"I had started work on a little pamphlet which I was calling "The Bermuda
Think Tank," about an imaginary institution set on the Island of
Bermuda, that would discuss crucial planetary concerns like
environmental problems, overpopulation, food shortages, disappearing
species, archeological exploration and, of course, art. I wanted
to give it a nice professional look so I staged a photo session called 'The
Bermuda Think Tank Founders' Session,' with a bunch of friends out at
the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, under
Rodin's sculpture of 'The Thinker.' ..."
The Think Tank is located in an ex-military base on the Island of
Bermuda, now being put to
Over three-quarters of our planet is
covered with oceans; and yet we have hardly begun to explore and
understand this great potential for the good of humankind. This will be
your task in the Oceanography Department.
Our unique location in the middle of
the Atlantic Ocean gives us a wide view of the world of water. Strong
currents pass by, whales and dolphins migrate through the islands, and
shipwrecks dot the nearby ocean floor, to say nothing of the famous
“Bermuda Triangle” conceptual art event (SEE: Art Department). Get
involved in our largest and most active department. Contribute to the
good of humankind.
Someday, giant underwater habitats will
spread out into the ocean (BELOW). How will they look and how will
human beings feel living in these “reverse fishbowls”? In this workshop
you’ll be designing and planning the Bermuda Think Tank Underwater City,
a carefully-controlled development for six million people within twenty
years. Good luck!
Location: 20,000 leagues.
The Bermuda Think Tank’s future
Underwater City is located directly on a number of busy whale migration
routes (BELOW), humorously dubbed “the whaling wall” by Think Tank
apprentices. How can projects like this benefit our fellow Earthlings?
“COMMUNICATING WITH MIGRATING WHALES AND DOLPHINS”
Many cities around the world are
ideally located on a number of established shale migration routes (BELOW:
San Francisco), particularly the Right Whale and the Finback Whale. It
will be your task to submerge giant underwater speakers and broadcast
favorite whale songs. Decide which tapes will be played and analyze the
results. An exciting class with an important mission!
She is the Mother of Us All! But the
planet Earth has not been treated kindly by humans recently. This
department’s task is, quite simply, to save the Earth! You’ll learn
lots of ways you can help the Earth and contribute to the Bermuda Think
Tank at the same time. Join the Earth Department’s efforts today. We
must do more than just preserve and protect our planet, we must begin to
undo the damage done by previous generations. Welcome ashore!
One of our planet’s greatest problems
is meeting the ever-changing energy needs of our species. This workshop
will be formulating the energy policies of the Bermuda Think Tank.
You’ll be studying the many alternative energy sources available now and
in the near future. Giant underwater propellers (BELOW) harness strong
ocean currents in the San Francisco Bay branch of the Bermuda Think
The world’s food supply and
distribution system are the concerns of this department. Learn what’s
wrong and join the effort to fix it.
Get hands-on training in the feeding of
the hungry as you and your classmates design, construct and implement
this important step towards a better world.
This vast craft (BELOW), 25 miles by 25
miles, will float atop the Indian Ocean (for example) and provide
agricultural products, fish, kelp and livestock to giant cargo ships and
planes bound for the ports of nearby lands.
This department emphasizes the fact
that we are all together on this one Earth. The nation-states, the
republics, their governments and politicians are NOT the concern of the
Bermuda Think Tank. Rather, we concern ourselves with the society of
our species. We propose the liberation of the airwaves, eliminating
citizenship laws, passports, and times zones, among others.
ELIMINATING THE TIME ZONES
The map of the world is cluttered with
mor that 24 (yes!) uneven time zones. The Bermuda Think Tank proposed
to replace this confusing and inefficient system with a single 24-hour
time zone, Earth-Time. A boon to astronauts, artists, ecologists and
farmers. Contribute your ideas!
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In 1986, the pamphlet had grown to several hundred pages, and the first
pages were installed on an interactive Canadian test database which ran
for some three years. It grew to over one thousand pages and caused
notice in “online” magazines of the period.
By David Lytel
“I’d love to change the world,” sang the group Ten Years After
plaintively, “but I don’t know what to do.”
One person who believes wholeheartedly in this concept is San Francisco
artist Bill Wolf. Wolf had developed what he calls the Bermuda Think
Tank, a highly graphic and colorful online meeting place designed for
people who want to use their modems to promote world harmony.
And it’s a beautiful design. Wolf and the other artists and writers
working with him have created spectacular, thought-provoking graphic
images. They see the system as a way for people to communicate and
share ideas related to the future of our planet and its species.
“We propose liberation of the world’s airwaves, elimination of the time
zones, the abolishment of nations and money,“ says the Think Tank
handbook. Through the service, people may “contribute to the good of
Says Wolf of the effort, “We want to change the world, of course. The
Think Tank has tremendous potential. It could be the first global
connection on an artistic level, as well as a wildly successful
When you sign onto the service, a university campus appears on your
screen, and you are invited to visit specialty areas dealing with art,
the earth, oceanography, food, archeology, global affairs, space and
science. Each section has programmed learning courses and tests. Then,
users are encouraged to leave messages or participate in conferences on
Most of the Think Tank’s staffers are artists, busily creating beautiful
NAPLPS graphics. “The visuals mean we’re going for high end computers,”
Currently, Wolf is negotiating an agreement with Greenpeace and the
Sierra Club to give the Think Tank an affiliation with established
Imput from users on how to run the Think Tank will be solicited, says
Wolf, but his “springboard to open discussions of a utopian society”
won’t itself be an exercise in direct democracy. “I’m the president,”
Wolf says. “We feel quite strongly about the way it ought to be run,
what it ought to look like and what it ought to be doing. We’re looking
for help and direction and contributions, but we’ll have the final say.
I think that the people we attract will be on our wavelength.”
Inappropriate messages will be deleted.
Perhaps Bill Wolf’s commitment to a highly graphic and colorful service
will make it visually pleasing enough to attract the visionaries of the
ONLINE ACCESS, Winter, 1991
THINK TANK SPARKS
BY Tracy Weisman
“Each year millions and millions of good ideas go to waste because they
are not seen or heard. Do you have ideas that could benefit humankind?
Don’t sit on your ideas! Join the Bermuda Think Tank today, and let the
With that inspirational greeting, Bermuda Think Tank President Bill Wolf
is encouraging PC users to sit down, “think hard” and put their ideas
for bettering the world where they belong: in a forum where they can be
shared with other globally concerned individuals.
Brilliant NAPLPS graphics designed by talented artists are a main
highlight of this unusual online service. It’s easy to imagine yourself
as a renowned scientist arriving at the Bermuda Think Tank campus, where
you’ll brainstorm with other like-minded, progressive thinkers.
When you log onto the service, the stunning, animated graphics capture
your imagination. You first see the grounds of the Think Tank campus
from under the shade of a palm tree; the beautiful Atlantic shimmers in
the background as you walk down a grassy slope to drop your duffle bag
off in your room.
During your newcomer’s tour of the grounds, you’ll notice the university
president’s yacht pull up to a dock adjacent to the oceanography section
of campus, see his Cessna come in for a landing at the global affairs
hanger or watch the president himself trot onto the beach in the
archeology area. (We’re assured these images are purely tongue-in-cheek
and that Bill Wolf does not spend his days lounging at the beach.)
Or how about this for a mind-bender: In the oceanography exam, try to
find the Java Trench or the Gulf of Guinea on a world map.
The Bermuda Think Tank’s activism is imaginative and refreshingly
lacking in pretension. Its ideas may be considered far-out, but they
spark creative thinking. For example, why not tow icebergs to drought-parched
areas of the earth that need fresh water? Or how about making a huge
triangle shape out of 50,000 sailing vessels in the waters of the
Bermuda Triangle? Money raised from entry fees collected from wealthy
yacht owners and the licensing of the triangle image as photographed by
satellite would be used to buy food to send to starving people.
If you’ve ever daydreamed “What if…,” the Bermuda Think Tank is a place
for you to share your ideas about art, conservation and peace without
being laughed at. You can go to class, read lessons and contribute your
thoughts to an Encyclopedia of Ideas for posterity.
There’s a lot of fun to be had online here, and you just might learn
The Bermuda Think Tank is a fine mix of education and entertainment.
Give it a try. Who knows – you just might help save the world with your
ONLINE ACCESS, Winter, 1991
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