The Lunar Society and the Homebrew Club
"The Lunar Society are now seen as leading British contributors to the Enlightenment,
so much more impressive than the French philosophers because they were practical instead
of being merely intellectuals preaching from ivory towers." - Dr Desmond King-Hele

History does repeat itself. If we learn from history, we can choose to embrace the best actions and decide to avoid the worst.

Listen to this podcast about The Lunar Society.

The phenomenon of like mined people gathering to exchange ideas has happened many times.

    • The Sons of Liberty is an example of a social grouping that had an external goal.
    • The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade's mission was very clear.
    • Per the Library of Congress, "The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C.
      in 1888 to support "the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge.""

Research The Homebrew Computer Club which casually began in 1975.

How was it similar to The Lunar Society?

Who were some of the noteworthy members?

What roles have the members played in our society?

Do you believe they have had an impact similar to that of the Lunar Society?

Which group was more significant?


Is there a group like one of these in your school or community?


If you were to found a group like Benjamin Franklin and Gordon French did, what would be its prime focus?


Explore further

Homebrew Club newsletters - available online

Consider the Power of Possibilities through Andreessen's eye

Google Books Virtual Library - What are the implications?


"Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world.
In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead


bullet Small Pieces, Loosely Joined activity

bullet National Science Foundation and the Birth of the Internet

bullet Emergence - can things spontaneously organize?

? What is Moore's law regarding computing? ? Are computer Chips made from sand?
? "Moore's Law is dead," says Gordon Moore. Why? ? How much power does a device use when it is off?
?  Innovators in Computing ? About the Internet Hunt
? National Museum of American History ? Computer Maintenance Hunt
? ENIAC ? Binary Internet Hunt
? Computer Games ? Transparency Essay

How much electricity does a computer use? - What do you conclude should be done? Leave it on / turn it off

Cyberinfrastructure - examines the convergence of three realities -- the spread of the Internet, the shrinkage of computers, and the accumulation of databases
Digital - Discerning Fake and Real Photos - Why does it matter to you?

*Rich Tennant can put a smile to the greatest computer frustrations. See his most recent funny here.

tree icon Save a tree - use a Digital Answer Format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid Symbol, blackmore, brodfont dear or other ornate artistic fonts). Save frequently as you work. Enter your name and the date in a header. Submit the assignment via a class dropbox or an email attachment. Bad things happen. Save a copy of your document in your computer. Perhaps you have the resources to record verbal answers. If you do, be sure to first read / record the question. Then record the answer immediately after it. Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon

Make your own printer paper answer sheet

Aligned with PA Academic Standards for Science and Technology

3.8 Science, Technology and Human Endeavors

3.8.4 A. Know that people select, create and use science and technology and that they are limited by social and physical restraints. • Identify and describe positive and negative impacts that influence or result from new tools and techniques. • Identify how physical technology (e.g., construction, manufacturing, transportation), informational technology and biotechnology are used to meet human needs. • Describe how scientific discoveries and technological advancements are related. • Identify interrelationships among technology, people and their world. • Apply the technological design process to solve a simple problem. A. Know how human ingenuity and technological resources satisfy specific human needs and improve the quality of life. • Identify and distinguish between human needs and improving the quality of life. • Identify and distinguish between natural and human-made resources. • Describe a technological invention and the resources that were used to develop it. A. Know the pros and cons positive and negative impacts.

3.8.7 A. Explain how sciences and technologies are limited in their effects and influences on society. • Identify and describe the unavoidable constraints of technological design. • Identify changes in society as a result of a technological development. • Identify and explain improvements in transportation, health, sanitation and communications as a result of advancements in science and technology and how they effect our lives. B. Explain how human ingenuity and technological resources satisfy specific human needs and improve the quality of life. • Identify interrelationships between systems and resources. • Identify and describe the resources necessary to solve a selected problem in a community and improve the quality of life. C. Identify the pros and cons of applying technological and scientific solutions to address problems and the effect upon society.

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Developed by Cynthia J. O'Hora This activity is released to the public domain to promote educating our children about technology. Posted 5/2008