Dive into the Nautilus

The latest Nautilus magazine Issue 20: Creativity. Part One: Innovators


Looking at online magazines (once every ten days I leap off Arts & Letters Daily‘s sidebar) made me think about the old 1970s Whole Earth Catalog. It was kind of like a year’s worth of the earth’s best blog-reviews, all trussed up in an enormous book. I wonder if it would be possible to disaggregate those old entries and cue them up to re-published as a live blog? Might be kind of fun. Meanwhile, there are free online flip-books of all the Whole Earth Catalog books. I got into the Catalog in the UK circa 1981, when I found a £1 remaindered copy of the enormous table-sized The Next Whole Earth Catalog (Sept 1980). It had somehow found its way across the Atlantic to a small town in the English Midlands, and at a price that a kid could buy. I later picked up the more compact The Essential Whole Earth Catalog (Spring 1986) from somewhere. That 1986 version was smaller, much less satisfying, somehow reflecting the fading away of the counterculture. Those two volumes were all I saw of the Catalogs, but they were enough to give me a fascinating wide-spectrum sweep of the strange signals coming in from the intelligent end of the 1970s counterculture. How dry and technocratic the likes of the Futurium seems, when compared to the Catalogs.