With the death of Steve Jobs we have lost one of our most brilliant minds and successful entrepreneurs. Many tributes are being written about his impacts on the computer and communication industries. To really appreciate the genuine genius of Steve Jobs, we need to understand the cultural climate in which he grew up. He was a self-identified “child of the sixties counterculture” who attributes much of his success to the Silicon Valley and San Francisco communities in which he spent his early years (same time and place where the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and others started.) This article explores the nature and extent of the counterculture’s influence over the development of the computer in general, and on Apple computers in particular. This type of insight is vital if we ever hope to find “the next Steve Jobs.”
This article collects most of what has been written about Steve Jobs’ early life. Particular attention is paid to how extensively Steve and other computer pioneers were greatly influenced by the values and vision of the hippie counterculture. Steve came of age in the epicenter of this social movement. He clearly embraced the hippies’ practices and philosophy. Many of the tributes included here show how his business behavior was shaped by his distrust of authority and willingness to expand his mind in many directions. To provide further context, I include a seminal article written by Stewart Brand in 1995 called “We Owe it all to the Hippies.” I also collect detailed reviews of an important book called “What the Dormouse Said.“ This article also includes a letter sent to Steve Jobs from Albert Hofman (discoverer and proponent of LSD). Steve Jobs acknowledged the importance of this psychedelic compound in shaping his own life and career. It is entirely possible that we will never see “another Steve Jobs” unless another form of “hip counterculture” is allowed to flourish. Given the conservative and corporate nature of modern American society, that is very unlikely. Click Below to Learn More:
Two recent events warn us about the serious social problems associated with poverty in the US. First, Bruce Springsteen sent a letter to the editor of his local paper warning about the impacts of Republican budget cuts on the poor. Also last week, I attended a great conference sponsored by the UNC School of Law. You can read a summary of the conference and download some helpful publications. Some common themes emerge from the Boss’s letter and the UNC conference. Right-wing conservatives in many states (including New Jersey and North Carolina) are aggressively pushing pro-corporate economic policies. Their give-aways to big business will be paid for on the backs of the poor and less fortunate who can least afford such cuts.
This is a symptom of the massive wealth gap between the richest families and the rest of us. In fact, just one percent of Americans now control 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Just 25 years ago, the top 12 percent only controlled one-third of the wealth. These articles also point to the importance of educating the public about how the problems of poverty affect us all. Clearly, these issues will be important during the 2012 political campaigns. It should be an area for the Democrats to win the debate- particularly with stronger White House leadership. However, these stories also stress the important role that state-level politics and budgetary problems have in making the problems of poverty even worse.
Click below to learn why poverty problems are more serious and important now than ever.
The rapid rise in gas prices has caught the experts and consumers off-guard. This reminds me of the same wake-up call that America received from the Arab Oil Crisis of the Seventies. So stupid that we are not better prepared with the right types of cars and mass transportation – like they are in much of Europe. So the only way to cope is to Change our Own Driving Habits. I noticed how important this is as I drove my 1995 Jeep on the highway and around town. The Instantaneous Mileage read-out showed how much difference I could make if I would slow down and quit moving so fast. So I have found the best advice for my readers about how to save money, lives and the environment. Read on and Enjoy the Pix (Click to view larger!!)
Time for another review of one of my favorite movies with a message. This one is particularly relevant given the way the capitalist economy is exploiting workers. It sure does not seem fair that many workers are baring the brunt of the financial meltdown caused by corporate executives. Millions stuck in a dead-end and depressing job day-dreams about ways to rip off the corporation. The movie “Office Space” came out a decade ago and contains inspiration and information to help the alienated workers take back control of their lives and redistribute the wealth.
This wonderful film validates and popularizes key lessons from social science research about work and happiness. Enforced conformity to meaningless rules and bureaucratic processes breeds alienation – leading to lack of commitment and creativity. Themes in this movie tie directly back to the writings of Karl Marx (as I explained in an earlier article.) This is a very subversive and superb movie that encourages the proletariat to smash their machine and take back control over the means of production. This radical and revolutionary message is clearly why this movie received an “R” rating. There is no nudity or violence (except toward technology). Also the language is very mild. So clearly this movie is so threatening because it hopefully will make kids hip to the BS involved with most of the jobs in the capitalist system.
Enjoyment and Enlightenment can and will be ours!