Review: Revolution

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Democracy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Impeachment & Treason, Insurgency & Revolution, Justice (Failure, Reform), Military & Pentagon Power, Misinformation & Propaganda, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Religion & Politics of Religion, Survival & Sustainment, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Russell Brand

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Intricate, Non-Violent, and Optimistic, November 4, 2014

In relation to the 2,000 plus non-fiction books I have reviewed here at Amazon, this book is brilliant. Normally I would consider giving it four stars for lacking an index and endnotes, obviously needed for the poorly educated morons that cannot grasp the many (many) direct references to top authors and thinkers. For crying out loud, Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century is received by the author in his home and cited in this book, as are so many others. So a solid five stars for impact and self-made erudition.

Let me state very clearly that the publisher has sodomized this author by not including an index, a bibliography, or endnotes. As the top Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, reviewing books across 98 distinct non-fiction categories, I am blown away by the clever, poetic, and pointed manner in which the author has integrated a vast (vast) range of reading and personal conversations into this book.

Continue reading “Review: Revolution”

Worth A Look: Russell Brand on The Revolution

Worth A Look
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

We all know the system isn’t working. Our governments are corrupt and the opposing parties pointlessly similar. Our culture is filled with vacuity and pap, and we are told there’s nothing we can do: “It’s just the way things are.”

In this book, Russell Brand hilariously lacerates the straw men and paper tigers of our conformist times and presents, with the help of experts as diverse as Thomas Piketty and George Orwell, a vision for a fairer, sexier society that’s fun and inclusive.

You have been lied to, told there’s no alternative, no choice, and that you don’t deserve any better. Brand destroys this illusory facade as amusingly and deftly as he annihilates Morning Joe anchors, Fox News fascists, and BBC stalwarts.

This book makes revolution not only possible but inevitable and fun.

Continue reading “Worth A Look: Russell Brand on The Revolution”

Berto Jongman: Stewart Brand and Big Ideas

Cultural Intelligence
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, the book that changed the world

Stewart Brand was at the heart of 60s counterculture and is now widely revered as the tech visionary whose book anticipated the web. We meet the man for whom big ideas are a way of life

The Observer,

Stewart Brand
Stewart Brand

Stewart Brand didn’t just happen to be around when the personal computer came into being; he’s the one who put “personal” and “computer” together in the same sentence and introduced the concept to the world. He wasn’t just a member of the world’s first open online community, the Well; he co-founded it. And he wasn’t just another of those 60s acid casualties; he was the definitive 60s acid casualty. Well, not casualty exactly, but he was there taking LSD in the days when it was still legal, with the most famous hipster of them all, Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters.

For nearly five decades, Stewart Brand has been hanging around the cutting edge of whatever is the most cutting thing of the day. Largely because he’s discovered it and become fascinated with it long before anyone else has even noticed it but, in retrospect, it does make him seem like the west coast’s answer to Zelig, the Woody Allen character who just happens to pop up at key moments in history. Because no one pops up like Stewart Brand pops up, right there, just on the cusp of something momentous.

Read full article.

Continue reading “Berto Jongman: Stewart Brand and Big Ideas”

Review: Whole Earth Discipline – An Ecopragmatist Manifesto

5 Star, Complexity & Catastrophe, Complexity & Resilience, Culture, Research, Economics, Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Priorities, Science & Politics of Science, Survival & Sustainment, Technology (Bio-Mimicry, Clean), True Cost & Toxicity, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page

Stewart Brand

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, Challenges, Perhaps Wrong on Some Points,September 13, 2011

This book is an absorbing read, and several of the top reviews are very useful to anyone considering buying the book (also available in paperback, Amazon is now NOT crossing reviews over from different forms, a mistake in my view, but perhaps motivated by their trying to give the millions of new reviewers a starting point against those of us who have been reviewing books on Amazon for eleven years.

This book can read at multiple levels, and I dare to say that to reach each additional level, a second and third reading of the book is required.

Level 1: An overview of books that Stewart Brand has read and his general sense of the world.

Level 2: A deeper engagement with his thinking on climate change, urbanization, and biotechnology

Level 3: A very deep and necessarily skeptical reading of his book, mindful of many areas where he may be wrong while appreciating the extraordinary lifetime of intellectual and ethical leadership that he brings to bear–this is the man who created Co-Evolution Quarterly, Whole Earth Review, the Silicon Valley Hacker’s Conference that I was elected to in 1994 and am attending this year (4-6 November), and the Clock of the Long Now, as well as Global Business Network and other initiatives. He is in brief, one of a dozen minds I consider “root” for whatever good we might muster in the USA in the near term, along with Tom Atlee and a handful of others.

Continue reading “Review: Whole Earth Discipline – An Ecopragmatist Manifesto”

Reference: Whole Earth Review (WER) on Information

11 Society, Articles & Chapters, Collective Intelligence, Cultural Intelligence, Media
WER on Information (Special 1992 Collection)

Howard Rheingold, then editor of the Whole Earth Review (WER) gave us access to all past issues of WER, and permission to select and print this special collection of authors and idea relevant to the Revolution in Intelligence Affairs (RIA). All of it remains relevant because both government and industry have chosen to remain on an industrial-era path that over-stresses centralized control, corporate copyright, and technology instead of thinking.

Here is a tiny sampling from that collection, all 75 items free online.

Stewart Brand, Uncommon Courtesy: A School of Compassionate Skills (Summer 1982)

Donella H. Meadows, Whole Earth Models & Systems (Summer 1982)

Marvin Minsky, Society of Mind (Summer 1986)

Kathleen Newroe, Distance Learning: Tuning in to the World’s Lessons on Satellite TV (Winter 1988)

Howard Rheingold, Ethnobotany: The Search for Vanishing Knowledge (Fall 1989)

Stewart Brand, Outlaws, Musicians, Lovers, and Spies: The Future of Control (Summer 1990)

John Perry Barlow, Crime and Puzzlement: The Advance of the Law on the Electronic Frontier (Fall 1990)

Gore Vidal, Founding Father Knows Best (Spring 1991)

Duane Elgin, Conscious Democracy Through Electronic Town Meetings (Summer 1991)

Art Kleiner, The Co-Evolution of Governance (Spring 1992)

Robert David Steele, E3i: Ethics, Ecology, Evolution, and Intelligence (Fall 1992)

Review (Guest): Whole Earth Discipline

5 Star, Culture, Research, Environment (Solutions), Science & Politics of Science, Stabilization & Reconstruction, Survival & Sustainment, Technology (Bio-Mimicry, Clean), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the most important — certainly the most thought-provoking — book in years

October 22, 2009

Review by Jesse Kornbluth

Book by Stewart Brand

I was interviewing George Soros as the Dow rapidly shed 300 points and crashed through the 10,000 level.

“Is this it?” I asked.

Soros shrugged — a very calm reaction from an investor who might have seen his portfolio shrink by hundreds of millions of dollars in a matter of minutes.

I lost much less that day, but I had a different reaction — panic. The thing to do, I concluded, was to trade my beloved Classic 6 in Manhattan for a self-sustaining house in the country. Ten acres would suffice, as long as they had decent water, land suitable for a large garden and enough sunlight for the solar panels.

I bought a URL for the web site I planned to launch: […]. This was no back-to-the-land hippie retreat. I would be stepping into the smart future: small town/rural purity (Woodsmoke) with the 21st century benefits of a fast Internet (Broadband) and Amazon.com’s free shipping.

Given all that, you will understand that I was quite stunned to read “Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto” — by Stewart Brand, creator of the 1960s and 1970s classic, the “Whole Earth Catalog” — and discover that the last place its author would have me go is back to the land.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): Whole Earth Discipline”

Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Howard Rheingold

Alpha Q-U, Collective Intelligence
Howard Rheingold
Howard Rheingold

Howard Rheingold may well have been the first pioneer to fall down into the chasm of cyberspace and the write about it.  As Editor of the Whole Earth Review, following in the footsteps of founder Stewart Brand, he has consistently been on the bleeding edge of both righteous living for a Whole Earth, and the bleeding edge of technology and the human mind.  Below are links to his books, the first of which, Tools for Thinking, catalyzed deep soul-searching within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which at the time (1986) had nothing to offer such as Howard envisioned.  He was, with John Perry Barlow, one of the two speakers at OSS ’92 who challenged virtually every aspect of the secret intelligence paradigm.

A slice of life in my virtual community

Rheingold at OSS ’92

The Book
The Book

Continue reading “Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Howard Rheingold”

Whole Earth Review Archives on Public Intelligence (Historical)

Whole Earth Review

1992

US

Whole Earth R Brand Army Green

1992

US

Whole Earth R Kapor et al We Need a National Public Network

1992

US

Whole Earth R Kleiner The Co-Evolution of Governance

1992

US

Whole Earth R Petersen Will the Military Miss the Market

1992

US

Whole Earth R Staple & Dixon Telegeography: Mapping the New World Order

1992

US

Whole Earth R Steele E3i: Ethics, Ecology, Evolution, and Intelligence

1992

US

Whole Earth R Tibbs Industrial Ecology: An Environmental Agenda for Industry

1991

US

Whole Earth R Brilliant Computer Conferencing: The Global Connection

1991

US

Whole Earth R Clay Genes, Genius, and Genocide

1991

US

Whole Earth R Elgin Conscious Democracy Through Electronic Town Meetings

1991

US

Whole Earth R Garcia Assessing the Impacts of Technology

1991

US

Whole Earth R Godwin The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Virtual Communities

1991

US

Whole Earth R Karraker Highways of the Mind

1991

US

Whole Earth R Lovins & Lovins Winning the Peace

1991

US

Whole Earth R Marx Privacy & Technology

1991

US

Whole Earth R Meeks The Global Commons

1991

US

Whole Earth R Rheingold Electronic Democracy: The Great Equalizer

1991

US

Whole Earth R Schuman Reclaiming our Technological Future

1991

US

Whole Earth R Warren & Rheingold Access to Political Tools: Effective Citizen Action

1991

US

Whole Earth R White Earthtrust: Electronic Mail and Ecological Activism

1991

US

Whole Earth R Whitney-Smith Information Doesn’t Want

1991

US

Whole Earth R Wittig Electronic City Hall

1990

US

Whole Earth R Barlow Crime and Puzzlement: The Advance of the Law on the Electronic Frontier

1990

US

Whole Earth R Brand Outlaws, Musicians, Lovers, and Spies: The Future of Control

1990

US

Whole Earth R Dodge Life Work

1990

JP

Whole Earth R Ishii Cross-Cultural Communications & Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

1990

US

Whole Earth R Jordon III Restoration: Shaping the Land, Transforming the Spirit

1990

JP

Whole Earth R Kumon Toward Co-Emulation: Japan and the United States in the Information Age

1990

US

Whole Earth R Monschke How to Heal the Land

1990

US

Whole Earth R Shapard Observations on Cross-Cultural Electronic Networking

1990

US

Whole Earth R Vidal Founding Father Knows Best

1989

US

Whole Earth R Berman The Gesture of Balance

1989

US

Whole Earth R Garfinkle Social Security Numbers: And Other Telling Information

1989

US

Whole Earth R Haight Living in the Office

1989

US

Whole Earth R Horvitz The USENET Underground

1989

US

Whole Earth R Jaffe Hello, Central: Phone Conferencing Tips

1989

US

Whole Earth R Johnson` The Portable Office

1989

US

Whole Earth R Rheingold Ethnobotany: The Search for Vanishing Knowledge

1988

US

Whole Earth R Baker, S. Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Baker, W. Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Brand The Information Wants to Be Free Strategy

1988

US

Whole Earth R Coate Tales from Two Communities: The Well and the Farm

1988

US

Whole Earth R Ferguson Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Fields Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Hardin Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Hawkins Computer Parasites & Remedies–A Catalog of First Sightings

1988

US

Whole Earth R Keen Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Kleiner Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Leary Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Nelson Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Newroe Distance Learning

1988

US

Whole Earth R Pert The Material Basis of Emotions with Inset, Mind as Information

1988

US

Whole Earth R Rappaport Gossip

1988

US

Whole Earth R Thurow & Walsh Getting Over the Information Economy

1987

US

Whole Earth R Donaldson An Incomplete History of Microcomputing

1987

US

Whole Earth R Henson MEMETICS: The Science of Information Viruses

1987

US

Whole Earth R Horvitz An Intelligent Guide to Intelligence

1987

US

Whole Earth R Krause Bio-Acoustics: Habitat Ambience & Ecological Balance

1987

US

Whole Earth R Roberts Electronic Cottage on Wheels

1986

US

Whole Earth R Fend & Gunther What Have You Got to Hide: Iraq Iran Basra Abadan

1986

US

Whole Earth R Minsky Society of Mind

1986

US

Whole Earth R Sanders Etiquette for the Age of Transparency

1986

US

Whole Earth R Scxhwartz & Brand The World Information Economy

1986

US

Whole Earth R Thompson A Gaian Politics

1985

US

Whole Earth R Brand, Kelly, Kinney Digital Retouching: The End of Photography as Evidence of Anything

1985

US

Whole Earth R Hunter Public Image

1985

US

Whole Earth R Kleiner The Health Hazards of Computers: A Guide to Worrying Intelligently

1985

US

Whole Earth R Mander Six Grave Doubts About Computers

1983

US

Whole Earth R Illich Silence is a Commons: Computers Are Doing to Communication What …

1982

US

Whole Earth R Brand Uncommon Courtesy: A School of Compassionate Skills

1982

US

Whole Earth R Kayes Force Without Power: A Doctrine of Unarmed Military Service

1982

US

Whole Earth R Meadows Whole Earth Models & Systems

Review: Clock Of The Long Now–Time And Responsibility: The Ideas Behind The World’s Slowest Computer

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Cosmos & Destiny, Culture, Research, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Education (General)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Extraordinary–Core Reading for Future of Earth- Man,

September 29, 2002
Stewart Brand
I confess to being dumb. Although I know and admire the author, who has spoken at my conference, when the book came out I thought–really dumb, but I mention it because others may have made the same mistake–that it was about building a cute clock in the middle of the desert.Wrong, wrong, wrong (I was). Now, three years late but better late than never, on the recommendation of a very dear person I have read this book in detail and I find it to be one of the most extraordinary books–easily in the top ten of the 300+ books I have reviewed on Amazon.

At it’s heart, this book, which reflects the cummulative commitment of not only the author but some other brilliant avant guarde mind including Danny Hillis, Kevin Kelly (WIRED, Out of Control, the Rise of Neo-Biological Civilization), Esther Dyson, Mitch Kapor (Lotus, Electronic Frontier Foundation) and a few others, is about reframing the way people–the entire population of the Earth–think, moving them from the big now toward the Long Here, taking responsibility for acting as it every behavior will impact on the 10,000 year long timeframe.

This book is in the best traditions of our native American forebears (as well as other cultures with a long view), always promoting a feedback-decision loop that carefully considered the impact on the “seventh generation.” That’s 235 years or so, or more.

The author has done a superb job of drawing on the thinking of others (e.g. Freeman Dyson, Esther’s father) in considering the deep deep implications for mankind of thinking in time (a title popularized, brilliantly, by Ernest May and Richard Neustadt of Harvard), while adding his own integrative and expanding ideas.

He joints Lee Kuan Yew, brilliant and decades-long grand-father of Asian prosperity and cohesiveness, in focusing on culture and the long-term importance of culture as the glue for patience and sound long-term decision-making. His focus on the key principles of longevity, maintainability, transparency, evolvability, and scalability harken back to his early days as the editor of the Whole Earth Review (and Catalog) and one comes away from this book feeling that Stewart Brand is indeed the “first pilot” of Spaceship Earth.

It is not possible and would be inappropriate to try to summarize all the brilliant insights in this work. From the ideas of others to his own, from the “Responsibility Record” to using history as a foundation for dealing with rapid change, to the ideas for a millenium library to the experienced comments on how to use scenarios to reach consensus among conflicted parties as to mutual interests in the longer-term future, this is–the word cannot be overused in this case–an extraordinary book from an extraordinary mind.

This book is essential reading for every citizen-voter-taxpayer, and ends with an idea for holding politicians accountable for the impact of their decisions on the future. First class, world class. This is the book that sets the stage for the history of the future.

Vote on Review
Vote on Review