: From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (): Fred Turner . Journal of e-Media Studies Volume I, Issue 1, Spring Dartmouth College Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth. From Counterculture to Cyberculture Fred Turner here traces the previously untold story of a highly influential group of San Francisco Bay–area.
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It basically argues that the counterculture ethos of the the ‘s had a profound affect on the libertarian formation of what has come to be called cyberspace.
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Digital utopianism continues to morph with the rise of th As a life-long student of communication, I somehow missed this one by Fred Turner at Stanford. Books by Fred Turner.
Between andvia such familiar venues as the National Book Award—winning Whole Earth Catalogthe computer conferencing system known as WELL, and, ultimately, the launch of the wildly successful Wired magazine, Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running collaboration between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley.
I gave it a 2 instead of a 1 only because of nostalgia. A well-researched profile of Stewart Brand and his cohort, illustrating not only the nuances of the historical connection between communalist strains of the 60s counterculture and internet optimism post-cyberdelia in a more careful and accurate way than What the Dormouse Said but the incredible power of Brand’s own reputation-building and power-building techniques which have been more recently replicated by Tim O’Reilley.
Sep 07, David rated it really liked it. It was an optimistic, quintessentially American as I see it idealism which was enshrined in the first online communities like The WELLin companies like Apple, and which was communicated to the world by Wired magazine — for all of whom the Internet, and digital communication generally, stood as the prototype of a newly decentralized, nonhierarchical society linked by invisible bits in a single harmonious network.
Apr 30, Philip Palios rated it it was amazing. An excellent study of the history and relationship between the counter-culture of the 60s and 70s and the emergence of personal computing and the Internet. Between andvia such familiar venues as the National Book Award—winning Whole Earth Catalog, the computer conferencing system known as WELL, and ultimately, the launch of the wildly successful Wired magazine, Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running encounter between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley.
He’s writing to his academic cronies and I guess he’s writing to impress them, but it’s definitely not for laymen, because he takes a chronology of events, times, places, people, things, happenings, big ideas, etc, et al, and bores you to tears while also beating you over the head with redundancy until you want to bash your head into a concrete wall.
No trivia or quizzes yet. I’m docking it one star only perhaps because of my own shortcomings as a reader due to lack of practice – this took me two years to finish. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Fascinating central argument connecting 60s counterculture to the Internet, well researched, well written, insightful, etc. The focus is on Stewart Brand and his circle, but it branches out a bit to consider the ideas of Norbert Wiener and other theorists.
Shedding new light on how our networked culture came to be, this fascinating book reminds us that the distance between the Grateful Dead and Google, between Ken Kesey and the computer itself, is not as great as we might think. Refresh and try again. I even thought that the breakpoint that let corporations take over the Internet was right before the first Internet bubble burst, back when I worked in “new media” after I graduate college in ’97, ‘ Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network.
According to Stern, the show was designed to lead viewers from “overload to spiritual meditation. Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network. Alas, this idyllic world was not to be. To ask other readers questions about From Counterculture to Cybercultureplease sign up. It gets four stars instead of five because the prose is dense, businesslike, and somewhat repetitive. From Counterculture to Cyberculture is the first book to explore this extraordinary and ironic transformation.
Instead, this garbage kills any interest I’ve ever had in the subject and I’m almost embarrassed now to have been on such a cool and influential BBS as The WELL after Turner has turned his destructive powers of total boredom on it. Trivia About From Countercultu Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.
From Counterculture to Cyberculture
Right-wingers began organising digital conferences, pallying up to the big countercultture, and in return winning approbation and promotion from the digital community. Overall, a worthy read, even if scant on details with particular events I’d have liked to hear more about. I had been wanting to read it for so long and had really been looking forward to it. Formal and Complex Organizations.
And above all he is conscious of the way in which cultures can be actively shaped and molded, can come to define themselves and others, by people like Stewart Brand.
From Counterculture to Cyberculture
The reality has been quite different. I had never heard of Brand before, and perhaps if you already know about him counterculhure you don’t need to be countreculture why he matters; I did, and I wasn’t. A well-woven history of the ’60s counterculture, as personified in Stewart Brand, and its evolution into the cyberculture that came to prominence in the s with the Internet boom and, in some small part, informs the digital culture of today.
By this show had morphed into a program called “We R All One,” in which USCO deployed slide and film projections, oscilloscopes, music, strobes, and live dancers to create a sensory cacophony. If you are a student or an academic, then you might get on with this read. Turner believes information technologies were embraced for their potential to achieve personal and collective salvation – to finally deliver upon the dreams that led to the 60s counterxulture movement – by building new communities.
Apr 17, David Mayes rated it really liked it. It was popular with hippies and commune-dwellers — and, because it depended on user contributions for its reviews counerculture editorials, it also became enormously influential among those who would go on to build the new technological world. View all 4 comments. And though focused on revealing the importance of a political and cultural ideology within a network of people, Turner tells the story from the perspective of the lone genius entrepreneur.
The Freudian Robot Lydia H. Many of the people discussed in the book were considered among the couterculture elite at the time. God, counterculgure book sucks. Ideals have fallen by the wayside in favor of commercial interests, and the democratic, everyone-has-his-own-soapbox Internet envisioned by the digital elites has instead given way to walled gardens and tightly controlled platforms.
By no means a hagiography of Brand or anyone else, Turner is quick to point out the shortcomings and failings of the movement, both in its manifestation of hippie back-to-the-land fantasies, and its co-evolution with the digital culture birthed by the rise A well-woven history of the ’60s counterculture, as personified in Stewart Brand, and its evolution into the cyberculture that came to prominence in the s with the Internet boom and, in some small part, informs the digital culture of today.
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https: If you’ve ever been at all curious about the roots of modern Silicon Valley culture – its utopianism, its corporate organization, its ideals – this book will explain all that and more, in remarkably engaging prose for an academic text. His major work was the Whole Earth Catalogan odd, of-its-time publication which combined articles on self-sufficiency with mail-order listings for a range of inspirational books, DIY tools, frontiersman clothing, and assorted accoutrements.
In the early s, computers haunted the American popular imagination.