A review of Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From

Originally Published in EnlightenNext Magazine

EVERY SO OFTEN I come across a line in a book or an article that hits me so deeply I never forget it. It happened a few years ago while reading From Counterculture to Cyberculture by Stanford University scholar Fred Turner. The book connects the communal ethos of the hippie counterculture with the network ethos of the emerging techno-futurist subculture that is having such an influence in Silicon Valley and beyond. Ironically, the sentence that caught my attention is in the acknowledgements of the book, an afterthought that was no less profound because of its placement. “If I’ve learned anything in the last seven years,” Turner writes, “it is that ideas live less in the minds of individuals than in the interactions of communities.”

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