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Whole Earth Epilog: Access to Tools by…
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Whole Earth Epilog: Access to Tools

by Stewart Brand

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What's it about?

The Whole Earth Catalog was part of a non-profit foundation in San Francisco set up by Stewart Brand during the 60's. In true 'hippie' style, cash from sales of the book were donated to local goodworks in the area (Ref. Page 616 of 'The Seven Laws of Money').
This incarnation of the catalog, titled 'The Whole Earth Epilog' is in fact a continuation of 'The Last Whole Earth Catalog' (in effect it's volume II). It commences where the LWEC left off, at page 449, and does not repeat any of the material in volume I.

So, what is it?

To put it in simple terms, for those who may have heard of these books but have little to no idea of what to expect; it is a big book, about what you would expect from one of those enlarged poster art books (a true coffee table book); but, rather than being filled with psychedelic art prints, you will find page after page of black and white adverts for other books, interspersed with ads for soft technologies such as Duct Tape, or metal working kits, but mostly books. There are a small number of editorials and articles of interest, but these books were created for people as a source of information and 'access to tools' in the dark ages before the Internet.
It may be hard now for those born with easy access to the information superhighway to appreciate just how invaluable these books and others like them were to people at the time. The concept of the Internet as we know it today is not new, only the format it now takes.
Think of this book as representing the search engine; 'altavista' or 'yahoo'; if you are too young to remember any of those then just think 'google'.
Once you find what you are looking for in the catalog you then need to mail off for the right book, which should contain within it, the pages of information that you require. See. Just like the internet, only more leisurely; but, you probably had plenty of other things to take up your time while you waited. Life was much less fast paced back then.

You probably wouldn't find many answers within The Whole Earth Catalogs, but you could be certain that you would be pointed in the right direction; and that was something that many people (not just the Freeks) desperately needed access to. The Whole Earth series provided access and was a very powerful tool in the right hands. ( )
  Sylak | Aug 23, 2016 |
A later incarnation of a book that defined a life work for millions. ( )
  KennethWDavis | Feb 28, 2009 |
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The WHOLE EARTH EPILOG functions as an evaluation and access device. With it, the user should know better what is worth getting and where and how to do the getting.
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