What We’re Reading on the Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is one rabbit hole we’ve willingly jumped into more than a handful of times since the quarantine began. A welcome temporary retreat from the chaos of social media and churning news cycles, the nonprofit site carries millions of free digitized holdings—books, films, software, music, and more—to be perused at leisure. Until it’s safe to go digging around in libraries again, it offers the next best thing, with plenty of gems to be found.
Fans of the seminal Whole Earth Catalog, the 1960s counterculture print publication often referred to as “the web before the web existed”—its iconic, jam-packed pages overflowing with information, offering a pre-Google repository of knowledge—will want to pore over the Electric Whole Earth Catalog, now available on the site. Originally launched in 1998 on CD-ROM (how quaint!), the lo-fi “electric” edition offers a digital version of the analog original, complete with hyperlinks: at the time, a relatively novel concept. It’s a blast from the past, to say the least, and a refreshing deep dive into the kind of holistic, big-picture thinking we could all use more of right now.