Whole Earth Catalog

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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

Others included Buckminster Fuller’s World Game at Southern Illinois University (see Norman and Shugart, Whole Earth Catalog $1) and Brand’s own experimental production of the Catalog from a city of temporary pillow domes constructed around hot springs in the California desert (see Brand, Whole Earth Catalog One Dollar). Each of these events, like Alloy, featured an attempt to fuse systems theory, new technology, and countercultural practice. One especially important gathering also attempted to fuse the technological and countercultural communities. 55. Brand et al., Whole Earth Catalog $1, 17. 56. Brand, Last Whole Earth Catalog, 221. 57. Brand, Kahn, and Kahn, Whole Earth Catalog, 74. 58. The letter, from Bradley H. Dowden, was printed in Ashby, Whole Earth Catalog $1, 10. 59. Explained Brand, “The gripe page is a peace-keeping device where Catalog staff can make personal statements which the editor may not edit. He may add a remark or two.” Brand et al., Whole Earth Catalog $1, 47. 60. Bonner, quoted ibid. 61. Brand, quoted ibid

Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994. Brand, Stewart. “Buckminster Fuller.” In Whole Earth Catalog, edited by Stewart Brand, 3. Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, 1968. ———. “Civilization and Its Contents.” In Rheingold, Millennium Whole Earth Catalog, 5. ———. The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility. New York: Basic Books, 1999. ———. The Electronic Whole Earth Catalog. San Rafael, CA: Broderbund Software, 1989. ———. The Essential Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools and Ideas. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1986. ———. “History.” In Whole Earth Epilog, edited by Stewart Brand, 752 –53. San Francisco: Point Foundation, 1974. ———. How Buildings Learn: What Happens after They’re Built. New York: Viking, 1994. ———. “How to Do a Whole Earth Catalog.” In Brand, Last Whole Earth Catalog, 435 – 41. ———. II Cybernetic Frontiers. New York: Random House, 1974. ———.

The Difficult but Possible Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog. Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, September 1969. Brand, Stewart, Joe Bonner, and Ann Helmuth, eds. The Difficult but Possible Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog. Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, January 1969. ———, eds. The Difficult but Possible Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog. Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, July 1969. Brand, Stewart, Ann Helmuth, Joe Bonner, Tom Duckworth, Lois Brand, and Hal Hershey, eds. The Difficult but Possible Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog. Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, March 1969. Brand, Stewart, Lloyd Kahn, and Sarah Kahn, eds. Whole Earth Catalog. Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, Spring 1970. Brand, Stewart, Cappy McClure, Hal Hershey, Mary McCabe, and Fred Richardson, eds. Whole Earth Catalog $1. Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, January 1970.


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 Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving Water, by Sim Van der Ryn. Chelsea Green, 1999. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, by Janine Benyus. William Morrow & Co., 1997. 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.

By 1972 Random House had come calling and had taken over the national distribution and the Catalog had been named winner of the National Book Award. The ripples from the original Whole Earth Catalog continue to be felt. The Catalog was published sporadically until 1998. Its alumni have been a vocal and visible lot. Kevin Kelly still publishes a weekly eZine called Cool Tools (find it at kk.org). Illegitimate step-child The Solar Living Sourcebook is in its thirteenth edition and has been continuously in print for the last twenty years. The founders of the Whole Earth Catalog cast a long collective shadow, but it was their ability to look forward that earned their niche in publishing history. Steve Jobs, no stranger to start-ups that begin with a few geeks in a garage, says this of the Whole Earth Catalog:“It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.”

A world-class dilettante and advocate of the unusual perspective, Brand’s other works include The Media Lab, How Buildings Learn, and The Clock of the Long Now.“What do I do?” Brand asks at his own website.“I find things and I found things.Things I find include tools, ideas, books, and people, which I blend and purvey.Things I’ve founded and co-founded include the Trips Festival (1966), Whole Earth Catalog (1968), Hackers Conference (1984),The WELL (1984), Global Business Network (1988), and The Long Now Foundation (1996).” 154 chapter 7 : Whole Earth Catalog Stewart Brand: “ “ Environmental health requires peace, prosperity, and continuity.” Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine — too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient.


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

At the time, the typesetting industry was independently developing similar languages, but they were all specific to a particular machine. Tesler’s was the first general-purpose programming language that would do typesetting for any type of device. While PUB was finding a devoted band of users, Tesler decided he had had enough of AI research. The Whole Earth Catalog was having a growing influence on the nascent counterculture, and thousands of people in their twenties were leaving the cities and striking out to create a back-to-the-land communal existence. Tesler found a small group of like-minded friends, one of whom, Francine Slate, had been an employee of the Whole Earth Catalog, and together they decided to buy farmland. Slate and several other members of the group had been in a rather unusual upscale commune in Atherton, a town just north of Stanford that was generally known as an elite bedroom community.

The Whole Earth Truck Store came into existence in Menlo Park just a few doors away from Raymond and Albrecht’s Portola Institute, where Brand was an informal fellow-in-residence. In July of 1968, the Whole Earth Catalog began to take shape, initially as a six-page mimeographed list of books on topics such as tantric art, cybernetics, Indian teepees, and recreational equipment as well as product samples. Brand, who was tall and gangly and who came equipped with an omnipresent and ambitious Swiss Army knife clipped to his belt, drove around the commune circuit, selling goods and accepting orders.3 Later that year in Menlo Park, with a small staff and the help of his wife, Lois Jennings, he put together the first expanded version of the Whole Earth Catalog, which was published in January 1969. It was a pioneering effort in desktop publishing. An IBM Selectric allowed different fonts with its easily replaceable “golfball” print head, while a Polaroid MP-3 camera made it possible to copy graphics directly from books and created halftones that could be pasted onto layout sheets.4 The first edition sold one thousand copies, and ultimately more than 1.5 million copies of various editions were sold.

He thought about the people around him for whom psychedelics had become an all-purpose cure and determined he wasn’t going to use drugs as a crutch. Instead, he decided to get rid of things: first his marriage, and then the Catalog. With its staff, he arranged to throw a Whole Earth Catalog “Demise Party.” Brand had gotten to know Frank Oppenheimer, the founder of the Exploratorium science museum at the Palace of Fine Arts in the San Francisco Marina district, when he had helped Oppenheimer think through some of the museum’s plans as it was being developed. So he decided to throw a party with a special twist. The Whole Earth Catalog rented the museum’s building for an evening, and as a surprise Brand brought along twenty thousand dollars in cash in an inch-thick stack of hundred-dollar bills with the idea that, because he had started the Catalog with that amount, it would be fitting to put the money back out into the world and have other things start that might be equally interesting, in a what-goes-around-comes-around way.


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

Maybe, just maybe, the picture he sought would change some minds and make people realize how small and precious and fragile Earth was.31 Finally, in November 1967, NASA beamed the picture down to Earth from an ATS-3 satellite. Brand was elated and slapped it on the cover of his new publication: the Whole Earth Catalog. The first issue came out in the fall of 1968. It had an all-black cover. In the middle was a round and clear image of the whole Earth. Above the pristine globe, the cover said simply, “Whole Earth Catalog: access to tools.” Tools, for Brand, had an almost mythical meaning. Anything could be a tool: a hacksaw, a monocular, a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans, or the ideas in a book. “Here are the tools to make your life go better. And to make the world go better,” he wrote in one of the catalog’s introductions.

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.

., 28–29. 23.Quoted in Joseph Durso, “The Secret Weapon,” New York Times, July 15, 1968, L37. 24.Maltz, Psycho-Cybernetics (1960), x. 25.Kelly, Out of Control, 379. 26.For a detailed version of this remarkable rise, see Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006). 27.Richard Brautigan, “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace,” in The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster (San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1967), reproduced here with permission of Sarah Lazin Books. 28.Brand, quoted and interviewed by Fred Turner in From Counterculture to Cyberculture, 69. 29.Ibid. 30.Ibid. 31.Brand recounts the story in detail in Stewart Brand, “Photography Changes Our Relationship to Our Planet,” Smithsonian Photography Initiative, http://web.archive.org/web/20080530221651/http://click.si.edu/Story.aspx?story=31, cached on May 30, 2008. 32.Quoted in Katherine Fulton, “How Stewart Brand Learns,” Los Angeles Times Magazine, November 30, 1994, 40. 33.Quoted in Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, 79. 34.Whole Earth Catalog, Fall 1968, 34. 35.Ibid., 35. 36.The Last Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools (Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, 1971), 316. 37.See the preface of every Whole Earth publication, all catalogs and supplements. 38.Michael Rossman, On Learning and Social Change (New York: Random House, 1972), 109. 39.Ibid., 203. 40.Ibid., 113. 41.Ibid., 260–61. 42.Ibid., 262. 43.Stewart Brand, “Both Sides of the Necessary Paradox,” Harper’s 247, no. 1482 (November 1973): 20. 44.For more details, see Bateson’s short biography in Gregory Bateson, Mind and Nature (New York: Dutton, 1978), xiii. 45.Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1972), xi. 46.Ibid., 481.


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

He is also one of the all-time nice men.” In a talk he gave in 2005, Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the Whole Earth Catalog “one of the bibles of my generation”, describing it as a Google in paperback form, idealistic and overflowing with incredible tools. Wired founder Kevin Kelly compared it to the modern-day blogosphere, calling it “a great example of user-generated content” thanks to Brand’s habit of encouraging readers to submit their own reviews and earn themselves a fee of $10. It won a National Book Award – the first, and probably only time, a catalogue ever won such a plaudit. The Whole Earth Catalog came out about a dozen times in full editions and updates between 1968 and 1972. Although the Whole Earth franchise persists today, the “end” of the Whole Earth Catalog happened in June 1971 when Stewart Brand threw a “demise” party at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francsico.

I just remember thinking that that would be Utopia, right? To have that, back to the land and high tech kind of in one place.” I’m about to segue into a question about Stewart Brand when Cory beats me to it, reaching up to the shelf behind him. “So I wanted to show you this before we go further. This is my collection of Whole Earth Catalogs. I stole them from the library at Grindstone. I rate these as some of the most important books ever published.” It’s the first time I’ve seen original copies of the Whole Earth Catalog, and as the cuckoo clock tick-tocks in the background I take my time carefully turning the yellowing, oversize pages. Something hits me, something that hadn’t occurred to me before. The Catalog and Cory’s blog, BoingBoing.net, have a lot in common. I put this to Cory. “Absolutely. 100%. I didn’t do it consciously but one day I opened up that thing and I went: ‘Oh my God, these are BoingBoing’s layouts.

Prime Minister’s keynote speech presented at the International e-Summit, November 19, London. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090101050155/number10.gov.uk/page1734. Bogdanor, Vernon. 2006. “The rise and fall of the political party.” New Statesman, October 23. http://www.newstatesman.com/200610230057. Brand, Stewart (ed). Fall 1968. Whole Earth Catalog. Brand, Stewart. 1972. “Space War: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums.” Rolling Stone, December 7. http://www.wheels.org/spacewar/stone/rolling_stone.html. ———. 1974. “History – Demise Party etc.” Whole Earth Catalog, October. http://wholeearth.com/issue/1180/article/321/history.-.demise.party.etc. ———. 1985. “Keep Designing: How the Information Economy is Being Created and Shaped by the Hacker Ethic.” Whole Earth Review, May. Brandeis, Louis. 1913. “What Publicity Can Do.”


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

confabulation”: Theodore Roszak, From Satori to Silicon Valley (Don’t Call It Frisco Press, 1986), 16–17. commune population swelled to 750,000: Judson Jerome, Families of Eden (Seabury Press, 1974), 18. “a way to be of use to communes”: “From Counterculture to Cyberculture: The Legacy of the Whole Earth Catalog,” Stanford University symposium, November 9, 2006. “one of the bibles of my generation”: Steve Jobs, Stanford University commencement address, June 12, 2005. “We are as gods”: Whole Earth Catalog, Fall 1968. “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.

Sitting on the plane, Brand had the notion that he might drive a truck to these settlements to sell tools and other goods that would help the communards thrive. “This was a way to be of use to communes without actually having to live on one,” he would later joke. His truck never quite took off, but the core concept morphed into something much bigger and more resonant. He created the Whole Earth Catalog, which was really more like an entirely new literary genre—or what Steve Jobs called “one of the bibles of my generation.” During its four years of existence, the Whole Earth Catalog sold 2.5 million copies and won a National Book Award. The subtitle of the catalog was “access to tools.” There were plenty described in its pages, though it didn’t actually sell any, except from a storefront that Brand operated in the heart of what would become Silicon Valley. The catalog pointed readers toward calculators and jackets and geodesic domes, as well as books and magazines.

It was arguably Brand who crystallized the ideas that would inspire the engineers to make that leap. The Whole Earth Catalog transposed the values of the counterculture into technology. And over time, he began to show how the computer—that monstrous invention of big institutions—could be harnessed as a tool for personal liberation and communal connection. It is an important fact of technological history that the outskirts of San Francisco were the national epicenter of both psychedelics and computing. Because of that geographical confluence, young engineers were unusually open to Stewart Brand’s message. That was especially true at Xerox’s famed freewheeling cauldron of creativity, its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). One of the chief engineers there, Alan Kay, ordered every book listed in the Whole Earth Catalog and assembled them in an office library.


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

It is a cult of heroic despair that ill serves the environmental movement. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming (2007), Paul Hawken. This is the closest we have to a Whole Earth Catalog of environmental and social justice organizations. I would love to see its online expression, WiserEarth.org, become truly comprehensive. Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism (2007), Andrew Kirk. Some of the origins of the book you’re holding can be traced in Kirk’s study of the Green influence of the original Whole Earth Catalog. Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth (2008), Robert Poole. Don’t take my word that the first Earth photographs were a boon for environmentalists. Poole chronicles the whole original event and the worldwide inspiration that resulted.

Overall the writing is so entertaining and thought- provoking that I can see it being quoted thirty years from now, just as the Whole Earth Catalog is today.” —Clive Cookson, Financial Times (London) “This brilliant, elegant treatise by a veteran defender of the earth’s health will be a challenge to those parts of the environmental movement that loathe nuclear power, believe that cities are wasteful and dehumanizing, distrust GM agriculture and technological ‘fixes’ in general. But anyone with an open mind and a free spirit will be deeply stirred by Brand’s passionate realism and measured optimism. There isn’t much time, climate science keeps telling us. If that is the case, one urgent priority would be to read this deeply engaging book and be prepared to do some serious rethinking.” —Ian McEwan, author of Atonement and Solar “True fans of the Whole Earth Catalog should have seen Whole Earth Discipline coming—as Brand once gave space to organic farming as a tool to counter the ills of industrial agriculture, he now champions genetically modified crops to solve an impending world food crisis.

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). What’s more, they stimulate each other in a mutual catalysis that at times results in hyperexponential growth of power. Forty years ago, I started the Whole Earth Catalog with the words, “We are as gods, and might as well get good at it.” Those were innocent times. New situation, new motto: “We are as gods and have to get good at it.” The Whole Earth Catalog encouraged individual power; Whole Earth Discipline is more about aggregate power. The scale of the climate challenge is so vast that it cannot be met solely by grassroots groups and corporations, no matter how Green. The situation requires government fiat to set rules and enforce them. Specifically, the four major energy-using governments—the European Union, the United States, China, and India—have to get tough.


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

Bob Taylor convinces ARPA chief Charles Herzfeld to fund ARPANET. Donald Davies coins the term packet switching. 1967 ARPANET design discussions in Ann Arbor and Gatlinburg. 1968 Larry Roberts sends out request for bids to build the ARPANET’s IMPs. Noyce and Moore form Intel, hire Andy Grove. Brand publishes first Whole Earth Catalog. Engelbart stages the Mother of All Demos with Brand’s help. 1969 First nodes of ARPANET installed. 1971 Don Hoefler begins column for Electronic News called “Silicon Valley USA.” Demise party for Whole Earth Catalog. Intel 4004 microprocessor unveiled. Ray Tomlinson invents email. 1972 Nolan Bushnell creates Pong at Atari with Al Alcorn. 1973 1973 Alan Kay helps to create the Alto at Xerox PARC. Ethernet developed by Bob Metcalfe at Xerox PARC. Community Memory shared terminal set up at Leopold’s Records, Berkeley.

Its ATS-3 satellite took a picture of Earth from twenty-one thousand miles up, which served as the cover image and title inspiration for Brand’s next venture, the Whole Earth Catalog. As its name implied, it was (or at least dressed itself in the guise of) a catalogue, one that cleverly blurred the distinction between consumerism and communalism. Its subtitle was “Access to Tools,” and it combined the sensibilities of the back-to-the-land counterculture with the goal of technological empowerment. Brand wrote on the first page of the first edition, “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. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the Whole Earth Catalog.” Buckminster Fuller followed with a poem that began, “I see God in the instruments and mechanisms that work reliably.”

Nor was it even antimaterialist, given his celebration of games and gadgets you could buy. But he did pull together, better than anyone, many of the cultural strands of that period, from acid-dropping hippies to engineers to communal idealists who sought to resist the centralized control of technology. “Brand did the marketing work for the concept of the personal computer through the Whole Earth Catalog,” said his friend Lee Felsenstein.21 DOUGLAS ENGELBART Shortly after the first edition of the Whole Earth Catalog came out, Brand helped to produce a happening that was an odd echo of his techno-choreography of the January 1966 Trips Festival. Dubbed “the Mother of All Demos,” the December 1968 extravaganza became the seminal event of the personal computer culture, just as the Trips Festival had been for the hippie culture. It happened because, like a magnet, Brand naturally attracted and attached himself to interesting people.


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

After taking an extended tour of the communes with his wife, Lious, he cashed in a part of his inheritance to launch a consumer and lifestyle guide marketed to that world. He called it the Whole Earth Catalog. It highlighted tools, featured discussions about science and technology, gave farming and building tips, ran letters and articles from commune members all across the country, and suggested books and literature, mixing pop libertarian titles like Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged with Wiener’s Cybernetics.17 “It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along,” was how Steve Jobs, a young fan of the magazine, later described it. “It was idealistic, overflowing with neat tools and great notions.”18 The mail-order L.L. Bean catalogue was what inspired Brand to create the Whole Earth Catalog. But it was not just about commerce. Like other New Communalists, Brand was enamored with cybernetics ideas—the notion that all life on earth was one big, harmonious interlocking information machine appealed to his sensibilities.

Like other New Communalists, Brand was enamored with cybernetics ideas—the notion that all life on earth was one big, harmonious interlocking information machine appealed to his sensibilities. He saw his fellow New Communalists as the start of a new society that fit into a larger global ecosystem. He wanted the Whole Earth Catalog to be the connective tissue that held all these isolated communes together, a kind of print magazine–based information network that everyone read and contributed to and that bound them into one collective organism.19 The Whole Earth Catalog was a huge success, and not just with the hippies. In 1971, a special issue of the magazine topped best-seller book lists and won a National Book Award. Yet, despite the cultural and financial success, Brand faced an identity crisis. By the time Whole Earth won the National Book Award, the commune movement it served and celebrated lay in ruins.

“I’m a small-business man who is hit with the same kind of problems that face any small entrepreneur,” he told Newsweek magazine.30 Over the coming years, as personal computers gained traction, he gathered around himself a crew of journalists, marketing types, industry insiders, and other hippies-turned-entrepreneurs. Together, they replicated the marketing and aesthetics that Brand had used during his Whole Earth Catalog days and sold computers the same way he once sold communes and psychedelics: as liberation technologies and tools of personal empowerment. This group would spin this mythology through the 1980s and 1990s, helping obfuscate the military origins of computer and networking technologies by dressing them up in the language of 1960s acid-dropping counterculture. In this rebranded world, computers were the new communes: a digital frontier where the creation of a better world was still possible. In the parlance of today’s Silicon Valley, Brand “pivoted.” He transformed the Whole Earth Catalog into the Whole Earth Software Catalog and Whole Earth Review—magazines billed as “tools and ideas for the computer age.”


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

Kevin Kelly: Larry is a very entrepreneurial guy. Ram Dass: The stock of the NETI Corporation endowed the Seva Foundation. Larry Brilliant: Then I said, “Stewart, I took this company public, I have some money, how about we do a joint venture?” This is how The Well got started. Stewart Brand: Larry wanted a Whole Earth Catalog teleconference of some sort, basically an online version of the Whole Earth Catalog. He was a lover of the Whole Earth Catalog, I guess. Fabrice Florin: The counterculture movement idolized the Whole Earth Catalog, which symbolized this kind of holistic view of the world. Stewart Brand: I said, “I’d be interested in working on that. What do we get?” Larry Brilliant: I said, “I’ll give you some technology and a couple hundred grand, and you provide the customer base, the family, the community, you run it, and we split it fifty-fifty?”

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.

Dick Shoup: We all were playing with Spacewar. 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.


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

it, along a number of routes, one can trace the origins of several ingenious projects in the Bay Area whose aim was to scale- down, democratize, and humanize our hypertrophic technological society. These included the Briarpatch Network, the Farallones Institute, Urban House, the Simple Living tional scene, the most the Project. Integral On the na- visible of these efforts was the Whole Earth Catalog of 1968, a landmark publication of the period. compendium of The Catalog was an exuberant resourceful possiblities for laid- back, but self-reliant living: wood-burning stoves, home tools. remedies, I mail order moccasins, can recall a meeting I attended Francisco peninsula where the 8 first down durable the San rather ratty- looking edition of the Catalog (the print order was about 1000) was handed around the circle hot off the press.

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.

Had not advanced engineering and industrial technology made this stupendous invention possible? And was not the whole history of the world going to be trans- formed by the dome? There was a QED. cult of the geodesic 27 dome during the sixties. It began with the popular domebooks of San Francisco architect Lloyd Kahn, who was converted to came domesmanship by to the Fuller when the inventor San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks to Kahn's books and the Whole Earth Catalog, the hope sprang up communities of domes might that blossom overnight barbarian encampments embodying dustrial culture. outside major cities the new - like postin- (As far as I'm aware, the closest approach to that goal was Drop City near Trinidad Colorado, a "weed patch commune" whose several funky structures were rigged up out of salvaged junk from the nearest city dump.)


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

Operating the camera for Engelbart’s demo was Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Catalog founder who helped organize LSD guru Ken Kesey’s infamous acid tests, massive drug-fueled cross-country bacchanals that were chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Brand was the most important connector between Minsky’s world of scientists and the counterculture. “We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” Brand wrote as the first line of the Whole Earth Catalog in 1968.16 That publication was a major source of inspiration for almost all the early Internet pioneers, from Steve Jobs to tech-publishing titan Tim O’Reilly. When developers created early Internet message boards, they were trying to recreate the freewheeling commentary and recommendation culture that flourished in the back pages of the Whole Earth Catalog, where readers wrote in to share requests, tools, and tips on communal living.

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. For an undergraduate majoring in math, computer science, or engineering at the time, this was completely normal.

Minsky and his generation did not have the same attitudes toward safety that we know are important today. There was a kind of casual disregard for radiation safety, for example. Once, a computer scientist and former Minsky graduate student named Danny Hillis showed up to Minsky’s house with a radiation detector in his pocket. (Hillis, a supercomputer inventor, now runs the Long Now Foundation with Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand; the foundation is devoted to building a mechanical clock that will run for ten thousand years in a cave on a Texas ranch owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.) The radiation detector started going crazy. Hillis, who had lived with the family for a time, poked around the house to find the source of the radiation. The alarm seemed loudest next to a closet. Hillis opened it and found the closet stuffed full of chemicals.


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 next, a book on how to build an igloo, or the best heart rate monitor. We pride ourselves on the mix. The Cool Tools website began in 2003. 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.

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. But bloggers and writers may only briefly test an item before submitting a review. They don’t know what came before. Therefore, they are primarily concerned with what is new, rather than what is best. In contrast, the Whole Earth Catalog and, therefore, Cool Tools only draws attention to what works and stands the test of time. That means that if you buy an item or try a tip included in this ebook, you should count on it. If, for whatever reason, our recommendation doesn’t quite satisfy, please let us know. If you use an item that’s superior to anything we’ve featured in this ebook, please let us know. If you have any questions or comments about this ebook, please let us know.


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

These cultural experimenters continued to feed Co-Evolution Quarterly and then Whole Earth Review through decades when magazines died by the thousands. Even the idea that you could publish books on the West Coast was a revolution when it happened; in 1992, when Publishers Weekly ran an article on the history of West Coast publishing, it started with the Whole Earth Catalog. The first Whole Earth Catalog was the first idealistic enterprise from the counterculture, besides music, that earned the cultural legitimation of financial success. The Whole Earth Catalog crew, riding on the catalog's success, launched a new magazine, The Whole Earth Software Review, and, after the WELL was started, received a record-breaking $1.4 million advance for the Whole Earth Software Catalog. It was time for the string of successes to take another turn: the WELL was the only one of the three projects to succeed.

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. One of Whole Earth's gurus, Buckminster Fuller, was fond of using the analogy of the tiprudder--the small rudder on very big ships that is used to control the larger, main rudder.

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.


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

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.”

No longer a giant calculation machine, it was a personal tool of communication and information retrieval. 2. 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.

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. Geeks on acid, dreaming of the future. But financed by the military-industrial complex. Complicated. The Whole Earth Catalog, subtitled Access to Tools, begins: “We are as gods, and we might as well get used to it.” Pretty bold mission statement. Was this a church? No, but the sense was that the New Communalist needed tools to create an individual identity free from the hidebound institutions of contemporary society, which was not an easy task. The introduction to the catalog continues, “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.”


pages: 306 words: 94,204

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

back-to-the-land, crack epidemic, David Attenborough, dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, haute cuisine, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Mason jar, McMansion, New Urbanism, Port of Oakland, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, urban decay, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

Down the hall, I entered the musty History Room, a cramped space filled with books that you can’t check out. “A little young for that, aren’t you?” the librarian, a pretty blond lady, asked when I handed her the slip of paper with the call number for the Whole Earth Catalog. “Yeah, my mom always talks about it,” I said. The periodical had been one of her main resources for country living on the farm in Idaho. My parents weren’t the only ones in their day to move to rural areas and try to live off the land. By some estimates more than one million young people in the 1970s moved out of cities and tried their hand at farming. The Whole Earth Catalog had been like the Internet for this generation of wannabe farmers. After a few minutes in a back room, the librarian emerged and hefted a massive tome into my hands. It was oversized and featured a photo of the moon.

Along with reviews of the Farmers Bulletin No. 2131, Raising Rabbits, it included something called the “Rambling Rabbit Rap,” written by Gurney Norman: “Raising rabbits is play, it’s fun, a hobby. But it can also be work, good, productive work of the kind that contributes to health and vigor by getting good home-grown food on the table.” That had been one of my parents’ main goals: to be self-sufficient, to raise their own meat and milk, to build their own house. This desire was a cultural virus, part of the first ecological movement in the United States. I flipped through the Whole Earth Catalog with growing interest. One female rabbit, I read, could have up to thirty offspring in a year. They enjoy shady, cool conditions. Don’t feed them cabbage. Building rabbit housing is fun and easy. The History Room, full of coughing scholars turning dusty pages, suddenly became a vibrating, living place. These old words weren’t just memories; they were still useful. I took down notes, pledged to Google the Farmers Bulletin No. 2131, and became increasingly convinced that rabbits might just be the perfect farm animal.

“She said they make a slit in their throat,” Benji reported. “They don’t bash them in the head?” I asked. “Or break their necks?” Benji asked in French. The woman looked mortified. Who was this barbarian? “No.” Benji has these big brown eyes, and they were cast downward in shame. “Sorry, Benji,” I said. I was sorry to embarrass Benji, but I had to figure it out for my own project at home. The Whole Earth Catalog had been silent about how to actually kill a rabbit. The French rabbit lady nodded her head when we pointed at a plump bunny in the case. She took out an enormous pair of scissors—I mean enormous: the blade was almost two feet long—and cut our rabbit up into pieces like a chicken. At my sister’s insistence, we brought the rabbit’s head home. Though many French people do eat the head—the cheeks and the brain are particularly toothsome, according to Benji’s grandmother—this one was for Lucky the cat.


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

The Long Now Foundation was established in 1996 to foster long-term responsibility. The founding board is Daniel Hillis (co-chair), Stewart Brand (co-chair), Kevin Kelly, Douglas Carlston, Peter Schwartz, Brian Eno, Paul Saffo, Mitchell Kapor, and Esther Dyson. Hillis created Thinking Machines Inc. and its supercomputer, the Connection Machine, and is now a Fellow at Disney. Brand began the Whole Earth Catalog and co-founded Global Business Network. Kelly is executive editor of Wired magazine and author of Out of Control. Carlston co-founded Broderbund Software. Schwartz is chairman of Global Business Network and author of The Art of the Long View. Eno is a musician, music producer, and artist. Saffo is spokesman for Institute for the Future. Kapor founded Lotus and co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

See Library of Alexandria Ambient music America-Europe dialogue American Association of Retired People (AARP) Amorphous Technologies International Anderson, Laurie Arcadia Art Art of the Long View, The Asimov, Isaac Aurelian Axelrod, Robert Babbage, Charles Ball, Patrick Barnett, Steve Barry, Charles Bateson, Gregory Bellcore Benjamin, Walter Benson, Richard Beowulf Berlin, Isiah Bernal, Desmond Berners-Lee, Tim Besser, Howard Big Ben Big Here Billington, James Biological and Environmental Specimen Time Capsule 2001 Biotechnology Black hole Book burning Boorstin, Daniel Bosnian Manuscript Ingathering Project Boulding, Elise Brand, Stewart and ancient Egyptian woman and century-watch and Global Business Network and Long Now Foundation and tour of Big Ben and Whole Earth Catalog Bright Red Brin, David Brøderbund Software Brown, Jim Brown, Patricia Fortini Burning of books Caesar, Julius Cage, John Cajete, Gregory Canons, as instrument of civilization Carbon dioxide levels Carlston, Douglas and digital information preservation and endangered information and messages to the future Carse, James P. Catholic Church and continuity of culture divine offices of Christianity and the Messiah Christian Science Monitor Chronos Churchill, Winston Civilization levels of start-up manual for Clock, Millennial design considerations devised by Hillis display of innovations in design of and karma and discounting and linearity materials for construction of as mechanical computer prototype design of prototype of as series of chambers size of timing mechanism of and tube sounds winding of See also Clock, Millennial/Library, 10,000-Year Clock, notional Clock, Millennial/Library, 10,000-Year as a point of reference complex, description of desert versus city ideas for its mythic depth and museum of history of technology as outside frame of reference site of and time-mail service and time-release services See also Clock, Millennial; Library, 10,000-Year Clock of the mind Cocaine use Collapse, global Commerce Communal time Computer media obsolescence Computer professionals and long-term responsibility Coniferous forest Connection Machine Continuity and revolution Core standards Corfu Cosby, Bill Cousteau, Jacques “Cramming More Components into Integrated Circuits” Culture definition of Dark age digital period as Darwin, John Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire de Landa, Diego Denison, C.

Thurow, Lester Time as asymmetrical frames of reference of kairos and chronos long and wide dimensions of value of Time capsules Time mail Tinju porcelain Tragic optimism Travels of Marco Polo, The Tree Triumphs of Big Ben, The Two-path strategy of digital information preservation 2000, year Universal translation system Universities and the long view and preservation of learning Utopian agendas Value and the future Velocity Venice and Antiquity Vinge, Vernor Virtual reality Visingsö Warshall, Peter Whole Earth Catalog Wide time Wildlands Project, The Winning Wired (magazine) Wolf, Dan Wooing of Earth, The World Economic Forum World Family Tree World Wide Web and the future and site for Long Now size of storage of See also Internet Year 2000 Yunju monastery stone tablets Zen Buddhism Zeno’s Paradox Zip disks and storage of information 1 C.E., meaning “of the common era,” is rightly considered preferable to A.D.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

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

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. Brand stood at the crossroads between bohemianism and new technology, the original digital communard. Brand’s most significant contribution was the creation in 1968 of the Whole Earth Catalog, a mixture of news, tools, reading suggestions and mail-order offers of everything from tantric art to cybernetics. The first rough-and-ready version of the Catalog sold 1,000 copies. By the time it closed three years later it had sold 1.5 million, and Brand won a National Book Award for his efforts. The last copy had 448 pages, listing 1,072 interesting items. The Whole Earth Catalog contained elements now recognisable in trendy Web 2.0-style businesses like eBay and Craigslist. Much of the content was submitted by readers, and those who were first to recommend something interesting got their names listed in the magazine.

Much of the content was submitted by readers, and those who were first to recommend something interesting got their names listed in the magazine. Brand went on to help create the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, an early Internet bulletin board, which in turn spawned the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which campaigns for freedom of speech online, and Wired magazine, the bible of the New Economy. More than any other magazine, Wired lionised technology entrepreneurs as the carriers of revolution. By 1971, however, the workload on the Whole Earth Catalog was taking its toll on Brand and he decided to close the magazine down with a Demise Party, held on 21 June at the Palace of Fine Arts in the centre of San Francisco. The entertainment included clowns, belly dancers, trampolinists and a band called Golden Toad who played Irish jigs and Tibetan temple music. Brand, dressed in a monk’s black habit, brought with him $20,000, the sum he had invested in starting the Catalog.

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: 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

Even the chain saw, which can cleanly slice through knotty burls too tough for a hand ax, had instilled in me a reverence for the beauty and strength of wood no other agent in the world could. I became fascinated by the challenge of picking the few tools that might elevate my spirit. In 1980 I freelanced for a publication (the Whole Earth Catalog) that used its own readers to select and recommend appropriate tools picked out of the ocean of self-serving manufactured stuff. In the 1970s and ’80s, the Whole Earth Catalog was, in essence, a user-generated website before the web, before computers, employing only cheap newsprint. The audience were the authors. I was thrilled by the changes that simple, well-selected tools could provoke in people’s lives. At the age of 28, I started selling mail-order budget travel guides that published low-cost information on how to enter the technologically simple realms most of the planet lived in.

At the age of 28, I started selling mail-order budget travel guides that published low-cost information on how to enter the technologically simple realms most of the planet lived in. My only two significant possessions at the time were a bike and sleeping bag, so I borrowed a friend’s computer (an early Apple II) to automate my fledgling moonlight business, and I got a cheap telephone modem to transmit my text to the printer. A fellow editor at the Whole Earth Catalog with an interest in computers slipped me a guest account that allowed me to remotely join an experimental teleconferencing system being run by a college professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. I soon found myself immersed in something altogether bigger and wilder: the frontier of an online community. It was a new continent more alien to me than Asia, and I began to report on it as if it were an exotic travel destination.

Once I noticed how online computers stirred the muses and multiplied possibilities, I realized that other technologies, such as automobiles, chain saws, biochemistry, and yes, even television, did the same in slightly different ways. For me, this gave a very different face to technology. I was very active on early teleconference systems, and in 1984, based on my virtual online presence, I was hired by the Whole Earth Catalog to help edit the first consumer publication that reviewed personal computer software. (I believe I might have been the first person in the world hired online.) A few years later, I got involved in launching the first public gateway to the emerging internet, an online portal called the Well. In 1992, I helped found Wired magazine—the official bullhorn of digital culture—and curated its content for its first seven years.


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

Ayn Rand, “The Anti-Industrial Revolution, Part II,” The Objectivist, February 1971, 980. 46. 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.

She focused relentlessly on what historians call conservation environmentalism, which emphasized the dangers of technology and was resolutely anti-growth. But another strain of environmental thought had discovered Rand’s celebration of human creativity and the power of markets. 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. He wrote after a discussion of Arthur Koestler’s views on abstract and emotional thought, “Don’t sever ‘em, connect ‘em up better. Then your abstract advances will be accompanied by emotional joy, and so forth. Which sounds Ayn Randish.”47 In the Last Whole Earth Catalog, a countercultural classic that sold more than a million copies and won a National Book Award, Brand offered a cryptic one-line review of Atlas Shrugged, “This preposterous novel has some unusual gold in it,” followed by a short excerpt. Brand’s ability to freely mingle Rand’s ideas with futuristic themes like moon colonization foreshadowed the emerging culture of cyberspace, which was strikingly libertarian from the beginning.48 Looking at another new movement of the 1970s, feminism, Rand was similarly critical.


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.

On Tuesday nights he opened his apartment up for sessions that combined wine tasting, Greek dancing, and computer programming. He was involved with the influential Midpeninsula Free University, an embodiment of the area’s do-your-own-thing attitude, which drew people like Baba Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, and the former AI sage of MIT, Uncle John McCarthy. Albrecht was involved in starting the loosely run “computer education division” of the nonprofit foundation called the Portola Institute, which later spawned the Whole Earth Catalog. He met a teacher from Woodside High School on the peninsula, named LeRoy Finkel, who shared his enthusiasm about teaching kids computers; with Finkel he began a computer-book publishing company named Dymax, in honor of Buckminster Fuller’s trademarked word “dymaxion,” combining dynamism and maximum. The for-profit company was funded by Albrecht’s substantial stock holdings (he had been lucky enough to get into DEC’s first stock offering), and soon the company had a contract to write a series of instructional books on BASIC.

On the cover of the first issue, dated October 1972, was a wavy drawing of a square-rigged boat sailing into the sunset—somehow symbolizing the golden age into which people were entering—and the following handwritten legend: COMPUTERS ARE MOSTLY USED AGAINST PEOPLE INSTEAD OF FOR PEOPLE USED TO CONTROL PEOPLE INSTEAD OF TO FREE THEM TIME TO CHANGE ALL THAT— WE NEED A . . . PEOPLE’S COMPUTER COMPANY The paper was laid out in similar style to the Whole Earth Catalog, only more impromptu, and sloppier. There could be four or five different type fonts on a page, and often messages were scribbled directly onto the boards, too urgent to wait for the typesetter. It was a perfect expression of Albrecht’s all-embracing, hurried style. Readers got the impression that there was hardly any time to waste in the mission of spreading computing to the people—and certainly no time to waste doing random tasks like straightening margins, or laying out stories neatly, or planning too far ahead.


pages: 360 words: 101,038

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax

Airbnb, barriers to entry, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, creative destruction, death of newspapers, declining real wages, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, hypertext link, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Minecraft, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Travis Kalanick, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

The most interesting project Kelly has produced in recent years is a giant book, measuring nearly 3 feet square, called Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities, which he gave me as a parting gift. One of the first jobs Kelly had was editing a publication called the Whole Earth Catalog, which featured reader reviews of products and essays that were geared to the first generation of proto-hippie-hackers, back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Think geodesic domes, experimental solar panels, and screeds against corporate America. Later, the Whole Earth Catalog expanded to include computers and software, but the rise of review-based e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, rendered the Whole Earth Catalog somewhat pointless, and it ceased publication. Kelly kept it alive with a blog called Cool Tools, which published a single review of a different tool every day, in the spirit of the Whole Earth Catalog. Kelly continued updating Cool Tools online, but kept feeling there was this gap, the final 5 percent of the experience, that online simply couldn’t achieve.

(Avicii), 20 Waldenbooks, 124 Waldorf school, 208 Walkmans, 9, 233 Wall Street, 84, 155, 156, 225 Wall Street Journal (newspaper), 89 Wallace, David Foster, 94 Wallpaper (magazine), 112 Walmart, 17, 127 Warby Parker, 125, 138 Ward, Anne, 118–119, 121 Warner Music, 8, 14–15 watches, xiv, 149–150, 151, 152, 157, 168, 169 watchmaking, 157–158, 159–160, 167, 168 Waterford Early Reading Program, 185 Waterstones, 127, 142 Watson, Steven, 103–104, 105–106 WAV files, 23 web. See Internet/web webcams, 83 websites, 33, 60, 88, 109, 111, 112, 113, 132, 188, 199 Welch, Gillian, 24 Welcome to 1979, 24–25 West, Kanye, 26 What Technology Wants (Kelly), 226 WhatsApp, 171, 217 Wheaton, Wil, 91 White, Jack, 5, 21–22, 22–23, 24, 172 White Stripes, 15, 21 whiteboards, 190–191, 213, 222 Whole Earth Catalog (magazine/catalog), 228 Whole Foods, xv, 127, 171 WHSmith, 127 Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (Underhill), 131 Wilco, 15 Williams, Evan, 208 Windows 95, 65 Wired (magazine), 19, 37, 89, 208, 226 Wolf, Karen, 175, 176 Wolff, Michael, 110 Wolfson, Jane, 108 Wonder Forge Games, 84 Woodward, Ian, 10 WORD, 140, 148 Words With Friends (game), 77 work, nature of, 164 See also digital work; jobs; manual work World Is Flat, The (Friedman), 154 World of Warcraft (game), 80, 82 Wrap (magazine), 106 Wu-Tang Clan, 3 Xerox printer, 223 X-Files (game), 91 Yahoo!


pages: 223 words: 52,808

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 Grail Gesture Recognition System on a tablet that was invented the same year as the mouse—1964—and the conventions of making arrows, windows, and so on, including moving and resizing them. All of this was happening at that time: Seymour Papert with his Logo programming language and Turtle graphics; Simula; and some of our own stuff as well, such as the Arpanet, the Flex Machine and its first object-oriented operating system, the idea of Dynabook, and much, much more. It was an exciting time. The Whole Earth Catalog and its folks were nearby in Menlo Park thinking big thoughts about universal access to tools. Not just physical, but especially mental. This was the first book in the PARC library, and it had a big influence on how we thought things should be. We loved the idea of lots of different tools being available with explanations and comments, and we could see that it would be just wonderful if such media could be brought to life as one found and made it.

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.

Ted Nelson: A Critical (and Critically Incomplete) Bibliography Henry Lowood1 (1)Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA, USA Henry Lowood Email: lowood@stanford.edu 16.1 Introduction Devoting time to serious bibliographical matters as a tribute to Ted Nelson may seem like a quaintly out-of-tune and bookish, if not totally misguided project. It is easy to pigeon-hole Ted’s work as belonging to a generation of adventurous and creative writers and editors active during the 1960s who began to find that traditional print media constrained the expression of their ideas. Marshall McLuhan and the Whole Earth Catalog come to mind. Indeed, Literary Machines opens with the declaration that it is “a hypertext, or nonsequential piece of writing.” Each reader of this book has confronted the difficulties imposed by non-linear writing on the linear medium of print. And yet, there is no way around the fact that most of Ted’s work has been published on paper. This fact alone does not produce a particularly difficult problem for bibliography.


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

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.

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. Some issues were more than an inch thick, and in 1971 it won a National Book Award in the Contemporary Affairs category. The Foxfire books were a similar sensation. They began as a project in a Georgia high school in which students interviewed their older neighbors and relatives about rural Appalachian traditions and crafts. The interviews turned into magazine articles and eventually a 1972 book.V The first Foxfire book sold more than 9 million copies.

On energy Mike Shellenberger and Ramez Naam helped me be much less incorrect than I would have been otherwise; Allan Adams provided the same service around global warming. Alexander Rose and Andrew Warner listened to the bets I wanted to make about humanity’s future planetary footprint, and agreed to host them on the Long Bets site, which is part of the Long Now Foundation. Long Now was cofounded by Stewart Brand, whose Whole Earth Catalog I devoured when it was reproduced as a coffee-table book sometime around 1980. Some of it clearly stuck with me. Like so many others, I’m grateful to Stewart for helping us think different. My agent, consigliere, and friend, Rafe Sagalyn, not only helped me think through the book at every stage but also arranged for Scribner to publish it. At that house, my editor, Rick Horgan, made the book better at every level from word to chapter to manuscript.


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

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. Its influence was demonstrated by the People’s Computer Company, a project overseen by Brand and Robert Albrecht (whom Ted Nelson hailed as the “caliph of counterculture computerdom”). The PCC was both a publication and an institution. As a publication, it was produced on the same printing equipment as the Whole Earth Catalog, using similar pagecraft to proselytize for a cognate message.

This grew into an authoritative magazine entitled (by its printer) Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Tiny BASIC Calisthenics and Orthodontia, launched as a vehicle for “the design, development, and distribution of free and lowcost software for the home computer.” Like the PCC itself, it was the manifestation in public of a community defined by its sharing of information and code. Meanwhile, Brand had begun to find the demands of running the Whole Earth Catalog wearisome. He decided to end it, and to do so with a bang. He threw a “demise party” for 1,500 guests at the Exploratorium. The event became one of the most storied moments in countercultural and computer history alike. At the height of the party, Brand, cloaked in a black cassock, announced that $20,000 remained in the kitty and invited the attendees to come up with a way to spend the money.

The survivors of the party were so impressed that they decided to hand the cash over to him. He suddenly found himself in charge of an unwanted trove that amounted, all told, to some $30,000. Moore took it away and buried it in his back garden. From then on Moore and a few comrades would meet periodically to lend parcels of this money to worthy projects. Their meetings were long and tortuous – “a kind of verbal Whole Earth Catalog,” one participant said. Moore found the process excruciating. He took to circulating missives to his fellows imploring them to show “cooperation and trust.” His pleas also posed the question of how best to define property in a new technology, such that the rules for their venture might be comprehended – a problem that was becoming more pressing in the PCC itself. As the operation began to divide into two camps – one more interested in advancing technology, the other dedicated to using computers to empower communities – Moore joined with an engineer named Gordon French in a bid to revive what they recalled of the original sensibility.


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

(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.

So he actually put some effort into getting a version of Smalltalk running on some kind of 8-bit. (Kay I993) Tesler also was involved in the publishing business at two levels. The first of these was his involvement, prior to going to PARC, with Jim Warren and the Free University Newsletter. As Warren recalls: This was in the late I960'S, maybe the early 1970'S. People's Computer Center was in one store front, around the corner was Whole Earth Catalog Order and Truck Farm. . . run by Stewart and Lois Brand. Another half block over was the Mid-Peninsula Free University Store. I was the general secretary of the Mid- Peninsula Free University. A guy named Larry Tesler. . . was the treasurer of the Free University. . . . We worked with each other in the Free U., on these newslet- ters, very frustrating, because it was a proportional-spacing typewriter, It wasn't programmable, you had very limited control.

The personal computer is in part the product of what in Europe was called "the generation of '68," and of its culture as it developed in the San Francisco Bay Area, from the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and antiwar ag- itation on through the San Francisco Summer of Love and the rise of the Hu- man Potential movement. There was a whole 1960's thing. . . the Free University was in Palo Alto (laughs). There was a lot of stuff going on . . . psychodrama, est was going on, Esalen, down in Big Sur, the Whole Earth Catalog was right across the street at that time to SRI. . . . You know, I am from the East Coast and I found It too confining. Cali- fornia was wide open, particularly during this time: anything went. Of course a lot of people floundered. . . . I think that it helped a lot that there was sort of the perfect clImate to put an engineering cast into, because they were just naturally looser. . . . It was a very nice setup generally. . . a lIttle crazy.


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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

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.’ Brand’s biographer, Stanford University’s Professor Fred Turner, would archly note that the Catalog presented a way of changing the world through buying things, an ‘idea which has stuck around’. In 2005 Steve Jobs called the Whole Earth Catalog ‘one of the bibles of my generation . . . sort of like Google in paperback form’.

He lionized the entrepreneur, the individualist self-starter, and had an authentic neoliberal’s distaste for altruistic government, later writing, ‘That whole victim mindset – saying to the government you’re supposed to fix my problem – is a total anathema to Whole Earth.’ But as much as Brand himself, it was the network of like-minded influencers he drew around him that would have a defining effect on the digital culture of today. From the Whole Earth Catalog sprouted a range of other magazine titles and a new form of community that gathered ‘online’, connected by computers and modems, that he called Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link. In 1987, Brand co-founded the Global Business Network, a consultancy made up of ‘remarkable people’ including Doug Engelbart and Esalen co-founder Michael Murphy. The GBN spread its vision of the free and wired future deep into the offices and brains of the powerful, advising clients such as IBM, AT&T and the Pentagon.

Engelbart was treating his people like ‘laboratory animals’: ‘Chronicle of the Death of a Laboratory: Douglas Engelbart and the Failure of the Knowledge Workshop’, Thierry Bardini and Michael Friedewald, History of Technology (2003), 23, pp. 191–212, at p. 206. who raced back to his company, Apple Computer: Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson (Abacus, 2015), pp. 96–7. Engelbart recalled meeting Jobs in the 1980s: ‘Douglas Engelbart’s lasting legacy’, Tia O’Brien, Mercury News, 3 March 2013. Fred Turner, would archly note that: ‘Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, the book that changed the world’, Carole Cadwalladr, Guardian, 5 May 2013. In 1995, Brand told Time Magazine: As quoted in the exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966–1970’, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. As a student, terrified of the Communists: From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Fred Turner (University of Chicago Press, 2006), pp. 41, 42. ‘That whole victim mindset – saying to the government’: From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Fred Turner (University of Chicago Press, 2006), p. 287.


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

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.

Converging technologies and human destiny. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 32 (3): 197-216. Beattie, A. 2009. False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World. Riverhead Books. Berkes, F., and C. Folke, eds. 1998. Linking Social and Ecological Systems: Management Practices and Social Mechanisms for Building Resilience. Cambridge University Press. Boot, M. 2006. War Made New. Gotham Books. Brand, S. 1968. Whole Earth Catalog. Portola Institute. Brown, P. 1987. Microparasites and macroparasites. Cultural Anthropology 2 (1): 155-171. Callaway, E. 2009. Brain scanners can tell you what you're thinking about. New Scientist 2732. Available at www.newscientist.com. Clark, A. 2003. Natural-Born Cyborgs. Oxford University Press. 212 Bibliography Clark, R. A., and R. K. Knake. 2010. Cyberwar: The Next Threat to National Security and What To Do About It.

., 168 Uncertainty about future, 88££ United Kingdom, 144 United Nations, 112, 164 United States, 139, 183 and brands, 134 and climate change, 113 and geopolitical dominance, 27 and higher education, 134 and venture capital, 134 Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 139, 141, 151 Vaccines, 40ff, 46, 49ff, 60, 63, 98,107,174 Values, conflict of, 88££ Van der Leeuw, S., 9 Venter, C., 68 Vietnam, 131 Vietnam war, 136, 139 Vishnu, 10,78,119 Visvanathan, S., 66 War, laws of, 152 War Made New, 130 "War on drugs," 125 "War porn," 155 Watches, 34 Webber, M., 109 Webster, D., 74 Whitman, W, 74, 77 Whole Earth Catalog, 10 Wilson, E. 0., 122 Winner, L., 44, 45 Wired for War, 141 Wolfpack sensor system, 143 Woodhouse, N., 56 World Charter for Nature, 181 World Economic Forum, 49 World Health Organization, 48 World Trade Organization, 135 World Transhumanist Association, 5 World War I, 76,127,151 World War II, 127, 131 Xe,141


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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

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. The Whole Earth Catalog, and its sequels, sold two and half million copies and won a National Book Award. With the slow collapse of American radical dissent, the Whole Earth Catalog had slipped to a more modest corner of the cultural radar; but in its magazine incarnation, CoEvolution Quarterly, the Point Foundation continued to offer a magpie potpourri of "access to tools and ideas."

As the Secret Service swung into anti-hacker operation nationwide in 1990, Kapor watched every move with deep skepticism and growing alarm. As it happened, Kapor had already met Barlow, who had interviewed Kapor for a California computer journal. Like most people who met Barlow, Kapor had been very taken with him. Now Kapor took it upon himself to drop in on Barlow for a heart-to-heart talk about the situation. Kapor was a regular on the Well. Kapor had been a devotee of the Whole Earth Catalog since the beginning, and treasured a complete run of the magazine. And Kapor not only had a modem, but a private jet. In pursuit of the scattered high-tech investments of Kapor Enterprises Inc., his personal, multi-million dollar holding company, Kapor commonly crossed state lines with about as much thought as one might give to faxing a letter. The Kapor-Barlow council of June 1990, in Pinedale, Wyoming, was the start of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


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One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness, Zachary Mooradian Furness

active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, back-to-the-land, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, dumpster diving, Enrique Peñalosa, European colonialism, feminist movement, ghettoisation, Golden Gate Park, interchangeable parts, intermodal, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Health, being more at one with nature, and using our own resources were three ideals of the time, influenced by the Whole Earth Catalog. it was a time of be-ins, love-ins, smoke-ins . . . so it was natural to plan a huge Bike-in—one that would bring all groups together around a common dream.103 What is interesting about these early years of bike activism is that despite its cultural emphasis, there was also a firmly entrenched commitment to transforming bicycling and automobility through formal political channels, whether it be lobbying, hosting community events, meeting with politicians and urban planners, circulating petitions, and/or getting involved with local (and regional) governmental affairs. One of the prominent critiques of both the counterculture and appropriate technologists—who especially mingled in the pages of the Whole Earth Catalog as well as the back-to-the-land movement—is that they either advocated an individualist, escapist paradigm (“tune in, turn on, drop out”) or tried to naïvely solve complex social/political problems by simply “living differently” or by using different tools.104 Bike advocacy in the 1970s reveals the limitations and inaccuracy of this critique because cyclists were directly engaged with urban problems that are fundamentally social and political in their scope. rather than arguing for cyclists to just do their own thing, groups like Transportation alternatives, le Monde à Bicyclette, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (founded in 1970), the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater philadelphia, and the Washington area Bicyclist association (all founded in 1972), specifically worked to transform the urban milieu by addressing both the pragmatic needs of cyclists (and potential cyclists) as well as the overarching problems posed by poor urban planning and environmental pollution. like Jane Jacobs, many saw unregulated automobility as a problem requiring a positive orientation and a realistic set of goals: attrition [of automobiles], too, must operate in positive terms, as a means of supplying positive, easily understood and desired improvements, appealing to various specific and tangible city interests.

Critiques of the aT movement and other proponents of “alternative technology” are most explicit in Jennifer Daryl Slack, Communication Technologies and Society (norwood, nJ: ablex publishing Corporation, 1984), 30–39, and langdon Winner, The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology (Chicago: University of Chicago press, 1986), 61–84. For contrasting perspectives on aT, see andrew Kirk, “appropriating Technology: The Whole Earth Catalog and Counterculture Environmental politics,” Environmental History 7, no. 4 (2001): 374–394; Kleiman, “The appropriate Technology Movement in american political Culture,” esp. 296–400 (on the political economy of aT). Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 370. Emphasis is my own. McCorkell, personal correspondence. J. B. Corgel and C.F. Floyd, “Towards a new Direction in Bicycle Transportation policy,” Transportation Quarterly 33, no. 2 (1979): 297–301.

Ken Kifer’s Bike Pages. available at http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/lifestyle/70s. htm. King, Chris. “Thoughts on Manufacturing Overseas.” Chris King Precision Components. available at http://www.chrisking.com/asiamfg. Kinnevy, S. C., B. p. Healey, D. E. pollio, and C. S. north. “Bicycleworks: Task-Centered Group Work with High-risk youth.” Social Work with Groups 22, no. 1 (1999): 33–48. Kirk, andrew. “appropriating Technology: The Whole Earth Catalog and Counterculture Environmental politics.” Environmental History 7, no. 4 (2001): 374–394. Kleiman, Jordan B. “The appropriate Technology Movement in american political Culture.” ph.D. diss., University of rochester, 2000. Klein, naomi. No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. new york: picador, 2000. Klett, Michael “a Uniquely Democratic Experiment.” in Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration, edited by Chris Carlsson, 90–93.


Active Measures by Thomas Rid

1960s counterculture, 4chan, active measures, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, continuation of politics by other means, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, guest worker program, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, peer-to-peer, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

In January 1974, CARIC and the Fifth Estate joined forces and formed the Organizing Committee for a Fifth Estate. The Fifth Estate was a volunteer organization, with new headquarters established at 2000 P Street NW, just off Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. The Fifth Estate grew out of late-1960s counterculture, and was especially inspired and modeled on the Whole Earth Catalog, then a cult publication. Produced in the San Francisco Bay Area by Stewart Brand, an iconic, technology-embracing hippie maven, the Whole Earth Catalog was an early techno-utopian vision of back-to-the-land living that embraced cybernetic feedback loops, community, wholeness, flattened hierarchies, and the motto “access to tools.” Brand’s catalog would become a prototypical social media platform (and later became the first actual social media platform when it was taken online, in 1984, as the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, or WELL).

“The Fifth Estate spies on Big Brother,” they added, in a characteristic Orwell reference. They aimed to build their new movement around “campus and community based action/research groups.”18 Counterspy’s first issue, for example, included a questionnaire for readers to fill out, asking potential contributors to list the intelligence agencies they worked for. The CIA assumed this was an attempt to secure sources.19 The Fifth Estate, like the Whole Earth Catalog, advocated for greater citizen access to advanced technology. Technology, they argued, must enlighten humanity, not hasten a descent into what they dubbed technofascism. Their lofty goal, guided by science fiction, was to “restrain further development of technofascism—the societal form described by George Orwell in his prophetic novel 1984.” Computers, in early 1975, were large and prohibitively expensive machines that served powerful corporate, military, and intelligence interests—yet the beginnings of the age of personal computing were already anticipated by the counterculture avant-garde.

The first editorial, published in the summer of 1978, expressed confidence that there was enough subscriber demand “to make this publication a permanent weapon in the fight against the CIA, the FBI, military intelligence, and all the other instruments of U.S. imperialist oppression throughout the world.”1 The editors encouraged readers to submit leads, tips, suggestions, and guest articles. It was another attempt at a Whole Earth Catalog of counterintelligence activism, predating the internet yet already beginning to act like a community engagement platform and outlet for user-generated content and anonymous leaks. In its opening editorial, the new magazine vouched to go after the CIA especially: “we will never stop exposing CIA personnel and operations whenever and wherever we find them.” The editors then added a call for submissions, including a post office box address for anonymous mail, emphasizing a particular interest in “copies of US diplomatic lists and US embassy staff and/or telephone directories, from any countries.”2 Covert Action Information Bulletin, a new anti-intelligence community journal, first published the full English version of the U.S.


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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

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.

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?”

Walker social capital social graph Social Graph Symposium Social Network, The Solove, Daniel solution horizon Startup School Steitz, Mark stereotyping Stewart, Neal Stryker, Charlie Sullivan, Danny Sunstein, Cass systematization Taleb, Nassim Nicholas Tapestry TargusInfo Taylor, Bret technodeterminism technology television advertising on mean world syndrome and Tetlock, Philip Thiel, Peter This American Life Thompson, Clive Time Tocqueville, Alexis de Torvalds, Linus town hall meetings traffic transparency Trotsky, Leon Turner, Fred Twitter Facebook compared with Últimas Noticias Unabomber uncanny valley Upshot Vaidhyanathan, Siva video games Wales, Jimmy Wall Street Journal Walmart Washington Post Web site morphing Westen, Drew Where Good Ideas Come From (Johnson) Whole Earth Catalog WikiLeaks Wikipedia Winer, Dave Winner, Langdon Winograd, Terry Wired Wiseman, Richard Woolworth, Andy Wright, David Wu, Tim Yahoo News Upshot Y Combinator Yeager, Sam Yelp You Tube LeanBack Zittrain, Jonathan Zuckerberg, Mark Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Introduction Chapter 1 - The Race for Relevance Chapter 2 - The User Is the Content Chapter 3 - The Adderall Society Chapter 4 - The You Loop Chapter 5 - The Public Is Irrelevant Chapter 6 - Hello, World!


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Makers by Chris Anderson

3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, IKEA effect, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, private space industry, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

In his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson describes Brand’s role in the origins of what is today the Maker Movement: Brand ran the Whole Earth Truck Store, which began as a roving truck that sold useful tools and educational materials, and in 1968 he decided to extend its reach with The Whole Earth Catalog. On its first cover was the famous picture of Earth taken from space; its subtitle was “Access to Tools.” The underlying philosophy was that technology could be our friend. Brand wrote on the first page of the first edition, “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. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by The Whole Earth Catalog.” Buckminster Fuller followed with a poem that began, “I see God in the instruments and mechanisms that work reliably.”13 The Homebrew Computer Club, where Jobs and Wozniak brain-stormed the first Apple computer, was founded on these principles.

Or could it become more like the real Web, where the majority of content is created by amateurs, without any intention of creating a business or making money at all? This second option is a future where the Maker Movement is more about self-sufficiency—making stuff for our own use—than it is about building businesses. It is one that hews even closer to the original ideals of the Homebrew Computer Club and The Whole Earth Catalog. The idea, then, was not to create big companies, but rather to free ourselves from big companies. Every time I download some design from the Web and print something on my MakerBot without going to a store or otherwise engaging in any commercial transaction at all, I wonder how long it will take before more of the world of atoms becomes free, like most of the world of bits already has. (I wrote a book about this economic model, too, which now hardly needs explaining as we are awash in free digital goods.)54 Take, for instance, Open Source Ecology, which is an online community creating a “Global Village Construction Set.”


The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting by Anne Trubek

computer age, crowdsourcing, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, lateral thinking, Norman Mailer, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steven Pinker, Whole Earth Catalog

Other individuals founded societies in other cities: New York (Society of Scribes); Portland, Oregon (Portland Society for Calligraphy); and Philadelphia (Philadelphia Calligraphers’ Society). To this day, most trained calligraphers are members of these informal yet long-lasting guilds. In the late 1960s and 1970s, calligraphy experienced a second revival for predictably similar reasons: hippies and other back-to-earthers, like those of the Arts and Crafts era, valued making things by hand in reaction to mass culture. The Whole Earth Catalog, that iconic book of the seventies, has a chapter dedicated to calligraphy, and a brisk business developed in calligraphy pens and instruction manuals and offering italics workshops. During this resurgence both the senior letterers at American Greetings, Mike Gold and Martha Ericson, learned calligraphy. Gold, who grew up in California, was working with a sign painter who introduced him to lettering, the creation of letters in a recognizable design, as opposed to calligraphy, which is the re-creation of historic, formulaic scripts.

See also keyboarding acceptance of, here, here advertisements for, here authors as early adopters of, here, here continued use of, here in correspondence, here cost of, here, here effect on spelling and punctuation, here improvements in typewriters, here invention of, here physicality of, here placement of keys on, here prototypes of, here racing typewriters, here touch-typing method for, here Twain’s use of, here typing contests, here women as type-writers, here, here, here uncial script, here, here, here, here, here, here Underwood Speed Training Group, here Underwood typewriters, here United States calligraphy movement in, here, here development of scripts in, here, here, here, here and handwriting as evidence in court of law, here, here literacy rates in, here, here public schools in, here round hand used in, here, here universities, manuscript production in, here University College London, here University of Pennsylvania, here uppercase letters, here, here verso, here Vindolanda tablets, here Virgil, here Visigothic script, here voice recognition software, here, here Wallace, David Foster, here, here, here wax tablets, here website designs, here Whole Earth Catalog, here Willins, Stella, here Wolf, Maryanne, here, here, here Wolfe, Heather, here women as clerks, here Italian hand used by, here restrictions on literacy of, here, here as type-writers, here, here, here writing taught to, here WordPress, here word use, patterns of, here, here Worthington, Martin, here writing. See also handwriting; literacy in ancient Greece, here in ancient Rome, here beauty of, here, here, here and cognitive automaticity, here cognitive effects of, here, here, here, here individuality reinserted in, here invention of, here, here loss associated with, here oral communication compared to, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here proto-writing, here, here Socrates on, here, here, here Sumerian pedagogy for cuneiform writing, here, here, here, here teaching of, here, here writing ability, here, here, here, here Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA), here writing masters female teachers replacing, here handwriting taught by, here, here, here, here, here writing systems.


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.

“Everyone looks ordinary except not as good as ordinary. Schlumpy. What’s up with that?” “I guess it’s our way of showing we don’t care.” Fridge hosed, swiveling it a step at a time back to the hut: “Maybe it’s a sign that the world really needs VR now!” “Oh, you don’t know. We’re calling it Shallow Alto.” “It changed that much?” “It just seems like everything interesting isn’t here anymore. The Suicide Club is in the city, the Whole Earth Catalog moved to Marin—sigh—and Survival Research Lab doesn’t even come around anymore. No one interesting can afford the rents anymore.” You might not know about these early Silicon Valley institutions. The Suicide Club was a punk urban adventure club that would do things like climb the Golden Gate Bridge illegally. It was one of the progenitors of Burning Man. That’s where “Leave No Trace” comes from.7 Survival Research Labs staged walloping, genuinely dangerous, and giant performance art with equipment scrounged in Silicon Valley.

VR engaged a new generation of journalists, like Steven Levy, Howard Rheingold, Luc Sante, and Mondo 2000’s Ken Goffman, aka R. U. Sirius. I’ll highlight two figures who were particularly influential as well as dear to me: Kevin Kelly and John Perry Barlow. Kevin is a fine example of a trusted friend with whom I disagree completely. When I met him, he was editing and writing in publications connected to Stewart Brand’s world, post–Whole Earth Catalog; he later became the first editor in chief of Wired. Kevin thinks that objects we perceive to exist in software really exist. I do not. He believes in AI, and that a noosphere not only exists, but might have gained a kind of self-determination now that computers are networked. I do not. Kevin thinks technology is a superbeing that wants things. He perceives grace in that superbeing. I was delighted to provide a blurb for his book What Technology Wants, stating that it was the best presentation of a philosophy I didn’t share.


pages: 153 words: 45,871

Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson

AltaVista, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, edge city, informal economy, Joi Ito, means of production, megastructure, pattern recognition, proxy bid, telepresence, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

These are not observations that one could arrive at using any previous literary model of metropolitan history, but the result of a genuinely postmodern agenda, an entirely new and utterly compelling way to write about cities. If you wish to possess the world’s greatest city, read this book. If you would learn to expose the soul of a place, in the deepest and most thoroughly contemporary way, read it again. I loved The Whole Earth Catalog, in the Seventies, though it made me feel guilt. I loved it for the sense it gave that my generation might find new ways of sorting out the world’s difficulties (which now seems terribly ironic). The guilt I felt was equally straightforward, and perhaps as fantastic: that I was not repairing an electricity-generating windmill with a Leatherman tool. It made me feel terribly lazy. When Bruce Sterling guest-edited an issue, many years later, and invited me to contribute, I decided that Peter Ackroyd’s book constituted a tool.

First published by Tate magazine, Issue 1, September/October 2002. Published by arrangement with Tate Publishing. “An Invitation” copyright © 2007 by William Gibson. First published in Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings by Jorge Luis Borges. New York: New Directions Press, 2007. “Metrophagy: The Art and Science of Digesting Great Cities” copyright © 2001 by William Gibson. First published by Whole Earth Catalog, Summer 2001. Published by arrangement with Bruce Sterling, editor. “Modern Boys and Mobile Girls” copyright © 2001 by William Gibson. First published by The Observer, March 31, 2001. “My Obsession” copyright © 1999 by William Gibson. First published by Wired magazine, January 1999. “My Own Private Tokyo” copyright © 2001 by William Gibson. First published by Wired magazine, September 2001.


pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power

air freight, Alexander Shulgin, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, John Bercow, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Network effects, nuclear paranoia, packet switching, pattern recognition, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, pre–internet, QR code, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

It was the beginning of the modern age.1 Engelbart, in common with many intellectuals and technologists of the era, had attended LSD-assisted creativity sessions in the 1960s at the International Foundation for Advanced Study, a California psychedelic research group founded by a friend of Alexander Shulgin’s, Mylon Stolaroff. The Shulgins wrote the preface to Stolaroff’s book Thanatos to Eros (1994) detailing his experiences with LSD, MDMA, mescaline and a number of Shulgin’s creations.2 Author Stewart Brand, who coined the phrase ‘Information wants to be free’ in 1984, was responsible for filming the Mother of All Demos, and that same year he launched the Whole Earth Catalog, the ad-free samizdat techno-hippy bible. Its esoteric and wide-ranging content, from poetry to construction plans for geodesic domes by physicist Buckminster Fuller, from car repair tips to trout-fishing guides and the fundamentals of yoga and the I-ching, was hacked together using Polaroid cameras, Letraset and the highest of low-tech. It now reads much like a printed blog; it was a paper website, in the words of blogger and author Kevin Kelly, that was sprinting before the web even took its first shaky steps.3 Its statement of intent in its launch issue reads like a manifesto that has been realized by today’s web users: ‘A realm of intimate personal power is developing – the 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.

It now reads much like a printed blog; it was a paper website, in the words of blogger and author Kevin Kelly, that was sprinting before the web even took its first shaky steps.3 Its statement of intent in its launch issue reads like a manifesto that has been realized by today’s web users: ‘A realm of intimate personal power is developing – the 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. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the Whole Earth Catalog.’ Brand, whose collaborations with Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters would evolve into the Acid Tests, the 1960s proto-raves fuelled by LSD and documented by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, felt that information technology was the next stage in humans’ evolutionary progress. Info-anarchists and cyber-utopians not only laid the foundations for the internet, but would act as outriders for the free software movement.

., 1 Tapsell, Paul, 1 Taylor, Polly, 1 Temple of the True Inner Light, 1 Temporary Class Drug Orders (TCDOs), 1, 2 Tettey, Justice, 1 Texas group, 1 TFM (The Farmer’s Market), 1 THC, 1, 2 TICTAC Communications, 1 tiletamine, 1 Time magazine, 1, 2 Timms, Dave, 1 tobacco, 1, 2 Tor network, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Transform, 1 truth serums, 1 tryptamines, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Twitter, 1, 2 UK Border Agency, 1. 2 UK Drug Policy Commission, 1 UK laws Dangerous Drugs Act (1920), 1 Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), 1 Medicines Act (1968), 1, 2 Misuse of Drugs Act (1971), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Pharmacy Act (1868), 1 Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (2011), 1 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), 1 Serious Crime Act (2007), 1 UKLegals, 1 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 1 United Nations treaties, 1, 2 United States of America drug testing, 1 illegal drug use, 1 incarceration rate, 1 internet speeds, 1 Prohibition era, 1 research chemicals manufacture, 1 US Department of Defense, 1 US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 US drug legislation, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 flaws in analogue laws, 1 and marijuana replacements, 1 see also American Analog Act US National Drug Control Strategy, 1 US Navy, 1, 2 Urban1, 2 urea, 1 Usenet, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 V Festival, 1 Valium, 1, 2, 3 Van den Berg, Paul, 1 van Dijk, Peter, 1 VICE, 1 Vietnam War, 1 Voice of America, 1 Voodoo Fest, 1 Wain, David John, 1 Wainwright, Louis, 1 Wainwright, Rob, 1 Wasson, R. Gordon, 1 Watson, James D., 1 Weekes, Elsworth, 1 Well, The, 1 Wells-Pestell, Lord, 1 Wen Jiabao, 1 Wenn, Hugo, 1 Western Union, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Whole Earth Catalog, 1 Wikipedia, 1, 2, 3 Willem, Marc, 1 Williams, Judge Adele, 1 Williams, Edward Huntingdon, 1 Willmer, Kate, 1 Winstock, Adam, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Wöhler, Friedrich, 1 Wolfe, Tom, 1 woof woof, see MDAI Xanax, 1 Yage vine, 1 Yemen, 1 YMMV disclaimer, 1 YouTube, 1, 2, 3, 4 Zectran, 1 Zeff, Leo, 1 Zimmermann, Phil, 1 Zirilli, Saverio, 1 About the Author Born in 1971, MIKE POWER has worked as a freelance journalist for British newspapers and organizations including the Guardian, Lonely Planet, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Herald, DrugScope and the Big Issue for the last sixteen years, producing and writing news, features and investigations.


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

Fill a machine with nonsense, and it will cook it up for you with no judgment, executing commands precisely as dictated. Feed it truth, and it does the same. 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.”

Out in Sausalito, the same Bay Area techno-idealism that had galvanized Community Memory and Resource One a decade previous gave birth to The WELL, a BBS for West Coast intellectuals. It was a joint venture between Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist with a computer-conferencing company, and Stewart Brand, editor of the Whole Earth Review. Brand was known as a connector—the counterculture had been browsing the Whole Earth Catalog for solar ovens, composting toilets, and radical books for nearly a generation—and a scribe of disruptive technologies. “All software does is manage symbols,” he wrote in 1984. BBS had a reputation as a realm of nerdy fiefdoms, but The WELL was different. Fans of the Whole Earth publications signed up to chat with the writers, editors, and subjects of their favorite magazine, expecting a level of discourse that Brand and his cohort were happy to indulge.

., 150 Smithsonian Institution, 62 Snyder, Elizabeth “Betty,” see Holberton, Elizabeth “Betty” social media, 97, 137, 139–41, 148, 149, 151, 152, 201, 207, 210, 241, 242 Facebook, 139, 141, 148, 149, 151, 210 Reddit, 149 Twitter, 149, 150, 151 Social Services Referral Directory, 105–7, 215 Sodoeka, Yoshi, 193 software, 56, 74, 88, 94, 132, 163 crisis in, 76–78 distinction between hardware and, 33 women and, 51–52 see also programming software engineering, use of term, 77–78, 93 Somerville, Mary, 16, 21 Space Task Force, 24 spanning-tree protocol, 126–28 Speiser, Jane, 99–100 Stahl, Mary, 114, 118, 120, 122 Stanford University, 110, 153, 154 Augmentation Research Center at, 111–12, 116 Starrs, Josephine, 237 Stevenson, Adlai, 60 stock market crash, 198–200, 201 Stone, Allucquére Rosanne, 143 subroutines, 37 Suck.com, 194, 201–2 Sun Link Service, 162 Sun Microsystems, 161, 162, 210 Sutton, Jo, 239 Switchboards, 97–98, 100, 101, 105 Symbolics, 161, 162 Symbolics Document Examiner, 162 system administrators (sysops), 130, 131 Talmud, 154 Tandy, 225 Tannenbaum, Rob, 137 telephone companies, 24 Telepresence Research, 227 Teletype machines, 101, 105, 106 Telluride InfoZone, 131 telnet, 151–52 Terminal, 151–52 textile looms, 11–13, 20 Tierney, Gertrude, 73 Time, 233 Tomb Raider, 236 TransAmerica Leasing Corporation, 98, 99 trans experience, 143–44 Embraceable Ewe and, 142, 144 Turkle, Sherry, 223, 229 Twitter, 149, 150, 151 United States Naval Observatory, 9–10 United Way, 106 UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer), 57–63, 65, 66, 67, 73 C-10 code for, 58–59 University of California, Berkeley, 97, 110 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 110 University of Michigan, 157 University of Pennsylvania, 69–70 Moore School of Electrical Engineering, 37–42, 47, 48, 50, 54–56 University of Southampton, 157–59, 160 Web Science Institute, 171, 173 Unix, 135–36, 152 URLs, 215 Utopian Entrepreneur (Laurel), 235 Van Meter, Jonathan, 188, 189 Viacom, 186, 192 VIBE, 188 video games, see computer games VIKI, 166, 170 Village Voice, 136, 183, 184 Virtual Community, The: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier (Rheingold), 148–49 virtual reality, 227–28 VNS Matrix, 237–40, 242 Volkart, Yvonne, 240 von Neumann, John, 36 Walcott, James, 137 Walker, Janet, 162 Wall Street Journal, 220, 221 Watson, Patty Jo, 91–92 Watson, Richard, 88 Watson, Thomas, Jr., 60 Web: use of word, 153 see also World Wide Web Web sites and pages, 131, 135, 153, 154, 184, 186 life spans of, 170 for women, see women’s Web see also World Wide Web WELL, The, 132–35, 140, 149, 153, 179–80, 205–6, 209 Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of, 16 Wescoff, Marlyn, 39, 43, 48, 49 Westheimer, Ellen, 114 WHOIS, 119–20 Whole Earth Catalog, 100, 132 Whole Earth Review, 132, 183 Wilcox, Patricia (Pat Crowther), 84–94, 110 William the Conqueror, 155 Wired, 138, 194, 206 women, 4–5 computers as viewed by, 229 men posing as, 143–44, 179 and software vs. hardware, 51–52 women, working, 23–24 black, 24 wage discrimination and, 23, 77, 78 women.com, 205, 214–21 Women in Telecommunications (WIT), 141–42, 144, 205 Women’s Internet History Project, 143 Women’space, 239 women’s Web, 131, 216, 221, 223, 233 advertising and, 214–16, 218, 219, 221 iVillage, 214, 216–21 women.com, 205, 214–21 Women’s WIRE, 205–15 Women’s WIRE, 205–15 Woods, Don, 90 Word, 188–95, 201–3, 205, 214, 215 Works Progress Administration, 25 World War I, 24 World War II, 24, 25, 28–29, 31, 32, 34–37, 40, 45, 47, 50, 51, 53–55 atomic bomb in, 36 Pearl Harbor attack, 27–29, 32 World Wide Web, 102, 131, 152, 154, 159, 165, 168–72, 177, 203, 204, 222 browsers for, see browsers commercialization of, 204–5, 217, 241; see also advertising conferences on, 170, 173 early true believers and, 187–88, 196, 197, 202 hypertext and, 168–70, 201 links on, 168–70, 201 Microcosm viewer for, 172–73 number of women on, 214 search engines for, 115, 154 Semantic Web and, 174 see also Internet; Web sites and pages Xerox, 161 Xerox PARC, 162–66, 210 Y2K, 71, 194 Yankelovich, Nicole, 162 Zapata Corporation, 194, 201 Zeroes + Ones (Plant), 238 About the Author CLAIRE L.


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. Wesley Clark, pioneering designer of digital computers and consultant to PARC Steven Jobs, cofounder and chief executive of Apple Computer Timeline May: Xerox purchases Scientific Data Systems for $920million in stock; and its chief scientist, Jack Goldman, submits his proposal for an “Advanced Scientific & Systems Laboratory” to pursue research in computing and solid-state physics.

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.) At the outset, he said later, some old friends at Doug Engelbart’s lab put him in touch with Bill English at PARC. But it was Taylor, he recalled, who actually arranged for him to walk into the lab past the lone receptionist who counted, for the moment, as PARC’s entire security force.

., 261, 376, 399artificial intelligence and, 121, 237, 261 Bolt, Beranek & Newman and, 121, 280, 301 Elkind and, 280, 281, 282 Boeing Corporation, 284 Boggs, David R., 178–79, 399 Alto and, 294 Ethernet and, 141, 176, 187–92 Futures Day and, 267, 272 Novas and, 188 Worm and, 290–91 Bolt, Beranek & Newman, 76, 118, 119, 120, 121, 180, 265–66, 280, 301, 320 Boolean logic, 109, 304 “Bose Conspiracy,” 152–53 Box Named Joe, A, 222 Brand, Stewart Rolling Stone and, xv, 155–62, 204, 223 Whole Earth Catalog and, 157 Bravo, 208–9, 210, 227, 283, 310, 373 Lampson and, 194, 195, 198, 199, 201 Simonyi and, xv, 194–95, 198–201 BravoX, 283–84, 285, 364 Simonyi and, 283, 357, 360 Brittain, William, 57 Brooks, Frederick, 74, 76 Brown, John Seely, 302, 386, 399 Brunner, John, 295–96, 297, 298–99 Brushes, Alto and, 174 Building 34, 140 Burroughs, 24, 89, 101 Bush, Vannevar, 63–64, 67, 122 Buvall, Bill, 64 C++, xiv Campbell, Sandy, 381–82 “Capability Investment Proposal” (Ellenby), 285, 286–87, 288 Card, Stuart, 302 Carlson, Chester, 22, 35, 130, 350, 393 Carnegie-Mellon, 43 Carter, Jimmy, 283–84 Carter, Shelby H., 285–86, 287, 363 CD-ROM, 55, 123 Cedar, 325 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 336 Character generator.


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

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. Publishing regularly between 1968 and 1971, Brand’s catalog identified and promoted key products or tools for communal living and, in doing so, sought to help “transform the individual into a capable, creative person.” The only “catalog” to ever win a National Book Award, the publication was inspirational to many personal-computer pioneers including Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, who later reminisced: “The Whole Earth Catalog . . . was one the bibles of my generation. . . .

The only “catalog” to ever win a National Book Award, the publication was inspirational to many personal-computer pioneers including Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, who later reminisced: “The Whole Earth Catalog . . . was one the bibles of my generation. . . . It was a sort of Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.” While Brand and The Whole Earth Catalog offered inspiration, the most articulate spokesperson for the computer-liberation idea was Ted Nelson, the financially independent son of Hollywood actress Celeste Holm. Among Nelson’s radical visions of computing was an idea called hypertext, which he first described in the mid-1960s. Hypertext was a system by which an untrained person could navigate through a universe of information held on computers. Before such an idea could become a reality, however, it was necessary to “liberate” computing: to make it accessible to ordinary people at a trivial cost. In the 1970s Nelson promoted computer liberation as a regular speaker at computer hobbyist gatherings.


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

” 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.”

., 63 Song, Stephen, 99 South America, 127 Southwest Airlines, 84–85 space, 144–50 space flight, 148–49 space tourism, 31 Spain, recession in, 64–65 Spotify, 96, 97, 124 Sprigman, Christopher, 85 Stark, Kio, 22–23, 142 Steam, 215 steam engine technology, 88 steel industry, 88–89 Stein, Gertrude, 213 Stephens, Dale, 22–23, 139–42, 143 Stonyfield, 201 Stop Online Piracy Act, 113 streaming technology, 96 Structural Genomics Consortium, 101 Stuckert, Taylor, 67–70 Student (magazine), 31 Sullivan, Tim, 184 Swartz, Aaron, 113–14, 115 Sweden, 145, 156 Teach, Edward (“Blackbeard”), 121 TED, 201 telecom industry, 78 ten-thousand-year clock, 150–51 terrorists, 124 Texas, 58–59, 150 Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 59 Thai Flood Hacks, 34–35 Thailand, 34 Thessaloniki, Greece, 162 Thoreau, Henry, 185 3-D printing robots, 149 Tornabell, Robert, 65 Torvalds, Linus, 37 Toyota, 78, 85 trade: cost of, piracy and, 17 of counterfeit goods, 81 pirates’ disruption of, 121 Trade Secrets (Ben-Atar), 79 Trevithick, Richard, 89–90 Troyer, Marlin, 6, 8 Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin, 148 tuberculosis, 128 Tumblr, 34, 186 Twain, Mark, 80 Tweakers, 98 Twitter, 83 UAW Local, 40, 600 Ulysses (Joyce), 213 UnCollege, 22, 140 United Auto Worker, 40 United Kingdom, 66, 107, 163 United Nations, 17 United States: adoption industry in, 21 automobile consumption in, 41–42 camel farmers in, 3, 4, 6, 9, 74 camel milk industry in, 5–7, 8, 72, 74–75 community building in, 67–72 history of camels in, 72–73 hustling in, 67 industrial period copying of, 79 raw milk in, 6, 7 “Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall, The” (Poe), 147 unschooling movement, 139–42 Urban eXperiment (The UX), 19, 125–27, 214 Valve, 215, 217 Venturing Out, 62, 64 Verdin, Zach, 185–86 Vergne, Jean-Phillippe, 94 Vermeulen, Angelo, 144–47, 149, 216–17 Verne, Jules, 143, 148, 149 Vietnam, 165 Village Telco, 99 Villains of All Nations (Rediker), 121 violence, 129–36 as health issue, 130, 131, 133–34, 136 punishment as solution for, 129, 130 understanding and perception of, 130–31, 133–34 violence interruptors, 131–32, 135 Virgin (record store), 31 Virgin Records, 31, 64 Visa, 85 Walden Pond, 185 Wallace, Alfred Russel, 87 Wall Street Journal, 36 Wang Chuanfu, 79 Water Margin (Shuihu Zhuan), 77 Watson, James, 86 Watt, James, 89 Weiler, Lance, 32–34 Weinreich, Andrew, 103–5 Wells, H. G., 148 We-Think (Leadbeater), 89 What’s Mine Is Yours (Botsman and Rogers), 65 Where Good Ideas Come From (Johnson), 98 Whitby, England, 107 “white hat” hacking, 108–9 Whole Earth Catalog, 141 Whole Earth Review, 141–42 Whole Foods, 9 Wilkins, Maurice, 86 Wilmington, Ohio, 67–70 Wimdu, 83 Wired, 83, 84 Wisdom Hackers, 220 Woodroof, Ron, 8 Woolf, Arthur, 89–90 World Bank, 17 World Economic Forum, 163 World Health Organization (WHO), 129, 136 World Trade Organization (WTO), 95, 154–55 World War II, 145 WPP, 158 Wright, Helena, 21, 143 Yes Lab, 155 Yes Men, 153–55, 214 York, University of, 108 YouGov, 66 Youthstream Media Networks, 104 YouTube, 83, 152 ZICO, 184 Zimbabwe, 188 Zipcar, 65, 124 Zuckerberg, Mark, 104, 122–23 Simon & Schuster 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2015 by Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.


pages: 380 words: 118,675

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. After earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in an on-again, off-again decade at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Kaphan logged time at a number of Bay Area companies, including the ill-fated Apple-IBM joint venture called Kaleida Labs, which developed media-player software for personal computers.

He immediately began worrying about the company’s name. “I was once part of a little consultancy called the Symmetry Group, and people always thought we were the Cemetery Group,” says Kaphan. “When I heard about Cadaver Inc., I thought, Oh God, not this again.” But Kaphan (by now shorn of his long locks and beard, balding, and in his early forties) was inspired by what he saw as Amazon’s potential to use the Web to fulfill the vision of the Whole Earth Catalog and make information and tools available around the world. At first, Kaphan figured he’d write some code and return to Santa Cruz to work remotely, so he left half his belongings at home and stayed with Bezos and MacKenzie in Bellevue for a few days while looking for a place to rent. They set up shop in the converted garage of Bezos’s house, an enclosed space without insulation and with a large, black potbellied stove at its center.

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.


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

Brand ran the Whole Earth Truck Store, which began as a roving truck that sold useful tools and educational materials, and in 1968 he decided to extend its reach with the Whole Earth Catalog. On its first cover was the famous picture of Earth taken from space; its subtitle was “Access to Tools.” The underlying philosophy was that technology could be our friend. Brand wrote on the first page of the first edition, “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. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the Whole Earth Catalog.” Buckminster Fuller followed with a poem that began: “I see God in the instruments and mechanisms that work reliably.” Jobs became a Whole Earth fan.

This fusion of flower power and processor power, enlightenment and technology, was embodied by Steve Jobs as he meditated in the mornings, audited physics classes at Stanford, worked nights at Atari, and dreamed of starting his own business. “There was just something going on here,” he said, looking back at the time and place. “The best music came from here—the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin—and so did the integrated circuit, and things like the Whole Earth Catalog.” Initially the technologists and the hippies did not interface well. Many in the counterculture saw computers as ominous and Orwellian, the province of the Pentagon and the power structure. In The Myth of the Machine, the historian Lewis Mumford warned that computers were sucking away our freedom and destroying “life-enhancing values.” An injunction on punch cards of the period—“Do not fold, spindle or mutilate”—became an ironic phrase of the antiwar Left.

“Isn’t that awesome?” he asked. With his final slide, Jobs emphasized one of the themes of his life, which was embodied by the iPad: a sign showing the corner of Technology Street and Liberal Arts Street. “The reason Apple can create products like the iPad is that we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts,” he concluded. The iPad was the digital reincarnation of the Whole Earth Catalog, the place where creativity met tools for living. For once, the initial reaction was not a Hallelujah Chorus. The iPad was not yet available (it would go on sale in April), and some who watched Jobs’s demo were not quite sure what it was. An iPhone on steroids? “I haven’t been this let down since Snooki hooked up with The Situation,” wrote Newsweek’s Daniel Lyons (who moonlighted as “The Fake Steve Jobs” in an online parody).


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. Why should this be?

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: 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

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. Words like cybernetic and transhumanism were thrown around. Many of the community’s first users were subscribers to Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, a magazine devoted to topics like alternative shelter, nomadics, and telecommunications. These subscribers were already on the forefront of technology, and very smart. This early user base would come to have a tremendous influence on the quality of discourse. In 1995, a decade into the WELL’s history, Wired magazine called the WELL the world’s most influential online community. It was a hyperintellectual environment that bore significant structural barriers to entry.

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.” The people on the WELL were mostly friends who knew each other well.


pages: 302 words: 74,350

I Hate the Internet: A Novel by Jarett Kobek

Anne Wojcicki, Burning Man, disruptive innovation, East Village, Edward Snowden, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, liberation theology, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, packet switching, PageRank, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Whole Earth Catalog

Basically, Steve Jobs was Hades because Hades was a total unyielding dick. The defining aspect of Steve Jobs was the marriage of his innate dickishness with gauzy Bay Area entitlement. This blessed union birthed a blanket of darkness which settled over the Western world. Steve Jobs grew up reading The Whole Earth Catalog, a publication dedicated to the proposition that by spending your money in the right way, you could become the right kind of person. This was the mantra of the post-WWII economy, an unspoken ideology that cut across the social classes. But because The Whole Earth Catalog emerged from the Bay Area after the death of several utopian ideals, the stench of its message was masked by patchouli, incense and paperback editions of gruel-thin Eastern spirituality. It was a new kind of marketing, geared towards the insecure bourgeois aspirant.


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.

He spent time with his old friend Craig Samms, who had converted his 1960s macrobiotic interests into a thriving health-food business on Portobello Road. Among other Londoners, Ira connected with Peter Gabriel, the lead singer of the rock group Genesis. Einhorn also hung out with a group of London survivors of the sixties, many associated with Oz, the controversial underground magazine. Some of them were working on an English version of the Whole Earth Catalog, and Ira would often be among the visitors who crowded into that small office. He developed a particular friendship with Heathcote Williams, a controversial playwright whose works include AC/DC. Richard Adams, an editor in that crowd, recalls that Ira endeared himself by his networking talents, generously pulling out names and numbers from his address book to put people in contact with others who often proved to be valuable contacts.

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.


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

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.”

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.

Girls and electronics still didn’t mix.12 By the time Jobs, Wozniak, and Markkula hit the 1977 trade-show circuit, the company was starting to get a professional polish that belied the fact that this was a tiny little operation of about a dozen employees. The Steves donned collared shirts, ran combs through their hair, and pinned nametags to their chests. Their first stop was Jim Warren’s first annual West Coast Computer Faire, a landmark in tech history all on its own. Apple landed a coveted booth near the entrance.13 Despite the proliferation of new entrepreneurs, the first Faire had a program and a vibe that was more Whole Earth Catalog than Wall Street Journal. Panels focused on the change-the-world potential of computing, with titles like “If ‘Small is Beautiful,’ is Micro Marvelous? A Look at Micro-Computing as if People Mattered” and “Computer Power to the People: The Myth, the Reality, and the Challenge.” There were sessions on computers for the physically disabled, and four panels on using personal computers in education (Liza Loop appeared on one of them).


pages: 369 words: 80,355

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room by David Weinberger

airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, Debian, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, future of journalism, Galaxy Zoo, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, linked data, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pluto: dwarf planet, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, slashdot, social graph, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

We know that it’s considerably less than we thought, but the problem is that there is no set amount of diversity that is just enough. That’s why The WELL has moderators. Founded in 1975 by the generational icon Stewart Brand, with Larry Brilliant, The WELL has been one of the longest-running conversations on the Net. Its origins are in the hippie culture of which Brand is an avatar—the name stands for The Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, a reference to Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog—but the 4,000 current members seem to reflect more of an earnest coffee-shop culture than the shirtless non-linearity of Haight-Ashbury. Jon Lebkowsky, who has been on The WELL since 1987, says that the site’s success was not accidental. “They were successful in building the community by seeding it originally with people who were great conversationalists,” waiving the fees for the people they wanted involved.

See also Books and book publishing Paper-based tools Parenting experts Patent Office, US PatientsLikeMe.com Pavement performance Peer-review journals Perception, facts and Permission-free knowledge Philosophy defining and quantifying knowledge information overload reality unresolved knowledge Pinker, Steven Planetary Skin initiative Plato PLoS One online journal Pogue, David Polio vaccine Politics Politifact.com Popper, Karl Population growth, Malthusian theory of Pornography Postmodernism Pragmatism PressThink.org Primary Insight Principles of Geology (Lyell) Prize4Life Protein folding ProteomeCommons.org Pseudo-science Public Library of Science (PLoS) Punchcard data Pyramid, knowledge Pyramid of organizational efficiency Quora Racial/ethnic identity Ramanujan, Srinivasa RAND Corporation Random Hacks of Kindness Rauscher, Francis Raymond, Eric Reagan, Ronald Reality Reason as the path to truth and knowledge critical debate on unresolved knowledge Reliability Repositories, open access Republic of Letters Republican Party Republic.com (Sunstein) Revolution in the Middle East Rheingold, Howard Richards, Ellen Swallow Riesman, David Robustness “The Rock” (Eliot) Rogers, William Rorty, Richard Rosen, Jay Roskam, Peter Rushkoff, Douglas Russia: Dogger Bank Incident Salk, Jonas Sanger, Larry Schmidt, Michael School shootings Science amateurs in crowdsourcing expertise failures in goals of hyperlinked inflation of scientific studies interdisciplinary approaches media relations Net-based inquiry open filtering journal articles open-notebook overgeneration of scientific facts philosophical and professional differences among scientists public and private realms scientific journals transformation of scientific knowledge Science at Creative Commons Science journal Scientific journals Scientific management Scientific method Self-interest: fact-based knowledge Semantic Web Seneca Sensory overload Sexual behavior The Shallows (Carr) Shapiro, Jesse Shared experiences Shilts, Randy Shirky, Clay Shoemaker, Carolyn Simplicity in scientific thought Simulation of physical interactions Slashdot.com Sloan Digital Sky Survey Smart mobs “Smarter planet” initiative Smith, Arfon Smith, Richard Soccer Social conformity Social networks crowdsourcing expertise Middle East revolutions pooling expertise scaling social filtering Social policy: social role of facts Social reform Dickens’s antipathy to fact-based knowledge global statistical support for Bentham’s ideas Social tools: information overload Society of Professional Journalists Socrates Software defaults Software development, contests for Sotomayor, Sonia Source transparency Space Shuttle disaster Spiro, Mary Sports Sprinkle, Annie Standpoint transparency Statistics emergence of Hunch.com Stopping points for knowledge The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn) Stupidity, Net increasing Sub-networks Suel, Gurol Sunlight Foundation Sunstein, Cass Surowiecki, James Systems biology Tag cloud Tagging Tatalias, Jean Taylor, Frederick Wilson TechCamps Technodeterminism Technology easing information overload Technorati.com Television, homophily and Temptation of hyperlinks Think tanks Thoreau, Henry David The Tipping Point (Gladwell) Todd, Mac Toffler, Alvin TopCopder Topic-based expertise Torvalds, Linus Traditional knowledge Tranche Transparency hyperlinks contributing to objectivity and of the Net Open Government Initiative Transparency and Open Government project Triangular knowledge Trillin, Calvin Trust: reliability of information Trust-through-authority system Truth elements of knowledge reason as the path to value of networked knowledge Twitter Tyme, Mae Unnailing facts Updike, John USAID UsefulChem notebook Vaccinations Verizon Vietnam Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Wales, Jimmy Wallace, Alfred Russel Walter, Skip Washington Post Watson, James Welch, Jack Welfare The WELL (The Whole Earth’Lectronic Link) Whole Earth Catalog Wikipedia editorial policy LA Times wikitorial experiment policymaking Virginia Tech shootings Wikswo, John Wilbanks, John Wired magazine The Wisdom of Crowds (Surowiecki) Wise crowds Wittgenstein, Ludwig Wolfram, Stephen WolframAlpha.com World Bank World Cup World War I Wurman, Richard Saul Wycliffe, John York, Jillian YourEncore Zappa, Frank Zeleny, Milan Zettabyte Zittrain, Jonathan Zuckerman, Ethan a I’m leaving this as an unsupported idea because it’s not the point of this book.


pages: 309 words: 84,038

Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling by Carlton Reid

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bike sharing scheme, California gold rush, car-free, cognitive dissonance, Haight Ashbury, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Yom Kippur War

Twenty million Americans took part in a variety of events on the day itself and in the months beforehand, many of them held at colleges, schools, and universities, galvanizing the young and melding together the first “green” generation. Environmental broadcaster Nancy Pearlman, coordinator of the Earth Day events in Southern California, went on to found Concerned Bicycle Riders for the Environment and lobbied to get bikeways for Los Angeles by riding with a World War II-era gas mask. “Bicycles are small, inexpensive, require little maintenance, pleasurable to use, and smogless,” stated the Whole Earth Catalog for 1970, adding: “If America traded in all their [cars] for bikes, a lot of problems would be solved.” By 1974, the right-on publication included four bike-related pages: “Not only is bicycle travel human-scaled, healthful, and non-polluting, but it turns out to be more efficient than jetplanes, salmon, or seagulls.” This was a reference to an article on bicycle technology that had appeared in Scientific American the previous year and which encouraged many people to learn more about cycling.

Bicycle: The History. Yale University Press, 2004. Horton, Dave, Paul Rosen, and Peter Cox. Cycling and Society. Ashgate, 2007. Hudson, Mike. Bicycle Planning. Architectural Press, 1982. Hurst, Robert. The Cyclist’s Manifesto: The Case for Riding on Two Wheels Instead of Four. Falcon, 2009. Jordan, Peter. In the City of Bikes. HarperCollins, 2013. Kirk, Andrew G. Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism. University Press of Kansas, 2007. Lightwood, James T. The Cyclists’ Touring Club: Being the Romance of Fifty Years’ Cycling. Cyclists’ Touring Club, 1928. Longhurst, James. Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road. University of Washington Press, 2015. Mapes, Jeff. Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities. Oregon State University Press, 2007.


pages: 302 words: 85,877

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

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. Later, he wrote songs for the Dead, including “Cassidy,” a tribute to a child that weaves in the history of Beat icon Neal Cassady, still another Prankster.

See Wysopal, Chris WELL, the (online community), 22, 26, 30 Wentworth Institute of Technology, 49 WhatsApp, 152 Wheeler, Kevin, 9–20, 78, 82, 95, 156–157 on changes in cDc, 60, 71, 194–195 at Def Con, 66, 80, 96 early life in Lubbock, Texas, 8–13 founding of cDc, 12–17, 30 at HoHoCon, 32–33, 41 involvement in music scene, 17–18, 187–188 learning from other hackers, 18–20 recruiting for cDc, 41, 44, 48–49, 57–59, 87–88, 140–142 whistle-blowing. See leaks White, Thomas (@CthulhuSec), 170 “white hat” hacking, 3, 82, 123, 148, 196 White Knight. See MacMillan, Dan white nationalism, in tech world, 6, 144, 193–196 Whole Earth Catalog (magazine), 22 WikiLeaks, 3, 142–151, 155–156, 158–159, 163, 166, 169–170, 192 Windows, 56, 63, 95, 111, 163, 167 Windows 7, 124 Windows 95, 38, 50, 61, 64, 82 Windows 98, 77, 82 Windows NT, 68–69, 77–78, 82 Windows XP Service Pack 2, 111 See also Back Orifice; Microsoft Wired (magazine), 30, 44, 46, 66, 73–74, 93–94, 99, 178 Wired News (online magazine), 94–95 Wiretapper’s Ball, 163 wiretapping, 143, 145, 163, 198 women, in tech world, 16, 46, 49–50, 141, 149, 154–155, 158 Wong, Blondie, 93–100 Works, the (bulletin board), 38, 41, 45–48, 59 World Economic Forum, 89 World Trade Center.


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

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. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous.

It headed that way because of intuition, but an intuition that was deeper and richer than the selfish preferences of the young man who had founded Apple. WHEN I FIRST read the speech online, I remembered an interview I’d conducted with Steve in 1998. 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.


pages: 328 words: 92,317

Machinery of Freedom: A Guide to Radical Capitalism by David Friedman

back-to-the-land, Fractional reserve banking, hiring and firing, jitney, laissez-faire capitalism, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, means of production, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

Thanks are also due to those who read and commented on my manuscript: Emilia Nordvedt, Larry Abrams, and especially Milton Friedman. Also, for sporadic criticism and general forbearance, to Diana. INTRODUCTION From Ayn Rand to bushy anarchists there is an occasional agreement on means called libertarianism, which is a faith in laissez-faire politics/economics.... How to hate your government on principle. SB, THE LAST WHOLE EARTH CATALOG The central idea of libertarianism is that people should be permitted to run their own lives as they wish. We totally reject the idea that people must be forcibly protected from themselves. A libertarian society would have no laws against drugs, gambling, pornography — and no compulsory seat belts in cars. We also reject the idea that people have an enforceable claim on others, for anything more than being left alone.

Compulsory social service is so unanswerably right that the very first duty of a government is to see that everybody works enough to pay her way and leave something over for the profit of the country and the improvement of the world [from chapters 23 and 73]. Consider, as a more current example, the back to the land movement, as represented by The Mother Earth News. Ideologically, it is hostile to what it views as a wasteful, unnatural, mass consumption society. Yet the private property institutions of that society serve it just as they serve anyone else. The Mother Earth News and The Whole Earth Catalog are printed on paper bought on the private market and sold in private bookstores, alongside other books and magazines dedicated to teaching you how to make a million dollars in real estate or live the good life on a hundred thousand a year. A NECESSARY DIGRESSION A few pages back I asserted that an individual who works hard under institutions of private property gets most of the benefit.


pages: 339 words: 94,769

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

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. Inspired by this set of ideas, I began to develop a theme, a mantra of sorts, that has informed my endeavors since: “new technologies = new perceptions.”

See singularity Tegmark, Max, 76–87 AI safety research, 81 Asilomar AI Principles, 2017, 81, 84 background and overview of work of, 76–77 competence of superintelligent AGI, 85 consciousness as cosmic awakening, 78–79 general expectation AGI achievable within next century, 79 goal alignment for AGI, 85–86 goals for a future society that includes AGI, 84–86 outlook, 86–87 rush to make humans obsolescent, reasons behind, 82–84 safety engineering, 86 societal impact of AI, debate over, 79–82 Terminator, The (film), 242 three laws of artificial intelligence, 39–40 Three Laws of Robotics, Asimov’s, 250 threshold theorem, 164 too-soon-to-worry argument against AI risk, 26–27, 81 Toulmin, Stephen, 18–19 transhumans, rights of, 252–53 Treister, Suzanne, 214–15 Trolley Problem, 244 trust networks, building, 200–201 Tsai, Wen Ying, 258, 260–61 Turing, Alan, 5, 25, 35, 43, 60, 103, 168, 180 AI-risk message, 93 Turing Machine, 57, 271 Turing Test, 5, 46–47, 276–77 Tversky, Amos, 130–31, 250 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 183 Tyka, Mike, 212 Understanding Media (McLuhan), 208 understanding of computer results, loss of, 189 universal basic income, 188 Universal Turing Machine, 57 unsupervised learning, 225 value alignment (putting right purpose into machines) Dragan on, 137–38, 141–42 Griffiths on, 128–33 Pinker on, 110–11 Tegmark on, 85–86 Wiener on, 23–24 Versu, 217 Veruggio, Gianmarco, 243 visualization programs, 211–13 von Foerster, Heinz, xxi, 209–10, 215 Vonnegut, Kurt, 250 von Neumann, John, xx, 8, 35, 60, 103, 168, 271 digital computer architecture of, 58 second law of AI and, 39 self-replicating cellular automaton, development of, 57–58 use of symbols for computing, 164–65 Watson, 49, 246 Watson, James, 58 Watson, John, 225 Watt, James, 3, 257 Watts, Alan, xxi Weaver, Warren, xviii, 102–3, 155 Weizenbaum, Joe, 45, 48–50, 105, 248 Wexler, Rebecca, 238 Whitehead, Alfred North, 275 Whole Earth Catalog, xvii “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us” (Joy), 92 Wiener, Norbert, xvi, xviii–xx, xxv, xxvi, 35, 90, 96, 103, 112, 127, 163, 168, 256 on automation, in manufacturing, 4, 154 on broader applications of cybernetics, 4 Brooks on, 56–57, 59–60 control via feedback, 3 deep-learning and, 9 Dennett on, 43–45 failure to predict computer revolution, 4–5 on feedback loops, 5–6, 103, 153–54 Hillis on, 178–80 on information, 5–6, 153–59, 179 Kaiser on Wiener’s definition of information, 153–59 Lloyd on, 3–7, 9, 11–12 Pinker on, 103–5, 112 on power of ideas, 112 predictions/warnings of, xviii–xix, xxvi, 4–5, 11–12, 22–23, 35, 44–45, 93, 104, 172 Russell on, 22–23 on social risk, 97 society, cybernetics impact on, 103–4 what Wiener got wrong, 6–7 Wilczek, Frank, 64–75 astonishing corollary (natural intelligence as special case of AI), 67–70 astonishing hypothesis of Crick, 66–67 background and overview of work of, 64–65 consciousness, creativity and evil as possible features of AI, 66–68 emergence, 68–69 human brain’s advantage over AI, 72–74 information-processing technology capacities that exceed human capabilities, 70–72 intelligence, future of, 70–75 Wilkins, John, 275 wireheading problem, 29–30 With a Rhythmic Instinction to Be Able to Travel Beyond Existing Forces of Life (Parreno), 263–64 Wolfram, Stephen, 266–84 on AI takeover scenario, 277–78 background and overview of work of, 266–67 computational knowledge system, creating, 271–77 computational thinking, teaching, 278–79 early approaches to AI, 270–71 on future where coding ability is ubiquitous, 279–81 goals and purposes, of humans, 268–70 image identification system, 273–74 on knowledge-based programming, 278–81 purposefulness, identifying, 281–84 Young, J.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

They had their own publication, the People’s Computer Company Newsletter, and a mostly theoretical network (with only one actual node, in a Berkeley record store) called Community Memory. Their propaganda described the computer as a “radical social artifact” that would usher in a “direct democracy of information”—“actively free (‘open’) information,” of course.5 This was the culture out of which arose such icons as Steve Wozniak, inventor of the Apple computer, and the Whole Earth Catalog, which hyped the digital revolution with all that newsprint and mail-order could muster. Like the unMonastery, these guerrilla hackers blended the old with the new, the ancient with the postindustrial. Although their projects often relied on state or corporate subsidies, they envisioned their efforts as apolitical, wrapped in the “safe neutrality” of information, as Roszak put it. With the power of information, they imagined, old-fashioned political and economic power wouldn’t be needed anymore.

.), 156–157 Vial, Joshua, 94–95 Vickers, Ben, 27, 31 Vincent, Margaret, 149 (photo) voter turnout, for co-ops, 181 Wage Labor and Guilds in Medieval Europe (Epstein), 34 wages, 76–77 Waldman, Steve Randy, 112–113 Wales, Jimmy, 26 Wallace, George, 200 Wallace, Henry A., 177 Warbasse, James Peter, 41–43, 42 (fig.), 57, 183 Watkins, Hollis, 194 Wayne State University, 73–75 We Can! (newspaper), 120 We Own It, 180–181 Weeks, Kathi, 75, 224 Weev (hacker-troll), 110 Wells, Benita, 177 Wenger, Albert, 165 Western Sugar Cooperative, 3 Weth, Felix, 150 Wettlaufer, Brianna, 148, 149 (photo) Whitfield, Ed, 224 Whole Earth Catalog, 138 Whole Foods, 8 Widerquist, Karl, 222 Wiener, Jason, 88 Wilson, Fred, 168 Wind, Dominik, 89–90 Winstanley, Gerrard, 39 wire services, 163 Witchger, Felipe, 226 women’s suffrage, 6 Women’s Trade Union League, 7 WORCs. See Worker-Owned Rockaway Cooperatives Word Jammers, 155 Worker-Owned Rockaway Cooperatives (WORCs), 82 workers businesses owned by, 83–86, 158 cooperation and organizing of, 44 co-ops, 82–83, 226–227 ownership and dispossessed, 60 piecework tasks of, 144 strikes by, 43 See also employee ownership Working World, the, 84 The World a Department Store (Peck), 56 World Wide Web Consortium, 147, 153 Wozniak, Steve, 138 Wynn, Curtis, 178–179 Yarber, Tony, 202 Zamagni, Stefano, 228–229, 231 Zamagni, Vera, 228–229, 228 (photo) Zebra startups, 159 Žižek, Slavoj, 123 Zuckerberg, Mark, 107, 218–219


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

For that matter, it is improbable that I am the only Master Conserver from those days who still has all the class handouts from the program in a battered three-ring binder or who keeps part of a bookshelf weighed down with classic conservation books — ​The Integral Urban House, The Book of the New Alchemists, Rainbook, and the like. I don’t quite remember anybody in the last days of the program saying,“Keep your Whole Earth Catalogs, boys, the price of oil will rise again!” Still, the sentiment was there. More generally, of course, the experiences of any of the 20th century’s more difficult periods can be put to work constructively as we move deeper into the 21st century’s first major crisis. The victory gardens and ingenious substitutions that kept the home front going during two world wars are well worth revisiting.

., “The role of synthetic fuel in World War II Germany,” Air University Review, July-August 1981 (online edition, airpower.maxwell.af.mil). Beckford, James A., New Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change, SAGE Publications, 1986. Bell, Daniel, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting, Basic Books, 1973. Bell, Graham, The Permaculture Garden, Thorsons, 1994. Brand, Stewart, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built, Viking, 1994. ——— ed., The Next Whole Earth Catalog, Rand McNally, 1980. Brierley, Corale L., et al., Coal: Research and Development to Support National Energies Policy, National Academies Press, 2007. Brown, Lester, Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in ­Trouble, Norton, 2003. Burns, Timothy, After History? Francis Fukuyama and his Critics, Rowman and Littlefield, 1994. Callenbach, Ernest, Ecotopia, Banyan Tree, 1975.


pages: 467 words: 503

The omnivore's dilemma: a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan

additive manufacturing, back-to-the-land, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Community Supported Agriculture, double entry bookkeeping, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, index card, informal economy, invention of agriculture, means of production, new economy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Whole Earth Catalog

But applying the word organic to food and farming occurred much more recently: In the 1940s in the pages of Organic Gardening and Farming. Founded in 1940 by J. I. Rodale, a health-food fanatic from New York City's Lower East Side, the magazine devoted its pages to the agricultural methods and health benefits of growing food without synthetic chemicals—"organically." Joel Salatin's grandfather was a charter subscriber. Organic Gardening and Farming struggled along in obscurity until 1969, when an ecstatic review in the Whole Earth Catalog brought it to the attention of hippies trying to figure out how to grow vegetables without patronizing the military-industrial complex. "If I were a dictator determined to control the national press," the Whole Earth correspondent wrote, Organic Gardening would be the first publication I'd squash, because it's the most subversive. I believe that organic gardeners are in the forefront of a serious effort to save the world by changing man's orientation to it, to move away from the collective, centrist, superindustrial state, toward a simpler, realer one-to-one relationship with the earth itself.

PERHAPS MORE THAN any other single writer, Sir Albert Howard (1873— 1947), an English agronomist knighted after his thirty years of research in India, provided the philosophical foundations for organic agricultural. Even those who never read his 1940 Testament nevertheless absorbed his thinking through the pages of Rodale's Organic Gardening and Farming, where he was lionized, and in the essays of Wendell Berry, who wrote an influential piece about Howard in the The Last Whole Earth Catalog in 1971. Berry seized particularly on Howard's arresting—and prescient—idea that we needed to treat "the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal and man as one great subject." For a book that devotes so many of its pages to the proper making of compost, An Agricultural Testament turns out to be an important work of philosophy as well as of agricultural science. Indeed, Howard's drawing Î 4 6 *THE O M N I V O R E ' S DILEMMA of lines of connection between so many seemingly discrete realms— from soil fertility to "the national health"; from the supreme importance of animal urine to the limitations of the scientific method—is his signal contribution, his method as well as his message.

., 100 Rosie (chicken), 135, 140, 159, 169-74, 176, 177, 178 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 3, 297 Rozin, Paul, 3, 287-88, 292, 296, 298, 300,357 Rumensin, 74, 78-79 Russell, Jim, 82 Sahagun, Friar, 58 Salatin.Art, 240, 250-52, 253 Salatin, Daniel, 123, 202, 203, 216, 227, 228,231-33,251 Salatin, Frederick, 204, 206 Salatin, Joel: in alternative food chain, 125, 126-27, 128, 130, 169, 198, 213, 240-42, 249, 253-55, 257-58, 260-61, 270, 271,304,321,331 books written by, 209-10, 230 family background of, 204-7 on government interventions, 229—30, 243, 246 as grass farmer, 123-27, 186-87, 189, 190-91, 197-98, 201 on industrial organic, 131—33, 213, 222,230,243-46,248,260 and local markets, 240-42, 244-45, 248-50, 253-55, 257-58, 332 natural systems of, 214—17, 221 and rotational grazing, 192-98, 216-17,220 self-sufficiency of, 203—4 and sustainability, 131, 230, 240 see also Polyface Farm Salatin, Rachel, 203 Salatin, William, 204-7, 2 2 3 salt flats, 279, 393-94 Salvador, Ricardo, 58 Sand County Almanac, A (Leopold), 281 Santa Cruz Island, 3 2 4 - 2 5 science, reductionist, 146-48, 150, 180, 181 Scully, Matthew, 309, 321 seeds, patented, 255 Shainsky, Allen, 170 Sheridan, Philip, 2 4 Shiva, Vandana, 41 Sinclair, Upton, 250, 3 1 2 Singer, Peter, 304-9, 3 1 1 , 3 1 2 - 1 3 , 3 2 1 , 326,327-28,332 Slow Food movement, 255, 259-60 Small Planet Foods, 154, 159, 161 Smil,Vaclav, 4 2 , 4 3 , 4 7 soft drinks, 18, 104-5, 107, 115, 117 Soil and Health,The (Howard), 145 Soil Conservation Service, 49 sorbital, 86 soufflé, chocolate, 272-73 Soviet Union, food chain in, 256 soybeans: planting, 35, 40, 42 prices of, 103 processed foods from, 91—92, 108 research on, 87 Squanto, 24—25, 26 Stamets, Paul, 378 steer number 534: author's purchase of, 66, 72 death of, 250, 304, 329-30 early days of, 69, 7 1 , 83 and fast food, 114 in the feedlot, 7 2 - 7 3 , 79-84, 195-96 Gar Precision 1680 as father of, 69, 77 4 5 0 * INDEX steer number 534 (cont.) as link in food chain, 81,83 number 9534 as mother of, 69, 71 weaned, 71—72 weight gain of, 80, 81 Stockman Grass Farmer, 187, 249 stomata, 21 Stony field Farm, 173, 182 sucrose, 89, 107 sugar, 104, 107 sugarcane, 104 sun: converted to food, 4 5 , 46, 70-71, 195 energy from, 2 1 - 2 2 , 44, 45, 70, 73, 83, 188-89, 199 and photosynthesis, 2 0 - 2 1 , 188, 195, 196, 197, 199,375 supplanted in food chain, 7, 4 4 superbugs, antibiotic-resistant, 78—79, 82 supermarket, 15-19, 258 bar codes in, 244—45 biodiversity in, 16—17 food prices in, 51—52, 243 organic food sold in, 134—40, 145, 2 5 7 , 258, 260 SKU (stock-keeping units) in, 20 Supermarket Pastoral, 137-39, 158, 170-72 supersizing, 1 0 5 - 6 , 1 1 0 , 1 1 7 sweeteners, 88-89, 93, 95, 103-5 Swift & Company, 69 Tanimura & An tie, 164 Tassinello, Anthony, 378-81, 383, 387, 390,392,406,407 TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone), 113-14 teosinte, 27-28, 104 Thoreau, Henry David, 55, 281-82 thrifty gene, 106 Tolstoy, Leo, 305 transfats, 88 transgenes, 36 TreeTop apple pieces, 97 turkeys, on Poly face Farm, 126, 216 Tylosin, 74, 78-79 Tyson, Don, 252, 261 Tyson foods, 69, 95-96, 114, 170 usufruct, 398, 409 vegetarianism, 118, 305, 3 1 3 - 1 5 , 319, 325-27,362 Voisin, André, 188, 189,206 Walden (Thoreau), 281-82 Wallace, Henry, 104 Wallerstein, David, 105-6, 111 Warman, Arturo, 26 wasabi, 296 Washington, George, 101 Wasson, Gordon, 378 Waters, Alice, 253 water table, pollution of, 46 Weil, Andrew, 372, 377, 378 Weston A. Price Foundation, 248 wheat, in new world, 25 wheat people, Europeans as, 2 2 - 2 3 whiskey, 25, 100-101, 105 Whole Earth Catalog, 142, 145 Whole Foods supermarkets, 258-59 author's shopping in, 173—76, 178, 183 and industrial organic, 138-39, 161, 178, 1 8 3 , 2 4 8 - 4 9 , 2 6 0 and organic movement, 139, 141 prices in, 176, 262 Supermarkets Pastoral style, 134—39 Williams, Joy, 309 Wilson, E.O., 128 Wisconsin glacier, 3 3 Wise, Steven M., 309 World War I, poison gas in, 43 xanthan gum, 19, 86, 96, 156 yeast, wild, 397, 399-400 YieldGard gene, 36 Zea mays, see corn Zyklon B, 43 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Michael Pollan is the author of three previous books: Second Nature, A Place of My Own, and The Botany of Desire, a New York Times bestseller that was named a best book of the year by Borders, Amazon, and the American Booksellers Association.


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. Fred Turner has called Brand’s ideological position “digital utopianism.”44 Ironically, the preponderance of aging plants is a barrier to nuclear power’s resurgence in the United States.

Bush) 241–242 Visual Factory, The 212 von Braun, Wernher 9 Wallingford, Connecticut 28 “War on Poverty” 101 War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination (Franklin) 141–142 water power 150 Watergate scandal 158, 159 Watt, James 8 We (Zamyatin) 123, 166 Webber, Melvin 112 Weinberg, Alvin 106, 107–108, 109, 110, 114, 122 Wells, H. G. 9, 35, 240, 251 Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister 38 Western ethnocentrism and industrialisation 169–170 Westinghouse, George 157 What Will Be (Dertouzos) 164 Wheeler, William Bruce 111 Whewell, Rev. William 51, 52 “Which Guide to the Promised Land? Fuller or Mumford?” (Temko) 245 “white man’s burden” 170 Whitney, Eli 157 Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City (Dahl) 106 Whole Earth Catalog, The (Brand) 153–154 Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (Tenner) 167 Whyte, Jr., William H. 114–115, 122 Wikipedia 193, 194 Williams, Rosalind 8 Wilson, President Woodrow 252 wind power 150–152, 154, 157, utopian aspects 150 Winfrey, Oprah 168 Winter, Jay 251–253 Wiscasset, Maine, US 143, 145, 146–147 Woman on the Edge of Time (Piercy) 92 women 114–115 and education 22 equality 26, 92–93 and Frankenstein 130–131 marginalizing of 67, 170, 188 and utopianism 25, 63, 90–92, 173 women’s rights 18, 253 Women’s Commonwealth, Texas 25 Index 289 wood, energy from 157 Woodstock 242 Wooldridge, Adrian 11 workers: exploitation of 81 and industrial revolution 75, 83, 212 and speed 165 and utopia 61, 62 Workers’ Control in America (Montgomery) 212 “Works and Days” (Hesiod) 47 World a Workshop, The: Or the Physical Relationship of Man to the Earth (Ewbank) 80 World Future Society 166 World of Tomorrow exhibit, 1939– 1940 New York World’s Fair 14, 34–35, 37, 164 World War I 170 World War II 21, 35, 240 World Wide Web 186 World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago 36–37 290 Index World’s Fairs 33–39 decline of 38 and impact of communications 35–36 impact 37 listed 34, 36, 37–38, 39 New York 242 perceptions of 33 as temporary utopias 34 Wozniak, Stephen 158, 202 Young Mill-Wright and Miller’s Guide, The (Evans and Ellicott) 77 Young West (Schindler) 10 YouTube 193, 205 Yuaikai (Friendly Society), Japan 20 Zamyatin, Eugene 123, 166 zealots, high-tech 188, 189 Zimbabwe 170 Zionists 8 Zuckerberg, Mark 193


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.

., 40 Washington, DC childlessness in, 112, 117 children in, 16 as luxury-oriented city, 40 as political power center, 25 Water quality, 68–69 Wealth, in shaping glamour zones, 96–97 Wealthiest cities, 51–52 Webber, Melvin, 163 Weber, Max, 24, 25 Wells, H. G., 2, 28, 144, 191 Welwyn, 29 Westchester County, New York, 184 Western Europe, 15 “What Is a City For?” (speech), 2 Whitman, Walt, 87–88 Whole Earth Catalog, 9 Whyte, William, 146 Wildlife protection, 192 Williams, Austin, 44, 197 Williams, Richard, 163 Wilson, A. N., 37 Winograd, Morley, 175 Wolfe, Alan, 150 Woodlands, Texas, 177 Workforce job decentralization and commuting patterns, 186–187 maintaining, 169 seniors in, 181 women in, 135–136 Working classes, 27 World cities, 81. See also Global cities World Economic Forum (2015), 44–45 Woronoff, Jan, 95 Worster, Donald, 192 Woudhuysen, James, 175 Wright, Frank Lloyd, 2, 6, 45, 199 Y Yapeng Zhu, 172 Yap Mui Teng, 195 Z Zaitun, 81 Zeckendorf, William, 146–147 Zell, Sam, 12 Zukin, Sharon, 106 Zurich, 155


pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

It’s as if Gurdon and Yamanaka had found a way to reset the body’s clock to early development, enabling it to mint wild-card cells that haven’t chosen their career yet—without using the fetal stem cells that cause so much controversy. Space may be only one of the final frontiers. The other is surely the universe of human imagination and creative prowess in genetics. “We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” Stewart Brand began his 1968 classic, The Whole Earth Catalog, which helped to inspire the back-to-the-land movement. His 2009 book, Whole Earth Discipline, begins more worriedly: “We are as gods and have to get good at it.” Among the rarest of the rare, only several northern white rhinoceroses still exist in all the world. But, thanks to Gurdon and Yamanaka, geneticists can take DNA from the skin of a recently dead animal—say, a northern white rhino from forty years ago—turn it into “induced pluripotent stem cells” (IPS), add a dose of certain human genes, and conjure up white rhino sperm.

Hardiness Zone Map, 38 Vancouver, Canada, 78 Vawter, Zac, 254–55 vegetable gardens, urban, 74 Venice, Italy, 50 veronicas, 125 vertical farming, 74 in sea, see mariculture vervet monkeys, 131 Viking, 220 Vikings, 42 violence, 286 Viridity Energy, 102 Virtual Dissection, 197 Virtual Interactive Presence in Augmented Reality, 261 viruses, 172, 289–90 vitamin D, 192 volcanic archipelagos, 157–58 voles, 115 Voronoff, Serge, 264 Voyager, 220 Wade, Chris, 157–67 Wageningen UR, 104 Wake Forest, 185 Wakodahatchee Wetlands, 75–76 walking, 259–60 walls, 92 walruses, 134 war, 141–48, 285 War Horse, 141–42 Warner, Sabrina, 47–48 Washington State University, 238 water lettuce, 132 water moccasins, 117–18 water purification, 74–75 water-purifying tea bags, 181 Watson, James, 274 waxbills, 79 Wells, H. G., 267–68 West, American, 165 West Africa, 151 West Nile virus, 134, 302 Weston, Edward, 25 West Virginia, 46 whale fins, 91 wheat, 71 white rhinoceros, 164 white storks, 13 white-tailed deer, 119–21, 126, 129 white-tailed eagles, 124 Whitman, Walt, 184 Whole Earth Catalog, The (Brand), 150 Whole Earth Discipline, The (Brand), 150 wild boars, 124, 131 wildfires, 40–41, 46 wild fishing, 60 wildlife corridors, 83 Wild Ones (Mooallem), 139–40 Wilfrid Laurier University, 40 William the Conqueror, 190 Willis Tower, 254 Wilson, E. O., 10 windows, 196–97 wind power, 83, 92, 100, 102, 103–5 Windstalk, 103–4 “Wind Tunnel,” 102 wind turbines, 104–5 Win-Win Ecology (Rosenzweig), 74 Wizard of Oz, The (film), 146 Wolbachia, 302 wolves, 132 wombats, 164 women, invention and, 191 women’s rights, 191 wood, 106 woodpeckers, 125–26 woolly mammoths, 151 proposed repopulation of, 161–63 Wordsworth, William, 259 World War I, 142–44, 153 World War II, 60–61, 153, 273 writing, 11, 171, 191, 255 Wuppertal, Germany, 78 Xi, Zhiyong, 302 Yamanaka, Shinya, 150, 160 yellow fever, 302 Yellowstone National Park, 126, 132 Youth Climate Leaders Network, 65 Yup’ik Eskimos, 47–48 Zanjani, Esmail, 267 zebra mussels, 131 Zilber-Rosenberg, Ilana, 293 Zimmerman, Richard, 6 ALSO BY DIANE ACKERMAN One Hundred Names for Love Dawn Light The Zookeeper’s Wife An Alchemy of Mind Origami Bridges Cultivating Delight Deep Play I Praise My Destroyer A Slender Thread The Rarest of the Rare The Moon by Whale Light A Natural History of Love A Natural History of the Senses Jaguar of Sweet Laughter Reverse Thunder On Extended Wings Lady Faustus Twilight of the Tenderfoot Wife of Light The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral For Children Animal Sense Bats: Shadows in the Night Monk Seal Hideaway Anthology The Book of Love (with Jeanne Mackin) Copyright © 2014 by Diane Ackerman All rights reserved First Edition For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W.


pages: 397 words: 102,910

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

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. In the 1980s, Brand became interested in digital networks. He thought that, like the tools he had featured in the Catalog, these networks had the potential to bridge cultural chasms and empower their users to transform society. “Information wants to be free,” with its air of casual inevitability and hazy, imprecise idealism, is less an insight than a bumper sticker, easy to chant, easier to dismiss.

., 212 Washington, George, 29–30 watchdog.net, 173, 188, 191, 193, 257 web.resource.org, 187–88 Webster, Abraham, 36 Webster, Daniel, 36 Webster, Noah, 20–25, 268 ambition of, 24, 27–28 American Dictionary of the English Language, 34, 35–37 as author, 23, 24–25 autobiography of, 29–30 “blue-backed speller” by, 23, 25, 27, 30, 33, 34, 36 and copyright, 23–24 and copyright law, 27–31, 36–40 death of, 40 early years of, 21 as Federalist, 32–33 financial problems of, 33, 36 lobbying by, 27–30, 37 public image of, 38 as public speaker, 28 as teacher, 22 Webster, William, 37 Weinberg, Martin, 254, 256 Weinberger, David, 158 Wells, H. G., 99 Westlaw database, 173 White Friars, 174 Whole Earth Catalog, 12 Wikimedia Foundation, 150 Wikipedia, 124, 173, 241 Wikler, Ben, 10, 233, 248–49, 260 and Avaaz, 203, 241, 248 and Flaming Sword of Justice, 241, 243 and Swartz’s death, 262 Swartz’s friendship with, 203, 214, 262 and Swartz’s legal woes, 202, 217 Wilcox-O’Hearn, Zooko, 125, 129, 145 Wilhelm II, Kaiser, 71 Williams, Julie Kay Hedgepeth, 27 Wilson, Christopher P., The Labor of Words, 64–65, 70 Wilson, Holmes, 152, 155, 240, 241, 243, 263 Windows operating system, 106 Winer, Dave, 8, 131 Winn, Joss, 207 Wolcott, Oliver Jr., 25, 32, 33 Woodhull, Nathan, 10, 259 WordPress, 241 work as identity, 146 WorldCat, 179 World War I, 77 World War II, 78, 82, 208 World Wide Web: anniversary of, 237–38 archiving all of, 135–36, 173 commercial potential of, 112 as infinite library, 127–28 and Internet, 98, 108–10 introduction of, 98, 108 linking capacity of, 108, 238 malignant forces vs., 238 open, collaborative, 178, 237 popularization of, 112 World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), 127–29 Wyden, Ron, 226, 231 Xerox photocopy machine, 87–88 Xerox Sigma V mainframe, 95–97, 113 Yahoo, 185 Y Combinator, 147 Young America, 50–53 Zanger, Jules, 44 SCRIBNER An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2016 by Justin Peters All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.


pages: 579 words: 183,063

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

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.

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. He is the co-founder of The WELL and Global Business Network, and the author of books including Whole Earth Discipline, The Clock of the Long Now, How Buildings Learn, and The Media Lab. He was trained in biology at Stanford and served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. * * * What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why?

After college, I learned a whole array of marketable skills through classes and jobs. By the time I was 24, I could have earned my living as a logger, writer, field biologist, commercial photographer, Army officer, museum exhibit researcher, or multimedia artist. I also learned to live happily on almost nothing. I stayed with none of those things, but the skills served me in everything I eventually did, such as publish The Whole Earth ­Catalog. I was fortunate to base my college education on a science (biology), but I do wish I had taken some anthropology and trained in theater skills (introverts need them). For me, far better than graduate school was two years active duty as a military officer. Any kind of national service (Peace Corps, etc.) is a boon, both for you and for society. Quotes I’m Pondering (Tim Ferriss: Oct. 21–Nov. 18, 2016) “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”


pages: 450 words: 113,173

The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, computer age, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, desegregation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, George Gilder, global value chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, pre–internet, profit motive, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

It meant natural ingredients (author and dietician Euell Gibbons), home cooking (chef Alice Waters), family values as defined in some past era (not just Happy Days and other 1950s nostalgia but also The Waltons, a colossally successful 1970s television series about the Depression in Appalachia, almost never re-aired in the decades that followed), folk and country music, all kinds of crafts (macramé, latch-hook rugs, Quaker furniture), the grumpy novels of Edward Abbey, backpacking, and The Whole Earth Catalog. When the Baby Boom rock critic Greil Marcus described The Band’s eponymous second album (1969) as “a passport back to America,” he meant it as a compliment. Turning back the clock was a shared societal yearning. Something linked, say, the New York University psychology graduate who joined a commune in Oregon, thinking America had been better before superhighways, with the rural Georgia native who moved to Arizona and joined a megachurch, thinking that America had been better when women stayed home.

., 122 Washington, George, 13, 149–150 Washington Post, 37, 65, 71, 248 waterbeds, 50 Watergate (scandal), 95, 123 Waterman, Guy, 82 Waters, Alice, 81 Waters, Maxine, 154 Wattenberg, Ben, 239 Watts, Alan, 79 Watts riots, 28, 31 Webb, James, 78 Webb, Roy H., 111 Weber, Max, 164 Wechsler, Herbert, 13–14, 23, 222 Weil, Cynthia, 46 Welch, Jack, 127 welfare state, 5, 81, 104, 109, 177 Wenner, Jenn, 230 Western Electric, 134 WhatsApp, 199 Whirlpool, 224 White, Bill, 155 Whole Earth Catalog, The, 81 Wicker, Tom, 69 Wilde, Oscar, 183 Wilentz, Sean The Age of Reagan, 95 Williams-Sonoma, 224 Williamson, Kevin, 244 Wilmot Proviso of 1846, 238 Wilson, Darren, 262–263 Wilson, James Q., 33, 47 Windsor, Edith, 223–225 Winfrey, Oprah, 208 Wolfe, Tom, 48 women’s rights, 3–5, 42–45, 47, 49–51, 65, 89, 163, 164, 166, 229 women’s suffrage, 206 (see also feminism) Womyn of Antioch, 157 Woods, Granville, 157 Woodstock (music festival), 82, 99, 183 Woodward, C.


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.


pages: 170 words: 42,196

Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

collective bargaining, iterative process, pets.com, Silicon Valley, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

Even though the subject is the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, the problem is the same as Web design: creating complex, engaging environments where people look for things—and find them. > SOURCES OF POWER: HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS Gary Klein, MIT Press, 1999 Klein’s study of naturalistic decision making is another wonderful example of how field observation can reveal the difference between the way we think we do things and the way we actually do them. If the Whole Earth Catalog still existed, this book and Why We Buy would both be in it. > THE PRACTICE OF CREATIVITY: A MANUAL FOR DYNAMIC GROUP PROBLEM SOLVING George M. Prince, Macmillan, 1972. I took a course in the Synectics method thirty-five years ago, and there hasn’t been a week since then that I haven’t used something I learned from it. Think of it as brainstorming on steroids, coupled with some remarkable insights into how people work in groups.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

There is an underside to SEO, however—“black-hat SEO”—where efforts to manipulate rankings include less legal or fair practices like sabotaging other content (by linking it to red-flag sites like child pornography), adding hidden text or cloaking (tricking the spiders so that they see one version of the site while the end user sees another). 2 This dictum is commonly attributed to Stewart Brand, the founder and editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, recorded at the first Hackers’ Conference, in 1984. 3 While in the technical community the term “hacker” means a person who develops something quickly and with an air of spontaneity, we use it here in its colloquial meaning to imply unauthorized entry into systems. 4 Among the tweets the Pakistani IT consultant Sohaib Athar sent the night of the bin Laden raid: “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 5 “Predictive analytics” is a young field of study at the intersection of statistics, data-mining and computer modeling.

., 5.1, 7.1 states: ambition of future of Storyful, n Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) Stuxnet worm, 3.1, 3.2 suborbital space travel Sudan suggestion engines Summit Against Violent Extremism Sunni Web supersonic tube commutes supplements supply chains Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) surveillance cameras Sweden switches Switzerland synthetic skin grafts Syria, 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2 uprising in Syrian Telecommunications Establishment tablets, 1.1, 1.2, 7.1 holographic Tacocopter Tahrir Square, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 Taiwan Taliban, 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 TALON Tanzania technology companies, 2.1, 3.1 Tehran Telecom Egypt telecommunications, reconstruction of telecommunications companies Télécoms Sans Frontières television terrorism, terrorists, 4.1, 5.1, con.1 chat rooms of connectivity and cyber, 3.1n, 153–5, 5.1 hacking by Thailand Thomson Reuters Foundation thought-controlled robotic motion 3-D printing, 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 5.1 thumbprints Tiananmen Square protest, 3.1, 4.1 Tibet time zones tissue engineers to-do lists Tor service, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 5.1n Total Information Awareness (TIA) trade transmission towers transparency, 2.1, 4.1 “trespass to chattels” tort, n Trojan horse viruses, 2.1, 3.1 tsunami Tuareg fighters Tumblr Tunisia, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 Turkey, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1 Tutsis Twa Twitter, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, nts.1 Uganda Uighurs, 3.1, 6.1 Ukraine unemployment UNESCO World Heritage Centre unique identification (UID) program United Arab Emirates, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 United Kingdom, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1 United Nations, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 United Nations Security Council, 3.1n, 214, 7.1 United Russia party United States, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 7.1 engineering sector in United States Agency for International Development (USAID) United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 Ürümqi riots user-generated content Ushahidi vacuuming, 1.1, 1.2 Valspar Corporation Venezuela, 2.1, 2.2, 6.1 verification video cameras video chats video games videos Vietcong Vietnam vigilantism violence virtual espionage virtual governance virtual identities, itr.1, 2.1, 2.2 virtual juvenile records virtual kidnapping virtual private networks (VPNs), 2.1, 3.1 virtual reality virtual statehood viruses vitamins Vodafone, 4.1, 7.1 Vodafone/Raya voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) calls, 2.1, 5.1 voice-recognition software, 1.1, 2.1, 5.1 Voilà VPAA statute, n Walesa, Lech walled garden Wall Street Journal, 97 war, itr.1, itr.2, 6.1 decline in Wardak, Abdul Rahim warfare: automated remote warlords, 2.1, 2.2 Watergate Watergate break-in Waters, Carol weapons of mass destruction wearable technology weibos, 62 Wen Jiabao Wenzhou, China West Africa whistle-blowers whistle-blowing websites Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World (Goldsmith and Wu), 3.1n Whole Earth Catalog (Brand), 2.1n Wi-Fi networks WikiLeaks, itr.1, 2.1, 5.1, 5.2 Wikipedia, 1.1, 6.1 wikis Windows operating system Wingo, Harry Wired, 203 Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Singer), 6.1, 6.2 wisdom of the crowds, 2.1, 6.1 women Women2Drive Campaign women’s rights World Food Program (WFP) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 3.1, 3.2 World Trade Organization (WTO), 3.1, 3.2 World War I World War II World Wide Web, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 worms, 3.1, 6.1 Wu, Tim, n Xbox 360 video-game console Xi Jinping Yahoo!


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

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.

He had spent a year completing work on a Lotus product called Agenda while serving as a visiting scientist at MIT. After that he jumped back in and started another firm, the significantly smaller On Technology, a company focusing on software for workgroups. And in 1989 he began to log on to an online service called The Well. The Well, which stood for Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, was the brainchild of Stewart Brand, who had also been behind The Whole Earth Catalog. The Well was an online community of bright, techno-savvy people. “I fell in love with it,” Kapor said later, because “I met a bunch of people online with similar interests who were smart that I wanted to talk to.” He plunged headlong into this virtual community. One day in the summer of 1990, he even found himself on a cattle ranch in Wyoming talking computers with John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist of the Grateful Dead.


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: 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.


pages: 222 words: 53,317

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

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: 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

President Jack Shewmaker, a major force in pushing the digital revolution in Bentonville, even attended the same church as Holder.33 These creative collusions between business, technology, and belief shed new light on the supposed “paradox” of Wal-Mart: how the hightech rednecks mastered cybernetics and corporate culture without losing Christ or country music. Despite its gleam of pure sciÂ�enÂ�tific rationality, developing and deploying high technology has been in part a 132 MAKING CHRISTIAN BUSIN E S S M EN spiritual exercise from the beginning, no matter the political context. The countercultural devotees of Buckminster Fuller, Ken Kesey, and the Whole Earth Catalog brought their dreams of antiauthoritarian, transcendent elitism into the cyber revolution in California. Blending their privileged vision as “comprehensive designers” with the decentralized technologies they developed, this loose fraternity marked an entire wing of the postindustrial economy with their conviction that their new tools made them “as gods.” From the Berkeley Free Speech Movement’s rebellion against the university as “knowledge factory,” the West Coast generation thumbed its nose at the men in the gray flannel suits—often their own fathers, whose bureaucratized work lives looked to them like a vision of hell on earth.

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. Anthony P. Carnevale and Stephen J. Rose, “Inequality and the New High-Skilled Service Economy,” in Unconventional Wisdom: Alternative Perspectives on the New Economy, Jeff Madrick (New York: Century Foundation Press, 2000), 147. 36.


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

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. The right information in the right place just changes your life.

., 61 technological employment/unemployment, 7, 122, 266–269 telegraph(s), impact of, 22, 46, 50, 51, 71, 194 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), 206–210 textile industry, 31, 39–40, 124–125, 212 thermodynamic efficiencies, 10–15, 70–73, 78, 91, 143–144, 186 the third Industrial Revolution. see Collaborative Commons The Third Industrial Revolution (Rifkin), 11 3D printing, 89–108 and automobiles, 98–99 and bioprinting body parts/organs, 246–247 and construction of buildings, 96–97 and customization, 91 democratizing the replicator, 93–99 differs from conventional manufacturing, 90–92 efficiency and productivity of, 90 and feedstock, 48, 89, 95–98, 101–102 and furniture, 96 and lunar buildings, 97 and a makers infrastructure, 99–104 marketing of, 91 and micro infofacturing, 89–92 and a neo-Gandhian world, 104–108 and the Solar-Sinter, 95–96 and Xerox, 95 ThredUP, 236, 258 Thrun, Sebastian, 114–115 Time, 253 time bank(s), 261 The Times of London, 44 Tie Society, 236 TIR Consulting Group, 15, 191 Torvalds, Linus, 175 Toyota, 54, 99, 230 “The Tragedy of the Commons” (Hardin), 155–158 transborder park(s), 183 Treaty to Share the Genetic Commons, 167–168 TrustCloud, 258 Twitter becoming an online monopoly, 204–205 and algorithm manipulation, 203 changes the concept of privacy, 76 as communication, 151, 234, 248, 302 exploiting the Commons for commercial ends, 199–200, 310 and freedom, 226 as a podium for activism, 189 referenced in news and entertainment reporting, 201–202 revenue and market share, 201 and the WikiLeaks scandal, 203 as tracking tool, 245 Two Treatises of Government (Locke), 60 Udacity, 115 unemployment and blue-collar workers,123–124 due to technological advancement, 7, 121–128 and repercussions of job loss, 132 and white-collar workers, 126 United Nations, 21, 213 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 274 Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), 285 Internet Governance Forum (IGF), 196 United States Centers for Disease Control, 245 Department of Defense, 96, 125, 142, 294–295 Department of Energy, 87, 295 Energy Information Administration (EIA), 87 Federal Trade Commission, 202, 291 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 122, 219 income disparity in the, 277–278 Justice Department, 129 National Academy of Sciences, 293–294 National Center for Atmospheric Research, 288 Patents and Trademark Office (PTO), 165–166 postal service, 45–46, 113, 125–126, 163–164 transmission grid, vulnerability of, 293–296 Treasury, 259, 291 upcycling, 91, 236 UPS, uses Big Data, 11–12 urbanization, caused by printing/rail industry, 53 Urbee, 98–99 utilitarian value, Hume and Bentham’s theory of, 62–63 Utopia (More), 31 Vail, Theodore Newton, 49–50 vehicle(s). see automobile(s) Verizon, 51, 54, 148, 198 Vernadsky, Vladimir, 183 vertical integration/vertically integrated companies and centralized management of production and distribution, 46–47 and removal of costly middle men, 23, 46, 232 see also Collaborative Commons Vietor, Richard H. K., 50 Walljasper, Jay, 189 watermill, 33–34, 40–41 Watson, 130 Watt, James, 41 The Wealth of Nations (Smith), 3, 306 The Wealth of Networks (Benkler), 193 Weber, Max, 43–44, 59, 61 Weiner, Gary, 127 Werbach, Adam, 237–238 Werbach, Kevin, 151, 194 Whitacre, Ed, 198 White, Lynn, 34–35 The Whole Earth Catalog (Brand), 100 Wikipedia, 170, 177, 180, 199–200, 243, 309 Williams, Stuart, 246–247 windmill, 34, 40 wired carriers/communications, 149 Wired (magazine), 5 work/worker(s). see last worker standing World Trade Organization (WTO), 187–188 World Watch Institute, 275 Wu, Tim, 202 Yerdle, 237–238 Youth Employment Partnership (YEP), 257 YouTube, 76, 170, 180, 198, 234, 248, 250, 292 Yumkella, Dr.


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

“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. “That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics,” he wrote in Rolling Stone. While students at MIT protested the Vietnam War, people around Stanford rebuilt the machine as something that could be homegrown and emancipatory, a tool for personal liberation and collective transformation.

Popkin, 309 UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer), 24–26, 69, 89, 122, 150 Van Vleck, Tom, 170–72 Velikovsky, Immanuel, 236, 237 Venezuela, 209, 210 venture capitalists, 325, 326 Vidal, Gore, 11, 63–64, 112 Vietnam, partition of, 60, 239, 248 Vietnam War    — advisers sent by Kennedy, 163–64    — antiwar movement in 1967, 233–36    — Ball’s warnings about escalation, 163–64, 194, 213    — bombing of North Vietnam, 194, 198, 214, 219, 253    — causes for United States fighting, 199    — deaths, 60, 225, 294    — escalation of, 198–99, 200, 213, 225, 227, 234, 294    — first war waged by computer, 208    — Hamlet Evaluation System, 227–28, 241, 247–48, 250, 264, 267    — Johnson’s publicity campaign, 253–54, 266    — Johnson’s reluctance to commit to war, 181–82, 193    — military draft and, 225    — National Day celebration in 1966, 229    — Pentagon computer peace calculation story, 231–32    — Project Camelot, 209–12, 216, 285, 293, 298    — Regional and Popular Forces, or RF/PF (Ruff Puffs), 222    — Simulmatics interviews and opinion surveys, 216–18, 220–25, 226, 227, 234, 244–47    — as social-science laboratory, 205, 215, 216, 231, 239, 250, 254    — teach-ins, 199–200, 225, 234, 251, 292, 294    — Tet Offensive, 267, 303    — Tonkin Gulf Resolution, 194    — war correspondent reports, 225–27, 241, 374n Vonnegut, Kurt, 203 Voting (Lazarsfeld, Berelson, McPhee), 34, 81–82, 340n Voting Rights Act (1965), 101, 258, 279 Wallace, Chris, 297 Wallace, George, 268 Wallace, Mike, 297 War on Poverty, 181, 258 Warren, Earl, 134 Washburn, Ruth, 81 Watch Me (McPhee), 83 Watergate    — break-in and arrests at, 308, 309    — Committee for the Re-election of the President, 308, 309    — legacies of, 313    — Nixon resignation, 313    — Woodward and Bernstein story, 309, 310 Wattenberg, Ben J., 274 Wayman, Dorothy, 249, 253 Welles, Orson, 54 Westmoreland, William, 213, 215, 266 Wheeler, Harvey, 148, 157, 158–59, 163, 174–75, 361n, 364n Whitaker, Clem, 16, 17, 273 White Noise (DeLillo), 301 White, Theodore H., 106, 111, 113–14, 131, 140–41 Whole Earth Catalog (Brand), 312 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Albee), 85, 146 Wicker, Tom, 167, 268, 309 Wiener, Norbert, 69 Wiesner, Jerome, 284, 315, 317 Wiggins, Lee, 229 Willkie, Wendell, 53 Wilson, Clark, 359n Winston, Ann Penner, 224, 255, 256, 259, 272, 303 Winston, Marcellus (Gus), 255, 259, 272, 303, 377n Wofford, Harris, 14, 112, 120 Women’s Strike for Equality, 302 Woodward, Bob, 309, 310 Worchel, Philip, 222, 229, 248 World on a Wire (TV show), 4 Wright, Richard, 13 Young, Whitney, 78 Young & Rubicam, 153, 321 Youth International Party (Yippies), 251–52, 286 Zinn, Howard, 295 Zuckerberg, Mark, 6, 282 About the Author Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker.


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

While self-identified hackers were responsible for developing most of the elements of the Internet, Segaller’s history observes that one of the most popular uses of the early Internet network known as the WELL was the facilitation of trades of cassette-tape recordings of the Grateful Dead. 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.


pages: 578 words: 168,350

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West

Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, British Empire, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Guggenheim Bilbao, housing crisis, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of agriculture, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Marchetti’s constant, Masdar, megacity, Murano, Venice glass, Murray Gell-Mann, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, working poor

At the time perhaps no one appreciated this more than the writer and futurist thinker Stewart Brand, who passionately felt that the image of the whole Earth from space would be a powerful symbol, evoking a sense of shared destiny among all people living on the planet. He relentlessly lobbied NASA to release the first images in 1967, which he then used on the cover of his highly influential Whole Earth Catalog, one of the great icons of the 1960s and ’70s. Equally revelatory are the more recent pictures of Mother Earth taken at night when she is not bathed in sunlight (here, bottom right). Had it been technically possible to take such a photograph a couple of hundred years ago, it would have appeared black and revealed nothing. Even fifty years ago it would have looked relatively dim. Not so today.

., 266–67 Washington Square (New York City), 260, 261 water supply, 360–63 Watson, James, 84, 437 watts (W), 457n Watts, Duncan, 297–98, 300–301 wave theory of light, 126 wealth creation and ranking of cities, 355–59 “wear and tear,” 15, 88, 199–200 decline of body functions with age, 195, 197, 201, 202 weight lifting, 48–51, 50, 352–53 Welwyn Garden City, 255 West, Jacqueline, 187, 317 West, Louis, 52–53 whales, 3, 5, 16, 27, 80, 90–91, 92, 155, 159–60. See also blue whales What Is Life? (Schrödinger), 84 wheat and chessboard problem, 218–20, 219 Whitfield, John, 431–32 Whole Earth Catalog, 212 wide-gauge railway, 64–65 Wilson, Colin, 179 Wired (magazine), 434, 442 world energy consumption, 234, 235 World War II, 133–34, 290, 292, 301 X-ray crystallography, 437 Yale University, 132, 301, 382 Youn, Hyejin, 364 Young, Thomas, 125–26 Yule, Udny, 369–70 Yule-Simon process, 368–71 Yun, Anthony “Joon,” 184 Zahavi, Yacov, 332–34, 335 “zeroth order,” 109–10, 117 Zhang Jiang, 389–90 Zimbardo, Philip, 301–2, 303–4 Zipf, George Kingsley, 310–14 Zipf’s law, 310–14, 311–12, 389 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Here: Public.Resource.Org/CC BY 2.0 Here: (mitochondrion): Blausen.com staff, “Blausen gallery 2014” from Wikiversity Journal of Medicine; (ant): Katja Schulz/CC BY 2.0; (ants’ nest): Natural History Museum: Hymenoptera Section/CC BY 2.0; (Dubai): Henrik Bach Nielsen/CC BY 2.0 Here: (circulatory system of the brain): OpenStax College/CC BY 4.0; (cell network): NICHD/CC BY 2.0; (tree): Ales Kladnik/CC BY 2.0 Here: (Romanesco cauliflower): Jon Sullivan/PDPhoto.org; (dried-up riverbed): Courtesy of Bernhard Edmaier/Science Source; (Grand Canyon): Michael Rehfeldt/CC BY 2.0 Here: (ant): Larry Jacobsen/CC BY 2.0; (shrew): Marie Hale/CC BY 2.0; (elephant): Brian Snelson/CC BY 2.0; (blue whale): Amila Tennakoon/CC BY 2.0; (Paraceratherium): Dmitry Bogdanov/Wikimedia Commons Here: Courtesy of YAY Media As/Alamy Here: (tumor network): Courtesy of JACOPIN/BSIP/Alamy Here: (aging woman): Courtesy of Image Source/Alamy; (marathon runner): Courtesy of Sportpoint/Alamy Here: (long-term real growth in U.S.


pages: 522 words: 162,310

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, Celebration, Florida, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, large denomination, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Snapchat, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, young professional

In left-bohemian milieux, parents decided that their children are not in this world to live up to expectations; that they must only and always do their own thing; and that tests and grades would turn them into drones of the corporate state. And in the 1970s the courts and state legislatures started deciding okay, whatever, do your own thing, Christian, hippie, it’s all good, school’s optional. Retreating to self-sufficient rural isolation, living off the grid, became a hippie thing in the 1960s before it took off as a right-wing conceit in the 1970s. The back-to-the-land movement, with the Whole Earth Catalog as its official almanac and souvenir program, floated along on dreams of agrarian utopia. (For a year or two around 1970, I was a teenage Walter Mitty with my own Whole Earth dream.) Survivalism was the same but different. Both shared a vision of themselves as clued-in self-reliant ordinary heroes escaping the urban corporate-government hive because it was decadent, corrupt, and corrupting.

*3 An irony: well after nonfiction TV freely began blending in fiction, the figurehead of one of the big organizations still attempting to adhere to factual reality was brought low for telling tall tales about himself. In 2015, in the reality-based zone inhabited by Brian Williams, it turned out that explicit public fabulism was still prohibited and punishable. *4 The authors’ surname, I swear, is Malarkey. *5 2012 National Household Education Surveys Program. 36 Anything Goes—Unless It Picks My Pocket or Breaks My Leg AFTER EMERGING IN THE 1970S as the haunted, well-armed cousins of Whole Earth Catalog readers, survivalists steadily multiplied. They’re betting on a complete breakdown of the U.S. economy and government that they can and will survive by living as they imagine Americans lived centuries ago, in rural isolation and off the grid. Theirs is a dystopia-ready lifestyle, a fantasy given vivid form and encouraged by the three Mad Max movies that came out between 1979 and 1985. A great selling point was the Y2K panic, the fear in the 1990s that our new digital systems would all go haywire as 1999 turned to 2000, and the newly digital-dependent world would collapse.


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.


pages: 237 words: 67,154

Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet by Trebor Scholz, Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, capital controls, citizen journalism, collaborative economy, collaborative editing, collective bargaining, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, deskilling, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer, post-work, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, SETI@home, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Zipcar

It’s no coincidence that this historical moment gave rise, on the one hand, to the early visions of a networked economy, and on the other, to the first significant wave of cooperative development in the post-WWII period. In both, the individual, reduced to a consumer, stands in for the collective subject of political action, and alternatives become spaces of withdrawal, not engagement. Consider the expansive vision of the Whole Earth Catalog, inviting the people at the intersection of the thriving counterculture and a nascent cyberculture to take up the “tools” they will need to rebuild Spaceship Earth. The project of liberation, in the Catalog, is quite literally a shopping exercise: one picks out the ideas and technologies that construct and confirm a new identity in (nominal) opposition to the mainstream—hence the mélange of yurts and primitive computers, cybernetics, and new age theology that floats across its pages.


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: 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

‘Attacks On “Populism” Seek to Enshrine the Idea That There is No Alternative’. Verso Books Blog, 2 May 2017. Rancière, Jacques. ‘The People Are Not a Brutal and Ignorant Mass’. Verso Books Blog, 30 January 2013. Srincek, Nick and Alex Williams. Inventing the Future. Verso Books, 2016. The Red and the Green ‘Balcombe “Fracking” Village in First Solar Panel Scheme’. BBC News, 28 January 2015. Brand, Stewart. ‘WE ARE AS GODS’. Whole Earth Catalog, Fall 1968. Against Globalism, towards Internationalism Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. Penguin Books, 2015. Marx, Karl. A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Progress Publishers, 1977. 10. Fundamental Principles Carillion’s Collapse and the East Coast Line Bastani, Aaron. ‘Britain Isn’t Working’. The New York Times, 23 January 2018.


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.”


pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

Albert Einstein, Alexander Shulgin, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, private space industry, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

And it’s this list that’s put the nuclear option back on the table, a process well summarized by Peter Schwartz and Spencer Reiss in a recent Wired article: “Burning hydrocarbons is a luxury that a planet with six billion energy-hungry souls can’t afford. There is only one sane, practical alternative: nuclear power.” Many feel the same. Both the previous Bush administration and the current Obama administration back the nuclear option, as do an increasing number of serious environmentalists like Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, Gaia theorist James Lovelock, and eco-author Bill McKibben. Congress as well. In 2007, they gave the nuclear industry $18.5 billion in loan guarantees for up to 80 percent of the cost of new units. Since then, US power companies have submitted applications for 30 new plants. Worldwide, there are 31 new plants under construction and even more promised. China alone has plans for 26.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

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

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.


pages: 252 words: 78,780

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us by Dan Lyons

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, RAND corporation, remote working, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, young professional

Wozniak and his Apple co-founder Steve Jobs were long-haired hippie-hackers who built their first personal computers as members of the Homebrew Computer Club, a pack of amateur kit-computer hobbyists. Wozniak was steeped in the people-first “HP Way.” Jobs was an LSD-taking, commune-dwelling hippie who often went barefoot and who was influenced by Stewart Brand, a proponent of psychedelic drugs who hung out with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. Brand created the Whole Earth Catalog and co-founded the WELL, one of the first online communities. Its members included John Perry Barlow, who wrote lyrics for the Grateful Dead and co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet civil liberties advocacy organization. Counterculture values—freedom, personal liberation, civil rights, respect for the individual—shaped the culture of Silicon Valley. My first encounter with the old version of Silicon Valley came in the late 1980s, when I visited a software company in Santa Cruz where bearded, long-haired engineers wore shorts and tie-dyed shirts and spent evenings lounging in a huge redwood hot tub, drinking wine and smoking pot.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

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

The sensational language is easy to mock, but this basic outlook is widespread among new-media enthusiasts. Attend any technology conference or read any book about social media or Web 2.0, whether by academics or business gurus, and the same conflation of communal spirit and capitalist spunk will be impressed upon you. The historian Fred Turner traces this phenomenon back to 1968, when a small band of California outsiders founded the Whole Earth Catalog and then, in 1985, the online community the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, the WELL, the prototype of online communities, and then Wired. 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.


pages: 239 words: 80,319

Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, Chris Wanstrath, citation needed, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, feminist movement, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, packet switching, PageRank, pre–internet, profit motive, QAnon, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

Myspace was transparently scuzzy and unabashedly vulgar, but that was preferable to covert slime. The industry-standard social media origin story is that a young white man wanted to look at women online and had a eureka moment about how to make money off the prototype. Many are loath to admit it now, but the “Hot or Not” web page for ranking attractiveness is at least as much of an influence in Silicon Valley as The Whole Earth Catalog or the Homebrew Computer Club. Mark Zuckerberg’s creation started as “Facemash,” in which he compiled all the photos of students in Harvard dorms and built a website for users to rank which of two people presented at random was “hotter.” Max Levchin, of Yelp and PayPal, created something similar in 2005 that he called a “babe ticker,” before rebranding the product as the general photo-sharing widget Slide.


pages: 305 words: 79,303

The Four: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Divided and Conquered the World by Scott Galloway

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, California gold rush, cloud computing, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, follow your passion, future of journalism, future of work, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Khan Academy, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, passive income, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, undersea cable, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, working poor, young professional

Creepy and relevance are strongly correlated in the world of digital marketing. To date, consumers and advertisers have voted with their actions and expressed that creepy is a price worth paying for the relevance. Information’s Price Tag The hacker credo “Information wants to be free” set the stage for the second golden age of the internet. The origin of the phrase is worth reviewing. First proposed by Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, at the 1984 Hackers Conference, his formulation was: 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.10 Information, like the rest of us, desperately wants to be attractive, unique, and well paid—really well paid.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

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

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.


pages: 322 words: 88,197

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.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jones Act, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, renewable energy transition, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

In some cases, the effect of the astronaut’s eye view proves particularly extreme. Their minds hovering out in orbit, there are those who begin to imagine leaving the planet for good—saying, “Goodbye Earth!” to quote Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill, who, in the mid-1970s, started calling for the creation of space colonies to overcome the earth’s resource limits. Interestingly, one of O’Neill’s most devoted disciples was Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, who spent a good chunk of the 1970s arguing that the U.S. government should build space colonies; today he is one of the most vocal proponents of Big Tech fixes to climate change, whether nuclear power or geoengineering.59 And he’s not the only prominent geoengineering booster nurturing the ultimate escape fantasy. Lowell Wood, co-inventor of the hose-to-the-sky, is an evangelical proponent of terraforming Mars: there is “a 50/50 chance that young children now alive will walk on Martian meadows . . . will swim in Martian lakes,” he told an Aspen audience in 2007, describing the technological expertise for making this happen as “kid’s stuff.”60 And then there is Richard Branson, Mr.

Barbara Ward, Spaceship Earth (New York: Columbia University Press, 1966), 15; FOOTNOTE: Robert Poole, Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 92–93; Al Reinert, “The Blue Marble Shot: Our First Complete Photograph of Earth,” The Atlantic, April 12, 2011; Andrew Chaikin, “The Last Men on the Moon,” Popular Science, September 1994; Eugene Cernan and Don Davis, The Last Man on the Moon (New York: St. Martin’s, 1999), 324. 58. Kurt Vonnegut Jr., “Excelsior! We’re Going to the Moon! Excelsior!” New York Times Magazine, July 13, 1969, SM10. 59. Poole, Earthrise, 144–145, 162; Peder Anker, “The Ecological Colonization of Space,” Environmental History 10 (2005): 249–254; Andrew G. Kirk, Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007), 170–172; Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary (New York: Penguin, 2009). 60. Leonard David, “People to Become Martians This Century?” NBC News, June 25, 2007. 61. “Richard Branson on Space Travel: ‘I’m Determined to Start a Population on Mars,’ ” CBS This Morning, September 18, 2012; “Branson’s Invasion of Mars,” New York Post, September 20, 2012; “Branson: Armstrong ‘Extraordinary Individual’ ” (video), Sky News, August 26, 2012. 62.


pages: 357 words: 99,684

Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions by Paul Mason

anti-globalists, back-to-the-land, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, do-ocracy, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, informal economy, land tenure, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Occupy movement, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rising living standards, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, union organizing, We are the 99%, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, young professional

This process did not appear out of the blue; it can trace a direct lineage to the liberation movements of the hippy Sixties. In her brilliant cyber-memoir, technology writer Becky Hogge describes how survivors of the LSD fraternity in California ‘quit drugs for software’, seeding a techno-revolution that would create the mouse, the pixel, the Apple Mac, the Internet, hacking and free software.15 Their goals were made explicit in two famous statements by Stewart Brand, the visionary founder of the Whole Earth Catalog: ‘Like it or not, computers are coming to the masses’; and ‘Information wants to be free’. This would open up a forty-year battle, still ongoing, between those trying to monopolize, censor and commercialize information technology and those who want it to be open, uncensored and free. And it’s a battle over fundamentals. The rise of the profitless enterprise, of unmanaged collective labour, of free information and the massive scalability of collaborative work: each of these issues challenges a core belief in management theory.


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. Gaia was part of the anti-Copernican shift back to the Earth driven by how lifeless everywhere else looked; it celebrated the specialness of such a living system. O’Neill’s spin on this was to suggest that the way to correct the deficit of worlds like the Earth in the sky was to build them from scratch in inside-out miniature.


pages: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

From that perspective, the only threat to technology must come from technology, which is perhaps why so many in Silicon Valley seem less concerned with runaway climate change than they are with runaway artificial intelligence: the only fearsome power they are likely to take seriously is the one they themselves have unleashed. It is a strange evolutionary stage for a worldview midwifed into being, in the permanent counterculture of the Bay Area, by Stewart Brand’s nature-hacking bible, Whole Earth Catalog. And it may help explain why social media executives were so slow to process the threat that real-world politics posed to their platforms; and perhaps also why, as the science fiction writer Ted Chiang has suggested, Silicon Valley’s fear of future artificial-intelligence overlords sounds suspiciously like an unknowingly lacerating self-portrait, panic about a way of doing business embodied by the tech titans themselves: Consider: Who pursues their goals with monomaniacal focus, oblivious to the possibility of negative consequences?


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. The system also 258 T he I ntergalactic N etwor k featured a never-before-seen device for pointing at objects on the screen: a small wooden box with wheels attached to the bottom that Engelbart eventually dubbed the “mouse.”


pages: 323 words: 95,939

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.


pages: 411 words: 98,128

Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives and What the World's Best Companies Are Learning From It by Brian Dumaine

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, call centre, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, natural language processing, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

The clock project, which the foundation says has no public completion date, is the brainchild of Bezos’s friend Danny Hillis, a pioneer in parallel supercomputers and the creative force at Disney’s Imagineering division—he once designed a full-sized dinosaur to saunter around Disney’s theme parks. In 1996, he and Stewart Brand, a biologist, cultural pioneer, and the editor of the 1960s bible Whole Earth Catalog, launched a nonprofit to build the clock. The rock musician Brian Eno helped name the organization the Long Now Foundation, to indicate, as the foundation’s website puts it, “the expanded sense of time the clock provokes—not the short now of next quarter, next week, or the next five minutes, but the ‘long now’ of centuries.” When the 10,000-year clock opens to the public, Bezos hopes it will encourage long-term thinking, that it will help put things in perspective and assist humans in solving big challenges.


The Pirate's Dilemma by Matt Mason

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, Firefox, future of work, glass ceiling, global village, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, patent troll, peer-to-peer, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog

Many companies, including Intel and IBM, have programmers working full-time developing new free software for Linux, as they obey the laws of Linux and put back some of what they take out. By distributing their core software for free, Linux now powers forty-three million personal computers worldwide. By selling customized software that runs on top of the free open-source software, it’s predicted the market for Linux products will be worth $35 billion by 2008. To paraphrase Stewart Brand, author and founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, information wants to be free, but customized information wants to be really expensive. Linux is a great example of a company that follows this dictum. The value of openness is something most of us are only just getting Boundaries | 151 to grips with. Harvard Business School published a report in 2006 that surveyed a range of businesses and concluded that introducing problems to outsiders was the best way to find effective solutions.


pages: 268 words: 112,708

Culture works: the political economy of culture by Richard Maxwell

1960s counterculture, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business process, commoditize, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, intermodal, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, talking drums, telemarketer, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

., 83 2Live Crew, 113, 115 Wallis, Brian, 44, 53 Wall Street Journal, 211 Wal-Mart, 174–78, 180, 184–86, 190–91 Walton, Sam, 174 Wanamaker, John, 167, 169 Wanamaker’s Department store, 167 War Advertising Council, 97 War economy, 170; and advertising, 97 Warhol, Andy, 31 Washington D.C., 45 Washington Post, The, 226 Webster, Frank, 220 Weissman, George: Phillip Morris president, 32, 34 Wenner, Lawrence, 155 Western culture, 23, 28, 174 Westfield America, 178 Wheeler-Lea Amendment, 91–96. See also Tugwell Bill Whole Earth Catalog, 238 Wintel monopoly, 204–8 Wired, 239 Wiseman, Frederick, 227 Women’s National Basketball Association, 139 Woodmansee, Martha, 245 World Cup, 70, 112, 128, 137 World Series, 137, 143 World Trade Organization, 16 Venice Biennale, 28, 35, 49 Vertical integration, 62–63, 144, 146, 204 Viacom, 136, 140, 183, 233 Vig (vigorish), 207 Xerox, 42 Yorúbà, 11 Underhill, Paco, 163, 177, 186 UNITE, 190 Z (magazine), 245 259


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

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: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Joi Ito, Julian Assange, Justin.tv, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Brand’s own information wanted to be expensive, and he made a small fortune in the publishing business. A bohemian intellectual who befriended both Buckminster Fuller and Ken Kesey, Brand appeared as a character in Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and campaigned for NASA to release a picture of Earth from space. As living off the land became part of the post-hippie zeitgeist, he created the Whole Earth Catalog, an influential compendium of advice that Steve Jobs once referred to as “sort of like Google in paperback form.”19 He started out peddling an early version from the back of his truck and went on to sell more than a million copies of a later edition. In 1983, a year before Brand said that information wanted to be free, he got a $1.3 million advance to create the Whole Earth Software Catalog.20 From the perspective of the technology world, information wants to be free “because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.”


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

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: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

He quotes O’Reilly: “The internet today is so much an echo of what we were talking about at Esalen in the ’70s—except we didn’t know it would be technology-mediated.” Levy then asks, rhetorically, “Could it be that the internet—or what O’Reilly calls Web 2.0—is really the successor to the human potential movement?” Levy’s article appears in the afterglow of Kevin Kelly’s ecstatic “We Are the Web” in Wired’s August issue. A Whole Earth Catalog editor before he helped launch Wired, Kelly serves as a nexus between hippie and hacker, a human fiber-optic cable beaming Northern Californian utopianism between generations. In his new article, a cover story, he surveys the recent history of the internet, from the Netscape IPO ten years ago, and concludes that the net has become a “magic window” that provides a “spookily godlike” perspective on existence.


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

When our focus shifts from proving ourselves right to proving ourselves wrong, we seek different inputs, we combat deeply entrenched biases, and we open ourselves up to competing facts and arguments. “I don’t like that man,” Abraham Lincoln is said to have observed. “I must get to know him better.” The same approach should apply to opposing arguments. Regularly ask yourself—as Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog does—How many things am I dead wrong about?42 Poke holes in your most cherished arguments, and look for disconfirming facts (What fact would change my mind?). Follow the “golden rule” of Darwin who, upon finding a fact that contradicted one of his beliefs, would write it down right away.43 When you kill off your bad or outdated ideas, Darwin knew, you leave breathing room for the good ones to surface.


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

That becomes its own reward, which I was frankly surprised to find became attractive.14 As NASA director of user affairs—a fancy name for space applications—Schweickart had been a liaison between Low and Jacques Cousteau, looking at ways that NASA and Cousteau could work together to promote earth sciences. “George knew that I had spent huge amounts of time underwater in the water immersion facility at MSC on the Skylab program. I was very much into scuba work. George himself loved scuba diving, and he had a natural affinity for Cousteau. He put us together,” he said.15 Low was interested at the time in the work of people like author Stuart Brandt, editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, and physicist and space activist Gerard O’Neill, according to Schweickart. “George was not a narrow person, by any means. We would get into all kinds of conversations—about space colonies, the environment, and all kinds of things. 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.


pages: 415 words: 103,231

Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce

addicted to oil, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, financial independence, flex fuel, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Yom Kippur War

Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, has become one of the most ardent backers of the nuclear option. In 2006, Moore wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post saying that nuclear energy may be the “energy source that can save our planet.” Although Moore now does public relations work for the nuclear power industry, he pointed out that many other ardent environmentalists, including Stewart Brand, one of the founders of the Whole Earth Catalog, and James Lovelock, the British scientist who came up with the Gaia theory about the resilience of the planet Earth, are advocates of nuclear power. In mid-2006, Moore told me that when it comes to producing large increments of new, low-carbon electricity, there “aren’t really any other choices. Fossil fuels are still a large segment of our consumption. Coal, nuclear, and hydro are the only choices.


pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, c2.com, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

In the spring of 2002, around the time Mitch Kapor and the early members of the Chandler team were beginning to zero in on their new software’s architecture, Kapor made the tech news headlines for something entirely different: He entered into a Long Bet about the prospects for artificial intelligence. Long Bets were a project of the Long Now Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by Whole Earth Catalog creator Stewart Brand and a group of digital-age notables as a way to spur discussion and creative ideas about long-term issues and problems. As the project’s first big-splash Long Bet, Kapor wagered $20,000 (all winnings earmarked for worthy nonprofit institutions) that by 2029 no computer or “machine intelligence” will have passed the Turing Test. (To pass a Turing Test, typically conducted via the equivalent of instant messaging, a computer program must essentially fool human beings into believing that they are conversing with a person rather than a machine.)


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

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.


pages: 433 words: 127,171

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke

addicted to oil, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, demand response, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, full employment, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Menlo Park, Negawatt, new economy, off grid, post-oil, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, the built environment, too big to fail, washing machines reduced drudgery, Whole Earth Catalog

A local politician visited the blown transformer with her children to take a look at the culprit; another witness told a reporter, ‘There was no fur left on it. It looked like something from C.S.I.’ She posted a photo of the incinerated animal to her Facebook page.” “causing frequent power outages”: Mooallem (2013). to install solar panels: CoEvolution Quarterly (1974–1985), an offshoot of The Whole Earth Catalog (a counterculture golden-era mainstay) awarded this sun-challenged distinction to Forks in the late 1970s. CHAPTER 8: In Search of the Holy Grail from thirty years to ten: “A Big Bet on Small,” Economist Technology Quarterly, December 6, 2014, 7. so has it always been: Back in 1973, with fusion but thirty years away, there was another grail search under way, though not yet for storage.


Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age by Steven Levy

Albert Einstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, Donald Knuth, Eratosthenes, Extropian, invention of the telegraph, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knapsack problem, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Network effects, new economy, NP-complete, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web of trust, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

Was the Justice Department actually asserting that export restrictions prohibited U.S. citizens from distributing legal materials to other U.S. citizens? Oh, the export regulations. The more you looked at them, the weirder they appeared. One recent controversy involved Bruce Schneier’s 1994 book, Applied Cryptography. It was a technical cornucopia of cryptological mathematical theory, explanations of popular cryptosystems, and all the algorithms that a security specialist or cypherpunk would ever need. The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog called it “the Bible of code hackers.” But while anyone could ship the physical book overseas, the crypto restrictions seemed to ban the export of those same contents in digital form. At least that’s what cypherpunk Phil Karn found out when he applied for a “commodities jurisdiction” (or CJ) to export the book, along with an accompanying floppy disk with the same contents on it. Officials confirmed that the book could be exported, but not the floppy.


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

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. Top 5 for Weird Technology Exploratorium (the Presidio) Musée Mécanique (Fisherman’s Wharf) Audium (Japantown) SFMOMA (SoMa) Children’s Creativity Museum (SoMa) The next wave of California techies was determined to create a personal computer that could compute and communicate without crashing.


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

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: 286 words: 94,017

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, East Village, global village, Haight Ashbury, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of writing, longitudinal study, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, social intelligence, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

Bates in [122], p. 126. 121 Pupil turnover: "The Schoolhouse in the City," a report by the Educational Facilities Laboratories, Inc., 1966, p. 8. Not to be confused with [115]. 121 Whyte quote in [197], p. 383. 122 Moore study mentioned in American Education, April, 1967. Poignant note on transcience from bulletin board of communal farm, U.S.A., Summer, 1969. Quoted in Difficult But Possible Supplement to Whole Earth Catalog, September, 1969, p. 23. "I hope that this week is the Farm's lowest point for the summer, because if it gets any lower I don't have a decent place to live ... I think of this as my (at least) temporary home. And I like my home to be clear of broken glass and papers, my tools and supplies put away, I like to keep track of my guests, take care of my animals ... But this farm is far from that ...


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.


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

‘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. Leary himself seldom made reference to this body of work, preferring to give the impression that his own psychedelic research represented a radical new chapter in the annals of psychology.


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

Dressed in reproduction nineteenth-century artifacts—blue jeans, fringed leather jackets, boots, bandanas, hats, men mustachioed and bearded—they fancied themselves hoboes and cowboys and joyriders and agrarian anarchists as they got high and listened to “Maggie’s Farm” (Bob Dylan), “Up on Cripple Creek” (the Band), and “Uncle John’s Band” (the Grateful Dead). Overnight they made the uncool old Victorian houses in San Francisco cool. The vision of the future sold starting in 1968 by the Whole Earth Catalog, the counterculture’s obligatory omnibus almanac, was agrarian and handmade as well as—so ahead of the curve—computerized and video-recorded. In 1969, at the Woodstock Festival, the music of the final performer, Jimi Hendrix, was absolute late ’60s, disconcertingly and deliciously freaky and vain. Playing right before him, however, had been a group almost nobody knew. Sha Na Na, led by a Columbia University graduate student, sang cover versions of a dozen rock and doo-wop songs from 1956 to 1963, wearing 1950s-style costumes and doing 1950s-style choreography.


pages: 579 words: 164,339

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, David Attenborough, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, El Camino Real, epigenetics, Filipino sailors, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, housing crisis, ice-free Arctic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, liberation theology, load shedding, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

During the 1970s, a student project discovered that Jasper Ridge, situated on the Pacific flyway, had the highest density of breeding land birds anywhere in the United States. More than a hundred fifty migratory and resident bird species are found here, as well as bobcat, red and gray fox, weasels, raccoons, mule deer, and mountain lions. A research center here archives fifty years of student projects; a habitat map of two tarantula species by one of Ehrlich’s undergrads, Stewart Brand, who would later publish The Whole Earth Catalog, is still used. Years before The Population Bomb appeared, Paul Ehrlich had already gained renown among ecologists for the paper he coauthored with Peter Raven, the future director of Missouri Botanical Gardens. It was the first to describe coevolution: how two interacting species, such as butterflies and the plants their larvae eat, each influence the other’s development. Although coevolution is often understood as an ever-escalating biological arms race—in which plants evolve chemicals to repel insects, which in turn evolve immunities—their career-making collaboration came from observing that two distinct species of checkerspots, the Bay and the Chalcedon, were feeding on two different related species of flowers.


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

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.”


pages: 526 words: 160,601

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The sins of the oil industry are easy enough to appreciate, but they have been abetted by the mistakes of the environmentalist movement, led by the oldest Boomers and their immediate seniors. In the 1960s and 1970s, parts of the movement cried wolf about the world’s ability to feed itself, the dangers of nuclear power, and resource scarcity generally. None of these arguments had much scientific credibility, and essentially all of them have proved wrong. (Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, once a prominent antinuclear activist, has now reversed his stand; too little, too late.) The enviro–Chicken Littleism of the 1960s has been dredged up by warming deniers as evidence that scientists and environmentalists cannot be trusted. That is, of course, untrue. Real scientists can be trusted; Boomer ideologues of the 1970s and 2010s cannot. Such is the price of rampant anti-empiricism.


pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, twin studies, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

This mighty machine—which was twenty-four feet long and required a fleet of air conditioners to stay cool—already had a storied history. It was the first computer designed to support McCarthy’s time-sharing scheme directly. It was also the computer Engelbart had used to power the Mother of All Demos. It was a chunk of hardware with unusually good karma. The hacker subculture incubated at MIT was thriving in places like SAIL, Xerox PARC, and the now legendary garages of Cupertino and San José. Soon Whole Earth Catalog impresario Stewart Brand would unleash this subculture on the unsuspecting inhabitants of Greater Mundania with the ultimate endorsement in Rolling Stone: “Computers are coming to the people. That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.” The focus of the article was Spacewar, the seminal computer game developed in 1961 by four of McCarthy’s students high on the fumes of pulp science fiction.


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.” TF: One massively successful private equity investor I know uses an Excel spreadsheet to display his own death countdown clock.


Coastal California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, flex fuel, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Lyft, Mason jar, New Journalism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

High Tech Booms & Busts In the 1950s Stanford University in Palo Alto needed to raise money to finance postwar growth, so it built an industrial park and leased space to high-tech companies like Hewlett-Packard, which formed the nucleus of Silicon Valley. When Hewlett-Packard introduced the first personal computer in 1968, advertisements breathlessly gushed that the ‘light’ (40lb) machine could ‘take on roots of a fifth-degree polynomial, Bessel functions, elliptic integrals and regression analysis’ – all for just $4900 (almost $35,000 today). Consumers didn’t know quite what to do with computers, but in his 1969 Whole Earth Catalog, author (and former LSD tester for the CIA) Stewart Brand explained that the technology governments used to run countries could empower ordinary people. Hoping to bring computer power to the people, 21-year-old Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak introduced the Apple II at the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire. Still, the question remained: what would ordinary people do with all that computing power?


Northern California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, housing crisis, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, McMansion, means of production, Port of Oakland, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the built environment, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Geeking Out When Silicon Valley introduced the first personal computer in 1968, advertisements 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 just $4900 (nearly $35,000 today). Consumers didn’t know quite what to do with computers, but in his 1969 Whole Earth Catalog, author (and former LSD tester for the CIA) Stewart Brand explained that the technology governments used to run countries could empower ordinary people. Hoping to bring computer power to the people, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, both in their 20s at the time, introduced the Apple II at the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire, with unfathomable memory (4KB of RAM) and microprocessor speed (1MHz).


pages: 1,351 words: 404,177

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein

affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, American ideology, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, East Village, European colonialism, full employment, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, immigration reform, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Joan Didion, Kitchen Debate, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog

This, the president concluded, was literature. Nixon ordered Colson to get it on the bestseller list. Availing himself of $8,000 from the same funds that bought their gear for the Fielding break-in, Colson bought out bookstores’ stock. Cartons of The News Twisters piled up in Howard Hunt’s office—as it appeared on the bestseller lists beside LBJ’s memoirs, B. F. Skinner’s Beyond Freedom & Dignity, The Last Whole Earth Catalog, and the sex manual Any Woman Can! Why not? The Kennedys were worse. Joe Kennedy had gotten his kid Jack’s college thesis cleaned up and published as a book and schemed to get his ghostwritten Profiles in Courage a Pulitzer. “They’re using any means,” Nixon told Colson and Haldeman. “We are going to use any means. Is that clear?” How would the American people have reacted if they knew about this kind of stuff?


California by Sara Benson

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Columbine, dark matter, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, planetary scale, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the new new thing, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Advertisements 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 $4900 (about $29,000 today). Consumers didn’t quite know what to do with personal computers, until another CIA LSD tester named Stewart Brand explained their potential in simple terms. In his 1969 Whole Earth Catalog, Brand reasoned that the technology governments used to run countries could empower ordinary people. That same year UCLA professor Len Kleinrock proved Brand right, sending a message 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. * * * To read more about the garage-workshop culture of Silicon Valley go to www.folklore.org, which covers the crashes and personality clashes that made geek history