From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

University of Chicago Press #ad - In the early 1960s, computers haunted the American popular imagination. Thanks to their vision, the building of virtual and decidedly alternative communities, counterculturalists and technologists alike joined together to reimagine computers as tools for personal liberation, and the exploration of bold new social frontiers.

Shedding new light on how our networked culture came to be, between Ken Kesey and the computer itself, this fascinating book reminds us that the distance between the Grateful Dead and Google, is not as great as we might think. Bleak tools of the cold war, they embodied the rigid organization and mechanical conformity that made the military-industrial complex possible.

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism #ad - Fred turner here traces the previously untold story of a highly influential group of San Francisco Bay–area entrepreneurs: Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth network. Between 1968 and 1998, ultimately, and, via such familiar venues as the national book award–winning Whole Earth Catalog, the launch of the wildly successful Wired magazine, the computer conferencing system known as WELL, Brand and his colleagues brokered a long-running collaboration between San Francisco flower power and the emerging technological hub of Silicon Valley.

But by the 1990s—and the dawn of the internet—computers started to represent a very different kind of world: a collaborative and digital utopia modeled on the communal ideals of the hippies who so vehemently rebelled against the cold war establishment in the first place. From counterculture to Cyberculture is the first book to explore this extraordinary and ironic transformation.


What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry

Penguin Books #ad - Most histories of the personal computer industry focus on technology or business. It’s a brilliant evocation of stanford, california, in the 1960s and ’70s, where a group of visionaries set out to turn computers into a means for freeing minds and information. In these pages one encounters ken kesey and the phone hacker Cap’n Crunch, est and LSD, The Whole Earth Catalog and the Homebrew Computer Lab.

What the dormouse said is a poignant, funny, and inspiring book by one of the smartest technology writers around. John markoff’s landmark book is about the culture and consciousness behind the first PCs—the culture being counter– and the consciousness expanded, sometimes chemically.


The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties

University of Chicago Press #ad - Surprisingly, he shows that it was this turn that brought us the revolutionary multimedia and wild-eyed individualism of the 1960s counterculture. In this prequel to his celebrated book from counterculture to Cyberculture, Turner rewrites the history of postwar America, showing how in the 1940s and ’50s American liberalism offered a far more radical social vision than we now remember.

. He then shows how their work shaped some of the most significant media events of the Cold War, ultimately, including Edward Steichen’s Family of Man exhibition, the multimedia performances of John Cage, and, the psychedelic Be-Ins of the sixties. Turner tracks the influential mid-century entwining of Bauhaus aesthetics with American social science and psychology.

We commonly think of the psychedelic sixties as an explosion of creative energy and freedom that arose in direct revolt against the social restraint and authoritarian hierarchy of the early Cold War years. Turner demonstrates that by the end of the 1950s this vision of the democratic self and the media built to promote it would actually become part of the mainstream, even shaping American propaganda efforts in Europe.

The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties #ad - Overturning common misconceptions of these transformational years, The Democratic Surround shows just how much the artistic and social radicalism of the sixties owed to the liberal ideals of Cold War America, a democratic vision that still underlies our hopes for digital media today. From the museum of modern art in new york to the new bauhaus in chicago and black mountain college in North Carolina, and new visions of an open, Turner shows how some of the most well-known artists and intellectuals of the forties developed new models of media, tolerant, new theories of interpersonal and international collaboration, and democratic self in direct contrast to the repression and conformity associated with the fascist and communist movements.

Yet, as fred turner reveals in the democratic surround, open, the decades that brought us the Korean War and communist witch hunts also witnessed an extraordinary turn toward explicitly democratic, and inclusive ideas of communication and with them new, flexible models of social order.


Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture Princeton Studies in Culture and Technology

Princeton University Press #ad - Digital keywords examines and critiques the rich lexicon animating the emerging field of digital studies. This collection broadens our understanding of how we talk about the modern world, particularly of the vocabulary at work in information technologies. Inspired by raymond williams's 1976 classic keywords, philosophy, the timely collection Digital Keywords gathers pointed, rhetoric, religious studies, digital humanities, political science, provocative short essays on more than two dozen keywords by leading and rising digital media scholars from the areas of anthropology, history, science and technology studies, and sociology.

Bookended by a critical introduction and a list of over two hundred other digital keywords, these essays provide concise, compelling arguments about our current mediated condition. Digital keywords delves into what language does in today's information revolution and why it matters. How the digital revolution has shaped our languageIn the age of search, teaching, keywords increasingly organize research, and even thought itself.

Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture Princeton Studies in Culture and Technology #ad - Metaphors of the cloud in cloud computing and the mirror in data mirroring combine with recent and radical uses of terms such as information, gaming, sharing, algorithm, and internet to reveal previously hidden insights into contemporary life. Contributors scrutinize each keyword independently: for example, the recent pairing of digital and analog is separated, while classic terms such as community, event, memory, culture, and democracy are treated in light of their historical and intellectual importance.


The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society The Da Capo series in science

Da Capo Press #ad - He hoped that machines would release people from relentless and repetitive drudgery in order to achieve more creative pursuits. His book examines the implications of cybernetics for education, as he anticipates the enormous impact—in effect, science, language, technology, law, a third industrial revolution—that the computer has had on our lives.

Only a few books stand as landmarks in social and scientific upheaval. Norbert wiener's classic is one in that small company. As this book reveals, his vision was much more complex and interesting. Founder of the science of cybernetics—the study of the relationship between computers and the human nervous system—Wiener was widely misunderstood as one who advocated the automation of human life.

The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society The Da Capo series in science #ad - . At the same time he realized the danger of dehumanizing and displacement.


Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear ... and Geoeng ineering Are Necessary

Penguin Books #ad - Only a radical rethinking of traditional green pieties will allow us to forestall the cataclysmic deterioration of the earth?s resources. Whole earth discipline shatters a number of myths and presents counterintuitive observations on why cities are actually greener than countryside, how nuclear power is the future of energy, and why genetic engineering is the key to crop and land management.

Urbanization?half the world?s population now lives in cities, and eighty percent will by midcentury?is altering humanity?s land impact and wealth. And biotechnology is becoming the world?s dominant engineering tool. In light of these changes, brand suggests that environmentalists are going to have to reverse some longheld opinions and embrace tools that they have traditionally distrusted.

Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, Restored Wildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear ... and Geoeng ineering Are Necessary #ad - In the end, says brand, the environmental movement must become newly responsive to fast-moving science and take up the tools and discipline of engineering. We have to learn how to manage the planet?s global-scale natural infrastructure with as light a touch as possible and as much intervention as necessary.

An icon of the environmental movement outlines a provocative approach for reclaiming our planet According to Stewart Brand, a lifelong environmentalist who sees everything in terms of solvable design problems, three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. With a combination of scientific rigor and passionate advocacy, Brand shows us exactly where the sources of our dilemmas lie and offers a bold and inventive set of policies and solutions for creating a more sustainable society.

Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole.


The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

PublicAffairs #ad - The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth. Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector.

Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new "behavioral futures markets, " where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new "means of behavioral modification. The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a "Big Other" operating in the interests of surveillance capital.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power #ad - Zuboff's comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled "hive" of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit--at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future. With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future--if we let it.

Here is the crucible of an unprecedented form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge and free from democratic oversight. The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism, " and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism.


Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age

Yale University Press #ad - Her original research—which includes conversations with entrepreneurs, and Silicon Valley journalists—explores the culture and ideology of San Francisco’s tech community in the period between the dot com boom and the App store, Internet celebrities, when the city was the world’s center of social media development.

Marwick argues that early revolutionary goals have failed to materialize: while many continue to view social media as democratic, these technologies instead turn users into marketers and self-promoters, and leave technology companies poised to violate privacy and to prioritize profits over participation.

Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age #ad - Yet,  technology insider Alice Marwick contends in this insightful book, “Web 2. 0” only encouraged a preoccupation with status and attention. Marwick analyzes status-building techniques—such as self-branding, micro-celebrity, and life-streaming—to show that Web 2. 0 did not provide a cultural revolution, class, demarcated by race, but only furthered inequality and reinforced traditional social stratification, and gender.

Social media technologies such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook promised a new participatory online culture.


Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media The MIT Press

The MIT Press #ad - Networks have been central to the emergence of neoliberalism, replacing “society” with groupings of individuals and connectable “YOUS. For isn't “new media” actually “nyoU media”? Habit is central to the inversion of privacy and publicity that drives neoliberalism and networks. Why do we view our networked devices as “personal” when they are so chatty and promiscuous? What would happen, if, rather than pushing for privacy that is no privacy, we demanded public rights—the right to be exposed, Chun asks, to take risks and to be in public and not be attacked? .

What it means when media moves from the new to the habitual—when our bodies become archives of supposedly obsolescent media, sharing, updating, streaming, saving. Smart phones, for example, no longer amaze, but they increasingly structure and monitor our lives. Through habits, trash, save, chun says, capture, link, we become our machines: we stream, new media become embedded in our lives—indeed, update, upload, and troll.

Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media The MIT Press #ad - Chun links habits to the rise of networks as the defining concept of our era. We thus forever try to catch up, updating to remain the same. Meanwhile, creative, analytic, and commercial efforts focus exclusively on the next big thing: figuring out what will spread and who will spread it the fastest. New media—we are told—exist at the bleeding edge of obsolescence.

But what do we miss in this constant push to the future? in updating to Remain the Same, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun suggests another approach, arguing that our media matter most when they seem not to matter at all—when they have moved from “new” to habitual.


The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America Inside Technology

The MIT Press #ad - Analyzing the macy conferences on cybernetics, the Harvard Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, and the early history of artificial intelligence, he describes the formation of a "cyborg discourse. By constructing both human minds and artificial intelligences as information machines, cyborg discourse assisted in integrating people into the hyper-complex technological systems of the closed world.

Finally, panoptic ai of 2001: a space odyssey, edwards explores the cyborg as political identity in science fiction―from the disembodied, to the mechanical robots of Star Wars and the engineered biological androids of Blade Runner―where Information Age culture and subjectivity were both reflected and constructed.

Inside Technology series. Arguing that we can make sense of computers as tools only when we simultaneously grasp their roles as metaphors and political icons, Paul Edwards shows how Cold War social and cultural contexts shaped emerging computer technology―and were transformed, in turn, by information machines.

The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America Inside Technology #ad - The closed world explores three apparently disparate histories―the history of American global power, the history of computing machines, and the history of subjectivity in science and culture―through the lens of the American political imagination. In the process, it reveals intimate links between the military projects of the Cold War, cognitive psychology, and the origins of cybernetics, the evolution of digital computers, and artificial intelligence.

Edwards begins by describing the emergence of a "closed-world discourse" of global surveillance and control through high-technology military power. These and other centralized, computerized military command and control projects―for containing world-scale conflicts―helped closed-world discourse dominate Cold War political decisions.

Their apotheosis was the Reagan-era plan for a "Star Wars" space-based ballistic missile defense.


Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

Pantheon #ad - It’s no coincidence that the most destructive and the most constructive of human inventions appeared at exactly the same time. In turing’s cathedral, new jersey, led by john von neumann at the institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, George Dyson focuses on a small group of men and women, who built one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine.

The proliferation of both codes and machines was paralleled by two historic developments: the decoding of self-replicating sequences in biology and the invention of the hydrogen bomb. How did code take over the world? in retracing how alan turing’s one-dimensional model became John von Neumann’s two-dimensional implementation, Turing’s Cathedral offers a series of provocative suggestions as to where the digital universe, now fully three-dimensional, may be heading next.

Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe #ad - Their work would break the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things—and our universe would never be the same. Using five kilobytes of memory the amount allocated to displaying the cursor on a computer desktop of today, they achieved unprecedented success in both weather prediction and nuclear weapons design, in their spare time, while tackling, problems ranging from the evolution of viruses to the evolution of stars.

Dyson’s account, both historic and prophetic, sheds important new light on how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II. It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence, ” twenty-four-year-old Alan Turing announced in 1936.