Press Release: Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture
Before there was Wikipedia, there was the Whole Earth Catalog, a one-stop destination for anyone who wanted to know about everything. And before there was the World Wide Web, there was the WELL, one of the first online computer networking systems. These marvels of innovation, of course, came from the mind of Stewart Brand and his acolytes, who would go on to found Wired magazine, and recast computers as a way of bridging differences through online communities and the frontiers of cyberspace. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism is their story. Fred Turner revisits a forgotten but utterly fascinating chapter in the history of 60’s counterculture—a look at how Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running encounter between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley. Thanks to their vision, counterculturalists and technologists alike joined together to reimagine computers as tools for personal liberation, the building of virtual and decidedly alternative worlds, and the exploration of bold new social frontiers—or the cyberia that we inhabit today.
Read the press release. You can also read the introduction and an excerpt from Chapter Four, "Taking the Whole Earth Digital."