A source book for American culture in the 1960s and 1970s: “suggested reading” from the Last Whole Earth Catalog, from Thoreau to James Baldwin. The Whole Earth Catalog was a cultural touchstone of the 1960s and 1970s. The iconic cover image of the Earth viewed from space made it one of the most recognizable books on bookstore shelves. Between 1968 and 1971, almost two million copies of its various editions were sold, and not just to commune-dwellers and hippies. Millions of mainstream readers turned to the Whole Earth Catalog for practical advice and intellectual stimulation, finding everything from a review of Buckminster Fuller to recommendations for juicers. This book offers selections from eighty texts from the nearly 1,000 items of “suggested reading” in the Last Whole Earth Catalog. After an introduction that provides background information on the catalog and its founder, Stewart Brand (interesting fact: Brand got his organizational skills from a stint in the Army), the book presents the texts arranged in nine sections that echo the sections of the Whole Earth Catalog itself. Enlightening juxtapositions abound. For example, “Understanding Whole Systems” maps the holistic terrain with writings by authors from Aldo Leopold to Herbert Simon; “Land Use” features selections from Thoreau's Walden and a report from the United Nations on new energy sources; “Craft” offers excerpts from The Book of Tea and The Illustrated Hassle-Free Make Your Own Clothes Book; “Community” includes Margaret Mead and James Baldwin's odd-couple collaboration, A Rap on Race. Together, these texts offer a sourcebook for the Whole Earth culture of the 1960s and 1970s in all its infinite variety.
An icon of the environmental movement outlines a provocative approach for reclaiming our planet According to Stewart Brand, a lifelong environmentalist who sees everything in terms of solvable design problems, three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole. Urbanization?half the world?s population now lives in cities, and eighty percent will by midcentury?is altering humanity?s land impact and wealth. And biotechnology is becoming the world?s dominant engineering tool. In light of these changes, Brand suggests that environmentalists are going to have to reverse some longheld opinions and embrace tools that they have traditionally distrusted. Only a radical rethinking of traditional green pieties will allow us to forestall the cataclysmic deterioration of the earth?s resources. Whole Earth Discipline shatters a number of myths and presents counterintuitive observations on why cities are actually greener than countryside, how nuclear power is the future of energy, and why genetic engineering is the key to crop and land management. With a combination of scientific rigor and passionate advocacy, Brand shows us exactly where the sources of our dilemmas lie and offers a bold and inventive set of policies and solutions for creating a more sustainable society. In the end, says Brand, the environmental movement must become newly responsive to fast-moving science and take up the tools and discipline of engineering. We have to learn how to manage the planet?s global-scale natural infrastructure with as light a touch as possible and as much intervention as necessary.
For many, it was more than a publication: it was a way of life. The Whole Earth Catalog billed itself as "Access to Tools, " and it grew from a Bay Area blip to a national phenomenon catering to hippies, do-it-yourselfers, and anyone interested in self-sufficiency independent of mainstream America (now known as "living off the grid"). In recovering the history of the Catalog's unique brand of environmentalism, historian Kirk recounts how Stewart Brand and the Point Foundation promoted a philosophy of pragmatic environmentalism that celebrated technological achievement, human ingenuity, and sustainable living. Kirk shows us that Whole Earth was more than a mere counterculture fad. At a time when many of these ideas were seen as heretical to a predominantly wilderness-based movement, it became a critical forum for environmental alternatives and a model for how complicated ecological ideas could be presented in a hopeful and even humorous way.--From publisher description.
In the early 1960s, computers haunted the American popular imagination. Bleak tools of the cold war, they embodied the rigid organization and mechanical conformity that made the military-industrial complex possible. But by the 1990s—and the dawn of the Internet—computers started to represent a very different kind of world: a collaborative and digital utopia modeled on the communal ideals of the hippies who so vehemently rebelled against the cold war establishment in the first place. From Counterculture to Cyberculture is the first book to explore this extraordinary and ironic transformation. Fred Turner here traces the previously untold story of a highly influential group of San Francisco Bay–area entrepreneurs: Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network. Between 1968 and 1998, via such familiar venues as the National Book Award–winning Whole Earth Catalog, the computer conferencing system known as WELL, and, ultimately, the launch of the wildly successful Wired magazine, Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running collaboration between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley. Thanks to their vision, counterculturalists and technologists alike joined together to reimagine computers as tools for personal liberation, the building of virtual and decidedly alternative communities, and the exploration of bold new social frontiers. Shedding new light on how our networked culture came to be, this fascinating book reminds us that the distance between the Grateful Dead and Google, between Ken Kesey and the computer itself, is not as great as we might think.
Told by one of our greatest chroniclers of technology and society, the definitive biography of iconic serial visionary Stewart Brand, from the Merry Pranksters and the generation-defining Whole Earth Catalog to the marriage of environmental consciousness and hacker capitalism and the rise of a new planetary culture—the story behind so many other stories Stewart Brand has long been famous if you know who he is, but for many people outside the counterculture, early computing, or the environmental movement, he is perhaps best known for his famous mantra “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” Steve Jobs’s endorsement of these words as his code to live by is fitting; Brand has played many roles, but one of the most important is as a model for how to live. The contradictions are striking: A blond-haired WASP with a modest family inheritance, Brand went to Exeter and Stanford and was an army veteran, but in California in the 1960s he became an artist and a photographer in the thick of the LSD revolution. While tripping on acid on the roof of his building, he envisioned how valuable it would be for humans to see a photograph of the planet they shared from space, an image that in the end landed on the cover of his Whole Earth Catalog, the defining publication of the counterculture. He married a Native American woman and was committed to protecting indigenous culture, which connected to a broader environmentalist mission that has been a through line of his life. At the same time, he has outraged purists because of his pragmatic embrace of useful technologies, including nuclear power, in the fight against climate change. The famous tagline promise of his catalog was “Access to Tools”; with rare exceptions he rejected politics for a focus on direct power. It was no wonder, then, that he was early to the promise of the computer revolution and helped define it for the wider world. Brand's life can be hard to fit onto one screen. John Markoff, also a great chronicler of tech culture, has done something extraordinary in unfolding the rich, twisting story of Brand’s life against its proper landscape. As Markoff makes marvelously clear, the streams of individualism, respect for science, environmentalism, and Eastern and indigenous thought that flow through Brand’s entire life form a powerful gestalt, a California state of mind that has a hegemonic power to this day. His way of thinking embraces a true planetary consciousness that may be the best hope we humans collectively have.
This book provides a holistic consideration of climate change that goes beyond pure science, fleshing out the discussion by considering cultural, historical, and policy-driven aspects of this important issue. • Contributions from more than 100 experts • Excerpts from reports from international organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) • Transcripts of speeches from world leaders on the climate change issue • Sidebars on the "climate-history connection" explore the possible links between climate and key events through history, such as the Classical Maya collapse • Essential, annotated primary sources • Quotes from policy makers, scientists, eyewitnesses to climate change, and social and cultural leaders
To do what no other magazine does: Deliver simple, delicious food, plus expert health and lifestyle information, that's exclusively vegetarian but wrapped in a fresh, stylish mainstream package that's inviting to all. Because while vegetarians are a great, vital, passionate niche, their healthy way of eating and the earth-friendly values it inspires appeals to an increasingly large group of Americans. VT's goal: To embrace both.
French-American interrelationships in the areas of design and creative thinking have been under-acknowledged. It is normally asserted that French architects looked to North America for technical lessons in the development of modern architecture in the 1960s but that the French cultural environment was generally hostile to American ideas. This book includes interviews with French architects who visited the United States in the 1960s-1970s and then assumed influential positions in the press and education in France. Some of these architects found in non-mainstream America and its radical groups of architectural drop-outs a liberating force, free of the taint of American capitalism and the high-investment technology. Often living in alternative student communities, they saw highly innovative, low-cost technical and structural systems placed in the service of collective forms of living which represented a critique not only of professional architectural practice but also of bourgeois forms of living. Many of them also studied in American schools of architecture and came in contact with an intellectual and interdisciplinary style of architectural education unavailable in France at that time.