John Perry Barlow

John Perry Barlow understood what the Internet was, what it could be, and what it must be before most of us did.

He passed away yesterday and the Internet filled with remembrances.

Here are some of the best that I read:

Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing

Steven Levy on Wired

Cindy Cohn at EFF

Rest In Peace JPB

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Inspired me back in the late 70’s for other reasons.

  2. William Mougayar

    I met him briefly at a P2P conference in SF back in 2000. He was larger than life. He helped put the EFF on the map. RIP.

  3. kenberger

    I camped with Barlow at Burning Man in 2000.There, he didn’t speak 1 word of teck-now-ludgy, basically just the virtues of life and sun showers !Our camp was called Spiral Oasis, by the way. Some of my best friends to this day.

    1. kenberger

      I always loved Barlow (not John, JPB, or anything other than Barlow)’s story about starting the EFF. Best part is it’s written in 1990(!) He was a key user of “The WELL”, a bulletin board service who came up with Steve Jobs’ “stay foolish”:

      1. PhilipSugar

        That is a great link. I knew of the man but did not know the man.Protecting our 4th Amendment rights are so important. Especially as he points out from Government workers that have no clue, but assume you are guilty before you can prove yourself innocent. The EFF is an incredible resource.To Barlow I say “Well Done Brother!”

      2. Vasudev Ram

        > He was a key user of “The WELL”, a bulletin board service who came up with Steve Jobs’ “stay foolish”:The Whole Earth Catalog was also from around that time and that group or sort of people, IIRC (maybe a bit earlier or later). I remember reading the printed book as a kid when my uncle brought a copy of it from the US. It was a huge book and a fantastic resource for things like organic farming and gardening, organic and health foods, woodworking, alternative tools like Japanese woodworking tools (very different in design from Western ones), and a whole lot more.…[ The magazine featured essays and articles, but was primarily focused on product reviews. The editorial focus was on self-sufficiency, ecology, alternative education, “do it yourself” (DIY), and holism, and featured the slogan “access to tools”. … WEC listed and reviewed a wide range of products (clothing, books, tools, machines, seeds, etc.) ]>Steve Jobs’ “stay foolish”:

          1. Vasudev Ram

            Oh yes, now I remember. I did not get to use the WELL, it was before my time, also I was in India, but remember reading about it too. Very interesting concept, it seemed like. Stood for Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link, or something like that. BIX (Byte Information eXchange) by the BYTE magazine group, was another similar one. BBS’s were cool. I only got to use them a little before the Internet became widespread and somewhat supplanted them, but they were a lot of fun, and useful too. Chatting with people, tons of free apps, utilities, and source code that you could download, use and study, games, etc. Thanks.

  4. iggyfanlo

    I met John at a medical data conference and he inspired to continue

  5. jason wright

    it always feels ‘unsatisfactory’ when the first i hear of a person is the news of their death. I’m sure Mark Twain would have a way of describing that feeling (better than i can).Edit 15:44 GMT;What “must” the internet be?- ‘Internet We’.

  6. PhilipSugar

    That is a well said brief Eulogy. Well done.

  7. LaVonne Reimer

    This from one of the links: “Even more important, he grasped the soul of the technology.” It captures my connections to him (though never met directly). The first person I hired as an employee in my first startup was Rosie McGee, former ad hoc photographer, stage dancer, and bookkeeper for the Grateful Dead. Also the person handcuffed to Bobby Weir as police escorted all tenants of that Victorian residence in the Haight. More recently it has been via Doc Searls and others of the Cluetrain crowd. The two worlds, music and science, overlap in that quoted phrase. Dead-heads, whether Jews for the Dead or Wall Street Deadheads adhere to an ethos that Barlow grokked could/should be at the heart of technology. I’m so sad he’s gone. I believe he has left more than enough guideposts for all of us if we have the courage to stay on course.

  8. Anne Libby

    Very sad to see that health care expenses were an issue in his last days.

  9. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:John Perry Barlow the former Chairman of the Sublette County Republican Party & Wyoming campaign coordinator for Dick Cheney during his 1978 Congressional campaign has a eclectic storied life. His Politics attracted the Republicans & his Entrepreneurial spirits, defense of the Internet & Grateful Dead writings attract the Democrats. The Libertarian were attracted to his anachronism professions.John Perry Barlow the defender of the Internet.Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndeIndepent

  10. mplsvbhvr

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Jigdel

    What a great loss, rest in peace JPB. Here’s to a new digital world shaped with his vision set out decades ago!