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Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Influence D: Stewart Brand 
Everyone read The Whole Earth Catalog. It was the guide to the new age.

It was more than a guide for me. I took the model and published imMEDIAte at my college. It was a guide to all the resources for being creative at the University. For example, where to get printing, etc. And Stewart Brand's openness talking about the business was the best part (see Salli Raspberry - Influence B). Access was the key word.

After the WEC and few years, the Co-Evolution Quarterly came out (first as a supplement Harpers). This magazine had a catalog component but focused more on article. Some time later it became the Whole Earth Magazine, which is still struggling to publish. Many of the writers and editors that were critical to the success of Wired Magazine where first working with Stewart at WEM. (I once proposed an article to him about using spare payload space on satellites to launch a Geo-Sync satellite that constantly beamed back a picture of the earth.)

While Whole Earth was a significant influence, Stewart also wrote two great books (How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built [1995] and II cybernetic frontiers [1974]). The former got me interested in architecture again and I'm now doing a major remodel of my house. The later let me know that I wasn't really dumb starting the first software mail order company in 1978.

And then maybe the biggest influence on our online lives: The Well.

Stewart was definitely on the bus!

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