Friend and human mind I very much admire Jerry Michalski Twitter-shared two remarkably prescient videos from the PC Forum today (see epic photos from 77 to 95). If you watch, which I strongly suggest you do, you’ll see and hear pieces of the Internet being made.
If you were born after 1995 and not a technological insider, you probably have no idea about the origins of the Internet, or who Jerry is, or why you should care. Trust me that you should take the time to listen to these prescient conversations from a few of the true makers of the digital age.
You should definitely watch, if you know what’s good for you.
If you enjoy music videos, websites, or podcasts then you care about the deeply intelligent MTV VJ Adam Curry, who many call the Podfather of podcasting. If you care about quality conversation and what technology has contributed to the advancement of the self then you care about *Sherry Turkle, who is today the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, and the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. If you care about the world and the earth and great thinking minds of today who were shaped by other thinking minds before them, then you care about **Stewart Brand. And if you have ever gotten any education online or are thinking about getting healthier, or enjoy any of the Internet in any way today, then you care about Esther Dyson.
The PC Forum hosted just about every great intellect and idealist who has architected the digital world.
Jerry Michalski is the founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition. He is who the Institute of the Future calls “a pattern finder, a lateral thinker, a Gladwellian connector, facilitator, and explorer of the interactions between technology, society, and business. From 1987 to 1998, Jerry was a technology analyst, focusing not on quarterly earnings but rather on which technologies would be useful and which would be distractions, what trends and forces create new potential, and where all these forces might take us over a 20-year timeframe. For the last five years of that period, Jerry was the Managing Editor of Esther Dyson’s monthly tech newsletter, Release 1.0, as well as co-host of her annual conference, PC Forum. He was fortunate to be on duty when the Internet showed up.” (IFTF)
Relationships are everything.
Jerry has since then been an independent consultant, doing business as Sociate, and believes that the social changes we are going through as a result of all the new connectivity will be more profound than any structural or economic shifts we have seen. He honed his systems thinking gears with Russ Ackoff at the Wharton School and creates conversation and collision spaces, such as he has through projects like REX – which is now exploring the exit of the consumer mass-market economy as the world enters the Relationship Economy. Jerry has shaped and facilitated, been witness to and contributed greatly toward some of the most important shifts in society and technology.
Esther Dyson, is also a large part of the conversational and technological shift in the contemporary world, a shift that has literally been the making foundation of the world we live in today. Esther is a world-renowned technology guru. Forbes Magazine called her “one of the most powerful women in American business, and is regarded as one of the most influential voices in technology.” Biography.com
She founded the PC Forum in 1977, the longest running elite high-tech conference and closed it in 2006. In its hey dey, venture capitalist Roger McNamee said “the PC Forum was one of the seminal gatherings of movers and shakers in the PC industry. The conference traces its pedigree back to venture capitalist Ben Rosen, who in addition to investing in Lotus and Compaq, also started a research firm which Dyson bought in 1983 and expanded in reach and prominence…” SF Gate
Today Esther Dyson can be found everywhere still. She and her fund Edventure have been nurturing start-ups in the education and health spaces. She has also founded Wellville, a game-changing way of making communities well that could be scaled globally. On Twitter she describes herself this way: “Internet court jEsther — I occupy Esther Dyson. Executive founder @WaytoWellvillehttps://mailstrom.co/edyson http://www.flickr.com/photos/edyson .”
Adam Curry began his VJ MTV career in the early 80’s, but that doesn’t really define him. While he was viewed as a celebrity, many – which was less often discussed – knew him to be\ a brilliant thinker and imagineer of technology and media. Adam describes himself today this way: “..started in radio at 15 and worked in MSM radio and television for 25 years, started several companies, took one of them public in 1996, until I saw the light. I live in Austin Texas, I rarely set an alarm, and I am a firm believer that the Universe will provide.” He has very successful podcasts (is considered the original podcaster) and among many successful companies (and exits), he appears to be living an existential life without alarm clocks (which I greatly admire), and says he is also a legislative analyst because he loves that work and because he can.
*Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, and the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.
**Stewart Brand is an American writer, best known as editor of the Whole Earth Catalog. He founded a number of organizations, including The WELL, the Global Business Network, and the Long Now Foundation.
Adam Curry photos: Wikipedia and By Slamond – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
PC Forum Photos: Visit Esther Dyson, Flickr