cities a natural contraceptive against population growth, which is seen as a major contributor to environmental destruction. Stewart Brand, founder of the green handbook Whole Earth Catalog, embraces denser urbanization, particularly in developing countries, as a way of “stopping the population explosion cold.”24 Concerns over climate change have been added to justify greater density. “What is causing global warming is the lifestyle of the American middle class,” insists New Urbanist architect Andrés Duany, a major developer of dense housing himself and arguably the movement’s most important voice.25 To advocates such as Duany, a return to old urban forms encourages transit riding over cars, which is one way to reduce carbon emissions.

Rather than an exemplar for the urban future, the megacity could become a dangerous cul-de-sac that offers neither greater promise nor a better life for its residents. Remarkably, as stated earlier, some in the West seem to feel that these residents should not be encouraged to become more affluent, to try to achieve higher income standards. This is based in part on concerns about a potential strain on resources and perhaps the encroachment of cities on rural land. The growth of slums, suggests environmental pundit Stewart Brand, is a positive development for the planet. It takes people out of remote villages, where subsistence farming threatens forests and topsoil, and puts them into slums, where they consume little in the way of energy and leave the rural landscape alone. Rather than a problem for future humanity, Brand and others see slums as part of “the solution” to the world’s environmental and social dilemmas.130 IS THERE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE?


pages: 417 words: 109,367

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, phenotype, planetary scale, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, yield curve

Nevertheless, marine fauna generally are in better condition than terrestrial fauna: Fewer marine animal extinctions have occurred; many geographic ranges have shrunk less; and numerous ocean ecosystems remain more wild than terrestrial ecosystems.” As a result, the researchers conclude that while the need for action is urgent, there is still time to rescue and restore the biodiversity of the oceans. Cities Spare Nature Another extremely positive megatrend with regard to protecting and restoring nature is urbanization. In his 2010 article “How Slums Can Save the Planet,” prominent environmental thinker Stewart Brand cited architect Peter Calthorpe’s 1985 assertion that “[t]he city is the most environmentally benign form of human settlement. Each city dweller consumes less land, less energy, less water, and produces less pollution than his counterpart in settlements of lower densities.” By 2010, the majority of people lived in cities for the first time in history. Demographers expect that 80 percent of people will live in urban areas by 2050 or so.

Jackson, “Ecological Extinction and Evolution in the Brave New Ocean,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, supp. 1 (August 12, 2008): 11458–11465. www.pnas.org/content/105/Supplement_1/11458.full. “halts, and even reverses”: Christopher Costello, Steven D. Gaines, and John Lynham, “Can Catch Shares Prevent Fisheries Collapse?” Science 321.5896 (September 19, 2008): 1678–1681. www.sciencemag.org/content/321/5896/1678.short . “The city is the most environmentally benign form”: Stewart Brand, citing Peter Calthorpe in “How Slums Can Save the Planet.” Prospect, January 27, 2010. www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/how-slums-can-save-the-planet/#.U7sUp6goxyg. a globally interconnected world: Paolo D’Odorico et al., “Feeding Humanity Through Global Food Trade.” Earth’s Future 2.9 (September 2014): 458–469. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000250/abstract. “we will need to find a way to reintegrate”: Jeremy Rifkin, “The Risks of Too Much City.”


pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

Albert Einstein, American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technoutopianism, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine

“There was a clear but not formally stated understanding,” noted Baran, “that a survivable communications network is needed to stop, as well as to help avoid, a war.”38 A network that can survive an enemy attack could ensure the threat of the mutual nuclear annihilation—a threat so cataclysmic that it would rationally deter (Baran and his military superiors hoped) either the Soviets, the Americans, or any other nuclear power from striking first.39 Baran’s inspiration for packet switching as a way to build a survivable network traces back to Warren McCulloch’s cybernetic conception of the human brain as a complex and resilient logical processor. As Baran reported in an interview with Stewart Brand, “McCulloch in particular inspired me. He described how he could excise a part of the brain, and the function in that part would move over to another part.”40 The same interview lists McCulloch and Pitt’s 1943 paper on neural networks as a sensible reference, although Baran also noted that he was reading more broadly in the “subject of neural nets,” a literature that probably included McCulloch, Pitts, Jerome Lettvin, Humberto Maturana, and others.

Leslie, The Cold War and American Science: The Military-Industrial-Academic Complex (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), 203–231. 37. Kristie Mackrasis, Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi’s Spy-Tech World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 23, 133, 139, esp. 112–140. 38. Judy O’Neill, “Interview with Paul Baran,” Charles Babbage Institute, OH 182, March 5, 1990, Menlo Park, CA, accessed April 15, 2015, http://www.gtnoise.net/classes/cs7001/fall_2008/readings/baran-int.pdf. 39. Ibid.; see also Stewart Brand, “Founding Father,” Wired 9 (3) (1991), accessed April 15, 2015, http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/9.03/baran_pr.html. 40. Brand, “Founding Father.” 41. Ibid. 42. Bradley Voytek, “Are There Really as Many Neurons in the Human Brain as Stars in the Milky Way?,” Nature (Scitable blog, May 20, 2013), accessed April 15, 2015, http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/brain-metrics/are_there_really_as_many. 43.


pages: 431 words: 118,074

The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA's Visionary Leader George M. Low by Richard Jurek

additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, fudge factor, John Conway, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, operation paperclip, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stewart Brand, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

George had this wonderful, broad interest in almost everything that was going on, especially anything that was on the leading edge, and people who were doing far-out things.”16 NASA had LANDSAT (formerly the Earth Resources Technology Satellite) used to photograph and image the world in order to monitor changes to the environment. Low and Cousteau were looking for ways to use LANDSAT with oceanic research. “I spent a very enlightening Christmas week with Commander Cousteau on Calypso. It was Christmas a year ago, off a small island in Mexico,” Low said, during a 1976 conversation with Schweickart, Cousteau, Cousteau’s son Phillipe, and Stewart Brand. “We started talking about what we can jointly do in learning how to better understand the oceans and to begin to get on top of some of the problems. . . . In fact, we did a joint project last summer in the Caribbean to try to see whether satellites can help determine the shallow ocean depths, the depths of the ocean where ships tend to run aground and spew oil all over.” The experiment was successful.

Davis, 9 May 1975, George M. Low Papers, 1930–1984. 13. Mark Low, email correspondence with the author, 21 September 2016. 14. Rusty Schweickart, interview by the author, 27 May 2016. 15. Rusty Schweickart, interview by the author, 27 May 2016. 16. Rusty Schweickart, interview by the author, 27 May 2016. 17. “Jacques Cousteau at NASA Headquarters,” in Space Colonies: A CoEvolution Book, ed. Stewart Brand (1977), https://space.nss.org/settlement/nasa/CoEvolutionBook/JCOUST.HTML. 18. Rusty Schweickart, interview by the author, 27 May 2016. 19. George Low, handwritten pro/con notes on TRENCOR vs. RPI, March 1976, George M. Low Papers, 1930–1984. 20. Roundup, 26 March 1976. 21. George Low, Personal Notes, no. 167, 4 June 1976, p. 3. 22. Joseph P. Allen, interview by Jennifer Ross-Nazzal, 16 March 2004, NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project. 23.


pages: 636 words: 202,284

Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns

active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, commoditize, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog

The answer involves a history extending back beyond the development of digital technology itself, to ideals of science and media that were forged in the days of the radio and telephone trusts. It also derives from underground practices seen by their proponents as upholding those ideals in the face of industry and monopoly. Take radio. All the principal participants in the making of the home computer either had backgrounds as ham radio aficionados or came from whole families of them (as did Stewart Brand, founder of the first online community, the WELL). Before their experiences at MIT, Stanford, or any of the other canonical sites of the computer revolution, these figures were already acculturated into norms of open access, technical meritocracy, libertarianism, and the sharing of information. These were the values bequeathed to amateur and pirate radio from the 1920s–1930s patent fights against AT&T and the radio trust and, in the UK, from those around the BBC, and identified, thanks to those fights, with science itself.

As in Cambridge, however, a merger of phreaking and hacking was central to defining the new technology. It occurred at a range of extramural and sometimes transient social settings, including various homes, Kepler’s bookstore (a place reminiscent of the bookshops and coffeehouses of Restoration London), and a Free University that offered courses on “How to End the IBM Monopoly.” In print, there was of course Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, a guide to “tools” useful for readers impatient with the conformities of American consumerism. Launched in 1969, the catalogue touched on an extraordinary range of topics, from cybernetics and communication theories to agriculture and medicine, with an eclectic individualism purportedly inspired by Buckminster Fuller. It grew with successive editions until by 1971 it was almost 450 pages long.

The reality, extent, and epistemic implications of piratical practices were held up as not only challenges to intellectual property – though those challenges were widely declared to be fundamental – but as threats to the possibility of a rational online public. The need to articulate the moral economy of digital networks became acute. The best known of the early networked communities was the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, or WELL, a Sausalito group cofounded by Stewart Brand. Before long other online collectives – Usenet, MUDs, MOOs, and the like – were multiplying. The earliest BBS (bulletin board system) was older, having been created by two Chicagoans in the late 1970s as a substitute for swapping cassettes. Some of these groups, like the WELL, were fairly small and localized; others were larger and adopted fictional locations, leading at length to ventures like Second Life.


pages: 162 words: 42,595

Architecture: A Very Short Introduction by Andrew Ballantyne

dematerialisation, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, late capitalism, means of production, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Stewart Brand, the built environment

Michael Pollan, A Place of My Own: the Education of an Amateur Builder (Random House, 1997) describes the commissioning and construction of a small building in the author’s garden, and shows how personal and emotional investments are made along with the effort and ingenuity involved in building. The range of forces at work on buildings is explored in Edward Allen, How Buildings Work (Oxford University Press, second edition 1995). The books shows how many things find resolution in a building’s design, and is complemented by Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built (Viking, 1994) which shows how people adapt buildings to overcome problems that the designers did not anticipate. There is a host of more specialized studies that caters to particular interests, and the bibliographies and recommendations in the books listed above will point towards them. A few historic texts can be recommended for the insight that they give into the architecture of different eras.


pages: 423 words: 126,096

Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity by Edward Tenner

A. Roger Ekirch, Bonfire of the Vanities, card file, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Network effects, optical character recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Shoshana Zuboff, Stewart Brand, women in the workforce

Of course, new technology could in turn serve these trends: braiding machines with today’s sophisticated controls can produce patterns in laces, including ways to identify corporate and school affiliation. Technique and technology reinforce and modify each other, coevolving unpredictably and endlessly. Building on the ideas of the architectural theorist Christopher Alexander, the writer and designer Stewart Brand has illustrated how structures “learn” by absorbing the additions, subtractions, innovations, and restorations of successive owners. Adaptability is equally vital in designing the smaller things in life. What Brand writes about buildings, that each is a prediction and a wrong one, applies to our tools as well.9 Our Own Devices is thus an exploration not only of inventive genius but also of user ingenuity.

“‘Miracle’: Rescuer Describes Man Forced to Cut Off Leg,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 23, 1993; Carolyn Hughes Crowley, “College Cribbers,” Washington Post, January 6, 1992. 8. J. H. Thornton, Textbook of Footwear Materials (London: National Trade Press, 1955), 55–56, 210–14; Jeff Bailey, “Unfit to Be Tied: It Really Isn’t You, It’s Your Shoelaces,” Wall Street Journal, January 28, 1998. 9. Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn (New York: Penguin Books, 1995), 12–23. 10. Hans Fantel, “Portable CD Players Advance,” New York Times, May 17, 1987; Jon Van, “Teletubby Infatuation Gives Fermilab Inspiration,” Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1999; “Totally Random,” Scientific American, vol. 278, no. 5 (November 1997), 28. CHAPTER ONE 1. Sally Holloway, London’s Noble Fire Brigades (London: Cassell, 1973), 51. 2.


pages: 363 words: 123,076

The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution by Marc Weingarten

1960s counterculture, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, Donner party, East Village, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Haight Ashbury, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, post-work, pre–internet, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, working poor, yellow journalism

The spring 1964 bus trip on the International Harvester bus the Pranksters called “Furthur,” in which the group traveled to New York and Canada, would provide the bulk of the narrative. But the acid trips would provide the meta-narrative—or, rather, the metaphysical narrative. This objective presented a new set of problems. Anything Wolfe didn’t witness firsthand would have to be re-created from interviews and whatever else he could get his hands on. So he went back to La Honda, tracked down Pranksters such as Ed McClanahan and Stewart Brand, and interviewed them at length about what acid really felt like, what visions they might have had on the drug, and how it altered their perception of the world. Because the Pranksters were so attuned to the use of multimedia, Wolfe had the advantage of a tremendous amount of audio and visual documentation, particularly films of various Acid Tests, which Kesey screened for him. But the story itself was changing, and the truth was uglier than Wolfe had anticipated.

INTERVIEWS Marco Acosta Marshall Fishwick George Plimpton Ken Auletta “Mouldy” Marvin Gilbert Bert Prelutsky Ken Babbs Ralph Ginzburg Alan Rich Ralph “Sonny” Barger Milton Glaser Hugh Romney Julie Baumgold George Goodman Lillian Ross (via email) Jim Bellows Pete Hamill Ron Rosenbuam John Berendt Christopher Lehmann- Mort Sahl Burl Bernard Haupt Lawrence Schiller Patricia Bosworth George Hirsch Robert Semple Stewart Brand Clifford Hope Robert Sherrill Jimmy Breslin David Horowitz Jim Silberman David Broder William Kennedy Ralph Steadman Brock Brower Robert Kotlowitz Gloria Steinem Bill Brown Michael Kramer Gay Talese Art Buchwald Paul Krassner Hunter S. Thompson David Burgin Zane Kesey Nicholas von Hoffman John Burks George Lois Dan Wakefield Midge Decter Frank Mankiewicz Richard Wald Ed de Grazia Martin Mayer George Walker David Dellinger Charles McAtee Bernard Weinraub Byron Dobell Ed McClanahan Jann Wenner Elaine Dundy Larry McMurtry Les Whitten Clay Felker Thomas B.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

I took the actuarial tables for the estimated age of my death, for someone born when I was born, and I worked back the number of days. I have that showing on my computer, how many days. I tell you, nothing concentrates your time like knowing how many days you have left. Now, of course, I’m likely to live longer than that. I’m in good health, etc. But nonetheless, I have 6,000-something days. It’s not very many days to do all the things I want to do. “I learned something from my friend Stewart Brand [founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, president of the Long Now Foundation], who organized his remaining days around 5-year increments. He says any great idea that’s significant, that’s worth doing, for him, will last about 5 years, from the time he thinks of it, to the time he stops thinking about it. And if you think of it in terms of 5-year projects, you can count those off on a couple hands, even if you’re young.”

Feynman), Recession Proof Graduate (Charlie Hoehn), Ogilvy on Advertising (David Ogilvy), The Martian (Andy Weir) Kamkar, Samy: Influence (Robert Cialdini) Kaskade: Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath (Ted Koppel) Kass, Sam: Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari), The Art of Fielding (Chad Harbach), Plenty; Jerusalem; Plenty More (Yotam Ottolenghi), The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs (Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg), A History of World Agriculture (Marcel Mazoyer and Laurence Roudart) Kelly, Kevin: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko (Daniel Pink), So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Cal Newport), Shantaram (Gregory David Roberts), Future Shock (Alvin Toffler), Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (AnnaLee Saxenian), What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (John Markoff), The Qur’an, The Bible, The Essential Rumi; The Sound of the One Hand: 281 Zen Koans with Answers (Yoel Hoffman), It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff (Peter Walsh) Koppelman, Brian: What Makes Sammy Run? (Budd Schulberg), The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal (Julia Cameron), The War of Art (Steven Pressfield) Libin, Phil: The Clock of the Long Now (Stewart Brand), The Alliance (Reid Hoffman), The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins), A Guide to the Good Life (William Irvine) MacAskill, Will: Reasons and Persons (Derek Parfit), Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World (Mark Williams and Danny Penman), The Power of Persuasion (Robert Levine), Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (Nick Bostrom) MacKenzie, Brian: Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu), Way of the Peaceful Warrior (Dan Millman) McCarthy, Nicholas: The Life and Loves of a He Devil: A Memoir (Graham Norton), I Put a Spell on You: The Autobiography of Nina Simone (Nina Simone) McChrystal, Stanley: Once an Eagle (Anton Myrer), The Road to Character (David Brooks) McCullough, Michael: The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career (Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha), Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (David Allen), The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (Stephen R.

Rose, Kevin: “‘Strive to share your fears and secrets with the world.’” Rubin, Rick: “‘choose peace’ (all lowercase).” Sacca, Chris: “This form of advertising is archaic and unaccountable. Don’t waste your money.” Sethi, Ramit: “‘Tell me a secret you’ve never told anyone. I’ll keep it confidential. Email me: ramit.sethi@iwillteachyoutoberich.com.’” Silva, Jason: “‘We are as gods and might as well get good at it.’—Stewart Brand” Sivers, Derek: “Well, my real answer, if I was taking that literally, is that I would remove all the billboards in the world, and ensure that they were never replaced. . . . So, my better answer is, I would make a billboard that would say, ‘It Won’t Make You Happy,’ and I would place it outside any big shopping mall or car dealer.” Starrett, Kelly: “‘Every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.’”


pages: 505 words: 133,661

Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land, and How to Take It Back by Guy Shrubsole

back-to-the-land, Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, congestion charging, deindustrialization, digital map, do-ocracy, Downton Abbey, financial deregulation, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, housing crisis, James Dyson, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, linked data, loadsamoney, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, openstreetmap, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, web of trust, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

An EU directive called INSPIRE has forced the Land Registry and Ordnance Survey to publish digital maps showing the outlines of all land parcels in England and Wales – but not who owns them, and with licensing restrictions in place on reproducing the maps. Machine-readable datasets and open-source software have made it easier to analyse complex datasets detailing who owns land, while modern web mapping allows us to create powerful online maps. The Open Data movement has also sought to shift culture, both within government and wider civil society, so that previously closed data is made open and easily accessible. As Internet pioneer Stewart Brand put it: ‘Information wants to be free.’ All these developments and work-arounds have increased our chances of finding out who owns England. But what of the present state of the Land Registry, set up over 150 years ago now, with the express purpose of gathering such information? Here, the picture is not so rosy. The Land Registry remains incomplete: over 83 per cent of land in England and Wales has now been registered, but the ‘missing’ 17 per cent comprises millions of acres of land whose owner is unknown.

Andreas Knobel, ‘The case for registering trusts – and how to do it’, Tax Justice Network briefing, 3 November 2016, https://www.taxjustice­.net/wp-content­/uploads­/2013­/04­/Registration-of-Trusts_AK.pdf tax-exempt heritage asset HMRC webpages on tax-exempt heritage assets, including maps of the estates covered: http://www.hmrc.gov­.uk/gds/heritage­/lbsearch­.htm­ Not everyone who has benefited See also Mark Rowe, ‘How the rich cheat you of your right to roam’, Independent, 5 March 2000. a lovely three-tier Adam Jacques, ‘Mark Thomas interview: The social-activist comedian talks opera, charity shops, and Nicholas Soames’, Independent, 31 October 2015. a Saudi prince Roger Harrabin, ‘Farm subsidies: Payment to billionaire prince sparks anger’, 29 September 2016, http://www.bbc.co­.uk/news/uk­-politics­-37493956­ Information wants Stewart Brand, cited in R. Polk Wagner, ‘Information wants to be free: intellectual property and the mythologies of control’, Columbia Law Review 103: 995 (2003), https://www.law­.upenn.edu/fac­/pwagner­/wagner­.control­.pdf millions of acres Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Housing White Paper, ‘Fixing our broken housing market’ (February 2017), p. 76, https://­www.gov­.uk/government­/uploads­/system­/uploads­/attachment­_data­/file/590463/Fixing­_our_broke­n_housing_­market_-_a­ccessible_v­ersio­n.pdf You can buy Author’s conversations with Land Registry.


The Unicorn's Secret by Steven Levy

Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, card file, East Village, financial independence, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, index card, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

By the mid-1970s Ira Einhorn’s network was a certified phenomenon in and of itself. Names appearing on the cover letters of recipients of a given piece might include economist Hazel Henderson; Lehmann Brothers managing director Shel Gordon; Seagram heir Charles Bronfman; futurist Alvin Toffler; science adviser to the British Commonwealth Christian de Lait; corporate presidents John Haas and George Bartol; Whole Earth Catalog publisher Stewart Brand; physicists Freeman Dyson, David Bohm, Frijtof Capra, and Heinz Pagels; Esalen cofounder Mike Murphy; journalists Alex Cockburn and Jack Anderson; authors Colin Wilson, Robert Theobold, and Thomas Kuhn. “Adam Smith” (himself a recipient of certain network mailings under his real name Gerry Goodman) wrote a column about it in New York magazine, calling it the “Far-Out Physics Underground”; Smith described an afternoon discussing various mailings with fellow network recipient Arthur Koestler.

Einhorn claimed he was among the world vanguard in circulating information regarding Tesla technology—used in various ways from Soviet jamming techniques known as the “Russian Woodpecker,” to ELF transmissions clouding minds in Timmons, Ontario, even in Russian efforts to control the weather! Ira had not only distributed dispatches on his network about this but had written an article in Co-Evolution Quarterly (a magazine founded by Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Catalog) about the Tesla stuff, warning of a “psychic Pearl Harbor.” Then there was his recent trip to Yugoslavia, paid for, Ira said, by the Yugoslavian government, which provided him high-level access to their Tesla files. All of this technology was, Ira insisted to the dumbfounded Greg Walter, potentially as dangerous as nuclear weapons. And, as far as Ira could see, his involvement in this might have triggered his present dilemma.


pages: 212 words: 49,544

WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency by Micah L. Sifry

1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Network effects, RAND corporation, school vouchers, Skype, social web, source of truth, Stewart Brand, web application, WikiLeaks

Scott Neuman, “Clinton: WikiLeaks ‘Tear at Fabric’ of Government,” NPR, November 29, 2010, www.npr.org/2010/11/29/131668950/whitehouse-aims-to-limit-wikileaks-damage. Chapter 2 1 Micah L. Sifry, “The Rise of Open Source Politics,” The Nation, November 22, 2004, www.thenation.com/article/rise-open-source-politics. 2 Interview with the author, June 2004. 3 See Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (University of Chicago Press, 2006). 4 Jay Rosen, “The People Formerly Known as the Audience,” PressThink. org, June 27, 2006, http://archive.pressthink.org/2006/06/27/ppl_frmr. html. 5 Howard Rheingold, “Crap Detection 101,” SFGate.com, June 30, 2009, www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/rheingold/detail?entry_id=42805. 6 Micah L. Sifry, “The Deaning of America,” The Nation, March 25, 2004, www.thenation.com/article/deaning-america. 7 See Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), Chapter Seven: “Political Freedom, Part Two: The Emergence of the Networked Public Sphere,” for a detailed exploration of the Diebold case.


pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

"side hustle", Airbnb, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

Just as Amazon took a traditional retail shelf and added online reviews making the buying process easier, online marketplaces make the hiring process easier. Instead of a large, up-front investment in hiring and training someone who may or may not be good enough for the role, you’re able to make a small investment, over time, in someone that has been vetted by other people in your industry. Self-Education: Information Wants to Be Free In 1984, at the first Hackers Conference, Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand was overheard telling Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak the now iconic phrase: “Information wants to be free.” The internet has done more to facilitate information transparency than any technology since the printing press. Knowledge that used to be opaque and hard to source is often now just a Google search away. Scott Young, a young entrepreneur who now teaches others about advanced learning strategies, put himself through the entire MIT course material in twelve months for two thousand dollars.


pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow

Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, David Heinemeier Hansson, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, time value of money, zero-sum game, Zipcar

For $129 a year, you can subscribe to the Wood Whisperer Guild, a membership website set up by Marc Spagnuolo, who shares his knowledge of woodworking with thousands of hobby cabinetmakers and enthusiasts. Sharing of specialized information via a membership website is a relatively recent phenomenon made possible by advancing technology—and is a testament to the way the public now values information. There was a time when technology hippies thought information should be accessible to all. Stewart Brand, speaking at a 1984 Hackers Conference, reportedly used the phrase “information wants to be free.”1 Brand’s quote was largely taken out of context, but it was enough to become a rallying cry for a small, noisy faction of technology activists fighting for free information online. These people believed information was a basic right and would start online petitions the moment anyone threatened to charge for content online.


pages: 222 words: 54,506

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt

Amazon Web Services, automated trading system, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, Dynabook, Elon Musk, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, new economy, science of happiness, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software patent, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

“Having worked for a large number of more technologically oriented start-ups that didn’t do so well, I liked the idea of one in which I could easily describe where the revenue stream was going to come from,” he recalls. “At that time both Jeff and I believed Amazon could succeed as a relatively small business, compared to what it eventually became. I liked that too.” Plus, it reminded Kaphan of an enjoyable, although brief, time he had spent in 1970 working for Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Truck Store, precursor of the Whole Earth Catalog. “I saw Amazon’s mission as a continuation of certain aspects of that same mission: to supply hard to find tools (mainly information-based tools) to a far-flung clientele who might not have easy access to those tools in their local communities,” he says. Bezos offered to hire both Kaphan and Herb. Kaphan even started looking around for office space in Santa Cruz, hoping that Bezos might decide to put down his entrepreneurial roots there.


Lonely Planet Pocket San Francisco by Lonely Planet, Alison Bing

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, edge city, G4S, game design, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Mason jar, Silicon Valley, stealth mode startup, Stewart Brand, transcontinental railway, Zipcar

In a pronounced lapse in screening judgment, the CIA hired local writer Ken Kesey to test psychoactive drugs intended to create the ultimate soldier. Instead, they unwittingly inspired Kesey to write the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, drive psychedelic busloads of Merry Pranksters across country, and introduce San Francisco to LSD and the Grateful Dead. Another LSD tester hired by the CIA, Stewart Brand, proposed an outrageous idea inspired by his LSD experiments: the complex technology governments used could empower ordinary people. The machines would be called ‘personal computers.’ With free-thinking and futuristic visions, San Francisco seemed the obvious place to begin the Civil Rights era, build a new society and end the Vietnam War. At the January 14, 1967 Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, trip-master Timothy Leary urged a crowd of 20,000 to ‘turn on, tune in, drop out.’


pages: 196 words: 54,339

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, game design, gig economy, Google bus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, invisible hand, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, patient HM, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Vannevar Bush, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

We have fallen from the paradise of timeless grace, live in sin, and pray for redemption Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1980). They called it wettiko Jack D. Forbes, Columbus and Other Cannibals (New York: Seven Stories, 2011). 69. in this new spirituality we would be as gods John Brockman, “We Are As Gods and Have to Get Good at It: A Conversation with Stewart Brand,” The Edge, August 18, 2009. 70. The Soviet–American citizen diplomacy program Jeffrey J. Kripal, Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008). This vision still motivates the development of artificial intelligence Erik Davis, Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (Berkeley: North Atlantic, 2015). Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, “Peter Thiel and the Cathedral,” Patheos.com, June 24, 2014, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/inebriateme/2014/06/peter-thiel-and-the-cathedral/ (accessed January 10, 2018). 71.


pages: 170 words: 51,205

Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Brewster Kahle, cloud computing, Dean Kamen, Edward Snowden, game design, Internet Archive, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, MITM: man-in-the-middle, optical character recognition, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, profit maximization, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transfer pricing, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy

These groups don’t give the Internet giants a free pass, but they understand that just because they’re mad at Google and their publishers are mad at Google, it doesn’t mean that they want the same things as their publishers. It’s up to creators everywhere to engage with their colleagues about the ways that expanded liability for intermediaries drive us all into the old-media companies’ corrals, where they get to make the rules, pick the winners, and run the show. 3. DOCTOROW’S THIRD LAW Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, People Do BACK IN 1984, Stewart Brand—founder of the Whole Earth Catalog—had a public conversation with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak at the first Hackers Conference. There, Brand uttered a few dozen famous words: “On the one hand, information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.


pages: 391 words: 22,799

To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, global village, informal economy, invisible hand, liberation theology, longitudinal study, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, price anchoring, Ralph Nader, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, walkable city, Washington Consensus, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, Works Progress Administration

Fones-Wolf, Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945–60, History of Communication (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994); Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007); Kim Phillips-Fein, “Top-Down Revolution: Businessmen, Intellectuals, and Politicians Against the New Deal, 1945–1964,” Enterprise & Society (2006): 686–94; Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). 312 NOTES TO PAGES 127 – 1 3 1 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. Interview with Jim von Gremp, September 8, 2004. Ferold Arend, “Store Talk: Definition of ‘Tactful,’” WMW, February 1972, 16. “Words to Manage By,” WMW, January 1978, 14.

Trimble, Sam Walton: The Inside Story of America’s Richest Man (New York: Dutton, 1990), 277. 32. John Huey, “Wal-Mart: Will It Take Over the World?” Fortune, January 30, 1989, 55; Soderquist, The Wal-Mart Way: The Inside Story of the Success of the World’s Largest Company. 33. http://larryholder.blogspot.com/2008/02/my-early-days-with-wal-mart-data. html; accessed July 15, 2008. 34. Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture; the quoted phrase, reports Turner, appeared in Stewart Brand’s opening statement to evÂ�ery edition of the Whole Earth Catalog (1969–1971); Ibid., 82. 35. Between 1959 and 1997, acÂ�tual skilled high-tech jobs like systems analysts and code-writers grew only from 3.4 percent of all U.S. jobs to 6.6 percent; even at a paradigmatic high-tech corporation like Intel, three-quarters of the jobs are for routine clerical, sales, production, or maintenance work.


San Francisco by Lonely Planet

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, G4S, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Joan Didion, Loma Prieta earthquake, Mason jar, New Urbanism, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

When a company based in a South Bay garage called Hewlett-Packard introduced the 9100A ‘computing genie’ in 1968, a generation of unconventional thinkers and tinkerers took note. Ads breathlessly gushed that Hewlett-Packard’s ‘light’ (40lb) machine could ‘take on roots of a fifth-degree polynomial, Bessel functions, elliptic integrals and regression analysis’ – all for the low, low price of $4,900 (about $29,000 today). Consumers didn’t know what to do with such a computer, until its potential was explained in simple terms by Stewart Brand, an LSD tester for the CIA with Ken Kesey and organizer of the first Trips Festival in 1966. In his 1969 Whole Earth Catalog, Brand reasoned that the technology governments used to run countries could empower ordinary people. That same year, University of California, Los Angeles, professor Len Kleinrock sent the first rudimentary email from a computer in Los Angeles to another at Stanford. The message he typed was ‘L,’ then ‘O,’ then ‘G’ – at which point the computer crashed.

The Japanese American Citizens League files civil rights claims. 1957 City Lights wins a landmark ruling against book banning over the publication of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, and free speech and free spirits enjoy a reprieve from McCarthyism. 1959 Mayor George Christopher authorizes crackdowns on cruising areas and gay bars and starts a blacklist of gay citizens. January 21–23, 1966 The Trips Festival is organized by techno-futurist Stewart Brand, and features author Ken Kesey, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Native American activists and Hells Angels. October 1966 In Oakland, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale found the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, a black-power group that demanded ‘Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace.’ January 14, 1967 The Summer of Love kicks off with the Human Be-In, with draft cards used as rolling papers, free Grateful Dead performances and Allen Ginsberg naked as usual. 1969 The first computer link is established between Stanford Research Institute and UCLA via ARPANET.


pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin

affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, information asymmetry, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Or that some who rode with Ken Kesey in the Electric Koolaid Schoolbus later established pioneering outposts on the cybernetic frontier? Almost no one foresaw the personal computer. Certainly not the big shots at IBM or Burroughs. But society acquired the PC and other wonders because a cohort of young minds were indoctrinated to seek novelty where standard organizations never looked. Would another culture put up with the likes of Stewart Brand, always poking at stagnant structures, from state government to the stuffy profession of architecture? Would Steve Jobs or Andrew Grove be billionaires in an economy based on inherited advantage? Where else might happy magicians like Howard Rheingold and Kevin Kelly be more influential than establishment priests or scientists? Would important power brokers hang on the words of Esther Dyson, Sherry Turkle, and Dorothy Denning if this culture did not value original minds?

Some have called for modification of slander and libel laws, applying them fiercely to those who post malign or unsupported missives on the Net. But this is just another example of trying to solve problems by reducing information flow. After all, a flamer isnʼt really different from the motorist who cut you off last week, nearly causing an accident, flipping an obscene gesture and laughing at your frustration, safe behind a mask of anonymity. Driven by rancorous behavior he witnessed in the Netʼs early days, Stewart Brand, cofounder of the Whole Earth Catalog and Whole Earth Review magazine, realized there would be no peace as long as nastiness could find shelter behind false identities. Brand lobbied successfully to have anonymity strictly forbidden on the pioneering Internet service the Well. True, there are disadvantages to this rule, and I do feel there should remain places where anonymous postings are possible, especially for whistle-blowers reporting crimes.


pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Charles Lindbergh, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. When I was young, there was an amazing publication called the Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, thirty-five years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions. Stewart and his team put out several issues of the Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue.

We had been talking about the trajectory of his career when, in a rambling aside not unlike the road on the back cover of the last issue of the Whole Earth Catalog, Steve told me about the impact that the Catalog had had upon him. “I think back to it when I am trying to remind myself of what to do, of what’s the right thing to do.” A few weeks after that interview had been published in Fortune, I received an envelope in the mail. It was from Stewart Brand, and it contained a rare copy of that final issue. “Please give this to Steve next time you see him,” Stewart asked. When I did, a week or two later, Steve was thrilled. He’d remembered the issue for all those years, but had never had the time to locate a copy for himself. The end of the Stanford speech focuses on the Catalog’s back-cover motto, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish,” but my favorite line about the catalog in Steve’s speech is when he describes it as “idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.”


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Particularly noticeable, at least in hindsight, is that a decade after the Appropriate Technology Movement emerged, a distinctly different movement of young tech-hobbyists came on the scene. These were the geeks and nerds of IT culture who shared a love of computer programming and a passion for sharing software in collaborative learning communities. They made up the Free Software Movement, whose aim was to create a global Collaborative Commons (that movement will be considered in greater detail in part III). Their slogan was “information wants to be free,” coined by Stewart Brand, one of the few who bridged the Appropriate Technology Movement and hacker culture. (The Whole Earth Catalog, which Brand edited, helped elevate the Appropriate Technology Movement from a niche subculture to a broader cultural phenomenon.) What’s often lost in Brand’s remarks on the software revolution is the rest of the utterance, which he delivered at the first hackers conference in 1984: On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable.

Mary Beth Griggs, “3-D Printers Spit Out Fancy Food, Green Cars, and Replacement Bones,” Discover Magazine, March 26, 2012, http://discovermagazine.com/2012/mar/31-3-d-printers -spit-out-fancy-food-and-green-cars#.UnvIBPmkoSU (accessed November 7, 2013). 30. “Manitoba’s Kor Ecologic Debuts Hybrid Urbee,” Canadian Manufacturing, November 2, 2012, http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/designengineering/news/manitobas-kor-ecologic -debuts-hybrid-urbee-11992 (accessed November 1, 2013). 31. Stewart Brand and Matt Herron, “Keep Designing—How the Information Economy Is Being Created and Shaped by the Hacker Ethic,” Whole Earth Review (May, 1985): 44. 32. Deborah Desrochers-Jacques, “Green Energy Use Jumps in Germany,” Der Spiegel, August 30, 2011, http://www.spiegel.de/international/crossing-the-20-percent-mark-green-energy-use -jumps-in-germany-a-783314.html (accessed August 7, 2013); Berlin and Niebull, “Germany’s Energy Transformation: Eneriewende,” Economist, July 28, 2012, http://www.economist.com /node/21559667 (accessed October 1, 2013). 33.


pages: 519 words: 142,646

Track Changes by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum

active measures, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, commoditize, computer age, corporate governance, David Brooks, dematerialisation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, forensic accounting, future of work, Google Earth, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Haight Ashbury, HyperCard, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, Joan Didion, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, mail merge, Marshall McLuhan, Mother of all demos, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, pattern recognition, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, text mining, thinkpad, Turing complete, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, Year of Magical Thinking

A detailed buyer’s guide published in a 1983 issue of Writer’s Digest compares some three dozen different programs across a matrix of over two dozen variables and features, including (besides price and compatibility) the availability of block commands like copy, move, or delete, search and replace, and file backup as well as options for form printing, pagination, superscript and subscript, proportional spacing, underling and emphasis, word counting, and “screen display same as printed copy.”4 Word processing also spawned ancillary software genres, notably spell-checkers and thesauri (not built into many programs) but also typing tutorials as well as programs for creating indices, tables of contents, footnotes, and outlines. While the abundance of choice may seem empowering in retrospect, it was also a significant obstacle to getting started. Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Software Catalog, an offshoot of the legendary counterculture publication Whole Earth Catalog, put its finger on the problem: “For new computer users these days the most daunting task is not learning how to use the machine but shopping.”5 Charles Bukowski (who wouldn’t begin using a computer in earnest until he got a Macintosh for Christmas in 1990) nonetheless captured the moment in a poem written circa 1985 called “16-bit Intel 8088 chip.”6 Laced with references to brand names such as Apple, Commodore, and IBM, it includes this observation: both Kaypro and Osborne computers use the CP/M operating system but can’t read each other’s handwriting for they format (write on) discs in different ways.7 The poem concludes by contrasting the fundamental irreconcilability of all of these artificial systems with the natural world that unchangingly, unknowingly coexists with them.

Exactly how that impressive figure was determined is not disclosed. 2. Len Deighton, “Foreword,” in Hammond, The Writer and the Word Processor (London: Coronet, 1984), 4. 3. J. D. Reed and Jeanne North, “Plugged-In Prose,” Time, August 10, 1981. 4. Richard Krajewski, “A Writer’s Guide to Word-Processing Software,” Writer’s Digest, September 1983, 40, 42, 52–59. 5. Whole Earth Software Catalog, ed. Stewart Brand (New York: Quantum / Doubleday, 1984), 2. 6. For Bukowski and his Macintosh, see Jed Birmingham, “Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, and the Computer,” RealityStudio, September 11, 2009, http://realitystudio.org/bibliographic-bunker/charles-bukowski-william-burroughs-and-the-computer/. 7. Charles Bukowski, “16-Bit Intel 8088 Chip,” Aileron 6, no. 1 (1985). 8. Steven Levy, quoted in Whole Earth Software Catalog, 46. 9.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Few computer-liberation advocates came from the ranks of the student-led New Left, who commonly protested against IBM punch cards and all they symbolized. Instead, most individuals who viewed computers as tools for liberation were politically agnostic, more focused on forming alternative communities, and inclined to embrace new technology as a means to better achieve personal liberty and human happiness—what one scholar has labeled as the “New Communalists.” Stewart Brand, Stanford University biology graduate turned publishing entrepreneur, became a leading voice for the New Communalists through creating The Whole Earth Catalog. Deeply influenced by cybernetics visionary Norbert Wiener, electronics media theorist Marshall McLuhan, and architect and designer Buckminster Fuller, Brand pressed NASA to publicly release a satellite photo of the Earth in 1966. Two years later the photo adorned the cover of the first edition of The Whole Earth Catalog.

Washington, DC: US Department of Commerce. Turck, J. A. V. 1921. Origin of Modern Calculating Machines. Chicago: Western Society of Engineers. Turing, A. M. 1954. “Solvable and Unsolvable Problems.” Science News, no. 31, pp. 7–23. Turkle, Sherry. 2011. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books. Turner, Fred. 2006. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Valley, George E., Jr. 1985. “How the SAGE Development Began.” Annals of the History of Computing 7, no. 3: 196–226. van den Ende, Jan. 1992. “Tidal Calculations in the Netherlands.” Annals of the History of Computing 14, no. 3: 23–33. ———. 1994. The Turn of the Tide: Computerization in Dutch Society, 1900–1965.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

But they do say ‘Oh, what if you had stayed in school?’ ” The unschooling movement may be a niche, but alternative education is a growing marketplace. “Our education system was used to make industrial workers out of agricultural workers. It is no longer adequate,” Howard Rheingold told us. Rheingold, sixty-seven, is the former editor of Whole Earth Review. Founded in 1985, Whole Earth Review was a countercultural publication evolving out of Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog and rooted in “that old American tradition of self-reliance,” Rheingold shared, “building on that misfit streak started by Emerson.” In Rheingold’s perspective, Whole Earth Review was all about sharing tools and ideas to get people to take more control over their lives. “There was this hope that you didn’t have to depend on distant institutions—government, business, religious organizations—to shape your life.”


The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game

And not even a pack of total computer illiterates could fail to see how incredibly beautiful that was. Could they? THE END OF EDEN On December 7, 1972-coincidentally, just a few weeks after Chuck Thacker had started work on the prototype Altos-Rolling Stone magazine ran a banner head- line: "SPACEWAR-Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death among the Computer 388 THE DREAM MACHINE Bums." In the article that followed, a thirty-three-year-old counterculture guru named Stewart Brand, the founder and publisher of The Whole Earth Catalo re- counted a wild-eyed night of Spacewar competition at the Stanford AI Lab, and then went on to proclaim the revolution. "Ready or not, computers are coming to the people," he declared. "That's good news, maybe the best since psychedelics. " Spacewar, Brand contended, was not just fun; it also symbolized a profound shift in the nature of technology.

And the result was that we had to have identity badges at PARC." Of course, he says, this restriction was no worse than what researchers had to live with at, say, Bell Labs. But before it was all over, the badges became a big symbolic issue at PARC, where they were widely reviled as an outrageous assault on free speech and the free flow of information. The badges were also seen as re- taliation for the Stewart Brand article, which had appeared only a short time be- fore. "I think a lot of the computer-science people wanted to believe the article caused the crackdown," says Pake. "But I never saw any evidence of it." And then on top of the homegrown paranoia, says Pake, you had the arro- gance factor. "The computer scientists had these incredible systems up and run- ning," he says. "But they weren't very congenial to visitors trying to understand those systems.

Lick may have revealed a hopelessly unfashionable lack of cynicism in that last paragraph, but his "self-motivating exhilaration" was real enough-and not just in the Tech Square terminal room, either. The phenomenon had been gath- ering force for the better part of a generation, both in the marketplace and in society at large. Witness the public's eager embrace of computer utilities in the 1960s, when thousands of nonprofessionals had finally gotten the chance to tap in and experience the exhilaration firsthand. Or witness the rhetoric of counterculture gurus such as Stewart Brand (who'd called computing "the best news since psychedelics") and Ted Nelson, an independently wealthy computer activist who had declared that "hypertext" -a word he'd invented to describe the electronic links first imagined by Vannevar Bush-would at last allow us to break free from linear thought and hierarchical power structures. The ARPA vi- sion of personal involvement with computers had resonated deeply with the head-tripping, antiestablishment spirit of the era.


pages: 173 words: 14,313

Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-To-Peer Debates by John Logie

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, publication bias, Richard Stallman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, search inside the book, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog

Segaller writes: Pa r l orPr e s s wwwww. p a r l or p r e s s . c om Hackers, Crackers, and the Criminalization of Peer-to-Peer Technologies 29 By 1984, as the Macintosh was launched, the hippie origins of networking were once again beginning to show themselves. Part of the impetus came from an electronic version of the Whole Earth Catalog (whose Epilog had come and gone a decade earlier). Inevitably, it was Stewart Brand who originated and branded what he called the “Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link,” or WELL. Now more users were able to tune in and turn on to the highs of networking, attracted by the chance to connect with like-minded people— even “Dead” people. One should not underestimate the importance in the history of the Internet of the Grateful Dead. (269) The Grateful Dead, of course, holds special significance in the prehistory of the peer-to-peer debate.


Speaking Code: Coding as Aesthetic and Political Expression by Geoff Cox, Alex McLean

4chan, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, bash_history, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Jacques de Vaucanson, Larry Wall, late capitalism, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Slavoj Žižek, social software, social web, software studies, speech recognition, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, Turing machine, Turing test, Vilfredo Pareto, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

Further invoked here is the input-output automaton Canard Digérateur, or Digesting Duck, created by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1739, which appeared to eat grain, metabolize, and defecate. A replica of Vaucanson’s mechanical duck, created by Frédéric Vidoni, can be seen at the Musée des Automates, Grenoble, France. 31. Virno, Multitude, 190. 32. The slogan “Information wants to be free” is attributed to Stewart Brand, who argued that technology could be liberating rather than oppressing. The earliest recorded occurrence of the expression was at the first Hackers Conference in 1984. Brand said: “On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

“Traditionally, problems of urban decay and associated issues, such as crime, have been seen as domestic issues best dealt with by internal security or police forces. That will no longer be an option.” Richard Norton, Naval War College Review People power But it’s not all bad news. If governments or aid agencies cannot provide food, water, shelter or other necessities, people will often organize these things for themselves. Moreover, as the American writer Stewart Brand has commented, adversity can breed inventiveness, especially ways of collaborating at a local level. Brand also points out that informal cities can reduce fertility, in some instances by encouraging women to enter education or find paid work, which benefits not only the individual, but the nation as a whole. And let’s not forget that when it comes to the utilization of scarce resources, those living in informal cities in countries such as India can usually teach wasteful Westerners a thing or two about materials reuse, recycling and reduction.


pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

If a design like Facebook or Twitter depersonalizes people a little bit, then another service like Friendfeed—which may not even exist by the time this book is published—might soon come along to aggregate the previous layers of aggregation, making individual people even more abstract, and the illusion of high-level metaness more celebrated. Information Doesn’t Deserve to Be Free “Information wants to be free.” So goes the saying. Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, seems to have said it first. I say that information doesn’t deserve to be free. Cybernetic totalists love to think of the stuff as if it were alive and had its own ideas and ambitions. But what if information is inanimate? What if it’s even less than inanimate, a mere artifact of human thought? What if only humans are real, and information is not? Of course, there is a technical use of the term “information” that refers to something entirely real.


The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz

airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, source of truth, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog

Indeed, many scientists are beginning to call this era the Anthropocene (meaning, roughly, the Age of Humans). The background to much discussion of transhumanism is a world in which human activity increasingly affects global systems, including the climate and the hydrological, carbon, and nitrogen cycles of the anthropogenic Earth. l l And yet we know it not. We are strangers in our own strange land, homeless because we have been turfed out by our very successes. As Stewart Brand put it in his first Whole Earth Catalog (1968), "We are as gods and might as well get good at it." So far, we fail that test, and we do so for reasons that the philosopher Martin Heidegger stated succinctly: So long as we do not, through thinking, experience what is, we can never belong to what will be .... The flight into tradition, out of a combination of humility and presumption, can bring about nothing in itself other than self deception and blindness in relation to the historical moment. 12 We are as gods.


pages: 237 words: 69,985

The Longing for Less by Kyle Chayka

Airbnb, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, Mason jar, offshore financial centre, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, undersea cable, Whole Earth Catalog

Elgin had worked with a government commission on population growth looking ahead to the year 2000 and then for the Stanford Research Institute. Over the years, he observed a trend of Americans “returning to the simple life,”10 which the media had turned into a new archetype. Moving to the country, baking your own bread, and establishing cooperative businesses constituted a new social philosophy that mingled with the techno-utopianism of Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog circa 1968. Elgin rebranded Gregg’s voluntary simplicity with the acronym VS, which sounds more like a technological device than an idea with centuries of history—once again showing how minimalism erases its own past. Elgin’s version of VS was driven by a sense of disconnection: Economic and political structures had grown beyond human scale, so people wanted to separate themselves from them.


pages: 236 words: 77,098

I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton

3D printing, 4chan, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Cass Sunstein, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, Internet of things, Joan Didion, John Gruber, John Markoff, Marshall McLuhan, Nicholas Carr, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand

Ultimately, some companies will win, and those winners will be the ones that create the best and most meaningful experiences for their customers. A lot of visionaries and futurists worked on the Minority Report concepts. Steven Spielberg, the director of Minority Report, asked his team of designers to envision what the year 2054 might look like. Spielberg tapped into the creative talents of famous writers such as Douglas Coupland and Stewart Brand, and also worked with interface designers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including John Underkoffler, the movie’s science adviser. A creative team involved in the retail experience of the movie said “customers did not actually have to try on the clothes in the store but could do so in a virtual way.” A three-dimensional representation of your body would be stored in your mobile phone or wristwatch.


pages: 238 words: 73,824