given at Stanford last weekend, and it’s certainly one of the more useful and memorable exhortations to graduates. The paragraph that really resonates for me is right near the end:
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
The Whole Earth ideals and mindspace have been building blocks for my own life, and the parallel to Google is apt: what Gardner Campbell calls “real school” seems to me to be something we carry around in our own minds, and draw upon in all dealings with others –students, colleagues, acquaintances. The task that matters is continuing to educate ourselves.