Tag Archives: whole earth

Whole Earth Flashbacks

Meet the creators of the Whole Earth Catalog and the community they inspired. We invite you to watch Whole Earth Flashbacks, our video history of the Whole Earth culture, which covers 50 years of collective innovation in just a half-hour.

Our video retrospective takes you on a dazzling journey through time, from the first Whole Earth Catalogs to the Co-Evolution Quarterly, the Whole Earth Review, the Hackers Conference, the Well, Wired, Burning Man and the 10,000 Year Clock. 

Whole Earth Flashbacks features insights from thought leaders like Stewart Brand, J. Baldwin, Lloyd Kahn, Ted Nelson, Doug Adams, Howard Rheingold, Wavy Gravy, Kevin Kelly, Larry Harvey and Danny Hillis, to name but a few. They empowered people to change the world, by giving them access to tools and ideas.

Watch the full half-hour video, right here:

This final release version is also available here on YouTube (35 minutes).

If you’re short on time, watch the quick preview for this video (17 minutes).

If you like Whole Earth Flashbacks, please share it widely in your community. It’s a great way to spread the word about this amazing culture and what we all accomplished in just a few decades.

Thousands of people have watched the video already, and their responses have been really positive, with hundreds of likes, shares, retweets and comments.

It’s also been covered here by some of our friends in the press:

• San Francisco Chronicle, by Leah Garchek

KPFA, by Victor Bedoian

• Wired, by Bruce Sterling

The New Yorker, by Anna Wiener

Here are a few other links you might enjoy:

Whole Earth Lightning Talks (featuring alumni like Larry Brilliant, Carolyn Garcia, Wavy Gravy and more, recorded by my friend Gary Yost)

• Whole Earth Event Livestream (featuring public evening talks with Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly and more, starting at 16:45, after our preview)

• Whole Earth Photos (with 450+ historical photos from our community)

Whole Earth Event Photos (with 500+ mug shots of alumni at the event)

Whole Earth Collection on the Internet Archive (hundreds of articles, sample issues, interviews and other gems, curated by Robert Horvitz)

You can learn more about our video retrospective on our planning page, which has all the production details you could ever want.

Whole Earth Flashbacks was created by Fabrice Florin, with a world-class production team: Ahmed Kabil, David Lawrence, James McKee, Robert Horvitz, Susan Ryan, Mark Petrakis, Matisse Enzer and Phyllis Florin, to name but a few.

Over 60 community members and friends graciously shared their images, videos, sounds and comments to make this retrospective possible. They are listed in the credits below. We’re very grateful to their generous contributions.

Our video premiered at the Whole Earth Catalog’s 50th Anniversary on October 13, 2018, at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Many thanks to Stewart Brand, Ryan Phelan, Danica Remy, the Point Foundation and all the amazing volunteers who organized this event and made this community creation possible! To support this worthy cause, consider making a donation to the nonprofit Point Foundation.

Whole Earth Flashbacks has the potential to become an open-source documentary, which we hope will keep evolving over time, so that it may inspire people to take action for the next 10,000 years! If you have important footage or information for this living document, or if you would like to help create another edition, please email us.

Thanks again to all the creative minds who made this production possible!



We are deeply grateful to all our 60+ gracious contributors for donating your content and your time to this community production. None of this could have happened without you!  

Here is our credit roll for this project. 

Producer/Director: Fabrice Florin

Executive Producers: Stewart Brand, Ryan Phelan

Video Editors: Fabrice Florin, Ahmed Kabil, David Lawrence

Sound / Music Consultant: Jim McKee, Earwax

Researchers: Robert Horvitz, Susan Ryan

Story Consultant: Mark Petrakis

Production Crew: Matisse Enzer, Phyllis Florin


Ecological Design: Christopher Zelov / Brian Danitz

Lama Commune / Saline Valley: Stewart Brand

Inside the Catalog: Lloyd Kahn

Demise Party: Ant Farm, Raindance, Media Access Center, Media Burn Archive

Hackers: Fabrice Florin

WELL Party: David Kennard, InCA Productions

Cyberthon: Cyberthon Doc Squad, KO Beckman, David Lawrence, Michael Naimark

Wired: Kevin Kelly, Louis Rossetto, Wired

About Long Now: Long Now Foundation

10,000 Year Clock: Jimmy Goldblum, Public Record

Revive & Restore: Ryan Phelan, Revive & Restore

Earth Footage: NASA, International Space Station


Chocolate Coffe Pot: David Gans

Logical One: Rama Kolesnikow, Cruelty Free Sound

Bell Studies: Brian Eno

Eternal Structures: Asher Fulero

Vision: Christopher Willits, Ghostly International


Stewart Brand, Matisse Enzer, Kevin Kelly, Ryan Phelan, Danica Remy, Howard Rheingold, David Wills contributed the most images.

Other photo contributors include: Jeanne Campbell, Hilarie Coate, John Coate, Vickisa Feinberg, James Fulton, Carolyn Garcia, Matt Herron, Art Kleiner, Isabella Kirkland, Tiffany Lee Brown, Kathleen O’Neill, Tom Parker, Alexander Rose, Don Ryan, Susan Ryan and many more!


Diana Connolly, Colleen Fiaschetti, Isabella Kirkland, Art Kleiner, John Markoff, Danica Remy, Alexander Rose, Peter Schwartz, Jason Sussberg, Andrew Warner

Copyright © 2018 Point Foundation and its licensors.

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

#wholeearth50 #wholeearth50th #wholeearth #wholeearthcatalog #coevolution #well #wired #burningman #longnow #stewartbrand #pointfoundation


Hackers is a classic documentary about the midnight programmers who created the personal computer revolution, as a labor of love.

I produced this documentary in 1985, to give tribute to these unsung heroes, from the first MIT hackers to popular Silicon Valley inventors, through interviews with twelve computer pioneers: Steve Wozniak, designer of the Apple II; Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld, designers of the Macintosh; Homebrew Computer Club leader Lee Felsenstein; MIT hackers Richard Stallman and Richard Greenblatt; and many more.

All interviews were shot at the first Hackers Conference, over a long week-end in 1984, in Gerbode Valley, California. The event was hosted by Whole Earth Catalog editors Stewart Brand and Kevin Kelly, and was inspired by Steven Levy‘s classic book Hackers – Heroes of the Computer Revolution. This historic gathering brought together for the first time several generations of hardware and software designers, who collectively changed the world we live in.

For a quick preview of ‘Hackers’, watch the short trailer above. 

Hackers is not about malicious code-crackers. It is about a “hacker ethic” that led to major breakthroughs in technology, and forever changed our world. And although these interview were shot over a decade before the advent of the Internet, many of the issues we discussed together remain unresolved today.

Producing this show also transformed my own life, leading me to join Apple Computer, where I helped start a new form of expression through interactive multimedia. With the help of HyperCard creator Bill Atkinson and other gracious collaborators at the Apple Multimedia Lab,  we created some of the first multimedia applications of Macs and CD-ROMs, to help people learn by engaging all their senses, with photos, sounds, videos and interactivity. Our work inspired millions of people to learn and play with this new medium, and the multimedia revolution spread like wildfire in the decade that followed. More on this later.


Watch the full half-hour ‘Hackers’ show above. 

Hackers is freely available on YouTube and the Internet Archive, for personal, non-commercial viewing purposes only. For commercial uses of Hackers, please contact Fabrice by email. Our partners at Getty Images offer high quality clips for licensing to film and TV producers.

Hackers was produced and directed by Fabrice Florin, in association with KQED. Camera by Wes Dorman, sound by Gerry Berkowitz, still photography by Matt Herron. Special thanks to Phyllis Florin, Kevin Kelly, Ryan Phelan, Andy Hertzfeld, Steve Wozniak, our partners at KQED and Whole Earth, our many sources of historical footage and our sponsors at Apple, Broderbund, Hercules and PCWorld, to name but a few.


“Hackers is the most charming, endearing, downright winsome documentary on public television in quite some time. It is a tribute to the men and women whose brilliance, perseverance and ethical sense not only created the billion-dollar personal computer industry, but an entire culture along with it. …I defy you not to be won over by their enthusiasm.”
Philadelphia Daily News – David Friedman – April 25, 1986

“To Florin’s credit, he allows the achievements and spirit of the assembled specialists to bleed through their apparent on-screen quirkiness … Showing the hackers’ eccentricities without comment, in fact, lets these talented people’s warmth come through; they not only bubble with the passion of their calling, but also with an extraordinary collective motivation.”
San Francisco Chronicle – Calvin Alghren – April 20, 1986

“Hackers offers a pleasant way to peek into the hearts, minds and keyboards of the ultratalented computerniks (a.k.a. “hackers”) who spawned the personal computer revolution … For a quick introduction to the best and brightest of them, Hackers is a quality bet.”
Washington Post – Michael Schrage – April 20, 1986

“Hackers is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen on our industry; it’s destined to become a classic. I strongly urge everyone to watch it.”
PCWorld/MacWorld – David Bunnell – April 1986

“An affectionate and enjoyable trip through the minds of some of Hackdom’s biggest successes… Hackers is television worth watching.”
San Jose Mercury News – David Rosenthal – August 27, 1985

“A solid, informative, … byte-sized production.”
Chicago Tribune – Clifford Teny – April 28, 1986

“A look at one of our most fascinating sub-cultures”
Wall Street Journal, April 17, 1986

“The most interesting and effective body of intellectuals since the framers of the U.S. Constitution.”
Whole Earth Review – Stewart Brand, circa 1985

“In this short film “hackers” is used in its original MIT meaning for someone who comes up with an ingenious or daring “hack” or invention, shortcut, or prank. Not coincidentally, some of the hackers here are legends in the digital era …”
True Films – Kevin Kelly – April 4, 2006




Update: Valley of Genius Interview

Journalist Adam Fisher did a great interview with me about my Hackers documentary and how I came to join Apple to pioneer new multimedia experiences with Bill Atkinson’s HyperCard in the early eighties. This interview was originally done for “Valley of Genius”, Adam’s uncensored history of Silicon Valley — a wonderful book that features some of the hackers, founders, and freaks who made Silicon Valley boom, in their own words.

We talked at length about those exciting times, when the convergence of creative and engineering cultures sparked a whole new wave of innovation. The ‘hacker ethic’ that made the computer revolution possible was deeply influenced by the counter-culture movement spearheaded by Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog team — which I worked closely with as an independent TV producer (see my Whole Earth Flashbacks documentary).

The audio of our conversation is now available as a podcast through LeoLaporte’s TWiT network, which also produces This Week in Tech, along with other top-ranked online shows. It’s a wonderful walk down memory lane about a moment in time that truly changed the world — and started my digital career.