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What is this conference all about?
The first conference was held in 1984 in Marin County, California. It was organized by Stewart Brand and the people at Whole Earth and The Point Foundation. The conference was catalyzed by the publication of Steven Levy's book ": The Heroes of the Computer Revolution". Stewart felt that it would be really great to get some of the people mentioned in that book together for a weekend and "see what happened". It was a resounding success resulting in a video documentary which aired nationwide on PBS.
In early 1986, the subject of the conference came up in an on-line discussion on the WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link). "Why not do it again?" In late 1986, we had managed to put together the second conference which was held at a summer camp in Saratoga, CA. Since then, we've been holding the conference each year, and no longer at a summer camp.
What's in a name?
Back in 1984, there was one meaning for the word ... it was a very complimentary, very positive word. Sadly, there's now another definition, with quite the opposite meaning. The definition created by the media means something very negative. Because the attendees to the conference feel very strongly that we should not give up the original positive meaning of the word, we decided to have two very different names for the conference. Both names appear above. You can find out more about the names and the meanings here.