Incoming links
from re-enchantment
  • Aside from the particular word it doesn't seem very new; the same spirit animated the hippies fifty years ago and many others. I remember first seeing the Whole Earth Catalog and becoming excited that here was an approach to technology that wasn't dull and corporate and rationalist, but in some way alive and magical.
from Kevin Kelly
  • A technology writer who covers some of the same themes I do. Kelly was the editor of Wired and before that associated with Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog and sort of incarnates the more libertarian techno-optimist strain of thinking from that quarter.
from Martin Buber
  • Despite my Jewish background, I think I found I and Thou via the Whole Earth Catalog and Ken Kesey:
from Stewart Brand
  • Best known as the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, Stewart Brand has been involved in all sorts of interesting projects, from Doug Engelbart's radically innovative computer systems to George Church's efforts to revive extinct species.
from Agency Made Me Do It
  • We are all forced to be practitioners of agency, forced to construct ourselves as agents, and we might as well get better at it. Like the Whole Earth Catalog, I'm just trying to make the tools more accessible.
from Christopher Alexander
from Being a Robust Agent
  • One of my heroes, Stewart Brand, famously promoted something akin to this stance with his Whole Earth Catalog mottos: "Access to Tools" and "We are as Gods and Might as well get Good at It". Tools for what? It doesn't matter, whatever you might want to do (in this case, "you" was a subset of hippies and people interested in alternative ways of living).
from conflict theory

Whole Earth Catalog

04 Mar 2021 11:00 - 10 Jul 2021 09:44

    • See Stewart Brand. The Catalog was a major early influence on me, particularly in its stance that one could be interested in anything and pursue anything. There was a Whole Earth Bookstore in Evanston, IL where I grew up, which is where I found both the catalog and Ted Nelson's Computer Lib/Dream Machines. When I went off to MIT I managed to fall in with a bunch of Whole Earth-friendly fellow students who were into alternative energy and other alternatives; later I got to actually share an office with SB himself in the early days of the Media Lab.
    • It's hard to remember what the world was like before the Internet, but back then you didn't have access to all the world's information and resources at your fingertips. There were daily papers and network news and that was it. The public library had plenty of stuff but it tended to be somewhat out of date. The Catalogs opened up a whole world of alternatives and underground scenes and innovations.
    • One distinctive voice I remember from the Whole Earth publications was Anne Herbert, an editor and writer who added a warm, female, humanist note with her little side observations. She seemed to have faded out of the scene; I found this web page about her and her work at
    • Here's the one time that I got a mention in Whole Earth Review for some of my Vivarium Project work, in 1989.