From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the by Fred Turner

By Fred Turner

Within the early Nineteen Sixties, desktops haunted the yankee well known mind's eye. Bleak instruments of the chilly warfare, they embodied the inflexible association and mechanical conformity that made the military-industrial complicated attainable. yet by means of the 1990s—and the sunrise of the Internet—computers began to symbolize a truly varied form of international: a collaborative and electronic utopia modeled at the communal beliefs of the hippies who so vehemently rebelled opposed to the chilly battle institution within the first place. 

From Counterculture to Cyberculture is the 1st publication to discover this striking and ironic transformation. Fred Turner the following lines the formerly untold tale of a hugely influential team of San Francisco Bay–area marketers: Stewart model and the Whole Earth community. among 1968 and 1998, through such known venues because the nationwide publication Award–winning Whole Earth Catalog, the pc conferencing process often called good, and, finally, the release of the wildly winning Wired journal, model and his colleagues brokered a long-running collaboration among San Francisco flower energy and the rising technological hub of Silicon Valley. because of their imaginative and prescient, counterculturalists and technologists alike joined jointly to reimagine pcs as instruments for private liberation, the construction of digital and decidedly replacement groups, and the exploration of daring new social frontiers. 

Shedding new mild on how our networked tradition got here to be, this attention-grabbing e-book reminds us that the space among the thankful useless and Google, among Ken Kesey and the pc itself, isn't as nice as we would think.
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Extra resources for From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

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Even as they built the large military research projects and the massive weapons that would come to symbolize cold war technocracy, the researchers of SAGE and later projects carried forward a collaborative style and a rhetoric of collaboration born in the weapons laboratories of World War II. The Countercultural Embrace of Technology and Consciousness Even though it grew out of and facilitated interdisciplinary forms of cooperation, the computational metaphor did not yet carry with it the visions of a disembodied, egalitarian polis and the postinstitutional, peer-to-peer marketplace with which it would be associated in the mid-1990s.

Even so, Brand suffered from a deep fear of technological Armageddon. ” For the young Stewart Brand, as for many other American children in the era, the possibility that the world might come to an end at any moment hung steadily in the air. As a child, he recalled, “I had a nightmare— one of those horrible, vivid, never forget nightmares—there was chaos and then I looked around and I was the only person left alive in Rockford . . a knee-high creature. ”3 By the time Brand reached college, alongside the dread of nuclear holocaust, another fear lurked as well: the fear of growing up to become the kind of adult who lived and worked in a hyperrationalized world.

72 T h e S h i ft i n g P o l i t i c s o f t h e C o m p u t at i o n a l M e t a p h o r [ 33 ] Many of these new communities sprang up on hillsides and wooded lots far from America’s urban capitals. Former hippies from the Haight, for instance, helped establish farms and rural homesteads in northern California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Tennessee. Other communes came to life in the apartments and row houses of Berkeley, Cambridge, and many other cities, often in direct confrontation with long-standing ordinances prohibiting cohabitation by groups of unmarried adults.

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