Whole Earth Backlog

By: Jack Sellwood
Posted: May 17, 2023

In the spirit of Steward Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, this project intends to inspire readers and hackers to make stuff. Specifically, Whole Earth Backlog is a compendium of projects, products, and things that ought exist in the world but currently don’t—or do exist but to an insufficient degree.

You could think of these as free ideas but many of the ideas here will not be original. I hope organizing them can bring together creatives and hackers much like Whole Earth Catalog. In fact, I’d love for others to post their entries in the Backlog too.

This backlog is a work of passion and earnest hope that the world can be shaped to be a better place. Many of these ideas will focus on technology, though there may be non-epistemic, analog equivalents worth exploring. The imperative for these is far too urgent and the backlog too long to justify siloing these in any of in any of our brains. In a fantasy realm, Whole Earth Backlog would inspire an Enlightenment or Works Project Administration kind of response to the pains of today.

Here’s to the marketplace of ideas.