John Perry's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Team BNE

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Mill Valley, CA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 9

  • ON DVD:

JOHN PERRY BARLOW

Co-founder
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

“If you think of getting lost as a positive thing, you open yourself up to possibilities you wouldn't have otherwise considered”

INTERESTS:

Non-Profit Organizations Technology

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Community Exploration Family Fear Opportunity Chance Values Courage Choices Regrets

FOUNDATION:

Upholding a Cause and Belief

TAGS:

being lost, computers, dead, dead heads, evolution, family, farming, grateful, India, internet, Joseph Campbell, music, plan, poetry, ranching, songwriter, songwriting, trajectory, travel, writing

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Studied comparative religion at Wesleyan University, then spent two years wandering around India.
  • After college, he spent time living on his family's ranch and writing songs for the Grateful Dead.
  • Was always fascinated by what would replace the solitary ranch lifestyle that was dying out.
  • In the '80s, someone told him to check out a Grateful Dead message board; this was his first encounter with the Internet, still in its early stages.
  • He realized the Internet was going to become "the nervous system" of the collective human race, it became one of his interests.
  • Harper's Bazaar started a forum discussing the issues of personal privacy and freedom of expression in the age of the Web.
  • In 1990, he took those ideas and started EFF, which protects free speech online, limits government access to personal data.
  • Stresses that everyone feels confused about what they want to do with their lives; you can take comfort in knowing your colleagues are just as scared as you are.

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