Stewart Brand Livestream: 50 Years of Whole Earth Catalog

Live today at 6:30pm PST. Tune in via this page.

Re-blogged from Reinvent.Net

Fifty years ago the Whole Earth Catalog burst onto the cultural scene and helped set in motion waves of innovation that reverberated through the San Francisco Bay Area and the rest of America – and that continue to this day. The one-and-only Stewart Brand was the creative force behind that unique media publication and cultural phenomenon and we’re honored that he’s going to talk about the Whole Earth’s intellectual and entrepreneurial legacy at the June gathering of What’s Now: San Francisco.

In 1968 the publication of the first Whole Earth Catalog with the first photo of the whole earth seen from space started to bring coherence to an emerging worldview that broke with 20th century models and pointed to a very different decentralized, sustainable and holistic future empowered by new kinds of tools and technologies. Over the years that strange amalgam of magazine, tools catalog and how-to book inspired a generation who took that worldview and applied it in numerous fields. Steve Jobs famously credited the Whole Earth Catalog and Stewart Brand with inspiring his vision for Apple – and some of today’s young tech founders still are inspired by it and come to Stewart for advice. But the Whole Earth also made a big impact on the environmental movement, the early internet, the maker movement, organic farming, architecture and city planning, health and wellness, and the list goes on.

No one arguably has done more to stimulate innovation in so many directions over so many years in the Bay Area than Stewart Brand. The Whole Earth Catalog was simply one act in a long line of innovative organizations he has helped found or new ideas he has helped introduce. The legacy of the Whole Earth Catalog can get tangled up in the many other projects that Stewart has been involved with in the ensuing five decades: the first online community at The WELL, the pioneering futures think tank Global Business Network, The Long Now Foundation building a 10,000 year clock with help from Jeff Bezos, or his latest Revive and Restore, working to reverse extinction. (For more on Stewart, just Google him or watch one of his six – yes, six – TED talks.)

Join us on the evening of June 7th as we hold a conversation with Stewart that lays out some of the strands of the legacy of the Whole Earth Catalog at our What’s Now: San Francisco event, done in collaboration with Capgemini at their Applied Innovation Exchange. We expect to also draw into the conversation some prominent people who were impacted by the Whole Earth Catalog and consider themselves as part of the legacy. To what extent did the Whole Earth Catalog or its derivatives impact their thinking or inspire the formation of their own entrepreneurial efforts? As is our custom, we’ll make sure to open up the conversation to all those who attend. Mark your calendars for June 7 for what is sure to be a truly memorable evening. And if you can’t make it, or if we run out of room, we’ll be live-streaming it for all to see.

Capgemini and their Applied Innovation Exchange is our partner for this series. This event is free but requires advance registration through an invite. If you are interested in attending, email contact@reinvent.net. If you can’t attend in person, the event will be streamed here starting at 6:30pm PT.


We also talked about Stewart before in The New Communalists and The Greatest Cultural Movement of Our Time. If there is an award for mastermind of Silicon Valley, I nominate him. Here’s what he said about Burning Man:

Burning Man, they have surpassed in every way the various things we were attempting with the Acid Tests and the Trips Festival, Burning Man has realized with such depth and thoroughness and ongoing originality and ability to scale and minimalist rules, but enough rules that you can function, and all the things we were farting around with, Larry Harvey has really pulled off. I don’t think that would have come to pass without going through whatever that spectrum of the ’60s was, the prism of the ’60s, the spectrum of bright colors that we espoused for a while. It all got exacerbated by the Internet and sequence of computer-related booms, but I think it flavored a whole lot of the basic nature of Burning Man. Its Hellenism was replaced by Hellenistic Period, driven out by Alexandria and that was basically better. I think that’s to some extent true in this case.

Stanford counterculture professor Fred Turner (a Burner) asked Stewart about Self-Reliance Sufficiency:

Stewart gets a few mentions in our look last year on the 50th anniversary of the Human Be-in at the Bay Area’s counter-cultural legacy:

 

 

Playa Wear Trunk Shows Coming Up

If you’re in San Francisco, whether you’re going to Burning Man or not you might want to check these shows out. Always a fun crowd, and you’re supporting your fellow Burner fashion artists.

Lorelei says:

wanted you to know about a few Amazing Playa sales coming up for costumes to help Burner culture be able to radically express themselves to the fullest on the playa. These sales are like a box of crayons as they offer something for everyone from fairy, steampunk, hippie, leather feather, gypsy swank, tribal fusion and so much more. Carefully curated New pieces from all over the world to your local used thrift store scores. Not to be missed. These events are full of happy customers who were thrilled to get unique playa outfits at AFFORDABLE PRICES! Let your camp mates know & go together to coordinate your playa gear.

San Francisco Sales: 615 Indiana St | SF (Warehouse on same street as SF Decompression)
July 25th: https://www.facebook.com/events/780609732053508/
Aug. 9th: https://www.facebook.com/events/1613007802280058/
Aug. 22 &23rd: https://www.facebook.com/events/465793750256053/

Only East Bay Sale: Subterranean Arthouse | 2179 Bancroft Way| Berkeley
Aug. 2nd: https://www.facebook.com/events/478443448989696/

25 July at 11:00
615 Indiana Street, San Francisco
401 people joined
Video

Well Deserved

WellDeserved.Me, the latest San Francisco startup, has found a way to monetize the unmonetizable. Sign up now for the beta.

This video made me think of AirBnB listings at Burning Man.

Screenshot 2015-03-13 01.20.08

 

It’s sort of like what Mass Mosaic, Burners with a world-changing idea to create abundance, are doing in real life: Gifting to Create a World of Plenty.

There’s more SF humor in the Broke-Ass Stuart story Things That Only Happen in San Francisco.

 

Things That Only Happen in San Francisco

Broke-Ass Stuart brings us a couple of amusing takes on San Francisco city life.

Things are a little different over here in Marin!

This one contains an interesting pro-tip at the end for Burners who don’t want to spend 8 hours in the sun at Will Crawl (or 90 minutes at their keyboards in Ticket Hell):

Before you race to spend twenty bucks, you should be aware that Buzzfeed said Burners using TaskRabbit is “rejecting everything the Playa stands for”

The Kinda Late Show with Broke-Ass Stuart is a new monthly live show with a San Francisco slant.

BAS_BookAd_v1.1The Kinda Late Show with Broke-Ass Stuart is a live “late night” style show with a distinctive San Francisco slant.

There are unbelievable live performances, famous musicians, titilating interviews, and hilarious video sketches. Plus there will be Broke-Ass Stuart in a suit, behind a desk, talking shit as usual.

Guest have included:
Kari Byron (MythBusters)
Veronica Belmont (Tekzilla, Sword and Lazer)
Boots Riley (The Coup, Street Sweeper Social Club)
Josh Constine (Tech Crunch)
Gabi Moskowitz (BrokeAss Gourmet)
and many more.

You have never seen a late night show as weird and wonderful as this.

The last show sold out. As with Burning Man…get a ticket if you can find one. Or get in line.

What Comes Next?

Image: Livin-Lively/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Livin-Lively/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Burning Man is dead, proclaims the San Francisco Chronicle. Grover Norquist and some hackers killed it. So, what comes next? Apparently, low tech partying with carrier pigeons in Bakersfield…

Burning Man got killed by hackers and Grover Norquist. What’s next?

Burning Man is so over.

This isn’t exactly news in some quarters. It’s been 10 years since I last went to Burning Man, and I remember meeting burners who were complaining about the “new people” and their “new ways” back then…the last couple of years have brought such an avalanche of sad developments — from Grover Norquist’s caravan to the luxury camps of tech millionaires — that I think we can all agree it’s time to close the book on Burning Man’s “10 Principles” of radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, blah blah blah.

It was always a stretch of the imagination for the Burning Man organization to espouse those things when tickets cost hundreds of dollars and attending the event requires a time and material investment of several hundred dollars more…

So what comes next? It’s an interesting question, because the need for something like Burning Man has grown, not diminished.

The Bay Area may have a secular culture, but we’re still deeply attached to religious ritual — hence all the desperate talk of meaningful work and businesses that are going to change the world. Burning Man’s annual cycle, detailed behaviorial restrictions and ethos of purification all served the ritual purposes that so many people seem to need. Whatever comes next will likely have some of those elements as well…

My hunch is that the next “event” will start in an unexpected place and focus on being as low tech as possible.

I’m thinking about a place like Bakersfield or Fontana — a place with a lot of foreclosed houses and a distracted population.

It won’t sound as attractive as partying in the desert, but in time that will become a bonus. An unsexy locale will weed out the riffraff and be more environmentally friendly, to boot — reusing and recycling are always better than having to restore an environment that should have been left alone in the first place.

As for the low-tech element, that too will become part of the event’s founding mythology: “Imagine a brief moment in time and space where people gather together to celebrate, via information they receive from handwritten tickets, word of mouth, and carrier pigeons.”

If it sounds good now, it’s going to sound amazing by 2020.

Read the full article at the SF Chronicle.