|Born||December 14, 1938|
Rockford, Illinois, United States
|Occupation||Writer, editor, entrepreneur|
|Known for|| Whole Earth Catalog |
Long Now Foundation
|Spouse(s)||Lois Jennings (1966–1973)|
Ryan Phelan (1983–present)
Stewart Brand (born December 14, 1938) is an American writer, best known as editor of the Whole Earth Catalog . He founded a number of organizations, including The WELL, the Global Business Network, and the Long Now Foundation. He is the author of several books, most recently Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto .
Brand was born in Rockford, Illinois and attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He studied biology at Stanford University, graduating in 1960.As a soldier in the U.S. Army, he was a parachutist and taught infantry skills; he later expressed the view that his experience in the military had fostered his competence in organizing. A civilian again in 1962, he studied design at San Francisco Art Institute, photography at San Francisco State College, and participated in a legitimate scientific study of then-legal LSD, in Menlo Park, California. In 1966, he married mathematician Lois Jennings, an Ottawa Native American.
Brand has lived in California since the 1960s. He and his second wife live on Mirene, a 64-foot (20 m)-long working tugboat. Built in 1912, the boat is moored in a former shipyard in Sausalito, California. He works in Mary Heartline, a grounded fishing boat about 100 yards (90 metres) away. One of his favorite items is a table on which Otis Redding is said to have written "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay". (Brand acquired it from an antiques dealer in Sausalito.)
By the mid-1960s, Brand became associated with New York multimedia group USCO and Bay Area author Ken Kesey and his "Merry Pranksters". Brand co-produced the Trips Festival, an early effort involving rock music and light shows, in San Francisco with Kesey and Ramón Sender Barayón. This was one of the first venues at which the Grateful Dead performed in San Francisco. About 10,000 hippies attended, and Haight-Ashbury soon emerged as a community.Tom Wolfe describes Brand in his 1968 book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test .
In 1966, while on an LSD trip on the roof of his house in North Beach, San Francisco, Brand became convinced that seeing an image of the whole Earth would change how we think about the planet and ourselves.He then campaigned to have NASA release the then-rumored satellite image of the entire Earth as seen from space. He sold and distributed buttons for 25 cents each asking, "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?". During this campaign, Brand met Richard Buckminster Fuller, who offered to help Brand with his projects. In 1967, a satellite, ATS-3, took the photo. Brand thought the image of our planet would be a powerful symbol. It adorned the first (Fall 1968) edition of the Whole Earth Catalog. Later in 1968, NASA astronaut Bill Anders took an Earth photo, Earthrise , from Moon orbit, which became the front image of the spring 1969 edition of the Catalog. 1970 saw the first celebration of Earth Day. During a 2003 interview, Brand explained that the image "gave the sense that Earth's an island, surrounded by a lot of inhospitable space. And it's so graphic, this little blue, white, green and brown jewel-like icon amongst a quite featureless black vacuum."
In late 1968, Brand assisted electrical engineer Douglas Engelbart with The Mother of All Demos, a famous presentation of many revolutionary computer technologies (including hypertext, email, and the mouse) to the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco.
Brand surmised that given the necessary consciousness, information, and tools, human beings could reshape the world they had made (and were making) for themselves into something environmentally and socially sustainable. 42:
During the late 1960s and early 1970s about 10 million Americans were involved in living communally. In 1968, using the most basic approaches to typesetting and page-layout, Brand and his colleagues created issue number one of The Whole Earth Catalog , employing the significant subtitle, "access to tools". :48 Brand and his wife Lois travelled to communes in a 1963 Dodge truck known as the Whole Earth Truck Store, which moved to a storefront in Menlo Park, California. [ page needed ] That first oversize Catalog, and its successors in the 1970s and later, reckoned a wide assortment of things could serve as useful "tools": books, maps, garden implements, specialized clothing, carpenters' and masons' tools, forestry gear, tents, welding equipment, professional journals, early synthesizers, and personal computers. Brand invited "reviews" (written in the form of a letter to a friend) of the best of these items from experts in specific fields. The information also described where these things could be located or purchased. The Catalog's publication coincided with the great wave of social and cultural experimentation, convention-breaking, and "do it yourself" attitude associated with the "counterculture".
The influence of these Whole Earth Catalogs on the rural back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s, and the communities movement within many cities, was widespread throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. A 1972 edition sold 1.5 million copies, winning the first U.S. National Book Award in category Contemporary Affairs.
Steve Jobs ended his 2005 Stanford University commencement address by acknowledging both Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog, quoting from the latter's final issue, "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish."
To continue this work and also to publish full-length articles on specific topics in the natural sciences and invention, in numerous areas of the arts and the social sciences, and on the contemporary scene in general, Brand founded the CoEvolution Quarterly (CQ) during 1974, aimed primarily at educated laypersons. Brand never better revealed his opinions and reason for hope than when he ran, in CoEvolution Quarterly #4, a transcription of technology historian Lewis Mumford's talk "The Next Transformation of Man", in which he stated that "man has still within him sufficient resources to alter the direction of modern civilization, for we then need no longer regard man as the passive victim of his own irreversible technological development."
The content of CoEvolution Quarterly often included futurism or risqué topics. Besides giving space to unknown writers with something valuable to say, Brand presented articles by many respected authors and thinkers, including Lewis Mumford, Howard T. Odum, Witold Rybczynski, Karl Hess, Orville Schell, Ivan Illich, Wendell Berry, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gregory Bateson, Amory Lovins, Hazel Henderson, Gary Snyder, Lynn Margulis, Eric Drexler, Gerard K. O'Neill, Peter Calthorpe, Sim Van der Ryn, Paul Hawken, John Todd, Kevin Kelly, and Donella Meadows. During ensuing years, Brand authored and edited a number of books on topics as diverse as computer-based media, the life history of buildings, and ideas about space colonies.
He founded the Whole Earth Software Review, a supplement to the Whole Earth Software Catalog, in 1984. It merged with CoEvolution Quarterly to form the Whole Earth Review in 1985.
From 1977 to 1979, Brand served as "special advisor" to the administration of California Governor Jerry Brown.
In 1985, Brand and Larry Brilliant founded The WELL ("Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link"), a prototypical, wide-ranging online community for intelligent, informed participants the world over.The WELL won the 1990 Best Online Publication Award from the Computer Press Association. Almost certainly the ideas behind the WELL were greatly inspired by Douglas Engelbart's work at SRI International; Brand was acknowledged by Engelbart in "The Mother of All Demos" in 1968 when the computer mouse and video conferencing were introduced.
In 2000, Brand helped to launch the All Species Foundation,which aimed to catalog all species of life on Earth until its closure in 2007.
During 1986, Brand was a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab. Soon after, he became a private-conference organizer for such corporations as Royal Dutch/Shell, Volvo, and AT&T Corporation. In 1988, he became a co‑founder of the Global Business Network, which explores global futures and business strategies informed by the sorts of values and information which Brand has always found vital. The GBN has become involved with the evolution and application of scenario thinking, planning, and complementary strategic tools. For fourteen years, Brand was on the board of the Santa Fe Institute (founded in 1984), an organization devoted to "fostering a multidisciplinary scientific research community pursuing frontier science." He has also continued to promote the preservation of tracts of wilderness.
The Whole Earth Catalog implied an ideal of human progress that depended on decentralized, personal, and liberating technological development—so‑called "soft technology". However, during 2005 he criticized aspects of the international environmental ideology he had helped to develop. He wrote an article called "Environmental Heresies"in the May 2005 issue of the MIT Technology Review , in which he describes what he considers necessary changes to environmentalism. He suggested among other things that environmentalists embrace nuclear power and genetically modified organisms as technologies with more promise than risk.
Brand later developed these ideas into a book and published the Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto in 2009. The book examines how urbanization, nuclear power, genetic engineering, geoengineering, and wildlife restoration can be used as powerful tools in humanity's ongoing fight against global warming.
In a 2019 interview, Brand described his perspective as "post-libertarian", indicating that at the time when the Whole Earth Catalog was being written, he did not fully understand the significance of the role of government in the development of technology and engineering.
Brand is co‑chair and President of the Board of Directors of The Long Now Foundation. Brand chairs the foundation's Seminars About Long-term Thinking (SALT). This series on long-term thinking has presented a large range of different speakers including: Brian Eno, Neal Stephenson, Vernor Vinge, Philip Rosedale, Jimmy Wales, Kevin Kelly, Clay Shirky, Ray Kurzweil, Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, and many others.
Stewart Brand is the initiator or was involved with the development of the following:
Douglas Carl Engelbart was an American engineer and inventor, and an early computer and Internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on founding the field of human–computer interaction, particularly while at his Augmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International, which resulted in creation of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to graphical user interfaces. These were demonstrated at The Mother of All Demos in 1968. Engelbart's law, the observation that the intrinsic rate of human performance is exponential, is named after him.
Whole Earth Review was a magazine which was founded in January 1985 after the merger of the Whole Earth Software Review and the CoEvolution Quarterly. All of these periodicals are descendants of Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog.
The Whole Earth Catalog (WEC) was an American counterculture magazine and product catalog published by Stewart Brand several times a year between 1968 and 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. The magazine featured essays and articles, but was primarily focused on product reviews. The editorial focus was on self-sufficiency, ecology, alternative education, "do it yourself" (DIY), and holism, and featured the slogan "access to tools". While WEC listed and reviewed a wide range of products, it did not sell any of the products directly. Instead, the vendor's contact information was listed alongside the item and its review. This is why, while not a regularly published periodical, numerous editions and updates were required to keep price and availability information up to date.
"The Mother of All Demos" is a name retroactively applied to a landmark computer demonstration, given at the Association for Computing Machinery / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (ACM/IEEE)—Computer Society's Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, which was presented by Douglas Engelbart on December 9, 1968.
Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review. He has also been a writer, photographer, conservationist, and student of Asian and digital culture.
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World (ISBN 978-0201483406) is a 1992 book by Kevin Kelly. Major themes in Out of Control are cybernetics, emergence, self-organization, complex systems, negentropy and chaos theory and it can be seen as a work of techno-utopianism.
CoEvolution Quarterly (1974–1985) was a journal descended from Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog. Stewart Brand founded the CoEvolution Quarterly in 1974 using proceeds from the Whole Earth Catalog. It evolved out of the original Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog. Fred Turner notes that in 1985, Brand merged CoEvolution Quarterly with The Whole Earth Software Review to create the Whole Earth Review.
The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, normally shortened to The WELL, is one of the oldest virtual communities in continuous operation. As of June 2012, it had 2,693 members. It is best known for its Internet forums, but also provides email, shell accounts, and web pages. The discussion and topics on The WELL range from deeply serious to trivial, depending on the nature and interests of the participants.
James Tennant Baldwin, often known as Jay Baldwin or J. Baldwin, was an American industrial designer and writer. Baldwin was a student of Buckminster Fuller; Baldwin's work was inspired by Fuller's principles and, in the case of some of Baldwin's published writings, he popularized and interpreted Fuller's ideas and achievements. In his own right, Baldwin was a figure in American designers' efforts to incorporate solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources. In his career, being a fabricator was as important as being a designer. Baldwin is noted as the inventor of the "Pillow Dome", a design that combines Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome with panels of inflated ETFE plastic panels.
The Point Foundation was a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco and founded by Stewart Brand and Dick Raymond. It published works related to the Whole Earth Catalog. It was also a co-owner of The WELL.
Whole Earth may refer to:
Fred Turner is a professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, and former department chair.
The Portola Institute was a "nonprofit educational foundation" founded in Menlo Park, California in 1966 by Dick Raymond. The Portola institute helped to develop other organizations such as The Briarpatch Society and Bob Albrecht's People's Computer Company. It was also the publisher of Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog beginning with the first issue in 1968. The first issue of The Whole Earth Catalog notes that the catalog is one division of The Portola Institute and that other activities of the Institute include: "computer education for all grade levels, simulation games for classroom use, new approaches to music education, Ortega Park Teachers Laboratory." Raymond and Brand later collaborated to form the Point Foundation.
The Whole Earth Software Catalog and The Whole Earth Software Review (1984–1985) were two publications produced by Stewart Brand's Point Foundation as an extension of The Whole Earth Catalog.
The Hackers Conference is an annual invitation-only gathering of designers, engineers and programmers to discuss the latest developments and innovations in the computer industry. On a daily basis, many hackers only interact virtually, and therefore rarely have face-to-face contact. The conference is a time for hackers to come together to share ideas.
James Fadiman is an American psychologist and writer. He is acknowledged for his extensive work in the field of psychedelic research. He co-founded, along with Robert Frager, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, which later became Sofia University, where he was a lecturer in psychedelic studies.
The Electronic Information Exchange System was an early online conferencing bulletin board system that allowed real-time and asynchronous communication. The system was used to deliver courses, conduct conferencing sessions, and facilitate research. Funded by the National Science Foundation and developed from 1974-1978 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) by Murray Turoff based on his earlier EMISARI done at the now-defunct Office of Emergency Preparedness, EIES was intended to facilitate group communications that would allow groups to make decisions based on their collective intelligence rather than the lowest common denominator. Initially conceived as an experiment in computer mediated communication, EIES remained in use for decades because its users "just wouldn't let go" of it, eventually adapting it for legislative, medical and even spiritual uses.
Ecomodernism is an environmental philosophy which argues that humans should protect nature and improve human wellbeing by developing technologies that decouple human development from environmental impacts. It supports state action centered on technology development. It argues that intensification of human activities can reduce harmful human impacts on the natural world. Technologies commonly recommended by ecomodernists include precision agriculture, microbial fertilizers, synthetic meat, genetically modified foods, desalination and waste recycling, urbanization, carbon dioxide removal technologies, replacing carbon-intensive and low power-density energy sources with high power-density sources with lower environmental impacts.
"All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace" is a poem by Richard Brautigan first published in his 1967 collection of the same name, his fifth book of poetry. It presents an enthusiastic description of a technological utopia in which machines improve and protect the lives of humans. It has been read as both a counterculture adoption of Cold War-era technological visions as well as an ironic critique of the utopia it describes. It is Brautigan's most frequently reprinted poem.
A good Anthropocene demands that humans use their growing social, economic, and technological powers to make life better for people, stabilize the climate, and protect the natural world.
On Tuesday, a group of scholars involved in the environmental debate, including Professor Roy and Professor Brook, Ruth DeFries of Columbia University, and Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute in Oakland, Calif., issued what they are calling the "Eco-modernist Manifesto."
As scholars, scientists, campaigners, and citizens, we write with the conviction that knowledge and technology, applied with wisdom, might allow for a good, or even great, Anthropocene.
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