New Zealand is punching above its weight when it comes to innovation but we still have a long way to go to be a worthy competitor to Silicon Valley. I hope the Committee listens to my recommendations and uses this opportunity to massively accelerate Kiwi entrepreneurship.
I’ve received some good feedback about my presentation to Parliament. People can’t believe how bored the politicians looked. I was the last speaker of the day, at the end of a 2 hour+ session, so they probably wanted to wrap it up. I was pleased that the Chair Dr Deborah Russell acknowledged and supported my point on inclusiveness.
The following submission was sent in by John Holt, who founded the Kiwi Landing Pad which has helped more than 6000 New Zealanders launch their businesses in San Francisco and elsewhere. I agree with everything he’s saying, he has some great ideas about metrics.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can’t attend in person, the event will be streamed here starting at 6:30pm PT.
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:
About a quarter of all sites on the World Wide Web run on WordPress, a phenomenal achievement from Billionaire2 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.