WHOLE EARTH CATALOG Understanding Whole Systems. Buckminster Fuller. Cosmic View. Full Earth. Earth Photographs. The World From Above. Electronic edition of Whole Earth Catalog Fall eBooks are dual-layer PDF files, which means that you will be able to select and copy text from them. Between and , Stewart Brand published The Whole Earth Catalog. For Kevin Kelly, the Catalog was essentially "a paper-based.
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According to Stewart Brand, the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, the story of the catalog begins with Buckminster Fuller. In , under the combined. Brand's most influential project, The Whole Earth Catalog, first published in , can be considered the bible of The Catalog as PDF: Fall / Spring The Whole Earth Catalog (WEC) was an American counterculture magazine and product .. Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
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. Beneath it were the words: Stay Foolish. Stay Hungry. And I have always wished that for myself.
Whole Earth Catalog
And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you. Were you surprised when you heard that, I ask Brand. And I signed one and sent it off to him. That was the first inkling I had that it mattered to him. But I wish I'd had a chance to really quiz him on what he got from that. That though he took great care to make sure that it did accumulate, it was a way to keep himself two-minded about it. I think it may have been the way of dealing with the innovator's dilemma, where to keep building on the new innovations you have to destroy the wonderful thing you built a couple of years ago.
We were: That was what it was all about. I was an early hippy as it turned out, and Steve Jobs was a late hippy, and we were paying attention to the beatniks and the late hippies were paying attention to the early hippies and so it goes on.
And for those puzzled by the confluence of Steve Jobs's professed peace'n'love ideals and his life spent making shiny consumer durables, Fred Turner points out that the Catalog was at its heart "deeply consumerist". I hadn't really thought of in that way but as Turner says "it's full of stuff to download. All those down jackets and kayaks. It's one of the first places you see the earliest mountain bikes.
There was nothing in Brand's background to suggest that he would become this pivotal figure. He was brought up in Rockford, Illinois, where his father worked in advertising and his mother was a Vassar-educated space fanatic, an enthusiasm that rubbed off on her son. He studied biology at Stanford and then had a stint in the army where he became a "weekend hippy and weekday soldier".
It was meeting the Beats that changed everything. He took up photography and started photographing Native American reservations around the country and it is was this link that led him to Ken Kesey, who had featured a Native American as a central character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. So I went on by and was met at the door by somebody with a joint.
Next thing I knew I was part of the scene. But his encounter with Kesey came at the same time as his encounter with another San Francisco phenomenon. They were out of their bodies in this game that they'd created out of nothing.
It was the only way to describe it. They were having an out-of-body experience and up until that time the only out-of-body experiences I'd seen were drugs.
It wasn't until that Brand wrote about it, and he still wrote about it before anyone else, in Rolling Stone magazine, an article that is so prophetic, it's almost hallucinatory. Brand's revelation, that he understood before almost anyone else, was that cyberspace was some sort of fourth dimension and the possibilities were both empowering and limitless. At that time, computers weren't hip. They weren't cool.
Whole Earth Catalog Fall 1968
They were controlled by faceless corporations and the military. They were Big Business and authority, or, as they said then, "The Man". And a fair number of the hippies bought that programme. I guess Steve Jobs is the most conspicuous one. He was a total hippy, his last words were 'Oh wow' — he said it three times, according to his sister. It was also the starting point for another of Brand's most famously repeated ideas: Up until now, he noted, power has been in the hands of "government, big business, formal education, church".
But now "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. The whole thing was to keep people from knowing how to do things.
So Diderot was in my mind. And so was the LL Bean catalogue which was full of outdoors stuff. His hero was Buckminster Fuller, a futurist architect and designer, who he says "bent my twig" with what Brand calls a "psychedelic version of engineering".
So where's the real juice here?
Lots of people try and change human nature but it's a real waste of time. You can't change human nature, but you can change tools, you can change techniques.
Kevin Kelly, the founding editor of Wired magazine, tells me how he first came across the Catalog when he was still in high school "and it changed my life. But then it changed everybody's life.
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It inspired me not to go to college but to go and try and live out my own life. It was like being given permission to invent your own life. That was what the Catalog did. It was called 'access to tools' and it gave you tools to create your own education, your own business, your own life. Chris Anderson, the later editor of Wired , who is younger than both Brand and Kelly, says that he is absolutely the inheritor of the Catalog's "chain of influence".
Who inspired the open-source software movement. Who inspired the open-source hardware movement which inspired the maker movement who inspired me.
What's perhaps most remarkable about Brand, though, is the way that he himself has stayed hungry, has stayed foolish. Markoff says that his extraordinary capacity to be at the edge of the change "has puzzled me for years. Some people will be at the heart of one event but not over and over a long period of time. It can't be happenstance to keep on doing it.
He made millions from the Catalog but gave most of it away. Holding up the mirror to global wholeness, through these images we imagine the Earth as a whole — as a systemic totality and a systemic unity. Open to its solar environment, the Earth as a whole is also, and paradoxically, more than the totality of its parts.
System differentiation is nothing more than the repetition within systems of the difference between system and environment.
Through it, the whole system uses itself as environment in forming its own subsystems. In this manner Gaia closely resembles, while not precisely being, a living organism. Margulis and Lovelock 2 Gaia is also better conceived not holistically — as a part of the solar system as a whole — but systems-theoretically, as a metabiotic system gravitationally bound to an abiotic solar environment.
It seems that he thought the whole thing up in a reverie on a late-night cross-country flight: A Catalog of goods that owed nothing to the suppliers and everything to the users.
Brand, History So he jotted the idea down. Eileen Crist and H. Bruce Rinker. His lectures would go on about how beautiful and impressive and remarkable it was as a sphere, and they would catch on that resources were not infinite and that basically we were dealing with an island, a continent.
Brand, phone interview, October 30, For Brand the image of the Earth as a sphere seen from space reinforced both its systemic unity and its systemic closure, its cosmic finitude. Figure 2. Whole Earth Catalog Spring , 3 — detail. At the same time, Fuller famously expressed a holistic systems perspective in his appropriation of the term synergy from prior religious and scientific usages. Wealth is the progressive mastery of matter by mind. New York: George Braziller, Worse still, I was never able to distinguish his optimism from plain egomania; I would not have been surprised to hear him announce that he had invented a better tree.
The man got around. See Figure 3 Figure 3. It can only be comprehended by metaphysical mind, guided by bearings toward something sensed as truth. Only metaphysical mind can communicate. Brain is only an information storing and retrieving instrument.
Telephones cannot communicate; only the humans who use the instruments. Man is metaphysical mind. No mind — no communication — no man. Physical transactions without mind — YES. Communication — NO.
Man is a self- contained, micro-communicating system. Humanity is a macro- communicating system. Universe is a serial communicating system; a scenario of only partially overlapping, nonsimultaneous, irreversible, transformative events. If Man is metaphysical mind, then He is not ultimately divided from but a part of the Universal Mind. This discourse ends up fracturing his holistic monism. That conceptual rift is duplicated when next Fuller turned back from minds to brains.
The reliability of all this imagining has been so constant that he now tends to think he sees only outside himself. But in fact, it is a warm-up for the proposition of a metaphysical empiricism linked to the speculation of a mental faculty for transmitting and receiving psychic vibrations to and from other minds. The very high-frequency electro-magnetic waves of radio and television get badly deflected by obstacles. As a consequence, man learned to beam short wave television programs from horizon to horizon.
He developed parabolic transceiver reflectioning cups that took in and sent out waves in parallel beam-focused rays. It may well be that human eyes are just such infra- sized parabolic transceiver cups.
Fuller, Introduction 28 The climax of this scenario of cosmic communication, I would imagine, accompanied by nonlinear sitar strains, still floats in the ether on Hippie Hill: It is quite possible that thoughts may be eye-beamed outwardly not only from Earth to bounce back to Earth at some later period from some celestially-mirroring object, but also that thoughts might be beamed — through non-interfering space to be accidentally received upon Earth — from other planets elsewhere in Universe.
There is nothing in the data to suggest that the phenomenon we speak of as intuitive thought may not be just such remote cosmic transmissions. Fuller, Introduction Why stop at the limit of metaphysical thought transmissions beamed from alien sources? Perhaps our physical bodies, too, were beamed to Earth by teleportation from alien locations. Twenty years earlier Norbert Wiener had vouched for the technical feasibility of transporting material bodies through communications devices Wiener Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, Bruce Clarke and Linda D.
Stanford: Stanford University Press, Ether: The 6othing that Connects Everything.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Peter Weingart and Bernd Huppauf. New York: Fordham University Press, Steps to an Ecology of Systems: Whole Earth and Systemic Holism Because humans consist of a myriad of atoms and because atoms are themselves electro-magnetic frequency event phenomena — not things — it is theoretically possible that the complex frequencies of which humans are constituted, together with their angular interpositioning, could be scanningly unraveled and transmitted beamwise into the celestial void.
It is not theoretically impossible in terms of the total physical data that humans may have been transmitted to Earth in the past from vast distances.
Fuller, Introduction 30 Nor was this idea a momentary notion. His scenario is actually anti-holistic, that is to say, reductionist: it can proceed only by putting synergy in reverse and reducing complex organic qualities to signals coding informatic quantities.
His systems thought spilled into the rarified swamps of notional transcendentalism. Fuller was essentially a Platonist, not an ecologist.
And this recalcitrant idealism may account to some extent for his eventual replacement in the Whole Earth firmament by another, quite different pole star. In its own intellectual catholicity and achieved practicality, the Catalog was far more down to Earth than this side of Fuller.
For all of its technoscientific enthusiasms — often in pointed contrast to the demonization of technology abroad in other regions of the counterculture — the WEC was always also committed to green thinking.
Stewart Brand was also strongly in touch with less idiosyncratic, more incisive and enduring lines of cybernetics and systems theory.
Figure 4. The first CoEvolution Quarterly, front cover. So it commences where the Catalog left off, with page , and does not repeat any of the material in the Catalog. Through him I became convinced that much more of whole systems could be understood than I thought, and that much more existed wholesomely beyond understanding than I thought — that mysticism, mood, ignorance, and paradox could be rigorous, for instance, and that the most potent tool for grasping these essences — these influence nets — is cybernetics.
The cult following he enjoyed or endured during the s, documented and to some extent abetted by the press he received in CQ, was well deserved, even as the current deficits in the recognition of his intellectual importance are not. But they are understandable: his reputation has suffered as part of the larger historical amnesia over or trivialization of the California counterculture. With the axxent hardware range, we offer a new generation of concealed products that support the clear design and clean lines characteristic of modern architecture.
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We can Open the catalog to page 11 Window hardware The truly universal hardware system.Thompson, William Irwin. The secret of the earth is not a joke and not a paradox.
Brand's career is as extraordinary and eclectic as they come. Henderson, Linda D.
Around this time there were special WECs on other topics e. Neoteny in itself is of course not enough to p r o d u c e these evolutionary bursts of adaptive radiations. Such academic knowledge and reputation rarely come with wisdom and openness. Advertise With Us. The tendency to deny all previous values in favour of their opposites is therefore just as exaggerated as the former one-sidedness.