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i\o. /I hummer 1991
1991 |

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ACCESS ro roots & IDEAS
THIS M«»fclH W « I L » by TOM TOMORROW

GOOD EVENING " I ' M TED FOR YEARS, AAANY OF YoU •Wc. FBBPLE OF MY RACE
KOPPEL-- HAVE NcmCEO 5cW\ErriiN6' MUST LIVE IN A SYMBldT-
^1 \^\ VAGUELY AMISS ABOUT TED'S K RELATIONSHIP WITH A
AND I'M TXO i v ' COlFFURE.TriERE HAS BEEN HOST BEING IN ORDER To
KOPPEl'5 A^yl/y?/ MUCH SPECUtAfiON. IS IT SURVIVE! I HAVE BEEN A»4
A VIIG» DOES TED HAVE ADVANCE SCooT STUDYING
NO MIRRORS )N HIS HOME? YOUR RACE, AND AFTER
MANY YEAJ?S,T: HAVE DE-
V^EU.TME 7 » U W OFTW£ TERMINED THAT WE ARE
AAATTER JS THAT I - T E D ^Vne COMPAT/BLE!
KOPPELS HAIR--AIV\ AN
AUrAf BEMG ^^0H\, A
DISTANT PLANET!

EVEN A5 J iP£AK, WHUONS DIE ONLY DRAW/BACK- GfEZ-I JUST HAD Trf^
OF MY PEOPLE M E ON THE»K heh >itfA-l5fHAT MOST fERRlBLE NIGItT-
WAY TO Tril5 PiANET. tHtP:i HUA1AN OH ^hK^A MARE —
. 'C-/v./,-/^--C . . 1 V , . - i . l l.-r^'-..'-v VUILL HAVE HAIR UKZ
N0W.TMESYA)18W5J$ 1^ T£DKOPP££..'
H A R M U i S f o T r i E riOCT-
AND^NJLLEVEN 8 E BENE*
nciAL,A5>WE W i l l Of
COURSE 5HARE OOR A D -
VANCED KNOWLEDGE oF
P»IU>50PHy, 5CIENCE ANO
A R T - FOREVER ENOIN&
FAAAIN^, WAR AND DI^EA^E
DM VOL^R P t A N f n
THE GLOBAL CoNNtCTiON
As if in pain, the helicopter's jet turbine
engine screeched sharply, groaned o^:."?, '•.'i'.'
INSIDE NuLTiMEDiA GRANDMA
For my great-grandmother, the matriarch of
a large family, personal storytelling was an
effective and accessible tool for
died. Now, silhouetted against
the Himalayas, the quiet heli- cultural transmission. As the
copter began to spiral slowSy SNAKE TALK oldest daughter of her oldest
toward the ground. The pas- daughter's oldest daughter, I
Compare and contrast; History of People History of Man. Man Invents
sengers, a group of United Na- have tried to combine the
the Wheel. People Invent the Wheel. Man's Search for Meaning. People's
tions doctors, looked around records of my great-grand-
Search for Meaning. The troubie with Man is not just that he's a man,
furtively as the pilot, his jaw mother's oral storytelling with
but that there's only one of him. One tail, clear-eyed, well-hung, jut-jawed
clenched, maneuvered the par- new tools, such as interactive
male striding through the ages toward a goal both logical and grand. The
alyzed bird dowo in tight video, now that the family has
History of People sounds messy and casuai and it was.
circles. dispersed to various cities,
Maybe inspiration means something that helps you breathe, something become increasingly secular,
After a silent eternity, the pilot that gives you room to breathe in deep. —p. 76 and turned its media-savvy at-
brought the craft down just
tention to television and com-
outside of Biratnagar in the
puters. ~p. S4
remote terrain of Nepal.

"What's wrong?" a passenger asked.


I used to think that my period was a nuisance,
"Nothing much," the pilot replied, "but we'ii a messy intrusion that increased laundry and CHARCOAL BsicoLAGE
need to file a spare-parts order: 'Engine. caused a host of unpleasant symptoms in-
One.'" —p. 18 Tap, tap. tap . . . tap, tap, tap . . . tap, tap, tap.
cluding exhaustion and debilitating pain. Men-
struation interfered with my sex life, with Walking through the narrow alleys of a bust-
athletic activities, and with my energy level. ling marketplace in the Sudanese city of El
MAi(ifciG SfNSE
It caused mood swings, irritability, and de- Obeid. you can't help being drawn to the
' i(,i« *K-w '''o'- 't''' n.-,r *',an I h>'d o cp;*' i^' structive, unstoppable bitchiness. it cost rhythmic staccato of an artisan at work.
Only six years earlier, I'd felt I had truly ar- money — in pads and tampons to absorb the
Down past the odd stray goat, a quick stut-
rived, and that 1 would never leave. For years blood, in ruined clothes, in time away from
ter step around a cluster of curious children,
there was nothing i did not like about the work. It was a mean and sneaky saboteur
and a fast turn past the shoppers gesturing
place. 1 loved the crowds, the smells, the that would always come at the most Incon-
emphatically as they bargain with hard-nosed
food, the subways, even the sixth-floor walk- venient time.
merchants, a cluttered and beat-up-looking
up apartment. There was no reason to sus-
Despite this catechism of woe, when my stall is starting to attract lots of attention.
pect that I would ever feel compelled to
period came there was always a part of me
return to rural life, not after I had so pur-
that was pleased, —p. 84
posefully given up life on the farm to search
for Life in the City. The City was a place of
endless possibility where I could live a life of
study and reflection, a life tempered by the arts and seasoned with
DREAMS & Mrrns
pleasures of foods, society, and sophistication unknown to the rural I think one of the wonderful things Jbout a myth 'S that it mediates
drudge. It was the place I had long lived in my imagination, and as I between the abstract and your own memory of how you felt when
walked from top to bottom and side to side, going everywhere, see- your father died. It combines the point of a philosophical dogma or
ing everything, it was no less gritty and glorious underfoot than it had abstract idea with the vividness of one's own dream and the detail
been in my fondest daydreams. But this all passed, —p. »4 that goes between the t w o of them, it takes your experience with
all the detail that makes you care —
what was he drinking, what kind of
THE GREAT EQUALIZER wine was it, what kind of dress was
On a recent Saturday, an eight-year- In the age of mass media, citizens and grassroots groups need she wearing, what was the embroi-
old German shepherd named But- an equalizer. The combination of personal computers and the dery like — and then says. "By the
tons sat oh the floor of the Cam- telephone network might prove as important to citizens In the way, this is enormously general." it
panile Veterinary Clinic in Oakland, information age as the printing press has been for several cen- allows you to hold in suspension to-
California. He had thin needles stick- turies. The use of electronic mail services, computer bulletin- gether your commitment to a really
ing out of his head, neck, the flesh board systems, and computer conferencing systems as chan- personal experience and your com-
above his lower spine, and his thighs. nels to make decisions and disseminate Information can help mitment to a philosophical idea,
His owner sat on a bench nearby, grassroots political organizations, nonprofit groups, and other which is "everybody dies," or "an
placidly glancing at her watch from public interest groups to gather critical information, organize awful lot of people died in W W ! . "

time to time. Buttons was receiving political action, sway public opinion and guide policy-making. I think that is a power that a great

acupuncture, and all was well, -p. 4


myth has. ~p. 44

—p. I l l
WVHOLE EARTHI No. 71 Summer 1991
^<t^^)''»'^°

ffil-*B^*V^^
ELECTRONIC DEMOCRACY
, ^,«,4f-'*

4 Electronic Democracy Howard Rheingold 12 The Complete Electronic Bulletin Board


14 More Power For Nonprofit Organizations: Compumentor Starter Kit • New Communications
Daniel Ben-Horin Technologies In Politics
16 Sources O f C o m m u n i t y - A c t i o n !de:» Bill Berkowitz • Media Technology And The Vote
13 Information Technologies And Social
18 Computer Conferencing Lawrence B. Brilliant
Transformation
20 The Global Commons Brock N. Meeks
30 Public Opinion Polling
24 Electronic City Hall Michele Wittig
• Directory Of National Helplines
28 Conscious Democracy Through Electronic Town Meetings 31 Media Research Techniques
Duane Elgin ' a Media Analysis Techniques
32 Big Sky Telegraph Frank Odasz 35 Organizing For Social Change
36 The American Indian Share-Art Gallery Cynthia Denton 42 Computer Ethics
38 Earthtrust Electronic Mail And Ecological Activism Don White
40 The Electronic F r o n t i e r Foundation A n d V i r t u a l Communities
Mike Godwin

MYTHS AND
DREAMS

48 Other Peoples' Myths • The Jungian-


44 Public Myths, Private Dreams Interview With Wendy Doniger Senoi Dreamwork Manual
Adam Phillips 49 The Water Of Life
47 How To R e m e m b e r Your Dreams Adam Phillips 52 Dreamtime & Dreamwork • Exploring
The World Of Lucid Dreaming
50 C o m e Into Animal Presence Interview With James Hillman
53 Control Your Dreams • The Sun And
Jonathan White and Donna Sandstrom
The Shadow • Pathway To Ecstasy

STORYTELLING 49 Keepers Of The Earth


56 Stories About Stories
54 O l d Stories, N e w Media Abbe Don 57 Family History Video Project
58 Agents & Points O f View Brenda Laurel 62 The Singing Feather
• Through Indian Eyes
60 Storytelling Agents Tim Oren
63 Itam Hakim, Hopiit • Multi-Cultural
64 N o t Just Entertainment Lenore Keeshig-Tobias
Literacy • Stories From The Rest
68 Telling Stories To Your Kids Nancy Schimmel
Of The World
72 H o t Air: Tips For Citizen Storytellers Jay Allison 67 Just Enough To Make A Story • National
Association For The Preservation And
Perpetuation Of Storytelling
• Storytelling: Process & Practice
W t o t e £arth Review D Issue No. 71 D June 21, 1991 (ISSN 0749-5056) (USPS 077-150). Published quarterly by JQ Joining In • T h e S t o r y V i n e
POINT, a California nonprofit corporation. Editorial office: 27 Gate Five Road, Sausalito, CA 94965; 415/332-1716. y i C h i l d r e n Tell S t o r i e s
Subscriptions $20 per year for individuals. $28 per year for institutions: single copies $7. Add $6 per year for Canadian /-uij ' r> C •
and foreign surface mail: add $12 per year for airmail anywhere. Second-class postage paid at Sausalito, California, and S VJW
at additional mailing offices. Claims for missing issues will not be honored later than six months after publication. Back * T h e Boy W h o W o u l d Be A Helicopter
issues are available on microfilm and as xerographic reprints from University Microfilms International, Serials Bid Coor-
dinator, 300 Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Ml 48106. Most articles in VMiote fort/i Review are available on-line via Dialog,
Mead & BRS. Wtiole Earth Review is indexed by Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals, Alternative Press Index, Magazine Index, Consumers Index, Humanities Index, Book,
Review Index, Academic Index, and General Periodical Index.

Copyright © 1991 by POINT. All rights reserved. Subscription circulation: 24,545. Newsstand circulation: 15,375. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Whole farth Review,
P O. Box 38. Sausalito, CA 94966.
LAND AND PLACE 39 Environmental Vacations 115 The Guide To The U.S. Organic
• Willing Workers On Organic Farms Foods Production Act Of 1990
75 Declaration O n Soil Ivan lllich 75 BackHome !I6 Second Nature • Antique Flowers:
94 Making Sense John Townsend 79 In Praise Of Nature Perennials • The Gourd
• Wetland Creation And Preservation I!7 The Pacific Horticulture Book Of
82 Amazonia Western Gardening • Growing Native
83 Cornucopia 131 Fighting Toxics • When Nature Heals
• Saving Our Ancient Forests • Weeds: Controls Without Poisons
. :=.< 102 The Great Good Place 132 Earthpost • Better Trout Habitat
•Y t .t%
^:^r
*},-,
• The Lincoln Highway • Green Brigades Ecologists Paper
• ^ -
103 City Of Quartz

WOMEN'S WISDOM
76 Snake Talk Anne Herbert
80 Botanical Preservation Corps Meets Ecuadorian Shaman Woman 51 Altered Loves
Robert Montgomery 90 Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads
84 The Sabbath O f Women Lara Owen 91 The Menstrual Health Foundation
90 H o w To Make A Cloth Maxi-Pad Sue Smith-Heavenrich 92 Blood Magic • The Wise Wound

COMMUNICATIONS 31 Discount Booksource


57 In Context
104 Access To Zines #2 Mike Gunderioy and Carl Goldberg 59 Mapping Hypertext
107 Four Flew Over D'Cuckoo's Nest Flash Gordon 61 Media Magic

SOFT TECH 39 Sports 'N Spokes 110 Structures • What It Feels Like
43 The Cooper And His Trade • Tiles To Be A Building
108 The Fuel-Efficient Sudanese For A Beautiful Home • Making And 11 i Universal Patterns
Cookstove George Wirt Playing Musical Instruments • Spectacular Vernacular
114 Farm Tools For Efficiency 109 Negawatts/Water Efficiency 127 Music Animation Machine
Richard Nllsen For Your Home • Rising Sun Sampler

LEARNING 31 CMim
93 Wonderful Life • A Synopsis And
111 Acupuncture For Pets Classification Of Living Organisms
Jeanne Miriam Breen 118 The Playroom • Kid Pix 133 Backscatter
\ &.£. Artificial Life Survey • MacRecorder 134 Corrections
Steven Levy 119 Amazing Models! 135 Post Host-ies
!20 The Kid's Guide To Social Action 136 Masthead • Gossip
" Activity Resources Company 137 Point Foundation Report: 1990
COVERS 121 HowTo Make Big Money Mowing Small 139 1990 Provisional Income Statement
Lawns • Parenting From The Heart 140 Just Asking • Back Issues
Brad Hamann is a Brooklyn-based freelance
141 Unclassifieds
Illustrator and a subscriber since Issue 20 of
143 Subscribe!
CoEvolution Quarterly, vray back in the winter
of 1978. He says, "Frankly, it's helped me get CANCER 144 Reader Services • How To Order
From Whole Earth Access
through permanent residence in NYC a number
128 Cancer And Hope • Coping With 145 Keep Whole Earth Alive!
of times." Look for further examples of his
Chemotherapy • Triumph • Thank You
work in the Electronic Democracy section of
® Beauty And Cancer
this issue, or go back to "Garbage In Mind"
129 Vitamins Against Cancer
in our last issue.
• Winning The Chemo Battle
Tom Erikson (back cover) specializes in photo- • My ABC Book Of Cancer
graphing performers at work; he has frequent 130 Childhood Cancer Bibliography
exhibitions in bohemian San Francisco cafes
and bars. —Jonathan Evelegh
HE FOLLOWING ARTICLES are about power -~
bow to gain it, influence it, and exercise it in
a modern democratic society. Big government,
big business, big politics already know how to
A popular government without use telecommunication technologies to amplify
popular information, or the their effectiveness. The cost of access to these-
means of acquiring it, is but a technologies is no longer an insurmountable
prologue to a farce or a tragedy, barrier to citizens, but the arcane knowledge of
jjLperbaps both. Knowledge how to use these tools to provide leverage for
will forever govern ignorance, community organizing activities remains an
and a people who mean to be obstacle. The purpose of this article, and those
their own governors must arm that follow it, is to help demystify electronic
themselves with the power mail, computer bulletin-board systems, com-
which knowledge gives. puter conferencing, and other tools that can
Hames Madison help citizens gain some of the communication
and persuasion power that has heretofore been
limited to large institutions. —HR

WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMHER 1991


THE AGE OF MASS MEDIA, citizens and

The Great grassroots groups need an equalizer. The


combination of personal computers and
the telephone network might prove as im-

Equalizer portant to citizens in the information age


as the printing press has been for several
centuries. The use of electronic mail ser-
vices, computer bulletin-board systems,
and computer conferencing systems as
by Howard Rheingold channels to make decisions and dissem-
inate information can help grassroots po-
litical organizations, nonprofit groups,
ilMstratioBs by iVfaft Wuewker and other public interest groups to gather
critical information, organize political
action, sway public opinion and guide
policy-making.
Just as the advent of the Colt .45 revolver during the
taming of the West equalized the balance between a

i 27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94965


S
3
small person and a larger one, telecom-
munications, properly used, can equalize
the balance of power between citizens and
power brokers. The key to understanding
this new opportunity is understanding the
power of computers as communication
devices. Many people understand that
computers are no longer confined to num-
ber crunching for scientists oir data proc-
essing for big businesses, and can be used
by non-experts for word processing, desk-
top publishing, spreadsheet forecasting,
and other mind-amplifying activities.
Many people, however, have yet to realize
that the power of personal computers can
be multiplied by equipping them with
communication hardware and software
that allow them to "talk" over the tele-
phone lines.
Most of the processes involved in formu-
lating and advocating public policy are
communicative in nature — meeting others,
developing and refining ideas, persuading
people to adopt your views, enlisting their
support, negotiating compromises with
opponents. These functions can all be en-
hanced significantly through the use of
computer-mediated communications. And
these communicative techniques are the
core of what public policy influence is all
about. Ask Dave Hughes, for example.
Dave Hughes is a pamphleteer and activist
who uses a laptop computer and a modem
The Fundamentals of
Telecommunications
Y OU NEED FOUR KEY PIECES of
hardware to get started: a computer, a com-
munications card in your computer that
in place of a printing press. Hughes, a re- enables you to use it as a communication
tired West Pbint instructor and combat device, a modem that converts your com-
veteran of Korea and Vietnam, now uses a puter's output into a form that can be
computer bulletin board system in Colorado transmitted over telephone lines (and re-
Springs to mobilize action in local po- converts it from the audible signals that
litical matters. travel over telephone lines into a form that
"Electronic citizenship means freedom of your computer can use), and a telephone.
electronic expression," Hughes claims. "I A good introductory book on telecom-
think that Benjamin Franklin would have munications, such as those listed in the
been the first owner of a microcomputer. I bibliography to this article, can tell you
think that the Declaration of Independence how to locate, set up, and operate the hard-
would have been written on a word proc- ware. A very basic computer that can be
essor. And I think that Tom Paine would used as a telecommunication terminal can
have made Common Sense available on be obtained for a few hundred dollars (less
an electronic bulletin board." than $100 in some instances). A more
powerful computer that can serve multiple
The rest of this article explains how tele- needs for an organization can be obtained
communication technologies work and for $1,000 or less. The price of modems
points to resources and references that can has dropped dramatically and will con-
help you start using these tools. The arti- tinue to drop. You should be able to find
cles that follow, contributed by a variety of one for less than $100.
organizations and organizers, will show
you how people are using these tools today Telecommunication software and telecom-
to amplify their ability to change the world. munication services are the other compo-
nents you will need. The most basic form
of telecommunication software enables
you to type commands on the keyboard of

WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMHER IWI


your personal computer and send those

W
commands through the telecommunication Electronic Mail
network to a remote service such as a com-
puterized bulletin board system (BBS), HEN YOU SIGN UP for an elec-
electronic mail service, or conferencing tronic mail service, what 5rou get when
system. Very inexpensive (or even free) you pay your entrance fee and/or fill out
forms of telecommunication software, your registration is a user identification
known as "shareware," are available; this (often called a "usemame" or "userid"), a
inexpensive or free software is often re- password, an account, and an electronic
markably useful, especially for getting mailbox. The password is a combination of
started. For less than $100, very sophisti- letters, numbers, and punctuation marks
cated commercial telecommunication soft- known only to you and to the service pro-
ware is available. vider. Your username is known to every
When you have your hardware and software other person who has access to the ser-
working, you need to know the telephone vice, and is the "address" that others use
numbers of services that can connect you to contact you; conversely, when you want
with other people. The cheapest way to " I think that Benjamin to contact others, you look in an online
start is by using local BBSs, most of which directory and send e-mail to the appro-
are free. You can look in the classified ad- Franklin would have priate username. My usemame on MCI
vertising section of any controUed-circuIa- Mail, for example, is "hrheingold." So
tion computer newspaper and find lists of been the first owner when you create a message on MCI Mail,
dozens, if not hundreds, of such "boards." and want to send it to me, you type "h-
Almost every BBS has an online hst of of a microcomputer. I rheingold" on the subject line. My pass-
other BBSs. You can perfect your online word is a nonsense word that you wouldn't
think that the Declara- guess unless I told you. Because you are
skills, meet people, gain information, at
very little cost. If you want to send elec- the only person who knows your password,
tion of Independence you are the only person who uses your ac-
tronic mail to a large number of people in
a larger geographical area, you will need a count, so you are responsible for paying
would have been writ-
subscription to MCI Mail, CompuServe, the charges that accrue due to the number
PeaceNet, EcoNet, the WELL, or other ten on a word processor. of messages or the amount of online time
computer conferencing or e-mail (elec- used by that account.
tronic mail) systems that interconnect with And ! think that Tom
other networks. Because my electronic When you want to check your e-mail or
home, the WELL, has connections with Paine would have made send e-mail, you use your telecommunica-
Internet systems, as well as MCI and Com- tion software to dial the number provided
puServe, I can reach and be reached by Common Sense avail- by the service. When your modem con-
millions of people worldwide. Costs for nects with one of the service's modems,
able on an electronic you see a "prompt" on your computer
each of these systems vary (see the access
information at the end of this article). screen that asks you to enter your user-
bulletin board." name. After you type your username on
The missing element is support. Once you your computer keyboard, you are prompted
have your technology working and your to enter your password. The service's com-
service subscription, you need to figure puter checks your username against the
out how to use it effectively. Fortunately, password, and if they match, you are per-
every system worth its salt offers online mitted to send and receive electronic mail.
support and telephone numbers for access If there is mail waiting for you, a message
to people who can talk you through the usually appears on your screen.
procedures. Indeed, figuring out how to An electronic mailbox is a portion of the
use telecommunication technology by service's computer memory that is dedi-
questioning knowledgeable people is one cated to your use. If somebody sends you
of the best uses of telecommunication e-mail, their message will be stored there
technology (see the article about Com- until you read it. If you check your e-mail
puMentor on page 14). a few minutes after the message is sent to
Until you spend some time exploring these you, it is available. If you check your e-mail
new communication media, terms can be a few weeks or months after it is sent to
confusing. The following sections explain you, it is available. When you read your e-
how electronic mail, BBSs, and conferenc- mail, you can print it on your desktop
ing systems work, and briefly outline the printer, store it in the service's longterm
advantages to using these media. storage (which is different from your e-
mailbox), store it as a computer file on
your desktop computer, and/or reply. ••

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSAUTO, CA S4f6S


Electronic mail has several distinct adran- bulletin board where people can post no-
tages over other forms of communication. tices and participate in public discussions.
Like the telephone, and unlike "snailmail" If you want to sell a bicycle, find out the
(as e-mail users refer to postal delivery), cheapest way to fly to Saskatchewan, argue
delivery is instant; at most, it takes a few If you want to sell a about politics, or learn about telecommu-
minutes for the service to deliver your mail nications, you can "log on" to a BBS, read
bicycle, find out the
to the e-mailbox of the recipient. Unlike what others have written in the public
using the telephone, the recipient doesn't cheapest way to fly to communication area, and add your own
have to be online at the moment you want comments. It's amazing how apprehensive
to communicate. This "asynchronous com- Saskatchewan, argue one can be about typing words on a key-
munication" aspect of e-mail eliminates board in the security of one's home, know-
telephone tag. Response is easy and im- about politics, or learn ing that those words are going to be stored
mediate: instead of composing a reply, in a computer on the other side of town or
printing it, putting it in an envelope, and about telecommunica- the other side of the world, to be read by
delivering it to a post office or mailbox, complete strangers. And it's amazing how
you simply type your reply on your com- tions, you can "log on" exciting it can be when you log on again a
puter keyboard. few hours or a couple days later apd find
to a BBS, read what welcoming letters in your e-mailbox and
The cost of e-mail is an advantage that in- replies to your public comments. Many
creases in importance as the cost of snail- others have written in
people find it to be a particularly addict-
mail and the more expensive delivery ser- ive form of communication; many people,
vices — all of which are linked to energy the public communi-
and I include myself, have formed deep
costs related to moving physical objects cation area, and add friendships and have participated in true
around the planet — increase. E-mail ser- community-building through a BBS sj^tem
vices charge between ten cents and two your own comments. located in somebody's home.
dollars for messages up to 500 characters.
Many services charge by the length of your
message, others charge by the amount of Tens of thousands of BBSs are in operation
time you are online; when you are charged in North America alone, most of them in
for online time, you can compose your people's homes, most of them single-line
messages offline with a word processor, operations (which means that only one
then "upload" them online very quickly. person can access the BBS at a time), many
Another cost- and time-saving feature is of them devoted to a specific area of inter-
the capability of sending your message est (paganism or Christianity, politics of
to multiple addresses or even to a mass- the left or right, skateboards or science
mailing list. Some services offer substan- fiction, computer games or ecology). BBS-
tial discounts for volume mail, and some ing has created a full-fledged subculture,
services enable you to use your electronic with national conventions, paper publica-
account to send fax and paper-mail for tions, and local social events, all organized
an additional fee. online. Most BBSs are free, some of them
charge users. There are even global net-
Electronic mail can give small organiza- works of BBSs.
tions big leverage. For one example of this
kind of leverage, see the article on page 39 BBSs have the communication advantages
about Earthtrust, an environmental-action of e-mail, plus a few of their own. First, a
organization that uses electronic mail to BBS makes "many-to-many" communica-
link remote monitoring stations all around tion possible, just the way a bulletin board
the world. in the town square does — except you can
visit the town square by typing a command
on your computer at home or the office,

A BULLETIN-BOARD SYSTEM is
a large (or small) computer, with one or
more modems and telephone lines con-
Electronic Bulletin-
Board Systems
and the "town" can consist of a small city,
a state, or an entire country. The topic-
oriented structure of a BBS system, the
capability of "branching" discussions
when they begin to drift from the original
nected to it, and software that allows peo- topic, the capability of using both public
ple with computers and modems to call and private messages to build communities,
and leave messages. As with electronic the capability of "downloading" software
(including software to run your own BBS
mail services, you can send and receive
— a self-propagating characteristic of this
e-mail on almost every BBS system. Unlike
medium), the fact that communication style
services that are devoted strictly to deliver-
rather than physical appearance counts,
ing e-mail, a BBS is literally an electronic

g WHOLE EARTH REVEV/ SUMHER I99i


are ail powerful advantages of BBSs and
computer conferencing systems that I will
discuss at greater length below. BBSs, when
used knowledgeably, also can be superb
tools for grassroots political organizing, or
for leveraging the activities of any grassroots
public interest or nonprofit organization.
Have Hughes figured out how to use a BBS
to exert political leverage on local govern-
ment. Ask anybody in Colorado Springs,
where Hughes made his first foray into
electronic democracy because he wanted
to find a way of letting local vendors, who
had been shut out of bidding on the county
computer contract, air their complaints.
The press logged on, asked questions on-
line, and confronted the county commis-
sioners with the complaints and the facts
they had compiled.
"It got so hot that county staff members
were observed reading from BBS printouts
at the podium during formal meetings,"
Hughes recalls. "In the end," he adds,
"the commissioners knuckled under, went
to bid, the whole inefficient and incestuous
system was exposed, and today there is a
whole new approach to information man-
agement in the county. The key was that
members of the press, who knew that some-
thing was wrong but lacked the technical
expertise to ask the right questions, were
able to use my BBS to meet, efficiently,
with a wide range of experts, and thus
tackle a difficult form of investigative
journalism.''
money. I was the only person to stand up
For his next foray into BBS politics, Hughes in front of the planning commission and
invited a candidate for city council to post testify against the ordinance; the planners
his views on Hughes' BBS, and to respond tabled the matter for thirty days. I then
to questions from voters. The candidate brought the text of the ordinance home
was elected, and the councilman contin- with me and put it on my BBS."
ues to use the BBS to communicate with
his constituents. Hughes sent letters to the editors of his
two local papers, inviting people to log
Hughes is a belie\?er in "teleports" — onto his BBS and read the ordinance. Two
communities like his own, where people hundred and fifty callers above the normal
can enjoy a small-town atmosphere and traffic level for his BBS called within the
work from their homes using computers next ten days. What Hughes did not realize
and modems. When the Colorado Springs at the time was that many of those callers
city council looked like it was going to worked in large high-tech plants, and they
make a decision that would effectively downloaded, printed, copied, and circu-
prohibit telecommuting, Hughes went lated hundreds of copies of the ordinance
into action. throughout the city. At the next city council
"The city planners of Colorado Springs meeting, more than 175 citizens, represent-
decided to tighten the ordinance that reg- ing every part of the political and social
ulates working out of the home,'' Hughes spectrum of Colorado Springs, showed up
recalls. "Their proposal would not only to protest the ordinance. It was defeated.
have made home entrepreiieurship suffer, Hughes points out that "Ordinarily, the
it would have flown in the face of high effort needed to get involved with local
technology, as an increasing number of politics is enormous. But the economy
people use computer tools at home to earn of effort that computers provided made

17 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94965


it possible for me to mobilize opinion thirty or more people online at any one
and action." time. CompuServe has several hundred
Never one to rest on his laurels, Hughes thousand members, and hundreds of peo-
prodded Colorado Springs to create a City ple can be online at one time. In addition
Conferencing systems to mail and public discussion, computer
Council Telecommunications Policy Advi-
sory Committee, which does its business structure discussions conferencing systems often have facilities
on the city's new BBS; the committee is for receiving, storing, and displaying longer
proposing recommendations on how to according to topic, documents, which makes them a kind of
make elected officials publicly accessible instant-publication medium.
online. Penrose Public Library in Colorado making it easier for Like a BBS, a conferencing system is time-
Springs, working with the city, now has and distance-independent. People can log
people to find interests,
"City Hall Online," which includes all onto the system from different places at
announcements, agendas, and minutes of and to request and offer different times on different dates and par-
meetings. Then Hughes decided to see what ticipate in ongoing discussions. Many-to-
he could do for candidates on a county- specific information. !f many conferencing makes it possible for
wide scale: "I used my personal computer one person to communicate with many
to log onto the county clerk's computer your organization is others, and to read communications from
and download the entire registration list of many others. Conferencing systems struc-
all the voters in my precinct. Now anyone concerned about ecol- ture discussions according to topic, making
can dial me and go into the world's first it easier for people to find others who share
political precinct BBS." Next, he told his ogy, you can go to an their interests, and to request and offer
local branch of the Democratic party that specific information. If your organization
he could put 100 percent of the voters in ecology discussion area
is concerned about ecology, you can go to
every one of the 120 precincts of the county and browse the list of an ecology discussion area and browse the
on a public BBS. The cost would be nom- list of discussions, selecting from topics
inal, considering the fact that his county discussions, selecting devoted to local water resources or national
normally charges $800 to print out the list. air quality. If you need to know how to op-
The Colorado State Legislature is imple- from topics devoted to erate a specific kind of hardware or soft-
menting a modem dial-up service for legis- ware, you can read a list of discussions and
lative information. Last I heard of Dave, he local water resources find the one devoted to your equipment.
was up in Montana, helping his friends
Frank and Reggie Odasz set up the Big Sky or national air quality. By organizing information this way, it is
Telegraph (see article on page 32). On the possible for networks of people to serve as
WELL, we often see the conversations that informal support systems for one another.
Dave has "ported" from BBS systems in If I need help figuring out how to use a
China, Estonia, and Saudi Arabia. He new kind of software, or want the titles of
might be a grassroots organizer, but he books about a field that attracts my inter-
understands that he is dealing with a est, I can log onto a conferencing system,
medium that has global reach as well look for the appropriate topic, and post a
as local leverage. query. Then I can log off, go about my busi-
ness, and when I check back an hour or a
day later, I often find that somebody I've
never met has answered my question. A

A
Computer Conferencing conferencing system that includes a broad
base of members with a wide variety of ex-
, COMPUTER CONFERENCING pertise is a "living database" in which
system is a more capable and powerful ver- everyone can serve as a librarian and con-
sion of a BBS, but the principles are very sultant for everyone else.
similar. The central computer for a con-
The combination of time- and distance-
ferencing system is more powerful, and the
independence, many-to-many capabilities,
software it uses more sophisticated, than
and topic orientation makes computer con-
the kind used by most BBS systems, and it
ferencing attractive as a medium for con-
is usually capable of communicating with
ducting ongoing or time-limited "electronic
several (or several hundred) telephone lines
meetings" (see the article on page 18
at the same time. The central computer
about an international health-care organ-
stores, structures, and displays public
ization that has been using computer con-
discourse and handles private electronic
ferencing for this purpose since 1983).
mail among gr-oups of people that number
Meetings are the bane of most organizations
from a few hundred to several hundred
— think of the time and effort required to
thousand. The WELL, for example, has
get a group of people in the same place at
about 5,000 members, and there are usually

10 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


the same time, and think
of the quahty of work that
is done when people are
watching a clock. Although
there is no substitute for
face-to-face encounters
when people need to get to
know one another or engage
in debates that might re-
quire minute-to-minute di-
plomacy, online meetings
have several virtues: people
can attend meetings at
their leisure, from a place
of their choosing, with am-
ple time to ponder what
they want to say. Any or-
ganization can benefit from
the proper use of electronic meetings.

Decentralized work, involving volunteers Resources


or paid staff scattered around the county
or country, is facilitated at low cost by ap- Emhst Computer Conferencing
propriate use of computer conferencing. Alfred Glossbrenner, The Complete Systems:
Coordination of political or lobbying acti- Handbook of Personal Computer CompuServe Information Service
vities in a timely manner also can be facil- Communications: Everything You (conferencing and e-mail) — Cus-
itated (see the article about PeaceNet and Need to Go Online With the World tomer Service Ordering Department,
EcoNet on page 20). Specific organizational (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1985). Attn.: Operator 281, Box L-477, Co-
goals, such as fundraising management, Alan Green, Communicating in lumbus, OH 43260; 800/848-8199.
constituent or client communications, po- the '80s (The Benton Foundation, Membership: $39.95 plus $3 ship-
litical reconnaissance, strategy planning, 1776 K Street NW, Washington, ping/handling; specify computer.
crisis management, technical support, can DC 20005). $12.50/hour; 21 cents/minute. $2/
month support fee after 2nd month.
be leveraged by knowledgeable use of com- Mary Gardiner Jones and Nancy
puter conferencing services. Computer Chasen, The Ihtential of Telecom- Echo (East Coast Hang-Out) (con-
conferencing is not a panacea, but it can munications for Nonprofit Organ- ferencing and e-mail) — 97 Perry
be a powerful tool; the key, as with any izations (Consumer Interest Research Street/Suite 13, New York, NY 10014;
tool, is to learn how best to use it — and Institute, 1631 Suter's Lane, Wash- 212/255-3839 (voice), 212/989-8411
when not to use it. ington, DC 20007). (data). $18.95/month unlimited use
($9.95 for students and seniors).
Amalio Madueno, Computers for
The powerful computers that run confer- Neighborhoods (The Community The Meta Network (conferencing
encing systems, and the attendant software, Information Exchange, 1120 G Street and e-mail) — Metasystems Design
are expensive enough right now to be out NW, Washington, DC 20005). Group, Inc., 2000 N. 15th Street/
of reach of most small organizations (al- Suite 103, Arlington, VA 22201;
Samuel A. Simon and Michael J. 703/243-6622 (voice), 703/841-9798
though these costs are dropping steadily,
Whelan, Phonewriting: A Con- (fax). $15 setup fee; $20/month.
which means the situation will change in sumer's Guide to the New World of
a few years), so it is usually necessary to Electronic Information Services Portal System (conferencing and
subscribe to a service that charges by the (Telecommunications Research and e-mail) — 10385 Cherrytree Lane,
month or the hour. The listing at right Action Center, Box 12038, Washing- Cupertino, CA 95014; 408/973-9111.
gives examples of a few such services. ton, DC 20005). Menu interface service: $19.95 mem-
bership; $10/month, unlimited use.
With the power of computer-mediated UUCP connection service: $34.95/
communications, it is possible to expand month; $1.95/hour connect; unlim-
Electronic Mail Systems:
dialogue, to show people that individuals ited support offered at $95/month.
MCI Mail (e-mail, fax, telex) 1111
can be effective, and to organize groups of The WELL (conferencing and e-mail)
19th Street NW, Washington, DC
strangers into communities. There are few 20036; 800/444-6245. Annual fee: — 27 Gate Five Road, Sausalito,
more important tasks at every level, from $35. Electronic mail: 45 cents for CA 94965; 415/332-4335 (voice),
the neighborhood to the planet, in the 500 characters; 75 cents, 501-2500 415/332-6106 (modem). Member-
dajra ahead, n characters; $1, 2501 to 7500 char- ship: free to credit-card customers,
acters; $1 each additional 7500 $25 otherwise. Monthly fee: $10;
characters. Telex: per minute of use fees $2/hour, billed by the
' transmission. Fax: 50 cents first minute. •
1/2 page; 30 cents each additional
1/2 page.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 9496S


M e d i a Technology calculations. The significance of tables of The Complete
figures also can be easily grasped when Electronic Bulletin
a n d th@ Vote they are displayed geographically.
Another sourcebook on politics and com- Maplnfo can work with multiple layers of
Board Starter Kit
munication technology that grew out of data. On a street map of a city we can The Starter Kit not only explains how
a colloquium organized by the Annen- display points representing the location of to set up a BBS with IBM-compatible
berg Washington Program. Nonpartisan, voters, and in addition, show boundaries. computers — it also includes a disk with
wide-ranging, and full of juicy footnotes We can display up to 50 layers of data reasonably powerful BBS software. De-
and bibliographies. More issues than and independently turn any of them on or tailed and comprehensive how-to infor-
answers, suggestions for research that off. We can also zoom in or out of any mation regarding the physical and social
needs to be done, and lots of case his- area, giving the user detail ranging from a aspects of starting a BBS.
tories by political-campaign professionals neighborhood to the whole country. In this
way one can see the "nitty-gritty" — —Howard Rheingold
about the ways new technologies are
where each voter lives, his or her party [Suggested by Matthew Rapaport]
changing the electoral process.
—Howard Rbeingold
affiliation, race, sex or age — or zoom •
back and see the summary of the data Tom Mock says three factors determine a
for a county. successful bulletin board system and all of
We have a package that can take a map them concern either the nature of the in-
of any scale and overlay data onto it — Media Technology formation or the kind of people who need
take an existing database and throw it into Gind the Vote it. He soys a BBS is the unique tool for
the map. The geographic analysis that we Joel L. Swerdiow, Editor. the job when:
can do will help with (1) finding out'where 1988; 240 pp.
particular points are in a political cam- 1. The people needing the information are
$ 1 8 . 5 0 ($21 postpaid) from Westview geographically dispersed.
paign's database, (2) overlaying this
Press, 5500 Central Avenue, Boulder, CO
database onto actual maps and seeing 80301; 303/444-3541 2. The information itself is complex —
what it means; and (3) comparing the perhaps technical, or lengthy, or detailed
geographic relationships among different — and when accuracy is important.
sets of data. Thus, we can facilitate
redistricting because the computer can «SW«IfS?M»St, 3. When time is an important factor, either
now draw experimental boundaries and in the value of the information or the avail-
tell us what those boundaries mean. We ability of the people who need to share it.
can then shift the boundaries as desired. e
Usen can quickly modify a boundary on Don't depend solely on other BBSes to
the screen and ask, "How does this affect spread the news; other media may also be
the density of a certain age group, party
affiliation or ethnic group?" Then they can
shift the boundaries again and repeat the In the next two decades, there will be new
levels of addressability. Eventually, two-
way cable like the experimental QUBE
program in Ohio will spread throughout
New Communications the country. By videotext, direct-satellite
Without the computer, the success of grass broadcast, or cable, you will be able to
Technologies in Politics roots lobbying would not be possible. go to a cable channel and broadcast a
This collection of papers asserts that, to Where we once compiled lists manually message directly into the home.
be effective, local political campaigns from paper directories, we now purchase As our process and methods get more
must adopt the technologies of direct brokered lists on computer tape and sophisticated, the issue of privacy could
mail, computer conferencing, and market- merge them, letting the computer deter- become more significant. The public must
polling software. Case studies analyze mine the "strength" of a name based on eventually decide what information we —
the successes and problems encountered the frequency of its appearance. At the both commercial and political communi-
same time, duplicate names are eliminated. cations consultants — have a right to know,
when campaigns did so. —Kevin Kelly
[Suggested by Robert Horvitz] Eventually, more and more voter registra- and what information will remain "behind
tion lists will be available on computer closed doors."
tape, and that will give us an even greater
targeting capability.
Instead of manually entering ID numbers
to identify a potential participant, a bar
code will be entered with a wand band,
much like that currently used at the grocery
"-m^^
checkout counter. Such a procedure will
virtually eliminate the already miniscule
.005 percent current error rate.
Other changes are ahead. Computers
have made paperless phone banks possi-
ble: phone list, book, tally sheet and
message will all be on a video display ter-
minal. The computer dials the phone, so New Communieations
the telephone worker will not waste any Technologies in Politics
time with disconnects or misdialed calls. Robert G. Meadow, Editor. 1985; 145 pp.
Today 60 percent of our telephone efforts $ 1 5 postpaid from Annenberg School
are wasted on that kind of erroneous call of Communications, 1455 Pennsylvania
— despite the impressive percentage of Avenue NW/Suite 200, Washington,
volunteers per contact we achieve. DC 20004

WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


Here in West Virgmia, we have several RBBS-PC instaUations up and running. On most, callers
are greeted by a very familiar menu:

RBBS-PC M E S S A G E S Y S T E M I

C 0 M M U M I C A T I O N S -— -— UTILITIES — — ELSEWHERE —
PERSONAL MAIL SYSTEM COMMANDS
[Ejnter a Message [ A j n s w e r Q u e s t i o n s [ H j e l p [D|cors Subsystem
[K]ill a Message [Bjuiletins [Jjoin Conferences [F]lies Subsystem
[P]ersonai Mail [C] oiranenc [V]iew Conferences [G]oodbye
[R]ead Messages [I]nitiai Welcome [Xjpert^ on/off [Qjuit to other
The Complete Electronic
[S]can Messages [Olperator Page [?]List Funccions Subsystems
[Tjopic of Msgs [UJtiiities Sub-
i u l i e t i n Board Starter Kit
[W]ho e l s e is an
Charles Bowen ond
system
David Peyton, 1989; 436 pp.
[@]Library
Downloads $ 3 9 . 9 S ($42.45 postpaid) from Ban-
J tam Books/Direct Sales, 414 E. Golf Road,
Des Piaines, IL 60016; 800/223-6834
By now, we know this old boy quite weil. The sljiadard menu, the one saved on your disk (or Whole Earth Access)
as MENU2, is used on RBBS-PC installations throughout the world.

interested. If your board is devoted to a ized publication. Many small communities feature be delayed until he or she has
specific hobby or profession, perhaps a still don't know about BBSes and the crea- seen it do its stuff. You'll probably have a
mogazine covering the same subject might tion of one in the area might be judged better chance of selling this story to a
print a notice. Even though BBSes have newsworthy by a local newspaper. If you general-readership newspaper if you are
been around for a while, they are a new believe your board is the first for your using the board for some purpose that's
concept to many people, especially non- town, contact an editor at your local news- easy for readers to grasp. In other words,
computerists. As a result, these same mag- paper to report what you have and what look for the editor to say " n o thanks" if
azines might even be interested in writing it does. Be patient; it may take some ex- you say your system is devoted exclusively
a feature story about your system if you planation about the nature of computer to the Pascal progamming language or
sell the editors on the idea that this is communications. Invite a reporter over to some other topic that's easily judged
something unique for their readers. see the board in operation and suggest to be of limited interest.
that the decision on whether to write a
And you might not have to go to a special-

Information
Technologies a n d
Social Transformation Push o? S«chfto(ogy
« AM teastbta innovations
John Maya's essay on infotech trends « Umits oH technotogy
and the physical limits that constrain
them, and Anne Branscomb's on property
rights in information, are two of the best
overviews available on these important
subjects. Also includes fine chapters on
infotech in the home, the future of social
hierarchies, and computers in business.
—Robert f-lorvitz
• • RftD prowMS
• RAD m«nag«m«nt
That you o r I can o w n a fact or an Idea, • Public receptivity • Emb»d(Jail bss«
• Regulation and lagisletiox * Natural aequancing
• Standards
The f l o w of onnovcffions i

that a message of any kind belongs to a The researcher couid not own the facts
person or a corporation or a government, and ideas that she or he strung together
is (for reasons already cited from Colin for your use, and neither can you, even
Cherry's work) rather a peculiar notion to if you use them as your own.
begin with. The person from whom you a
got the message did not lose it; ony right
It is a characteristic of our evolving
you acquire by receiving it is at best shared
civilization that we are developing an in-
with the sender, the carrier, and often a
creasing respect for the individuality and
good many other nosy people who ore
privacy of every human being in addition
privy to it. Even if you paid to get the
i n f o r m a t i o n Technologies message (if, for example, it was a piece o f .
to a recognition of proprietary rights in
a n d Social Transformation real estate and other material possessions.
research you hired someone to do), or if
Therefore, it follows logically that we will
Bruce R. Guiie, Editor. 1985; 173 pp. someone paid to get it to you (a friend
also evolve a body of law to protect infor-
$ 1 4 . 9 5 ($17.95 postpaid) from National who sent you a cable, a company that sent
mation about ourselves as well as informa-
Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue you a commercial), it was the assembly or
tion concerning our corporate enterprises
NW/P. O. Box 285, Washington, DC delivery service, not the information con-
and public institutions.
20055; 202/334-3313 tained in the message, that was paid for.

27 GATE FiVE R O A D SAUS.«iLITO, CA 94945 11


i rf
More Power for
Nonprofit Organizations:
CompuMentor
By Daniel Ben-Horin HE COMPUMENTOR PROJECT began four and a half years ago
when I couldn't get my new 24-pin printer to print envelopes
without smudging. I had just started logging onto the Whole
Earth 'Lectronic Link, or WELL, so I posted my printer ques-
tion in the IBM conference. The answers I received were not
only informed but also profuse, open-hearted, full-spirited.
The proverbial thought balloon instantly appeared. These
computerites on the WELL wanted to share their skills.

Accofding to Daniel Ben-Horin, founder of CompuMentor, "Nonprofits do the I had recently spent more than four years
as ad director of Media Alliance of San
work that keeps society going. They take care of problems and aspirations that Francisco, where I had started a technical
assistance facility called Computer Alli-
can't be reduced to profit-making equations, everything from the arts to taking ance. Computer Alliance offered training
to nonprofit groups and individuals who
care of the homeless." Nonprofits usually are underfunded and understaffed, traveled to Fort Mason in San Francisco for
instruction. From various conversations
however, and most nonprofit workers are so busy doing their community work with nonprofit organizations, as well as
my own experience as a fledgling com-
that they rarely have time to learn how to use computers to enhance their puterist, I knew how easy it is to take a
great class and then forget a crucial part
effectiveness. - of the lesson on the drive home.
My own learning had really commenced
Five years ago, I watched the seed of a solution to both these problems germinate when my next-door neighbor expressed a
willingness to help me whenever I needed
on the WELL when Ben-Horin started the nonprofits conference. Today, Compu- him. And I needed him frequently. Now,
here on the WELL was a whole community
Mentor is branching out into a nationwide network. On the WELL, you can find of helpful electronic next-door neighbors.
Of course, few nonprofit organizations are
out how to take advantage of this resource by typing g non at the Ok prompt.
on line with their personal computers.
Was there a way to connect the online
Daniel Ben-Horin can be reached via electronic mail at dbh@well.sf.ca.us; Com-
computer guides with the nonprofit or-
ganizations that needed guidance? I sent
puMentor can be reached via telephone at 415/512-7784, via fax at 415/512-9629,
a flier ("Do you need computer help?") to
30 nonprofit organizations, 18 of which
or via "snailmail" at 89 Stillman Street, San Francisco, CA 94107. A version of
responded, "You betcha and how." Then,
on the WELL, I started asking folks if they
this article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. —Howard Rheingold
wanted to adopt a nonprofit organization.
A dozen folks said they were willing to
visit nonprofit organizations as computer

U '-Tii WHOLE EA ITH REVIEW SUHMER l»9l


mentois. In addition, two dozen more said
they would be glad to handle phone quer-
ies. One WELLbeing suggested we call the
project ENERT — for "Emergency Nerd
Response Team" — but we opted for the
more bland CompuMentor.
The result is that by December 1990 we
had built up a database of 668 volunteer
mentors and had set up 968 matches with
446 nonprofit organizations. Our mentors
aren't necessarily on line, but we still use
the WELL as our "office." We use the
WELL to maintain a record of every group
helped and, when needed, to conduct an
online discussion of how to solve par-
ticular problems.
We never need to send more mailings to
nonprofit organizations. They hear about
us through word of mouth. Even with
someone working full time on "match-
making" mentors and organizations, we
can't handle all the requests and have [^vid Sovulewski

had to set up a waiting list. We've devel- Girls enjoy using com-
oped a "phone bank" that serves as an ad- puters at the Boys and
junct to on-site visits and helps dissolve Girls Club of the Penin-
sula, where mentor Ed so proud of her because she no longer
the waiting list. has any fear.''
Williams showed them
What kind of nonprofit organizations use how much fim using California Rural Legal Assistance in Sacra-
CompuMentor and what do they use us for? computers can be. mento needed to transfer data from an old-
style CP/M system to a new Mac. The group
had no success until a CompuMentor vol-
unteer stepped in. The mentor turned the
What kind of non-

D, 'ES-Action of San Francisco, a sup-


port group for people who suffer- ill effects
profit organizations
use CompuMentor,
database into a computerized Rolodex.
San Francisco Suicide Prevention had been
futilely trying to find support to help them
use dBase II. As fate would have it, we re-
from the drug DES, was going nuts with a
ceived a call from David Wright, a database
donated computer system that is no longer and what do they
sold on the market. One of our first men- expert who specified that he would like
tors to volunteer from the WELL, "Mo" to volunteer with groups focusing on the
use us for? prevention of suicide.
Weitman, guided them into purchasing a
Macintosh, transferred their mailing list St. Anthony's Padua Dining room in Menlo
from the outdated computer, and trained Park relies heavily on donations of food
them in computer literacy. "Mo was truly and on volunteer helpers to prepare and
amazing,'' Pat Cody, Program Director of serve hundreds of meals each week for
DES-Action, told me. "Not only did he poor and homeless people. Mentor Wiley
spend hours creating programs for us, but Simonds set up a computerized inventory
he patiently taught us how to use them, system that enabled the dining room to
and get the most out of our computers. If more accurately track what food is avail-
we'd had to pay market rates for his ser- able. With the resulting reduction of wasted
vices, it would have cost $10,000." food, the dining room is able to serve more
meals with the same donated amounts.
The Women's Refuge in Berkeley, a battered-
women's shelter, needed some hand-hold- Community Boards arranges mediation of
ing to get up and running on its computer disputes — an alternative to taking your
system. One CompuMentor staffer, WELL neighbor to court. Board members inter-
volunteer Ann Herrick Corley, said, "The view both litigants; if the litigants both
director and several staff members have agree, they appear before a panel of their
started using various software products peers, who are trained in conflict resolu-
loaded on the hard disk, even though we tion. Hank Roberts, one of the organizers
haven't had much training on them. I was of the WELL'S nonprofit conference, dug

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 9 « t 5


up a modem, visited the Community Boards identifying clusters of nonprofits that could
office, and connected their computer and benefit by becoming telecom-linked net-
multiline phone. "I dialed the WELL," works. Then we recruited teams of mentors
Roberts recalled, "heard the local modem who, by working together, could address
We found that a and the WELL's modem whistling at each the full range of the nonprofits' computer-
other without connecting. I persuaded ization needs. One mentor will help a non-
basic building block Community Boards to buy a separate profit learn the basics of word processing
phone line. That's all it took." or database management, another mentor
of nonprofit success is might help them plug in their modem and
Our initial concept was to help nonprofits
the ability to maintain use their telecommunication software to
solve specific problems by matching them
go online with the WELL, Peacenet, or ,
with appropriate mentors. Once Compu-
contact with related Econet, and a third will act as their long-
Mentor was up and running, we realized
term guide to help them explore the full
that nonprofits' computerization problems
nonprofits in order to potential of telecom.munication.
were hard to separate from the nature of
share resources and the organizations and their goals; at the We consider ourselires successful when our
same time, we became aware that mentors' nonprofit clients ask more questions, not
information for achiev- skills were much more extensive than fewer — when people start saying, "Can I
showing people how to do quick and dirty do this on my computer?" or "What the
ing common goals. problem-solving like moving a block of heck do you mean I can't do that? Why
text in a word processor or converting a not?'' Questions like those mean our clients
mailing list from one format to another. ha\fe lost their fear and are looking at their
computers as tools, and maybe even having
We started looking at the more general
fun using them. It's a delight to report that
question of how nonprofit organizations
this growth and questioning is perpetually
develop, and found that a basic building
on the upswing — which means we always
block of nonprofit success is the ability to
need more mentors in the Bay Area and,
maintain contact with related nonprofits in
soon, throughout the country. Computer-
order to share resources and information
ists: you can make a difference; we'd love
for achieving common goals. With finan-
to hear from you. m
cial support from the Telecommunications
Education Trust, CompuMentor started

I U S T A B O U T e , . ^ . o ^ . u . t , ,„ . W . c . . „ . . • „ „ o n . , » . p . , o „ „
I program o r service. !t couid be a schooi program, o r a housing effort,
J o r job-related, o r environmental — something homegrown w i t h a spe-
cial twist. These programs w o r k , and they couid w o r k elsewhere. The
SouRCis OF problem is that their creators have no incentive t o e x p o r t them, and
wouldn't k n o w how even if they had. So many good community-action
COMHUNITY-AcriOII ideas stay shuttered up; eventually, they wither away.

But recently some collectors (mostiy ical references that lie beyond standard
organizations) have seen the value of psychology journals and databases.
assembling these programs under one • Finally, they can open you up to the
by Bin Berkowitz - , - roof. They have started clearinghouses range of community models already in
and marketplaces for new community place, releasing new creativity and en-
ideas. ergy for addressing local concerns. It can
Bill Berkowitz is a professional community
How can these sources serve your be revitalizing to learn what others have
psychologist. He is the author of Local
needs? Here are some possibilities: accomplished, particularly since many
Heroes (Lexington Books, 1987), Com-
of the actors here are nonprofessionals.
munity Dreams (Impact Publishing Co., * They can help you find a program or
1984), and Community impact (Schenk- service idea in a given field that you can Two more brief points:
man Publishing Co., 1982), a textbook implement or modify back home, or
* it's best to telephone for up-to-date
on community organization. bring to the attention of others.
information.
This article originally appeared in The ® They can give you names and addresses
® Costs of the more expensive services
Community Psychologist, 1990 (Vol. of program originators you can con-
can be shared, or some local source
23, no. 3). —Howard Rheingold tact to ask questions and get more
(e.g., your iocai government) may
detailed information.
already subscribe, or may be persuaded
• They can supply you with bibliograph- to do so.

16 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


C I V I T E X (Civic Information and Can give citations or full text. Use re-
Techniques Exchange). National Civic quires a PC, modem, and appropriate
League, 1445 Marl<et Street/Suite 300, software. Cost: annual fee of $150 and
Denver, CO 80202-1728; 800/223-6004 up, plus $20 maintenance charge; $10-
(in Colorado, 303/571-4343); ask for 20 per hour for messaging; $30-40
CIVITEX operator. per hour for database access; payment
Over 700 one-page profiles giving details packages available. Fee includes user
H U D USER. R O. Box 6091, Rockville, manuals, tutorials, electronic mail, mul-
on recent "successful examples of com-
MD 20850; 800/245-269! (301/251-5154 tiple bulletin board access, plus access
munity problem-solving," with local
in Maryland and DC metro area). to Urban Affairs Abstract and several
contacts. General topics: health, hous-
Database of nearly 5,500 documents solution-oriented databases.
ing, economic development, environ-
on housing and urban development.
ment, human services, education, plus
Emphasis on government documents L O G I N (Login Information Services).
cross-referencing. Computerized. Cost:
(because it is a government program). 245 E. 6th Street/Suite 809, St. Paul,
$25 per search, open to all, free for
Computerized. Cost: $5 for "standard MN 55101-9006; 800/328-1921 or
members ($50). Also has referral infor-
searches" in any of seven pre-estab- 612/225-1133.
mation on 200 community organiza-
lished housing-related topics (one search Computerized database of over 50,000
tions, and 800 case studies of inactive
yields about 30 citations, with abstracts items covering "all topics pertinent to
community projects.
and document order information); $20 city and county governments," including
Community Action Network. for custom searches. Actual document health and human services, housing,
American Values, 211 E. 43rd Street/ cost varies. Also produces resource drug programs, and community devel-
Suite 1203, Ne^ York, NY 10017; guides, newsletter (free), and audio- opment. Can give abstract or full text.
212/818-1360. visual programs. Access requires computer, modem, and
About 1,000 listings of attempted solu- phone line. Cost: $1,000-3,575 annual
Innovations in State and Local
tions to "20 critical social problems" membership; no hourly fee; discounts
Government. John F. tennedy School
and public-relations tools used in such negotiable; electronic mail included.
of Government, Harvard University, 79
attempts. Much emphasis on use of
JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138;
media. Cost: $10 for catalog; summaries Management Information Service
617/495-0557.
of solutions listed in the catalog are $3 (MIS). International City Management
Print profiles of about 25 innovative Association, 777 N. Capitol Street
each, with a flat fee of $7 for handling
state and local government programs NE, Washington, DC 20002-4201;
and postage. Also conducts national
per year, based on annual national com- 202/962-3639.
award competition.
petition ($100,000 to each of ten annual
"A local government inquiry service
Community Information Excliange. winners; over 1,900 applicants in 1991).
with more than 10,645 documents."
1029 Vermont Avenue NW/Suite 717, Includes human services and all other
Handles customized inquiries on local
Washington, DC 20005; 202/628-2981. areas of government. Cost: $10 per
government topics. Cost: annual sliding-
About 300 "analytic case examples . . . yearly booklet of profiles of 75 semi-
scale subscription fee starts at $286;
in community-based development." finalists; shorter yearly booklets profiling
includes unlimited searches, various
Provides strategy and resource infor- ten annual winners are free. Also has
reports, database updates, and Muni-
mation and technical assistance to com- videocassettes, featuring award-winning
cipal Year Book. Inquiry service also
munity-based organizations and their programs for each year ($20-40).
available through Local Exchange (above).
partners on issues including housing,
Livability Clearinghouse. Partners !CMA also offers separate statistical
commercial revitalization, business de-
for Livable Places, 1429 2ist Street NW, Urban Data Service, publications, and
velopment, employment, health and
Washington, DC 20036; 202/887-5990. training programs.
human services, and historic preser-
vation. Computerized; accessible by Computerized referral service on inno-
vative projects emphasizing quality of Social Inventions. Institute for Social
modem. Cost: $75-90 annual subscrip-
life, economic development and social Inventions, 20 Heber Road, London
tion fee (includes computer access,
equity in American communities. They NW2 6AA, UK; 011-44-81-208-2853.
newsletters, and bulletins), plus $25-75
maintain a database of all grants awarded N o t a database as such, but a quarterly
per hour of actual database or staff
by the National Endowment for the journal listing small-scale social inven-
time use; estimates given. Also has
Arts for environmental design, a 3,000- tions of all kinds. Written for a primarily
databases (included in above cost) on
title library, and provide access to all British audience; there's nothing com-
funding sources for neighborhood proj-
past projects of Partners for Livable parable to it I know of in the US. Cost:
ects, technical assistance providers, and
Places. Contact them for further details. $30 US for annual subscription, which
community development bibliography;
can include Institute membership upon
offers print publications, computer Local Exchange (LEX). National request. Also publishes Encyclopaedia
bulletin board, conferencing, and League of Cities, 1301 Pennsylvania of Social Inventions (1989, $36 US) and
customized research. Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004; Who's Who of Social Inventors (free
202/626-3180. with membership). Sponsors annual
Computerized database of "over 2,000 social invention contests with cash
innovative local government programs." prizes as well. •

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965 11


Computer Conferencing:
The Global Connection
&y Lawrence B. Brilliant IF IN PAIN, THE HEUCOPTER'S JET TURBINE engine
screeched sharply, groaned once, and died. Now, silhou-
etted against the Himalayas, the quiet helicopter began to
spiral slowly toward the ground. The passengers, a group
of United Nations doctors, looked around furtively as the
pilot, his jaw clenched, maneuvered the paralyzed bird
down in tight circles.

Lawrence B. Brilliant is one of the original Hog Farmers, a co-founder of the After a silent eternity, the pilot brought the
craft down just outside of Biratnagar in the
WELL, and the founder of Seva, an international service organization that came remote terrain of Nepal.
"What's wrong?" a passenger asked.
about after the successful eradication of smallpox. He went to India as the Hog
"Nothing much," the pilot replied, "but
Farm's "Doctor Larry" in 1970, and stayed on in the Himalayan ashram of his we'll need to file a spare-parts order:
'Engine. One.'"
teacher, Neem Karoli Baba, who deputed him to work for the World Health Under almost any other circumstances, a
crippled aircraft sitting on the ground in
Organization's smallpox campaign. After a decade in India, he became a pro- one of the most remote places on earth
would rust long before a replacement en-
fessor at the University of Michigan, where he first learned about the computer gine could be located, airlifted in, and
installed. But thanks to the then-new tech-
conferencing described in this article. He and his wife and the other founders of nology of computer conferencing, a world-
wide "spare-parts order" was filled swiftly,
Seva then decided to focus their efforts on blindness in India and Nepal, where and the chopper flew out of Nepal only
days later.
he now spends most of his time, building eye hospitals and health institutes; he
Here is how computer conferencing res-
recently pitched in on Wavy Gravy's Berkeley political campaign {WER #70),
cued that helicopter and the UN project:
The helicopter was on loan from Evergreen
and he is currently assisting his brother with his color-business-card company. Helicopter Company in McMinville, Or-
egon. The only "spare" jet engine was in
Brilliant Color. Seva (a Sanskrit word meaning "service to humanity") head- France, at Allouette Helicopter Company.
Four additional organizations were involved
quarters are now in San Rafael, California. This article originally appeared in in orchestrating the "spare-parts order":
the United Nations office in New York, the
Byfe, December 1985. —HR government of Nepal, the World Health
Organization regional office in New Delhi,
and a Michigan-based international charity,
•^-'-^tt*. the Seva Foundation, which was funding
s«^--\-^&;,'5*\..,f*!?^>^^;-.
the project.
»^SW,^ft:
illustration by Brad Hamann.n»>rm&.j,_,r--.1(*i^^^.^ . f . , ' ' * ^ 4 i- Using a computer conferencing system to
which several companies in the aerospace
industry subscribe, an "electronic forum"
was quickly convened. Despite the dif-

18 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


ferences in time zones and geographical without the confusion
locations, the participants quickly reached that sometimes occurs
a consensus on who would pay for the re- in traditional meetings;
placement engine, how it would be ship- immediate printed rec-
ped into Kathmandu, how customs duties ords of the discussion
might be waived on the new engine, how are available; and
it could be trucked into the remote landing spreadsheets, data-
site, and what would be done with the bases, and other pro-
damaged original engine. Telephone tag, ductivity tools can be
internal organizational hierarchies, and entered into the meet-
diplomatic protocols were dealt with easily, ing. With wise use of
and the meeting lasted less than a day. this technology, the
result is increased
This event illustrates a lesson for anyone efficiency.
trying to get things done in complicated
organizations. When speed and effective- Computer meeting
ness are the issue, nothing surpasses elec- systems can make a
tronic forums for disseminating information horizontal cut through
to all concerned and making decisions the standard vertical
rapidly. organizational chart.
This distributed elec-
Today, the computer-conferencing revolu-
tronic organization
tion is burgeoning, due to three factors:
(DEO), a horizontal
(1) The enormous investment made in the stratification of person-
international telephone sjretem in past nel within a company,
decades has provided us all with relatively results in a new and
low-cost communication lines. (2) Tech- higher quality of inter-
nology has brought the cost of personal active group process
computers within the reach of virtually and organizational
everyone in modern industrial societies. decision-making. For
(3) Increasingly sophisticated software the first time, through
enables individuals to take part in com- computer conferenc-
puter conferencing at home, and gives ing, we will see com-
them the option of renting time on world- munication exchanged
wide networks. on a continuous basis
Until now, organizational culture has been between all the depart-
determined by a critical mass of intelligent ment managers, all the
people in proximity to each other. This engineers, and all the
has created towns, universities, and tall supervisors, no matter
office buildings. It is why we have Bell where they are located.
Labs and Xerox PARC.
The Seva Foundation, a
With the advent of electronic meeting tech- nonprofit international charity, is a good
nology, the thrust of civilization can now example of a DEO. It uses electronic meet-
occur without the factor of proximity. The ing systems to allocate its money and make
synergism and excitement of a critical mass other business decisions. The board of
of intelligent people will remain a factor, directors' meeting lasts all year and, as a
but now they need not live or work close result, the structure of the organization
to each other. For the first time, engineers has changed. The executive committee,
in San Diego, New York, Rome, and Hong whose members once flew from various With the advent of
Kong, all members of a special-interest corners of the world for meetings four
group, can meet online all year without electronic meeting
times a year, has been abolished. Now the
ever seeing one another. Perhaps, with this entire board is involved on a day-to-day technology, the
technology, we are seeing the realization basis with operational decisions, though
of Marshall McLuhan's "global village." the members live all over the world. thrust of civiiization
The benefits to business are obvious: The impact of these horizontal links
decision-making is improved by bringing can now occur
within society is still difficult to foresee,
the best minds of a company together with- but from this free exchange of ideas and without the factor
out restrictions of time and location; parti- information will come new solutions
cipants can productively enter a meeting to old problems. • of proximity.
after organizing ideas; they can discuss
many different subjects in one meeting

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94945 19


The Global
Commons
by Brock N. Meeks EEKS BEFORE THE MAINSTREAM PRESS discovered
that Saddam Hussein and most of his air force were hun-
kered down in bunkers built to withstand a nuclear blast,
details about the bunkers and their construction were
available thanks to a thriving "alternative press" corps.
This worldwide group of journalists, using a network
called PeaceNet, consistently scooped the major news-
wires and networks during the Gulf war.

Brock N. Meeks is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist. When he's Using PeaceNet as its prime distribution
channel, this alternative press corps, cob-
not chasing down stories stateside he reports from assorted war zones for the bled together from the peace movement's
own "thousand points of light," worked
San Francisco Chronicle's foreign service bureau. He is currently working on a tirelessly to provide a different perspective
on the war.
book about the geopolitical exploitation of the world's refugee community. —HR
PeaceNet is just one of the networks that
operates under the auspices of the Institute
for Global Communications (IGC). And
during the war PeaceNet acted as a corner
of the global commons where information
illustration by Brad Hamann is stripped clean of censorship. IGC itself
is a conglomeration of networks and or-
ganizations, a fabric woven from electronic
data-exchange networks — the information-

20 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER l»9l


age equivalent of duct tape and baling tribution center for its news stories. The
wire. In operation since 1986, IGC and its Pacifica radio news service has also signed
various networks have dealt with issues on with PeaceNet to help distribute the
from saving the rainforests to exposing text of its broadcasts. Amnesty Interna-
human-rights violations across the globe. tional uses PeaceNet to distribute all sorts
But it was during the Gulf war that IGC's of reports and "Action Alerts" concerning
biggest network, PfeaceNet, burst on the new and continuing struggles to free po-
scene with real impact. litical prisoners.
"Within five years we'll be the world's
As the War Goes, largest alternative news source," said

"W. : went from zero messages


on our Middle East conference to having
So Goes Truth
Frederick. Few doubt his word.
Others are creating news services with
inspiration and encouragement from ftace-
Net. A prime example was WARNEWS, a
to start five new conferences just to handle
the increase in message traffic," says How- publication that grew out of the frustration
and censorship San Francisco Examiner
ard Frederick, director of PeaceNet.
columnist Warren Hinckle encountered
As the networks stumbled over themselves when he wrote an antiwar piece for
in search of talking heads and Middle East the paper.
experts, PeaceNet was busy fielding the
comments of hundreds of grassroots ex- Hinckle found his inspiration on PeaceNet.
perts, mostly members of peace movements He contacted a group of journalists, authors
who had spent their adult lives working and cartoonists to create the war's first op-
for peace in the Middle East. Suddenly, position publication. He chose PeaceNet
they found themselves turning to the only as the vehicle to electronically distribute
central source for information dissemina- the newsletter's contents (cartoons, charts
tion they could think of, PeaceNet. and graphs excepted).
"These are the hands-on organizers of the IPS will scan various conferences that
peace movement," said Frederick. "For abound on IGC networks and pick up story
the first time in history we're seeing the ideas from the information uploaded by
creation of the 'Peace Movement Intelli- the users. "There's no better source of in-
gence Network."' A central clearinghouse formation," says Frederick. "Because we're
for information about the peace movement, getting input from around the globe, from
for the peace movement, by the peace people living and dying in countries that
movement. are in the headlines.''
An ominous testament to PbaceNet's effec-
tiveness was brought to light recently when Beyond News
it was learned that law enforcement agen-
cies, both local and federal, were calling
PeaceNet offices and pumping its staffers for
information regarding the activities cited
T .he insights of world correspondents
filing
JLhestories from war zones are the glitzy,
by its users. When the staffers began refer- sexy part of PeaceNet. But there is much
ring all calls to their lawyers, the police more beyond the news. There are some
started logging on themselves, using Peace- 10,000 subscribers worldwide on IGC's
Net to track certain activities and planned networks. During the Gulf war alone IGC
activities of peace activists throughout the was processing about 30 new subscrip-
country. The San Francisco Police Depart- tions a day.
ment checked in daily to get advance
PeaceNet is only one network carried on
warning of peace demonstrations.
IGC. Other networks include EcoNet (an
According to Frederick, the alternative environmental network), ConflictNet (for
press is going to "pool its efforts, using those working on family mediation and
PeaceNet as its distribution vehicle, to conflicts), and HomeoNet, which deals
create the world's largest, most compre- with the homeopathic arts. There are also
hensive source of news and information" hundreds of specialized groups that mar-
of and by members of the alternative shal their collective resources via IGC
press corps. networks.
Recently the fifth-largest news wire ser- The British American Security Information
vice, Inter-Press Service (IPS), signed an Council (BASIC), with offices in London
agreement with PeaceNet to become a dis- and Washington, monitors NATO policy

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94»65 21


and weapons developmeat, strategy and communicating at the most needed level
planning, important meetings, research, of all: person to person.
and general peace-movement news relating For example, nongovernmental organiza-
to NATO issues. Members of BASIC corre- tions (NGOs) in Nicaragua use their net-
spond via PeaceNet and keep each side of work to share information, not only among
the Atlantic up to date on NATO activity. themselves, but also among other Central
Organizers of the more than 3,400 local and Latin American NGOs, which use their
nuclear-free zones throughout the world local networks as gateways into the larger
meet on PeaceNet to share information on framework of IGC.
the creation of other nuke-free zones. Na-
tional nuclear-free-zone offices post their
newsletters here, creating a kind of living Out of the Dark
database of resources.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of IGC is
the Association for Progressive Communi-
Y . es, the rain forests of Brazil are in
peril.
^ e sBut
. Brazil has other problems. Thou-
cations (APC), which IGC founded. "Back sands of homeless children roam the streets
in 1987 IGC helped to develop an interna- of Brazil's major cities. There is no social
tional cooperative effort that would link welfare system to speak of in Brazil. The
like-minded groups via the computer,'' says current answer to Brazil's homeless chil-
IGC director Geoff Sears. "At the time, the dren problem: vigilante groups simply kill
only additional member we had was Green- them rather than push the government
Net, based out of London." Short pause. to house them.
"But we've come a ways since then." Outrage? Sure. Unnoticed? Hardly. A group
Actually, PeaceNet pre-dated IGC. "Peace- known as IBASE (Brazilian Institute of So-
Net's been around since '86," Sears says. cial and Economic Analysis), which focuses
"IGC was formed shortly thereafter, so in a on socioeconomic analysis and deals with
sense you have a situation where the child just this sort of problem, is one of the first
spawned the parent." groups to use Alternex, the network in-
stalled by IGC in Brazil.
AFC has networks in Canada, Sweden,
Australia, Brazil and Nicaragua. And Mos- Their success has encouraged other NGOs
cow and Germany will soon be added, to follow suit. "Results breed results," says
says Sears. Sears. Until IBASE hooked up with IGC,
the NGO was struggling to make efficient
use of data communications, "but the
weight of paying the 'data freight' inter-
Track-Two Diplomacy nationally was killing them,'' says Sears.

R "efore Americans learned how to pro-


nounce "glasnost," members of PeaceNet
"So we created Alternex."
The collaboration between IBASE and IGC
amounts to a multi-host PC-based "store-
were forging ahead with their own plans and-forward" system linked to IGC's inter-
to open Soviet society through the use of national computer network. In July 1989,
electronic communication. They did this only a few months after approval of the
through agonizingly small steps, using project, Alternex was operating 24 hours a
"appropriate Soviet channels," as former day. Today, more than 130 individual and
PeaceNet director Mark Graham says. By group users in Brazil and abroad partici-
hooking up first with Soviet scientists, pate in the network, and this number is
members of PeaceNet developed a kind of increasing daily. Users pay a monthly fee,
"track-two diplomacy," wherein ordinary equivalent to about US$7.50, which includes
civilians began to talk about how to solve one hour of on-line connection. This con-
the problems of the two superpowers. nection runs approximately $5 per hour,
cheaper than nearly all other electronic
Lessons were learned from those early mail services.
daj«, when the Soviets could only reach
PeaceNet for a half-hour a day under the
watchful eye of the KGB. Today those in-
volved in APC have turned track-two di- EcoNet
plomacy into an art form. Across the globe,
ordinary citizens are bypassing the often
mind-numbing bureaucratic red tape and J ust as, PeaceNet harbors the frontline
troops of the peace movement, EcoNet

22 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


is home to groups such as Greenpeace farmer in Burkina Faso to improve his life?
and Global Action Network (GAN). When Sears is asked this question he bare-
ly flinches, and answers: "It doesn't."
Environmental groups use EcoNet as a cen- And he leaves no room for follow-up ques-
tral clearinghouse for information dissem- tions. He's shifting gears, maneuvering the
ination and discussion. GAN, for example, conversation. He acknowledges that the
uses EcoNet as a vehicle for distributing technology is out of the reach of most;
information you can take to the street. Cour- computers are still expensive.
tesy of GAN you'll find The Action Guide:
A Guide for Citizen Group Action, online "Is [price] really a problem or just an
in full text. It's a kind of do-it-yourself obstacle to hurdle?" asks Sears, and he
"how to fight city hall" for environmen- launches into a sound bite: "You have to
tal issues. think of IGC as being close to the top of an
'information chain.' The networks support
During the hoopla of Earth Day, EcoNet grassroots NGOs. The computers help them
served as a vital information center for do their job, which is to help people. The
coordinating hundreds of "green days." networks are an augmentation, not some
In recognition of all that work, EcoNet kind of miracle drug. Bottom line, people
was honored in 1990 by Renew America's still have to do the work, still have to get
"Searching for Success" as the most ex- out into the field. But now they have better
tensive environmental computer network information, they get it faster, and can
in the world. share it internationally.''
Some would say that the darker side of the
environmental movement is' 'ecoterrorism.''
Last year during Redwood Summer, a com- Listen to the Children
bination strategy session and headquarters
for Earth First!, lively debates took place
online via EcoNet about the virtues or hin-
drances of the "monkeywrench" actions
I, .f there is a sobering, stabilizing focus
in these troubled times, it is the thoughts
encouraged by Earth First!. The conference and comments made by children. They
quickly became a downloadable "do-it- hear from the adults that our world is on
yourself ' manual on ecoterrorism. the verge of eco-detonation, and they fear
that one day the air will simply "dry up."
If all this sounds like a group of radicals And they hear of war: bombs dropping,
romping through the ethernet, here's a chemicals that kill. And they wonder,
counterpoint: US and Canadian state and "Will I die?"
provincial fish-and-game administrators, They ask questions that cannot be ignored.
major colleges and universities involved in Is there a place for the children here? They
wildlife conservation hang out on EcoNet. are the next generation of activists; they will
These users discuss conservation and en- inherit a legacy of greed and complacency.
vironmental protection, national forests,
parks, seashores, wildlife refuges. Bureau Recently, this letter, written in a childish
of Land Management districts, conserva- hand, found its way to IGC:
tion offices of foreign governments, and Dear FeaceNet,
sources of audiovisual materials, peri-
We are a group of 5th and 6th grader
odicals and directories.
gifted students who attend a magnet
school in Miami, Fla. We are (through
class discussion and projects) learning
Dirt Farming about how to become peacemakers. In
our gifted center we have already learned

I iGC's mission is "to spread technology


and information equally among as many
Via Computer a lot about becoming peacemakers, such
as, being aware of what is going on in
the world, and being open minded;
as possible": the info-rich giving to the however, we would like more informa-
info-poor. "It's more like sharing with the tion. Could you please send us some
'info-poor,'" says Sears. "We're very care- information on becoming peacemakers.
ful not to perpetuate the 'U.S. knows best' Thank you.
stereotype. There's a lot of things we can Sincerely,
learn by watching how [third world coun- Future Peacemakers of America
tries] use computers and information."
So it goes: track two, second generation.
But does a computer network help the Right on schedule. •

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSAUTO. CA 949SS M»w


Electronic
City Hall

by Micbele Wittig HAT HAPPENS WHEN "CITY HALL" allows citizens to


communicate with each other, city staff, and city offi-
cials on an electronic bulletin board from home, office,
and public terminals? Santa Monica, California, resi-
dents have been answering that question with their
illustratioa l^ Brad Hamann Public Electronic Network (PEN), now in its third year
of operation. The stated intention of city officials who
agreed to this experiment in electronic democracy was
to broaden citizen participation in political and com-
munity life. Whether this increased participation will
be allowed to influence city policies is about to be
seen, as PEN faces its first major test.

Lisa Carison is the Janey Appieseed of computer conferencing. I realized how In the summer of 1989, the Santa Monica
City Council was presented with the first
ubiquitous she is when I visited a town in Japan, an hour's flight from Tokyo, proposal from residents who participate in
the network. The citizens dubbed their
logged onto the English-language section of the local conferencing system, and proposal SHWASHLOCK, an acronym for a
program to provide early-morning showers,
found Lisa there. She works for Metasystems Design Group, which has set up laundromat tokens, and lockers to home-
less residents, along with a job bank.'
conferencing systems all over the world. One of Metasystems' clients, the City
The development of this proposal has eli-
cited intense interest among city officials,
of Santa Monica, set up an "electronic city hall," and Lisa pointed me toward
the chamber of commerce, and neighbor-
hood associations. The PEN Action Group's
this article.
proposal addresses what a Santa Monica
Chamber of Commerce survey deemed
Michele Wittig is past chair of the People's Electronic Network Action Croup, "the city's number-one problem."
For those interested in the uses of telecon-
co-chairs the SHWASHLOCK project, and chairs the Santa Monica Commission
ferencing, the Action Group provides a case
study of community organizing. Unlike
on the Status of Women. She teaches graduate research methods and statistics electronic conferencing among employees
in government agencies, universities, or
in psychology at California State University, Northridge. —HR companies, or among hobbyists who join
commercial bulletin boards to gain access

24 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMHER 1991


to those with shared interests, PEN has For those interested ficials will allow ordinary citizens who
made its debut as a means of communi- participate in the network. Will citizen
cation among people having no more in in the uses of tele- participation be limited to the recommen-
common than that they live in the same dation phases of the political process, or
eight-square-mile patch of suburban Los conferencing, the will it encompass setting priorities and
Angeles County. implementing policy?
Action Group provides Homelessness provides the issue for this
test. During the past decade, the homeless
Political Background a case study of com- population has become more numerous
and more visible. Hundreds line up each
munity organizing. afternoon to receive a free dinner. The city
JL V^s
Bsidents of this city, 80 percent of attorney, meanwhile, has been criticized
whom are renters, made political news in for his leniency in prosecuting panhandlers
the early 1980s when they passed one of and transients who sleep in the parks.
the toughest rent-control ordinances in the
country. The renters'-rights movement also
ushered in a city council that espouses the The Network as a Tool

I
principle of broadening the base of citi- for Community Organizing
zens who can influence city hall decisions.
Putting that principle into practice has
been difficult. .ntrigued by the possibility of increasing
citizen participation in civic life, the city
The PEOPLE'S electronic network (a nick- launched PEN in February, 1989, by distri-
name which appeals to graying political buting free user accounts to residents who
activists who settled here in the sixties) register with the city. These accounts can
constitutes a kind of test of the forms of be used from one's home or work terminal,
participation that city staff and elected of- or from one of dozens of public terminals

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITD. CA 9496S 25


in libraries, schools, and city buildings. PEN Action Group made site visits to local
Citizens can participate in three ways: 1) social-service agencies and met with lead-
read-only boards posting city information; ers of the social-service community. They
2) private e-mail between citizens or be- The only public learned that the only public showers reli-
tween citizens and city hall, and 3) public ably available before noon were cold-water
postings in any of six teleconferences. showers reliably showers outdoors on the beach. Hot showers
These public conferences span a wide range in public parks were not open until noon,
of issues. Popular conferences include available before noon making it difficult to shower before going
Crimewatch (run by the police department), to or seeking work. There was one free
PENhelp (online hints on how to use the laundry service, but it required clients to
were coid-water
S5^tem), Planning (a forum about land use, give up the clothes they were wearing in
zoning, and development), Environment return for clean clothes from a community
showers outdoors on
(incorporating discussions of air quality, rack. No lockers were available because
water pollution, and recycling), and Santa service providers did not wish to "police"
the beach. Hot showers
Monica (including rent control, neighbor- their contents. Once these gaps in services
hood organizing, community events, and vrere identified, the PEN Action Group de-
in public parks were cided to lobby the city to fill them.
news of boards and commissions). Social
issues are discussed in several additional not open until noon, The group soon found that there was no
conferences. Topics include nuclear weap- consensus in the community for providing
ons, drinking and driving, the media, making it difficult to the services. Some objections were dealt
abortion, gun control, foreign policy, with by revising the proposal. For example,
health, intergroup relations, Jewish culture, shower before going to an initial location for a facility elicited op-
AIDS, human rights, sexism, and racism. position because it was adjacent to a high
Most PENners seem to be content to use or seeking work. school. When the group was unable to raise
the system to inform themselves or others, the funds necessary to lease the building,
or to debate current issues without taking it decided this was a blessing in disguise
any other action. But the potential of this and decided to pursue an interim plan of
local system to be a catalyst for political decentralized services. While the long-term
action is illustrated by those users who goal of the group is to build or remodel a
organized the PEN Action Group in July, Center in which these services are integrated
1989. When this group began to meet face- with a job bank, the group decided that,
to-face as well as online to consider pos- in the interim, existing facilities should
sible community projects, it was soon be adapted and made more accessible.
decided that the issue of major concern
Another stumbling block arose when the
to most was homelessness.
local coalition of social-service providers
Members of the PEN Action Group com- expressed unease over the threat that the
municate with each other in two major new group would be competing with them
ways: online in the Homeless teleconfer- for scarce social-service dollars. To allay
ence (in which hundreds of citizens have this fear, the group decided not to seek
posted thousands of responses) and in per- funding for itself, but to raise funds for
son at monthly meetings. Several homeless an existing social-service agency, which
PENners are among the two dozen residents agreed to administer the laundromat vouch-
who regularly participate in the face-to- er prograrn. Other objections were debated
face meetings. vigorously online, but did not result in
changes in the original conception. For ex-
ample, the group persisted in its resolve
SHWASHLOCK that the horneless should not be required

o ne evening in August, 1989, Santa


Monica artist Bruria Finkel posted an idea
for closing the gap in existing services for
to show evidence of job-seeking in order
to qualify for a shower, laundry voucher,
or locker.
Although over $5,000 in private funds has
been raised to initiate a laundry voucher
the homeless. She called her idea SHWASH- system which will pay for 4,000 loads of
LOCK. Conversations with homeless resi- laundry, so far only one laundromat is par-
dents online verified that an early-morning ticipating in the program. Nevertheless, its
shower, clean clothes, and a place to store owners are enthusiastic and have expanded
one's belongings are essential if the home- the hours during which vouchers are ac-
less are to get, and keep, jobs. cepted from homeless clients, who obtain
To educate themselves, members of the them at a local social-service agency.

26 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUHMER 1991


A breakthrough occurred when a city ings can be transmitted by McKeown to
council member put the group in touch other KIDS-91 groups in Eastern and West-
with a locker manufacturer, who agreed to ern Europe, the Soviet Union, Japan, and
donate 30 lockers to the city, free of charge, The council allocated North and South America.
for a seven-month trial period. On May 12, an electronic "hole in space"
In May, 1990, the PEN Action Group's ten- $150,000 to install transmitted images of the children on the
page proposal was formally presented to the network from a dozen sites around the
city council, resulting in a feasibility study. lockers and showers at globe to and from the children at the other
The following month, the council allocated sites, on large screens. The city council,
$150,000 to install lockers and showers at the restroom facilities school district, and arts commission en-
the restroom facilities under the Santa dorsed the project and committed funding
Monica Pier. The city has also agreed to under the Santa Mon- and staff time to make it a success.
open other public showers at six a.m.
ica Pier. The city has
The homeless themselves have emphasized
the need for a cooperative job bank, listing also agreed to open Group Process
employers who are willing to hire the
homeless and provide them with bus fare,
lunch money, daily or weekly pay, etc. The
network will be used to solicit and post
job listings, for perusal by anyone on the
other public showers

at six a.m. B ' ecause some of the PEN Action


Group's decision-making occurs on line,
system. A homeless drop-in center staffed and all of the agendas and meeting minutes
by job counselors has been equipped with are posted on the network, it has been easy
a PEN terminal for this purpose. Two local for anyone with a PEN account to observe
graduate students have earned course credit the process by which the group has devel-
for soliciting job listings from local busi- oped its proposals and to participate in the
nesspeople, interviewing job applicants, decision-making. The group has succeeded
monitoring the job-placement effort, and in finding a middle ground between dis-
evaluating the effectiveness of the program. closure and exposure of its plans, knowing
that most of city hall, the school board,
the chamber of commerce, and a cross-
section of citizens are watching, if not par-
KIDS-91: A Global Electronic ticipating in, the process. The free publicity
"Hole in Space" attendant on access to the system has served
the group well so far.
The city has succeeded in providing a

W. ith the SHWASHLOCK project


under way, the PEN Action Group began to
consider developing a second project. Cri-
mechanism for exercising citizenship be-
yond casting a ballot in a voting booth. It
appears that city staff and city council are
willing to act on recommendations emerg-
teria included use of the network, attracting ing from the PEN Action Group. It's clear
new and different online participation, that two dozen residents have learned how
and community service. Kevin McKeown, to make their voices heard — electronically
a member of the Electronic Networking — in the halls of city government. •
Association, suggested that Santa Monica
become a participant in KIDS-91, an inter-
national effort begun in Norway to enroll
schoolchildren, ages 10 to 15, around the Santa Monica Public Electronic Network
(Kevin Phillips, Director): Information Sys-
world in electronic communication. The
tems Department, Santa Monica City Hall,
proposal was greeted with enthusiasm on- 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401;
line and in the PEN Action Group's monthly 213/458-8383.
face-to-face meeting at the city library. Co- PEN Action Group (Randy Wbodland): 1023
incidentally, PEN users and staff had been Ocean Park Boulevard |4, Santa Monica, CA
enrolling local schools on PEN. By the time 90405; 213/396-5417.
KIDS-91 was proposed, a dozen classes at SHWASHLOCK (Michele Wittig): Department
several public schools had been connected of Psychology, California State University,
to PEN, each with its own school-based Northridge, CA 91330; 818/885-2827
conference. With the advent of KIDS-91, (mwittig@vax.csun.edu].
more teachers are signing their students KroS-91 (Kevin McKeown): 848 16th Street
onto the system, so that the children's post- #E, Santa Monica, CA 90403; 213/393-3639.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSAUTO. CA 94945 77


Conscious Democraq^ Through
Electronic Town Meetings
by Duane Elgin EMOCRACY HAS OFTEN BEEN CALLED "the art of the pos-
sible.' ' If we don't know how our fellow citizens think and
feel about issues, then we don't know what is possible —
we float powerless in a sea of ambiguity and are unable to
mobilize ourselves into constructive action. When we don't
know how others think and feel about various options, then
the political process can be easily manipulated — and this
is the condition in which we now find ourselves. The most
powerful and direct way to revitalize our democracy is by
improving our ability to know our own minds as a com-
munity of citizens. ,
Given that we can trust the wisdom of the
citizenry, the challenge is to find a way
to regularly pool the good judgment and
Duane Elgin is the executives director of "Choosing Our Future" (P. O. Box 820, foresight of the public.
To cope with problems of massive scale —
Menio Park, CA 94026). He is a former senior social scientist with SRI Inter- environmental pollution, resource deple-
tion, species extinction, etc. — citizens
national, the author of Voluntary Simplicity (William Morrow, 1981), and a con- must communicate at a level equal to the
challenges we face. Because less than one
tributor to lYfR/CQ (#31).—HR percent of the U.S. population uses com-
puter bulletin boards, these networks have
not yet grown to a sufficient scale to sup-
port the level of citizen dialogue and con-
illustration by Brad Hamann sensus-building required by our times. So
what practical tools do we have that can
genuinely enable a democracy to become
conscious of its views — to "know its
own mind?"

WHOLE EARTH REVfEW SUMMER I f f I


Television dominates the social awareness fair representation are well developed, ob-
of developed nations. In the U.S., at least taining feedback from a random sample
98 percent of all homes have a TV set, the represents an excellent solution to our
average person watches more than four needs. By relying upon a scientific sample,
hours per day, and most people get a ma- a community or nation can obtain inputs
jority of their information about the world from a trustworthy cross-section of citizens
from television. Television has become the (who would be called several weeks in ad-
social brain or central nervous system of vance of a televised "town meeting" and
modern societies. The challenge is to de- asked to participate). Those who agree to
vise ways of using this already immensely participate are sent a list of phone numbers
powerful technology in ways that serve that correspond to various options (yes/no,
the communication needs of a conscious multiple choice, intensity) ?nd that they
democracy. can call to register their views on the night
of the Electronic Town Meeting. By dialing
Unscientific "people polls" are now com- a particular number, they can register their
mon on television. However, this approach agreement or disagreement with various
to two-way television has critical short- options or express the intensity of their
comings. Typically, anyone watching a sentiments. This kind of telephone-based,
television program can vote "yes" or "no" scientific feedback can be obtained in the
on an issue by dialing a number shown on TV studio in three minutes or less and
the TV screen. By opening feedback to all then be displayed with computer graphics
viewers, it often takes an hour or more to for everyone to see. By combining repre-
get a single response, and then there is no sentative feedback with an informative
assurance that the feedback is represen- documentary and in-studio dialogue that
tative of the views of the overall public; in- employs conflict-resolution skills, a com-
stead, it may only reflect the views of a munity can know its own mind with a
A key question is special interest group that invested the high degree of accuracy on the key issues
whether uc should time and money to call. This crude barom- of the day.
eter of public sentiment is not sufficiently
trust the wisdom of fast or trustworthy to meet the needs of
citizens to guide our
democracies into the
a modern democracy.
For a conscious democracy to function,
citizens and decision-makers must be able
A representative approach to mass
community dialogue and feedback was
tested successfully in the San Francisco
future. An important to obtain an accurate and trustworthy sense
of overall public sentiment. Also, feedback Bay Area in 1987, with a prime-time "Elec-
insight into this ques- must be fast enough to enable citizens to tronic Town Meeting." This pioneering
give more than a one-time, kneejerk re- experiment was developed through the co-
tion emerged from operative efforts of a nonpartisan media
sponse to an issue during an hour-long
program. We need processes that enable organization ("Choosing Our Future"), the
George Gallup, vvhc
citizens to answer multiple questions that local ABC-TV station, and the League of
reviewed his exper- test the strength, texture, depth, and inten- Women Voters. The program was viewed
sity of public sentiment on critical public- by more than 300,000 persons; six "votes"
ience in polling were taken during the hour. As questions
policy issues.
American public came into focus, the preselected random
We can obtain rapid and representative sample of citizens was invited to dial in
opinion m'er half a feedback by gathering responses (via tele- their vote on an issue. Because feedback
phone-based, dialed-in voting] from a pre- was so fast, the community was easily able
century and found the selected, scientific sample of citizens. Just to ask itself a half-dozen questions during
collective judgment of as a doctor can take a very small sample of the pilot "ETM."
blood and use it to acquire a highly accu-
citizens to be "extra- rate picture of the condition of your entire With weekly or monthly Electronic Town
body, we can similarly use random or sci- Meetings in major metropolitan areas across
ordinarilv sound." the nation as well as regular national ETMs,
entific samples to get a highly reliable
sense of overall community views. Further, a new level of communication and account-
Gallup discovered ability could be established between the
because of the limited size of a represen-
that citizens arc often tative sample, citizens' votes can be tab- public and decision-makers. Because this
ulated very rapidly, thereby enabling mul- feedback would be strictly advisory, it
ahead of their elected respects the responsibility of decision-
tiple questions and interactions.
makers to give feedback to those who gov-
leaders in accepting ern. The biggest challenge we now face is
Because representative approaches are
innovations. already used to run democracies, and be- to evolve the art and practice of conscious
cause scientific procedures for assuring democracy in the communications era. •

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94f SS x#


Public Opinion Polling portion of people using it will increase arranging to interview the respondent on
because you have legitimized admitting two different occasions. Try to keep these
When trying to gauge public opinion on interviews as close to the same day as pos-
that they hove no opinion on the issue.
any community issue, nothing can sub- Adding such a category usually clarifies sible. Keep track of your appointments and
stitute for extensive person-to-person what opinions really are held. When peo- where the interview should be resumed.
contact. Sometimes, though, you need ple are encouraged to give an opinion on
to quantify your impressions. This is the In many studies, a critical core of informa-
a subject about which they know little or tion is contained in the second half of the
best book I've seen for doing so. have no opinion, they respond randomly, questionnaire. If a respondent wants to
From concepts to checklists, Public Opin- which tells us very little. quit and refuses an appointment to resume
ion Polling tells you how to conduct valid • the survey, the interviewer should try at
and defensible polls using the limited Longer telephone surveys (20 minutes or least to get the answers to those critical
resources of a volunteer organization. longer) involve more work, more interview- questions. This should take not more than
(And along the way you learn how to in- ing hours, and sometimes greater turnover 5 minutes. Over half of these respondents
terpret polls conducted by others — your and burnout of interviewers. Your organ- can be convinced to answer " a few more
opposition, perhaps?) —Keith Jordan ization should be aware of the additional basic questions."
work, frustration, and planning that long-
If the respondent has answered the key
er surveys require.
questions, keep the interview, even though
the rest will be considered "missing data."
Longer telephone surveys may necessitate

The steps Involved In ^@ilmf.

Planning
IDEA-»- (Study —*. Organize
Design.) Staff

Publie Opinion Polling


(A Handbook for Public Interest and
Citizen Advocacy Groups)
Celinda C. Lake and Paf Callbeck Harper,
1987; 165 pp.
$ 1 9 . 9 5 ($22.95 postpaid) from Island
Press, Box 7, Covelo, CA 95428;
800/828-1302

You should have a " D o n ' t know" category
in your set of answers for almost every
question, even if it isn't asked. Groups
often resist this rule in the mistaken belief
that everyone has an opinion and simply
must be coaxed into giving it.
When you include " D o n ' t k n o w " in
"^ '""
the
answers offered to respondents,
respondents. the pro-

Direetory of
National Helplines
Here, via toll-free 800 numbers, is direct
access to more than three hundred social, 0.S taxpayer M . . - - „ . ^ . C
economic, health, and environmental or-
ganizations and agencies that provide
assistance to people in need of support ^ : ^ ^ & ^ ^ "
and advice. Each listing includes hours,
types of assistance, and additional re-
sources offered. At first I thought six "^ ""' ^" " "' " l' . .Resource
. . . c e center ttotr^3
ttoU^3,^6^
-
HatioualA^^tre^entatlon) ^„
bucks was a bit steep, but I checked a
general directory of 800 numbers and '^''^^*I?EMoUedAgen«-
couldn't find many of the sen/ices in- "^ .ntseeifandic
dexed in Helplines. —Sarah Satterlee telephone Biuipn^eni see
Directory of National
Helplines ton. sent «® \ ^ ' 7facial
S a l Surgery
s""^*"'
(A Guide to Toil-Free Public Service ,^ Valley Authority Cr^
Numbers, 1990-1991) »j,rional sudden Irf^"' ^ ^ MD) ^-^^^esuoos or. Tennessee Vaiiey ^^
Consumers Index, 1990; 72 pp.
• • ' ^ •
$ 6 postpaid from The Pierian Press, Box , -„ BTZ. **'^
1808, Ann Arbor, M l 48106; 800/678-2435 Sudden 1°"" pampW"*
" ' ' " ' o ^ i h syndrome lr^5^^3,.SipS

10,000 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMHER 1991

\ •.-„»inn. (
Media Analysis
Techniques
• Media Research
Techniques
The average American household has at
least one television on for seven hours a
day, receives pounds of magazines, is
bombarded by advertising and propa-
ganda from billboards, flyers, radio, and Media Analysis Techniques
junk mail, but you have to be a communi- Arthur Asa Berger, 1982; 160 pp.
cations major in college to learn how to
$ 1 2 . 9 5 ($14.45 postpaid)
conduct your own media research and
analysis. Arthur Berger's amusing and Media Research Techniques
readable entry-level college texts show Arthur Asa Berger, 1991; 148 pp.
how to learn, and teach ways to sepa- $ 1 4 ($15.50 postpaid)
rate the info from the bullpuckey.
Both from Sage Publications, P. O. Box
—tfoward Rheingold 5084, Newbury Park, CA 91359;
805/499-0721
A number of advertisements for cosmetics
and fashion are analyzed in this chapter in
order to further our understanding of how for Oanskins, and finally one for Calvin guage and graphics function as signifiers
they generate " m e a n i n g " and what they Klein separates. Attention is paid to the that are derived from codes we all learn.
reflect about society. First we deal with language used in the advertisements and It is also suggested that advertisements
advertisements for a cleanser and moistur- to the way graphics are employed to gen- work by "striking" responsive chords in
izer, and a treatment for the entire body, erate belieh and attitudes. Semiological us, and not just by giving us information.
after which we examine an advertisement techniques are employed to show how lan- —Media Analysis Techniques

CASim
Macintosh users frustrated by the lack
of any good program that runs a range
of cellular automata ICAsj, like Rudy
Rucker's CA Lab does on DOS, will be b^A
thrilled to hear of CASim. For the unini-
tiated, CAs are mathematical constructs
where "cells" on an imaginary grid are
filled up or left blank in an impending •^ ^ ^ •
S5»- ^ .
tick of the clock, depending on the state
of the cells surrounding them. As the
clock ticks continue, patterns can emerge,
sometimes complex and fascinating
ones. Not by accident is the best-known
CA called The Game of Life.

Though it runs more slowly than one


would prefer, and requires some brain-
work before you get it going, CASim is
a grown-up way to indulge in this end-
lessly diverting, sometimes scientifically
worthwhile pursuit. Rules of several CA
schemes are included, as well as a few Bfownian motion causes particles to form a fractal crystal by running the Diffusion rule on
the image file "Diffusion Bottle."
related experiments such as diffusion
and growth, and tools are included to are on, and you have two or three neigh- your neighborhood and the value of your
create your own. There are also functions bors that are on, stay o n ; otherwise turn current state, which is considered sepa-
to record your findings. The manual is yourself off. Life is a Semi-Totalistic rule, rately from the state of the rest of the
clearly written, a resource in itself. because your new state depends on both neighborhood.
—Steven levy
CASim Discount Booicsource credit-card account is set up, repeat
Version 1.2. Macintosh II and SE30; 256
ordering is fast. Their friendly staff is
colors recommended. Almost any book in print (many discounted
happy to help locate boob in their huge
$29.95 postpaid from Algorithmic Arts, II to 30 percent) is at the answering
database if I have only partial for
P. O. Box 20191, San Jose, CA 95160 end of 800/833-0720. Now that I just
wrong) publishing information.
®
pick up the phone to order books, the
—Kathleen Creighton
clutter of book reviews and scraps of
With all its intriguing complexity. Life is a
simple rule. If you ore turned off, and you
paper with book references has disap- Discount Booicsource
peared. Although Discount Booksource 1933 Whitfield Loop, Sarasota, FL 34243;
have three neighbors which are on, then
will take checks or ship COD, once a 800/833-0720 (orders), 813/758-8094
turn yourself on, otherwise stay off. If you
(inquiries/quotes)

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSAUTO, CA f 49«5 10,001


Big Sky Telegraph

by Frank Odasz, IG SKY TELEGRAPH (BST) was created by grants from the US
System Operator West Foundation of Montana and the M.J. Murdock Char-
itable Trust. Its object is to train rural teachere in knowledge-
access skills and to serve as a cooperative for individuals
and organizations who could benefit from the advantages
of online telecommunications. BST went online January 1,
1988, Western Montana College received a grant from the
Intermountain Community Information and Library Ser-
vices Program to create a two-credit online course entitled
"Computer Literacy on the IBM" as a means of providing
microcomputer skills training at the students' location and
choice of time. Larry Hyslop, Western's Microcomputer
Center Director, developed and taught the class. Anyone,
anywhere, anjrtime, can take this course, provided access
to a microcomputer, modem and phone line.

Word gets around fast in the world of computer-mediated communications, Jody Webster, Director of the Women's
Center of Dillon, has been using BST to
especially where the indefatigable Dave Hughes is involved. A couple of years teach the 12 Montana Women's Center di-
rectors how to share information more ef-
ago, he started telling stories on the WELL about his efforts to help a couple of fectively. Last year, Jody received funding
for homebound women to receive micro-
idealists in Montana, Frank and Reggie Odasz, to set up a network of electronic computer training by using loaner com-
puters and modems to receive instruction
bulletin-board systems that could bring the benefits of computer-mediated com- from their homes or places of work. Sue
Roden, of Lima, MT, was able to build her
munications to rural areas. A year ago, when Linda Garcia of the U.S. Congress computer skills from the Gas 'n Snacks
truckstop between fillups. When she got
Office of Technology Assessment told me that the OTA was going to do an as- stuck on Lesson 2, a trucker named Windy
looked over her shoulder and got her going
sessment of the communication needs of rural America, I told her to find out again. Sue hopes to use telecommunica-
tions to work in Lima as a bookkeeper for
about Big Sky Telegraph. When I started looking for examples of electronic someone in Dillon, 45 miles away.
Barb Burke, of Missoula Women for Eco-
democracy, I fired up my trusty modem and logged onto Big Sky to see for
nomic Development, recently received
funding to use telecommunications to
myself. I left an electronic message for the system operator, and this article
deliver computer training to apprentice-
style learning groups of women in Dillon,
was the result of our online encounter. —HR
Glendive and Miles City. Not interested in
college credit, these groups intend to work
together to gain mastery of the skills that
will open entrepreneurial opportunities
for them.
Two years ago, Ralph Neslen of the Colum-

32 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER !99i


direct from MIT, and, by a local elementary
class to send messages to Sweden. BST
already has ongoing communications with
an online educational system in Tokyo.
Roger Fuchs graduated from Western in
1988. During his last semester he took a
class that covered online telecommunica-
tions, the only such course in the Rocky
Mountain region. Less than six months later,
he became the system operator for a new
electronic information service sponsored
by the Montana Department of Administra-
tion. Twelve different bulletin-board sys-
tems are currently running in Montana.
The Montana Department of Agriculture,
Department of Commerce, Office of Public
Instruction, and Northern Montana College
all have systems up and running. Many
others are in the plaiming stages. Training
individuals in their use is the common
problem. Currently, only BST provides
online lessons in modem use.
Jack Degolia, Public Affairs Officer for the
U.S. Forest Service, learned online tele-
communications on BST. He created the
Wildernet conference on BST for conser-
vation discussions. The Forest Service,
loggers, conservationists, and Earth First!
have all contributed. Smokey Bear has been
an electronic penpal favorite with rural
students using BST for telewriting projects.
bia Education Center's Western Educational
Support Team (CEC-WEST) received four
grants to link the National Diffusion state
facilitators from 15 states. This year, CEC-
West received 12 grants that included funds
W. ESTERN Montana College's Rural
Education Center of Montana received a
large grant for a rural drug-education pro-
to expand the multistate use of BST for gram. Twenty rural teachers were trained
educational sharing. The planned region and served as resource persons in their re-
to be networked extends from the Bering gions. BST was used to share information
Straits to Pago Pago in American Samoa. between the members of the group and is
During the summer of 1991,450 rural teach- credited with being a major reason the
ers across the 15-state region will attend grant was funded.
workshops to learn how to access BST.
Western Montana College's library has used
Ron Lukenbill, telecommunications spe- Big Sky Telegraph for two years to receive
cialist for the Montana Office of Public resource requests from rural schools. Last
Instruction, travelled to Russia recently week Marsha Anson requested a book from
to establish connections between Russian Wise River and was surprised to find that
and Montanan teachers. He carried bro- it arrived the very next day. Rural schools
chures from BST that presented not only need no longer be resource-poor. Free ERIC
educational networking models, but eco- (Educational Resource Information Clear-
nomic development and rural community inghouse Database) searches are available
support solutions as well. Telegraph's on- online; the results are sent electronically
line connections already had key persons to teachers. Bibliographies by topic, and
expecting his arrival. The Silverbow BBS selected lesson plans, are offered by the
at Butte High School, created by BST's ex- library as well as topic-specific boxes of
pansion grant this fall, has been used by posters and multimedia materials ("dino-
the Russian-language class to penpal with saurs" is a popular request). Requests for
Russian students, by gifted science stu- materials not available at Western are met
dents to receive a chaos-theory course through the Western Library Network,

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 9496S 33


which gleans materials from dozens of local computer expert. He maintains steady,
libraries across the western United States. low-volume sales in computer systems and
offers computer training as well. Ralph
The Headwaters Resource, Conservation Martin, a paraplegic from Willow Creek, is
and Development Organization has been in the process of training individuals from
using Telegraph for over two years to con- various Montana handicapped groups in
nect seven county economic development online skills. Ralph has helped train several
offices. Headwaters has created, and main- rural teachers and hopes to find funding to
tains, an online database of economic be a circuit-rider/trainer. Ralph is also co-
development information on the seven ordinating handicapped basketball teams
counties. As an aggressive, innovative, from two states, and would like to be able
grassroots leadership group supporting to do so online, if he could find micros
economic development initiatives, it seeks and modems for the various team captains.
to give individuals and rural communities Bob Bryant is a quadriplegic high-school
knowledge-access skills. Headwaters re- teacher from Ronan who runs a desktop-
cently received a grant to create a Rural publishing business as well as a remote-
We're evolving away Economic Development Incubator, whose controlled-kite business from his home and
manager will travel among the seven coun- advertises on BST. Bob has been searching
from multiple separate ties with a laptop computer to keep in close for grant funds to allow him to teach online
touch with his clients while on the road. courses for disabled individuals. He helps
educational institutions maintain the ReAbled files area on BST.
Ann Rogan, Director of the Southwest
and becoming an inte- Montana Special Needs Co-op, is online Two microcomputers with combined stor-
with the rural schools to respond to specialage of nearly half a billion characters run
grated K-100 system. needs. She just received word from Sal- four customized conferencing systems,
mon, Idaho, that a 13-year-old quadriplegic each with simple menus for public and
Instead of having a needs a means of using a computer so he private messaging in conferences supported
can keep up with his homework. She is by twelve files areas for document exchange
University of Montana,
eager to help; inquiries for the proper between any type of computer. Through
perhaps eventually information have gone out to numerous another conferencing system, two keystrokes
other sources via BST. from teachers' and students' PCs will make
we'll have "Montana — an automated phone call to exchange mes-
sages, conferences and files to BST's five
the University," an elec-
tronically integrated T
Western, Northern Montana College, and
±E(
community BBSs, 8,000 national Fidonet
. ECHNOLOGY Education faculty from systems, and 15,000 global Unix systems.
All reading and writing is done on indi-
resource-sharing edu- Montana State University are using BST to vidual PCs; rapid exchange minimizes
offer lesson plans and interactive support communications costs. BST will soon be
cational system without and training to teachers statewide. A similar accessible through a statewide network,
effort for Home Economics faculty is just MUSENET (Montana University System
arbitrary institutional getting started with an eye toward the cir- Educational Network), now linking seven
cuit-rider/trainer concept, distributing higher-education institutions through Tl
barriers. modems to interested teachers. Wyoming (special high-speed data communication)
does not have an online educational system lines. Each institution will be equipped
to speak of, nor does it have a rural teach- with modem banks to provide regional
ers' association of any kind. Since out-of- community access.
state calls are cheaper than in-state calls, a
growing number of Wyoming teachers are Online courses can now be taught at no
coming online on Telegraph to learn how extra cost to students. Faculty can confer-
to use online telecommunications and ence with peers at other institutions, and
share resources. receive online instruction in global net-
working for professionals at times of their
Private individuals are empowered by BST convenience. Campus access to BST and
as well. Gerry Bauer came to Western two MUSENET at Western Montana College is
years ago with a severe back injury to find available from terminals connected to Tele-
a new means of employment. He now ad- graph through the campus microcomputer
vertises his "Computer Access" computer- via Ethernet, as well as by modems from
supplies business online on BST. Able to faculty desks, selected microcomputers in
conveniently answer questions and receive six computer labs, and the campus library.
orders online (such as for a puppy-damaged We're evolving away from multiple separate
printer cable at the Polaris school), he has educational institutions and becoming an
a rapidly growing reputation as a reliable integrated system. Instead of having a Uni-

34 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


versity of Montana, perhaps eventually merce, twelve women's centers, twelve Soil
we'll have "Montana — the University," an Conservation Service or County Extension
electronically integrated resource-sharing offices, five handicapped organizations,
educational system without arbitrary insti- and five rural hospitals.
tutional barriers. Distributed conferencing
among school-based bulletin board systems The actual number of individual efforts
may provide a cost-effective means of shar- and "dreams in the making" are too nu-
ing information and instruction. For exam- merous to mention. Anyone can begin a
ple, MIT's Plasma Fusion Lab delivered a new future through a system like Big Sky
high-school chaos-theory course for gifted Telegraph. BST plans to attract funds for
science students through BST and two of much more training, to create more hard
BST's Community BBSs. examples of economic development suc-
cesses, and to set up other online systems
that can be linked to global networks. Tele-

W. E have funding for 104 additional


community sites, selected on a first-come,
communications today is where electricity
was in 1880; we have it, but don't quite
know how to use it. Grassroots leadership
first-served basis; other communities may appears to be the most productive strategy
still participate for a sum of $300, which in- toward demonstrating the potential. In-
cludes the cost of a modem and the training terested? Find a friend with a modem and
of one community telegrapher. Our goals call 406/683-7680. Access is free at 1200
include 40 rural schools (to include ten baud, 8N1. Ask a question and an entire
Native American schools], twelve rural community will respond with offers to
help. Soon you'll be in a position to help
public libraries, twelve rural economic
others, too. •
development offices or chambers of com-

Organizing for Social Change


This is a systematic tutorial, powerful
sourcebook, or handy cookbook for ac- Giving people a sense of their own power
tivists, depending on how you want to is as much a part of the organizing goal as
use it. If you want to learn the theory is solving the problem. A local issue, such
and practice of direct action, from the as getting abandoned houses repoired,
neighborhood to the national level, you illustrates this point. There are many ways
in which the houses could get repaired. An
can use the book as a self-teaching text.
outside organization could come in and fix
If you want to look up the address of a
them for the people. That would be a social
citizen organization in your state or find
out where to get audiovisual materials
service approach. Community members Organlxing
could take house repair classes and then
with a progressive perspective, you 'II repair the houses themselves. That would
f o r SOCI0I Change
find a lot to choose from. If you have a Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall,
be a self-help approach. An outside organ-
specific concern •— environmental ac- and Steve Max, 1991; 271 pp.
ization could intercede for the community
tivism, the mechanics of setting up a with the officials responsible. That would $ 1 9 . 9 5 ($22.95 postpaid) from Seven
nonprofit, designing and leading work- be an advocacy approach. Another out- Locks Press, P. O. Box 27, Cabin John, MD
shops, tactics for investigative journalism side group could propose legislation man- 20818; 800/537-9359
— you can go directly to the "recipe" dating the repair of all houses. That would (or Whole Earth Access)
that interests you. —tioward Rheingold be a public interest approach.
Finally, the community members themselves
could organize, and with the strength of
their numbers, pressure the politicians and
officials responsible for abandoned houses.
This method leads to the community devel-
oping the power and ability to hold city
officials accountable to them. Community
members feel that there is a victory and it
is their victory. This motivates them to try
to solve other problems. When people
who were not previously involved hear
about the victory, and more important,
see the houses repoired, they will join the
group. Larger numbers mean more power,
and more power means that bigger issues
can be won. Eventually the organization
becomes a force in the area. This power
can be used again and again.

Members of N e w Jersey CWken Action, o

k^m
statewide coolitien, pressing for passage
of the Right to Know bili.

27 GATE FSVE ROAO SAUSALiTO, CA 94965


The American Indian
ShareWrt
Gallery

By Cynthia Denton HE PURPOSE OF the American Indian Share-Art Gallery is to


promote and preserve the culture of Native Americans and the
heritage of the American West. The State of Montana, like most
of the western states, depends upon economic stimulation from
outside our geographical boundaries. To improve the economic
condition of the Indian reservations within the state of Montana,
we hope to assist Native Americans with their efforts to market
one of their most valuable assets, their arts and crafts.
Computer-mediated communication is about mal<ing connections, so it isn't sur- This project started with the implementa-
tion of the Russell Country BBS on October
prising to discover that one computer community can lead to many others. Dave 20, 1990. This was made possible by the
help of David Hughes, who assembled,
Hughes led me to Big Sky Telegraph (page 32), which led me to a computer wrote, and installed the software for the
BBS, arranged the Big Sky Telegraph and
bulletin-board system vv'here young Native American artists from different tribes international connections, and conceived
the basic idea of the American Indian Share-
can display aspects of their cultural heritage and sell their designs via an online Art gallery. Frank Odasz, sysop of Big Sky
Telegraph, used funds from a grant from
art gallery. The American Indian Share-Art Gallery is now available for viewing US West Communications to make the
project possible.
and downloading on the Russell Country BBS in Hobson Montana: 406/423-5433.
In December 1990, Big Sky funded a work-
shop on learning how to create artwork via
Cynthia Denton is the sysop and operator. For more information, write her at
computer and modem. In attendance were
five artists and seven computer coordina-
201 Third Avenue East, Hobson, MT 594.52. —HR •
tors, representing five reservations. Under
the guidance of Dave Hughes, the artists
produced the initial artwork that is pres-
ently online for viewing, while the com-
puter coordinators learned how to help the
artists get their artwork to Russell Country

36 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUHMER W9I


Sioux Pipe: BBS and how to use telecommunications artwork, they may use it to enhance their
This pipe, whicli may be for a variety of other activities. computer screens while they are not
pointed to the four direc-
The artwork is created with the use of in use.
tions, up to the heavens,
down to the earth, or re-
NAPLES (North American Presentation The Native American artists currently
volved by the hands of the Level Protocol) software, a program that presenting work are: Harvey King, an As-
smolcer in a sacred circle, enables graphics — from visual arts to siniboine from the Fort Belknap Reser-
is a vehicle for offering mathematical and scientific notation — to vation; Gina Ryan, a Sioux living on the
sacred tobacco to the cos- be telecommunicated. The artwork is pro- Fort Peck Reservation; Henry Webster, a
mos. The feathers are a duced with the use of DOS-compatible Chippewa-Cree from the Rocky Boy Reser-
mystical touch, a good luck computers, EGA and VGA color monitors, vation; Courtney Stewart, a Crow from
symbol from a magical bird and a mouse. the Crow reservation; and Willis Tsosie,
that always returns. —CH
The Native American artwork is in the a Navajo living on the Crow Reservation.
form of "Share-Art." Individuals may In addition to these artists, Dave Hughes
Drum "Lefthand":
A Hunkpapa Sioux whose dial Russell Country BBS to view the has presented an illustration of a poem,
name was originally Catches artwork online as often as they wish. in both English and Assiniboine, written
The Bear — LeftHand was a However, should they decide to down- by Minerva Allen, a member of the As-
Standing Rock Sioux. Per- load the artwork for permanent display siniboine tribe.
sonal visions were painted on their computer system, they are asked
on shields to protect the The expansion of the use of this medi-
to purchase that right. This is possible
owner. um, with its combination of text and
by using either VISA or MasterCard on-
artwork, could have a significant influ-
line or by check or money order; 85 per-
ence in the Native American classroom.
cent of the proceeds go to the artist. Af-
Taking advantage of the opportunity to
ter people purchase the
use English and native languages in
right to display the
combination with artwork could pro-
vide learning benefits in English, native
language, and tribal history. This could
turn out to be a powerful means of en-
couraging Native American students to
learn more about their heritage and
to focus on their own culture. Native
American schoolchildren today are the
spokespeople and leaders for the Native
American population of tomorrow. This
learning and training can increase their
sense of individuality, self-esteem, and
self-expression.
Our goal over the next five years is to
bring a wide variety of Native American
share-art online, representing as rnany
tribes as possible. We have created an
online catalog showcasing Native Amer-
ican crafts and handiwork. In the future
we hope to expand this catalog beyond
Montana Native American work to in-
clude art of indigenous people from
other states and countries. •

About the Artist: Resources:


I am Gina Ryan from the Fort Peck I graduated from Fort Peck Community CTLink 2.10 is software that enables DOS-
Reservation, Poplar, Montana. lama College in spring 1991.1 am intrigued compatible computers to upload and down-
Dakota or Sioux-Yanktonai and Hunk- with computer graphics and have de- load graphics using NAPLES, ALEX, MINI-
papa Sioux. I am a direct descendant voted much time to creating Indian TEL, VT-100, and ANSI protocols.
of the great Sioux leader and medicine graphics, not only Sioux graphics but Available from:
man Chief Sitting Bull. I do not know designs that originate from other tribes CTL Communications, 611 Broadway/Suite
exactly where my ancestors came from as well. lama single parent. My son
430, New York, NY 10012-2608; 212/477-2424.
because my people were put on reser- Moses was five in April, and Joshua
vations by the white man. I do know will be one in March. I will be married DOS version $39.95 plus $5 shipping and
that my blood runs from Standing in the near future to Lennie Grayhawk, handling; Macintosh version $49.95 plus $5
Rock, The Black Hills, and from a wonderful Oglala Sioux man. shipping and handling. NY State tax 8.25%
Fort Peck. where applicable.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALiTO, CA 94965


Earthtrust:
Electronic Mail
Ecological Activism

ARTHTRUST, A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION, was set up to deal


with international wildlife protection and environmental problems
that fall between the cracks of local and national environmental
movements. Recent Earthtrust programs include shutting down Ko-
rea's illegal whaling operations, expeditions to South America to
save Amazon wildlife, acoustic and communications research on
whales and dolphins, and groundbreaking work against deep-sea
gillnetting fleets. Earthtrust solved the perennial overhead prob-
lems confronted by most international organizations by creating an
electronic network of campaign workers who use electronic mail
to leverage their local efforts into an international program.

Earthtrust volunteer workers are as- By enabling professional people to do


signed an Earthtrust electronic mail good environmental work in their own
account or are encouraged to open a homes, Earthtrust has tapped into a huge
personal electronic mail account. In "people resource" of folks who choose
cases where the volunteer will be doing not to move to Washington, DC, or other
a significant amount of program work, large cities (where most large conserva-
Earthtrust provides the basic electronic tion organizations are based) in order
workstation: an inexpensive computer, to work on conservation projects. Pre-
modem and printer. This station costs viously, if people wanted to do such
Earthtrust well under $1,000, and trans- work, the cost of relocation meant that
forms the volunteer's house into an the conservation group would have
Earthtrust "branch office." That volun- to pay high salaries. Organizations de-
teer may then keep in daily communi- veloped high overheads; this limited
cation with other Earthtrust campaigners the number of persons who could be
and the main office in Honolulu. Peo- involved in the effort, and limited the
ple who are thousands of miles apart number of issues that could be address-
can co-author reports and compare data ed. These factors have been the most
very inexpensively. important limits to growth in the na-
tional environmental movement.
Has Earthtrust found a panacea? As the
organization's director, I'd say electronic
Don White is the Director of Earthtrust (2500 Pali Highway, Honoiuiu, Hi 96817), a mail comes darn close. Our organiza-
tion has accomplished goals over the
nonprofit organization involved in wildlife protection and environmental cam- last two years that rival the achievements
of organizations with 20 times Earth-
paigns. You can contact him via MCi Mail; his user name is earthtrust. —HR trust's annual budget, H

WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER lf9i


WWOOF Environmental
Willing Workers On Organic Farms Vacations
(WWOOFj makes it possible for the
Such a deal! Instead of lolling in he-
alternative traveler to really experience
donistic luxury, you pay about the same
New/ Zealand. The program, which cele-
money for the privilege of assisting in
brates its seventeenth year in 1991, exists
some environmentally worthy field work.
as a means of putting "wwoofers" in
Nevertheless, many folks who spend
contact with a network of communities,
their vacations in this way will tell you
ventures in self-sufficiency, farms, and
that the adventure and satisfaction were
market gardens, for which organic grow-
well worth it. This book tells you how to E n v i r o n m e n t a l Vocations
ing plays some part. These communities Stephanie Ocko, 1990; 235 pp.
arrange things — Earthwatch (Ecolog p.
will provide meals, accommodations,
103) isn't the only organization around. $ 1 5 > 9 5 ($18.70 postpaid) from John
and experiential education in exchange Muir Publications, P O. Box 613, Santa Fe,
Lots of frontline stories from participants
for work on the land. In addition to fos- N M 87504; 800/888-7504
give you a good idea of the range and
tering organic methods, the program {or Whole Earth Access)
character of the work and the living con-
promotes alternative, sustainable lifestyles
ditions. There are names and addresses
and provides useful contacts with inter-
of just about all the organizations that
esting people. Lasting friendships are
might welcome your help. Good advice
often made between wwoofers and hosts
will ease deciding which one is for you.
during this grassroots cultural experience.
With the exception of a weak chapter
—Mike Sutherland
on health hints, it's just what you need
WWOOF to know. —J. Baldwin

Membership $ 7 ; information f r e e from


Jane and Andrew Strange, P. O. Box The only mistake a volunteer can make,
10-037, Palmerston North, New Zealand; according to several scientists, is not being
telephone 063/55-3555 culturally aware before going into the field.
It is one thing not to read the science liter-
ature, but it is far worse not to know some-
Sports ' N Spokes thing about the country you will be working
in. One scientist remembered a volunteer
wheelchair racquetball? Of course! on a project in French Polynesia who asked,
And skiing, sailing, roadracing — you " W h y is everything in French?" Because
name it. This lively, upscale and upbeat he found the place "unsanitary," the
magazine brings you the latest news in scientist said, " h e drank sodas and ate
international "wheeler" recreation and cookies and left after ten days."
competitive sports. As you might expect,
there's a determined, pragmatic tone to The Foundation for Field Research has l a l to the integrity of the science — for ex-
initiated innovative weekend projects for a m p l e , trapping and banding huge redtailed
the articles — they're a lot different from
volunteers u/ho w a n t to be involved in a h a w k s near Bakersfield, California, to es-
what you read in magazines whose re- research project but lack the time. In cases tablish migration patterns — the projects
porters merely observe, rather than par- w h e r e sustained fieldwork is not fundamen- are successful.
ticipate. More surprising (at least to mej
are the busy international competition
schedules. There is also an enormous
selection of equipment. The issue I'm
looking at features an annual survey of
available lightweight wheelchairs — ' J Sr I B - * s f . 7.... • "*»!»••.* •'•if—.i ""HsJ. •'^ - , «
pages of them. A few years ago you
could have surveyed them all in one
sentence. Obviously, a lot of people have
v' - J * •» *
been working very hard. This magazine
is a great place to watch 'em go.
—J. Baldwin
Sports ' N Spokes
Cliff Crase, Editor
$ 9 / y e a r (6 issues) from 5201 N . J M
Avenue/Suite 111, Phoenix, AZ 85015

Even a Mous ( M u s t a p h a Badid) can fly a t the 9th O i t a International Wheelchair M a r a t h o n .

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965


The Electronic Frontier Foundation
and Virtual Communities
I ELECTRONIC FRONTIER Foundation is living proof of
the existence and effectiveness of virtual digital commu-
by Mike Godwin nities. EFF arose from the interactions of citizens who
were, and are, "neighbors" in electronic communities,
and EFF has gone on to establish its own communities,
not the least of which is the EFF conference on the WELL.

Mike Godwin is the staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The WELL was a key community from the
beginning. The way communities normal-
EFF was established to help civilize the electronic frontier; to make it truly use- ly shape their responses to outside events
is for neighbors to chat — perhaps even
ful and beneficial to everyone, not just an elite; and to do this In a way that is In gossip — over the fence. This kind of in-
formal exchange of information led to two
keeping with our society's highest traditions of the free and open flow of infor- crystallizing events behind EFF's formation.
The first was an online WELL conference
mation and communication. For information about EFF, e-mail mnemonic@eff.org; on "hacking" sponsored hy Harper's mag-
azine. One result of that conference was
write EFF, 155 2nd Street, Cambridge, MA 02141; or call 617/864-0665. —HR that WELL user and Grateful Dead lyricist
John Perry Barlow met and befriended a
couple of hackers who went by the cyber-
punkish noms-de-hack "Acid Phreak" and
"Phiber Optik." Although they "knew"
each other electronically, Barlow's face-to-
face meeting with Acid and Optik was a
revelation: "Acid and Optik, as material

40 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


beings, were well-scrubbed and fashionably of those BBSs, run by the Austin-based
clad," Barlow later wrote. "They looked to role-playing game company Steve Jackson
be as dangerous as ducks." Barlow soon Games, was seized by the United States
concluded that law enforcement's charac- In effect, tKey had Secret Service. Although neither Jackson
terization of these hackers as major com- nor his company turned out to be the tar-
puter criminals was disproportionate to become next-door gets of the Secret Service's criminal inves-
their actions, which had more to do with tigation, Jackson was told that the manual
intellectual curiosity and youthful explor- neighbors, although for a role-playing game they were about
ation than with genuine criminal intent. to publish (called GURPS Cyberpunk 2
Barlow lived in Pine-
The second crystallizing event occurred and stored on the hard disk of the com-
when Barlow and another WELL user, dale, Wyoming, while pany's BBS computer) was a "handbook
Mitch Kapor (a founder of Lotus Devel- for computer crime."
opment Corp. and On Technology), com- Kapor lived in Brook-
Austin's BBS community was startled,
pared notes about their respective visits by line, Massachusetts. then outraged, by the seizure, which had
FBI agents. The agents were investigating the potential of putting Jackson — an in-
the unauthorized copying and distribution Says Barlow: "There nocent third party — out of business. On a
of Apple's proprietary source code for the BBS called Flight there was a hot debate
ROMs in the Macintosh computer, and was a sense that what about the media's failure to pick up on
both Kapor and Barlow were startled by Jackson's story. A third-year law student,
how little the FBI seemed to know about was going on was a former journalist and Flight user, I the-
the nature of the alleged crimes they were threat to our com- orized on Flight that the media hadn't
investigating. Barlow later published an covered the story because they didn't
account of the visit on the WELL (print- munity." So Barlow know about it. Or, at least, they didn't
published as "Crime and Puzzlement" understand the issues.
in WER #68). and Kapor did what
To test my theory, I gathered together sev-
As Barlow wrote in the March issue of the neighbors often do in eral postings from local BBSs and from
Foundation's print newsletter, The EFFector: Usenet, the distributed BBS that runs on
"Mitch's experience had been as dreamlike response to a neigh- the Internet and connected computers, and
as mine. He had, in fact, filed the whole trekked down to the Austin American-
borhood problem —
thing under General Inexplicability until Statesman office to talk to a friend of mine,
he read my tale on the WELL. . . . Several they formed a citizens' Kyle Pope, who covered computer-related
days later, he found his bizjet about to fly stories. I also took him photocopies of the
over Wyoming on its way to San Francisco. group. In this case, statutes that give the Secret Service juris-
He called me from somewhere over South diction over computer crime, and lots of
Dakota and asked if he might literally drop the citizens' group phone numbers of potential sources. At
in for a chat about [the agents' visits] and the same time, I called and modemed
was EFF.
related matters. So, while a late-spring materials to John Schwartz, a friend and
snowstorm swirled outside my office, we former colleague who was now an editor
spent several hours hatching what became at Afewsweeic.
the Electronic Frontier Foundation."
Pope's lengthy, copyrighted story on the
Having met in person when Barlow inter- Secret Service seizure appeared in the
viewed Kapor for Microtimes, the two fu- American-Statesman the following week-
ture EFF cofounders had used the WELL end. John Schwartz's story, which covered
to build on their face-to-face contact. In ef- the Steve Jackson Games incident as well
fect, they had become next-door neighbors, as the Secret Service's involvement in a
although Barlow lived in Pinedale, Wyo- nationwide computer-crime "dragnet,"
ming, while Kapor lived in Brookline, appeared in NewsweeJc's April 30 issue.
Massachusetts. Says Barlow: "There was a The heavy-handed tactics and overbroad
sense that what was going on vras a threat seizure at Steve Jackson Games became a
to our community." So Barlow and Kapor symbol of the law-enforcement commu-
did what neighbors often do in response to nity's misconceptions and fears about
a neighborhood problem — they formed a young computer hackers, and provided a
citizens' group. In this case, the citizens' context for Barlow's and Kapor's discus-
group was EFF. sions about creating EFF.
I had a chance to play my own role in an- Once they agreed on what needed to be
other example of such concerned-citizen done, Kapor and Barlow went back to the
action in Austin, Texas, which has more WELL and drew upon the collective wis-
than its share of computer bulletin-board dom of that community for input into the
systems (BBSs). On March 1,1990, one tactics and strategy of the newly formed

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94965 ^1


foundation. The same week they announced It's clear that EFF is not only a product of
EFF's formation in Washington, DC, they electronic communities, but has also pro-
started the EFF conference on the WELL duced some new communities while con-
— a sort of community-within-a-commu- tinuing to contribute to old ones. It's also
nity which quickly became one of the clear that the sense of community was
system's most active conferences. seeded by face-to-face contact at key points:
when Barlow met Acid and Optik, for ex-
Soon afterward, they created two new news-
ample, and when he interviewed Kapor. The
groups on Usenet — comp.org.eff.news
need for at least occasional face-to-face
and comp.org.eff.talk. The latter, like all
contact, Kapor still stresses, means that
active newsgroups, has itself become a
current networks and BBSs don't simply
community of sorts, with a diverse collec-
create community; instead, they amplify
tion of voices addressing — sometimes
it. To be even more accurate, the two phe-
heatedly — the issues that arise as we
nomena exist in a complex state of coevo-
proceed to explore and civilize the elec-
lution, with face-to-face contacts fueling
tronic frontier.
the electronic relationships and vice versa.
Almost immediately after the foundation
was officially launched, EFF's efforts to One of the things you often see when you
assist in the defense of electronic publisher read discussions about EFF on the WELL
Craig Neidorf had tangible results. Neidorf or on Usenet is a sense that EFF has be-
had been prosecuted for publishing a Bell- come a representative body. While this is
South text file relating to the E-911 system misleading — EFF is not yet a membership
(see "Attacks on the Bill of Rights," WER organization — it's still the case that EFF
#70). EFF's law firm submitted an ami- is regarded as an advocacy group for elec-
cus curiae brief defending Neidorf's First tronic communities in general. You'll
Amendment rights as a publisher. We also often read comments from Usenet folks
helped Neidorf's defense counsel assemble who think the most appropriate pronouns
experts to testify on his client's behalf. when talking about the EFF are "we,"
And a member of the WELL's EFF confer- "us," and "our."
ence came up with information that was If that neighborly sense of belonging
critical in persuading the prosecutors doesn't prove the existence of a commu-
to drop their case. nity, I don't know what does. •

Computer Ethics time and money expended on original enormous publicity and led directly to im-
research and development. O n the other proved security arrangements for the whole
Despite being a textbook, Computer hand, intellectual property owners might of the Prestel system. Gold and Schifreen
Ethics is surprisingly readable. I'd thought try to stake too large a claim for their in- were therefore extremely indignant at
from the title that this book would rehash novations in order to squelch new ideas being treated as criminals — and this illus-
the usual subject matter of computer- and to get a jump ahead of their competi- trates once again the discrepancy between
ethics panels — whether it's ever appro- tors. This could strengthen the hand of what the law considers to be criminal be-
priate to "enter"someone else's computer established large firms over small entre- haviour and how hackers perceive them-
without authorization, whether viruses preneurial firms, who have been the tradi- selves. Although Gold and Schifreen were
and worms are the equivalent of vandal- tional innovators of the industry. The ques- convicted under the Forgery Act and fined
ism or sabotage, and so on. Forester and tion is whether the developmental work a total of £ 2 , 3 5 0 , an appeal saw the
Morrison go much further, exploring the put in justifies the influence innovators charges quashed. It was argued that since
whole domain of computer-ethics topics. may gain over both users and competitors. the hackers caused no damage and did
I was pleased to see that the authors There is a clear need to strike a balance not defraud anyone, then they could not
approach such questions as whether a between the interests of these three groups, be held guilty of an offence.
software manufacturer has an ethical as we tread the fine line between piracy
obligation to its customers to provide a and progress. Computer Ethics
e Tom Forester and Perry Morrison,
working (and safe) product, or whether
a computer researcher can ethically ac- 1990; 193 pp.
The mass media has tended to sensation-
cept an SDI grant for a project she doesn't alize hacking, whilst soundly condemning $ 1 9 . 9 5 ($22.95 postpaid) from MIT
believe will ever work. The book is a it. But there are other points of view: for Press, 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge,
good attempt to deal with the emerging example, in many instances the breaching M A 02142; 800/356-0343
field of computer ethics comprehensively, of systems can provide more effective se- (or Whole Earth
curity in future, so that other (presumably Access)
and its discussions are punctuated with
some memorable (and sometimes fright- less well-intentioned) hackers are prevented
ening) anecdotes. —Mike Godwin from causing real harm. A good illustra-
• tion of this was the penetration of British
Telecom's electronic mail system in 1984
Without adequate legal protection, gen- by Steven Gold and Robert Schifreen,
uinely innovatory individuals and com- which resulted in a rude message being
panies might wonder whether the meagre left in none other than the Duke of Edin-
rewards for their efforts really justify the burgh's account! This incident attracted

42 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


M a k i n g a n d Playing
Musical Instruments
Oh, serenade me with rommelpot, sansa
and Hanske Knap! Caress my ears with
dulcet tones from cowhorn flute and
rinkelbom! You'll probably have to make
'em first, though, and this charming book
tells you more or less how. I say more or
less because, unlike so many modern
hand-holding authors, these don't tell you
every tiny detail. They also don't be-
Making and Playing
labor you with tiresome, lawsuit-resisting
safety admonitions. Refreshing! Especially
Musical Instruments Tba rommelpot.
Jack Botermans, Herman Dewit,
to those who delight in adding a dash
and Hans Goddefroy, 1990; 120 pp.
of imagination and cleverness to their
projects, as has likely been the custom $ 1 9 . 9 5 {$22.95 postpaid) from Univer-
for centuries. Toolilliterates, young kids, sity of Washington Press, P. O. Box 50096,
Seattle, WA 98145; 800/441-4115
Tiles f o r a
and those who have forgotten what a
delight it is to think for themselves will
(or Whole Earth Access) Beautiful Home
probably feel more comfy if they accom-
pany the book with a suitable mentor. rubbed with the fingers or a cloth, or by a
On the other hand, it is a pleasure to stick or cord piercing the membrane. The
read such a fine exposition of instruments instrument consists of a container — a
from around the world even if you aren't flowerpot, a large can or something simi- • .*'• *
going to indulge in construction and the lar — over which is stretched a membrane.
The rommelpot was used mostly during folk I.' « •*
long hours of practice that precede your • • • ! . • . . '
festivals, such as Twelfth Night. . . . ' .• » • . . - • • •
concert debut Nicely illustrated with
\ ^- •' - ' : , • * •
sharp drawings, explanations of the Making a rommelpot is really quite easy. A • ' ' '

physics, and color photographs. pig's or cow's bladder can usually be ob-
- . • •' V • • - » • - v"
—J, Baldwin
tained from an abattoir — otherwise you '. ''' J^
can use one of the alternative playing • ^ ic
jp--- ., » , -
• heads mentioned earlier in this chapter on ' "^ ..t • -
The rommelpot belongs to that distinctive membranophones. Before it can be mount-
ed, the skin must first be soaked in water. •_ • Til -1 ' A ^ ' -;
family of drums known as friction drums.
The membrane is not vibrated by striking Make sure that the skin is a little larger
it, but rother by means of friction — being than the diameter of the pot to be used.
Well, I suppose you can have a beautiful
home without tile, but after reading this
book, you won't want to. The color photos
The Cooper are what'll get you; they're of dream-
a n d His Trade tiles in every style and color imaginable,
used with skill and obvious glee in every
This book shows how it was before the room of the house. The book concludes
55-gallon drum. Barrelmaking tools and with a competent, courage-enhancing
technique, barrelmakers, their culture, tile-it-yourself section, just to make sure
guilds and ultimate fate, are all attended you don't escape. There's no mer^tion of
from an historian's point of view. The making your own tiles, but in case your
writing is a tad dry, but the photos and a inspiration isn't matched by your budget,
bit of assiduous reading will give you a remember that the ceramics class at your
pretty good idea of why and how things local JC can be used to advantage.
have cf)anged. Whether the changes —J. Baldwin
have been for the better is up to you; at
least you 'II have more than sentiment
to judge by. —J. Baldwin

The Cooper and His Trade


Trussing adzes In unison. Kenneth Kilby, 1971, 1990; 192 pp.
• $ 1 6 . 9 5 ($18.43 postpaid) from Linden
The Elizabethans were very concerned Publishing Co., 352 W. Bedford #105,
about the tremendous demands being Fresno, CA 93711; 800/345-4447
made upon English oak, which was being (or Whole Earth Access)
eaten up by the shipbuilders, the charcoal-
burners and builders and furniture-makers
as well as by coopers, and because of this
laws were passed in 1543 and 1585 pro- Tiles for a Beautiful Home
hibiting the export of casks larger than Tessa Paul, 1990; 157 pp.
barrels, and making exporters import a $ 1 9 . 9 5 ($21.95 postpaid) from Bar-
corresponding amount of clapboard, or ron's Educational Series, P. O. Box 8040/
thinly cut timber, for casks. Until this time 250 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, NY
almost all casks had been made with 11788; 800/645-3476
English oak. (or Whole Earth Access)

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965 4 J


Pu B L I e M 1^^ T II y I

WENDY PONIGER
THINK ONE OF THE WONDERFUL THINGS ABOUT A
INTERVIEWED BY myth is that it mediates between the abstract and your own
ADAM PHILLIPS memory of how you felt when your father died. It combines
ILLUSTRATED BY the point of a philosophical dogma or abstract idea with the
KRISTEN THROOP vividness of one's own dream and the detail that goes between
the two of them. It takes your experience with all the detail
that makes you care — what was he drinking, what
kind of wine was it, what kind of dress was she wear-
Trained as a dancer under Georse Balanchine and Martha
ing, what was the embroidery like — and then says,
Graham, Wendy Doniger went on to complete two doctorates
' 'By the way, this is enormously general.'' It allows
in Sansl<rit and Indian Studies (from Han/ard and Oxford), and
you to hold in suspension together your commitment
is now Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions at the
to a really personal experience and your commitment to
University of Chicago. Her writings range from translations of
a philosophical idea, which is "everybody dies," or
Sanskrit poems and Hindu myths to books about hallucinogenic
mushrooms, phallic worship, evil, karma, women, dreams,
"an awful lot of people died in WWI." I think that is a
folklore, horses, and myths, including Dreams, Illusion, and
power that a great myth has.
Other Realities (WER #57, p. 727).
In a Hindu story, Markandeya is a human being, trying
Adam Phillips is an independent radio producer with special to find things out; he has a personality and you get to
interests in Jewish subjects, mythology, sacred music, and know him. He's a saint and he has his own little world
geometry. He conducted this interview for the documentary like our worlds. One day he accidentally falls out of the
"The Dream Within: Wendy Doniger and Hindu Myth," com- mouth of Vishnu and discovers that he was inside the
missioned for the William Benton Broadcast Project of the body of the god all the time. He has this great cosmic
University of Chicago. -Sarah Satterlee vision of the entire universe, of Vishnu's sleeping there

44 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMHER ml


P R I V/I tE DREAMS

and of him being part of Vishnu's dream, which is other. Am I dreaming that I'm awake, or am I awake
again this vision of all the crosses in Flanders fields, and worried that I am dreaming? So, too, when you
or of the enormousness of the universe, and he can't switch registers from the telescope to the microscope,
sustain that; no one can live like that. at any point one world will call the other into question.
You say "It's an illusion that I'm seeing god," or else
So Markandeya goes back inside the mouth of Vishnu,
you say, "It's an illusion that I'm living my life and
back inside the body of Vishnu, and forgets — has to
then ordering pizza.''
forget — the cosmic vision of how tiny his life is and he
becomes caught up in it. That's what god wants. God There is no way ultimately of deciding which is the
does not want him to maintain this true vision; he truth. Some say that there's no firm ground to stand on.
wants him to live his life, I say that there are two firm grounds to stand on and
that you can choose which one to stand on at any time.
I used to find it very difficult as an adolescent to think
I don't find it unsettling; I find it doubly sustaining.
about the stars and about how small the planet Earth
was, and the galaxy, and all that. You couldn't do that I think stories are much more primary than theories. It
for long. Because you really cared about whether you always bothers me when people use the word myth to
were going to have pizza that night and whether you describe a dogma -- usually, of course, a false dogma —
were going to have pepperoni or Italian sausage. And because the one thing that myth is not is a theory. A
at the same time you knew that there were all these myth is a narrative which invites you to construct a
galaxies. That's what that myth is about. It's true, of theory to explain it or derive a moral from it (cultures
course, that we are inside the body of god and that always do moralize their myths). But the myth itself
all these little things don't really matter, but that's is pre-moral, pre-theoretical.
a truth that we can't live with.
Take the story of Eden: we are told that there is a garden
You never really know which of the lives validates the and a tree and a serpent and a man and a woman who

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94965


eat the fruit and leave the garden. Now, the traditions Remember the old argument of American parents who
that own that story — the Jewish and later the Chris- weren't going to read Grimm's fairytales to their kid-
tian traditions — tell us that we weren't meant to eat dies because people get their heads bitten off and it
from that tree and as a result a lot of bad things have was going to give their children nightmares? Bettelheim
happened. But other traditions tell the same story about (in his wonderful book The Uses of Enchantment) and
the man and the woman and the garden and the tree Maurice Sendak countered that children already have
and tell us that that is the origin of life, that that is those dreams. One of the things that terrifies a child
the gift that God gives you. The serpent is a great and about having such a dream is that he can't share it with
benevolent deity and knowledge is what you need to anybody and he thinks that maybe he's really weird, if
begin human life. Our interpretation is that Eve and he had a dream that someone is biting off his head. If
the serpent were naughty, but the stoiy doesn't say that. you show him a book and you say ' 'This book was from

The narrative of the creation of the


universe does not tell you why or
what its purpose is. It just says, this
is what happened — first there was
this and then there was that. Re-
ligions and scientists say that it
happened because and it happened
in order that. Each culture dresses
it and, indeed, each individual
storyteller within a culture tells it
T here are some of tile same
imasinatl¥e elements in dreams
and myths, but their social func-
in his or her own. way. Myth is like tion is completely different — ewen
the invisible man you can't see un- opposite* The function of a dream is
less he's wearing bandages or a hat
— you have to dress it up as, say, entirely limited to the dreamer and the
a Hindu myth with a point. You
never see the myth without the function of a myth must be extended
moralizing, but from seeing several
different versions, you realize that to as f reat a f roup as possible*
there is no one moral and there-
fore the story exists without a
necessary moral.

That is why science is not adequate. At the most meta- a long time ago, other children have read this book for
physical level, scientific stories are narratives. You don't years, and I read it when I was a child myself,'' you
really say why things happen. You just say they do hap^ say, "You're not alone in this." It's no longer a dream,
pen. Nowadays, for instance, you have someone who's but becomes a myth.
seriously brain-damaged and the doctors tell you if we That's what makes a story a myth; a group of people
plug them into these machines they will live for a long acknowledge that it has meaning for all of them. There
time, but they can't tell you whether you should do it is a great comfort in that — it changes you by making
or not. The more scientific we get the more we need you think you are not crazy and alone, that these are
theologians to figure out what to do about our narra- scary things but that you are not the only one who
tives. The more that becomes possible, the more we ever thought of them. You see it in support groups,
have to make decisions about what we want. people feeling better about whatever is driving them
A story is a narrative that says something happens ~ crazy just by being in a room with other people who
not all stories are myths but all myths are stories. Myths are driven crazy by the same thing. One of the basic,
are a particular kind of story, not just a one-person precious things that a myth does is to join your fan-
story, but a story which many people understand and tasy into a group,
share and use to define themselves as the people who A dream is like a myth in that it is often a narrative and
have that story. It is our story. A dream, on the other that it uses symbols. There are some of the same imag-
hand, is a very lonely thing. There is nothing in the inative elements in dreams and myths, but their social
world lonelier than a dream. It is the most soiipsistic of function is completely different — even opposite. The
experiences. No one else is with you in your dream. function of a dream is entirely limited to the dreamer
Myth is a way of making a dream shared or public. and the function of a myth must be extended to as

WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMHER W91


great a group as possible. They are using the same vo- like Proust did and say, "Every time I have a chocolate
cabulary but they are saying very different things. A ice-cream cone, 1 dream about my childhood." Then
myth is a conscious creation. Myths are not constructed we read your book and we all know that chocolate ice
out of a subconscious. They may be using subconscious cream becomes a symbol of Adam remembering his
and unconscious materials, but a myth is controlled — youth. When it is a chocolate ice-cream cone in your
it is art, structured, the work of the superego — and dream it has only meaning to you. If you publish it
a dream is the work of the id, and it becomes a famous story, all the people who read
it know it. But it is still coming from somewhere. It's
Myths seem to come from nowhere. Dreams come from Adam Phillips' story about the chocolate ice cream. You
you. If you dream about a chocolate ice-cream cone, have to do a lot of work on that chocolate ice cream
I have to say to you, ' 'Adam, what is it with you and before it becomes universally acknowledged as a sym-
chocolate ice cream?" You could make it into a story bol of the remembrance of a lost past. •

How to Remember Your Dreams


by Adam Phillips
Everyone dreams and wakes several bed and turn out the light, take a emotions, colors, etc. Don't worry
times during tine night, with the moment to clear your head of at about getting it into logical order,
deepest dreams occuring halfway least some of its yaketty-yak through and don't analyze too much. That's
through a three-hour periodic sleep relaxation. Then, make a conscious daytime stuff. Keep your eyes closed
cycle. If you usually remember only decision to remember what you and take your time. Let yourself drift
the dream you had just before wak- dream, and carry this intention with (while taking care not to doze off).
ing in the morning, it's probably you across the vale into sleep (this The dream will show the way. When
because you allowed yourself to gets easy after a little practice). you're satisfied, shut off the machine
wake only ver/ partially during the When you wake, resist the urge to and go back to sleep. Repeat.
night and slipped right off, promptly go back to sleep. Avoid any unne- You'll be amazed at how many
forgetting everything. cessar/ external stimulation, and dreams accumulate on your tape.
If you're interested in remembering restrict physical movement to the Set aside some time the next day
more of the show, here are a few absolute minimum necessary to grab — mornings are best — for listening
tricks: the tape recorder, turn it on (prefer- to the tape and reconstructing the
Buy a cheap, Radio Shack-style cas- ably with one hand) and recount the sequence. Keep your dreams in a
sette recorder and put it within ver/ dream. Consider everything relevant; special dream book, or type them
easy reach. After you climb into include lots of detail, sensations. into a computer. •
Other Peoples' Myths our old familiar world of ideas but that
we could not even realize we had, been
This fascinating and scholarly study ex- unable to think in that world. In this way
amines two kinds of "oHier peoples' we are sometimes able to change both our
myths": both those they tell about each myths and our lives — or at least to give
other and those they tell about what might new myths to our children.
be called the Other. Generally, myths
about the Other are about strangers, •
animals, children, and — most Other of In Sanskrit texts, the bard may recite a
all — the gods. These archetypes com- Other Peoples' Myths myth in a certain way, only to be inter-
prise elements of the strange and the Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, 1988; 225 pp. rupted by someone in the audience to
familiar, the known and the unknown. whom the tale is being recited, who argues,
$ 1 9 . 9 5 p o s t p a i d from Macmillan " W e heard it differently." When the person
This netherworld is a main stomping Publishing Co., 100 Front Street, Riverside, in the audience tells that second version,
ground of the mythic imagination. NJ 08075; 800/257-5755 the bard replies, "That is true, too, but
(or Whole Earth Access)
The myths and stories that people con- your version happened in a different world
coct are often as beautiful (and almost e r a " — or, in some stories, " i n a different
as diverse) as anything else that nature rebirth." That is, the same event happens
offers US; this "travelogue" of other peo- We are left, then, sometimes with no over and over again, but it may not hap-
myths, sometimes with myths emasculated pen in exactly the same way each time,
ples' myths is absorbing for that reason
of their rituals, sometimes with bad myths and each happening is true. Moreover,
alone. The myths of others can also deep-
that trap us within the cybernetic cage of what makes an event in India important is
en our self-knowledge, because in them,
our own myths/rituals and lives, each giving not that it happened at a particular time
according to O'Flaherty, "we see not
rise to the other. But we may break out or place (which is what makes a historical
just what they think they are but what event important in the West), but precisely
from all of these various prisons with the
we think we are as distinct from them." the fact that it has multiplied, that it has
help of other peoples' myths, which, coming
The need to construct narratives about happened many times in many places.
from outside our own closed system, may
life's great unanswerables is itself an irre- provide on external influence, an onti- Marx remarked that history repeats itself,
ducible fact of life. Myths about stories, inertial force, to move us off our own tread- and that the first time Is tragedy, the second
and especially the stories people tell mill, our own track, onto an entirely new time farce. Myth repeats itself too, of course,
about the stories of others, are this path. New myths move us into new worlds but unlike history, it follows no evolution-
book's special meta-theme. where we can begin to think thoughts that ary course; any of its countless retellings
—Adam Phillips not only were impossible to think within may be tragic or comic at random.

The Jungian-Senoi or greater emotional intensity than that of


the original dream. Actualization also re- Perhaps every dream has aspects which
Dreamwork Manual fers to gaining meaning from a dream by are unclear or puzzling to the conscious
This is the most comprehensive hands-on doing specific outer-life projects which mind. There seems, even, to be an inten-
, manual I've ever seen for exploring the embody some part of the original dream. tion on the port of the 'dream originator'
strange world of one's dreams. It's Jung- Thus we include under the term 'actual- to present situations which require activity
ian in that it assumes that dreams are ization' both re-experiencing the dream in by the conscious and unconscious sides of
inherently meaningful, and that the dream itself and transforming the dream into our personality in order to clarify them.
specific outer-life experiences. Discovering the issues can be based in part
itself should point to its own personal
(and often transpersonal) meanings. It's • on using the following central questions as
the focus for beginning your dialogue.
Senoi (a Malayan tribe that may have In dreams we characterize the dream ego
based all family and community decisions as usually the image of oneself. But this — What, or who are you?
on dreams) in that it teaches the dreamer- may vary. For even more central than im- — Why are you in my dream?
student how to identify with the "dream age is the awareness of an ' I ' or centre of — Why are you acting the way you are?
ego," and how to direct a dream to en- awareness and action. Thus people have — What do you have to tell me?
hance awareness and effectiveness in reported themselves in dreams as being — W h a t do you want from me?
the opposite sex, animals and inanimate — W h a t is your gift to me?
one's "outer reality." The manual includes
objects such as chairs and dinnerware. — W h a t questions would you ask of me?
over 35 step-by-step methods for keep-
ing a dreamwork journal, reentering the How many egos ore there involved with
dream state after waking, "dialoguing" the dream state? We have the dream ego Jungian-Senoi
with dream figures, lucid dreaming, and itself, the image of ourselves as interactant Dreamworic Manual
"objectifying" the dream. in the dream. We have a 'non-ego' in which Strephon Kaplan-Williams, 1989; 328 pp.
—Adam Phillips we experience a dream but without our-
selves in it. $ 1 7 . 9 5 ($19.95 postpaid) from Journey
• Press c/o Publishers Services, P O. Box
The golden rule of dreamwork might be We have the observing ego, that centre of 2510, Novato, CA 94948; 415/892-4112
stated OS follows: To get to the meaning awareness which sees and remembers the (or Whole Earth Access)
of dreams, actualize dreams rather than whole dream and maintains it in conscious-
interpret them. ness Into the waking state.

Actualizing one's dream brings one closer We may hove in the other characters in the
to the dream. Interpreting one's dream dream aspects of our egos. Certainly these
distances one from the dream. The mean- characters embody attitudes, sometimes
ing of a dream comes from the dreamer's quite contradictory ones, to the dream
re-experiencing the dream and not from ego's attitudes. And other characters may
what someone else may say about it. make choices or have feelings in the dream.

Actualization is the re-experiencing of a Is there an essential difference between the


dream, or some aspect of it, with similar dream ego and other beings in the dream?

48 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


The Water of Life cess called Kate, held captive by the ogre
because she refused to marry him. Often
Alan Trist has written a story "for children the prince had looked upon her beauty
of all ages" whose medieval setting with wonder. His heart went out to her . . .
frames themes and images that speak but the power of the spell the ogre had
directly to the present-day heart. cast was such that the thoughts of the mo-
"The 'grateful dead' term goes back ment were left in the hour in which they
had arisen, so that he never remembered
perhaps two thousand years," according
from one day to the next that he loved her.
to Trist. "When the band chose that name
in the sixties, they were choosing a very Unknown to him, Kate had an eye which
old myth to call themselves by. My pur- The Water of Life could look directly into the heart. She hod
pose in writing this book was to bring (A Tale of the Grateful Dead) never laid this eye upon a purer heart than
that out and make people aware of it. Alan Trist, 1989; 43 pp. that of the son of the wounded king.

"The Grateful Dead theme is what folk- $ 1 2 . 9 5 ($14.95 postpaid) from At the feast of departure the ogre said,
lorists call a 'helper' motif," says Trist. Hulogosi Communications, Inc., P. O. Box "The princess sits beside me pale and un-
"The grateful dead man is somebody 1188, Eugene, OR 97440 smiling. I cannot endure her sadness and
(or Whole Earth Access) reproof any longer. N o music has ever
who helps the hero on his journey, his
quest, which will take many forms." moved her. If you can make her forget her
prince pays the debts of a dead man sorrows and dance, I will give you a
The Wafer of Life is a simple story. A and sees to his burial, and all through reward, remarkable man that you are, and
kindly king's illness is felt everywhere in his journey he is aided by the spirit of this shall be your choice of anything in
the realm: crops fail, waterfowl do not that grateful dead man. my kingdom you should desire."
visit the ponds, and so on. The physician
tells of the one possible cure — the Water The story works as a story and resonates The prince said, "If I could perform this
of Life — but adds that "many have gone as a myth. I liked the "misfit power" service, my heart would be glad for her
aspect of it; the selfish brothers ride off sake." Whereupon, he took out the magic
in search and none has come back." hie
and get stuck, and the ugly one with the lute and carefully removed its covering of
who goes in search of the Water of Life
heart of gold has some fabulous adven- jet black otter fur, lined with softest doe
"must show kindliness, courage, presence
tures and comes home with the cure and skin. He unwrapped the finis linen, white
of mind . . . and be willing to take ad-
the girl. It has morality but it isn't moral- as the swan's throat, which covered the
vice." The king's eldest son sets out to strings. Then he played a song of such
find the Water of Life, but his motives istic. You get out of it what you put into
beauty and variety of mood that everyone
are impure and he does not return,- nor it, just like Grateful Dead music.
present, from courtier to scullery maid, felt
does the second son. Then the third son, —David Gans the sap of life course in their veins and
"humped of back and weak of eye," saw, if only for a moment, the lovers of
takes up the quest. Along the way, the Now, in the castle dwelt a beautiful prin- their dreams come forth to join the dance.

Keepers of the Earth out of the sky," they said. " H e is making
too much noise with all of his shouting."
The meat of this set is the fine selection
of Native American stories from the US So Coyote was taken out of the sky. Some-
one else became the moon. Coyote could
and Canada in the main volume, but the
no longer see what everyone on Earth was
soul is in the slim teacher's guide, where
doing, but that hasn't stopped him from
the authors discuss the meaning of sto-
still trying to snoop into everyone else's
ries in Native American cultures and talk business ever since.
about environmental education as ne-
cessarily including feelings and values,
as well as information. —Nancy Schimmel
Keepers of the Earth
Drawing from a Hopi pelroglyph thai (Native American Stories, with
©
represents Mother Earth. Environmental Activities for Children)
How Coyote Was the Moon Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac,
(Kalispel — Idaho) They placed Coyote up in the sky. He did 1989; 209 pp.
A long time ago there was no moon. The not make the nights too hot and bright. $ 1 9 . 9 5 ($21.95 postpaid)
people got tired of going around at night For a time the people were pleased. Teacher's Guide
in the dork. There had been a moon before,
"Coyote is doing a good job as the $ 9 . 9 5 ($11.95 postpaid) from Fulcrum
but someone stole it. So they gathered Publishing, 350 Indiana Street #350,
moon," they agreed.
together and talked about it. Golden, C O 80401; 800/992-2908
But Coyote, up there in the sky, could see (or Whole Earth Access)
"We need to have a moon," they said.
everything that was happening on Earth.
" W h o will be the moon?"
He could see whenever someone did some-
" I will do it," said Yellow Fox. They placed thing they were not supposed to do and
him in the sky. But he shone so brightly that he just couldn't keep quiet.
he made things hot at night. Thus they had
"Hey," he would shout, so loudly everyone
to take him down.
on Earth could hear him, "that man is
Then the people went to Coyote. "Would stealing meat from the drying racb." He
you like to be the moon? Do you think you would look down over people's shoulders
could do a better job?" as they played games in the moonlight.
"Hey," he would shout, "that person there
" I sure would," Coyote said. Then he
is cheating at the moccasin game."
smiled. He knew that if he became the
moon he could look down and see every- Finally, all the people who wished to do
thing that was happening on Earth. things in secret got together. "Take Coyote

49
Come
Into

^ - ^

Animal
Interview with
Presence
James Hillman
by Jonathan White
and Donna Sandstrom .NIMALS have done so much for us for thousands
of years. They've brought us food, they've brought us dances,
they've brought us wisdom, they've brought us all the tech-
nical skills. Who taught us to make a halibut hook? See, this is
James Hillman is a Junsian analyst and the
the way that people think — "Oh boy, some smart guy named
author of several books, including The Dream
Joe Jones — what a good idea. He invented that little thing,
and the Underworld, A Blue Fire, and Revision-
so that we could catch halibut more quickly. So we call it
ing Psychology. He was interviewed on board
the Joe Jones hook.''
the Crusader, a 65-foot wooden schooner, for
the seminar "Come into Animal Presence-, Ani- But originally, the people who lived with halibut, and whose
mal Images in Dreams and Psychic Ecology" life depended on them, watched them so much that the halibut
Present in Frederick Sound where the boat was taught them how to make the hook. So we owe the halibut for
sailing were humpback whales, salmon, seals the instrument to catch it. And we owe the deer for the way
and porpoise. to hunt it — how to walk stealthily, how to walk downwind.
They taught us all those things. We wouldn't know about
Jonathan White is the founder and director
"downwind" — how would we know anything about that? No
of the Resource Institute (6539 Phinney Avenue
reason to — they taught us.
North, Seattle, WA 98103; 206/784-6762), a
nonprofit, educational organization focusing on Animals come in our dreams, helpers and saviors; as teachers,
Northwest coastal (including the San Juan Islands again. We still are inflated to think we're saving them, but they
and southeastern Alaska) culture and traditions. may be teaching us about saving. What happens to our hearts
Poet Gary Snyder, marine biologist Roger Payne, when we see them wounded or hurt? That's a turning point,
and psychologist Rollo May are among those when the animal is hurt. They teach us something through
who have given seminars aboard the Institute's their woundedness; that they're threatened and endangered
Crusader. Jonathan and Donna collaborated on and wounded. They're beginning to convert the world! The
the interview with Robert BIy in WER #70. animal-rights movement, save-the-extinct-species. World Wild-
-Sarah Satterlee life — all those movements that have sprung up over the last
thirty years — have changed consciousness enormously with
the images of dead elephants and so on. This spotted owl is

50 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 19


saving the forest. Take it as a myth — don't take it as a law. Of course it's a legality, in
that it's the only way we could get it through the court system. But if we were telling
the tale, the spotted owl is saving our forest.
Animals correspond with part of us. The bear dream that one man had corresponds
with his own earthy, shaggy nature, therefore he can feel an affinity. But that bear is
WSIf mask by
not his own shaggy nature. That reduces the bear to just a piece of himself, and insults
KwakiatI sculptor
the bear — it interprets the bear away. The presence of the bear in the dream corre-
Willie Seaweed
sponds with qualities of the human soul, but is not reducible to it. The animal in the
(Iron Indian Art
dream is a presence that corresponds with some interiority of your own self — your
of the Nartlmest).
own wolf, for example, your relation to wolf, whether it's insatiable appetite, or con-
stantly tracing and pursuing, or loneliness, or something of that wolf quality. And at
the same time it's a presentation of the divine wolf, the wolf god, the wolf totem, the
wolf ancestor, who may be bringing you to more intensity in regard to those qualities.
The question is, what does the wolf want? Why did it bother to come to me? Is it tr5dng
to remind me of my own wolfishness? If the animal is an ancestor, then it's going to
bless those qualities. It's going to give them an archet5'pal background. My loneliness,
my constant trekking and feeling an outsider, is blessed by the wolf's appearance. Or
take the fox — my cleverness, my sneakiness, and my trying to raid everything that
happens and getting into all the chicken houses. Instead of saying, "This is my psycho-
pathic shadow, this is my sex complex," the fox comes and says, "This is part of nature,
this is where we connect." Then you have more respect for that part of yourself, and
you begin to try to live it right, m

Altered Loves had raised her chin thoughtfully to look


at that future which seemed to be residing
According to traditional psychological just above my eye-level.
theory, the stomas of adolescence are
the result of teenagers' attempts to sep- Yet in fact the terrible event struck earlier
arate themselves from their parents and than even her dire predictions. It came
become individuals in their ov\/n right. silently, and privately, causing her no im-
Terri Apter's original purpose in conduct- mediate harm and effecting no enormous
ing the research that became this book change. It simply drove a tiny wedge be-
was to explore these processes of sep- tween the way I had agreed to look upon
her, and the way I soon discovered she
aration and individuation in adolescent
could be seen.
girls. What she found, hov^ever, through
numerous interviews, was that the basic most of all, comfort that neither you nor
theory doesn't apply to girls-, rather than your daughter are alone through these As the daughter becomes a harsh judge
trying to separate, girls are in their moms' tempestuous times. —Sarah Satterlee of the mother's 'mirroring' or validating
faces, demanding acknowledgement responses, the mother feels herself under
and agreement with their emerging def- A l t e r e d Loves attack, and in her defensiveness she can
initions of themselves. Terri Apter, 1990; 231 pp. no longer uphold the previous views of
$ 2 4 . 9 5 ($26.45 postpaid) from Pub- her adolescence. She can no longer see
For me, being the mother of twin teen- her adolescent self so clearly in the right,
lishers Book & Audio Mailing Service/
age daughters is sometimes excruciating, Order Depf., P. O. Box 120159, Staten and her mother as clearly wrong. N o
sometimes passionately exhilarating, and Island, NY 10313; 800/288-2131 longer convinced of the validity of her
almost always confusing. I look back (or Whole Earth Access) adolescent anger, she no longer remem-
on my relationship with my mother and bers !t clearly. As her assessment of that
wince at what I put her through, yet I still time changes, her memory dims, since the
I was introduced to adolescence as a
carry forward a desire for much of what memories no longer make sense to her.
demon, and as a mother's curse at a very
I see my daughters demanding from me Her memory makes amends to her own
early age, an age so early I cannot begin
— approval, admiration, respect, etc. mother, blurring their battles, and finally
to name it. My mother, a medical profes- erasing the wounds. If such memories do
Despite the occasionally academic tone sional, was an innocent devotee of psycho- linger, they are a source of pain, for she
and British misconceptions (a young girl analytic theory, and faced me with the glimpses through them to her daughter's
dressed as a Deadhead is described as following prediction: future complaints about her, complaints
an aspiring drug user and pusher). Al- 'You won't listen to a word I say. You'll she knows she cannot and should not
tered Loves puts this all in a plausible think everything I do is wrong.' avoid. In self-protection, and to retrieve
context of necessary struggle, providing 'When?' I demanded. . . . her past with her own daughter, she looks
compassionate insight into the moils and 'When you're 14,' she concluded after a back to earlier times with her mother,
toils of both mothers and daughters, and moment's pause, during which time she when the attochment was easier.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965


Dreamtime embedding the imagery in the concrete
and Dreamwork life situation of the dreamer and will run
the risk of superimposing theoretical or
This veritable Who's Who of modem speculative ideas on the dream to fill
dream research includes contributior)s by in the gap.
28 specialists. Psychiatrist Montague •
Ullman offers keen insights on effective The activation-synthesis hypothesis pro-
dreamwork in groups. Neuropsychiatrist poses that dreams result from attempts by
J. Allan Hobson explores his research on the higher brain centers to make sense of
dreams as random neural firings. Psy- cortical stimulation by lower brain centers.
chologist Gayle Delaney reveals how Dreams take the stimuli produced by these
to introduce successful problem-solving dream generators and use the images as
techniques into your dreamlife. And Patri- story material. Any number of psycholog-
cia Garfield shares a sensitive view of ical functions can be superimposed upon
how women can discover more about the process — integrating daytime exper-
themselves from their dream body images. iences with those memories already stored A dream which is not undsr$toad is like
away, allowing the dreamer to deal with a letter which is not opened.
These essays range from the empirical
upsetting ideas and events, addressing Talmud
sleep laboratory to the remote, spiritual
dream shaman. The book contains a one's unsolved problems, and coming up
with tentative solutions. Dreaming in re-
thorough examination of dreamwork as it
lation to REM sleep provides us with a the nature of this process must be honestly
is used in therapy, problem-solving, art,
remarkable mirror of our inner selves, but faced by those who attempt to work with
education, understanding gender differ-
it is basically a neurobiological process. And dreams and the information they provide.
ences and sexuality, and historical per-
spectives. Other topics include dream

use in other cultures and the latest in Those who have no routine sexual outlets
dream research and dream breakthroughs may have particularly powerful sexual
as they relate to personal growth and dreams as compensation for waking-life
•^~l'A deprivation.'John Money's study reported
development. —Cindy Cosgrove
in the Archives of General Psychiatry de-
• scribed twenty-one paraplegic men and
Dreams start with the tensions and pre- women whose vertebral nerve fibers were
occupations we bring to bed with us at severed. Despite complete genital paral-
night. To what extent can we reconstruct ysis, these fourteen men and seven women
the recent past to shed light on these emo- experienced "phantom orgasms." They
tional currents? What aspects of our recent hod dreams with vivid orgasm imagery in
past left us with emotional residues? W h a t spite of the absence of physical sensation
feelings or thoughts surfaced in our mind and paralysis of the genital area. The
just prior to falling asleep? The dream is Dreamtime and Dreamwork sleeping brain is capable of achieving
a continuation at night of feelings stirred Stanley Krippner, Editor, 1990; 320 pp. these "dry dreams" or mental orgasms,
up during the day. Any technique that $ 1 2 . 9 5 ($15.95 postpaid) from Jeremy hallucinations that feel like real orgasms,
professes to work with a dream without P. Tarcher, Inc., 5858 Wilshire Boulevard devoid of ejaculation. Clearly, whether
stressing the importance of identifying the /Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90036 sexually abstinent by choice or by accident,
recent emotional context will fall short of (or Whole Earth Access) no one has to forego sexual pleasure.

Exploring the World ing world. We approached the problem of that I am not saying we can never read in
dream time by asking subjects to make an
of Lucid Dreaming eye movement signal in their lucid dreams,
dreams. I myself hove had dreams in which
I have done so, but these were not lucid
My problem with lucid dreaming: as soon estimate a ten-second interval (by count- dreams in which the writing was being pro-
as I realize I'm dreaming the imagery ing one thousand and one, one thousand duced in response to voluntary intention.)
shimmers iridescent, then disappears and two, etc.), and then make another eye
completely, and I find myself awake. I movement signal. In all coses, we found
hadn't realized this was a common prob- time estimates made in lucid dreams were
lem until I read this book. The authors within a few seconds of estimates made in tvp/cn-'"'
the waking state and likewise quite close
provide techniques for overcoming my
to the actual time between signals. From

n
difficulty, staying in the dream and pro-
this we have concluded that in lucid dreams,
longing it. There are a lot more techniques
estimated dream time is very nearly equal
in this solid how-to book. Stephen La-
to clock time; that is, it takes just as long to
Berge is the scientist who revived dream do something in a dream as it does to
research with his ingenious method for actually do it.
studying lucid dreaming in the lab. With
Howard Rheingold, he's produced a 9
book with the latest scientific findings in There may be physiological constraints on
a readable, useful format. For amateur a lucid dreamer's actions, deriving from
dream researchers, this is a must. the functional limitations of the human Exploring the W o r l d
brain. For example, lucid dreamers ap- of Lucid Dreaming
—Corinne Cullen Hawkins
pear to find reading coherent passages Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingoid,
virtually impossible. As the German physi- 1990; 277 pp.
One of the earliest experiments conducted cian Harold von Moers-Messmer reported $ 1 8 . 9 5 ($20.95 postpaid) from Ran-
by my research team tested the traditional in 1938, letters in lucid dreams just won't dom House/Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road,
notion that the experience of dream time hold still. When he tried to focus on words, Westminster, M P 21157; 800/733-3000
is somehow different from time in the wak- the letters turned into hieroglyphics. (Note (or Whole Earth Access)

52 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


Control Your Dreams James Albert Hall has observed, "The
Even prolific lucid dreamers have some- waking ego is like a gatekeeper who can
The title is misleading,- this isn't a how-to times noticed the limitations of dream con- permit or deny entrance into the boundaries
book. The authors give an overview of trol. " A t best," says Kelzer, "the lucid which he guards, but who is powerless to
all the current streams in lucid dreaming, dreamer is able to take charge of his [or command the appearance or disappear-
from lab research to the discoveries of her] personal experience within the dream ance of a particular entrant (content),
intrepid dreamers working on their own. but is not actually able to control the dream- however much he might desire it."
The main approaches to inducing lu- scape itself to any great extent." Hunt
cidity and working with it are covered, goes even further and suggests that some
with some examination of underlying attempts at control can dampen the exper-
assumptions (what lucidity "means," ience by turning the dream into a nocturnal
why it is or is not valuable, what it says laboratory in which to perform experi-
about consciousness). One section com- ments. Only by pursuing lucidity as "some-
pares lucidity to out-of-body experiences, t h i n g " in its own right do the expansive V.'K I','
near-death experiences, and meditation. feelings of a peak experience occur.

This is still wide-open. Wild West terri-
tory, with snake-oil salesmen mingling
with the honest folk. Since the authors
Obviously, lucid dreaming is not a pan-
acea for life's problems. And it will never
replace traditional psychotherapies. In-
'mMl
don't differentiate clearly between the Control Your Dreams
deed, working with lucidity may be most
opinions of individuals based on anec- beneficial when it's used in conjunction Jayne Gackenbach and Jane Bosveld,
dotal sources and lab-tested, verified with other therapy and perhaps when it is 1990; 224 pp.
hypotheses, absorb with a grain of salt. used in moderation. The whole issue of $ 8 . 9 5 ($12.45 postpaid) from Harper-
Despite this quibble, the book is well whether to control dreams or not is one of Collins Publishers/Order Dept., 1000 '
worth reading. You won't find this wide a great concern among dream researchers. Keystone Industrial Park, Dunmore, PA
range of lucid dream material elsewhere. Complete control of dream content is prob- 18512; 800/331-3761
—Corinne Cullen hlawkins ably not even possible. As Jungian analyst (or Whole Earth Access)

The Sun searching in vain for an answer as to how violent situation and did not apply the
I could have dealt with the young bullies necessary force and highly focused skill
and the Shadow next door. I was very impressed when 1 that such a situation calls for. W h a t was
• Pathway to Ecstasy saw how the rambunctious bulls were fi- needed to stop the bulls in my dream (and
nally stopped in my dream. As I reflected the teenage bullies next door in my waking
Okay: you've got the knowhow and on the principal characters of this dream, I world) was a type of raw, personal power,
you're ready to explore lucid dreams. began to collect some valuable observa- freely used, highly focused, with full atten-
Here are a couple of books to inspire tions. The first three or four waiters, dressed tion placed on the precise spot where the
you: autobiographical accounts by lucid- all in white, who rushed in and tried to adversary could be hit and stopped, as if
dream pioneers who explore their per- grab the bulls were easily and promptly struck in his Achilles heel. I was stunned
sonal dreamscapes with passion and tossed aside. These young men symbolized and pleased to realize the special signifi-
commitment. Your own journey may be the " M r . Nice G u y " part of my personality. cance of the head waiter, the man who
nothing like theirs — dream reality is They had good intentions (they wore wielded the axe! He v/as the missing piece
white); they put out a lot of energy and to my puzzlet —The Sun and the Shadow
unique to each person — but the way
gave their all, but they were totally in- m
these two explore the interior landscape
will give you clues to finding your effective. They were ineffective because As my experiences in these altered states
own approach. they were too gentle in a potentially of consciousness, lucid dreaming and out-
of-the-body trips (if that is what they are)
In The Surt and the Shadow, Ken Kelzer gathered force, I needed to make sense of
relates a series of his lucid dreams ex-
The Sun and the Shadow them. It no longer seemed to matter to me
Kenneth Kelzer, 1987; 273 pp. whether these worlds are within or with-
ploring and developing his aggressive
side. Dream life/waking life form a whole $ 9 , 9 5 ($12.20 postpaid) from A.R.E., out, whether they are in a physical location
as dreams relate to everyday hassles P. O. Box 595, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 or in a different state of consciousness.
through powerful metaphor. Though con- They are a universal human experience
and, as such, are real. A pattern was
ventional religion would probably not Pathway to icstasy emerging that was crucial to capture and
see this as particularly spiritual, the end Patricia Garfield, 1979, 1989; 253 pp.
share. I thrashed about in my mind for an
result for Kelzer is an experience of
$ 1 2 . 9 5 postpaid from Prentice Hall understandable way to translate these ex-
the Light of God.
Press, 200 Old Tappan Road, Old Tappan, periences. Dreams are so visual, their
Patricia Garfield inhabits a dreamscape NJ 07675; 201/767-5937 translation should be visual, too. Not
(or Whole Earth Access) words, not lists, not charts, but pictorial
more sensual and passionate than Kel-
zer's, but one lust as closely tied to her symbols that would convey the essence
of the experience.
waking life. Through dreams, Garfield
lays open her personal history from child- I devised, at last, the Way of the Dream
hood on, focusing on particularly rich Mandala, a kind of paraphrase, not a
dream images that triggered change in duplication, of the original Tibetan pat-
her waking life. These she incorporated tern upon which it is based. The Dream
into a mandala to help her focus on per- Mandala, personalized with one's own
sonal growth. —Corinne Cullen Hawkins 4'< '„ dream images, becomes a chart for self-
• discovery. It gives a sighting on the self —•
the beautiful, ever-shifting, growing bit of
Was this dream, perhaps, going to supply .r..,.f.!- .llif' life force that is us.
some missing piece to my longstanding
—Pathway to Ecstasy
puzzle? For over three years I had been

n GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965 ^ s #


Jcdstones J
9\[ezv Media
by Abbe Don
! » t h i t the in-
SPOKE in the house Yiddish, but when I
gc capaciiy ol
•ad us. in the not-
iiT played with the neighbor's children I spoke
op multimedia
Lithuanian. Just like when I came here, I
/iide voiVes and
ics as well ax the spoke to my mother Yiddish, but I talked
•; technologies are at school English. In the old country, the
although they
Lithuanians we got on with ok. We were
'he rescarrh and
Those who are only afraid of the Russian Cossacks. One
p«' form of pack- time, we had a 'tcholent' cooking in the
id that the art ui
oven. The oven was in the wall on the out-
isary to help peo-
these vast multi- side. We didn't cook on Shabbos so we would make
t about thix a 'tcholent' in an earthen crock and let it cook from
ind modem
le consulting
sundown to sundown. Everybody did. You could /
s "Guides" smell in the whole area the aroma. And one morn-
ing, we woke up, and there's no food. Days later,
iperimental my brothers were walking in the open fields, and
f narrative meta- t h ^ found smashed to pieces the crock."
agents for brows-
composed of —Annie Shapiro
ieo stories re-
rom 1800 to
My great-grandmother Annie told stories to nearly
ctETs drawn anyone who would listen as she baked challah in her
ir in the user kitchen or waited on customers at the family-owned
lese fictional jewelry store. She could simultaneously weave several
the user ttirough stories together, changing her tone depending on the
1 the computer
audience, pausing to answer the phone, then including
ntity ot their
af vtew. In addi- the caller, whose husband was a ' 'schlemiel,'' in the
e GvLidvs make fabric of the story. While my grandmother Rita grew
r which database impatient, complaining, ' 'Ma, always with the same
o examine next. stories. Enough already, we've heard this before,'' I was
Us involved in fascinated by the rhythm of Annie's speech, her Yiddish
irief essays abou t accent and quirky sentence structure, and the way she
ng and multi- cocked one eyebrow as she pushed her head forward as
Abbe Don. a if she was confiding these details for the first time. ' 'Tell
vc Telecom-
us about the time the Cossacks took your clothes,'' I
tsultant to
exploration of
pleaded. "What about the cow . . . did your mother
lediam. She can really have her own cow for kosher milk right in the ci-
'fweli.i[.ca.us ty?" knowing that the facts about the cow were not
d Rhcingold nearly as important as the story about the cow.
w%. %

" % •

illustration
by Allison
Hershey

T'.

As I listen to the stories on audio- cities, become increasingly secular, tosh computer, linked to a 30-minute
cassette now, seven years after her and turned its media-sawy attention videodisc. The viewer can scroll
death, I realize that she prided her- to television and computers. through a timeline of coUaged family
self on how' 'Americanized'' she had Interactive video also makes it eas- photographs from 1890 to the pres-
become while maintaining a strong ier to represent the idiosyncratic ent on the Macintosh screen. At
sense of Jewish identity. Living be- contents, structures, and rhythms any point, the viewer can click on a
tween two cultures, she created a commonly heard in casual, personal small head shot representing each
sense of self rooted in personal storytelling. Often, these personal generation in order to hear a story
experiences, a strategy common anecdotes do not follow conven- from my great-grandmother, my
among people who leave a home- tional narrative strategies for ' 'good grandmother, my mother, or me, to
land to which they cannot return. stories" which set the scene, in- gain an understanding of how our
Telling stories enabled my great- crease the pace of the action, lead matrilinear family history has been
grandmother to construct and trans- to a conflict, and culminate in reso- constructed and passed down.
mit an evolving cultural framework, lution with a straightforward, easy-
making sense of and adapting to When the piece is shown publicly,
to-identify beginning, middle, and it frequently acts as a catalyst for
the rapid changes in the world end. Limiting ourselves to these
around her. viewers to share their own family
criteria as the makings of a good stories. In response to these reac-
For my great-grandmother, the ma- story closes us off to a range of ex- tions, I am now working on "Share
triarch of a large family, personal perience not easily represented by a Story,'' a companion piece to "We
storytelling was an effective and conventional linear media. Make Memories" that will enable
accessible tool for cultural trans- viewers to scan in family pictures
In order to simulate both my great-
mission. As the oldest daughter of with a flatbed scanner, add stories
grandmother's narrative style and
her oldest daughter's oldest daugh- by digitizing their voices, and in-
the interplay with her audience, I
ter, I have tried to combine the corporate their contributions into
created "We Make Memories," an
records of my great-grandmother's an evolving portrait. Participants
interactive video that uses H)^er-
oral storytelling with new tools, will also be able to hear and view
Card software running on a Macin-
such as interactive video, now that the stories of their cocontributors,
the family has dispersed to various continuing the cycle of cultural

J7 GATE FIVE R O A D SAUSAl ITO. CA 94»65 55


transmission and intercultural but with his own words, structure, turn to your woman and say, "make
understanding. and rhythms. me a pair of moccasins." This means
you intend to walk to the enemy's camp
While "We Make Memories" is a Barney's filtering process enriched and come home riding. And if he has
small, personal project, the Guides the content of the stories and en- a beautiful buckskin horse that's the
project conducted at Apple Com- abled him to focus on the telling; best war horse he's ever had, he thinks
puter, Inc., is a large multimedia adding gestures or pausing for em- so highly of it that heriesit with the
database on the subject of 19th- phasis where he had earlier stum- lead lOpe to his wrist when he goes
century American history, with an bled over the words. But Barney to bed at night. That's the horse we
emphasis on westward expansion. As was at his storytelling best when wanna get. And that's the horse we're
a collaborator on the Guides project, he spoke spontaneously from his gonna sneak up on, and cut the rope,
I was able to apply some of the aes- own experience. As he was reading and ride him out of camp, muffling
thetic concerns, as well as the les- through a list of topics found in his hoofbeats, and when we come
home, we're going to ride him into our
sons, from "We Make Memories." the database, he laughed to himself
own camp, ride him once around the
Storytelling has played a significant and said, "You know, I have a prob- camp, and then give him to someone
role in shaping both the underlying lem with these words 'horse steal- who needs a horse.
structure of the Guides database and ing.'" Without taking a breath, he
the way in which the information is launched into the following story: Barney successfully tells us both
conveyed. Computer-generated what happens and why it happens,
characters, called Guides, suggest When we say"shungma wanasa," it rolUng a bit of metacommentary
text articles, still images, animated doesn't'mean I am a horse raider or a into the narrative vidthout being
horse stealer. It implies cleverness, didactic. Through his understanding
maps, and video segments for view-
boldness and courageousness. You
ers to look at, and present infor- of both Sioux culture and waishishu
mation in the foma of first-person
stories. By following Guides' sug-
gestions, users experience informa-
tion as if it were unfolding in time, Stories About Stories landscape. The quality that most sets
rather than jumping around, dis- theatre and storytelling apart from other
Close your eyes, open your ears, and
oriented, from place to place. kinds of human activity is that neither
listen to Corey Fischer's melodic voice as
one can exist outside of community.
he takes you on a journey through the
The Frontiersman Guide and the •
BaalShem Tov's forests of 18th-century
Settler Woman Guide were adapted Eastern Europe, to Rumi's pastures of Between Kosev and Kitev there's a forest
13th-century Turkey, and onto the free- where the Baal Shem Tov goes walking. The
from published first-person diaries Bdal Shem Tov was a healer and a teacher
ways of Los Angeles as he rides in the
and journals, and are recounted by and a bit of a heretic. He led a movement
back seat of his parents' 1951 Plymouth.
two actors. The Native American of renewal in the Jewish communities of
Corey's aural collage also includes phil- Eastern Europe in the 18th century. And
stories were adapted from sources osophical musings on the storytelling perhaps most importantly, he was to a large
such as Red Cloud, Standing Bear, process, drawn from sources like Number extent the creation of countless gener-
and Red Jacket by Kurt Peters, a Our Days by anthropologist Barbara ations of storytellers.
Myerhoff and "The Storyteller" from Il-
Cherokee who teaches at San Fran- In the days of the Baal Shem Tov, in the
luminations by Walter Benjamin.
cisco State University. However, days of the Baal Shem Tov, whenever the
—Abbe Don
Barney Hoehner, the Sioux man community was threatened by a pogrom
who tells the stories, changed the Stories About Stories or by a natural disaster, he would go to a
Audiocassette by Corey Fischer secret place in the forest and he would
tone to reflect his own experiences, make fire. And then he would say a prayer,
added stories his grandmother had $ 1 0 ($11 postpaid) from A Traveling and the catastrophe would be averted.
Jewish Theatre, P. O. Box 421985, San After his death, in the next generation, his
told him, and ' 'filtered out the white Francisco, CA 94142-1985; 415/861-4880 disciple, the Maggid of Mezritch, would
editors to make them Indian again." • go to the same place, but he would say,
Stories go in circles. They don't go in ribbono sbel olam, God, I can no longer
Barney discovered this filtering straight lines. So, it helps if you listen in make fire, but I still know how to find this
process when he realized how diffi- circles, because there are stories inside place, and I can still say the prayer and
cult it was to memorize the stories, stories and stories between stories and that must be sufficient. And it was sufficient.
finding your way through them is as easy And again the catastrophe was averted.
word for word, in English. He began and as hard as finding your way home.
to translate the stories from English And part of the finding is the getting lost. Now, iri^the third generation, Moyshe Leyb
to Lakota in his head, so that he Because when you are lost, you start to look of Sassov, who was the disciple of the Mag-
around and to listen. So, I invite you now, gid of Mezritch, would go to the same
could sift through the extraneous place in the forest, and he would say, rib-
to become q little lost with me. Out of
material to find the Indian truths in being lost comes the need to locate one- bono shel olam, God, I can no longer
each story. He used these truths as self. And telling the story is a way to do make fire, and I . . . I . . . I . . . I have for-
narrative signposts so that he knew that. By telling a story, our story, we can gotten the prayer, but I still know how to
locate ourselves in terms of our own ex- find this place, and that must be sufficient.
how each story needed to unfold in And it was sufficient. And again, the
perience, in terms of a community, or a
order to make sense. Then, he was tradition, and in terms of everything that is catastrophe was averted.
able to tell the stories in English beyond the human — the gods, nature. Now, in our time, we say, ribbono shel

56 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SOMMEK l » l •


(white man) culture, Barney's story that will make these experiences monitor by using the camera as a
helps bridge the gap between them. more widely available. player. In another development,
"We Make Memories" and the In the not-too-distant future, I Kodak has announced a technique
Guides project both serve as models envision annotated, interactive that should be ready in 1992 that
for the kinds of cultural transmis- scrapbooks replacing the boxes of will enable consumers to drop their
sion and media experiences that are unlabeled family photographs and film off at a photo-processing store
possible when designers combine a dormant memories gathering dust and have the images put onto a
traditional method of presenting at the back of our collective closet. CD-ROM disc. For now, these discs
information with the storage and Electronics and film companies are will be "read only" and will re-
retrieval capabilities of computers. already developing consumer equip- quire a special player to enable users
Although both projects were pro- ment that suggests new ways of to view the images either on a com-
duced in specialized environments working with images. For example, puter or a television set. Like most
(The Interactive Telecommunica- the Sony Mavica, a video still cam- media tools, the price will keep
tions Program at New York Univer- era that looks like an oversize 35mm dropping and the number of fea-
sity and The Advanced Technology SLR camera, enables photographers tures will keep increasing. But the
Group at Apple Computer, respec- to record 25 images with nine sec- real excitement will emerge from
tively) , on high-end Macintosh onds of sound accompanying each the creative ways that people use
computers, some related projects, one, onto a floppy disk, in the field. the tools to express their ideas,
techniques, and tools are emerging When the photographer gets home, share their stories, and learn from
she can view the pictures instan- their community. •
taneously on a regular television

olam, G o d , we can no longer make fire, Family History eage. Part One includes activities for
and we too have forgotten the prayer, researching the origins of names, creat-
and we can no longer find the place, but
Video Project ing family trees, tracing family journeys,
we can tell the story, and that must be / first wrote my great-grandrriother's bi- and collecting heirlooms, recipes, and
sufficient." ography for a class assignment when I family documents. The second part
• was in seventh grade. I certainly would teaches basic video production skills,
[Barbara Myerhoff] came up with the idea have benefited from the research and enabling students to write, produce, di-
of homo narrens — the human as story- interview techniques contained in this rect, shoot, and perform in their own
teller. She felt it was that basic an activity comprehensive ten-week curriculum de- video productions. —Abbe Don
that it defined our humanness. She felt signed for the sixth grade and up.
that when storytelling occurs, two things
Family History Video Profect
The teacher's guide and workbooks pro- Shawn Locke, Brad Lakritz,
happen: there is a revaluing of local com-
vide activities that enable students to and Sima Greenbaum
munity, a taking back of power from the
place their personal experiences in a
media in a sense, and also a revaluing Teacher's Guide $ 1 6 . 5 0 ($19 postpald);
of the elderly because so often they are larger historical context. While the con-
Student Workbooks $ 4 . 5 0 each ($5.20
the ones who carry the stories. They tent emphasizes Jewish traditions, many
postpaid) from Bureau of Jewish Education,
are the storytellers. of the activities can serve as a model for
639 14th Avenue, San Francisco, CA
anyone wishing to trace their family lin- 94118-3599; 415/751-6983

in Context
however, they can see new possibilities,
This quarterly magazine comes close to
experience worlds not previously accessible
paralleling WER's range of topics. Each to them, and encounter role models who
issue has a loose theme ("The Ecology encourage them to take responsibility for
of Media: From Storytelling to Telecom- their own lives. And learning can be made
munications"; "Caring for Families: Nur- more fun, which motivates students to
turing the Root of Culture") and multiple keep learning /low to learn.
perspectives. Articles are commonly in —Wilhelmina C. Savenye
interview format, with a casual and un-
m
doctored air about the material. There's
I think the loss of storytelling is dangerous
a gentleness that WER lacks. It's civil.
to modern culture, because what happens
And about building a new civilization.
is a tremendous shift in values. Without
—Kevin Kelly storytelling, children begin early to value
• information over wisdom. Facts over feel-
One of the many powers of media tech- ing. Mind over heart. They begin to depend in Context
nology is its ability to moke things real and on external sources to inform them, and Robert Gilman, Editor.
relevant to students, who in many educa- they don't realize how much there is inside $ 1 8 / y e a r (4 issues) from Context Insti-
tional settings feel increasingly powerless of themselves to top for their own growth. tute, P. O. Box 11470, Bainbridge Island,
to affect their futures. Through media. —Memo Hecht WA 98110

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94965 57


I
I N 1983, at the Atari Lab, I is always a part of information, no
had a fall-down screaming matter how subtly expressed or ela-
fight with an executive of a borately disavowed. Information
big encyclopedia company literacy requires that we be able to
with which we were trying identify point-of-view and to use
to develop an ' 'electronic it productively in the process of
encyclopedia of the future.'' understanding.
The fellow was claiming
that encyclopedia informa- For many years, my work has fo-
tion was objective, and he actually cused on appl)ang dramatic theory
seemed to believe in objectivity as and technique to computer media.
a concept. I countered that for any The use of drama offers some in-
given topic, "reality" depended teresting solutions to design prob-
almost entirely on the cultural and lems in computer-based information
personal point of view of the cre- environments. In multimedia infor-
Brenda LAUKI fights the
ator of the information. That view mation environments, characters
good fight as a humanist
in the land o/ techno- cost me my involvement with the can perform many useful functions:
weenies: she is cofounder encyclopedia project, and prompt- they can help people to visualize
(vrith Scott Fisher) and ed me to investigate the role of point-of-view; they can integrate
managing director of Tele- point-of-view as a component different media through their posi-
presence Reseaich, Inc., of information. tions as speakers and weavers of
a Virtual Reality start-up. narratives; and, in addition to pre-
Her e-mail address is senting content, they can enhance
liiurel@\vell.sf.ca.us Information literaq^ in the age of
engagement and involvement with
—Howard Rheingold electronic media requires a new set
information as people experience
of skiUs and sensibilities. It is not
and interpret it.
enough to be able to read text, watch
video, or listen to stories. People People often think that computer-
must somehow develop the means based characters are impossible
to integrate information from many to implement because a complete
sources into coherent understand- model of human personality is re-
ings of the world. The process of quired. I disagree. In fact, what is
understanding is also complicated required is a kind of dramatic char-
by conventions embedded in ' 'in- acter with a few well-chosen traits
formational' ' media that attempt to that communicate information about
deny the very existence of point-of- the character's predispositions, abi-
view. Television newscasters, for in- lities, and point of view. Designing
stance, describe the most unspeak- and building characters is consider-
able horrors with impeccably neutral ably less complex than modeling
faces and voices. But point-of-view personalities, and theories, tech-

58 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


niques, and examples from the world tally alters a person's relationship Crowston, Kevin, and Thomas W. Ma-
of drama are available to facilitate to the information environment. By lone. "Intelligent Software Agents," Byte
the task. giving people the means to create 13-.13 (December 1988), pp. 267-274.
new information and to represent Laurel, Brenda. "Interface Agents: Meta-
Computer-based characters that their own points of view to others, phors with Character.'' In The Art of
assist people in performing tasks a radical shift may be achieved in Human-Computer Interface Design, B.
(or having fun) with computers are people's experience of control. This Laurel, ed. Reading, MA: Addison-
called agents. Apple's 1988 "Knowl- capability may reverse, not only the Wesley Publishing Co., 1990.
edge Navigator'' promotional video McLuhanesque numbness that is Laurel, Brenda. Computers as Theatre.
features an agent named Phil, who Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub-
our response to packaged informa-
helps a university professor to man- UshingCo., 1991.
tion, but also the trend toward
age his schedule, retrieve and or-
political apathy and the atrophy
ganize information, construct and
of personal power that looms in
run custom simulations, and filter
the 21st century. •
and sift communications. Agents
that can perform this whole array
of secretarial functions have not yet Mapping Hypertext Hypertext
been implemented, but agents that
can handle subsets like mail-sorting Boy, do I wish we'd had this booli when
we were designing the CD-ROM Elec-
and information retrieval (within a tronic Whole Earth Catalog.
particular database) do exist. The
With so much textual (and graphic) in-
Guides project [see p. 54] provides formation now available in electronic for-
examples of software agents that mats, how can we develop, organize,
help humans with information re- display and interlink any collection of
trieval, interpretation, and system such information in a useful manner? This
operations. The guides also function book is the most thorough survey of solu- Mapping Hypertexf
tions thus far. And it is organized in a
as carriers of point-of-view. Because highly visual hypertext-like format which Robert E. Horn, 1989; 289 pp.
the Guides characters perform the effectively illustrates many of the princi- $ 3 4 , 5 0 ($37.50 postpaid} from In-
role of storytellers, people do not ples being discussed. An absolutely first- formation Mapping, 303 Wyman Street,
expect lifelike conversation (we ex- rate work. —Keith Jordan Waltham, MA 02154; 617/890-7003
pect to listen to storytellers without
interrupting them), thus reducing Three Important Features of Hypertext Software
the requirement for in-depth com- The essence of hypeilext software is
1. Nodes are the pan of the hypertext
puter understanding of language. network where the text or other media are
a network of nodes A which may be lex! and/or
At the same time, the program takes graphics located. 2. For some software
implementations, a node contaitis one idea
advantage of the powers of oral or one sentence: for other implementations
software methodology that the node may be a whole document as long
narrative. facilitates building of and as a book or chapter.
access lo nodes via links A

interface tools that facilitate the creation of


Looking forward, I can see several arbitrary linkages, m the text with buttons A
compelling issues that must inevi- and (frequently) the easy manipulation of
Comment
chunks of text and media through windows.
tably be explored. One is to discover At present, the node is not a welt defined
concept except in certain very structured
how agents can be useful in infor- contexts. One node may include composite
mation environments designed for nodes where, for example, a node is a
subnode. Nodes may have different display
contexts other than learning; for Dennition metaphors, such as cards, pages, windows.
instance, in computer-supported Links connect nodes in the hypertext
software by compuier-.supportcd
cooperative work or individualized relationships that permit rapid, easy
movement across the network of nodes.
news service. Another is to address
Buttons are specific locations in the
the editorial issues that arise when Examples of Some hypertext or on other media that permit
the user to jump along a link to another
one designs characters to represent Kinds of Links
node, usually with the click of a mouse or
There are a great variety of links in hypertext
point-of-view; this approach does systems. Here are some types of links:
the pressing of a key. In ona sense,
buttons are the user-visible manifestations
not eliminate bias, but rather pushes • the internal document organization (e.g.,
of links.
connect two pieces of text in same document)
it down to a deeper level — the is- • the external organization (e.g., connection of EiuimpSe
one document to other documents)
sue of accountability becomes more • annotation via pop-up windows
acute in many ways. Perhaps the » table of contents to document
• index to document
most compelling issue is to under- » local table of contents to a part of a
stand how the act of creating and document.

assembling information fundamen-

27 GATE FIVF ROAD SAUSAulTO. C A 94965 5i


HRIS CRAWFORD, one of quires leaving the normal interaction
the world's best computer- with the material, using an arcane
game designers, delivers a command language to request ac-
marvelous rant in which he tion, and interacting in a lock-step
extols "interactivity" as the pattern of query and retrieval. The
basis for competitive advan- result, unremarkably, is that few
tage of the computer over users explore even this limited co-
books, video, and other operative capability. The power of
conventional media. The the medium to interact is crippled.
marketers who want to sell compu-
ter-based "multimedia" technology I'm suggesting a role for the coop'
would have you believe that inter- erative computer which others have
activity is their advantage as well. called "agent." The computer is
But most of their offerings simply not a static repository for data, it
use video, animation, or sound as a is an actor. The only model most
kind of very pretty picture in an humans have for directed, auton-
Tun Oren calls himself omous action is other humans. This
a "medid OKhitect." Ap- editorial structure just as passive as
a reference book. And these "inter- has led some to believe that build-
ple Computer calls him
active' ' picture books are cumber- ing a true computer agent requires
' 'Manager ot Informa-
tion Access Group in some, costly, and become obsolete breakthroughs in artificial intelli-
Advanced Technology at a horrendous rate. gence that would let us model a full
Laboratory." He's an conversation with a human. Yet the
old friend of the WTio/e Is that the kind of interactive ad- experience of computer games shows
Earth crew and was in- vantage Chris is talking about? I that we may have a satisfying inter-
volved in the Whole think not. Playing a good computer action with an agent, even if all it
Earth CD-KOM project. knows is chess, or the strategy of
game is an intense experience, fully
His e-mail address is the Russian Front.
OTen@well.sf.ca.us engaged with a cunning, tireless
—Howard Rheingold opponent. The computer is not act- Likewise, in the Guides project
ing as a book, it is behaving as a we've found that people enjoy in-
partner, taking the adversarial role teracting with cooperative agents,
in a conversation about the out- though their intelligence is limited
come of a particular microworld. to suggesting pages to read or stories
While we accept the computer as to view. "Conversation" occurs as
an adversary, software designers the user decides which suggestion
often balk at a cooperative auton- to take, and the Guide adapts to
omous role for the machine. In the interests which that choice im-
today's multimedia and "hyper- plies. We find people are able to
text" products, the power of the easily recognize the interests asso-
computer to actively suggest rele- ciated with historical characters,
vant information is typically hidden and to follow a character across dif-
behind a "search card." Its use re- ferent media, e.g., between video

60 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER IWI


How do users
find their way
through a mul-
timedia data-
base? Apple's
"Guides"
project is an
experiment in
using onscreen
video story-
tellers to guide
users through
historical
material via
short
narratives.

and monochrome graphics, once This view, in turn, suggests new edi- Our third option is provided by
it is established. torial structures for the content of viewing the computer as an active
multimedia databases. Multimedia element which mediates logical
The human image is not a necessary
representation of an agent. How- design has divided into often- structures for the reader, rather
ever, with our historical database, warring camps. One extreme posi- than presenting them in full com-
the use of character feels natural tion is the subjugation, in the name plexity or crippling their expressive-
and, along with the function of the of understanding, of the new me- ness. Particularly in domains such
Guide as storyteller, suggests a new dium to logical forms and discourse as history and the arts, the com-
model of interactivity. Just as playing rules evolved for print. The other puter may take on the face of the
out a computer game writes a little celebrates the enormous capacity storyteller, the archetypal Guide
story of victory or defeat, so the of the computer for content and figure of m)^h. Cooperating with a
series of connected items generated linkage between all potentially re- partner may prove more satisfying
by the interplay of our Guides' sug- lated items, sometimes to the point than pointing and clicking at elec-
gestions and the user's choices can of license and meaninglessness. tronic books. •
be viewed as a loose narrative.

Media Magic discussed new technology is referred to visualization, neural networks, remote
this mail-order service. Their $30, 60- sensing, artificial life, computer graphics,
Many people are talking and writing minute video, "Virtual Reality," includes artificial intelligence, and other topics
about virtual reality, but few people excellent selections from NASA, the Uni- on the bleeding edge of science, tech-
have the opportunity to see for them- versity of North Carolina, VPL Research, nology, and art. —hioward Rheingold
selves what it is all about. Anyone who and MIT's Media lab. They also offer
asks me how to get a look at this much- Media Magic
books, videos, software, and audiocas-
Catalog free from P. O. Box 507,
settes about fractals, chaos, scientific
Nicasio, CA 94946; 415/662-2426

SATELLITE IMAGING ride over a three-dimensional Southern California landscape. "Earth:


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory The Movie" combines satellite cloud data and Earth elevation data
from maps into a three-dimensional flight over the world. Using
S20 #V48 computer-enhanced images taken by the Viking orbiter spacecraft,
These four movies demonstrate a variety of scientists have simulated a flight through the enormous canyons and
remarkable data visualization techniques. JPL above the volcanoes of the Martian landscape in "Mars: The Movie".
imaging scientists haved used a single NASA "Miranda: The Movie" takes you on a simulated flight over towering
satellite photo and advanced computer process- mountains and through the steep canyons of Miranda, a moon of the
ing to create "L.A. The Movie," a startling aerial planet Uranus. 20 minutes, 1989.

INTERACTIVE Interactive Pliysics is a laboratory on a Simulate pendulums, spring mass systems,


PHYSICS disk. You manipulte a simulated Newtonian ideal gases, falling bodies, inchned planes,
world, allowing you to freely explore and levers, and more. Comes with 50 demonstra-
By Knou'laigc discover physical phenomena. Experiments tions and experiments. Easy to set up simple
Revolution are created by drawing objects (masses) on or complex simulations, no programming is
$199 #SM22 screen and interconnecting them with ropes, required. Tutorials guide the user through
springs and dampers. the operation of the program. A basic knowl-
Runs on all Macs with two You adjust all relevant physical quantities edge of high-school physics is assumed. The
800K drives or hard disk.
Svstems 6.0.2 or later. (such as masses, friction, elasticity, gravity) illustrated 100 page manual provides a clear
to explore their effect on your experiments. explanation of the programs many options.

27 GArE fiVE ROAD sAUlALITO CA 94965 61


»

Through Indian Eyes


This thoroughly researched guide helps
parents and educators choose children's
books and resource materials that don't
distort the history of Native people or
perpetuate stereotypes of Native Amer-
ican cultures. In addition to sensitizing
readers to the blatant inaccuracies and
subtle racism that permeate numerous
books about Native Americans, Slapin.
and Seale recommend and annotate
many excellent books that accurately
depict Native people, such as Iroquois
Stories by Joseph Bruchac, The People
Shall Continue by Simon Ortiz, and
Who-Paddled-Backward-With-Trout by
Howard Norman. Through Indian Eyes
is a must for every school library, providing
teachers and parents sources for teach- " W e l l , " says one, "1 want this one to be
ing units, audiovisual materials, and about a boy." " O . K . , " says another, " —
storytelling ideas. —Carol Pancho and let's have him b l i n d ! " "Great, that's
good, but there's a lot of stuff about blind
Oyate carries many of the books re- kids — we need another hook . . . "
viewed in Through Indian Eyes; contact
" I know! I know! He's an Indian! A blind pened, but judging from the results, it
them at the address below for their list.
Indian!" might just as well have been.
—Sarah Satterlee
" O h , wow, perfect! . . . but won't we hafta
• do a lot of research? I mean, I don't know Through Indian Eyes
Knots on a Counting Rope very much about Indians, do you?" Beverly Slapin and Doris Seale,
Martin, Bill, and John Archambault; Holt Editors. 1991; 350 pp.
" O h , sure, I've got all these rugs my old
Scenario: Two children's book authors and $ 2 4 . 9 5 ($28.95 postpaid) from New
man bought from the Navajos back in the
an illustrator, whose recent work has re- Society Publishers/Oyate, 2702 Mathews
'forties — said he got 'em for a song . . . "
ceived critical acclaim, are discussing Street, Berkeley, CA 94702; 415/848-6700
possibilities for their next work. This, of course, is probably not how it hap- (or Whole Earth Access)

The Singing Feather were no people. There was this feather, Indian dances. Ben White. Remember
floating on the water. The waters started Ben White?
Most travelers speeding north of Sonoma to recede, causing a whirlpool and this A: Yeah.
County on Highway 101 probably do feather was going around and around
not give much thought to the California J: Wailaki man. Gee, when they come in
and as it was going around, it started
Indians who prospered here long before dancin', feathers drop way down. He was
singing. And as it was singing, it started to
the highway was built or the National old, too. Holler, jump way up in the air
turn itself into man. As he continued to
about that time. My favorite, when you
Park Sen/ice acquired old-growth forests sing, he became true man. The water was
leovin'. You singin', gee, then you all get
or the sixties counterculture moved back drying up and there was mud and he took
together. When they take the feathers off,
to the land. The ubiquitous visitor center this mud and made his people — the Yuki."
that's when the doctor come in there, you
may have a pamphlet about the history -—Leland Fulwilder, Jr.
know. He got to sing til they leave, you
of the area, but for a completely differ-
• know. There's a lot of meaning to the
ent point of view, read this collection of words. " W e leave til we meet again,"
O h , a n ' one White man come up from the
first-person oral histories from 18 elders that's the song.
city, San Francisco. He come up an' he
of the Round Valley Reservation and
had his ole recording stuff, you know. He The Singing Feather
Tribal Community.
come up an' we was under the tree — the
Victoria Patterson, DeAnna Barney, Skip
The editors provide geographical, histor- tree out there, sittin' down. Summertime. Willits, Les Lincoln, Editors. 1990; 103 pp.
ical, and political context for the reader, A n ' he come up. He said, " W e l l , hello,
you two," he said. " I ' m here. I want to $ 1 2 . 5 0 ($14.50 postpaid) from Mendo-
then the elders tell their stories. An occa- cino County Library, 105 N . Main Street,
record your language, record you singing
sional third-person sidebar offers further Ukiah, CA 95482
Indian songs." My Dad tell him, "You bet-
explanation of customs or historical events.
ter get on your way. I'm no Indian." He
Following the editors' lead, I will only said, "The White man come through here ;,£s:NG;.NC3ifAiHfR
add that Round Valley Reservation, "a and broke us of our language, our dances
small, rural farming and logging com- an' our whatnot," he said. "This is what
munity tucked away in the northeastern they done to us. We don't have any an' I
corner of Mendocino County," was es- don't sing Indian songs," he said. " I ' m a
White man, just like you," he told that
tablished by the United States government
White guy. A n ' he packed up all his in-
in 1856, when the people of Pit River,
struments an' left.
Concow Maidu, Little Lake Porno, Nom-
laki, Wailaki, and the original Yuki heri-
tage were brought there by force. They had shells them days an' Indian
—Abbe Don beads on' all that stuff. They make 'em
• themselves, you know. Gee, you ought to
"The world was covered with water. There see Ben White, Wailaki, Rohrbaugh Ranch

62 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUHMER 1991


The Graywolf Annual only that woman whose womb formed and
released you — the term refers in every
Five: Multi-Cultural individual case to an entire generation of
Literacy women whose psychic, and consequently
physical, " s h a p e " made the psychic exis-
Multi-Cultural Literacy captures dy- tence of the following generation possible.
namic and deep notions of culture by But naming your own mother (or her
providing firsthand accounts of cultural equivalent) enables people to place you
diversity and cultural change. precisely within the universal web of your
This volume of Graywolf began as a
Multi'Cultural Literacy life, in each of its dimensions: cultural,
Ricic Simonson and Scott Walker, spiritual, personal, and historical.
reaction to Allan Bloom's Closing of the Editors. 1988; 204 pp.
American Mind and E. D. Hirsch, Jr.'s —Paulo Gunn Allen
$ 8 . 9 5 ($n.95 postpaid) from Graywolf •
Cultural Literacy. While Bloom and
Press, 2402 University Avenue #203, Saint My upbringing taught me that cultures ore
Hirsch call for educating citizens to use Paul, M N 55114; 612/641-0077 not isolated, and perish when deprived of
the same common system of cultural ref- (or Whole Earth Access) contact with what is different and chal-
erents, Multi-Cultural Literacy provides lenging. Reading, writing, teaching, learn-
a plethora of world views and their your mother's identity is the key to your ing, are all activities aimed at introducing
diverse referents. —Pat Roberts own identity. Among the Keres, every in- civilizations to each other. N o culture, I
• dividual has a place within the universe — believed unconsciously ever since then,
At Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, " W h o human and nonhuman — and that place is and quite consciously today, retains its
is your mother?" is an important question. defined by clan membership. In turn, clan identity in isolation; identity is attained
At Laguna, one of several of the ancient membership is dependent on matrilineal in ccsntact, in contrast, in breakthrough.
Keres gynocratic societies of the region. descent. Of course, your mother is not —Carlos Fuentes

The Graywolf Annual lush greenery of the land almost stikes one
hard in the eye. Incongruous, almost weird.
Six: Stories From the —Mahosveta Devi
Rest of the World
This volume of Graywolf made me think Where on earth did you pick me up, Madis?
about what it means to be culturally lit- And who named you Madis, a fair, soft-
erate. Literate beyond the boundaries of sounding name to be sure? O h yes, I re-
America and our many cultures, to the member. It was in that packed cellar where
lands and peoples of the rest of the world. we indulged in a sweet discussion at an
Authors from Africa, Syria, India, the oaken table. It was men's talk. There are
Soviet Union, Iraq, .China, Isbanon, myriad things in this world to be discussed
in such a leisurely way at an oaken table,
Libya, Egypt, and Japan enhance our
over mulled wine and salted almonds.
own experience by sharing theirs. Stories From
Look here, Madis, you're young and this is
—Pat Roberts why you don't have as many things to dis- the Rest of the World
• cuss right now as I do. That's why you Scott Walker, Editor. 1989; 172 pp.
The land north of Kuruda and Hessadi paused to listen to me talk, and that's why
$ 8 . 9 5 ($11.95 postpaid) from Graywolf
villages is uneven, dry and sunbaked. Grass I'm here after all. That brown-eyed man
Press, 2402 University Avenue #203, Saint
does not grow there even after the rains. served in my company. He lost an eye, but Paul, M N 55114; 612/641-0077
There is an occasional cluster of cactus here that doesn't mean he's any worse than the (or Whole Earth Access)
and there, like snakes about to strike but rest of us. It was a German bullet that
frozen still. O r some neem trees. In the knocked it right out of his head. Used to up and just as young and green when he
middle of this barren and arid stretch of be a beautiful brown eye, but it stayed got bock. Went like hotcakes. Young and
land where not even a buffalo grazes lies there in the mud of the River Emajogi. 1 too soft-spoken. The whole company was
a tiny piece of low-lying land, hidden from happened to be standing next to him. At at the wedding party, what was left of it.
the eyes by a slightly raised embankment. the moment, we were discussing a third Their one-room flat was large enough for
It is about one-sixth of an acre of land man's family troubles. He married that us. Now that third man owns a large
and visible only when one stands on the kind of woman. Yes, he was also from our house, but happiness has left him.
raised embankment. It is only then that company. Young and green when he joined —Teet Kallos

Itam Hakim, Hopiit can hear the natural rhythms and tones
colorful imagery makes it a visual and
aesthetic treat too. —Abbe Don
Victor Masayevsa is a Hopi Indian who of Macaya's voice in his native tongue
combines the traditional stories of his and still understand the content. The itam Hakim, Hopiit
culture with innovative uses of new media. visual imagery cuts gracefully from a (We the People, the Hopi)
In this video, produced as a tribute to contemporary setting (Macaya telling Videotape by Victor Masayevsa, Jr., 1984
the Hopi Tri-Centennial (1680-1980), the stories to a group of young boys) to Direct inquiries to Electronic Arts Intermix,
Ross Macaya, one of the last members enactments of the stories shot on loca- 536 Broadway, New York, NY 10012;
of a storytelling clan, tells three stories — tion in beautiful desert scenery to black- 212/966-4605
The Hopi Emergence, The Spanish Con- and-white photographs, taken by White Note: Up till now, the video has been sold
quest, and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 -• photographers, that date from the turn of to museums and libraries for big bucks (%"
and a Hopi prophecy. The soundtrack is the century. The tape is a successful tool videotape $306 postpaid; VHS $204 post-
paid), if there is enough demond from
in Hopi with an English translation that is for learning more about Hopi culture
individuals, Victor may agree to a home-
offset by several seconds, so the viewer from a Hopi perspective and its lush.
video price.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965 63


otjtist
"Entertainment
by Lenore Keeshig-Tobias

T
HE ISSUE is not about' 'Where the Spirit
Lives,'' an award-winning and subtly racist
TV movie about the Native experience in
residential schools, written and produced by
white people from their own perspective.
The issue is not about Darlene Barry Quaife's
Bone Bird, a ' 'celebration of Native spiritual-
ity" written by a white woman who says
that "writing from imagination is an incred-
ibly free process." The issue is not about W.P. Kin-
Lenore Keeshig-lbbias, Ojibway story- sella's Miss Hobbema Pageant, a collection of malicious
teller and writer, Uvea in Toronto. and sadistic renderings of stories about Native peo-
This essiy appeared in Through In- ple, written by a white man who maintains, "When
dian E>'es: The Native Experience in I need facts I invent them." The issue is not just a
RooksforChildren, reviewed on p. 62.
white perspective of history, an oversimplification of
—Sarah Satbirlee
Native spirituality and lifeways, or mean-spirited and
racist renderings of our stories. The issue is not cen-
sorship or the shackling of imagination, both naive
and thoughtless responses voiced by many non-Native
writers and storj^ellers, and even a few Native writere
who want to keep up their good relations with the fort.
The issue is culture theft, the theft of voice. It's
about power.
The issue is not unlike the struggle women waged,
not so long ago, to get their voices heard, their stories
published. The issue is not unlike the French Cana-
dians' struggle for their language and their culture.
The Quebecois have a unique voice in North America
because they have fought to ensure that their language
remains intact. Language is a conveyor of culture.
Language carries the ideas by which a nation defines
itself as a people. Language gives voice to a nation's
stories, its mythos.
The question I ask Canadians is: Would you accept
an American definition of Canada and Canadians?
How would it be if Germans were to write Jewish
history? And white Americans writing black history?
Stories are not just entertainment. Our Elders and blackflies and mosquitoes. But my
Stories are power. They reflect the Elder was telling me more. She was
deepest, the most intimate percep- traditional teachers teUing me these stories are meant
tions, relationships and attitudes of for certain ears only — and I don't
a people. Stories show how a peo- want to share the mean non-Native ears.
ple, a culture thinks. Such wonder-
ful offerings are seldom reproduced beauty of Native She was also telling me that story-
by outsiders. tellers have a responsibility for the
culture, the Native stories they tell. So powerful are
Picture this — the outsider (oppres- stories that, in Native cultures, one
sor) crawling into the skin of the way. But appropriation storyteller cannot teU another's
oppressed without asking and before story without permission. Alexander
the skin is even vacated. Now, sup- is not sharing. Wolfe, a Salteaux storyteller, in his
pose the skin is already empty. What introduction to Earth Elder Stories,
happens if it is too big or too small sets this down:' 'Each family handed
for the outsider? And then once in- down its own stories. Other stories,
side, whose eyes are looking out? belonging to other families, could
Cultural insight, cultural not be told, because to do so would
nuance, cultural meta- be to steal." This aspect of Native
phor, cultural symbols, lifeways and values, the copy-
hidden subtext — give right, existed long before the
a book or film the ring Europeans arrived in
of truth. Images coded North America, and it
with our meanings are still applies to the writ-
the very things missing ten word, in fact any
in most "native" writ- story, fiction or non-
ing by non-Native au- fiction, that is put out
thors. These are the very to the public.
things that give stories
their universal appeal, But rather than confront
that allow true empathy and deal with issues of
and shared emotion. appropriation, rather
than recognize the fact
Yet Native images, sto- that we can tell our own
ries, s)Tnbols, and his- stories and that there is
tory are all too often protocol for the acquisi-
used by Canadians and Americans cultural industry is stealing Native tion of stories, and rather than ac-
to sell things ^ cars, tobacco, mov- stories as surely as the missionaries cept responsibility to and for the
ies, books. But why hasn't Basil stole our religion and the politicians stories they tell, many non-Native
Johnston's Indian School Days stole our land and the residential writers and "storytellers" cry cen-
become a bestseller? Why hasn't schools stole our language. As Leslie sorship and decry self-censorship.
Half Breed by Maria Campbell been Marmon Silko writes in Ceremony, Some traditional stories tell how
reprinted? Why, for that matter, has stories ' 'are all we have, you see Trickster attempts to recreate the
Maria Campbell, as one of Can- — all we have to fight off illness actions, the magic of another. Mo-
ada's "celebrated" authors, never and death." tivated more by laziness, incompe-
received a writer's grant?
As a stor)rteller I was advised by tence in providing for his own family
With First Nations people struggling an Elder that there is a season for and his great need to impress these
for justice in Canada's legal system, storytelling — winter. "Blackflies, same friends with his handling of
in land claims, in education, what mosquitoes and other creatures like their magic. Trickster fails. Not only
makes Canadians or anyone else those stories," she cautioned. How are the friends not impressed, but
think Native peoples have equality quaint, I thought at the time. None- the magic always backfires.
in the film industry? In publish- theless, I respected her advice, and Our Elders and traditional teachers
ing? With granting agencies? Or as time went on, I began to under- want to share the beauty of Native
in the arts? stand. If storytellers sit around all culture, the Native way. But appro-
Unconsciously, perhaps, but with summer telling stories, then quite priation is not sharing, and those
devastating results, the Canadian naturally they'll become the feast of who fool themselves also fool the

^feW^SS^gS?S^j>^
public by drawing away from the What makes white Canadians and
real issues and struggles facing Na- Americans think they are privy to
tive peoples. Appropriation exploits the stories of First Nations people,
and commercializes Native cultures, anyway? And why is speaking for
and is harmful to innocent people. ourselves and telling our own stories
so threatening to them? Because
Consider also that when Native
stories are power? They have
and traditional people go out to
the land now, or so
gather medicine (roots
they think; do they
and herbs), they do
now want our stories,
not go out and just
our voices, and our
pick and take. They ask,
spirit, too?
talking to the plants and rocks,
telling of their needs and what is in Residential-schcfol survivors tell
their hearts. They leave a tobacco of children being forced to eat their
offering in place of what they take. own vomit when their stomachs
Native stories deal with the exper- could no longer hold down the
sour porridge. They tell of broken
iences of our humanity, experiences Would-be shamans knuckles from fingers being rapped.
we laugh and cry and sweat for, ex-
periences we learn from. Stories are would rather look to Some even tell of having pins stuck
not just for entertainment. We know through their tongues as punish-
that. The storyteller and writer has an ideal, romanticized ment for speaking their Native
a responsibility — a responsibility language. (Now, that's censorship.)
to the people, a responsibility for "Native" than confront Imagine — white Canadians and
the story and a responsibility to the Americans telling Native stories
art. The art in turn then reflects the reality of what because their governments outlawed
a significant and profound self- Native languages and Native life-
understanding. being Native means ways, and punished those of us
who resisted.
Now tell me, why are Canadians in this society. However, as Metis author Maria
and their American cousins so ob-
sessed with Native stories anyway? Campbell (to whom we Native
Why the urge to "write Indian?" writers affectionately refer as the
Have they run out of stories of their Mother of us all) said on public
own? Or are their renderings nos- radio last fall, ' 'If you want to write
talgia for a simpler, more "at-one- our stories, then be prepared to live
with-nature" stage of human with us." To this I have to add: not
development? just for three months either, and
eighteen months is little better.
Maybe Canadian and American
stories about Native people are Heed the voices of the wilderness.
some form of exorcism. Are they Be there at Big Mountain and Ak-
trjdng to atone for the horrible wesasne. Be there with
reality of Native-white relations? Or the Lubicon, the Innu.
maybe they just know a good story Be there with the Teme-
when they hear one and are willing Augama Anishnabai on
to take it, without permission, just the Red Squirrel Road. The Sau-
like archaeologists used to rob our geen Ojibway. I dare you,
graves for their museums. Well, I say, a mouse dances on
What about the quest for Native my head, and if you want these
spirituality? It is mostly escapist, and Native stories, then fight for them.
people like Darlene Barry Quaife, I dare you.
Lynne Andrews, and other would-
be shamans would rather look to an AAA-im-EEE Y-AAH!
ideal, romanticized "Native" living Clear the way.
in never-never land than confront In a sacred manner I come.
the reality of what being Native The stories are mine!
means in this society. —an Ojibway War Song •

66 WHOLE EARTH REVrEW SUMMER 1991


•••b.-

Nancy Schimmel and assistant telling a tale.

Just Enough
£*
t o M a k e a Story 4 •--,*
This slim volume offers much more than
sources, although there are these —
story- and songbooks; storytellers on
record, book, and film; books about
folklore and fairytales. My favorite re-
•* '^^--ri
source lists are "active heroines" and
"stories in service to peace."

Even more valuable is the insightful, ex-


perience-derived advice Schimmel offers.
Never preachy, she speaks to the value Just Enough tu Moke a Story
of storytelling ~ motivating kids to read Nancy Schimmel, 1987; 56 pp.
— with warmth and sagacious enthusi- $ 1 2 . 7 5 ($14.25 postpaid) from Sisters'
asm, and helps you choose, learn, and Choice Press, 1450 6th Street, Berkeley,
tell a story gratifying to teller and told. CA 94710; 415/524-5804
—Sarah Satterlee

I usually warn the audience if I am going story, listening in a group, but it might about how to keep ghosts away at night;
to tell a scary or bloody story; then they be, thinking about it alone later. Kathryn the simplest being to place your shoes with
can brace themselves, and soy "That wasn't Windham, who tells ghost stories most one pointing toward your bed and one
so scary" afterwards. And it wasn't so convincingly, also passes on a few beliefs pointing away.

NAPPS of events. You also get the Catalog of they see as satanic or otherwise immoral
Storytellmg Resources. With a Member- content, worried citizens are banning
If you consider yourself a storyteller, you storytellers from performing. . . .
ship PLUS, add to those benefits eight
most likely are a member of NAPPS. If
issues of the Yarnsp'mner newsletter, A group of parents charged that [Martha]
not, avail yourself of their almost limitless
which deals more with the nuts and bolts Stevens' stories — including "Prometheus
resources: with a regular membership
of storytelling, and the annual National and Pandora," "Jack and Mary," and "The
you get Storytelling, a wide-ranging
Directory of Storytelling. NAPPS puts Ring in the Fish" — were satanic because
quarterly covering stories, the traditions
on a national festival every October in they centered on or contained references
from which they come, their uses, the
Jonesborough, Tennessee, and has re- to spirits or magic. —Storytelling
people who tell them, and a calendar
cently launched a National Storytelling
Library and Archives. —Sarah Satterlee HAPPS
(National Association for the Preservation

and Perpetuation of Storytelling)
In the Mexican folk tale "Ashes for Sale" a
Membership
gang of robbers panic, run off o cliff, and
presumably perish after they mistakenly $ 2 S / y e a r (includes 4 issues of SforytelUng
think they've seen the devil. Magazine; single copies $4.95)
Membership PLUS
In incidents across the country something
similar is happening to conservative-minded $ 4 0 / y e a r (includes Storytelling, 8 issues
individuals, angry parents, and cautious of Yarnspinner, and National Directory
school officials, and their reactions bode of Storytelling)
ill for storytellers. In their efforts to protect NAPPS, P. O. Box 309, Jonesborough, I N
their children and themselves from what 37659-9983; 615/753-2171

Storytelling: lovers vnill find it unfrogettable. many story structure maps in memory.
Other storytellers might require some
Process a n d Practice —Arthur Asa Berger
sort of memory aid.

It's conceivable that there are some as- Storytelling
When the storyteller learns a story, he or
pects of storytelling that aren't dealt with
she maps it in memory. The story map con- (Process and Practice)
in this book, but I find it difficult to think tains aspects of event sequence structure, Norma J. Livo and Sandra A. Rietz,
of any. This labor of love deals with every- number sets, overall top-level structure, 1986; 462 pp.
thing from the functions of storytelling to participation opportunities, and specific $ 2 9 . 5 0 postpaid from Libraries Unlim-
preparing, developing and delivering story content. During the telling, all of ited, P. O. Box 3988, Englewood, CO
stories. It also offers numerous resources these elements are integrated to produce 80155; 800/237-6124
for storytellers, including a wonderful the concrete product — the told story.
21-page reference section dealing with
Some storytellers map stories "naturally."
frogs: frog princes, frogs with human
They do not require the use of physical
qualities, frog brides, leaping frogs,
aids, but simply recognize and remember
worldly frogs, African frog stories, songs
story shape and content after a reading or
about frogs, frogs as frogs, etc. etc. There a telling. The experienced teller, and one
are also sample flyers and suggested who has had extensive exposure to the
syllabi for courses in storytelling. Encyclo- oral literature, will recognize a variety of
paedic in size and textbookish in nature. story shapes readily, because experience
Storytelling is also full of passion. Frog has contributed to the development of

27 GATE Fl 67
by Nancy Schimmel

E
VERYBODYSAreifyou forgetting, if you forget something
read to your kids it will help in a story when you tell it, think
them learn to read. Every- about whether the story really need-
body's right. '&U give your ed that thing or not. The subcon-
children practice in visual- scious is a good editor.
izing the happenings in a Start with folktales. They come out
story, which will make their of the oral tradition, so it's easier to
reading more enjoyable later put them back in. Also, they don't
on. Ifou also give them ex- depend on an author's exact words,
perience with narrative language, so you can tell them much more
which has more description and less freely. Start with something short or
"Pass the butter" than everyday repetitious that you like a lot. Brev-
Nancy Schimmel grew up conversation. But what if you don't ity, repetition and love will help you
in a slorytellsag i&mily like to read aloud? What if you have learn the story — the greatest of
and went pro in 1975 after unpleasant memories of reading these is love.
eight yeaiy as a children's aloud in school because you were
librarian. She has told shy, or dyslexic, or because the books If you're not telling a written story,
traditional and ori^ial you had to read aloud from were tell about something you and your
stoiief, R> adults and chil- just too stupid? Do your kids get kids did together a while ago. They
dren at festivals, schools, will help you with that, too. If you
colleges, Uhi'aries, hos- short-changed? They don't have
pitals, bookstiires, rallies to. Tell a story. get tired of "help," tell them about
and coffee houses. She when they were babies. Kids love to
has uiught storytelling If there is a book you have read hear about themselves (unless they
to adults in the library umpteen times you can probably tell only hear about their mistakes). If
schools At UCLA. UC it, and your kids will help you. Say- you want to get creative without
Berkley, and the Univer- ing words goes much more slowly too much effort, invent or borrow a
siiy of Wsscotjsin. She than reading them silently. So trans- character and tell your family hap-
has made one storytelling lating a written story into a telling penings as though they were happen-
book, one audio tape and story often involves cutting. Too ing to that character. My father used
one vidiK) tape, all avail-
able from Sisters' Choice much description right at the be- to tell me about the three little pigs
ftiess, 1450 6ih Street. ginning can turn listeners off. Leave going to see their grandfather and
Berkeley. CA 94710: out what is not necessary, and try grandmother, but it was my grand-
415/524-5804. moving some description around in mother and grandfather he was talk-
—Sarah Satterlee the story to where it fits best. Leave ing about. The three little pigs got
in only enough 'he saids' and 'she oatmeal in their trough every morn-
saids' so your listeners won't get ing, which is what I got in my cereal
lost, and forget the rest. Speaking of bowl every morning at their house.

Aft
long day, and feel too tired to sound
interesting, try sitting up straight and
taking a deep breath before you be-
gin. Remember, you don't have to
sound too interesting at that hour.
If your audience goes to sleep, all
the better.
Homesick: My Ovm Story is an engag-
ing memoir of childhood written for
children. Reading it aloud to your
kids may inspire you to meander in-
to some of your own stories and will
provide a fine model for the art of
family telling. For more ideas on
family storytelling, read The Family
Storytelling Handbook (WER #60, p.
116); BIdcfe Sxep & Kisdng Cousins
and Celebration of American Family
In Annie Storks, Doris Brett describes nating to Aunt Elizabeth's kids.
Folklore contain fascinating family
using this technique in a more pur- Grandparents, too, are in a strate-
anecdotes — the former focusing on
poseful way. She recommends telling gic position to tell their grandkids
how they function in family dynam-
a child a stoiy about another child things those kids' parents won't tell
ics, the latter on more folMoric as-
very like himself (or perhaps three on themselves.
pects — to inspire your own tales;
pigp very like him) successfully en- When you tell stories about your
countering a situation the child is and if you want to get into telling
own Me, it can be hard to figure out folktales or telling to larger-than-
afraid of, such as the first day of where each story begins and ends.
nursery school or a trip to the den- family groups, read my book. Just
With kids, you have to cut to the Enough to Make a Story, m
tist. Hearing about someone else chase pretty quickly. If you tell often,
who is scared is comforting in itself. you can build the cast of characters
Also, because the scary thing is hap- (your parents and siblings, childhood Annie Stories: Doris Brett, 1988; 228 pp.
pening to someone else, the story is friends, teachers) gradually, and not $5.95 ($7.95 postpaid) from Workman Pub-
not too scary to listen to and think have to do so much explaining each Ushing, 708 Broadway, New York, NY
about. And the successful ending time before you get to the action.
gives the listener hope. 10003; 800/722-7202.
Take the time to remember the peo- Homesick: Jean Fritz, 1984. $3.25 ($5.75
It takes a great leap of faith for chil- ple and places vividly so the stories postpaid) from Dell Publishing Co./Direct
dren to believe that the world existed will sound fresh. Looking at snap- Sales, 414 E. GoU Road, Des Plaines, IL
before they were bom, but it is pos- shots, if you have them, can help. 60016; 800/223-6834.
sible for you to interest them in tales If you can, tell how the incident The Family Storytelling Handbook: Anne
of your own youth if you choose changed you — your understanding
Pellowski, 1987; 150 pp. $15.95 postpaid
carefully. Tell them about times when of someone, your aspirations, what-
from Macmillan Publishing Co., 100 Front
you were scared or surprised or em- ever. Or say how it seems different
looking back on it than it did at the Street, Riverside, NJ 08075; 800/257-5755.
barrassed or up to no good. My
time. Connect the story to the you Black Sheep & Kissing Cousins: Eliza-
father charmed me with a story
about a time in his childhood when they know. beth Stone, 1989; 256 pp. $7.95 ($9.95
they had a field of watermelons, the postpaid) from Penguin USA/Cash Sales,
You don't need to be an actor to 120 Woodbine Street, Bergenfield, NJ 07621;
bottom dropped out of the water-
make a story sound interesting. You 800/526-0275.
melon market, and they were eating
can play with different voices and
watermelon every day. One day his Celebration of American Family Folklore:
accents if you want to, but you don't
sister Elizabeth had had it. She stood Steven ]. Zeitlin and Amy J. Kotkin, 1982.
up with her plate of watermelon in have to. Think about how you would
$11.95 ($13.95 postpaid) from Random
her hands and whirled around — feel if you were the character you
House/Order Dept., 400 Hahn Road,
watermelon slid everywhere! Aunts are reading or telling about. Use
Westminster, MD 21157; 800/726-0600.
and uncles take note: this story your own voice but put that feeling
These books are dso available from Whole
would have been even more fasci- into it.
Earth Access.
If you are telling at the end of a

17 GATt FIVE ROAD SAUSALITQ C A 94965 69


The Story Vin@
If you're all thumbs, skip this one. But
if you want something to do with your
hands while you tell stories, this is the
book. Sand-drawing stories from the
Australian aboriginal culture (cleverly
_ adapted to a larger audience by using The next morning llic While lwhlin,i> the .strands
an overhead projector), thumb-piano
soldier se( off (or his firmly with the little finger.s.
stories from Africa, handkerchief stories,
homeland again. The cat Player B puts his rii^bt ihumh
string stories. They are fun to do and a
followed him. from above into far right tri-
blessing to know when you are telling in
a distracting situation and your audience "When I sell my dia- angle and his right inde.x fin-
is having a hard time focusing. mond, I'll have enough ger into far left triangle. He
—Nancy Schimmel for the two of u s , " said puts his left thumb from
the young man, and he let above into ne/w right triangle
The Story Vine the cat come with him. and his left inde.x finger into
Anne Pellowski, 1984; 116 pp.
The man spent the rest of near left triangle. He turns
$ 7 . 9 5 postpaid from Macmillon Pub- his life sitting in his the thumbs and inde.x fingers
lishing Co., 100 Front Street, Riverside,
comfortable chair, lis- toward center of figure, fac-
NJ 08075; 800/257-5755
(or Whole Earth Access) tening to the ticktock of ing each other but not down
iiis grandfather clock and info it. By lifting up and
the contented purring of drawing his hands apart and
TffE'' '.'^ his one-eyed cat, who lay .separating the thumbs and
in the cradle the man had indexes widely, he lakes the
\7|NI': i ' ' ^ once slept in as a child. string from A's hands. B then
And that's why this story holds the figure vertically, to
ended up being called .simulate the ' 'grandfather
, / . r •plil.OU'SKI
"Cat's Cradle"! clock.''

Joining In
Audience-participation storytelling is
Sunman NARRATIVE AUDIENCE RESPONSE
ORTELLER'S ACTION
tricky stuff. Interacting with a shy or un- I am going to tell you one of the oldest stories in the
ruly crowd challenges any storyteller,- world. It is based on a Bushman myth from Africa. You
but when it v^rks, it works. In this helpful can help me tell this story. In many places in the world
children and adults join in with song and gesture. Let me
book, 18 very different storytellers present
teach you the refrain in the story, so you can sing it along
stories, tell how they get the audience to with me.
participate, and comment on the exper-
Sunman, Sunman, Bring us your light
ience, letting you inside their minds as
Sunman, Sunman, Chase away the night. Sing the song two times.
they tell. Good stories, too.
Now let's add these gestures. Good. Cross your arms near
Two other books on participation story- your waist and then lift
them up, stretched out.
telling have come out recently,- Joining Repeat the song and
In is clearly the "best buy," as the others gestures two or more
cost about three times as much. But if times.
your library has Twenty Tellable Tales:
Audience Participation for the Beginning story by improvis i g during the next part of all these people too! Creatively gifted
Storyteller (Wilson, 1986), use it as a of the story. students also benefit from this approach.
source of easy stories that you can do They can create on their own levels, giving
I simply adapted the method to meet the
with or without participation. For story- detailed scientific or wildly creative ideas.
needs of audiences in the northeastern
telling in classrooms, Twice Upon a Time
part of the United States where students Joining in
by Judy Sierra and Robert Kaminski (Wil-
in assemblies are not always a real com-
son, 1989) has stories for participation Teresa Miller and Norma Livo,
munity, ready to share time and space as
and creative follow-up activities for kids. 1988; 125 pp.
well as some other audiences might. In
—Nancy Schimmel assemblies of 50-250 students, I tell the $ 1 1 . 9 5 ($15.45 postpaid) from Yellow
• listeners that I will ask them from time to Moon Press, P. O. Box 1316, Cambridge,
I developed the "organic" style from time about the pictures in their mind's eye. MA 02238; 617/628-7894
watching my friend, storyteller Mara When I ask them to create a picture they (or Whole Earth Access)
Copy, teli stories using an African style of can let me know that they have one by
telling in which on audience member might raising their hand. Then, at the time, I
say at any point in the narration, "Story- point to one person, listen to their "pic-
teller, I was present." The teller pauses t u r e " and use whatever they give me,
and says, "And what did you see, my child always validating their response with
[or woman, etc.]?" The listener then tells "You're right!" There is always at least
her or his version and then the teller val- one student who will turn to another, joy-
idates the listener by saying, " A h , for sure, fully giggle and say, " I ' m right!" This may
my child, you were there!" The teller then be the only time that student has been
integrates the listener's vision into the right all day, or even all week! And in front

7© WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUHMER IS9i


Children Tell Stories
Dialogue can help listeners feel as if the
Some kids, you just tell them enough sto- event is taking place right before them. As
ries and they are storytellers. Others (you the American writer Mark Twain once said:
still need to tell them enough stories) are " D o n ' t say the old lady screamed. Bring
shy or ramblers and need some coaching. her on and let her scream."
Those are the ones whose whole lives
benefit from learning to tell.
Even very young children can be encour-
The Beauty & the Beast Storytellers, who aged to retell stories, and some will grab
wrote this book, have taught a lot of kids any opportunity to do so, as Lois Foight
to fell stories, AND they checked the Hodges, a librarian at the Schenectady,
manuscript out with a lot of tellers and New York, Public Library, discovered:
classroom teachers, so you get many ex-
"Called out of a preschool group one day Children Tell Stories
periences distilled into one organized, I came back to find a five-year-old con- (A Teaching Guide)
sensible, and readable whole. Actually, fidently seated upon my stool, halfway Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss,
you don't have to be a kid to benefit through 'Where the Wild Things Are' while 1990; 209 pp.
from the hints and exercises and 25 easy the fourteen others gave her absorbed $ 1 8 . 9 5 ($20.95 postpaid) from Richard
stories this book includes. attention. (They don't always give me C. Owen Publishers, P. O. Box 585, Ka-
—Nancy Schimmel absorbed ottenlion!)" tonah, NY 10536; 914/232-3903

Children's Own Stories once, but as creation and connection. got the carrot and ate it. After he ate the
Children, one at a time in small groups, carrot, John said, " Y u k ! " and he spit out
77i/s is about storytelling not as perform- the carrot. When the rabbit spit out the
tell stories, true or made up, to a trained
volunteer who accepts them and writes carrot, Raul and John became their own
them down, checking with the child that selves. That's the way we like it, uh-huh!
the story is written the way they want it. —Raul, 3rd grade
The stories go into a notebook for each »
child. No one corrects them. The chil- On taking dictation (working as a COS
dren can read their own stories or each parent volunteer)
other's while in the small group or listen "Sitting down at the typewriter at my
to the teacher. At the end of the year, daughter's school is pure pleasure for me.
each child has a book of his or her own I love Children's O w n Stories. The children
stories to take home, and a copy goes in yak and I type. It gives them a tremendous
the school library if they want it to. power over the language to have an adult
operating a typewriter on command. It's
That's all, except that the children learn as if somebody is handing them the keys
to be their own editors, their stories to a Lamborghini and saying, 'Take this
always get better ewer time, the children baby wherever you want.'
learn about each other's lives, and they
"The whole territory is theirs to explore:
Chlldren's Own Stories feel better about themselves. So let's do talking shrubs, frogs on fly-fishing expedi-
(A Literature-Based Language Arts it in every school. —Nancy Schimmel tions, aliens, couch potatoes, nuclear war.
Program; Grades K-4) • They don't need to be able to spell or
Lynn Landor, 1990; 112 pp. John and Raul found a witch in a creek. punctuate — just to imagine and com-
$ 2 0 ($22 postpaid) from San Francisco The witch's name was Carmen. She cast a municate their ideas to someone. In the
Study Center, P. O. Box 5646, San Fran- spell on John. She turned him into a rabbit. long run, those are the writing skills that
cisco, CA 94101; 415/626-1650 She turned Raul into a carrot. The rabbit really count."

The Boy W h o Would Be A Helicopter out chair cannot compete with being in jail
for "a hundred miles."
This is the kind of book I can read all "Tie him in chairs. He-Man! That kid broke
day. A sharply observant and self-aware our castle!"
The Boy Who Would
teacher presents me with all the fascinat- "Police 9-1-1! Calling He-Man police. Be A Helicopter
ing details of young children's interaction There's a robber here!" (The Uses of Storytelling in the Classroom)
in fantasy play without the noise and re-
" M y blade is broken," Joson whimpers, Vivian Gussin Paley, 1990; 163 pp.
sponsibility of actually being a teacher.
And since I am a storyteller, her work surveying the jumble he has created of $ 1 9 . 9 5 ($21.95 postpaid) from Har-
Alex's building. " I ' m fixing my blades." vard University Press/Customer Service, 79
with writing down the children's stories
Garden Street, Cambridge, M A 02138;
and having the group act them out under "Police 9-1-1. Robber fixing blades on 84.
617/495-2600 (or Whole Earth Access)
the direction of each story's creator brings Do-not-break-this-again-or-you-will-be-in-
me to the roots of my craft. She assumes jail-for-a-hun-dred-miles."
5SC?^*"
this way of learning is available to every " O k a y , " Jason calls out from inside
child — I think her practice of reading the heliport.
two books aloud to the class every day li'r

and reading to individual children on re- How would the time-out chair hove im-
quest may have something to do with proved the scene? Jason's unexplained
destructiveness was incorporated into the
their skill. —Nancy Schimmel
drama, and a sensible solution was found \ ahelicopfe^
• by Alex, who himself frequently benefits
" G e t that k i d ! " Alex screams at Jason. from this sort of dramatic logic. The time-
p«ity
VK^IA^ &".«:"
:J
[ay Allison is one of the country's
foiemost independent radio producers.
He has produced hundreds of radio

otMr documentaries, dramas, and audio art


pieces for national and international
broadcast, often working in partnership
with bis wife, producer Christina Eg-
loff, and has received most of the major
awards and fellowships in the radio

nUpsfor Citizen industry. You can frequently hear his


work on National Public Radio's "All
Things Considered" and "Morning
Edition," and on American Public

StoryteCCers Radio's "Soundprint." Allison also


hosts the computer conference for
radio producers on The WELL.
—Kevin Kelly
BY JAY ALLISON

HE PUBLIC BROADCASTING or send them to the networks and


system in America exists to national programs, and if the mater-
serve the public. Increasingly, ial has strength, it will (one hopes)
we measure the effectiveness be recognized. In the final stage, you
of that service by the number would probably work with an editor
of listener-dollars sent to local to create a piece for broadcast.
stations — producers devise
One advantage to working in radio
programs to sell to the stations;
is that you are low-impact. When
stations carry the programs
setting up interviews by phone, re-
if listeners respond with contributions. mind your interviewees that you are
That's one way to provide service, but there are not a film/TV crew. It's just you and
other models. a tape recorder — non-intimidating.
(They'll still ask you what channel
If a public station wants to reflect its local com-
it'll be on.)
munity, it makes sense to involve that commu-
nity in programming. If the national network Become comfortable with your
wants to reflect the diversity of the nation, it equipment. If you are, everyone
helps if the citizens take part. But how can the else will be. Check, clean and test
average person get involved in the creation of all your equipment before you go
programming? In the case of public radio, this is out. Put in fresh batteries. Make
surprisingly easy to do. The equipment required test recordings. Be overprepared.
to get broadcast quality is inexpensive and readily Be a Boy Scout.
available, and basic recording and interviewing
skills are easily mastered. Have everything set up before you
walk in. Sit in the car (or the sub-
If you are unsatisfied with the way your public way station, or the bushes) to load
radio system portrays life as you know it, con- and label your first tape, prepare
sider doing the portraying yourself. What is going your next tapes for fast changes,
on where you live? What are the important sto- set your levels, etc.
ries? Whose voices should be heard? Consider
For Vox Pop* go where people are
taking on the role of Citizen Storyteller, and
waiting. If it seems appropriate, walk
working on a grassroots level to make public
right up with your sentence about
radio more truly "public."
* Vox Pop = Vox Populi = Voice of
The following notes describe techniques for the People = Man on the Street. Radio
gathering raw material. The editorial process slang, like Acts & Tracks = Interview
comes next. When your interviews have been Actuality & Narration Tracks, the
made, you can take them to your local station, standard news report form.
what you're doing and attach the times lavaliere mics can be helpful, If you do want your presence in the
first question to it. I've heard it but they attract noise and eliminate interview, think about perspective.
suggested that the best tape comes your control. Try to record away Do you want your voice to be very
from people in funny hats. from hard surfaces — walls, etc. on-mic? If so, then you should move
Don't record across a desk because the mic up to your own mouth for
Remember eye contact. Don't let
you can get phase cancellation from your questions. Do you want to defer
the mic be the focus — occupying
the reflected sound. the primary focus to the interviewee,
the space between you and the per-
but have yoiu questions audible?
son you're talking to so you have to If you want a quiet interview, try to Then, pull the mic back halfway to
stare through it. I usually begin by get on a couch in a room with cur- yourself or speak up loudly.
holding the mic casually, as though tains and a rug. Set everything up
it's unimportant. Sometimes I'll the way you like it before you start. Use mic distance as a volume con-
rest it against my cheek to show it Be sure to check for interfering noise, trol, i.e. move in for whispering and
has no evil powers. I might start off like air conditioners, fluorescent out for loud laughter. Don't change
with an innocuous question j"Geez, lights, refrigerators, traffic, radios, the volume at the machine for this
is this as bad as the smog ever gets noisy crumpling of candy wrappers kind of quick change. You can use
out here?"), then slowly move the in front of the microphone, etc. Get the built-in limiter or automatic
mic, from below, into position at away from noise or have it turned gain control (AGC or ARL) in very
the side of the person's mouth, but off. A musical background is very changeable level situations. If you
not blocking eye contact. You'll find difficult to edit. Loud hums are an- are in a very noisy background that
your own way of being natural with noying, because they add nothing you want to reduce, mic your sub-
the mic, but it is important. and don't make sense. ject even more closely (2-4 inches)
and reset your record levels. Use the
Don't be afraid to ask the same Often a noisy environment is exactly highest quality tape (Maxell XLl-S
thing in different ways until you get what you want. And be sure also to or XLll-S or similar) in 60- or 90-
an answer you're satisfied with. Re- get the noise by itself without any minute cassettes, nothing longer.
member you can edit the beginning talking over it. In general, use noise reduction if
and ending of two answers together,
I often like to move around during you have it.
but be sure to get the ingredients. If
a noise interferes with a good bit of interviews. Get people up and walk- Close-mic . . . about six inches
tape, try to get it again. You can ing — "Show me." This can relax from the speaker's mouth and a bit
blame it on the machine, but it people and take their minds off the off to one side to avoid P-pops. Go
might be better just to wrap the recording. Have the person describe closer if they speak very quietly,
conversation back to the same place where you are and what you're doing. or further away if they are loud.
so you don't get the quality of Refer to objects and sights around
someonq repeating himself. you. But try to keep the mic close Wind, handling, and cable noise are
to them. All this will reinforce a some of the most common recording
For repeat answers or more enthu- sense of place, action and immediacy problems. Use windscreens/pop-
siasm, tr^ "What?!" or "You're kid- for the listener. Moving around also filters and try to get out of the wind.
ding!" or "Really^" Remember the gives you a variety of acoustical en- With the body of the microphone, as
question: "Why?", especially follow- vironments as structuring options with so many things, learn to have a
ing a yes or no response. Don't forget in your final piece: possibilities for light touch. Don't let the mic cable
the preface: "Tell me a b o u t . . . " movement in time and space. bang around or rustle on your clothes.
Let people talk. Allow silence. Don't Check that all your cables have
always jump in with questions. Of- If you interrupt or overlap your voice good, noise-free connections at both
ten, some truth will follow a silence. with your interviewee's, you won't ends. Monitor with headphones to
Let people know they can repeat be able to edit yourself out. This check for these problems.
things — that you're not on the air will eliminate that sense of the in-
terviewee communicating directly For recording most sounds or voices
— it's ok to screw up. And remember you want the meter peaking a little
to offer something of yourself. Don't with the listener; instead the listener
will be an eavesdropper on your con- above zero, never pegging at the
just take. Think of the listener's in- limit. Some machines are more for-
nocence; aSk the obvious, along versation. It commits you to a pro-
duction decision. If you want to giving than others. In general, shoot
with the subtle. for a record level between 5 and 8 on
leave your production options open,
If you're recording more than one don't laugh out loud, or stick in the mic input knob. Setting levels is
person at a time, get them to gather "uh-huh" or other vocal affirma- a balancing act between distortion
around you and follow the conversa- tions. You must let your subjects at the top and noise at the bottom.
tion with your microphone. know you're with them, but use Don't use the pause button. It uses
In general, it's risky to let the inter- head nods, eye contact, and develop up the batteries, and if you're listen-
viewee hold the microphone. Some- a silent knee-slap and guffaw. ing through headphones, it can fool

17 fiATF FIVF ROAD SAUSAUTO. CA 9496S 73


• Contact your local public or communi- • And there is an organization for indi-
ty radio station to ask about their vidual audio/radio producers: The Asso-
policies. See if they have training pro- ciation of Independents in Radio (P. O.
grams. If they are not open to commu- Box 2505, Church Street Station, New
nity involvement, ask why not. York, NY 10008; 212/587-0328).
•tps • National Public Radio offers entry-level
workshops for producers and reporters — Radio Producers' Remote
for information, call NPR Training at Recording Equipment Needs
202/822-2000, ext. 2735. Basic mono kit (approx. $350): Marantz
• Regional media centers often provide PMD 201 mono cassette recorder; Electro-
trainiag and cheap equipment rental. Voice RE-50 microphone.
Two good ones are Western Public Radio Advanced stereo kit (approx. $1,200):
jFort Mason Center, Bldg. D, San Fran- Sony TCD-5 Pro stereo cassette recorder;
cisco, CA 94123; 415/771-1160) and The two Sennheiser K3-U microphones
Public Media Foundation (74 Joy Street, with assorted capsules; Sony MDR-V6
Boston, MA 02114, 617/720-1958). headphones.
• A useful book on radio production is These and similar products are canied
Audiocmft by Randy Thom, available by many outlets. Bradley Broadcast
through the National Federation of Com- (800/732-7665) in Gaithersburg, MD,
munity Broadcasters (666 11th Street has an excellent catalog for browsing.
NW, Suite 805, Washington, DC 20001;
202/393-2335).

you into thinking you're recording must turn over or change the cas- You can't record too much. Tape is
when the tape isn't moving. sette, so you don't break yoxu: flow cheap. Collect and catalog sound ef-
Once in while, during recording, or re-attract attention to the record- fects and ambiences. Save everything,
look to see that the reels are turning. ing gear. But don't take that moment including your notes. Don't erase.
If you have a three-head machine, to inspire a wonderful response.
Remember you can always use your
put it in tape mode occasionally to Sometimes I make a list of questions recorder like a dictating machine,
make sure it's recording properly. If before an interview and half-memo- either for on-location narration or
you have a two-head machine, wind rize it. I don't follow it during the for note-taking. Don't forget to look
your tape back at some point and lis- interview, but keep it handy to check as well as listen. Note specifics about
ten to make siure everything is okay. before the end to pick up anything what you see and feel. Immediately
Omnidirectional, dynamic mics are I forgot. after an interview, make some notes
the best choice for all-purpose inter- about what you remember . . .
Get all the sundry sounds and room what mattered.
viewing and basic sound-gathering. tones, like phones ringing, dogs
Unidirectionals are good for noise barking, clocks ticking, etc. — they Label everything. Pop out the safety
rejection from the sides and rear and can be useful for editing. Leave the tabs in yoin cassettes after you've
for stereo in pairs, but they are sen- machine nmning for stuff that seems recorded, so you can't accidentally
sitive to wind and handling. Powered irrelevant — it might not be. Yes, erase them. Never throw away a
mics (electrets and condensers) have leave the recorder running. If you master. Make safety copies of
good response and high output, but turn it off, they'll say the most per- precious stuff.
they are sensitive to wind, handling, fect thing you ever heard. Don't pack
humidity and dead batteries. Take plenty of extras — spares of
up your stuff until you are gone. Al-
everything, depending on how long
Try recording with headphones. low people the chance to say things
you'll be on location — tape re-
They are almost essential for stereo in conclusion. Ask theni who else
corders, assorted microphones,
recording. And they're always helpful you should talk to. You might want
cables, tape recorder batteries, mi-
for catching wind noise, handling to record them saying their names
crophone batteries, tapes, AC cord/
noise, cable rustle, RF interference, and what they do.
adaptors, extension cords, wind-
P-pops, hums you didn't notice, ner- screens, headphones, lots of plug/
Get a minute or so of ambience
vous scratching, and other hazards jack adaptors, patch cords, mic
— more if it's good sound. Record
like forgetting to turn on the tape stands, shock movmts, Rowi clamp,
from various distances and perspec-
recorder. If for some reason you gooseneck, duct tape, electrical
tives. Experiment. For example, a
must conserve batteries, unplug tape, cleaning and demagnetizing
toilet flush is very different recorded
the headphones. gear, pens, paper, labels . . . •
from five feet away than with the
Make idle conversation when you mic resting on the plumbing.

74 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SOMHER 1?9I


DECLARATION ON SOIL
HE ECOLOGICAL discourse about into interchangeable morsels of population, niled
BYSIGMAR planet Earth, global hunger, threats by the laws of scarcity.
GROENEVELD, io life, urges us to look down at the

LEEHOINACKI, i soil, humbly, as philosophers. We


stand on soil, not on earth. From soil we come,
Commons and homes are barely imaginable to
persons hooked on public utilities and garaged in
furnished cubicles. Bread is a mere foodstuff, if not
IVANILLICH and to the soil we bequeath our excrement calories or roughage. To speak of friendship,
and remains. And yet soil — its cultivation religion and jotot suffering as a style of conviviality
AND FRIENDS and our bondage to it — is remarkably absent — after the soil has been poisoned and cemented
from those things clarified by philosophy over — appears like academic dreaming to people
in our Western tradition. randomly scattered in vehicles, offices, prisons
and hotels.
As philosophers, we search beneath our feet because
our generation has lost its grounding la both soil As philosophers, we emphasize the duty to speak
and virtue. By virtue, we mean that shape, order and about soil. For Plato, Aristotle and Galen it could
"You just might wanttomentioa direction oi action informed by tradition, bounded be taken for granted; not so today. Soil on which
this as my program lor 1992," by place, and qualified by choices made within the culture can grow and corn be cultivated is lost from
wrote Ivan lUich in the note ac- habitual reach of the actor; we mean practice mu- view when it is defined as a complex subsystem, sec-
companying this manifesto. "1992" tually recognized as being good within a shared tor, resource, problem or "farm" — as agricultural
refers to the year when the Euro- local culture which enhances the memories of a place. science tends to do.
pean Economic Community is
meant to make most ol Europe into We note that such virtue is traditionally found in As philosophers, we offer resistance to those eco-
an economic unit that can chal- labor, craft, dwelling and suffering supported, not logical experts who preach respect for science, but
lenge not only the US but Japan. by an abstract earth, environment or energy system, foster neglect for historical tradition, local flair
Illich is a lilelong scholar ol the and the earthy virtue, self-limitation.
but by the particular soil these very actions have
commons, the inhastruciure oi
enriched with their traces. And yet, in spite of this
real community which precedes Sadly, but without nostalgia, we acknowledge the
economics based on scarcity, and
ultimate bond between soil and being, soil and the
pastness of the past. With diffidence, then, we attempt
which may foUow it. From berating good, philosophy has not brought forth the concepts
to share what we see: some results of the earth's hav-
institutions such as schools (Mier which would allow us to relate virtue to common
ing lost its soil. And we are irked by the neglect for
Deschooling, Whai?^, hospitals soil, something vastly different from managing
soil in the discourse carried on among boardroom
(Medical Nemesis: The Exprop- behavior on a shared planet.
ecologists. But we are also critical of many among
riation of Health], and even
iasgaages (ABC: Alphabetization We were torn from the bonds to soil — the connec- well-meaning romantics, Luddites and mystics who
of the Popular Mind, with Barry tions which limited action, making practical virtue exalt soil, making it the matrix, not of virtue, but of
Sanders) which create scarcities in possible — when modernization insulated us from life. Therefore, we issue a call for a philosophy of
order to trade in them, Illich now plain dirt, from toil, flesh, soil and grave. The econ- soil: a clear, disciplined analysis of that experience
joins the battle lor the commons omy into which we have been absorbed — some and memory of soil without which neither virtue nor
olsoil. —Stewart Brand willy-nilly, some at great cost — transforms people some new kind of subsistence can be. •

BackHome
A while back, the once-famous Mother ^pi~ r..J^<^^-^ i
Earth News went slick. With its roots
cut, it soon wilted and died. Sorrte of the
non-slickers from Mother's original crew
have revived the original idea, if not the
name. It's just about what you 'd expect,
but pleasingly minus most of the countri-
fied hype that occasionally sullied past
efforts. The Winter issue includes features
on making toys from cans, how to reload
rifle ammo, and what to realistically ex-
pect if you decide to keep a horse. There's
a bit on choosing an old Chevy pickup,
advice on back-saving woodsplitting BackHome Swiss Army mailbox.
technique, the mandatory recipes, and $16/year (4 issues) from P. O. Box 370,
an article on bonsai. There's a lot more. Mountain Home, NC 28758; 704/696-3838 dog's tie-out stake fastened to a few 1/8"
Interesting ads, too — a good sign. It's plumbing parts so it pivots. After picking
all most reassuring, especially to would- The corkscrew flag on our mailbox isn't up your mail, you reset the counterweighted
be and just-arrived rural folk. I'm glad to just decorative but works as a signal to let end on an extra catch attached to the
see this publishing niche filled once again. you know from a distance that the mail's door. The carrier does the rest when he or
—J. Baldwin been delivered. It's nothing more than a she drops off a delivery the next day.

2.7 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSAUTO, CA 949t5


, OMPARE and con- of the event. When I first saw Snake
trast: History of Talk, I didn't know Naomi New-
People. History of man. Now we're friends, and I've
Man. Man Invents the seen her be grateful and amused
Wheel. People In- by people's recurrent attendance
vent the Wheel. of her play. "Why do you want to
Man's Search for see Snake Talk again?" she'll say. .
Meaning. People's Search for Mean- "You've seen it."
ing. The trouble with Man is not'
For Naomi, and for other people
just that he's a man, but that there's
flummoxed by friends who repeat-
only one of him. One tall, clear-
edly go to concerts, art exhibits or
eyed, well-hung, jut-jawed male
meetings they've already been to,
striding through the ages toward a
I've got a guess. It's kind of harsh
goal both logical and grand. The
here on the old planet. People are
History of People sounds messy
hard on each other. The latest
by Ani9€ H^fbsrt and casual and it was.
communication technology trum-
pets lies and terrors and recom-
mendations of nasty behavior.
Our soft hearts flinch inside and
wonder if we're crazy for feeling
it wouldn't be all that hard for
things to be balanced and truthful
and kind.

AND OTHER PLANETS

Maybe inspiration means some- THAT


thing that helps you breathe, WE
Anne Heibeit is an old- something that gives you room
to breathe in deep.
MAKE
time Whole Eatthei, a com-
passionate person, and a When Naomi Newman's one- There are some events that for
wonderful writer. This arti- woman show Snake Talk: Urgent some people create the experience
cle was originally funded Messages from the Mother played of what it would be like to live on
by a grant from the Foun- in Berkeley last year, I saw it seven a different, less vicious planet —
dation for a Compassionate times. When Snake Talk plays what it is like for the length of
Society; it is a part of Anne's again near me, I'll probably see it the event. We go back to learn
current work-in-progress, a several times more than once. what it's like to live in our hearts.
book on women's wisdom. Lots of people have seen Snake The best known frequent attenders
Video and audio recordings Talk four or five times. around here are Deadheads, people
of "Snake Talk: Urgent That is as nothing compared to who go to lots of Grateful Dead
Messages from the Mother" the many people who see dozens, concerts. I'm pretty calm about
are available from A Travel- or hundreds, of Grateful Dead the Grateful Dead's music, almost
ing Jewish Theatre, P. O. concerts in a year, but it got me (forgive me, Deadheads) indiffer-
Box 421985, San Francisco, thinking about the again phenom- ent, but I'm a big fan of Deadheads
CA 94142 (415/861-4880). enon. There are some events that — the ones I know I like a lot.
Audiocassettes are $11 post- people who love them go to about I like how happy they are when
paid, videos $34. Checks once, and there are other events they're off to a concert, and I like
should be made out to that some people who love them their approach to life which is sort
Naomi Newman. Booking attend frequently if at all possible. of the opposite of ' 'You wanna
information is available Why is that? It's a reaction not fight about it?" They're more
from the same address. necessarily expected or understood "You wanna work it out and have
—Howard Rheingold by the people seemingly in charge fun?" I'm glad they can visit an-

76 WHOLE E/«TH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


other planet and practice that ap- the mirror and saying, "It's show- by implicit disparagement of their
proach and bring it back to our time!" I like shows that imply, or knowledge and ways of knowing
shared general reality, which show, that we don't have to put on and so have minority people, and
needs it badly. a harsh, pseudo-perfect show for so have people of all genders who
each other to live. I like being in don't want to let their softness go
General reality, the well-publicized
rooms of people where we are safe — and who don't want to join the
story about the way things are
showing our whole selves, so I can ranks of those for whom knowing
that we're all supposed to act like
learn that there is more to myself and being angry and dominating
we believe in, is weirdly inhuman.
and everybody else than I'd sus- are all the same process.
The alleged humans most publi-
pect walking down the nervous
cized aren't human. They think When I went to see Snake Talk, I
streets or watching commercials.
the difference between Coke and felt like I'd regrown an arm that
Pepsi is very significant. They ' 'When one has matured surround- I'd forgotten was amputated. The
never admit to what is probably ed by implicit disparagement, the missing part that came back in
one of the most common prob- undiscovered self is an unexpected that room was my future.
lems in our society — loneliness. resource." That's Mary Catherine What apparently happens in Snake
They either have no problems at Bateson in Composing A Life,
all or they had one problem and Talk is that Naomi Newman be-
talking about women learning to
they're on TV to say they just comes three women — a poet,
understand their lives by compar-
solved it forever. They never say maybe in her fifties; a yenta, may-
ing notes with women friends.
that sometimes life seems to them be in her sixties; and a woman
Women have matured surrounded
grey and nothing or that life some- without a home, maybe in her
times seems so aglitter with joy seventies. These women speak to
that it would scarcely matter what the audience like old friends com-
brand of anything you use. They're paring notes about life and dis-
good at pretending they are like
other people who are good at pre-
tending they've really got it
together.

AMONG OURSELVES

When actual humans compare


themselves to such fantasies, we
feel really wrong, like we're too
much and too little at the same
time — too much complexity and
too little perfection. The actual
human quotient of problems,
longing for community, spiritual
longing, wisdom, contradictory
experiences, specific cultural back-
ground, joy and pain seems like
it's way too much to fit into the
general reality pretend game.
At the beginning of the movie All
That Jazz, the guy who is leading
an impossibly fast and dishonest
life starts each day by looking in

2)' GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALIID, CA 94»6S


——
Does the wisdom of
covering undiscovered selves of older women have humans shattered into bits and
light and shadow. It reminds me to be invisible and covered with goo and flattened
of long conversations with friends that the grumpy guys in charge
where shields drop and we say inaudible and the might smoothly continue to zoom,
things that will help us make it running their power trips on our
through hard times for a long
wisdom of friend- lives. So when something opens
time, for decades. ship sniall? Snake us up to the texture and richness
and gentleness in ourselves and in
I didn't know until older friends Talk implies no — it each other and life feels different,
told me that women become in- the grumpy guys in charge would
visible in public as they age. I implies a world
like to say that it didn't happen,
didn't know it, but I was practic- where i could live or, as a fallback position, that it's
ing it. When people watching, I very rare. It's dangerous and in-
would look at and wonder about in a livelier way« accurate for us to think it's very
everyone except women I classified rare because then when it happens
as old, who I would skip over with- to you you'll think this is the only
out pause or thought. In some garden on an asphalt planet and if
part of me I must have thought the person in charge happens to
that I would become a non-entity want you to amputate your leg in
too when I lost the potential to thanks for them growing your arm
make little Americans. Seeing back, you might do it.
women decades older than I (I'm
39) take up space in Snake Talk, There are lots of gardens on the
take up a whole stage, make up a
planet. There are lots of planets
whole world, changes my world,
on the planet, true ones and soft
inside and out. It looks like women
ones and loving ones and ones
who don't totally shut down to
that fit who you really are. It hap-
avoid pain really know something
by the time they're fifty and more pens. Sometimes love becomes an
and more in the decades after that. area and we see and feel and live
It looks like I, as a woman, could how good things can be.
have a long, wise future. That idea In times before Bible times, women
is so foreign to most places where and snakes were considered wise.
I hang out that I didn't even know Snakes gave women good advice,
I was missing it. were spiritual advisers to women'
who were spiritual advisers to
Another thing Snake Talk made the whole community. The Gar-
real for me was who my spiritual den of Eden story where a woman
teachers are. I used to think I was listens to a snake and the whole
allergic to spiritual teachers who world is messed up is probably a
seemed to be straight guys in smear campaign against the wis^^
dresses acting like they don't have devastating. Does the wisdom of
dom of women and sources of
a sense of humor — the Pope, the older women have to be invisible
women's wisdom. The part of the
guru, the Protestant minister in a and inaudible and the wisdom of
story where it says women and
robe. The wisdom in Snake Talk friendship small? Snake Talk im- snakes will always hate and fear
seemed very familiar and helpful plies no — it implies a world where each other may have been a way
and nothing like what the grumpy I could live in a livelier way. of saying, "Women, never listen
guys in drag say. It seemed like I'm a Snake head — no objectivity to your source."
what me and my friends say to about Snake Talk here. If Snake
each other when we're really talk- Talk sounds to you like the kind We say to each other in a lot of
ing. When we're really talking to of thing you might like, you might ways never listen to your source,
each other we're being each other's love it. More important to me and it makes us loneiy. If we find
spiritual teachers. I knew that than Snake Talk specifically is a place that reminds us of our
kind of talk was very valuable but knowing that loving stuff like that source and lets us live with ease
I didn't know it could get much happens. Sometimes a group of in our source for a while, we go
bigger than a kitchen table. I didn't people are together in such a way back. When I go to Snake Talk
know it could be lit and supported that it really is a different, more again the power of the experience
and take up a whole theatre. That livable planet. That happens. It is not so much what Naomi says
implies it could take up even happens in different people in dif- but that her speaking from her
more space, that it could heal ferent ways, but it is not rare. The source clears my heart and I can
some of the places general reality grumpy guys in charge would like hear what my source has to say
and grumpy guys in charge are this to be an asphalt planet and all — my own snake talk. •

#® WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


In Praise of Nature reliance; consecrating large land areas Wetland Creation and
across every continent as wilderness —
If you've read everything Whole Earth shrines where entire ecosystems may con-
Restoration
has published over the years, you'll be tinue in their evolutionary destiny — all of Around forty percent of U.S. wetlands
familiar with rr)ost of the books (and re- these actions aim at becoming native again have been destroyed. Biologically they
viewers) in this collection. But former Co- to place; bioregionalists call it reinhabita- are one of the richest and most important
Evolution Quarterly editor Stephanie tion. Reinhabitory humans make love to of all ecosystems. The product of ongoing
Mills and Whole Earth Review contri- their home places, bringing forth a wealth research at the Environmental Protection
buting editor Jeanne Carstensen offer us of cultures, songs, images, teachings, in- Agency, this fat collection of scientific
something essential to the environmental ventions, musics, and cuisines. Part of the
papers lays the groundwork for devising
tasks ahead of us: access to inspiration. hope in spirit, paradoxically, is coming
a national wetlands policy based on
back to our senses, and being able once
Built around five short essays Ion Earth, "no overall net loss of the nation's
again to revel in them.
Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit), the meat of remaining wetlands."
In Praise of Nature is its evocative re- In Praise of Nature The key word here is "net." Some wet-
views of, and excerpts from, dozens of Stephanie Mills, Editor. 1990; 288 pp. lands will still be destroyed. This will re-
the best books on nature and on human- quire mitigation, which leads directly to
$ 1 4 . 9 5 {$17.95 postpaid) from Island
kind in nature. The writers have been the operative words of this book: "crea-
Press, Box 7, Covelo, CA 95428;
well matched to their subjects, and the 800/828-1302 {or Whole Earth Access) tion and restoration." The political pur-
reviews, while substantive, have a tone of pose behind assembling and publishing
celebration about them. —Keith Jordan all these dry technical papers is to keep
• this whole exercise from turning into a
Learning to provide for ourselves, to care very soggy shell game. George Bush has
for the places in which we live, and to gone out of his way to affirm a "no-net-
restore them to biological health; learning loss '' wetlands policy as part of his feeble
to thrive using the renewable energy flows (thus far) efforts to stake a claim as an
of the elements; studying the natural his- "environmental president," but there ain't
tories of our home places and discerning nothing comes down that DC pike that
in them the outlines of our future self- John Sununu can't take an axe to.

The science here (as the authors are


quick to point out) has huge gaps in it —
research, monitoring and follow-up that
have simply never been funded, never
Wetland Creation been attempted. The editors call this book
and Restoration "a preliminary evaluation of the status of
Jon A. Kusler and Mary E. Kentula, the science," and they're right. It's an
Editors. 1990; 594 pp. important step along a very long and
slippery trail. —Richard Nilsen
$ 3 9 , 9 5 {$42.95 postpaid) from Island
Press, Box 7, Covelo, CA 95428;
800/828-1302 (or Whole Earth Access) Rivarine/riparian habitat in a glacial (U-
shap*d) vallay.

RIVERINE/RIPARIAN HABITAT
-H

Ground Water Level

STREAM DEPOSITED STREAM/GLACIER DEPOSITED O GLACIAL DEPOSITED


(Fluviol) SEDIMENTS (Glociofluvlol) SEDIMENTS ^^' (Morainol) SEDIMENTS

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSAUTO, CA 94965 79


Botanical Preservation Corps Meets
Ecuadorian

I
by Rob Montgomery

HE BCHANICAL Preservation Corps recently or cuttings. We plan to help plant


trained forty people in plant collecting and rain- healers restore the plants in second-
forest ecology. The trainers were anthropologist/ ary-forest mixed plantings to create
ethnobotanist/river guide Bret Blosser, trans- high-density living pharmacies for
cultural psychologist Ralph Metzner, ethno- these communities; there is less
pharmacologist Jonathan Ott, and me. The development pressure on secondary
training focused on preservation of forests and, as primary forests are
ethnopharmacological resources. cleared, there are a lot more second-
The Australian, Ecuadorian, Mex- ary forests available that commercial
ican and North American parti- interests find less desirable. The
/ met Rob Montgomery two years nursery will serve as a center where
ago,, when I co-guest-edited WER
cipants in these courses actually
created a nursery facility for a me- the plants can be propagated and
i64. The idea of a Botanical Preser-
vation Corps seemed to pop out of dicinal garden at Jatun Sacha Bio- as a demonstration project so indi-
the first conversation Rob and I logical Station, a scientific reserve genous healers can learn to set up
had; the notion immediately took in Amazonian Ecuador. their own nursery projects. Short-
on a life of its own, and it has been and long-term internships at the
growing ever since. All of us involved Communities of indigenous healers nursery can be arranged through
in it feel that spiritual plants have are finding it harder and harder to BPC. Duplicate plant material is
done a great deal to help us; now obtain plant medicines as the forests growing in botanical gardens in
that the plants, their environment, disappear around them. Healers Hawaii, in order to preserve the
the knowledge of how to use them, have to spend more of their time species and make biomass available
and the people who have gained that searching for medicinal materials, for pharmacological and medical
knowledge are all endangered, it is which means fewer people can be
time for us to try to help in our own
research.
treated. Part of our project was
way. In WER 1f69, Rob made a aimed at gathering some of the Our group assembled in Quito and
plea for somebody to help organize
primary forest species that indig- chartered a bus for the back coun-
and manage the paperwork; we are
delighted that Stephanie Leonard,
enous healers rely on for healing, try. We made a number of canoe
the Cyberthon organizer for the propagating them, and redistribut- trips in the upper Rio Napo region
Whole Earth Institute, and Lori ing them to these communities. to collect plants, bringing plant
Woolpert, former production man- Many of these plants have never material back to the nursery faci-
ager for Whole Earth Review, have been cultivated by native people lity. We also visited a number of
taken up the challenge. For infor- or anyone else; because they have Ayahuasceros (folk healers accom-
mation about how to join the effort, always been gathered wild, nobody plished in plant identification and
send a stamped, self-addressed en- knows how to grow them from seeds use, as well as the use of spiritual
velope to Botanical Preservation
medicine). The Ayahuasca cult is
Corps, R O. Box-1368, Sebastopol,
California 95473.
widespread throughout South Amer-
ica and is of unknown antiquity.
—Howard Rheingold The Ayahuasca potion, brewed from

80 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUHMER IWI


*rfe

McM-iii-s M.iiii.ill.ii.1.1
i n n l h i ' - o l lhi«'-. U s i i i o -
IUMU'I. l i i i d - u s i - .uli
MM f A K V - l ri'\M'*'ll
A\.ilui.i<.''a Qiii'«'ii Sh<'
has K v i i wurkini; w i l h
llll- lllll.lllK.il I'll'-^T
v.iin>ii l'i>rp>. Ill i-nip.!
j^iU- MKI ii-ilislril<ui'
I'liilan^jiTi'il pLiiHs i>!
iiu\!iiiii.il iiiil ••piiiui.i!
\.i!iif
•I frr. "•-.
wj-"^

of their Indian heritage, this family help conservation-minded tribal


Banisteriopsis caapi and admixture members to buy parcels and keep
plants (most commonly, Psychotria is working to preserve their legends,
oral history, songs, dances, theater, them out of the hands of those
viridis), contains potent psychoac- who want to sell out.
tive chemicals as well as powerful ethnobotany, and their forest, which
is at the heart of their culture. The The Mamallacta family live on Ga-
vermifuges; shamanic use of Aya- leras ridge, an area that had tradi-
huasca includes a rich mixture of Ecuadorian government has granted
the Quijos a reserve, operated as a tionally been avoided by the Quijos
medical, spiritual, cultural, and tribe because of legends of intense
membership cooperative; each tribe
psychological lore, adherence to spiritual energy - giant boas, snakes,
member has the opportunity to pay
special dieting and behavioral dis- legendary beasts. At some point in
the equivalent of US$50 for per-
ciplines, and intensive training the past, the forebears of the Ma-
manent access to 150 hectares of
processes. mallacta family felt that their Aya-
primary forest in their traditional
One of the native healers who homeland. Many tribe members huasca mastery had given them the
helped teach our course was a re- want to log their 150 hectares for power to deal with these forces and
markable woman by the name of quick money. The Mamallacta family moved into the shunned area gen-
Mercedes Mamallacta (Mamallacta is trying to convince as many others erations ago. In that region there is
means "mother earth" in the Qui- as possible to preserve the land. The an annual cultural festival in which
chua language). She is thirty years headwaters of the Rio Pusunu, the young people have a contest to test
old, the mother of three, daughter critical watershed for the entire re- their knowledge of the culture and
of a long lineage of prominent heal- serve, are a particular focus of this of plant use. One of the major parts
ers of the Quijos people. In an area effort - the Mamallactas and their is a kind of Ayahuasca contest that
and era of cultural disruption, where allies want to get all the parcels
many of their neighbors are ashamed linked together to prevent others
from buying, selling, and logging.
BPC is channeling $50 donations to

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94965 81


tests mastery of the lore, the plant munities who still know how to use what it had to teach me. The mo-
use, and its history — a mixture of the plants, but find them difficult ment I did that, a rainbow-colored
cultural knowledge, psychological to obtain. substance appeared in mid-air in
and spiritual power, a kind of talent Mercedes is part of a tribal society front of me. It was like a three-
contest. The young women dress in of female shamans, something that dimensional cylinder, like rainbow
Ayahuasca-derived costumes and has not been documented by out- toothpaste squeezing out of an in-
are tested by their elders on their visible tube. The ribbon of color
siders; she is one of the preservers
knowledge of ethnobotany. Mer- started to extrude more rapidly,
and promoters of this heritage. The
cedes Mamallacta won the ' 'Aya- grew very fine, and began to weave
society includes a body of knowledge
huasca Queen" title two years in a kind of fabric or pattern in the air
of the use of plants in pregnancy
a row, a rare achievement. in front of me. In no time at aU, the
and childbirth, women's relationship
pattern wove itself into, of all things,
Five of us hiked in to the Galeras to the sacred and spiritual realm
the interior of what looked like a
ridge with the Mamallacta family, through the use of these plants in starship, with life support systems
collected plants, and recorded in- ways that are different from those and portholes and instruments. And
formation about their use. It took of the male shamanistic societies. then the mosquito wove itself into
three days of nonstop marching
When she gave me the Ayahuasca a tiny starship-builder that was as-
over extremely rough terrain and
brew, she reminded me of something sembling this sight before my eyes
obscure trails. We realized that there
that Ralph Metzner had taught me: as I watched. It said to me; "This is
are many plants found only in that
"You must not experience this pas- who 1 am. This is what I do."
forest. We collected as many of
sively. You must actively question
these plants as we could carry and The Ayahuasceros say that the plant
the world to find out what it has to
recorded information about them itself is a teacher. It teaches one how
told us by the Mamallactas, then tell you. Even the most unimpor-
tant perception might lead to knowl- to use it, how to use other plants,
brought them to the nursery for how to live. I'm not sure yet what
propagation. Our hope is to pro- edge." Then she left me alone as
the night feU over the jungle and that mosquito taught me. But 1 know
vide the cultivars to knowledgeable what Mercedes meant when she
members of other indigenous com- the potion began to take effect.
told me to pay attention to the
I kept hearing a mosquito buzzing. tiniest perceptions. •
It was affecting my concentration,
so I decided to ask the mosquito

Amazonia Th* Mev«m*nt of th*


Landlau helps th*
This is a catalog of organizations work- farmers of seutharn
ing to protect the people and resources Brazil hoM on •« fartib
of the Amazon rainforest It lists groups lands and avoid migra-
tion to the Amazon.
active in nations within the Amazon Basin
and around the world, and gives an ex-
cellent overview of the development
issues in the region and their impacts on
indigenous peoples. —Richard Nilsen

Unless the social and political complexities
of life in the Amazon are understood, all
the international campaigns and good in-
tentions in the world will not keep a single Objectives: In the last two decades, indig-
Amazonia tree standing. enous leaders of Amazonia have seen an
• increasing number of governments, banks,
Angela Gennino, Editor. 1990; 92 pp.
and aid agencies make policy decisions
$ 1 0 postpaid from Rainforest Action • Percentage of Earth's fresh water flowing
about the development of the A m a z o n . . . .
Network, 301 Broadway/Suite A, San through the Amazon: 20
Francisco, CA 94133 • Ratio of the Amazon's flow to that of the In 1984, COICA was founded to address
Mississippi: 11:1 these issues by the national Indian organ-
izations of five nations. Six years later,
• Cubic meters of water flowing through
COICA has become the international rep-
the Amazon's mouth per second: 198,000
resentative of almost all indigenous peoples
• Days required for the Amazon's flow to living in the South American rainforests,
exceed the yearly flow from the Thames: 1 and is regarded as the Indian voice of
• Hours required for the Amazon's flow to Amazonia today.
fill a hypothetically drained lake Ontario: 3 In the U.S.:
• Contact: Jane Wholey, Esopus Creek
COICA (Coordinating Body for the In- Communications, 1011 Orleans St., New
digenous Peoples' Organizations of the Orleans, LA 70116 U.S.A. Phone: (504)
Amazon Basin) 522-7185.

82
Saving Our moderate fire. Fire rarely kills
all the trees in a grove; a few
Ancient Forests trees of various sizes, species
Push has come to shove in the timber and ages are usually spared. T H E O W L IS
business because the resource has been Similarly, under New Forestry
exhausted. At the same time, scientists practices, several live trees per Thenortherr, A G O O D S I G N
have only recently pieced together how acre remain when an area is spotted o w l ,
an old-growth forest functions as an eco- logged. Most large snags stay
w h i c h depends A n d w h e n the o w l p o p u l a t i o n
system. This book neatly summarizes the and logs are left strewn across
the ground. These practices are u p o n large tracts dwindles, it means something's
politics and the science, and mixes them wrong with the forest. This is why
aimed at leaving a "biological of ancient forest
with activism. The writing communicates the U.S. Forest Service selected
legacy" to shelter wildlife and f o r its survival, is the owl as an indicator of the for-
down to about the junior-high level,
speed the renewal of the forest.
making it an obvious choice for any li- t h r e a t e n e d w i t h est's health, just as miners used
Although New Forestry is still in
brarian. All of which makes this book a the experimental stages, several e x t i n c t i o n . canaries to indicate whether there
quick and painless way for adults to get was enough good air in a mine
national forests — including
up to speed on the fate of our dwindling shaft, we can use the spotted owl to read the health of
the Siskiyou and Willamette in
old-growth forests. —Richard Nilsen the forest.
Oregon — have already decided
to use this approach on tens The owl builds its nest in dead trees and preys on
of thousands of acres. squirrels and other small mammals that eat the fruits of
K\ mycorrihizal f u n g i , spreading their .j
spores. If the owl population falters,
The current price of wood re- it may signal a d r o p in the
flects the cost of extracting a population of those mam-
tree from the ancient forests, mals, meaning that the
not the cost of replacing it by fungi's spores are not
growing a new tree in its place.
P' As an indication of this, the
being dispersed to
young trees that
countries that buy logs from the need t h e m .
Pacific Coast — primarily Japan,
What's more, the ancient
China, and Korea — exhausted ^^* ^-»-7»" • forest is now so badly frag-
their ancient forests long ago.
mented by logging that half the young owls
Saving Our Ancient Forests They now value wood quite
highly and therefore bid much b o r n each year are killed by predators w h e n t h e
Seth Zuckerman, 1990; 116 pp.
higher prices for timber than fledglings leave the nest in search^ of homes of their
$ 5 . 9 5 ($8.95 postpaid) from The own.
Americans do. Port Orford
Wilderness Society, P. O. Box 296, Fed- So when the issue of the spotted owl is
cedar, once favored by Amer-
eralsburg, MD 21632-1296 raised, remember - it's not just the owl but < ^ - \ ) v -
icans for making arrow shafts,
is unavailable in the United the whole forest that's at risk.
New Forestry, brainchild of ancient forest States because it commands
scientist Jerry Franklin and his colleagues, such high prices from Japan-
tries to imitate the state of a forest after a ese builders.

Cornucopia edibles, mushroom spawn, and even colored; ripens during July at Leesburg,
starter cultures for baking and brewing. Florida. Primarily for home gardens and
Some of the most amazing horticulture local markets in the Deep South. Vine hig!
books have their origins when first-time If every reference librarian orders just
yielding; tolerant to Pierce's disease.
authors-to-be ask the question: "How one, maybe Mr. Facciola will recoup his
BROOKS 1972; R 9 M , M31M, N33
come there's no book that will tell me investment (this self-published book was
?" Right Plant, Right Place, created on borrowed capital, not grants
Kent Whealy's work with Seed Savers or the academic dole). For anyone in-
Exchange, and Gardening By Mail all volved with food plants, it is an immense
come to mind. Well, add Stephen Fac- service, a book to own and use. (()«\J/n"''^
ciola to the list. —Richard Nilsen
[Suggested by Greg Williams]'
Facciola once worked in a commercial •
seed house; he wondered why no one
TABLE GRAPES
had ever taken the shelf of reference
AMERICAN These are mostly slipskin
books his job required and collected all
grapes, characterized by pulp that readily
that information into one volume. He
slides out of the skin. They have soft flesh
then spent more than five years finding
and a distinctive, " f o x y " or musty flavor
out why, as he compiled this book. It is
and aroma. Most have moderately vigorous
a record achievement in many ways — vines that are trailing instead of upright,
3,000species and 7,000 food-plant cul- and are resistant to many insects and dis-
tivars are described, including access on eases. Generally more cold hardy than
where to buy each one. Doing that in- Vinifera and French hybrid grapes. Mostly
volved the biggest list of seed catalogs: V. labrusca. . . .
1,100 from North America, plus 250 from
Green-Skinned/Seeded C&rnue&pia
overseas. In one place there now exists (A Source Book of Edible Plants)
Lake Emerald: {V. simpsonii x) Medium to
basically the contents of all the commer- Stephen Facciola, 1990; 677 pp.
large fruit; skin emerald green to light-
cial seed catalogs, plus sources for heir- golden, fairly tough; flesh soft, sweet, $ 3 5 ($37.75 postpaid) from Kampong
loom vegetables, herbs and spices, fruits, uniquely fragrant, agreeably flavored; Publications, 1970 Sunrise Drive, Vista, Cfi
nuts and berries, edible flowers, wild juice aromatic, sweet, well-flavored, light- 92084; 619/726-0990

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 'J^&S


The
Sabbath
of Women
by Lara Owen

USED TO THINK
that my period was a
nuisance, a messy intrusion \
that increased laundry and
caused a host of unpleasant
symptoms including exhaustion
and debilitating pain. Menstruation
interfered with my sex life, with ath-
letic activities, and with my energy Jc\-
el. It caused mood swings, iiritability,
and destructive, unstoppable bitchmess
It cost money — in pads and tampons to
c'bsorb the blood, in ruined clothes, m time
away from work. It was a mean and sneaky -
saboteur that would always come at the
most inconvenient time.
x» Despite this catechism of woe, when my per-
iod came there was always a part of me that
was pleased. It meant I was healthy and fer-
tile and that everything was working properh
There was a sense of pride about bleeding that
I felt strongly with my first period; but in the '•^"^WSSWSTOHW?

84 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


absence of any external support, the as far as I can remember, never said
feeling of pleasure dwindled away. anything to make me feel that there
A Jewish friend of mine told me was anything to be ashamed of —
that when she had her first period but somehow there was always this
her mother slapped her face. Reeling shame in the background of my
with shock, she said, "Why did you thoughts, and it colored my whole
do that?" Her mother replied, "I relationship with the outside world.
A Jewish friend of mine
don't know, it was done to me by At school, menstruation was not a
my mother. It's tradition." subject to be mentioned other than
in the biology class. All the infor- told me that when she
To be hit on the face when first
you become a woman — that is an mation I received about menstrua-
tion was purely physical. You had had het first period,
interesting statement about how the
state of womanliness is regarded. a period because you weren't preg-
Perhaps it is intended to remove the nant, and the menstrual flow was her mother slapped
feeling of pride that comes with simply the discarded lining of the
the first blood. womb provided for a possible foetus. her face. Reeling with
My friends and I discussed it and, in
Something else took away that feel- the absence of further information,
ing of pride for me, and I think it shock, she said, "Why
decided that the female body was
was the absence of ceremony. I felt poorly evolved — all that blood and
that something truly amazing and did you do that?" Her
fuss for years and years when you
magical was happening, and yet needed only to do it once or twice
everyone around me treated it as in order to have children. mother replied, "I don't
a commonplace. I felt a sense of
achievement, mingled with excite- The picture society gave me through
know, it was done to
ment, ciu:iosity, and embarrassment; advertising was a confusing one.
I also remember a vague awareness Tampon ads showed lithe girls in
bikinis running gleefully towards me by my mother. It's
of a vast, unknown future. Intuitive-
ly I knew it was a massive landmark the ocean and girls in tight white
in my life — and yet no one said jeans jumping onto horses. This tradition."
anything about it, other than to give didn't mesh very easily with my ex-
me some sanitary pads. I think my perience of lethargy and cramps.
mother was pleased — after all, it And I knew that no one in her right
meant I was healthy and growing mind would trust a tampon so much
up normally — but I needed more that she would go out for the day in
than that. I needed a ceremony, a white jeans. Pah! It must have been
party, some joyful public recogni- men writing those ads.
tion of this huge event in my devel- Yet somehow I felt that I should be
opment. But nothing happened. As like the girls in the Tampax ads, and
the months went by I felt more and that the way my body and mind be-
more the shame and embarrassment, haved was somehow wrong — that
and less and less the excitement and a normal girl wouldn't feel any dif-
the pride that had glimmered for a ferent when she had her period.
moment with the first blood. There's nothing she'd like more
than to scramble onto a horse and
At home, my period was something
gallop off for an adventure while
to be kept secret from my father and
that nice little tampon allowed her
brothers. If I had to mention it, I
to forget that she was menstruating
would use a hushed voice and, pref-
at all. The embarrassing reality was
erably, talk only to my mother on
that I couldn't even get a tampon in- Lara Owen is cuirently woTking
her own. Shortly after my periods
side me. Not only was I not fitting on a book about menstmation,
had begim, we were going on a family
the stereotype, I was also failing and looking for a publishet
trip, and I had to ask my father to
with the equipment. I felt decidedly She lives in Portland, Oregon.
stop the car so that I could go to the
inadequate until I eventually suc-
pharmacy. Of course, he wanted to Owen is interested in talking
ceeded. Then the process of imagin-
know what it was that I needed to with women who have exper-
ing I wasn't having a period at all
buy. I remember this awful feeling ienced the empowering and
began in earnest.
as I told him I had to buy some san- sacred aspects of menstruation;
itary pads. It was a peculiar mixture I saw my periods as an inconvenience she can be contacted c/o
of shame, pride and total embarrass- and that was all. If they were pain- Whole Earth Review.
ment. He was very nice about it and. ful I took painkillers — Feminax, —Howard Rbeingold

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA f4»*5


they were called, and they had a When white men came on the
powerful mixture of ingredients de- scene, "the world tinned upside
signed to clobber every menstrual down." Attitudes toward menstru-
symptom, including caffeine to off- ation changed and young girls were
set depression and lethargy. When I taught by the priests instead of by
had exams I would get drugs from the elder women of the tribe. "In-
In the days before the
the doctor to stave off my period stead of learning that once a month
until a more suitable time, when the their bodies would become sacred,
rage of hormones could assail my sacrifice of living beings, they were taught that they would
left brain without affecting my aca- become filthy. Instead of going to
demic future. No one ever said any- menstrua! blood was offered the waiting house to meditate, pray,
thing about there being something and celebrate . . . they were taught
useful in experiencing a powerful in ceremonies. Menstrual that they were sick" {Daughteis of
state of diffuse awareness once a Copper Woman, Anne Cameron).
month, and that was because no blood was sacied to tie
one knew. I first came across the ideas and
practices of the Native Americans
When I was eighteen I went on the Celts, the ancient Egyp- when I met a teacher of their tradi-
pill; I was initially pleased that my tions — Harley Swiftdeer Reagan. In
periods became predictable and also tians, the Maoris, the early the few days I spent at a workshop
much lighter. It took a few years for he was leading, I learned some cru-
it to fully sink in that the reason Taoists, tie Tantrists cial information about menstruation.
they were so light was that they In between tokes on his clove cigar-
weren't really periods at all. Ino- ette he casually mentioned that a
and the Gnostics. menstruating woman has the poten-
ticed that I was getting increasingly
emotional and upset during my so- tial to be more psychically and spiri-
called periods, so I decided to stop tually powerful than anyone, male
taking the pill. After a couple of or female, at any other time. That
months I felt like "myself" again, turned my conditioned pictures of
and I realised that despite the con- The Native Americans understood reality upside down. I'd always ex-
venience of the pill, I had actually the different feelings that women perienced my period as a time of
felt cheated because my periods were have when they menstruate — and weakness and difficulty — what on
so light. This was when I began to for them, these feelings were part of earth was the man talking about?
realise that for me, menstruating something very meaningful about
was an important part of my life, a the cycles of the woman's body The At the time I had cervical dysplasia
rhythm that I depended on for my women would go to a menstrual hut and the cramps I had always had
psychic and physical health, and that to pass the time of their bleeding. It during my period were becoming
I ignored or suppressed at my peril. was considered to be the time that quite severe. I was looking for ways
a woman was at the height of her to heal myself. I asked Swiftdeer if
spiritual power, during which the he had any suggestions and he told
In other cultures, rather than being most appropriate activity was to me that my problems were caused by
ignored, menstruation has been seen rest and gather wisdom. negative images of the female in my
as a time that is special and sacred unconscious. He told me to dig a hole
for women. The abundance of female- The people of the Yurok tribe in in my garden every now and then
related symbols in excavations of Northern California, for instance, and speak all the negative thoughts
ancient sites in Europe and the Near had a highly developed spiritual I could think of about the state of
East strongly suggests that these cul- culture that depended upon the being female into the hole, then
tures were matrifocal, and revered rhythm of the menstrual cycle for cover it up so that the earth could
the Goddess and the processes of the the spiritual practice not only of the tran'sform the energy. When I went
female body. Ritual practices were women, but also of the men. The home I tried this technique out. I
connected to the monthly bleeding women would retreat en masse over felt pretty silly, and I was glad that
of women, and menstrual blood it- the new moon, for a period of ten no one overlooked my tiny garden. I
self was highly valued as possess- days. During the same time, the didn't know that I had so many bad
ing magical power. The word ritual men of the tribe would focus on feelings about being a woman lurk-
comes from rtu, Sanskrit for menses. inner development, ceremony and ing in my highly educated feminist
In the days before the sacrifice of meditation. While the adults were mind until I did this exercise. It was
living beings, menstrual blood was involved in gathering spiritual power, painful, and it was very effective.
offered in ceremonies. Menstrual the children were cared for by the
blood was sacred to the Celts, the old people of the tribe. All the work I began to look at my blood with a
ancient Egyptians, the Maoris, the that the adults had to do was con- tinge of awe rather than with fear,
early Taoists, the Tantrists and centrated into the other days of disgust or indifference. By that time
the Gnostics. the month. I no longer used tampons, having

86 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


figured out that they might be ini- had in my teens and early twenties, with my body. My health improved,
tating my cervix, and wondering if the feelings that boys had a better and gradually the bad cramps I had
my initial difficulty with them in deal, faded away and were replaced had for most of my menstruating
my teens hadn't in fact been a wise by a growing sense of wonder at the life eased up, and my period became
instinct of my body. So I got to look intricacies and depths and possibili- a time of pleasure rather than pain.
at my blood properly every month ties offered by the monthly cycle. I was beginning to really love my-
instead of just seeing it on a yucky
I began to take time to rest and med- self. Of course, you can't make your-
old tampon. I saw that it was clear
itate and just be with myself when I self do this, just as you can't make
and red, and sometimes darker and
had my period. I found out that it yourself love another person. It began
clotted. If I really freed up my vision
was a time when I was particularly to happen, very gradually, and many
then I could see that it was full of
able to find insight, and that this people came into my life who helped
life, full of magic, full of potential.
insight was of a timeless nature. I me see more clearly. But the big thing
I began to experience a frisson of
felt I was tapping into some ancient at the beginning was this knowledge
joy when I thought about bleeding,
and vast wellspring of female wis- that menstruation is a source of pow-
about being a woman, that there was
dom — simply by sitting still and er. This priceless piece of informa-
something, after all, so extraordinar-
listening when I was bleeding. Taking tion, coupled with a strong instinct
ily magical and mysterious about
this time out when I was bleeding I had about the power of the womb,
inhabiting a female body. The resent-
created a very different relationship transformed my deep and largely
ment about being female that I had
unconscious lack of self-respect.

tion about the future — usually the coming


month, but sometimes teaching further
than that.
This pattern continues, although usually it
is less intense these days. Much of the deep-
ly held psychological clutter appears to have
been released — probably as much as my
psyche wants to deal with at this stage in
my life. Now I feel mote up-to-date with
myself, so there is less to let go of, usually
just anything I have held onto from the
preceding month. I still struggle with the
empty time, and often start to do things,
imagining that nothing is happening inter-
nally so 1 might as well get back to business
in the outer world. Often this backfires and
I find that 1 accomplish little and use up a
lot of energy. It's hard to sit still when
nothing is coming up to yvork on, it's hard
for me to honor that emptiness even though
I know it precedes creativity, inspiration
and insight. It is all part of the process but
A few years agn I had the oppoiiunity in thinK lonK fnreoiten, an event from my it is an undramatic part, and I still have a
spend ciiendcd periods of time alone in J childhood or adolescence. My period became tendency torideroughshod over it.
beautiful spot in the Sierra on the shore of a lime when I lounl I was particularly able
Lake Tahoe, a vast hlueness sacred to the to open up to psychological material and I don't have a daily meditation practice. I
Native Americans. 1 beijan to retreat fullv release emotions. I noticed that after the prefer to adjust my inner and contemplative
when 1 had mv period, heinK quiet, sitting first few days nl bleeding I would go very time to my impulses. Often when I have my
on the earth in the sunshine with liraids still and quiet for a day or so and seemingly period I go into a quiet, solitary and medi-
and blueiais for company, with the wind nothing would be happening — an empty tative space for three or four days, and then
and the moon and the sun, the ripples and space after the weeping and remembering. much less so the test of the month. This
the colors on the lake m\ i;uides and enter I'hen as my period ended there would be feels like a very natural rhythm to me, and
tainers. I lournevcd inside m\ psvihe and several hours of clarity, in which I would be that's why I think of the bleeding time
would find myself suddenly in tears al snme- particularly cicatiye and open to informa- as the Sabbath of women.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94%S 87


lb think of menstruation as a of the subjugation and denial of fe- esteem is correspondingly low.
source of power for women com- male reality and experience. We are our bodies — and we can't
pletely went against my condi- really, deep down in the bottom
tioning, and yet I knew in my For many women the root of their
of our hearts, love ourselves if we
heart that it was true. I realized unhappiness lies in a painful rela-
don't wholeheartedly love our bodies.
that in the dichotomy between tionship with the processes of being
And you don't love your body if
what our culture teaches us, and my female. Women are trained to hide
you catch yourself saying "Oh no,
gut reaction of "Yes! Of course!" the fact that they are menstruating
I've got my period."
to this ancient wisdom, there was a at all costs. Bloodstains on clothing
lot of energy. When you find the are a hideous embarrassment. No In the nineteenth century, men-
places where a culture splits from one ever says I don't want to come struation was viewed by physicians
a natural truth you have found a to work or go to the party because as one more sign of the inferiority
key — a way inside the diseases of I've got my period, not unless they and weakness of the female. How-
the culture. I began to understand are feeling ill with it, and then they ever, there is often a glimmer of
that the split between (on the one usually say they have a headache truth in any ideology, and the phy-
hand) the wisdom and power of or a digestive problem. sicians of the Victorian era were
bleeding that I was perceiving, and not completely wrong when they
When the womb and menstruation emphasized the importance of men-
(on the other) modem society's atti- are seen merely as uncomfortable
tudes to the womb, lay at the heart struation in women's overall health;
biological necessity, women's self- of the relationship between the

Bleeding Onto the Earth


The way of life of the Nooika tiibe of the
Pacific Notthwest is beautifully described
by Anne Cameron in The Daughters of Cop-
per Kbinaji. A woman of this tribe would go
"to the waiting house to pass her sacted
time in a .sacied place, sitting on moss and
giving her inner blood to the Earth Mother.
Men were not allowed near the waiting
house, it was too sacred for them to
understand or approach.''
When 1 was first introduced to the idea of
bleeding onto the earth by a friend of mine
I thought it sounded a little sillv, a little
pretentious. But I started doing it tentative-
ly, and began to feel a flicker of connection
to something very old. One of the problems
I had was figuring out how to do it. Native
American women used to sit on moss in the
moon house. Where was I supposed to sit
and bleed? Even if I went and found a nice
piece of earth to sit on, I didn't want to stay life. Simple acts of value, simple knowledge. this knowledge. I fear dnd dislike mv hlond
there for the whole time. Then I started using It's like chopping wood, rwking a baby, — for without the kuiiwledjic liiiil it mo i«
cloth pads to absorb my blood and soaking baking bread, drinking from a fast-flowing food, that it too is a gift I lieu, then I sec il
them in water before I washed them. I re- mountain stream. It's one of those acts of as purely loss. A waste of hlund, :i wjstc of
alized that I could pour the soaking water being a human being that is timeless, of lime, a baby that Hasn't concciM-d. M hri her
onto the earth. So now that's what I do. The eternal value, part of the steady round of life i desire pregnancv or niii, ni\ hlmul is HIVI.IVS
water is a beautiful red, and I pour it onto and death. The cells that die in my body, a gift. And it is a gift in 3 literal sense, js
the ground around plants, and the act of that are carried in the menstrual blood, arc well as a psychic v;ifi to mi self. It is a ijifi
doing this fills me with a feeling of con- food for the earth. What dies gives birth. from my body back lo the earth: the niiiiher
nection, of rightness, of being at peace with What dies feeds those who live and will live. that has fed and nuriiired nic eterv d.iv
something that is often neglected in modern of my life.
If I ignore my blood I get distanced from

WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


womb and the psyche; of the wisdom ancient Egypt, seers in temples in
of rest during the period. We have Sumer, they all bled with the moon.
tended to reject all of this because it The first woman who made fire
reminds us of the time when the might well have had her period at
lives of women were more controlled the time. Now that's a thought. If
by men, and because it smacks of menstruation is a highly creative
old arguments that kept women tied One of the biggest fears time for women psychically and
to the home and powerless in the spiritually, who knows what gifts
outside world. We have also, quite I liafe come across in humankind has been brought by
rightly, rejected the idea that the women during their menses.
natural processes of being female successful and ambi-
are a sickness. But to say that some- The value we place on menstruation
thing is not a sickness, and to ignore has a direct conelation with the value
tious women when I we place on ourselves as women.
it altogether, are not the same thing.
By ignoring menstruation, in re- And this affects men too. We think
action to the ideas of the Victorian disciss ancient ideas of the sexes as being separate and in
era, perhaps we have lost touch with a way they are. But in another way
a lingering thread of awareness of about the spiritual we are all part of the same big human
its value in women's lives. soup, and how women view them-
selves and are viewed affects men
power of menstruation, too. It might look on the face of it
The changes that have taken place
in the lives of women over the past as if men have had the upper hand
thirty years may look like a revo- is that this wil in some for the past few thousand years —
lution, but in many ways they have but that is only true from a certain
been an assimilation. Women seeking way affect their myth of perspective. Both men and women
power in a male world have tended have gained and suffered from the
to do so by becoming pseudo-men. being "just as good as imbalances of patriarchal society.
And, perhaps unwittingly, feminism Men have also been separated from
has played a part in the suppression men, and sometimes their bodies and from their feelings,
of menstruation. One of the biggest and from the pleasure and healing
fears that I have come across in suc- made possible by relationships based
cessful and ambitious women when
better." on cooperation rather than hier-
I discuss ancient ideas about the archy and dominance.
spiritual power of menstruation, is
that this will in some way affect. Imagine a world in which men and
their myth of being ' 'just as good as knows that when she is menstru- women worked together to develop
a man, and sometimes better." Many ating, and usually for a few days the sense of inner peace that comes
women don't want to go deeper into before, she feels different. And this from sitting still for a couple of days
menstruation; they are scared of what is a fact of nature that ultimately once a month. In which men sup-
they will discover. It suits them bet- cannot be denied. ported women to spend a few days
ter to suppress their feelings with in peaceful quiet. A world in which
tranquilizers, to spray with vaginal One of the aspects of menstruation menstrual blood was once again a
deodorants to disguise the smell of that I now love and appreciate is its magical fluid with the power to
blood, to numb their pain with pain- predictable unpredictability. You nurture new life. A world in which
killers, to absorb their blood with never know exactly when it is going menstruation was understood to be
tampons so they never have to ac- to come, and sometimes it complete- the Sabbath of women — a natural
tually see it. It's easier to be a suc- ly surprises you. And not only is space within one moon's cycle for
cessful woman in a man's world if it inconsiderate of timetables and retreat, introversion, and inner
you hardly acknowledge that you schedules, it is also messy. Hooray! work. From which women emerge
menstruate at all. We try to sanitize and order modern like the newborn moon itself, re-
life to the degree that we run into newed, the old skin shed. •
The technology of suppression — danger of there being no life left in
tampons, vaginal deodorants, sophis- us. Periods save us from this doom Bibliography:
ticated pain-killing and mood-alter- — they are a wild and basic, raw, Daugbteis of Coppei Woman: Anne
ing drugs — has acted together with bloody and eternal aspect of the Cameron, Press Gang, 1981.
the myth of the superwoman to female — and no amount of "civili- Blood Magic: Buckley 81 Gottlieb,
create a predominant cultural atti- zation" will change that. My period eds.. University of California, 1988.
tude that a menstruating woman is is a monthly occurrence in my life The Once &> Future Goddess: Elinor
no different from one who is not that I have in common with all Gadon, Harper & Row, 1989.
bleeding. The trouble with this is women who have ever lived. Women The Woman's Encyclopedia 0/ Myths
that it simply isn't true. Any woman living in caves twenty thousand &> Seciets: Barbara Walker, Harper
remotely in touch with her body years ago, priestesses in pyramids in &. Row, 1983.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965 89


Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pad.' RESOURCES:
Cycles Pads: Simple design — white ttan-
BY LARA (MEN nel folded pad inside either a Horal flannel
or unbleached WO-percent-cotton muslin
Tampons are convenient but can be a Once used, I sling them in a bucket of liner. The large pads are great for women
health hazard. Disposable paper pads cold water to soak (with a lid on it, so as with a heavy flow. Cheapest and work
use up trees and add to the mountains of not to offend other members of the house- very well.
garbage we plough into the earth. All hold), use the water to feed my plants Kits: large (4 large pads and 1 large belt);
the arguments against disposable diapers (you should have seen my bean crop this regular (6 regular pads and 1 regular belt);
hold true for menstnial pads. year), then put the whole lot in the wash- junior (8 junior pads and 1 regular belt).
ing machine on a hot wash when my Each kit $20 postpaid from Sisterly Works,
The obvious alternative is to go back R.R. 3, Box 107, Port Lavaca, TX 77979;
period's over. Total labor involved: five
to using cloth. The idea has echoes of 512/893-5252.
minutes. My initial outlay was thirty dol-
"rags" and pre-vt/ar poverty but in prac- Moonwit Pads: Cleverly designed pads
lars — and they are still going strong.
tice I've found that cloth menstrual pads that are the least bulky around but best
How long they'll last is, as yet, unknown
work very well. I've been using them for for those with a light to medium How, al-
— I'd guess about as long as a flannel
a year now and I love them. They are though I haven't tried their Goddess size.
shirt lasts that gets worn and washed
made of soft, cosy, absorbent, 100- Terry and flannel; no velcro or belts.
once a month. Could be a long time.
percent-cotton flannel that fits snugly New Moon starter kit (1 each regular and
No damage to the environment, and a
against the body — much more comfor- Goddess pad) $8.50; Half Moon kit (4
wonderful feeling of autonomy at not regular pads, 2 Goddess pads) $25.50;
table than the paper disposable pads.
having to rush to the pharmacy at the Full Moon kit (8 regular pads, 4 Goddess
They don't slide around inside your un-
first sight of blood. No danger of ex- pads) $51. Add $2.75 per kit for postage
derwear and you don't need to use a
posure to carcinogens like dioxin, no and handling.
belt or pins. I've not had a single acci-
danger of toxic-shock syndrome, or of Newsletter (The Rag): $6 (4 issues).
dent. In fact I used to have more leakage
contracting any of the nefarious infections Moonwit, R.R.4 Lang's Road C-21, Gan-
and spillage with paper pads, and a
caused by tampons and by the lack of ges, BC VOS lEO, Canada; 604/537-4683.
friend of mine who bleeds very heavily
circulation that results from the plastic
at night has found that the flannel pads New Cycle Menstrual Pads: Attractive
backing of the paper pads. All in all,
are far superior to throwaways. and well made, with flannel cover in white,
a much better deal.
red or floral. Sample pack contains one
each of their three different sizes.
$17.45 postpaid from Menstrual Health
Foundation, P. O. Box 3248, Santa Rosa,
CA 95402; 707/829-2744. •

' ell-washed 100


percent cotton is best: muslin
for the pads, flannel for the
liners (I recycle old night-
gowns and flannel shirts).
You will also need about a
30-inch strip of H-inch-wide
elastic and Velcro tabs, or
a fastener.
The belt: Measure the elastic
around your hips (or wherever
you wish to wear yoxir belt),
and cut to fit. Cut out a strip
of cloth about 60 inches long
How to Make a by 154 inches wide. Then sew
the cloth into a long tube,
and thread the elastic inside.
Cloth Maxi-Fad Sew the belt into a circle and
add Velcro tabs to attach the
by Sue Smitb-Heavenricb maxi-pads (illustration A), or
sew a fastener onto one end
of the belt and a loop onto
Reprinted from notheting magazine no. 58 the other (illustration B),
($22/4 issues fiom P. O. Box 532, Mount and use with maxi-pads that
Moiris,IL 61054). have loops on their ends.

9G WHOLE EAKTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


The Menstrual Health Foundation
This nonprofit organization is dedicated The MHF has three main focus areas: of the reusable cloth pads have more
to providing education and resources than quadrupled in the last twelve months.
1. Education—providing lectures, classes,
about the positive and powerful aspects
and regular support groups — teaching The MHF is developing a new catalog.
of menstruation. Its director is Tarr)ara
women and men to become aware of The Menstrual Wealth Catalog, featuring
Slayton, and one day last December I
their conditioning about menstruation a coming-of-age kit, as well as organic
drove to her home, which is also the
and how to heal the wounds this condi- cotton pads and such extravagances as
headquarters for MHF activity. Her living
tioning has created. Tamara comments, hand-painted silk pads. "I want to flip
room showed the evidence of her work
"I don't have to try and change anyone the whole metaphor," says Tamara, "so
— baskets overflowing with cloth men- — this information (about the power of that a sense of beauty and appreciation
strual pads, in different sizes and colors the menstrual cycle) lives in all of us, so I is what is normal in our culture, instead
ranging from white to pink floral to bright just help women see what is sitting on of the shame and negativity, and white,
red; bulletin boards covered with organ- top of that." "medical" products. This catalog will be
izational data; books on menstruation so rich and so beautiful with imagery
and allied subjects. As we talked it be- 2. Publishing educational material such around the menstrual cycle that the read-
came clear that Tamara is a woman with as the workbook written by Tamara that er will be inspired to reawaken to the
a mission, for which she has really done accompanies the classes, entitled "Re- wisdom of her own cycle."
her homework. She first became aware claiming the Menstrual Matrix," and a
of the deeper meaning of menstruation forthcoming book on diet called Food —Lara Owen
sixteen years ago, when she was work- for Females.
ing with Jeannine Parvati Baker on the
3. Practical resources — the MHF current-
book Hygeia — A Woman's Herbal. The Menstrual Health Foundation can
ly manufactures and markets washable
She went on to establish the MHF seven be reached at P. O. Box 3248, Santa
cloth menstrual pads called New Cycle
years ago, as it became increasingly Rosa, CA 95402; 707/829-2744.
Pads. Tamara makes the point that "in
clear to her that work in this area is a
this country we spend $14 billion a year
vitally important part of "what looks like
on disposable menstrual products." Sales
a universal shift in the consciousness of
the entire planet to reclaim the feminine
— it is directly related to the environ-
mental movement."

The pads: To make a cloth The liners: To make a liner, cut out a
pad, cut out a piece of cotton piece of flannel, and hem or zigzag the
measuring 9 or 10 inches edges so that the finished size mea-
wide by 18 inches long (or sures 28 inches long by 8 inches wide.
20 inches long, if you plan to (Liners for "light days" can measure
wear your belt high up on 14 inches by 8 inches.) Fold the liner
the hips). Holding the cloth in half and then in half again, so that
lengthwise, fold over one it measures 7 inches by 8 inches. Now
edge about 1 inch; then fold fold it in thirds, and stuff it into the
again to near-center (illus- C opening in the cloth pad. •
tration C).
Repeat with the other edge.
The two smooth edges should
overlap slightly (illustration
D|, and the finished pad
should be about 3 inches
wide. Fold the ends over to Sssssss'sswwj'"--^'-'^ J . 1
make loops large enough to
fit your belt, and stitch in
place (illustration E), or sew
on Velcro tabs (illustration F).
F

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965 91


Blood Magic Muslim village, the indifference of the They slap their thighs . . .
Rungus of Borneo, the bizarre relationship They are menstruating.
Anthropologists are, like all of us, the Their flanks are wet with blood.
between menstruation and pigs in Portu-
products of their culture, and it's not sur- They talk to each other.
gal, and the Yurok Indians of Northern
prising that Victorian anthropologists saw They make a bull-roarer . . .
California, who organized their whole
seclusion during menstruation as banish- They are menstruating.
society around the importance of menstru-
ment. Their work set the tone for the focus The blood is perpetually flowing.
ation as a time to seek spiritual wisdom.
on menstruation for most of the twentieth [Aboriginal Australian]
—Lara Owen
century. Postfeminist anthropologists have a
had different eyes with which to view
Sao Bros Is always portrayed in local paint- A man called Purra was looking for a wife.
the behavior of women, and a greater
ings and shrine images with red hands. One day he was crossing a creek when he
openness to the possibility that some The women of Vila Branca claim that the noticed that its water was red. "Look," he
cultures value that which is inherent to the saint got his red hands before achieving said, "a girl must be around here. She is
female. The questions they ask are dif- sainthood by committing a certain indis- at the time of the passing of blood and
ferent, and so are the onswera they get. cretion with a young menstruating woman. went into the water. That is why the creek
The cultures examined in Blood Magic Apparently, in the heat of sexual passion is red." He followed the water right up to
the young man began to explore beneath its source. There he found a girl. Her lower
reveal the gamut of attitudes toward
the young woman's skirts. Little did he half was in the water, but the rest of her
menstruation: the intense and elaborate
know that she was menstruating, for when was lying on the bonk. "She is Tiro's [the
shame and pollution in an Anatolian he pulled out his hands they were covered rainbow snake's] daughter," Purra said to
with blood. In order to "teach him a les- himself. He took the girl, "but he knew
son," God permanently stained Sao Bras' that her father, the serpent, would be after
hands red as a reminder to him and to him." He tried to run away but the Serpent
others of his lack of discretion. followed. Purra kept lighting fires to keep
o the Serpent away, but one day "the big
rain came"; it extinguished Purra's fire-
The alknarintja women of Aranda stick and caused a flood into which Purra's
. . . cut their breasts. wife disappeared.
On their breasts they moke scars.

String figure from


Blood Magic Yirrkaita, north-
Thomas Buckley and Alma Gottlieb, east Arnhem Land.
Editors. 1988; 323 pp. "Menstrual blood
of three women."
$ 1 2 . 9 5 ($14.95 postpaid) from Univer-
sity of California Press/Attn.: Order Dept.,
2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720;
800/822-6657 (or Whole Earth Access)

The Wise Wound tempt artificially to synchronise their sexual the cycle shortened to twenty-nine days.
cycles with the moon-cycle, and he found
When Penelope Shuttle and Peter Red- that they would so synchronise. Then in
grove decided to research menstruation A friend of ours, who is a Greek Cypriot,
1965 he Qsked a young woman with a took his mother on her first visit to Britain
in the 1960s and early 1970s, they dove history of irregular menstrual cycles to
into a diverse assortment of primary to see The Exorcist. He hoped to shock
sleep with the light on during the four- her, but she was completely unmoved. She
sources, including folklore, medical facts, teenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth days of her said that she couldn't understand what all
myths, and religious prohibitions, from cycle: the time when ovulation would be
the fuss was about, since little girls grow-
which they produced an imaginative and expected, in the hope that indirect lighting
ing up in Cyprus always behaved like that!
pioneer study. The Wise Wound, first like the moon's, reflected from walls and
published in 1978. ceilings, would promote ovulation. Indeed,

Each person starts his or her life under a
Their understanding of symbols, dreams, mother's rule, expressed by body-language,
language, and feminine energy leads us since it is too early for spoken language,
into the depth of what we've repressed and that the mother's body-language re-
— that the creative rhythm guiding all flects the changes of her menstrual cycle.
cultures originated in the processes of It has been shown that the apparently ran-
women's menstrual cycle, "learnt by dom gestures of a young baby's limbs ore
women and imparted to their male part- such a language expressing responses to
ners, who have taken it for their own, his mother and his environment generally.
It is certain too that the neurological struc-
and forgotten their teachers." In other # ture of every person's body reflects a divi-
words, "the physical experience made
sion between the intellectual powers of the
possible the mental one."
new brain or neocortical structures, and
By abstracting the processes from their the older, limbic brain.
source, we have denied ourselves un- The Wise Wound It is of course this limbic region that we
known riches. It is exciting to imagine, as Penelope Shuttle and Peter Redgrave, suppress with our tranquillisers, whether
research continues in this vein, where we 1978; 335 pp. we administer them to counteract premen-
are heading. —Shana Penn $ 1 2 . 9 5 ($15.45 postpaid) from Bantam strual tension or for any other reason.
• Books/Direct Sales, 414 E. Golf Road, Des And it is this region of older powers that is
Dewan began his work by shining light on Plaines, IL 60016; 800/223-6834 visited each month by Everywoman in the
marine worms in the laboratory in an at- (or Whole Earth Access) so-called "regressions" of her period.

92 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


Wonderful Life
what's weirder than a dinosaur, more
than twice as ancient, and radically
more significant to our understanding
of the evolution of life on Earth? There
are dozens of answers to this question,
each of them one of the shockingly alien
creatures from Hie fossil bed in British
Columbia known as the Burgess Shale.
Wonderful Life
By all the laws of good fortune, these
(The Burgess Shale
delicate and in some cases soft-bodied and the Nature of History)
invertebrates should never have become Stephen Jay Gould, 1990; 347 pp.
fossilized, nor should they have remained
preserved for 530 million years to be $ 1 0 . 9 5 ($12.20 postpaid) from W. W.
Norton & Co./Order Dept., 800 Keystone
finally met by the gaze of wondering Industrial Park, Scranton, PA 18512;
humans. The story of their discovery and Hallucigenia, supported by its seven pairs 800/233-4830
interpretation is the story of nothing less ©f gfryts, stands on the sea f l o o r .
(or Whole Earth Access)
than a revolution in evolutionary biology.
Marry of the Burgess Shale creatures are
so different from anything known today Hallucigenia. We need symbols to repre- omong aficionados would surely be Hal-
that they have been placed in new phyla. sent a diversity that we cannot fully carry lucigenia. . . . This genus would win the
(Contrast this with the public's favorite in our heads. If one creature must be se- vote for two reasons. First, to borrow to-
prehistoric creatures, the dinosaurs, which lected to bear the message of the Burgess day's vernacular, it is really weird. Second,
all belong to the same phylum as we Shale — the stunning disparity and unique- since names matter so much when we ore
ness of anatomy generated so early and talking about symbols, Simon chose a most
humans do, the Chordata.j That's about
so quickly in the history of modern multi- unusual and truly lovely designation for
as alien as a creature can get without
cellular life — the overwhelming choice his strangest discovery.
being from another planet, and therein
lies a puzzle of grand proportions: Why,
back at the time of the dawn of multi-
cellular life, would there be more radical A Synopsis and Classification of
diversity in body plans than there is now, Living Organisms
after millions of years of additional evo-
lution? In Wonderful Life, the great pop- This encyclopedic reference represents nae ore sometimes flabellote in males. The
ularizer of evolutionary biology Stephen the first attempt ever to catalog all life on pronotum is usually reduced dorsally to
Jay Gould attempts to answer this ques- planet Earth, down to the family level of accommodate the mobile head. Axillae
tion; in the process he weaves the story taxonomic classification, hlundreds of ex- are usually fused to form a transverse
perts worked for several years to produce sclerite separating the scutum from the
of the discovery and interpretation of the
over 8,200 descriptions of the world's scutellum. Adults ore frequently found fly-
Burgess Shale fossils, and teaches a les-
viruses, bacteria, plants (including the ing above ant nests or around foliage
son in the history of science about why if where ants ore foraging; all are believed
took biologists over sixty years to under- algae), and animals (including the pro-
tista}. Valuable references are listed at to be parasitoids on various genera of ants.
stand the drastic implications of these
organisms for the history of life. the end of each description. Much of the The first-instar larva is, as far as is known,
information in these volumes is otherwise a plonidium, hatching from eggs deposited
—Ted Schultz available only in obscure journals, and on or in foliage, buds, or fruits (such as
• some of it appears here for the first time. bananas), and attaching to foraging worker
I know no greater challenge to the icon- As you might expect in such a monumen- ants to be transported to the nest. There
ography of the cone [of Increasing diversity] tal undertaking, the work is not perfect the parasite larva transfers to an ant larva
— and hence no more important cose for — some groups of organisms have been and feeds upon it externally or internally
a fundamentally revised viev/ of life — overlooked, and some descriptions lack as a prepupa, pupa, or pharate adult,
than the radical reconstructions of Burgess illustrations — but overall this is a fab- eventually killing it or producing an ema-
anatomy presented by Whittington and his ulous reference tool. The steep price puts ciated pharate adult ant (phthisergote).
colleagues. They have literally followed Host specificity at genus level seems
it out of reach of most individuals, but
our most venerable metaphor for revolu- to be the rule.
every library should own this massive
tion: they have turned the traditional inter- testament to life's awesome diversity. The family (= Euchoridae) is widely dis-
pretation on its head. By recognizing so
—Ted Schultz tributed in tropical and temperate parts of
many unique anatomies in the Burgess,
the world; about 330 species ore known in
and by showing that familiar groups were • 55 genera.
then experimenting with designs so far Eucharitidae. Ant chalcids. These bizarre
beyond the modern range, they have in- wasps, mostly 3-10 mm long, are often References: C. P. Clausen, Entomopha-
verted the cone. The sweep of anatomical metallic-colored, black, green and yellow, gous Insects, McGraw-Hill, New York,
variety reached a maximum right after the red and green, and so on, and ore close pp. 221-230,1940.
initial diversification of multicellular an- to Perilampidae and Pteromalidae. The
imals. The later history of life proceeded goster, often somewhat laterally compress-
by elimination, not expansion. . . . The ed, is attached to the trunk low down by a A Synopsis and Classifica-
probable increase in number of species slender petiole; the following (true third tion of Living Organisms
through time merely underscores the puzzle abdominal) tergum is large and covers Sybil P. Parker, Editor-in-Chief. 1982;
and paradox. Compared with the Burgess most of the gaster. The trunk is high; the 1,184 pp. (Vol. 1); 1,232 pp. (Vol. 2).
seas, today's oceans contain many more scutellum is often produced as a pair of $ 2 9 5 ($310.63 postpaid) from
species based upon many fewer anatom- massive spines. The mandibles are long, McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., Blue Ridge
ical plans. falcate, or straight and porrect. The anten- Summit, PA 17214; 800/262-4729

27 GATE FIVE R O A D SAUSALITO, CA 94965 93


i *>
MMiNG;^1i

*,•

«™11

WfW^'^' ^^

'z LEFT NEW YORK sooner than I had expected. Only six
'The 'Proper \r' years earlier, I'd felt I had truly arrived, and that I would
\:. never leave. For years there was nothing I did not like about
Use off Land'
the place. I loved the crowds, the smells, the food, the subways,
poses, not a even the sixth-floor walk-up apartment. There was no reason to
suspect that I would ever feel compelled to return to rural life,
technical nor not after I had so purposefully given up life on the farm to search
__ for Life^in the City. T ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ n d l e s s nossibilitv
^i>S*<,
an economic, wliere I coulH" live a | j j g ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ |j^g tempered
by the arts and seasoned with pleasures of foods, society, and
but primarily sophistication unknown to the rural drudge. It was the place I
had long lived in my imagination, and as I walked from top to
a metaphysi- bottom and side to side, going everywhere, seeing everything,
it was no less gritty and glorious underfoot than it had been in
cal question" my fondest daydreams. But this all passed. Despite my studied
—LI Sehumaeher urbanity, my boundless enthusiasm, a vague feeling of discon-

94 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


tent crept into a dark corner of my consciousness with a new job waiting for me when we got there,
and refused to be appeased by the city lights. Before moved upstate to Albany. (Despite what people
I knew it, it had grown into a compelling certainty downstate think, Albany is not the country, but it
that life in the city had ceased to make sense. The is closer to it than New York City.)
sophistication began to seem mere sophistry. The We did not have a plan — we did not know enough
subways grew cramped and oppressive. The landlady to have a plan. Our intention was to find a place
became malevolent. The convenience of Chinese where we could eventually, if not immediately, live
take-out began to seem unnecessary. Clearly the a life that "made more sense" than the one we had
time had come to leave. lived in the city. We did not have a clear idea of what
I could think of no good reason why life in the coun- kind of life this was, but our talk about where to go
try should make any more sense than life in the and what to do gradually came around to a small
city, and if the experiences of my early life meant farm where we would work at growing vegetables in
anything I was sure it would not. Nevertheless, I whatever time was left after working ' 'real'' jobs to
decided that going back to the country was the thing pay for the place. Once done, the farm would be it,
to do. The change was not easy to figure out. It was the place where we worked hard all day and slept
not disillusionment — everything I thought to find soundly at night. This was as close to a plan as we
in the city was indeed there, in one way or another. could get, but as we were both aware from trying to
There were bookstores, cafes, people, I liked it there. articulate it to friends in the city, it was not a plan
I fit in. But somehow, in spite of all this, I became at all. It was talk — ideas about the thing, but not
convinced that living in the city was not what I was the thing itself — and it could not explain why we
supposed to be doing. To know what one is suppos- ended up in Albany. ' 'The Plan,'' the only one there
ed to do is a tricky business, if only because there ever was, was really no more than a pattern that
are so many so willing to tell you exactly what you emerged with hindsight, little more than a place
are supposed to do. It is also easy to get it wrong — to hang events for which we could make no other
my guess is that most of us do, most of the time. account.
Perhaps this is why I compromised. My partner and Events have continued, by and large, to precede plan-
I quit our Big City jobs, packed everything worth ning. We bought a small pickup and began to look
keeping into a rented truck with a front end that around the countryside. We started east of the Hud-
shimmied like an Atlantic Avenue belly dancer and. son River; later we went north, then back south
and crossed the Hudson again,
then headed west. We crisscross-
edthe twenty-, thirty-, forty-, and
Too often, arguments about
finally the fifty-mile circles scrib-
technology and light livelihood ed around Albany on our map.
polarize into pto-tecbnology and Without planning to, we began
anti-technology factions that talking to realtors.
BY tail and debate and neglect the "But what do you want to do with
impottant question of how to
JOHN a farm?'' It was not intended to be
make good choices. John Tbwn-
send, in this essay that would
a metaphysical question — as a
A %^ WW Iw ^£/Ji^ M^ realtor her concern was more like-
have pleased Emeison oi Tho-
reau, talks about his choice to ly economic or aesthetic: did we
abandon Manhattan and move want to develop it or to admire its
to a faim. "Going back to the views? I told her we wanted to
land," he discovered, is an en- fann it. While it was clearly un-
ILLUSTRATIONS BY tirely different kind of enterprise usual in her experience to think
in the 1990s than it was in the of a farm as a tract of land to be
JULIE 1960s, when the first Whole cultivated, she quickly caught on
WAWmKA Earth Catalog provided "access and uncovered several listings for
to tools" for rural communards
"working farms." These describ-
and urban dreamers.
Townsend wrote "Looking for
ed the number of silos, bams and
the Simple Life" in WER #56. other buildings, the house if there
—Howard Rbeingold was one, the number of acres of

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSAUTO. CA 94965 95


cornfield or hay land, and wheth- •JJiere are no small farms shallow ditch along the road, one
er any equipment or livestock was parcel had a nice new footbridge,
included. Although these were far for sale anymore* Instead and they all had a narrow path
larger than what we had told her cut through the woods, ' 'for easy
we were interested in, at least her there are farmettes, sen- access." The paths meandered
idea of a farm had shifted from around the property occasionally
land with development or aesthet- expanding at some opportune
ic potential to land with the capa- tiemen's farms, hobby spot, no doubt to encourage pro-
city for agricultural productivity. spective buyers to linger, admire
But the difference was not as sig- farms, or country set- the views, and appreciate more
nificant as it first appeared, and fully the property's ' 'potential for
on closer examination our real- tings. Just plain farms, it development."
tor's new idea was no closer to
Just plain farms have a hard time
what we wanted to do with a farm seems, are not particu- competing with this kind of ' 'po-
than her earlier one. Our con-
tential." New York, for example,
cerns, as it turned out, were in- larly attractive from lost 1.1 million acres of farmland
deed metaphysical.
to development between 1978 and
There are no small farms for sale 1986. To counter this trend, Mas-
anymore. Instead, there are farm- sachusetts' Bureau of Land Use
ettes, gentlemen's farms, hobby has an office whose role is to pro-
farms, or country settings with tect farmland by paying farmers
open fields and farm buildings. the difference between the value
Less poetically, there are also ap- of their land as farmland and its
proved building sites, surveyed value as property for development.
lots, acreage (approved for subdivi- In this way over 20,000 acres are
sion), or parcels. Many of these said to have been protected since
have been farms in the past, but the program began in the early
according to realtors the most seventies. "Land-use experts" at
distinctive thing about them now a recent conference in New York
is that they come equipped with urged widespread adoption of si-
views. Some have town road front- milar programs — called "pur-
age, access to electricity and water, good school chase of development rights" programs, or PDRs —
districts and low taxes, but the views count even and cited several successful models, including
more when it comes to marketing and price. Views, Massachusetts. But their enthusiasm failed to take
we discovered — panoramic views for those who can note of one seemingly inexorable law of real estate:
afford them — have become the signature of the that is, the price will go up. When it does, appropri-
"country lifestyle," which has apparently replaced ations for the PDRs will soon prove inadequate to
the life-without-style people used to have on small match the prices offered by developers. The New
farms. Just plain farms, it seems, are not particular- Yoik Times recently carried a short article in the
ly attractive from the point of view of real estate. Sunday real-estate section about a farmer who tried
Their appeal is too limited, their possibilities are to put 320 acres under Massachusetts' PDR program.
too restricted, and their prices are too low. The The state offered first $168,000 and later $268,000.
"needs of the marketplace" demand something A developer offered the same farmer $500,000 for 80
more, and that, we learned, is what the real estate acres. Such are the needs of the marketplace.
business is about: it converts real farms into "more
marketable properties." But exactly which needs are being addressed is not
clear. The truth would seem to be that need has no
For example, one running-to-brush hillside farm we more to do with the economic role of real estate
found had been subdivided into narrow slices of land, than it has to do with the rest of our economy. Con-
each one named on the realtor's map: Grazing Fields, sumption beyond need is what appears to drive the
Pine Ridge, Tall Timbers, Shady Grove, Horse Coun- economy, not response to needs. Consider: if for a
try, Deer Path and, inevitably. Mountain View. A moment we all consumed only what we needed,
fresh load of crushed stone had been dumped in the rather than what advertising has convinced us that

96 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


we need, or what we assume by
force of habit that we must need,
the economy would collapse. It
cannot sustain unless it grows,
and it cannot grow unless it per-
1
petually consumes more than it ••3
needs. Yesterday's level of con-
sumption is not adequate because
4*
it is not more, and growth, which
in this sense bears no relation to


' •-
1
r
anything that grows in nature,
means more. So it is with real
estate: it has no more to do with
need than views have to do with s^-
^--^
farming. So, too, it is with farm-
ing. When land-use experts speak ^
of New York's "$3 billion agri-
cultural industry," they are not
speaking about New York's ability
\ •
to meet its own or anyone else's
agricultural needs. They are 5 ••^ V '
speaking about the "industry's"
ability to produce hard currency
by means of agriculture. To sell
a failing farm for its views thus
makes perfect economic sense
when its value as real estate ex-
ceeds its potential to produce cap-
**'
ital by agricultural means.

f
What is not so clear from a strict-
ly economic analysis, however, is
that by applying an industrial
model of productivity to agricul-
ture, agribusiness has tended to
y
use farmland as a consumable
commodity, a resource to be min-
ed for its economic potential. This
is borne out by statistics that
show a more or less steady in-
crease in yields over the last four
decades, but fail to indicate that
(according to USDA estimates)
there is now a net loss of five
bushels of topsoil for every bushel
of corn produced in the United
States. Nor do the production and Consumption beyond need is what appears to drift
revenue statistics make it clear
that the energy used to achieve the economy, not response to need, it cannot sustain
these yields has increased almost
sevenfold since 1950, that fer- unless it grows, and cannot grow unless it perpetually
tilizer use has increased more
than eightfold, while yields have consumes more than it needs.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITD. CA 94965 97


iS?3»j#a'5rSS!?i ,X''^

merely doubled. What has been called productivi- II speak of farming, i.e. leasing out, his realm, "the
ty, then, is quite clearly consumption — consump- revenue whereof shall furnish for our affairs in
tion of once-abundant, seemingly cheap, and now hand," in this case war. It was not until the early
diminishing resources. 19th Century that "to farm" commonly meant " t o
cultivate.'' This makes it more or less synonymous
This is not what I meant when I said that our in-
with our imderstanding of another Old English word,
tention was to "farm" a farm — not at all. This is "till." However, in its earliest usage, "till" was not
much more what Thoreau had in mind when he a synonym for ' 'cultivate.'' It meant to strive, exert
said, ' 'The farmer is endeavoring to solve the prob- oneself, to labor after, to get by effort, and by be-
lem of a livelihood by a formula more complicated stowing attention on.
than the problem itself."
There is something of this sense left in the word
' 'Well,'' I can almost hear our realtor asking, ' 'if you when we are told in Genesis that neither plant nor
don't care about the view, if you don't want to de- herb grew on the Earth immediately after its crea-
velop it, and you don't want to 'farm' it, what do tion, "for the Lord God had not caused it to rain
you want to do with a farm?" upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "farm" ground" (Gen. 2:5), It is also the sense implied Vvhen
is a word with no certain etymology. The earliest we are told later that the newly created man was ex-
sense of the verb form "to farm" is to rent, lease, pelled from the Garden of Eden "to till the ground
or otherwise make payment for use of, or right to, from whence he was taken" (Gen. 3:27). That the
something — frequently but not exclusively land. activity required to complete the creation is the
Thus in The Legend of Good Women Chaucer uses same one man is condemned to perform "by the
"farmer" ("fermour") to mean one who pays an- sweat of his brow" after the Fall strikes us as odd.
other for the right to collect taxes — a truly repre- But the irony is by no means unique to the biblical
hensible occupation. Later, Shakespeare has Richard account of creation and it suggests, in Genesis and

98 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


elsewhere, that there is some hin- Our necessity is with the the fear among so-called "prim-
daraental ambiguity in our rela- itive" man that the natural forces
tionship to agriculture. Eartli« If by acquiring the he observed in the world might
one day wear out {Patterns in
There are numerous examples of Comparative Religion, p. 346).
this in ancient mythologies. In fire of Prometheus we Although the anxiety was present
Plato's account of the story of Pro- to some extent during the season-
metheus, for example {Statesman hawe Rianased to place al death of vegetation, it became
272a, and Piotagoias 322a), we are acute when the wearing out of the
told that under the government of ourselves in a unique Earth seemed to be the result of
Kronos ' 'all men rose up anew in- some action of man — as when he
to life out of the earth . . . they
relationship to it, we fanned too long in the same place,
had fruits without stint from trees when the rains washed his hill-
and bushes; they needed no cul- side furrows into the river, when
tivation but sprang up of them- have not thereby placed
the wind blew the topsoil away
selves out of the ground without from his newly cleared land.
man's toil." Under the govern- ourselves outside its
ment of Zeus, however, things The possibility of the Earth wear-
changed. Prometheus and Epime- necessity. We are in ing out, and the likelihood of our
theus, two of the Titans, were complicity in the process, makes
charged with alloting suitable and of it« it clear that the means we choose
powers to all creatures, but Epi- for meeting our needs is not a
metheus gave away everything be- choice without consequence. It
fore he got to man. ' 'Prometheus, is, instead, a choice that commits
therefore, being at a loss to pro- us to a particular way of being in
vide any means of salvation for the world.
man, stole from Hephaestus and "Since Adam," writes W. H. Au-
Athena the gift of skill in the arts, den, "being free to choose, /
together with fire — for without Chose to imagine he was free to
fire it was impossible for anyone choose his own necessity, / Lost
to use this skill — and bestowed in his freedom, Man pursues /
it on man." In revenge, Zeus dispatched Pandora The shadows of his images'' (' 'For the Time Being'').
with her box full of evils to counter the illicit gift. To choose to imagine that we are free to choose our
As a result of all this mankind acquired the means
own necessity is to put ourselves at odds with the
of life, but he acquired as well the pain, sxiffering,
natural forces behind the anxiety of primitive man.
labor, and death he had previously lacked. Although
While one of the undeniable benefits of our improv-
he had learned how to warm himself, cook, provide
ed means — our technology — has been to free us
himself with shelter, he had constantly to watch
to some extent from this anxiety, if all we have learn-
over the fire that supported him lest it go out or
ed from the gift of Prometheus is to discern, mea-
consume him. Although he now knew the art of
making tools (as well as coining money), the Earth sure, and exploit the reliability and fecundity of the
required all his ingenuity and labor to bring forth Earth, and if we have subsequently lost our fear of
an uncertain harvest. its wearing out, then we have surely forgotten the
ambivalence with which our ancestors received the
gift in the first place.
Anthropologically the story corresponds to the
changes in technology and economics, collectively There is a sense of the world that we still hold in
known as the "neolithic revolution," that are common with primitive man, one that lies far be-
responsible for the gradual shift of human activity neath the technical and intellectual sophistication
from hunting and gathering to cultivation. Mytho- that defines our civilizations. It is a sense whose
logically the story reflects the tension that has roots reach down from the evolutionary place occu-
subsequently developed between mankind's need to pied by our species, down to the muck of creation.
provide for itself and the means it has acquired for To choose to imagine that we are free to choose our
doing so. We see this, as Mircea Eliade points out, in own necessity is to abandon this common psycho-

27 GATE flVE ROAD SAUSAUTO, CA 94965 99


j;.HK%W*.r\'!fe,>%!^t.3it#ti;if<W'&'*?^A^^

logical and biological understand- Ife cin no more return we cannot. We cannot return the
ing and to attempt to deny that, fire to Prometheus; Pandora's
like all life, we are rooted, ground- to technolosical in- dowry cannot be gathered back
ed in the Earth. Our necessity is into her box. We are what we are,
with the Earth. If by acquiring the socially and technologically, be-
nocence than we can
fire of Prometheus we have man- cause we are who we are, biolog-
aged to place ourselves in a unique ically and spiritually. We can no
relationship to it, we have not return to undifferen* more return to technological in-
thereby placed ourselves outside nocence than we can return to im-
its necessity. We are in it and of tiated consciousness, differentiated consciousness. The
it. To act as if we have chosen only thing we can do is choose.
some other necessity — to act as Tiieonlytliinswecan We are where we are in our rela-
if there is some other — is to tion to society and technology, in
place ourselves in opposition to do is choose. our relation to nature and spirit,
the elemental forces that have because of the choices we make.
shaped us, given us life and, iron- "But choice here," according to
ically, given us the freedoni to Arnold Pacey, "is not the simple
choose, l b choose to imagine that weighing of known options — it
we are free to choose our own ne- involves, rather, different ways of
cessity is to abandon our "com- approaching the unknown. It is a
mon sense" view of the world. decision between different atti-
We live in between the necessity tudes of mind" {The Cultuie of
that binds us to the Earth — a Technology, 28-29). Our choice
necessity at once biological and of technologies commits us to
spiritual — and the freedom that a particular way of being in the
allows us, at its extreme edge, the world; by choosing we become ac-
illusion of choosing a more pala- countable; having chosen there
table necessity. Today it seems is no "back to the Pleistocene,"
that we exercise our freedom most assiduously in there is only responsible action. It is in failing to act
our choice of means, in our use of the gift of Pro- responsibly that we have lost our way in the world,
metheus. But as the way we live becomes more and that man pursues the shadows of his images, that
more dependent on means that are further and fur- our lives have ceased to make sense.
ther removed from our daily routine, and as our at- What is clear from all this is that living a life that
tention to necessity is overwhelmed by secondary makes sense is not a question of where to live, but
concerns, concerns once called luxuiia, we somehow a question of how to live. It is, as Schumacher sug-
forget the responsibility that comes with our choice. gests, a metaphysical question, one that involves our
Having accepted the gift of Prometheus, it now ap- fundamental convictions about our way of being in
pears that we have decided that we will not be held the world. It is, finally, a question of right livelihood.
responsible for its burning, no matter how large a
I have thought a lot about what it means to buy a
fire we build. Having accepted the fire, we have now
farm. If moving back to the country is to be anything
declared our right to it, and to whatever use of it will
more than the exercise of economic and social pri-
serve our chosen "necessity." This we do whether
vilege, if it is to be more than a change of lifestyle,
we farm in a way calculated to reap profits by the
then it must be a move that carries with it an obli-
destruction of farmland, or whether we build nuclear
gation to right livelihood. A country lifestyle admits
power plants to fuel our progress, seemingly obli-
no such obligation — it is obliged only to pay the
vious to the wastes they produce — wastes that can
mortgage. ("Mortgage" is from Old French, mean-
be neither destroyed nor contained, but will endure
ing ' 'dead pledge.'') To buy a farm without attending
further into the future than the history of our spe-
to the question of livelihood is nothing but con-
cies reaches into the past. There is no sense of the
sumption, and it is likely to prove no more produc-
world in such actions. Nor, in our refusal to ack-
tive spiritually than economically. What good would
nowledge the responsibility that comes with our
it do to go back to the country and live a life that
choices, is there any sense of place in it.
was a spiritual liability?
The point is not that we should abandon our tech- Right livelihood means living in a way that makes
nology and "go back to the Pleistocene." Indeed, sense. It means choosing a way of being in the world

100 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


that not only recognizes, but at- Movis t« the country footings, cutting mortises, or
tends to its necessity at least as mowing weeds, I return home
much as it attends to its freedom. and llvins on a farm must after dark and fall early into a
"Possibility and necessity are deep, silent sleep. But there are
equally essential to becoming," also nights when I lie awake
be, if it is the risht thins
says Kierkegaard, "and the self counting the money I am saving,
has the task of becoming itself in and calculating how much we
freedom. . . . But if possibility to (to, a move to become will need for the house. There
outruns necessity so that the self are nights when, in spite of the
runs away from itself in possibili- a wnoie seit, a move to aching back and sore body, the
ty, it has no necessity to which it anxiety of plotting, planning, and
is to return" [The Sickness Unto find the point between scheming to hurry the time when
Death, pp. 35-36). Moving to the the farm will be " i t " keeps me
country and living on a farm must necessity and freedom awake into the early morning. It
be, if it is the right thing to do, a is then I know that I cannot hide
move to become a whole self, a the problem of how I live under
move to find the point in between
at which the possible the question of where I live. It is
necessity and freedom at which then that I know that, much more
the possible becomes the actual. becomes the actual. than the irony of searching for the
If it is not, then it is the wrong thing I have already left behind,
thing to do, and the spiritual lia- the economic perversity of real
bility will far outweigh the fiscal estate, or the technical fallacies
one. Both will be dead pledges. of agribusiness, it is the question
Aristotle says that "the necessary, of right livelihood that must con-
in the primary and strict sense, is cern me.
the simple" [Metaphysics, 1015b
12). If my life in the country is to The concept of right livelihood
make more sense than did my life *' , suggests that there is a way of be-
in the city it will be because it is -r^- -v: y*.;^ ing in the world that is suitable
more necessary, more simple than _ ^ . _. — ] to our place in it, wherever and
the one I had in the city, where everything seemed whatever that place is — whether
possible, and the possible never seemed to become it is in the country growing vegetables or in the city
actual because it so often lacked the necessary. riding the subway. It is not, after all, that life in the
city had ceased to make sense, but that I had ceas-
So, we bought a farm. A small one — actually a ed to be able to make sense of the life I had come
"parcel" of what had been a farm before it passed to live in the city. The same could happen in the
from the farmer through two or three real-estate country. If buying a farm and growing vegetables is
transactions and on to us. We collected stones from to be in any way different from living in the city, if
the hedgerows and built a foundation, ordered tim- it is the right thing to do, if it is what I am suppos-
bers from a local sawmill, bought enough old tools ed to do, then it must be a way of being in the world
to get by, and put up our first building. When we save that makes sense — economically and technically,
enough money from those "real" jobs we still main- to be sure, but also metaphysically and spiritually.
tain, we'll build a house. Small, simple, efficient, in- ' 'Tilling" may be a better word for this than ' 'farm-
expensive, it will lack most of the amenities a realtor ing": if it is to be a life that makes sense, then the
would find attractive. In the meantime we live in the whole of it must be a striving, an exertion, a seek-
village a few miles away. Soon we will start to lay ing and laboring after; it must be a life of bestowing
out the gardens and the orchard, stabilize the gully attention on the very ground of being. •
towards the bottom of the hill, repair the road as best
we can, and perhaps dig a root cellar. We bought a Patterns in Compaiative Rehgion, Mircea Eliade:
farm, but I am not sure I will ever manage to be a Out of print. Peter Smith, 1974.
true farmer. "The true husbandman," according to The Culture of Technology, Amold Pacey: MIT
Thoreau, "will cease from anxiety . . . and cease Press, 1983.
from his labor with every day." I know what this The Sickness Unto Death, Soren Kierkegaard: Robert
means when, after a day of hauling stones, digging L. Perkins, Ed. Mercer University Press, 1987.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94%5 101


The Great Good Place
^'
The Great Good Place is about the V-
routines of everyday institutions of com-
munity. Tliese overlooked "thirdplaces"
(after home and work) are what make
civilization. I thought of Whole Earth's .•*4U'
online salon, the WELL, the whole time I
was reading the book. Coffee shops "3.-
and general stores work through exactly \
the same dynamics that make the WELL
work as a hangout. The author says that
democracy emerges chiefly out of these
kinds of community centers,-1 believe him.
We need more great good places. They
are not so much built as raised; they will
grow naturally if you don't prevent them.
My hope is that everyone will read this
book and let great good places happen.
—Kevin Kelly
» -
Third places exist on neutral ground and
serve to level their guests to a condition of
social equality. Within these places, con- The donuf shop ^where the author starts his day
versation is the primary activity and the
major vehicle for the display and appre-
ciation of human personality and indivi-
acter and allure and that allow it to offer
a radical departure from the routines of
GOOD..
duality. Third places are taken for granted home and work.
and most have a low profile. Since the for-
mal institutions of society make stronger
There are many among us who give
claims on the individual, third places are
countless hours of passive attention to the
normally open in the off hours, as v/ell as
television set, who are content to watch
at other times. The character of a third
one "L.O.P." (Least Objectionable Pro- The G r e a t G o o d Place
place is determined most of all by its reg-
gram) after another, and who nonetheless (Cafes, Coffee Shops, Community Centers,
ular clientele and is marked by a playful
insist that time spent in a tavern or coffee Beauty Porlors, General Stores, Bars,
mood, which contrasts with people's more
shop is wasted. Those who provide tele- Hangouts, and How They Get You
serious involvement in other spheres.
vision programming certainly know better. Through The Day)
Though a radically different kind of set-
Time after time, in the face of labor strikes Ray Oldenburg, 1989; 338 pp.
ting from the home, the third place is
or high unemployment, the television crews
remarkably similar to a good home in the $ 1 9 . 9 5 ($21.95 postpaid) from Para-
find their way into the taverns of Pittsburgh
psychological comfort and support that gon House, 90 5th Avenue, New York, NY
or Detroit to report on the mood and out-
it extends. 10011; 800/727-2466
look of the working person. The media folk
• know full well that it is in such places that
W h a t the tavern offered long before tele- workers come to understandings about the that those who face common problems
role of management and government and, find their common ground, give substance
vision or newspapers was a source of news
as well, the postures of their own unions. It and articulation to group sentiment, and
along with the opportunity to question,
is in such places, more than any others, offer social support to one another.
protest, sound out, supplement, and form
where the democratic process survives. It
opinion locally and collectively. And these
is in the local diner, tavern, or coffee shop
active and individual forms of participation
are essential to a government of the people.

The tremendous advantage enjoyed by
The Lincoln Highway
societies with a well-developed informal "We were motorists as far west as Chi-
public life is that, within them, poverty cago. Then we became pioneers."
carries few burdens other than that of —Victor Eubank, Log of an Auto
having to live a rather Spartan existence. Prairie Schooner, Sunset 1912
But there is no stigma and little depriva-
tion of experience. There is an engaging Opened in 1913, the Lincoln Highway
and sustaining public life to supplement was our first coast-to-coast route. It v\/as
and complement home and work routines. hustled by a private association of men
For those on tight budgets who live in some who stood to gain a lot if they could en-
degree of austerity, it compensates for the tice Americans into hitting the road. (The The Lincoln Highway
lack of things owned privately. For the af- president of the association was also Drake Hokanson, 1988; 159 pp.
fluent, it offers much that money can't buy. president of a car company.) They were $ 1 8 . 5 0 ($21 postpaid) from University
• clever. The time was ripe. The book mixes • of Iowa Press/Publications Order Dept.,
The activity that goes on in third places is well-researched history, legends, and Oakdale Hall, Iowa City, lA 52242;
largely unplanned, unscheduled, unorgan- lies, and serves them garnished with 800/235-2665
ized, and unstructured. Here, however, is fascinating and sometimes heartrending
the charm. It is just these deviations from photographs of our country abuilding.
Some twenty-five thousand people passed
the middle-class penchant for organization This is how our car culture was born.
through the Palace of Tronsportation dur-
that give the third place much of its char- —J. Baldwin
ing the two days that Joy's Packard stood

102 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUHMER 1991


City of Quartz to the garbage, as happened in Phoenix a
few years bock, one popular seafood res-
Los Angeles has been the bellwether of taurant has spent $12,000 to build the
urban America for aintost fifty years. Ur- ultimate bag-lady-proof trash cage: made
ban theorist Mike Davis gives us a stark of three-quarter inch steel rod with alloy
picture of where LA is today and where l o c b and vicious outturned spikes to
the rest of America's cities are headed. safeguard priceless moldering fishheads
Davis is a passionate and perceptive and stale french fries.
observer. When he gets down to earth •
and describes what he sees — as in his An extraordinary example, the flagship of City of Quartz
analyses of LA as security metropolis, of an emerging genre, is Welton Becket Asso- Mike Davis, 1990; 462 pp.
the growth of a corporation-controlled ciates' new Metropolitan Detention Center
$ 2 4 . 9 5 ($27.45 postpaid) from
art worid that leaves culture-from-below in Downtown Los A n g e l e s . . . . This post-
Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 29 W. 35th
out in the cold, of the racist militarization modern Bastille — the largest prison built
Street, New York, NY 10001-2291;
of the LAPD, and of the startling political in a major US urban center in generations
212/244-3336 (or Whole Earth Access)
power of the nativist, NIMBY homeown- — looks instead like a futuristic hotel or
ers' associations — his vision of LA is office block, with artistic charms (like the Tuck-U-ln') on Foothill Boulevard. Even
vivid and chilling. high-tech trellises on its bridge-balconies) crime in Fontano has a random surreality
comparable to any of Downtown's recent about it. There is, for instance, the maniac
But this k>ook has serious faults-, its organ- architecture. But its upscale ambience is who has murdered hundreds of eucalyptus
ization doesn't wor/;, the overly precious more than mere facade. The interior of the trees, or Bobby Gene Stile {'Doctor Fel-
leftist academic rhetoric sometimes gets prison is designed to implement a sophisti- don'), the king of obscene phone calls,
indecipherably thick, and Davis is so at- cated program of psychological manipula- who has confessed to 50,000 dirty phone
tuned to the dispossession of the poor tion and control: barless windows, a pastel conversations over the last 23 years.
color plan, prison staff in preppy blazers,
and the nonwhite working class that he •
overlooks the transformations of LA that well-tended patio shrubbery, a hotel-type
reception area, nine recreation areas with Given an open season to terrorize gang
are impoverishing the white upper mid- members and crack dealers, the LAPD
nautilus workout equipment, and so on. In
dle class as well. Still, this is a tough predictably began to exceed the call of
contrast to the human inferno of the des-
perceptive book about a grim world that duty. O n 5 April they shot down an un-
perately overcrovwied County Jail a few
we're beginning to see unfold around us. armed teenager cowering behind a small
b l o c b away, the Becket structure super-
—Robert Rossney ficially appears less a detention than a palm tree on Adams Boulevard. He was
• convention center for federal felons — a alleged to be reaching suspiciously into his
Several years ogo the city opened a 'Skid 'distinguished' addition to Downtown's pants; more importantly, he was o 'sus-
Row Park' along lower Fifth Street, on a continuum of security and design. But the pected gang member' — a category that
corner of Hell. To ensure that the park was psychic cost of so much attention to prison now seemed to justify abuse or even exe-
not used for sleeping — that is to say, to aesthetics is insidious. As one inmate cution. A few weeks later, HAMMER forces,
guarantee that it was mainly utilized for whispered to me in the course of a tour, storming one of the nearly five hundred
drug dealing and prostitution — the city 'Can you imagine the mindfuck of being 'rock houses' that they claim to have put
installed an elaborate overhead sprinkler locked up in a Holiday inn?' out of business in 1988, poured double-
system programmed to drench unsuspect- ought buckshot into on 81-year-old retired
ing sleepers at random times during the • construction worker. N o drugs were actually
night. The system was immediately copied The Fontono area — or rather the parts of found, there was strong suspicion that the
by some local businessmen in order to it that ore not named 'Heritage' or 'Eagle police hod an incorrect address, and the
drive the homeless away from adjacent Pointe Executive Homes' — is a landscape victim's niece, a witness, testified that he
public sidewalks. Meanwhile restaurants of randomly scattered, generally uncollect- was killed with his hands held up. The LAPD
and markets have responded to the home- able (and ungentrifiable) debris: ranging merely replied that gongs were now pay-
less by building ornate enclosures to protect from Didion's creepy boulders to the rusting ing off elderly people to use their homes
their refuse. Although no one in Los smudge-pots in phantom orchards, to the as sales points. N o disciplinary action
Angeles has yet proposed adding cyanide Burmo-Shave-era motel names (like 'Ken- was token.

there in muddy glory. Among them no


Under the listing for Fish Springs, the Lin-
doubt were many who pondered on auto-
coln Highway guide for 1916 said: "Ranch
mobile trip of their own, a trip longer than
meals and lodging. Hot sulphur springs
the usual Sunday drive, or something be-
close to ranch. If trouble is experienced,
yond the leisurely tour of nearby towns
build 0 sage brush fire. Mr. Thomas will
and parks. They stood and looked at this
come with a team. He can see you 20
earth-colored cor, resting as it did among
miles off."
flawless and polished new automobiles of
©
every manufacturer. Certainly this exhibit
convinced the faint of heart that the train In general, the 8/ue Books were surprisingly
was the better vwiy to get from place to accurate, but occasionally things went
place. But for a growing number of peo- amiss. Alice Ramsey, crossing northern
ple who itched for a long auto trip, it Ohio in 1909 on her historic trip, was
kindled the flame of adventure, it struck unable to find a certain intersection where
the spark of new experience. she was to make a left turn at a yellow
house. Stopping at a farm to inquire, she
learned that the intersection was some
Iowa's Lincoln Highway pravided consider- distance behind. Ramsey was told that the
able challenge for motorists during wet
owner of the yellow house was " a g i n " auto-
weather. In 1919, this mudhole in Stor^
County was representative of conditions mobiles and hod intentionally repainted
across the stote. it green to disorient motorists.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965 103


Mike Gunderloy and Cari Goldberg
are the publishers of Factsheet Five,
the essential guide to zines of all
stripes. Sample copy $3.50, 8 issues
for $23 from 6 Arizona Avenue,
Rensselaer, NY 1ZI44-4502.
—Howard Rheingold
INES are the periodicals that live in the
cracks between the major journals you
can find on the newsstands. They are published all over the
country circulate primarily by mail, and are done for love
rather than money.

Because they're hobbies rather than businesses, zines can be


freer in what they say But this also means you have to be more
patient in dealing with them. The typical zine publisher comes Ben Is Dead
home after a long day at some real job and then spends another $10/6 Issues from P. O. Box 3166,
Hollywood, CA 90028.
SIX hours writing, designing, and trying desperately to answer
her mail. Be patient when you write. Send a stamped, self- Music is one of the most common zine
topics, especially on the punk side of
addressed envelope if you want more information. Send well-
things. There are a zillion little local zines,
wrapped cash, or checks made out to the person doing the each reviewing live and recorded sounds
publishing rather than the name of the zine, which probably and interviewing a few bands. Some,
doesn't have a bank account. And above all, be prepared to though, stand out from the pack: Ben Is
be surprised, entertained, outraged, amused and informed by Dead is one such. Editor Darby is inter-
these, the irrepressible outlaw publishers of the world. ested in networking and helping other
people, and so in addition to the canon-
ical features, BID has included material
opposing pay-to-play (the practice of
clubs forcing bands to come up with
guarantee money up front), explaining
how to set up your own gigs, and so on.
m ®
Then, on the other hand . . . if I were
, forced to choose only one word to describe
this band it would be "stupid." They are
so careless and chaotic — a perfect live
punk rock performer. To give you an ex-

fmr
/
mit mJi
!
JJ ample: the lead singer jumps up on one of
the tables near the stage and while he's
doing his thing the bassist (if I remember
correctly) kicks the table right out from
under him. The singer lands on his back
atop of the round metal base of the table
(enough to paralyze — at least temporarily
— the normal human) and then gets up,
without a tear, and gets right back at it.
I mean a hero . . . an absolute drunken
bum of an idiotic hero. I also appreciate
the fact that [the Dwarves] took the price
N o t e s From t h e D u m p of my admission off their pay in order to
$20/year from Terry Ward, P. O. Box Roseanne was on her way to cop some get me into the club; but believe me, that
39, Acworth, NH 03601. crank when she flipped her little Sportster didn't prejudice me into calling the band
Acworth is a little town in southern New on the Cross Island Expressway, tumbled members stupid — I really, truly think
Hampshire, about fifteen miles due north headlong into a concrete road divider they are.
of Keene. As far as I know, it had no and died on the spot probably so high
claim to fame until around 1987, when on methedrine she's still high and never ^ Thanoteros
Terry Ward began publishing Notes From knew what hit her. Roseanne was abso-
• i * h°'P^- O- Box 89143, Atlanta,
The Dump. Terry's approach epitomizes lutely the ultimate example of life in the GA 30312.
the no-frills end of the publishing spec- breakdown lane. a
trum. Every couple of weeks he puts to- Like a lap dog I followed her around. We God is a bartender, not an accountant.
gether six pages of memories, ruminations drove taxi together in New York for three Before, after, and between lives and deaths,
on world affairs, notes on his love life, yeors and I would schedule my work day we gather about God's teakwood bar,
firewood ads and other drifting thoughts. around hers in order to just be able to see and rum and coke in hand, pay our price
Then he runs copies off on his computer her and talk to her — o that dear sweet of admission to this theater of life. We tell
printer, folds and stamps them, and tosses voice and that wonderful smile which the old fart all of our best tales. The more
them in the mailbox — whence they would light up a room — and she was dramatic and vivid we make them (em-
spread across the world, bringing little gifted, endowed with this uncanny ability bellishments and lies are encouraged), the
bits of New Hampshire to the rest of us.
• to play the piano from the blues of Elmore more liberal he is with our tab. Toward
• James to the lilting melodies of Brahms, those who saw fit to live safely and rou-
• o I tell you piano was her forte. tinely, with stories as dull as soup spoons,
• God does tend to write most pissedly.

104 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


Volomcl. • Nuwbttj- to ( I F -Ai-i- -rt-tc s j c w s T H A T ' S F I T FOK. piGrS"»^ A u t - u m n . / W f n t . e r 1990

Hog Callings tionaiist" zine, concerned with getting freedom and dissent have not been
$10/year from Whimsical Productions, the government off the backs of the citi- silenced in this era.
1301 Henry Street, Berkeley, CA 94709. zens (or as they put it: "In the decade •
• The Ostrich has been published, our
Turn we now to Tom Clark . . . who goes
REALLY REALLY TEENSY: The hydrogen principal thesis has been the fraud, cor- after the language poets in "Stalin as
molecule is indeed the smallest of all ruption, lying, sleaze, theft, and other Linguist." This turns out to be the latest
molecules, but if only every third atom criminality of our own government"). report on a battle begun over an article of
in just one cubic inch of hydrogen were They worry about the sinister New World the same name in a 1985 issue of "Poetry
enlarged to the size of an unpopped grain Order, investigate suppressed inventions Flash" (San Francisco), in which Clark's
of popcorn, that popcorn being popped, and ideas, cry out loudly in the face of criticism of the " l a n g u a g e " school brought
the salt which would be required to salt abuse of power by the IRS and other bitter criticism of him in reply, scores of
the popped popcorn would, when diluted agencies, and urge a complete overhaul letters and threats to cancel ads to the
with water only to the average salinity of society. Sometimes their hobbyhorses magazine. In general, Clark's criticism of
of sea water, need a quantity of water the language poets is that they are incom-
are of a different color indeed — for
enough to run Grand Coulee Dam long prehensible, contract the basis of poetry
example, this is one of the few places
enough to generate enough electricity instead of expanding it, and that their
where you can find a stream of articles
to run your vacuum cleaner till the bag criticism has taken priority over their poetry
about the abuse of prison inmates when
plugged up and made enough noise to and is filled v^ith jargon.
really get on your nerves a lot! prisons get privatized.

The U p r i g h t Ostrich N e w s l e t t e r of t h e Coalition


$25/year from Peggy Poor, P. O. Box f o r Jobs a n d t h e Environment
11691, Milwaukee, W l 53211. $6/year from P. O. Box 645, Abingdon, 3?^s--.,!>^ i:;aj>'s#t«ii:ri S
Pamphleteering has a long and honor- VA 24210-0645.
able history as a way to disseminate •
political opinions denied expression in The Things You Need To Know To Become
the mainstream media. This sort of thing a Public Health Official: 1. All toxic chemi-
is still going on in the zine world, from cals are non-toxic until proven otherwise.
more directions than you might imagine. 2. The only statistically significant death is
The Upright Ostrich is one "Constitu- my own. 3. Safety first, or lost. 4 . I believe
in G o d , the epidemiologist. 5. Any poten-
tial disaster should be studied until it
occurs. 6. Crazy until proven dead.

Sipapu
$8/2 issues (plus 6.5% tax in California)
from Noel Peattie, 23311 County Road 88,
Winters, CA 95694.
If you're still struggling to make sense of
the zine world, you might find Sipapu to
be of help. Noel Peattie bills his newslet-
ter as being "for librarians, collectors,
and others interested in the alternative
press, which includes small and 'under-
ground' presses. Third World, dissent, Great Expeditions
feminist, peace, and all forms of inde- $ 4 from P. O. Box 8000-411, Sumas,
scribable publishing in general." Around WA 98295-8000.
half of the zine is devoted to reviewing
this literature and interviewing those re-
Pakistan International Airlines allows fire-
sponsible,- the other half reflects Noel's
arms on board, but if you have batteries
professional career, with notes from meet- in your hand luggage there may be prob-
ings of the American Library Association, lems! I had to remove the batteries from
the Society for Scholarly Publishing, and my camera and Walkman and put them
more. Slyly witty and with a fine sense with my checked luggage before they
of small-publishing history, Sipapu has would let me board; the reason being that
become an essential in my own search batteries can be used to make bombs! •
to figure out What It's All About. It's
also fine reassurance that voices of

SAUSALITO. CA 94965 105


Left Green Notes and even gossip can be passed along familiar dim purple. When just enough
$1 from P. O. Box 5566, Burlington, from one bender to another. Contributors (but not too much!) neon is added, the in-
VT 05402-5566. range from the artiste to the technologi- tensity of the purple about doubles. When
• cian, there are safety tips, legal respon- used in conjunction with powder-coated
What's left of the left seems to occupy sibilities (a bender discovered faulty tubes, some very nice "interior" colors
itself mainly with conferences. People neon and fire hazards in a local restau- result. •
wander from one conference to the next, rant), and guides to understanding this
where every imaginable question about delicate art. From transformers to "mean
what is to be done (or undone) is discussed free paths" (the average distance traveled
at great length — only to be tabled for by a molecule between collisions), it
further discussion at the nect conference. brings camaraderie to a select group
Indeed, one could easily conclude that
of working artists.
most of the life of the left now takes place
in the form of conferences and episodic •
demonstrations, mere "events" that have As one more way to expand your range
little or no impact on the dominant society of colors, use a mixture of neon with pure
that surrounds and oppresses us — all of argon. Pure argon by itself produces the
us — and that now threatens to undermine
the ecological basis for complex life itself.

•DEADLY NEON":
A lethal dose of art criticism
EdUors'nele:JoeAugmtaieachesiMart'Orientedglasj-b€miingelassatVClA.aAdwasoneofthelasl$raduatesoftheEgafU
O neon school in New York. In a recent phont colt yte discussed teaching design vs. actual bending, and Joe was emphatic about
o the problems students have had getting past stereotypes and trite images, especially in the classes he formerly taught where
students only designed and didn't bend glass. The accompanying list is part of a handout he gives to students en the first day
o of class. Judging by the number of palm trees, flamingos and cactuses out there, we should have a nice pile of flak mail to pass
on to him.
Uy Joe Augusta Palm t r t t i . ralnbowi, llpi, coal liangcn^
Here's my vefboten list from my nowtr% bicycles, shots, hat% shirts, pipes
class at UCLA. The usual reqnnse M d cigars, dgcrcttts, cameras.
rrotn the students is a blank siaie, Parrots, nitralnsos, all birds, fish,
then "Well, what's left?" crabi^ lobsters, cowi snd horses.
UalcorBS, rabbits, dragon)^
That's where the teaching
camels, whales, fhigs,sh8rlu snd
begins: getting the students to
mict: all cats and dofs.
let go of dieir [veconceptions
C t f l l i t cups, cocktati glssses,
regarding neon, their bag of eyeglasses, I t e l b . c a r ^ hearts.
cliches ihey bring to the class. WlBt botllef. pliia,
I won't let them make it spafbett^ bread, hot dogs.
(whatever it is) bigger, a hamburfcrs, steaming cblckta.
different color, a slight Cycles, irlnDglcs, squares, say
variation, etc.; ihey have to geometric shape comphle or
think for themselves and come tip lacomplcts.
with something tm their own. Stars, shoothii sUrs. moons. pUncIs
and bubbles, sun attd clouds, waves,
I mean, if at the core of your and lightning.
uniqueness as a human being is a Planes, trains, cars and boat&
Neon News cactus, get out of my class! Guitars, electric bass, acoustic bass, trumpets,
Teach tng neon as a design class alone is even
$15/year (4 issues; $19 overseas) worse.
saxophones, and plaooo.
Chairs, beds, tables, desks and light bulbs.
from P.O. Box 668, Volcano, HI 96785; First on', students should take historical classes in design Bams, skyscrapcn, cityscapca, houses sad Greek columns.

808/967-7648. (tfiey don't), then they should learn design with simple items Remember what you see, think and feel can be expressed
they're familiar with: ihey should learn how to use a pencil. in neon. But the medium has pitfalls and traps that can lead to
A spirited and informative journal for They ^ould study the history of neon signs and sculpture: a terminal case of banality. Unfonunately. we carry these
they should study art, and be relatively comfortable making things atxHit in our heads, and they will slop us from fmding
people who work with neon — "bend- art; ihey should have made art in any medium at some time our own voice! ThereftM-e. they are to be avoided at all cost,
ers," as they call themselves. Begun in (see Augusta, page 9) and will be prohibited from this class.

1989 as a venture in which shop tips,


personal experiences, ideas, opinions

106 HOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


PIT I___ Flash
by fi u Gordon,
r' i«^ M.D.
luin 3
L-»r*'

iSe^tg!.-'

'CUCKOO, a San Francisco Bay Area- Interface: hitting a key on a MIDI instrument in 1986 to study Shona marimbas. Bean com-
bassd women's electronic marimba ensem- plays a preselected sound from its pro- poses, sings, and plays keyboards, MIDI/
ble and collective, has garnered rave re- grammed repertoire. The sound played marimbas, drums, and occasional synthe-
views and raving fans. Fascinating contrasts doesn't have to be from a musical instru- sized bass.
— oi primitive rhythms from their high-tech, ment; through the use of samplers, a MIDI Patti Clemens taught and performed theater
homemade instruments, of powerful female controller can produce sounds like zippers, improv with Second City in Chicago. She's
energy driving traditional "male" drum- heavy breathing, or even different spoken been a lead vocalist in many shows, choirs,
ming — are their stock in trade. words for each note. D'Cuckoo has used and groups in Chicago and the San Fran-
them all. cisco Bay Area.
D'Cuckoo's music is not what you might
think of as "electronic music." It's a varied After much experimentation, they came up Tina Phelps spent over five years studying,
and danceable blend of African, Asian, with the unique electronic MIDI triggers teaching and performing with the San Fran-
pop, and fvink. It's not trendy or pretentious now used. The instruments take two forms: cisco Taiko Dojo, as well as studying clas-
— it's simply the most interesting music I've the MIDI/marimba and the electronic sical piano, flute, trap drums and percus-
ever heard. In fact, I danced for the first time drums, or "turtles." The turtles are most sion. She now plays the turtles, marimbas,
in my life at a D'Cuckoo show. heavily used by Tina Phelps, whose back- and keyboards with D'Cuckoo. Her style of
ground includ« Taiko drumming, which is drumming is the most physical music I've
D'Ciickoo started in 1986 when Patti Clem-
much more intense than typical marimba ever witnessed.
ens, Candice Pacheco, and Tina "Bean"
playing. AH band members use the MIDI/
Blaine, then in San Francisco's Under-
marimbas, though Bean and Patti play them The band recently returned from a tour of
ground Marimba Ensemble, decided to ex-
most consistently. Candice often plays guitar Japan, where they played everything from
pand the musical horizons of the marimba. small clubs to outdoor festivals. After their
and/or synthesizer.
Candice recalls asking Patti, "Wouldn't it return, they went into the studio with Brian
be great if we could have instruments that Candice Pacheco composes and plays syn- Eno, who heard them play at last October's
looked like marimbas, but that could trig- thesized guitar, drums, keyboards, and MI- Cyberthon. He put them together with a
ger all types of sounds?" Soon afterward, Dl/marimbas. She has a strong background couple of the Neville Brothers band mem-
they started searching for instruments. in composing music and in programming bers for a session of "Broken Down African
After investigating commercially available electronic instruments and computers. She Industrial Robot Dance Music" or "Juju
hardware, they decided to build their own. also helped develop the Electronic Music Space Jam." Look for the CD, from Opal
Luckily, Candice met physicist David Reed Department at Sonoma State University, as Records, later this summer.
in 1987. He became interested in their proj- well as helping to develop its current Music There's no other band on the planet I'd
ect, and got Bruce Newcomb, a chemist, to Theory program. rather hear. *
help. David and Bruce helped design the in- Bean Blaine has spent much time traveling
Flash Gordon is a keyboard player, journalist,
struments, and Aisle of Women built them. in Africa, studying music and dance. In- motorcyclist physician, and computer con-
The instruments are called MIDI controllers. spired by marimba groups doing traditional sultant. Check out the D'Cuckoo ad in Un-
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Device music of Zimbabwe, she returned to the U.S. classilieds. —Howard Sbeingold

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITU CA 94965 !07


a.'^'^.i

Charcoal Bricolage:

The
Fuel-Efficient
Sudanese
Cookstove
by Ge

T ikj^*;. '•«•" '^^^^.


AP, TAP, TAP . . . tap, tap, tap . ..
tap, tap, tap.
Walking through the narrow alleys of
a bustling marketplace in the Sudanese city
of El Obeid, you can't help being drawn to
the rhythmic staccato of an artisan at work.
Down past the odd stray goat, a quick stutter ?
step around a cluster of curious children, and o
«
a fast tiurn past the shoppers gesturing em-
phatically as they bargain with hard-nosed ^ • • *
i
•g.
merchants, a cluttered and beat-up-looking
stall is starting to attract lots of attention.
Mohammed Hassan squats comfortably in
CARE, the international them together, attaches them with rivets,
the shade of the makeshift canopy at the relief and development and hammers a bottom into place. More
passageway to his shop. Hassan is a tinsmith. organization, is helping rivets secure three U-shaped clips. They are
To a wide-eyed passerby, Hassan is more like skilled craftsmen like to hold pots above a ceramic liner dropped
a wizard with a hammer and sheet metal. He Hassan to produce the
into the stove's upper chamber.
puts on daily matinees that rival any magic stoves, which use little
act on Broadway. fuel, are cheap to operate, In the time it takes to preheat a modem
and help slow the loss of oven, the can is transformed into an hour-
Working in the searing heat well above 100 Sudan's dwindling forests. glass-shaped stove.
degrees, Hassan coolly dissects and dismem-
bers a can that once held surplus vegetable ' 'They gave me an original model from which
oil donated by the U.S. to help feed Sudan's This story by George Wirt, I've made these copies," Hassan says, nodding
drought victims. In a region short of materials former director of public rela- toward a five-foot-high pile of the stoves.
tions for CARE, is one example "I still have many more to make."
even metal scraps aren't allowed to go to waste.
of how CARE helps people in
Carefully wielding an old pair of shears, Has- developing countries, through Hundreds more, in fact. With help from
san cuts the metal. Within seconds, he has a the use of simple technol- CARE, the international relief and develop-
ogies, to preserve their natural
crinkled, flattened sheet of steel that he sizes resources. For information
ment organization, Hassan and many fellow
up against a three-foot-long section of rail- about participating in CARE's craftsmen are turning out fuel-efficient stoves
road track which he uses as an anvil. A few environmental activities, or stove parts in one of the largest appliance-
quick taps, a turn of the wrist: the sheet of write to Donor Services, manufacturing projects in the East African
CARE, 660 1st Avenue, New
steel starts to take on a conical shape. nation.
York, NY 10016.
First one piece, then a second. Hassan fits —Howard Rheingold The stove couldn't have hit the marketplace

108 W H O L E EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


Rising Sun Sampler lutely no excuse at all. Remember, these
bulbs make a significant difference; just
at a better time. Sudan is a desert One of our favorite success stories, the one can.prevent the emission of 2,000
country with few natural resources. Its rising Rising Sun Enterprises, Inc. — one lbs. of CO.,. -J. Baldwin
forests are being cut down for charcoal of the world's largest purveyors of low-
energy lighting and other good stuff Rising Sun Sampler
production so fast, experts fear there (Ecolog p. 61) — has a new catalog out $ 5 postpaid from Rising Sun Enterprises,
won't be any trees left in a few years. that at last makes it easy to choose which Inc., P. O. Box 1728/158'/! Midland Avenue,
bulbs you need. Now you have abso- Basalt, CO 81621; 303/927-8051
With the trees gone, CARE forestry
specialists warn, Sudan's topsoil is
unprotected. It is blown away by winds Total Power Approximate SAVINGS
Screw-In
or eroded during rains. What's left is Consumption Incan-
barren, sandy soil that can't support Energy-Efficent (LBRip i Ballast) descent Avoided Avoided CO,
farming, straining the capacity of the Equivalent Utility & Emissions
Lighting Lamp Costs
remaining farmland to produce enough
food for Sudan's 20 million people. Products i<J: $
For this reason, CARE provides tech- STANDARD
nical and financial support for the
stoves program, says Fudol Omer, a Compact 7-Twin ifis==3 10.8 W 40 W $27 767 lbs
local manager for CARE. More than
22,000 stoves are currently in use,
saving an estimated 59,400 tons INDOOR FIXTURE A P P L I C A T I O N S
of wood every year.
"The program uses local craftsmen
and materials to solve a local problem,"
he says. "The design is simple and ef-
ficient, and the stoves are so popular
we barely stay ahead of demand."
For manufacturers like Earouk Ahmed,
the public clamor in the marketplace
is sweet music.
"The customers love these stoves be- OUTDOOR FIXTURE APPLICATIONS
cause they cook faster and hotter, and
cost much less to operate," Ahmed ex-
plains as he walks visitors through his
shop. "They find the new stoves use
only about half the charcoal their
traditional stoves burn."
The stoves pay for themselves in only
four months and last seven years or
more, according to Ahmed. The secret
is in the hourglass design. Charcoal Best Suitable O Not Recommended
is burned in the lower chamber. The
heat is funneled straight up into the Negawatts Video pened, and we'd need a lot less foreign
second compartment where the cook- oil. Perhaps folks just don't know it can
The redoubtable Rocky Mountain Institute be done? This 20-minute color video
ing pots are placed on top of the (RMIj, so often featured in these pages, should help take care of that.
inch-thick ceramic liner. shows the supply-side Bushies to be em-
barrassingly out of touch, thoroughly RMI also has a new pamphlet called
"I'm happy with the stoves, too," says behind the times, and lacking in good Water Efficiency For Your Home. It isn't
Ahmed, whose shop contributes to sense. Without getting into politics, RMI just for us Californians. —J. Baldwin
the monthly production quota of 600 luminaries and power-company execu- Negawatts
stoves. "Manufacturing them allows tives show that right now, today, without
(A Gold Mine of Opportunity)
reducing convenience or our standard of
me to provide employment for tin- living, the USA could cut electricity use $ 2 0 postpaid
smiths and a pottery maker." by 75 percent. This worthy goal could Water Efficiency
be accomplished by utilizing proven, For Your Home )tt^
"It is nice to know that the stoves we available technology. It's difficult to see 'V^'
$ 1 postpaid
make will help save trees," he says. why this strategy isn't enthusiastically Both from Rocky Mountain Institute,
"Now maybe our forests won't be implemented; profits would increase, 1739 Snowmass Creek Road,
destroyed." • pollution would be nipped before it hap- Snowmass, CO 81654-9199

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITQ CA 9496S


Structures
When critics refer to the "built environ-
ment," they rarely mean the monuments
to vision, hubris and folly celebrated in
this fascinating book. The selection is
eclectic and purposefully ordered: So-
cialist Realism sculpture is contrasted with
the Statue of Liberty,- the world's largest
nuke is followed by the world's largest
solar collector. Marvel at the Panama
Canal, the Great Wall of China, tombs,
pyramids, towers, bridges, fortresses,
ancient and ultramodern palaces •— even
the gigantic underground factory where
Hitler produced V2 rockets. The promise
of the book's subtitle — "The Way Things
Are Built" — is kept, but in a brief, cur-
sory way marred by careless editing and
the author's occasionally snide asides.
Nonetheless, it's hard to put down. The
terrific photographs and diagrams keep
you turning the pages, each new spread
sure to be something you didn't know or
have never seen before. —J. Baldwin

Structures
Nigel Hawkes, 1990; 240 pp.
$ 3 9 . 9 5 postpaid from Mocmillan Pub-
lishing Co., 100 Front Street, Riverside, NJ
08075; 800/257-5755
(or Whole Earth Access)

:siiiiES
The 270-foot statue of MotKerland {Volga- alone is said to weigh 2 5 0 tons.
g r a d ) is not fixed to its pedestal, its o w n
great weight providing the only support. Motherland's local nickname is
The scarf blowing a w a y behind the neck "Brezhnev's Auntie",

W h a t It Feels Like What It Feels Like


To Be A Building To Be A Building
Forrest Wilson, 1988; 80 pp.
This ultra-basic bool< uses simple draw-
$ 1 0 . 9 5 ($12.45 postpaid) from Preser-
ings of people and animals to explain
vation Press, 1785 Massachusetts Avenue
the structural principles inherent in any
N W , Washington, DC 20036;
common "piled" building,- what better 202/673-4058
way to understand what a (or Whole Earth Access)
column does than to imagine
yourself being one? Some of
the illustrations just ask to be
tried — a sure way to instill
the concepts in a young mind. It feels like be a rod,
Nice job, though I do wish because rods can use their pull to do what buttresses do
that the author had given equal with their push. They pull in exactly the places
time to tensile principles, which
^ are a bit harder for most peo-
ple to comprehend.
Might we hope for
a Book Two, or even
a series?
—J. Baldwin

It feels like to be a buttress,


because a buttress supports a building's wails. where buttresses would push.

110 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER t99l


Spectacular Vernacular
A loving, appreciative look at building
with mud (adobe) in Africa and Asia,
• ^ ! complete with a look at the practicing

0!T- cultures. Spectacular indeed, and hum-


bling as well; most of the structures shown
make most of our conventional architec-
ture look distressingly unimaginative and
sterile — in a way that has little to do
with mud. It all makes one hanker to do
something amazing in Arizona.
—J. Baldwin
Spectacular Vernacular
(The Adobe Tradition)
Jean-Louis Bourgeois and Carollee Pelos,
1989; 191 pp.
$ 3 5 ($38 postpaid) from Aperture,
20 E. 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010;
212/505-5555

In Walata, Mauritania, a woman incises

M
decoration into a layer of mud piaster. Slie
Is stai^din^ on u stock of beds.

Universal Patterns
The Golden Mean. Fibonacci Numbers.
Dynamic Rectangles. Spirals. Do you
know what they are? Did you once but
can't remember? Assuming that you care
— and there is plenty of reason to be
interested — here is what must be the
all-time clearest explanation of such
phenomena, and how they inform our
lives. You'd be surprised at how much of
our world is proportioned according to
these principles. The authors relate dif-
ficult abstractions to everyday things,
making them easy to see. A reasonably
intelligent l4~year-old could probably
understand, because the presentation is
comprehensible rather than challenging.
Applied by a suitably attuned teacher,
the book could be (and is currently used
as) the basis for a wonderful course.
Would that all math books were this lucid!
—J. Baldwin

The relationship between the Fibonacci numbers, the Golden Rectangle, and the Golden Spiral. 89
27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94?65
w
-^l

11'

i Dr
'ii'«
inII ••I 11 yitLS u i i p i P K
!i> M i i m i IKTOWII i''

i \ i - i i i (>!J Jl

Acupuncture N A RECENT SATURDAY, an eight-year-old German


shepherd named Buttons sat on the floor of the
Campanile Veterinary Clinic in Oakland, Cali-
fornia. He had thin needles sticking out of his head, neck,
the flesh above his lower spine, and his thighs. His owner

for sat on a bench nearby, placidly glancing at her watch from


time to time. Buttons was receiving acupuncture, and
all was well.
One day three years ago, Buttons fell dovra while running
in the park and began to cry. After that, he could no
by Jeanne Miriam Breen longer run, and could hardly walk.
His owner, Margaret Horstman, took him to her veterinar-
ian, who suggested an animal neurologist. The neurologist
gave no conclusive diagnosis, merely sa)dng that there was
Jeanne Miriam Breen lives in San Francisco. Her desire deterioration and recommending that Buttons be given
to write was sidetracked by raising a family, and by a steroids. This was done, but Buttons still couldn't walk.
business career. She's now a grandmother and semiretired;The prognosis was very bad.
this is her first article. -Richard Nilsen
It was then that Margaret Horstman brought Buttons
Some 500 U.S. veterinarians treat pets with acupuncture. to Dr. Ann-si Li at the Campanile Veterinary Clinic and
To get the name of a veterinarian near you, call The In- started acupuncture. Buttons began to improve. He started
ternational Veterinary Acupuncture Society in Chester to walk, and then to walk for distances, and finally to
Springs, Pennsylvania. Ask for Executive Director Mere- play. When Ms. Horstman brought him back to her veter-
dith Snader. The telephone number is 215/827-7245. inarian, the veterinarian was amazed. The deterioration
had ceased.

112 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


What is acupuncture? Who is Dr. Ann-si Li? This has surely been true for Buttons. And Buttons knows
Acupuncture treats disease through the insertion of thin when he will be visiting the Campanile Veterinary Clinic.
needles into designated parts of the body. It causes only a Margaret Horstman says, "Dr. Li. Dr. Li," and Buttons
little pain, usually characterized by a tingling sensation. understands perfectly that he will be receiving a treatment.
He goes willingly, for the needles cause him little pain.
According to the classical doctrines of Chinese medicine,
there is an unceasing flow of life energy, or chi, through ' 'We've learned from working with Buttons what he will
the body. When the energy is smooth and in balance, the tolerate," Ms. Horstman says. "He likes to sit on the floor
person or animal will feel healthy. If the balance is dis- for treatments, not on the table. He wiU indicate when the
turbed, there will be illness or pain. Acupuncture restores timer is about to go off; gets up, wants to move, gives
the balance. small barks.''

Dr. Li has been a veterinarian for twenty-two years and Now Buttons shifts his weight slightly, and Margaret Horst-
has practiced acupuncture for nine. Although acupuncture man gently touches him. "Good boy. Good boy," she says
is part of her ethnic background, she didn't reaUy get in- softly. Buttons looks at her calmly and settles himself
terested in it until an "eccentric" uncle returned from a comfortably on the floor.
visit to China raving about its benefits. At that point, Dr. Shortly before Ms. Horstman arrives with Buttons, Dr.
Li rethought her position. She called a veterinarian who Li is treating Duchess, a ten-year-old spayed female Welsh
did acupuncture and "apprenticed" herself to him for a terrier. Duchess is on the table, wearing a muzzle. There
year, visiting his office every Saturday. Later she did ad- are acupuncture needles in her legs and back, attached
ditional studies in acupuncture, in the United States to an electro-stimulator machine, which enhances the ef-
and Hong Kong. fect of the needles and shortens the amount of time they
"Acupuncture is very important to consider when the pa- are necessary.
tient does not respond to conventional medicine,'' Dr. Li "We're not afraid of Duchess," Dr. Li says. "She's not a
says. ' 'Also it is a wonderful way to relieve pain without mean animal. We put the muzzle on to protect us only
the side effects that drugs can have.'' because we must handle her and she's in pain."
Duchess is on antibiotics for pancreatitis; blood tests show
her pancreas is inflamed. The disease started at the end of
July, when Duchess was vomiting profusely and bleeding.
She is somewhat better now. This is her third acupuncture
treatment.
Duchess stands mournfully but quietly on the table as the
acupuncture takes its course. She does not struggle or try
to get away. Probably she can sense that these humans are
trying to help her.
"The use of Western medicine, combined with acupunc-
ture, enables us to increase our success rate enormously,''
Dr. Li comments. "This is because we use the best of
both worlds."
It has been a coincidence that there have been only dogs
at the clinic for acupuncture this morning. Dr. Li treats
cats with acupuncture as well. ' 'Lots of cats,'' she says.
"I treat them for behavior problems, skin problems, and
kidney disease. Also many other things.''
Acupuncture for animals can be used as a treatment for
traumatic injuries, muscle strains, and various other condi-
tions. It can reduce pain and cause a dramatically increased
feeling of well-being. A course of treatment is usually three
to six sessions. Acute cases should be treated twice a week
Buttons with an acupuncture needle in his forehead. An for several weeks, then at longer intervals.
unceasingflowof life energy is being rerouted through "Dr. Li is a most caring person," Margaret Horstman says,
Buttons, enabling him to walk and run again. describing Dr. Li's care of Buttons. "If not for acupunc-
ture, I would have had to put Buttons to sleep. This way I
can keep him with me. And that's important." a

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO. CA 94965 113


Farm Tools for Efficiency BY RICHARD NILSEN

A FIFTH YEAR of drought in the


West has focused attention on
water like nothing else could. That blues
He uses a turbulent-flow drip irrigation
tope manufactured by Chopin Water-
matics. Inc. It comes on a big roll and is
moisture, and no more weeds con ger-
minate during the rest of California's
rainless growing season. This system
lyric is exactly right: you d o n ' t miss your buried directly behind a single chisel eliminates the need for both herbicides
water 'til your well runs dry. At a recent plow nioving d o w n the bed. This is pre- and expensive tillage, or as Herbert
farm tour sponsored by the Committee cision farming: the tractor wheels always soys, " N o herbicides, no hoeing."
for Sustainable Agriculture*, the growers roll in the some place so the soil in the
The innovations don't stop there.
all h a d the lack of rain o n their minds, beds is never compacted. The plastic ir-
Herbert used to bring the peppers in
but the most innovative a m o n g them rigation tape is buried permanently, not
from the field, wash them in chlorinated
are not merely adopting to the drought. so shallow that tillage tools can tear it
water, and then wax each one. More
Looking a t farming as a system, a n d up, but not so deep that the plant roots
chemicals, more expense. N o w he does
making changes toward greater effi- hove trouble finding the moisture. The
neither, and spends his money instead
ciency wherever they can, they are find- tape also delivers liquid fertilizers.
on trucking and streamlined handling,
ing themselves in relatively g o o d shape
to assure that each pepper reaches the
to make it through a drought. But the
cold-storage locker in less than one hour.
changes they hove mode save much
more than just water. Herbert grew 220 acres of peppers lost
year and used no herbicide. His drip-
Better Bell Peppers irrigation tape cuts water use by half.
Pat Herbert raises some of the best bell His new cropping system means he saves
peppers on the market. He also grows fuel and needs to buy new tractors less
onions and broccoli, with 600 acres often. The old system required twelve
spread over two farms near Hollister to fifteen tillage passes each year, low-
a n d Gilroy in central California, where gear grinding at one to three miles per
his great-grandfather settled in 1868. hour. The new system using a propane
The peppers are direct-seeded the first flame means only two or three passes
The ranch, produces 300,000 boxes of
week of A p r i l , and aluminum sprinkler each year, at a speed of seven or eight
bell peppers a year; at the peak of the
pipe is spread out over the fields to ger- miles per hour. The average yield on
season 150 employees pack out over
minate the seed. Peppers like warm soil, bell peppers in this part of California is
7,000 boxes a day. Pat designed and
so what comes up first is a crop of weeds. twelve to thirteen tons per acre. The
built his packing-shed equipment. He is
W i t h the old method, Herbert would Herbert Ranch produces twenty-seven
a n innovator w h o has recently switched
have gone through and sprayed herbi- tons to the acre, peppers famous for
his pepper production to organic meth-
cide, but now he has opted for an older their thick walls and in great demand
ods, explaining, " I got tired of spend-
technique — he uses propane to kill off on the market.
ing a lot of money a n d not getting
the weed seedlings with a brief searing
any results."
flame a day or two before the peppers
H a n d - H e l d Soil Lab
The clay soil here has to be worked break g r o u n d . The young weeds d o n ' t
Understanding what's going on in the
during the winter when it is wet, be- catch fire or turn black, but their cell
soil is basic to any kind of farming. Up
cause once dry it acquires the consis- walls rupture in the intense heat and
to now, most answers to questions about
tency of a d o b e brick. Herbert started they wither and die.
soil chemistry have required taking soil
his changes by posing one key question.
Up come the peppers in a weed-free samples, sending them off to a lob and
" I just asked everybody — why do we
field. At this point, the sprinkler irriga- awaiting the results. That's starting to
work the g r o u n d ? " H e thought bock
tion is removed and the underground change, thanks to a line of products from
t o the horsedrown plows of his grand-
drip system turned o n . The surface of H o r i b a , Ltd. of Japan. A classic exam-
father, and compared them to the enor-
the ground dries out, the pepper plants' ple of a technology-based company,
mous tillage tools on modern tractors.
roots reach down and find the buried Horiba has thirty-five years' experience
O n e reason farmers plow as often as
they do, Herbert concluded, is because
they have technology that lets them.
The other reason is to control weeds.
He has discovered that " w o r k i n g the
i
ground deep is a big mistake. The less
you work the g r o u n d , the better it is, and
the less you need the herbicides." This is
because plowing brings buried weed
seeds to the surface, where they sprout.

Herbert's new way of raising bell pep-


pers starts with fields arranged into
permanent beds, with a buried irriga-
tion drip tape running under each one.

*The Committee for Sustainable Agriculture


sponsors an annual Ecological Farming
Conference in California each January.
They also host farm tours and farm field
days around the state throughout the year.
CSA: Box 1300, Colfax, CA 95713;
916/346-2777.

114 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


with electronic sensors, used mainly to wine, or your well) on the sensor and
measure emissions in factory smoke- you get an instant readout. Each meter
stacks. Founder Art Horiba decided to will register between two and three
expand the idea of sensors out in the hundred times, after which a replace-
field instead of in a lab, and came up
with the Cardy family of meters ("Cardy"
from credit card, although these sensors
ment sensor can be quickly snapped
into place. 35*. -f ^ . .-^
are closer in size to a cassette tape).
Ted Peck works in the soil-test lab at the V. :K
University of Illinois and helped Cardy's
At present the family has six members American distributor. Spectrum Technol-
— a pH meter, a soil-salts conductivity ogies, with evaluation and calibration.
meter, a nitrate meter, a potassium meter, He calls the meters "disgustingly accu- ^ w ' t •'''•••••• "
and a pair of sodium meters that utilize rate." And Richard Smith, Cooperative
the same sensor but give readouts either Extension Agent in Hollister, reflects
in parts per million or as a percentage. on the Cardy as yet another incredibly
ted with a porous ceramic tip, a small
Place a drop of liquid from a soil solu- useful hand-held gizmo from Japan:
suction hose, a stopper and a finger
tion (or from a crushed leaf, a vat of "This is the kind of equipment you can
clamp, to which you attach a disposable
make when you don't have an economy
(and reusable) 50cc syringe. Stick the
that's geared toward making loser-
tube into the soil to the desired depth,
guided missiles."
pull a vacuum, and out comes the liquid
So will these hand-held meters put the for testing. All these tools are available
soil-test labs out of business? Spectrum from the Irrometer Company, Inc., which
Technologies' Michael Thurow says no. sells a whole line of devices for measur-
As yet, there is no meter for measuring ing soil moisture. B
total nitrogen, or for phosphorus. He
sees Cardy Meters as diagnostic farm-
management tools that will help farmers Horiba Cardy Meters; $174-$294;
make vastly more sophisticated deci- replacement sensors $35-$65. Catalog
sions in the field, and also tell them free from Spectrum Technologies, Inc.,
whether they need the more definitive 12021 S. Aero Drive, Plainfield, IL 60544;
information that can come from a soii- 800/248-8873.
test lab. Turbulent twin-wall drip-irrigation hose:
Information free from Chopin Watermatics,
One more question, one more tool. Just
Inc., 740 Water Street, Watertown, NY
how do you get that drop of soil solution
13601; 315/782-1170.
to put onto the Cardy Meter sensor?
You use a soil-solution access tube, a Soil-solution access tube: $16.75 from Ir-
suction line and a syringe. Basically rometer Company, Inc., ?. O. Box 2424,
that's a piece of half-inch PVC pipe fit- Riverside, CA 92516; 714/689-1701.

The Guide to the U.S. Organic Foods Production Act of 1990


These are exciting times in the organic- advocate and produce man extraor- wholesalers).
foods industry. After numerous states dinaire Stuart Fishman has taken apart • Label requirements for products sold as
passed their own organic-food produc- the new law and rendered Federalese organically produced.
tion laws, the federal government has into plain English. —Richard Nilsen • Record-Keeping requirements for prod-
finally responded. The 1990 Farm Bill in- © ucts sold as organically produced.
cluded an "Organic Foods Production • Residue-Testing requirements.
Introduction
Act," which mandates national standards
An understanding of the U.S. 1990 or- o Administration and Fees.
to govern the production and handling of ganic food law and familiarity with the
organic food products, beginning in Oc- • Enforcement.
organic regulations USDA must create by
tober 1993. States can still pass more May, 1992 will help organic food growers,
restrictive laws, but they cannot keep processors, manufacturers, distributors IIKHI'I"*'
out products from other states if those and retailers prepare their operations to
products meet the new federal standards. meet U.S. standards when the law is im-
plemented on October 1, 1993.
The broad outlines have been drawn; 5:#-:•>!• -. •';•
the details remain to be haggled out. A The format of this law is simple but the
National Organic Standards Board is details are complex. The law covers •<.-'' J^'
being established, and the nitty-gritty these areas: ^gallic
decisions about what is organic and • Standards for organic food farmers, pro-
what is not will largely be decided there. cessors, manufacturers and wholesalers.
Sabotage by an unfriendly chemical • National List of substances permitted or The Guide to the U.S.
company or from higher up in the federal prohibited for organic use. Organic Foods Production
government is still a distinct possibility, Act of 1990
• National Organic Standards Board to
but this is a major step forward. consult with USDA on administering the law Stuart Fishman, 1990; 22 pp.
The Guide is a spiral-bound booklet that and creating/amending a National List. $ 7 . 5 0 ($10 postpaid) from Stuart
will be extremely useful for anyone in- • Certification of organic farmers and Fishman, 5628 SW Miles Court, Portland,
volved with this issue. Longtime organic handlers (processors, manufacturers and OR 97219; 503/245-2309

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965 115


fe.
Second Nature The Gourd
First we "tamed," then "preserved," Around the world, and for thousands of
wilderness — and we're still not sure years, gourds have been treasured. They
what we mean by "wilderness." Is it still are, and no wonder! Gourds are a
first-growth forest, pre-whiteman, pre- man/el, a natural amazement, like camels
Indian, or land restored by man to one or giraffes. Everyone with a bit of soul
of those states? While creating his own and garden space should grow gourds.
garden, Michael Pollan searched for a They're perfect for implements, contain-
new way to perceive and interact with ers, musical instruments, and just for fun.
nature. By looking at his own and Amer- Second N a t u r e
ica's past the author exposes attitudes (A Gardener's Education) But don't get seed from garden stores
toward nature, expressed in public and Michael Pollan, 1991; 258 pp. or catalogues and expect miracles. Just
private spaces, that continue to change because gourds are ancient doesn't mean
$ 2 1 . 9 5 ($23.85 postpaid) from Atlantic
the land. they can be treated lightly. There's a
Monthly Press, c/o Publisher Resources,
P. O. Box 7001, Lavergne, TN 37086; culture to it: both botanical (cross-
In a way, gardens focus our feelings fertilization is a problem) and, well,
800/937-5557 (or Whole Earth Access)
about nature. Before Americans can de- cultural fin the Georgia hills they say,
velop a garden style as the English and "Gotta hard-cuss the seed if you wanna
Japanese have, we must define the es- deserve the label. I'm thinking here of grow gourds").
sence of American land. Central Park, surely one of the most suc-
-Kathleen O'Neill cessful man-made landscapes in America. For solid information on growing, craft-
So how is it that Russell Page can offhand- ing, lore, and seed, get The Gourd. It's
©
edly dismiss Olmsted's masterpiece as "a a network for gourd-lovers across the
So far, at least, American garden design country and a fantastic slice of down-
stunted travesty of an English eighteenth-
(does the phrase evoke anything?) has
century park"? The first time I read this, I home America. The quarterly is a labor
achieved little of the distinctiveness found
bristled at the judgment. But now I think I of love and a thing of wonder — these
in American writing, music, art, or even
understand what he means. Even by the people are descendants of your grand-
cooking. Garden design remains the one
relatively informal standards of the English ma's neighbors. It's not out to save the
corner of our culture in which our depen-
landscape garden on which it is modeled. world, but it preserves an extraordinary
dence on England has never been com-
Central Park is woefully literal and under- plant and a beautiful part of our culture.
pletely broken. Those who care about the
designed (Page faults it for a "total lack of If you want a giant "Fiercules' club,"
look of their gardens still hire English de-
direction"). Yet this radical informality and Dipper gourd, or luffa sponge, or just want
signers (or their imitators) and study
utter lack of artifice is probably what we to keep in touch with simple pleasures,
English gardening b o o b . Even at this late
like best about it. Central Park pretends go with The Gourd. It rekindles hope.
date, anglophilia continues to rule Amer-
not to hove been designed. It is less a
ican gardening. —Andrew Dick
garden than a counterfeit natural land-
And yet from the English perspective, scape, and New Yorkers seek in it the sat- •
some of our most prized gardens scarcely isfactions of nature rather than art. O n August 23, one of the hottest days of
this bitter summer, I called on Mr. Ando.
He took me to his persimmon orchard, five
minutes from home, by car. Behold, on the
Antique Flowers: Perennials ground there grew numberless Sennari
gourds which I yearned for. All of the
Plants go in and out of fashion just like smaller size and good shape, perfectly
everything else. Perfectly good plants 7:5:3 proportioned. (As shown in sketch.)
disappear from nurseries and then are
His creeds for the natural
rediscovered. If you are looking for some-
farming to maintain the
thing a bit unusual, creating a period
genuineness of the Sen-
garden, or just interested in the historic
nari gourds, I have
use of perennials, this chatty book will learned, are no water-
pollinate your imagination. The author is ing, no fertilizing, no
also a flower arranger who uses these excessive caring for — that is, no pruning,
plants to create bouquets for antique no hand pollinating nor disinfection. The
vases. —Kathleen O'Neill A n t i q u e Flowers: Perennials strongest alone survive in the merciless
Rob Proctor, 1990; 160 pp. surroundings and the species becomes
stronger after generations.
$ 2 9 . 9 5 ($33.45 postpaid) from
HarperCollins Publishers/Order Dept.,
1000 Keystone Industrial Park, Dunmore, Tiie Gourd
PA 18512; 800/331-3761 Publication of the American Gourd
(or Whole Earth Access) Society, Inc.
• $ 5 / y e a r (4 issues) from P. O. Box 274,
The wild Rampion of Europe, Campanula Mt. Gilead, O H 43338; 419/946-3302
rapunculus, figured in a fairy tale collected
by the Brothers Grimm. In it, a husband
raided the neighboring witch's garden for
the tender Rampion greens to satisfy the
cravings of his wife. He was apprehended
by the witch, who was very annoyed and
absconded with their firstborn and locked
her in a tower. The witch, besides being up
A *»a of yellow is created by A. on her Latin, had an ironic bent, and named
fillpendulino a n d annual sunflowers. the girl Rapunzel (after C. rapunculus).

116 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER I9f I


The Pacific Horticulture
Boole of Western
Gardening
Focusing first on the weather patterns of
the West Coast, The Pacific Horticulture
Book of Western Gardening reminds us
that gardening success corrtes with un-
" D e l Rey," a
derstanding the local climate. Northern modern hybrid
California's mild, wet winters and dry of Pacific Coast
summers are shared with other Mediter- native irises.
ranean climates around the world; plants
from these areas do well in gardens
here. Discussions of drought-tolerant and
native plants and their use in the garden,
water conservation, historical gardens,
and garden crafts round out this beau-
tiful book.

These essays, distilled from over twenty


years of Pacific Horticulture magazine,
impart variety, richness, and wisdom.
It is important to recognize and support
regional gardening. If you know of any
great books, newsletters or plant sources
for your area, let us know so we can
pass the information on.
-Kathleen O'Neill
Growing Native perennials. Verba Buena also carries
Larner Seeds.
If you've decided to explore the cultiva-
tion of native plants, it's nice to have an You will also find a big assortment of trees
enthusiastic hand-holder For Californians, — madrones, a good selection of oaks,
that hand to hold could be Growing poplar and cottonwood, the Catalina Iron-
wood, buckeye and lots of conifers.
Native, a nicely-put-together newsletter
that will help you to learn about these
interesting plants, how to find them, and 4. Northern Coastal Scrub

some basic propagation techniques. It's This ajmiTiunily only exisis in relalion to the Redwood
Forest; it provijc.-i a Dulfer ?one between the RedwtxxJs (or
also a good place to begin a dialogue when; the RtHjwoods were) and the Coastal Strand (rotn
Oregon to San Mateo County attd. briefly, (ttim Pacific Grove
with other enthusiasts. One of the nice to Point Siir, mtwtly below .SttO feel.
things about a newsletter is its recur-
Rainfall here Ls from 75" in the north to 25' at the south end of
rence: where a book may be neglected the I3nge. Teinpcratuits: fluctuate little, with means from a 15
dcg. low i n Winter to 75 deg. high in Summer. Grr>wing
on the shelf, a newsletter will revive season is 10-12 months long. Plattts ran;Iy gnrw over 6* tall
and often detwcly, but also includes sweeping areas of grass.
interest each time it arrives.
Limitatioi^s are wind and poor water retention in rocky soiU.
-Kathleen O'Neill Visit in May or June lor best show.
[Suggested by Sarah Satterlee]
The Pacific Horticulture • 5. Coastal Sage Scrub
Boole of Western Gardening W h e n Gerda Isenberg moved onto part of Ihis community (omns of band on dry, rocky siopes from the
George Waters and Nora Harlow, Mid Coast Ranges to Baja, below the Cltaparr^l and lower
what hod been an old cattle ranch in a than MOIf.
1990; 300 pp. canyon west of the crest behind Palo Alto, Rainfall ranges between 10 and 20* and the glowing season
$ 5 0 ($54 postpaid) from David R. no one, least of all she, had any idea what may run from 8 to 12 months. Temperatures range from a
mean Summer maximum of 90 deg. to Winter minimums of
Godine, Publisher, Inc., 300 Massachusetts would come of it. She had no vast plan, 37 deg. Plants arc generally low but more open than the
just an interest in ferns, which grew into a Chaparral community.
Avenue, Boston, MA 02115; 617/536-0761
(or Whole Earth Access) desire to grow some of the plants she sow Limitations bete are poor water retention and dry Summers.
Sec this community in late April or May.
• in the environment around her.
In general . . . westerly sea breezes in Today, more than thirty years later, the Growing Native
summer are happily the rule in all our 7-acre Verba Buena is the oldest native Louise Lacey, Editor.
regions. Without them, the many long plant nursery in northern California with
days of clear skies would become unbear- an enormous selection of plants (more $ 3 0 / y e a r (6 issues) from P. O. Box 489,
ably hot and dry, and many of the plants Berkeley, CA 94701
than 500 in the upcoming catalog) and a
that now endure this period would un- huge, mature demonstration garden with
doubtedly not survive. Travel brochures for identifying signs.
Perth and Capetown stress the afternoon
sea winds that afford relief on days that To give you an idea of what's available:
have begun with the threat of uncomfort- You can choose from 40 different monkey-
able heat. The fact is that all our Mediter- flowers {Diplacus and Mimulus) (many still
ranean climate areas lie opposite great blooming now), more than 70 varieties of
oceanic summer high-pressure areas and manzanita {Arctostaphylos), almost 60
all have cold ocean currents off their shores, kinds of Ceanothus, nearly 20 native ferns
conditions that create cool winds but al- (and even more exotic ferns — she still
most never bring rain. loves them) and hundreds of shrubs and
The Playroom
First, you double click on the Playroom
picture, and then you see a room full of
stuff. You find out about the stuff by click-
ing on it and watching what happens.
There's a clock and a goldfish bowl and
a baby dinosaur and other things. You
can dial the telephone. I like the letter-
thing. When you click on the book in the
bookshelf in the playroom, you get the
letter-thing. Click on a letter and it shows
you a picture and the name of the thing
in the picture and a voice tells you the
name. So if you click on the letter "a"
you see a picture of an archer and the
word "archer" and a voice says the
word "archer." If you click on D, you get
a dragon. That's in the castle world. You
can go to the farm world and get farm
animals. Or there's a city with cars and The Playroom
buildings. You can figure out the words
when you see them again. Then you can
drag the archers and dragons and put
menus and always find new things to morning, she sees a new drawing on the
them around the castle. You can move
play with. The stamp-pad is neat. I can screen and plays the sounds. We
them around and put as many things as
make my own stamps. If I hold down the showed Kid Pix to her first-grade teacher,
you want in the picture and make up
shift key I can make things bigger My who didn't want to stop. With a scanner
stories about them. When my daddy's
dad showed me how to put my own and a MacRecorder, we are doing home-
friends come over and bring kids we can
voice in the drawings, too, so I can make work projects and a diary. Mamie takes
play with Playroom while the grownups
up picture stories that talk and sound like pictures and I scan them and import them
do grownup things. —Mamie Rheingold
me. There are different pens and pencils into Kid Pix; Mamie records her own voice
and erasers. I like the eraser that goes notes to go along with her photographs.)
The Playroom
BOOM and the eraser that shows you a
Copy-protected. Apple il $ 3 9 . 9 5 ; IBM/
secret picture. And sometimes I make my
Kid Pix
Tandy $ 4 4 . 9 5 ; Macintosh $ 4 9 . 9 5 from Macintosh: $ 4 9 . 9 5 . Requires Mac Plus
Broderbund Software, Inc., P. O. Box own coloring book by printing my draw-
or higher; System 6.0 or higher; 1MB
12947, San Rafael, CA 94913-2947; ings and coloring them with crayons.
memory for monochrome, 2MB for color.
800/521-6263 —Mamie Rheingold From Broderbund Software, Inc., P. O. Box
12947, San Rafael, CA 94913-2947;
(Note from Mamie's dad: We all love
800/521-6263
this software. It's a very well-designed
Kid Pix product; it even has a "Small Kids Mod-
/ like Kid Pix even better than the grown- ule" that makes it impossible for a very
up drawing programs because it has lots young explorer to do naughty things to MacRecorder
of noises and it's fun to experiment with your own files. Mamie plays with it for
The MacRecorder Sound System includes
all the different goodies. It's more fun to hours, and sometimes I sit down and
digitizing hardware (the MacRecorder
play with than Nintendo because I can doodle with it and record a secret
itselfj and software, SoundEdif and hly-
make up my own stuff. I can explore the message when Mamie is asleep. In the
perSound. For maximum fun with Kid Pix,
we digitized our voices and miscellaneous
sounds, and added them to drawings.

MAMIE My six-year-old learned how to work the


digitizer and SoundEdif software after a
two-minute demonstration. Now she is
using tiyperSound to add sound effects
and saucy comments to her HyperCard
stacks. I could see a clever teacher using
a flatbed scanner, MacRecorder, and Kid
Pix or tfyperCard to enliven classroom
curriculae. We are bringing a camera
and tape recorder to our next family re-
union, so Mamie can make her own
oral-history and family-tree stack.
—Howard Rheingold
MacRecorder Sound System
For Macintosh; requires 512K RAM.
HyperSound requires HyperCard 1.2.1 or
later, a Macintosh Plus or later, and a
hard disk.
$ 2 4 9 from Farallon Computing, Inc.,
2000 Powell Street/Suite 600, Emeryville,
CA 94608; 415/596-9000

118 WHOLE EARTH REVIEVt/ SUHMER 1991


.^' 'jVJ rt
Amazing Models! if skill or luck were lacking I.

When the lure of Lego dims, what's a This Pied Piper of a book presents plans
kid to do? Most of the offerings in so- for eight intriguing, gravity-powered thing-
called model shops require little more ies, to be made from stuff (yogurt cups,
than a similarly unchallenging assembly paperclips) you likely have around the
of pre-molded parts. Consequently, most house. All the projects are of the "rainy
kids these days don't have the slightest afternoon" variety. All come with casually
idea how to really make complicated drawn, but very clear, instructions that
things, or even think about it (which is include a discussion of the physics in-
the important part). In MY day — har- volved (Jr hiigh science project, anyone?).
rumph — you had to fabricate all the What must be one of the all-time great
parts of a model yourself. While doing lessons in general how-to and tool tech- Amazing Models!
so, you learned how to make and, more nique gets you started. Give the book to Peter Holland, 1990; 62 pp.
importantly, how to figure things out. your favorite kid, and try not to meddle
$ 7 . 9 5 postpaid from TAB Books,
A complex model airplane might take too much. (It's in King's English, so you
Inc., Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294;
months of clever, meticulous craftiness may have to do a bit of translating.)
800/822-8138
(and, just as in the real, adult world, —J. Baldwin (or Whole Earth Access)
about two seconds to crash and burn

Bean Planter
Suppose a vehicle hos a heavy load to
carry. Later, that load is much less. It would
be ideal if the vehicle had high power at
the start, then, as the load was reduced,
used less power.
Some machines and some weight-driven
models do not hove this advantage; they
waste energy when there is not much work
to do. The 'fuel' for this model is partly the
weight of its cargo. It plants butter beans.
As it gets rid of more beans by planting
them in a neat, evenly-spaced row. It be-
comes lighter, so the weight of the remain-
ing beans can still help to drive it along.
The Kid's Guide to Youth Environment Forum in New York City
and passed a petition asking the federal
Social Action government to make a special fund for kids
Kids are a great force for social change, to plant trees. She collected over 1,500
one that is usually untapped. Elementary- signatures from kids around the nation.
and high-school students are aware of Then she flew to Washington, D.C., to de-
environmental and social problems and liver her petition and to lobby senators
care about them passionately. But few in person.
young people know exactly what to do When Audrey returned to Salt Lake City,
about creating solutions. This book show- she and her Jackson friends wrote letters
cases concrete examples of kids who to every senator in Congress, asking for
have influenced policy and solved prob- their support. Although Congress did not
lems in municipalities, counties, and write a special bill for them, they did at- The Kid's Guide
states. It offers step-by-step advice on tach the idea to make money available for to Social Action
how to go about selecting a social prob- kids to the "America the Beautiful Act of
Barbara A . Lewis, 1991; 160 pp.
lem, finding a creative solution, and put- 1990" (technically called the Food, Agri-
culture, Conservation and Trade Act of $ 1 4 . 9 5 ($18.95 postpaid) from Free
ting it into action — writing letters that
1990 - S2830). Spirit Publishing, Inc., 400 1st Avenue
work, making effective telephone calls,
N/Sulte 616, Minneapolis, M N 55401;
creating speeches, conducting surveys, Thanks to the Jackson kids, the bill now 800/735-7323
circulating petitions, writing proposals, states that "youth groups" may apply for
helping with fundraising, arranging media matching grants to plant trees. There will
coverage, assisting political campaigns, kids' 'ho care. They're not rich or unusually
be federal money available for you to
clever. In fact, their school has the lowest
lobbying. The book also offers a rich plant trees in your state.
income per capita (per person) in the Salt
directory of resources — state house
Now, you're probably saying something Lake School District.
contacts, US government offices, contact
like, "Yeah, but those Jackson kids are
groups — with addresses and telephone But one thing they do have is courage.
famous. I'm just a regular kid. I can't do
numbers. —Howard Rheingold They don't give up easily. They believe that
all that." If you're a disbeliever, let me
the future depends on them. They're not
assure you. I'm their teacher, and I'll tattle
afraid to attack things that other people
on them. They sometimes forget assign-
Like many other kids' groups across the say can't be done.
ments. They lose papers. Their bedrooms
nation, the Jacbon kids turned their focus
aren't always clean (not even Heather's). As Heather says, "Big things can happen
to trees. They learned from the University
They're kids just like you, kids with dreams. in small steps."
of Michigan's Forestry Update that a
single tree, in its average 50-year lifetime,
will contribute $62,000 worth of air pollu-
tion control. Dubbing themselves "Leaf It
Activity Resources could do in three dimensions and orders
To Us," the younger kids decided to think of magnitude by clicking together plastic
"Play" is often the best way to learn:
big and applied for two city grants — blocks in lines of ten, planes of one hun-
when I watched my six-year-old daughter
money to use for their project. They got dred, cubes of one thousand.
learn how to multiply 1/3 times 2/6 by
the grants, which totaled $3,600, and Activity Resources Company was started
overlaying strips of colored plastic on
matched that with $720 they collected on by an award-winning mathematics edu-
each other, it was like seeing something
their own. They adopted a park with the
new and exciting and completely self- cator. Fifty-four pages full of "tools for
money and planted 107 trees there, and
evident. The "fraction tiles" are con- discovering mathematics" that your kids
another 80 trees in their yards and near
structed in such a way that the meaning will perceive as neat toys.
the school.
of performing mathematical operations —Howard Rheingold
One day a fifth grader got a heavy idea. on fractions becomes intuitively obvious [Suggested by Ann McCormick]
" W h y don't we find money and make our — the answer is literally right in front of
own grants for kids all over the state to your face. When she saw that I was en- Activity Resources Company
plant trees?" The Jackson kids contacted thusiastic, Mamie showed me what she Catalog f r e e from P. O. Box 4875,
the governor, the state forester, and na- Hay ward, CA 94540; 415/782-1300
tional forestry people. With the help of
Dick Klason, State Forester, they found
some national money for grants for chil-
dren in Utah.
N o t to be outdone by previous Jackson
hotshots, the new kids tackled the legis-
lature again. This time, they pushed
through a law creating $10,000 for grants
for kids in Utah to plant trees. When chil-
1/3 X 1/6- I/IB
dren match the grant money (state and
national) with money they collect and eon- FRACTION TrLES
tribute, they will plant over $27,000 Peggy McLean, Lee Jenkins
worth of trees.
Fraction Tiles consist of 44 transparent plastic tilss in seven colors. Students combine the tiles to develop concepts
Another 10-year-old got an even heavier of equivalence, addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication of fractions. Color families of tiles permit
investigations involving 1/16,1/12,1/8,1/6,1/3,1/4, and 1/2, and all work with the tiles is reinforced in a 48-page
idea. " W h y don't we find some money
student workbook. Also included with the set Is a 24-page teacher's guide with answers and a complete
and make grants for kids across the nation commentary on the suggested use of these valuable materials. Grades 2-9.
to plant trees?" Audrey suggested, twirl- AP-1113 Fraction Tlles(TIIes only) $35.95
ing a curl around her finger. A-1115 Manipulative Bk. (32 pages) $5.95
A-1116 Student Book (32 pages) _ $4.95
The children worked with their Senator, A-1117 Teacher Book (24 pages.) „ $4.95
Orrin Hatch, to create a national fund for AP-1206 Fraction Tlla Package (Including tiles and3 books above) $50.95
trees. Audrey attended the United Nations

120 WHOLE EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


How to Make but certainly not limited to, the average between one hour and two hours of mow-
ing time. This is an interesting trend to be
Big Money Mowing 15-year-old. It'd be hard to imagine a
aware of. You can make the same amount
better book on the subject. Sneer not —
Small Lawns as a teen mowing New Jersey turf way of money in one hour as you can in two
back in the fifties, I made enough money hours. This trend alerts you to put an em-
This is absolutely everything you need to
phasis on trying to get more of the one-
know: equipment, technique and how to to buy a brand-new Volkswagen beetle,
hour jobs than the two-hour jobs, as a
set up and run the business. Written for, drive it all over the USA, and still have
means of maximizing profits.
some left over for college. —J. Baldwin
JTSFKcr •
From 0.24 acres (one hour of mowing time)
up to 0.34 acres (two hours of mowing
! AVI tittle) the payments remain relatively con-
stant, at $10 [in 1981 dollars]. Or, in other
words, customers are willing to pay about
the same price for house lots that range

STATISTICS
• LOT SIZE — 0.12 ACRES
• MOWING TIME — 15 MINUTES
• PAYMENT — $3.00 How t o M a k e Big M o n e y
• HOURLY RATE — $12.00 PER HOUR M o w i n g S m a l l Lawns
Robert A. Welcome, 1983; 138 pp.
COMMENTS
$ 9 . 9 5 ($12.95 postpaid) from Brick
s LEVEL PROPERTY House Publishing Co., P. O. Box 2134,

I FERMCLtFr AVENUE. » CUSTOMER


• JOB CONSISTED
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Acton, M A 01720; 800/446-8642
(or Whole Earth Access)

Parenting From
When you are nursing in a public place How do we know when the time is right
the Heart (such as a bus or restaurant) and you [to wean]? I remember holding my first little
77i/s is a warm, witty, free newsletter that don't want people to realize you are nurs- nursling and telling her that she could
comes wrapped around Motherwear's ing, try to avoid the madonna look where nurse just as long as she wanted and if we
mail-order catalog (wish they'd just go you are tilting your head and looking into had to sneak into the closet the day of her
ahead and charge a subscription fee, your babies eyes. Everybody else will look wedding, we would. Then she grew some
and not waste the extra catalog mail- where you are looking. Instead look straight and our family grew some and somewhere
into people's eyes (they'll tend to smile and in my second pregnancy, I weaned her. It
ings). It's filled with practical "this-really-
look away without even looking down), was clearly the right time for us.
works" stuff from parents out there in the
or continue to converse with your com-
trenches battling temperamental toddlers, I believe that the time is right to wean
panion the same as you would if you
newborn fatigue (mom's & dad's), nurs- when one of the parties involved no longer
weren't nursing.
ing difficulties and other challenges of wants to nurse. Sometimes it's the mother
childbirth. —Paula Saiaz Some unique nursing situations that test who wants to move in a different way or
your skills include nursing while on an wear different clothes or get herself ready
P a r e n t i n g From t h e H e a r t airplane. I usually ask the flight attendent for another baby or another change in
(Motherwear Catalog) to reseat me if I am next to someone who her life. Sometimes it's the child, ready to
F r e e from Motherwear, Box 114, North- will feel uncomfortable with my nursing. A explore her world from a new perspective,
ampton, M A 01061; 413/586-3488 light flannel baby blanket will help baby wlio resists the retreat into that particular
keep warm even in the constant temper- comfort. Either way, when someone's
ature fluctuations of a plane, and can be heart is no longer in it, it is time to
used to cover you while nursing. Also keep begin the process of weaning.
a washrag or diaper tucked in the pocket
in front of you to grab in case of spills
or spits.

Cotton Knit Pants


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Stjlrt or T-Top with these 100% cotton
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what a mother needsl Ankles are
nursing shirt. The two overlaf>- gathered with elastic, making it per-
plng "petals' In the front con be fect for a work-out, a stroll, or a
arranged to cover you as you bicycle ride. They can be tossed In
nurse on each side. It's made of cool, comfort- ttie washer and dryer, and be ready
able 100% cotton. Garment washed for easy fit- to wear when you pull them out. This
ting. See It pictured on Cecily below and on the Is active wear especially designed for
back cover (she's ttie mother In the center). Match nursing mothers. Inseam 32 inches.
It up vA\h our Cotton Knit Skirt, Pants or Stiorts. Avail- Available In Jade (shown below) or
able in Jade (as below) or Rosebud. SML §26. Rosebud. SML $24.

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSALITO, CA 94965


The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants

An Artificial-Life
Reading Ust
by Steven Levy

F OR THE PAST two years, I have been working on a


book about artificial life (to be published in 1992 by
Pantheon). Briefly, artificial life is the synthesis of processes
previously thought to be exclusively biological. Since a-life
views life itself as a process, rather than something dependent -*»-"
on certain chemical materials, the belief is that if you create
something which behaves just like an organism, you have
arguably created a living thing. This, of course, is a daunting
task, and therefore is a long-term goal in the field. Shorter-
term benefits will come by an increased ability to understand
life-as-we-know-it by attempt to simulate living processes.

Besides interviewing and hanging out with the scientists and


researchers who are defining this area by their theories and
experiments, I've read dozens of books and articles in myriad
fields: computer science, ethology, mathematics, game theory,
physics, evolutionary studies, biology, biography, ecology,
robotics, and some unclassifiable hybrids. I thought it might
be interesting to boil my rambling bibliography down to an This sunflower was created on a computer using some of the same
essential baker's dozen or so books that could provide a good principles nature uses to grow sunflowers in dirt: the mind-manifesting
interloclced spiral patterns thot emerge when you stare at the seeds
background to this emerging field. Chris Langton, editor of the
are the result of a growth algorithm based on the mathematical re-
first books mentioned, helped me make some of the choices. lationship known as a Fibonacci series.

Artificial Life • Artificial Life II with reasonably short real-time lives —


allowing us to perform experiments that
If there is an a-life bible. Artificial Life of-the-art experiments and a priceless span many generations. Given the power
is it. In his scrupulous editing of the pro- 1950s clip of the original Penrose self- of a computer workstation, an artificial
ceedings of the historic First Artificial Life reproducing machines. creature can live a simulated lifetime en-
Conference in Los Alamos in September • compassing thousands of learning oppor-
1987, Chris langton has implicitly sketch- tunities in only seconds of elapsed time,
The claim is the following: The "artificial"
ed the horizons of this diverse field of and small populations of such organisms
in Artificial Life refers to the component
study, langton's opening essay is a vir- parts, not the emergent processes. If the can be tracked over thousands of genera-
tual manifesto of the subject, underlining component parts are implemented correct- tions in only days. —Artificial Life II
the principles by which a-lifers do their ly, the processes they support are genuine
research: regard life as a pattern rather — every bit as genuine as the natural
than a function of specific materials, or- processes they imitate. —Artificial Life
ganize from the bottom up, allow behav-

ior to emerge instead of programming it
in. At the end of the book is a deep, As the available computational power
grows, the "artificial life" experimental
invaluable bibliography. The sequel.
approach — based on computer simula-
Artificial Life II, is the proceedings of
tions of systems modelling selected aspects
a conference held in Santa Fe early in
of the natural world — becomes more and
1990. The more rigorous papers within it
more feasible. . . . For present purposes, it
show how the field is rapidly maturing is the power to create artificial organisms
as it self-organizes. It is accompanied by that combine reasonably long simulated
a fascinating videotape that shov/s state- lives — allowing for substantial learning —

Artificial Life
•Siii<

(a)
m ^
(b)
Christopher G. Langton, Editor
1989; 655 pp.
$ 2 6 . 9 5 ($28.95 postpaid)
Artificial Life II
Christopher G. Langton, Editor; 1991
$ 3 2 . 2 5 ($34.25 postpaid)
FIGURE 2 Breeding from a random starting pattern (a), random lines (b), lines of
Both from Addison-Wesley Publishing Co./
mathematical families (c), mirror algorithms (d), letting genes determine the pres- The Advanced Book Program, 350 Bridge
ence or absence of mirrors in various planes of symmetry (e), and "archetypal" body Parkway/Suite 209, Redwood City, CA
form generated by lllind Walrhwaker's artificial embryology (f). 94065; 800/447-2226

122 W H O L E EARTH REVIEW SUMMER 1991


Theory of Self- Wolfram's Theories and Applications of John Von Neumann
Reproducing Automata Cellular Automata, the best work on the and the Origins
subject since Von Neumann's. Finally, a of Modern Computing
If Chris Langton is a-life's midwife, Von new biography, John Von Neumann and William Aspray, 1990; 600 pp.
Neumann is surely its father. In this the Origins of Computing, gives an ex- $ 3 5 ($38 postpaid) from The MIT Press,
sometimes very technical volume, the cellent ~ and readable — summary of 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, M A 02142;
legendary mathematician virtually (pun von Neumann's automata theory. 800/356-0343 (or Whole Earth Access)
intended) invents cellular automata, out- •
lines how a CA might reproduce, and The Recursive Universe
Draw up a list of unambiguously defined William Poundstone, 1985; 256 pp.
opens speculation on how a "living"
elementary parts. Imagine that there is a
thing might occur vAthin a computer! It's $ 1 1 . 9 5 ($13.95 postpaid) from Contem-
practically unlimited supply of these parts
out of print and hard to find outside of floating around in a large container. One porary Books/Customer Service, 180 N ,
libraries. Other good books about cel- Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601;
can then imagine an automaton function-
lular automata include Burks's seminal 312/782-9181
ing in the following manner: It also is
but difficult Essays in Cellular Automata floating around in this medium; its essen- Theory and Applications
(also out of print); William Poundstone's tial activity i; to pick up parts and put of Cellular Automata
The Recursive Universe, an entire book them together, or, if aggregates of parts Stephen Wolfram, 1986; 560 pp.
geared to lay readers, about Conway's ore found, to take them apart.
LIFE program, relating these most bewitch- $ 2 5 ($28.50 postpaid) from World
—Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata
Scientific Publishing Co., 687 Hartwell
ing cellular automata to modern physics;
Street, Teaneck, NJ 07666; 800/227-7562
Rudy Rucker's entertaining, mind-blown
essay included in the documentation of
his computer program CA LAB (Auto-
desk); and, for those who can handle a
somewhat technical treatment, Stephen

Patterns produced with the


activotor-inhibitor model. The
W h a t Is Life? activation area has a radius of
2.30, and the inhibition area
Surprisingly, there has been very little has an outer radius of 6.01.
discussion posed in this book's title. The activation field value Wi is
Schrodinger, a father of quantum physics, + 1.0, and the inhibition field
value M^3 is varied as indicated
anticipates some of the DNA discoveries in the four examples. As inhibi-
to be made a decade after the series of tion is decreased (left to right),
lectures reprinted here, and frames some the spot pattern connects up
of the big issues that a-life might deal into a pattern of stripes. Eoch
with one day. panel is 25 x 100 in the
arbitrary grid units.
W h a t Is Life?
Erwin Schrodinger, 1968
$ 1 4 . 9 5 ($16.95 postpaid) from
Cambridge University Press, 110 Midland
Avenue, Port Chester, NY 10573; = -0.34 -0.28 -0.24 -0.20
914/937-9600 (or Whole Earth Access)

It is simply a fact of observation that the
guiding principle in every cell is embodied The Growth of Biological Thought
in a single atomic association existing only
in one copy (or sometimes tv/o) — and a This thick tome is a definitive history of
fact of observation that it results in pro- biological studies; it clearly and pains-
ducing events which are a paragon of takingly conveys how people have re-
orderliness. Whether v/e find it ostonishing garded life throughout the centuries, and 'K -rj=:i
or v^hether we find it quite plausible that a
small but highly organized group of atoms
the discoveries that forced changes in The ,
that view. It not only gives an extremely
be capable of acting in this manner, the solid footing in biology to a lay reader,
situation is unprecedented, it is unknown but sets the stage for what might be the
anywhere else except in living matter. The
next revolution in the field: the devel- Thought
physicist and the chemist, investigating
opment of artificial life.
inanimate matter, have never witnessed
phenomena which they had to interpret
this way. The case did not arise and so our It is now clear that a new philosophy
theory does not cover it — our beautiful of biology is needed. This will include
statistical theory of which we were so justly and combine the cybernetic-functional-
proud because it allowed us to look behind organizational ideas of functional biology
the curtain, to watch the magnificent order with the populational-historical program-
of exact physical law coming forth from uniqueness-adaptedness concepts of evo- The Growth of
atomic and molecular disorder; because it lutionary biology. Although obvious in its Biological Thought
revealed that the most important, the most essential outlines, this new philosophy of Ernst Mayr, 1982; 974 pp.
general, the all-embracing law of entropy biology is, at the present time, more of a $ 1 6 . 5 0 ($18.50 postpaid) from Har-
increase could be understood without a manifesto of something to be achieved vard University Press/Customer Service, 79
special assumption ad hoc, for it is nothing than the statement of a mature con- Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138;
but molecular disorder itself. ceptual system. 617/495-2600 (or Whole Earth Access)

27 GATE FIVE ROAD SAUSAUTO, CA 94965 123


The Artificial intelligence Debate Frankenstein
Artificial life is placed oddly in relation Doyne Farmer, head of the Los Alamos
to artificial intelligence. It's not exactly group studying a-life, says the movie ver-
an alternative, and it's not at all a sub- sion of Frankenstein is an albatross
set. Yet many a-lifers think that their field around the neck of artificial life — it.
will fare better than that of "classical evokes images of tetragamous beings
Al" (whose results are acknowledged to unleashed upon the innocent popula-
be disappointing). Some of their reasons tion. On the other hand, the original
why they — and others in the loosely 1818 Shelley novel has a different lesson:
defined "connectionist movement" — Frankenstein is not the monster, but a
think they have an edge ewer their pre- doctor who recklessly creates a living
decessors are discussed in this bound being. Tragedy develops from his failure
The Artificial to deal responsibly with his creation. I
version of a lively debate that occurred in
Intelligence Debate find it encouraging that discussion of
the pages of a journal called Daedalus.
Stephen R. Groubard, Editor. 1988; 311 pp. ethics and hazards abounds in a-life

$ 9 . 9 5 ($12.95 postpaid) from The MIT circles, even in the field's infancy; the
Although questions of capacity and scope
Press, 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA misuse of a-life, neglectful or otherwise,
are necessary in defining the magnitude of
02142; 800/356-0343 could yield disastrous results, and this
the task of constructing an emergent intel- (or Whole Earth Access)
ligence, the key question is one of under- thin book is regarded as potential tonic
standing. While It is possible that we will to that abuse.
be able to recreate the emergent substrate three paths by which such understanding
of intelligence without fully understandingcould be achieved. One is to study the
the details of how it works, it seems likely
properties of specific emergent systems —
that we would at least need to understand to build a theory of their capabilities and
some of its principles. There are at least limitations. . . . Another possible path to
understanding is the study of