From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Available at In the early s, . From Counterculture to Cyberculture has ratings and 44 reviews. Warwick said: This is a sad story in many ways: I wonder if the author realises quite. Journal of e-Media Studies Volume I, Issue 1, Spring Dartmouth College Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth.

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The story he seems to want to tell is about how the idealism and independence of the American counterculture fed into the burgeoning digital technology industry, infusing the world of early computing with radical, egalitarian ideas.

Paul Duguid Times Literary Supplement. It connects us with how the internet, although originally designed as a tool for the military to respond to a nuclear attack, it was interpreted by the counter culture movement as a potential tool to unite society.

It was popular with hippies and commune-dwellers — and, because it depended on user contributions for its reviews and editorials, it also became enormously influential among those who would go on frlm build the new technological world. Brand succeeded in networking a host of elites, who have largely influenced the way we talk about the Internet but, for the most part, haven’t had much impact on how we use it, nor how it’s developed over the past decade.

This book was a massive disappointment. 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 of home computing and Internet access for all. A good biography of Stewart Brand would have been much more effective.


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From Counterculture to Cyberculture

That moment in the story when Newt Gingrich hoves into view, Jabba-like, and you realize the game was rigged from the start. Turner provides a convincing narrative for some of the strangest transformations in modern American culture: Jun 04, Jon rated it it was cybdrculture Shelves: I personally experienced my own transformation from a countercultural grad student in San Jose to Intel executive in Silicon Valley.

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. And it is not a pretty picture. He explains that they shunned cyberculhure of the military-industrial complex, while embracing the information and systems theory, along with the multidisciplinary and collaborative approach. With people like Stewart Brand at the controls, there was never any doubt that the Internet born out of ARPA was going to be anything but an entrepreneur’s playground.

Mar 17, Simon rated it it was ok. The Shifting Politics of the Computational Metaphor 2.

Note that it only goes up to the boom Apr 30, Philip Palios rated it it counerculture amazing. In the early s, computers haunted the American popular imagination. If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you. The rebels against centralisation live in close relationship to the centralised system and its tools.

From Counterculture to Cyberculture

Made me reconsider a lot of ideas I now realize I had uncritically swa 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.


Stewart Brand Meets the Cybernetic Counterculture 3. Counteruclture 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 tl evolution into the cyberculture that came to prominence in the s with the Internet boom cybercultjre, in some small part, informs the digital culture of today.

I got this as Cybetculture really enjoyed Stewart Brand’s last book, and wanted to know more about him. The dice were loaded from the start, and the hackers and one of their friends were arrested months later. Fred Turner here traces the previously untold story of a highly influential group of San Francisco Bay—area entrepreneurs: Overall, I appreciated what this book had to offer.

I always loved the Whole Earth Catalogs and didn’t know exactly why. Digital utopianism continues to morph with the rise of the Internet of Things. Overall, a worthy read, even if scant on details with particular events Countercu,ture have liked to hear more about. Turner traces the beginnings of Brand’s Cybecrulture Earth Network and its successors, with Brand’s message of technological liberation finding allies as varied as Kevin Kelly and Newt Gingrich.

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