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:

 

 

Burners.Me Now Synched To SteemIt and Sharpay

About a quarter of all sites on the World Wide Web run on WordPress, a phenomenal achievement from Billionaire 2 commas Burner Matt Mullenweg – although it is eclipsed by Burning Man chief technology guru Brian Behlendorf’s Apache which is running 38.2% of the Web (Jan 2018).

Anyone using WordPress should check out the plugin Steempress, which I’ve just installed here. Everything we post at Burners.Me will automatically get shared on Twitter, Facebook, and on the blockchain forever via Steemit.

Censorship and the “Internet 3” idea of paying you to use the software instead of stealing your data for advertisers is driving many people away from the “Internet 2” social media platforms. Steemit is the best of the new ones, and stories of people making more than $10,000 there just from posting, liking and sharing are now common. In 2 years one blogger made more than $127,000 and popular YouTuber #truther Titus Frost has made around $36,500. I’m not quite in their league, with around $420 in the last 6 months, but I am enjoying the uncensored platform and the friendly community there.

Speaking of smart, friendly, and tech-savvy community [drink!]…It’s 2018, why haven’t BMorg embraced crypto yet? Larry said they would when asked about it in 2013.

Steemit is the new Facebook, and Presearch is the new Google. We’ve also added the Sharpay sharing button. Just by sharing stories from here, you can now earn cryptocurrency. Gifting, meet Decommodification. Radical Self Reliance, meet Radical Self Expression. Communal Effort…well, you get my drift. It’s an economy without money, based on goodness and liking and sharing! We’re making the world a better place, and if we don’t succeed, at least everyone got paid while it happened. Internet 3 is the opposite concept of volunteerism or surveillance capitalism.


 

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Burning Man’s First Technology Guru Fighting #fakenews

The blockchain offers a new world of possibility, not just for crypto-currency or providing disaster relief, but also for truth – something I am extremely interested in.

It seems I’m not the only one. Burning Man’s first Chief Technology Guru, Brian Behlendorf, is one of the whales of the tech industry.

Screenshot 2017-09-20 18.17.38

Screenshot 2017-09-20 18.19.18

Image: LinkedIn

BB went on from Burning Man to Davos and the World Economic Forum, and is on the board of the EFF and popular “secure” communications app Wickr. He also used to run the SFRaves mailing list. Oh, and half of the entire World Wide Web runs on his Apache web server – which is open source.

old skool raver

Old skool raver

His plan to fight fake news? Put Snopes on the blockchain. Get the list of “what’s fake news” and record that on the blockchain so everyone can rely on it as absolute fact.

The title of the video is “what if the Internet could not tell a lie”, but in fact what he is describing is a single source on the Internet telling us what is a lie and what isn’t – driven by Snopes.

There has been a massive purge of “alternative news” channels and videos on YouTube since the Progressives were defeated in the election by a huge margin. Facebook, GoogleYouTube, Twitter, Snopes and Reddit were all caught trying to silence conservative voices and stories, while promoting all sorts of things from cultural marxism to communism to child abuse to cannibalism.

Meanwhile, the Snopes founder spent all the company’s money on hookers and blow – and then hired the hookers to be fact-checkers and married one of them. You couldn’t make this shit up. Not only that but he just easily crowdsourced nearly a million bucks more, despite this abysmal track record of fraud allegations over the use of company funds for personal pleasures.

This is who Brian Behlendorf thinks we should use on the blockchain to determine “truth” once and for all? Yes, seriously, it is. Watch the video.

In other bizarro alt-media news, Alex Jones of InfoWars also married an escort…allegedly.

Who says any of these organizations should just be assigned the role of determining complex arguments, such as the JFK Assassination – where the CIA just “lost” an entire volume of their files on Lee Harvey Oswald, after years of stonewalling their release. Are we to believe the official conspiracy theory of 9/11, 19 hijackers with box cutter knives? The University of Alaska just completely debunked the official story about the collapse of Building 7, which was not hit by any plane – so what is true? The official government story, or the scientific conclusions? Why not record the case for and against any topic under debate, present the evidence for both sides, and let the people decide what they find most compelling.

Snopes, Google and Facebook do not deserve to become the arbiters of truth. What ever happened to Objective Truth, “truth is truth”?

There is only one truth, everything else is just opinion. Let the truth speak for itself, and if there are questions over truth or arguments of “alternative facts”, let’s get them ON THE RECORD too. Get all the evidence out, record the Grammar and the Rhetoric, let the people use Logic and decide for themselves. We need the pertinent facts and documents out there in the public domain. And then debate their existence, authenticity, or relevance.

2017_02_06-fake-news-facebook_homepage-3-22986784367

What we actually need is to use the blockchain to record truth and facts. Record all the stories around a topic – even the rumors – and let people expand on them or deny them with opinions and evidence. Like WikiPedia, but one that can’t be censored for political or other, more shadowy reasons. Bitcoin is not really suitable for something like this, Ethereum is better with its smart contracts capability, but both these blockchains are busy doing financial transactions. What is needed is links to an immutable data store like the Internet Archive. In some cases the amount of data around a topic (such as JFK, or Burning Man) will be very large. Other topics, such as disaster relief using the blockchain, are newer and easier to get one’s head around with less controversial content.

The point I agree with BB on is that decentralized, distributed ledger technology is the best hope we have to fight against censorship. Will the solution come from those deep within the Deep State? Or from We The People?