Where is Stewart Brand now?

// Posted by on 02/07/2013 (11:15 AM)

Two months ago, I had no idea who Stewart Brand was. Now, I’m wondering where someone so influential in a field that has changed the culture of the world ended up. The legacy of Brand includes the Whole Earth Catalog, and the Global Business Network, among other accomplishments and associated cultural movements. Today, Brand has kept up with technology, but has taken the technology in a different direction. His most recent book, Whole Earth Discipline, focuses on the environmental technologies that are necessary for combatting inevitable Climate Change. Brand’s attitude is that of a strong environmentalist, with serious concern for climate change and the impacts. He believes that we have the necessary technologies to solve our ecological crises, but the power is in the hand of the people and politicians to take a stand. The ideals of his past appear in his theories today. Brand vouches for cities over rural areas, saying that it results in a more sustainable, wealthy culture over time. Cities, in Brand’s eyes, could be the solution to the population bomb. Brand also supports the idea that nuclear energy is cleaner than any other possible alternative. The amount of waste from a person’s lifetime in nuclear energy would equate to about one cup.

While I think Brand has sound points, his ideals are too radical for the world he created. I don’t think that Brand will be able to have such a magnetic influence in today’s age as he did in the counterculture period. As a fellow environmentalist myself, I would love to see some of these policies translated into action, but in terms of the political climate, I find it hard to be optimistic. A lot of Brand’s peers who were directly involved in the cyberculture revolution ended up working in banking or finance, but Brand continued to forge a path of innovation and change.

Brand, Ted Talk

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