||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (July 2011)|
Marshall Brain was born in Santa Monica, California. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He was a member of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity. Brain earned a master's degree in computer science from North Carolina State University (NCSU).
Before founding HowStuffWorks, Marshall taught in the computer science department at NCSU for six years. He has written computer programming manuals and has run a software training and consulting company.
Marshall founded the website HowStuffWorks.com in 1998 and ran the site until 2002, when he sold it to The Convex Group, an Atlanta-based investment company owned by former Web MD CEO Jeff Arnold, for around $1 million. In 2007, Convex sold it to Discovery Communications for $250 million. Since 2008, a television documentary with the same name has aired on the Discovery Channel.
Beliefs and interests
Brain maintains a website with, among others, essays on transhumanism and robots and an online science fiction novel on that topic, Manna. Brain argues in his Robotic Nation series that automation will lead to structural unemployment, requiring a basic income guarantee or guaranteed minimum income.
Marshall Brain is a naturalist. His websites Why Won't God Heal Amputees? and God is Imaginary reflect his skepticism of a single god that is omnipotent and omnibenevolent. He has created and posted some widely-viewed online videos on this subject, such as "10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer". This is his most widely-viewed video on YouTube, having been viewed over 6 million times.
Books by Marshall Brain
|Marshall Brain's MORE How STUFF Works||John Wiley & Sons||ISBN 0-7645-6711-X|
|What If?||John Wiley & Sons||ISBN 0-7645-6657-1|
|Marshall Brain's How Stuff Works||John Wiley & Sons||ISBN 0-7645-6518-4|
|How Much Does the Earth Weigh?||John Wiley & Sons||ISBN 0-7645-6519-2|
|The Teenager's Guide to the Real World||BYG Publishing, Inc.||ISBN 0-9657430-3-9|
|Win32 System Services||Prentice Hall||ISBN 0-13-022557-6|
|Visual C++ 2||Prentice Hall||ISBN 0-13-305145-5|
|Using Windows NT||Prentice Hall||ISBN 0-13-091977-2|
|Motif Programming: The Essentials... and More||Digital Press||ISBN 1-55558-089-0|
- Factory Floor with Marshall Brain (2008) – Host
- Who Knew? With Marshall Brain (2008) – Host
- The Oprah Winfrey Show (2006) – Himself
- Official website of Marshall Brain
- "Sultan of Stuff", Rensselaer Magazine, June 2002.
- CNN interview with Kyra Phillips, CNN, August 15, 2003.
- Manjoo, Farhad. "Welcome to the machine?", Salon, 18 September 2003.
- "50 Best Websites: Information and Reference: HowStuffWorks", Time.com, 2002.
- Guernsey, Lisa. "For One Web Site, Some Explaining to Do", The New York Times, 24 May 2001.
- "HowStuffWorks sold to vulture fund", bizjournals.com, 2002.
- Brain, Marshall, Why and How Should We Build a Basic Income for Every Citizen?.
- Brain, Marshall, Robotic Nation.
- Glasner, Joanna (2003-08-05), "How robots will steal your job", Wired magazine.
- Most viewed videos on Marshall Brain's YouTube channel
- Official website
- WebKEW blog by Marshall Brain
- "What if I Shot my TV?" - features a video of Marshall Brain
- Interview with Changesurfer Radio