I just cannot get enough Steward Brand. For instance, I love this frank assessment of fame—the right kind of fame—from a new Chronicle profile:
“There’s almost no downside to being well-known for a long time,” Brand says. “Nobody is going to steal my identity. Old friends lead to new friends and one recycles people into new functions over time.”
And this, too:
[Brand’s wife Ryan] Phelen tells the story of Brand’s 70th birthday last December. What kind of gift do you get a man who hates big parties and gets the latest gadget before everyone else? Phelen set up a Web site and filled it with passionate discussions from his closest friends. “I gave him words. Words and thoughtful conversation,” she says.
I’m reading Whole Earth Discipline in bits and pieces. It’s a funny book—a more direct descendant of the Whole Earth Catalog than I’d realized. It doesn’t seem to be in any particular order, and doesn’t seem to make any single grand argument. Rather, it’s just this sequence of loosely-connected idea-chunks, each marked with a gray bullet point, all fascinating. Like non-fiction David Markson!
Finally, I love Brand’s concise self-definition:
What do I usually do? I find things and I found things. Things I find include tools, ideas, books, and people, which I blend and purvey. Things I’ve founded and co-founded include…
(Insert list of epochal institutions and zeitgeist definers here.)