A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window.— Stewart Brand
The most tempting Stewart Brand quotes that will transform you to a better person
Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.
Humans have made a huge hole in nature in the last 10,000 years.
[With de-extinction,] we have the ability now, and maybe the moral obligation, to repair some of the damage.
On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable.
The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.
If you don't like bacteria, you're on the wrong planet.
If all of your electricity in your lifetime came from nuclear [energy], the waste from that lifetime of electricity would go in a Coke can.
For artists diving into a new technology, it is a triple short-cut to mastery: you get a free ride on the novelty of the medium; there are no previous masters to surpass; and after a few weeks, you are the master. Try that with the violin.
One advantage of a solar collector in space: It would be some kind of origami thing that would unfold and be relatively light because it doesn't have gravity to deal with.
Every interview with a public figure should include the question "What have you been wrong about, and how did that change your views?" The answer will tell us if the person is intellectually honest or a tale spinner with delusions of infallibility.
When a fantasy turns you on, you're obligated to God and nature to start doing it right away.
Over the next ten years, I predict, the mainstream of the environmental movement will reverse its opinion and activism in four major areas: population growth, urbaninzation, genetically engineered organisms, and nuclear power.
Likewise, with solar, especially here in California, we're discovering that the 80 solar farm schemes that are going forward want to basically bulldoze 1,000 sq. mi. of southern California desert. Well, as an environmentalist, we would rather that didn't happen.
The main problem with solar on the Earth's surface is that it is so intermittent, and we don't have decent storage yet.
Information wants to be free.
We have wished, we eco-freaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion-guilt-free at last!
Carbon tax has the advantage of basically being able to subsidize one set of activities that you want with another set of activities that you don't want. It's like a cigarette tax.
[Wind energy] takes a very large footprint on the land, five to 10 times what you'd use for nuclear, and typically to get one gigawatt of electricity is on the order of 250 square miles of wind farm.
There should always be in sight the draw - a kind of a beacon that draws you on through the labyrinth.
When a fantasy turns you on, you're obligated to God and nature to start doing it - right away.
The urgent finds you; you have to find the important. Importance is not fast. It is slow. It is not superficial. It is deep. And as a result, it's extremely powerful. When important matters go wrong, they undermine everything. When they go right, they sustain everything.
Many of my contemporaries in the developed world see subsistence farming as soulful and organic, but it is a poverty trap and an environmental disaster.
Redefine the possible.
Science is the only news. When you scan a news portal or magazine, all the human interest stuff is the same old he-said-she-said, the politics and economics the same cyclical dramas, the fashions a pathetic illusion of newness; even the technology is predictable if you know the science behind it. Human nature doesn't change much; science does, and the change accrues, altering the world irreversibly
Certain knowledge of what to fight for, and what to fight against, gives meaning to life and provides its own version of discipline: never give up. That kind of meaning is illusory, I now believe, and blinkered. Fealty to a mystical absolute is a formula for disaster, especially in transformative times.
The point is to explore whatever may be helpful for thinking, understanding, and acting responsibly over long periods of time.
As you gain elevation [on the mountain] your IQ goes down - but your emotional affect goes up, which is great for having a mythic experience, whether you want to or not.
Want to know where the action in a culture is? Watch where new language is turning up and where the lawyers collect, usually in that sequence.
Civilization’s shortening attention span is mismatched with the pace of environmental problems.
The great problem with the future is that we die there.
This is why it is so hard to take the future personally, especially the longer future, because that world is suffused with our absence.
All buildings are predictions. All predictions are wrong.
The technology of synthetic biology is currently accelerating at four times the rate of Moore's Law. It's been doing that since 2005, and it's likely to continue.
It would be helpful if humanity got into the habit of thinking of the now not just as next week or next quarter, but the next 10,000 years and the last 10,000 years - basically civilization's story so far.
Whenever I hear the word "share" I would reach for a gun if I had one.
"Share" is frequently followed by the word "feelings", and I have enough of my own thank you; please do us both a favor and repress yours.
Programming (or making music) at night is dreamtime, a period exclusively mental, utterly absorbed, sustained and timeless, placeless, disembodied.
When a generation talks just to itself, it becomes more filled with folly than it might have otherwise.
A building is not something you finish. A building is something you start.
We are as gods and might as well get good at it.
This is pretty much the infrastructural stuff that comes along with large quantities of energy. Whichever technology we are looking at has serious hazardous issues.
Tool - something with a use on one end and a grasp on the other end.
Information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.
Art flouts convention. Convention became convention because it works.
In terms of weapons, the best disarmament tool so far is nuclear energy.
We have been taking down the Russian warheads, turning it into electricity. 10 percent of American electricity comes from decommissioned warheads.
There's no unemployment in squatter cities.
Everyone works. One-sixth of humanity is there. It's soon going to be more than that.
Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive.
Do what's good for humans, modeled on how humans already do things;
ignore what's convenient for computers.
The amusements of broadcast consist mainly of songs, stories, and games, just as in tribal life. The songs and stories are mostly about courtship, the games mostly played by men, just as in tribal life.
When the government tries to run innovation, sometimes it does it well and sometimes it doesn't. So setting up a situation where the market runs innovation, which is a cap-and-trade idea, may well have more flexibility.
Style is time’s fool. Form is time’s student
How can I throw my life away in the least unhappy way?
In our researches on the likely economic apocalypse it's become clear what is the prime survival tool for hard times: friends. Good friends. Lots of them.