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Whole Earth Revived

If you want a throw-away magazine, Whole Earth is not for you. We publish a magazine that readers have hoarded, prowled inside of, stored in garages and cellars. Whole Earth is a dialog as much as a magazine. Staff, readers, citizens, scientists, writers, politicians, kids, inventors, savvy dabblers, clowns, even wildlife and our pets participate. We like readers to take at least three months (we're a quarterly) snooping around. We've changed a bit. Now offering a beginning section on just one topic. Actually, it's not so much a change but an expanded project: to provide stuff in greater depth and width than more formal schools and mainstream media (see pages 4 to 22 on fibers wool, fiberglass, nylon, hemp, moral, bio-economic, and many more).

We buck the trend toward niche publications. In fact, an astounding number of niche pubs mountain climbing to windmills, women's resources to wired PCs, enviro-care to skateboards all hatched in Whole Earth style. With so many specialist pubs and the internet, we're coevolving with new dreams, info needs and goings-out into the world. It's hard to keep us pigeon-holed. We have an insatiable appetite for connectivity, fuzzy categories, and op-art patterns. More like walking in the dappled woods and hearing a new bird song. You stop everything and look.

Since Whole Earth began, there are two new kids on the block: trans-nationals and non-governmental organizations or NGOs. Some NGOs have started substantial multi-national businesses (see our "yellow pages" on treefiee products, page i6); some businesses have financed their own NGOs (e.g., the "wise use" movement); and some businesses, government agencies, and NGOs have formed partnerships, sardonically duhhed "nightmare coalitions" (see cowboys and conservationists, page 70). Whole Earth sits at the crossroads with a great seat for reporting the emerging patterns woven by citizen advocacy, business clout, and increasingly insecure governments (and religions). We've had years of practice and developed a community that has already thought long and hard about the design of market systems and ecosystems, spirituality with technology, scientific and poetic discovery, portentous social innovations, and upending technologies.

Over the last quarter-century, we've learned that access to tools and ideas is not enough. Practice and experience refine handwork and wisdom, make it better, secure a more subtle touch. So, we've changed our motto from "access to tools and ideas" to "access to '   ideas, tools, and practices." Our stories will highlight how people learn everything from the divine (see Vijaya Nagarajan's story on Tamil Nadu women, page 49) to better government ("Land of Found Friends," page 22).

Two litmus-tests of planetary health are cultural diversity and biodiversity. They've been thrown out of whack by discordant systems urban, farming, industrial, and trade. Many feel we hover at the edge of chaos: species, languages, and rich legacies disappear at an accelerating pace; cities search for a sense of dignity; rural communities ache for stability; industrialism overwhelms biospheric metabolism. Thus, our new front cover header (thanks to a discussion with Stewart Brand): "Civilizations and Wilderness at the Edge of Chaos."

Ironically, we want our readers to be comfortable with "chaos," both within themselves and their surroundings. So, we created new domains out of our gut sense that citizens feel time is out of control: Tapestry and the Webs is our domain on community time textures; CoEvolution on dynamic interactive time; Homeplate on comfortable, curious time out; Eternity: Life 'n Love on those timeless sensual universes. Our forum and festivities offer you ideas, tools, and practices for what is worthwhile between life and death and forever after.