Saturday, January 24, 2004
WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Whole Earth Closes Its Doors
WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Whole Earth Closes Its Doors:

Whole Earth magazine - spawn of the amazing Whole Earth Catalogs, source of the WELL, first to mention in print the Gaia Hypothesis, the Internet, Virtual Reality, the Singularity and Burning Man (or at least so the legend goes), the place where folks like Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly and Howard Rheingold found their voices, and where a whole generation of young commune-kid geeks like myself learned to dream weird - is no more.

Again. Maybe. It has died and risen from the ashes at least once before. But in any case, it's going into the deep freeze, with (as far as I can tell) no solid plans for how to awaken, and it looks pretty unlikely that the famous "lost Singularity issue," #111(PDF) will ever see print.

The signs are bad: creditors (including writers) have long gone unpaid, the last of the staff have gone, and I got an email today quoting this message from board president Danica Remy:

...Ah, Dear WER friends and fans. Yes, it's true WE is giving notice to place of business for the last eight years. We are looking at a storage scenario but several of us on the board have NOT GIVEN UP!

Thank you all for your warm wishes, perspectives and most of all your continued support. It is true the WELL and WER should have been more tightly tied together but a decision long before I joined the was made that sealed the fate of a disconnected future.

We have many more conversation to have before we can really say Whole Earth is dead....


Hopefully this isn't just wishful thinking, and, to paraphrase E.J. Dionne, it only looks dead. If not, though, a once great (and worldchanging) magazine has passed from the scene, and we're all poorer for it.

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