The Outer Game

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(FS) The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog
Posted by Robert Carrillo Cohen on January 23, 1997 10:00:00:

TITLE: The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog

DEFINITION: Access to Tools & Ideas

CREATOR: Point Foundation, ed. by Howard Rheingold


ALTERNATIVE CATEGORIES: belief, business, change, communications, community, consciousness, environment, health, listening, literature, listening, love, media, money vote, politics, time vote

RELATIONSHIP TO THE CORE WAVE: Do shared tools bring us into a shared creation.

MAIN QUOTE: "Comprehensive thought requires focused widespread knowledge plus study of connections and patterns. It is not commonly taught. Over specialized education is the problem." -- J. Baldwin

HIGHLIGHT QUOTES: "'Alternative Energy' (as if the sun was alternative)." -- J. Baldwin

"So far remotely done power and glory - as via government, big business, formal education, church - have succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains, a realm of intimate, personal power is developing - the power of individuals to conduct their own education, find their own inspiration, shape their own environments, and share the adventure with whoever is interested. " -- Stewart Brand 1968

"Here are the tools to make your life go better. And to make the world go better. That they're the same is our theory of civilization." -- Stewart Brand

HIGHLIGHT RECOMMENDATION: In his introduction, Howard Rheingold writes, "If you want to maintain independence in the era of large institutions you are going to need good tools. Since 1968, Whole Earth Catalogs have transformed the world, by introducing world-changers to world-changing tools. Whole Earth is a network of experts who find, evaluate, and share tools and ideas." For me this book is a wonderfully successful but partial version of A Glass Bead Game. It is definitely a symphony of ideas.

The book is filled with recommendations, a few of which actually refer you to other recommendations on other pages. There are 13 categories that attempt to cover most aspects of human experience. I found reading the Millennium Whole Earth Catalog was easily equivalent to a couple years of college. You can pick it up at any time, flip open to a page and learn something new. Flip to another page and relate that first experience with the next.

The theme of empowerment carries strongly throughout all the recommendations and ties the content together. Each recommendation is succinct, easy to read and most have pictures and highlight quotes. The book also speaks to me about love because I can clearly feel the compassion and integrity behind all of its multifaceted parts.


CONNECTIONS: The Glass Bead Game (Move 1) The Whole Earth Catalog, like a scaled down Glass Bead Game, also organizes information in useful and playful ways. A central theme (of empowerment) unites all the content. Quotes and personal reviews reduce whole material to accessible representations.

IMAGES AND CLIPS: Scan of the book cover and an inner page will suffice.

ACCESS AND DISTRIBUTION: The Catalog is published by the Point Foundation and Harper San Francisco. Harper Collins Publishers 10 East 53rd Street, NY, NY. 10022
The Catalog is rendered in a limited version on the web with selected pages ( Howard Rheingold, the editor of the catalog, is the author of many books and articles about the internet, virtual reality and media. His personal web site is called Brainstorms (


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