Steve Jobs: "Whole Earth Catalog was Like Google in Paperback, But 35 Years Earlier"

This isn’t new, but I just ran across it the other day and it seemed relevant and interesting, especially where he says the Whole Earth Catalog (1967) was “…like Google in paperback”: Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement speech in 2005. Following is the last part of a very short speech:

“When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Thank you all very much.”

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Is the UK becoming a police state?

A couple of my best friends Denny & Helen have recently set up this website in the aftermath of the recent G20 demonstrations. Both of them are politically active bloggers who decided to put together somewhere they could share their ideas and opinions beyond their regular blogs read by friends. The idea is to raise consciousness and encourage discussion on the matters relating to modern day policing in Britain. It’s well worth a look if you’re at all interested in what’s going on.


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Oooh, Tim Burton does Alice in Wonderland!

You just know that Johnny Depp is going to be the Mad Hatter, and Helena Bonham-Carter will be the queen. Concept art linked here.

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Further to my last post,

It now comes to light that Ian Tomlinson died from internal bleeding after being assaulted by a police officer, manslaughter charges have been brought. I saw the following picture today, a spoof on the posters that the Met have put up trying to make us paranoid and telling us to effectively spy and inform on our neighbours. There have been several other spoofs, trying to highlight the ridiculousness of these posters, but the following brings a much more sombre warning. I have no idea who to credit for this, but I think it’s very well done.

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Worrying trends in our supposed democracy.

After having planned to attend the demonstrations for the G20 conference, I ended up not being able to make it. Part of me is relieved given what went on but part of me is angry at myself for not going and standing there, if only to witness first hand just how far the powers of the law and police are being ever further abused.

Several of my friends were there and I heard first hand about what went on. I’d say it’s hard to believe some of the stories but, sadly, it’s really not. Peaceful groups of protesters being violently assaulted by baton wielding police is only too common worldwide nowadays, but having the police use a law designed to quell violent disturbances to remove all press photographers from an area, on pain of arrest for non-compliance, while they ‘attempt to resolve’ a peaceful protest is terrifying in it’s implications. Doing so basically shows that they are prepared to silence a free press while doing exactly what they like in the way of violence and there will be no evidence to show what really happened. All those surveillance cameras are only of use to them not the public, and you can be pretty sure we won’t be seeing much of that footage coming to light.

I must admit that I kind of expected it to kick off the way it did after hearing on the news before the event that a senior officer in the met (I don’t know who) was stating that it was going to be a violent protest. We know now that it was primarily violent due to the police instigating most of that violence. We’re now starting to see the video evidence of this, much of it contradicting police statements of what happened, and some simply showing outright abuse such as hitting peaceful protesters in the face for no reason, allowing dogs to attack protesters who are simply talking to policemen and others just randomly battoning non-violent demonstrators.

Now, don’t get me wrong, in general I admire the police for doing a difficult job in tough circumstances. However, with that comes a great deal of responsibility, and it will be interesting to see just what comes from it all in the way of prosecutions of officers. From the mounting evidence there seems to be plenty of scope for those, just take a look at the videos being compiled by the Guardian here, it’s horrifying.

G20 video evidence

Some people have said that if you’re not prepared for that then you shouldn’t have been there, but protesting is a fundamental part of democracy. We have a right to voice our concerns, we have a right to protest at injustices. Many people have lost their homes, livelihoods and life savings in the past couple of years through the greed of the banking system and then we’re asked to bail them out with tax money (an issue I’m not going to get into here). People are angry, and rightfully so, and we have a duty to protest, a duty to bring these people to answer for their mistakes.

Last year I was working around a bunch of city women who were discussing some of the financial packages they brokered and they knew that these packages were flawed, and that they were leading nowhere and would eventually lose people lots of money. They really didn’t care, they made their bonuses and just carried on. I wanted to shake them by the ears and make them realise that it’s other people’s money their playing with, that when the banks fail it’s the ‘little’ people that lose their livelihoods. I hope at least a few of those brokers are now out of work, though I doubt with their savings it will affect them greatly. I’d like, perhaps rather unfairly, to think that they find themselves out of work, with a big mortgage they can no longer pay and having to sell up at the bottom of the market. Maybe it will make them reassess their own lives. But I doubt it.

I’ll leave you with a rather good article about the day of protests from a wonderful ranty old chap I remember of old, Attilla the Stockbroker and his view from the inside of what went on that he put up on his myspace page, I hope he won’t mind me linking to it.

Peace, out.

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New Posts at Techwinter.

Put a couple of new articles up at Techwinter if you’re interested in my geeky opinions about design testing mobile devices and the loss of Twitter updates via mobile phone here in the UK.


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Well after 3 days of setup, the festival opened. Our section, I have to admit, looks great and we’ve received a whole load of compliments on what we built. We had glorious sunshine until yesterday when the heavens didn’t so much open as just slowly empty. I stood in the rain at midnight, listening to the Levellers in the mud. A perfect glastonbury moment. Mind you, when did they get old? Last time I saw them was 17 years ago. We’re of an age and it was something of a surprise to see them all grown up and now one of the fathers of festival music.

They may have got older, but the invective is still there and bouncing away to the encore of There’s Only One Way was glorious. I retired to my bed and listened to the rain.

I’ve taken a few photos, not many though and only on my phone as I’ve not dragged the big camera out yet. lI forgot to set up a feed from flickr so you’ll have to visit directly to see them, address is in the previous post.

Right, the sun’s come out so I’m off exploring, catch you all later.


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Photography and pushing boundaries.

Despite loving photography I’m actually very bad at taking pictures of people. I think it’s the shyness thing, I don’t like to intrude, so I’ve mainly done landscape and other things apart from a rare option to do portfolio shots for a couple of friends or snapshots at parties. When I picked up my dSLR last year, I made a promise to myself I’d start taking more pictures of people, and have a goal to start a project where I take a portrait of different person every day for a month and make sure some of them are strangers. It’ll force me to approach people and start practicing that.

In the meantime, I’ve been in spain for the past week as I said in my last post. It was a great week and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the amazing team of people Inspa had put together for the retreat. I learned much and made some great friendships while I was there. When not working or sleeping, I took part in the hikes that were organised and took the camera along to record the places we walked as well as taking some photos of people. At the end of the week there was an ‘It’s a Knockout’ type event for fun and I spent a snap-happy hour photographing everyone there. I’m really pleased with how the shots have come out, and you can see the gallery on my flickr account here

It was good practice in shooting people, and I could relax knowing that no-one minded. In fact everyone was really pleased and asked to see the shots, hence the flickr set. Must try doing more of this.


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The rain in spain….

Isn’t falling on me 🙂

I’m up in the hills about an hour outside Seville, at a wonderful retreat called Trasierra. I’m working for as one of their massage therapists in the sunshine. It’s glorious weather here and doing me the power of good.

Just like the guests I’m detoxing, eating fabulous healthy food, going on hikes and doing some exercise. Unlike the guests I’m not lying in the sun relaxing in between all that, I’m working my, unworn, socks off giving rather a lot of deep tissue massages each day. The clients are a mixed bunch, mostly alpha females, all with good jobs and large disposable incomes. Over the last few days they’ve relaxed, refreshed and it’s been great fun getting to know them all.

The rest of the team are all first class, we were introduced to the guests as the very best of our kind in the business, which felt great. Apparently I’ve had nothing but good feedback from everyone and to be able to stand together in this sort of crowd of personal trainers, nutritionists, therapists etc is a quiet vindication of the years I’ve been working at this. I feel very humble here, but at the same time really quite proud.

I’ve managed to catch up on some sleep when not working and I’m looking forward to the long hike we’reall doing together tomorrow. A few more days then it’s back to the reality of London, but only for a few days then I head off to Glastonbury for a week helping friends build an art project in the green fields. I have another week out here in July and I’ve been asked if I’m available in August if they need someone for then. I said yes.

So much happening, it feels a bit strange after the last few months of treading water. Be interesting to see where it all leads over the next few months.


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I am now a 'professional' blogger!

Ok, so I’m not getting paid for it (yet), but it’s proper writing for a real technology blog.

Basically I get to write whatever I like that interests me on the subject of technology, with a focus on mobile technology, as long as it’s reasonably in depth and not just ‘ooh look, someone’s got a new shiny coming out’. I’m hoping to post every couple of weeks which should give me time to come up with interesting subjects and to write more than just a paragraph or two. I think it will be both challenging and interesting and will at least get me thinking more about my writing. Who knows where that might lead.

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