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Why This Silicon Valley Prophet Says He’s Still an Optimist


In 2005, Mr. Jobs gave a commencement address at Stanford, cited Mr. Brand as a major influence in his life and explained what “Whole Earth” was to a younger generation: “It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along,” he said. “It was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.”Mr. Brand coined the term “personal computer” in 1974, several years after writing an article for Rolling Stone that drew a picture of the future of the digital world. Computers, he predicted, would be the next important trend after psychedelic drugs: “That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics. It’s way off the tr …

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