Planet Earth, 1983 - 1991





            "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 peaceful purposes.






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?  Think!






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 Tank.






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.




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!




*  *  *



            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 some 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 mankind.” 

            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 communications medium.”





            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 related topics.

            Most of the Think Tank’s staffers are artists, busily creating beautiful NAPLPS graphics.  “The visuals mean we’re going for high end computers,” says Wolf.

            Currently, Wolf is negotiating an agreement with Greenpeace and the Sierra Club to give the Think Tank an affiliation with established organizations.

            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 New Age.


-         David Lytel

 ONLINE ACCESS, Winter, 1991





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 world know!”

            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 something.

            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 PC.


-Tracy Weisman

 ONLINE ACCESS, Winter, 1991


 *  *  *