We Are As Gods: Stewart Brand & The Fight to Bring Back Woolly Mammoths
In a famous 2005 commencement speech, Apple’s Steve Jobs counseled graduates to “stay hungry, stay foolish.” He was quoting Stewart Brand, a man who has been called “the intellectual Johnny Appleseed of the counterculture” and is the subject of the new documentary We Are As Gods, co-directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg.
Born in 1938, Brand was a Merry Prankster who helped conduct Ken Kesey’s legendary acid tests in the 1960s. His guerilla campaign of selling buttons that asked “Why haven’t we seen a photograph of the whole earth yet?” pushed NASA to release the first image of the planet from space and helped inspire the first Earth Day celebrations. From 1968 to 1971, he published the Whole Earth Catalog, which quickly became a bible to hippies on communes and city-dwelling techno-geeks such as Jobs, whose commencement-day quote comes from the final issue of the magazine. The title of the new documentary comes from the first issue, which boldly announced, “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”
Brand helped shape early techno-culture and cyberspace by reporting on the personal compute
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