Stewart Brand has had a remarkable green life. First he was a member of the Merry Pranksters with Ken Kesey. Then he famously went on to found the Whole Earth Catalog, which continues to have influence today. At Plenty we did our own look at what was the lasting effect of The Whole Earth Catalogue. But now an 8th grader named Miro Furtado has done a ten minute documentary on the life of Stewart Brand, which is nothing short of fabulous. I really hope he got an A.
In some ways the Whole Earth Catalog was very much a product of its time. It gave tools to people that they needed to live off the land. That’s not really what most greenies need today. The environmental movement has changed. Sierra Club members are generally happy just to drive their Prius and shop at Whole Foods Market.
But the idea of the Whole Earth Catalog hasn’t become dated, just the tools. They have of course evolved over time. People don’t so much want to know how to tan their leather anymore, but they do want to know how to create their own organic garden and maybe even learn how to reuse some of their gray water.
But there is no surer testament to lasting value than an 8th grader doing a documentary on your life’s work.