Now included with WELL Membership: Mastodon

the Open-Source Social Network                                                     

Your WELL membership now gives you access to our Mastodon server and the entire Fediverse, in addition to the rich conversations in our local conferences. The Fediverse is an internet-wide social network. free of advertising, algorithms, and corporate objectives. Join us and see Mastodon Quick Start Guide to join the worldwide conversation today!


Currently in the Inkwell


Donn Harris: This Darkness Has Got to Give​ in conversation with David Gans starting June 18

Donn Harris, author of _This Darkness Has Got to Give: Post-Kindergarten Lessons from the Grateful Dead_, about how the Grateful Dead influenced more than just the music world. The Dead were part of a time not unlike the Camelot we attribute to the Kennedy era, or the gospel and blues foundation of the Civil Rights movement’s powerful social and artistic forces and how they combined to give us our own Renaissance, a rebirth that broke free from an oppressive past.

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Welcome to a gathering that’s like no other.

When we talk about The WELL, we are usually talking about the conferences. The conferences are where the magic happens: where posts develop into conversations, and members become a community.

For more about why conversation is so treasured on The WELL, and why members of the community banded together to buy the site in 2012, check out the story of The WELL.

If you like what you see, join us!

Featured Recently in The Inkwell

Unlike most conversations on The WELL, you don’t need a WELL member account to participate – this one is open to all!


Philip K. Dick, The Last Ten Years

Philip K. Dick, The Last Ten Years: A Conversation Between a Dark-Haired Girl and Tim PowersLinda Castellani, Philip Dick’s “dark-haired girl,” and author Tim Powers discuss the the private, often darker, side of the Philip Dick that they knew intimately. [Link forthcoming]

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Forrest Mims: Maverick Scientist

Forrest Mims: Maverick Scientist,  May 21 – June 3, 2024

Forrest Mims is legendary among makers for his dozens of books and hundreds of articles featuring DIY electronics, technology and science projects, which he has been writing since 1972. In his latest book, “Maverick Scientist: My Adventures as an Amateur Scientist,” he shares how and why he became a self-made amateur atmospheric scientist, with dozens of papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, based on data gathered with his own handmade devices.


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Well Members Say:

I am a political junkie, and the heat-to-light ratio in the Politics conference is very favorable — there’s a lot of substantial discussion without a lot of name-calling. The Sports conference features the day-to-day discussion of all kinds of sporting events, but the best things about the conference are the annual football and March Madness pools. Finally, the Legal conference is where I go to share war stories and get advice and dark humor from the grizzled old war horses.

–Doug Masson, Attorney
WELL Member since 1999

I love the Writers conference, home to a wonderfully supportive community of all types of real working writers being real people together. Byline is full of inside info the working writer needs — contracts and contacts, editors and agents. Current gives me thoughtful insights — and some fiercely argued points of view — on what’s happening in the world.

-Joe Flower, Healthcare Futurist     
WELL Member since 1989

My home on The WELL is the convivial chow.ind. It’s the best place online to talk about food — eating it, cooking it, going out for it, and heck, even making dioramas from it. You’ll also find me in the San Francisco conference, which I co-host. There we discuss all aspects of city life from arts to sports to politics to — okay, eating again. I’m also a fan of Plumage, where a fashion reality check is always available from friendly cohorts.

-Brady Lea, Playwright/Teacher     
WELL Member since 1998

I have always loved the Weird conference because “weird” only begins to describe it. I love the Plumage conference because my friends and I never get tired of talking about clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and grooming, and because on Oscar night we cast all discretion aside and call it like we see it. And the Media conference is as rich and huge and fast-moving as media culture itself.

-Stephanie Vardavas, Attorney and Author
WELL Member since 1994