John Perry Barlow RIP, lyricist for the Grateful Dead
He saw what other people had not yet seen, that this was a new space—one to which he quickly applied an existing term, cyberspace, and his own metaphor, the electronic frontier.
From the Economist’s obituary (the best writing in this world is about the dead..). He of the wonderful:
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather…I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us.
Then the thug with hoodie took over and the garden was enclosed.
It was Stewart Brand who made clear to me the link between the creation of the modern (computer — for that is what it is) age, and all that was good about the 1960s:
I think that hackers — dedicated, innovative, irreverent computer programmers — other most interesting and effective body of intellectuals since the framers of the US Constitution….. No other group that I know of has set out to liberate a technology and succeeded. They not only did so against the active disinterest of corporate America, their success forced corporate America to adopt their style in the end. The quietest of all the ‘60s subcultures has emerged as the most innovative and powerful.
[Stewart Brand’s description nails it (previous link of mine)]
From Vanneavar Bush’s Endless Frontier to the Electronic Freedom Foundation.
And in memory here is the version of Dark Star (“The Finest Rock Improvisation Ever Recorded” – Robert Christgau). Listen to Lesh’s bass signalling the coming together at 1’15” onwards