October 4, 2006

News & Opinion: Whole Earth Catalog

By: Jack @ 4:11 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Back in a previous life, I believed that we could change the world. One of the books that gave me hope was The Whole Earth Catalog, co-edited by Stewart Brand.
The following quote is from the introduction to a new book called From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner from The University of Chicago Press.
To answer these questions, this book traces the previously untold history of an extraordinarily influential group of San Francisco Bay area journalists and entrepreneurs: Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network. Between the late 1960s and the late 1990s, Brand assembled a network of people and publications that together brokered a series of encounters between bohemian San Francisco and the emerging technology hub of Silicon Valley to the south. In 1968 Brand brought members of the two worlds together in the pages of one of the defining documents of the era, the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1985 he gathered them again on what would become perhaps the most influential computer conferencing system of the decade, the Whole Earth Lectronic Link, or the WELL. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Brand and other members of the network, including Kevin Kelly, Howard Rheingold, Esther Dyson, and John Perry Barlow, became some of the most-quoted spokespeople for a countercultural vision of the Internet. In 1993 all would help create the magazine that, more than any other, depicted the emerging digital world in revolutionary terms: Wired.

Read the forward here.
I will read the book and get back to you after I have finished.