Every current field has its longtime history. You should only look for connections, inspiration and influences.
"Around the time when Austrian sociologist, philosopher, and curator Otto Neurath was building his ISOTYPE visual language, which laid the foundation for pictogram-based infographics, another infographic pioneer was doing something even more ambitious: The German polymath Fritz Kahn - amateur astronomer, medical scientist by training, gynecologist by early occupation, artist by inclination, writer, educator and humanist by calling - was developing innovative visual metaphors for understanding science and the human body, seeking to strip scientific ideas of their alienating complexity and engage a popular audience with those essential tenets of how life works."
How qualities of UIs become used in UX.
"One of the most common terms of praise for an interface is to say that it is "intuitive" (the word should have been "intuitable" but we will bow to convention). Yet the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) literature rarely mentions the word, and for good reason. This note attempts to clarify the meaning of "intuitive" for non-HCI specialists."
(Jef Raskin 1994)
History will show the meaning of some people, not today.
Computing pioneer Doug Engelbart's inventions transformed computing, but he intended them to transform humans. ~ "(...) Engelbart never sought to own what he contributed to the world's ability to know. But he was frustrated to the end by the way so many people had adopted, developed, and profited from the digital media he had helped create, while failing to pursue the important tasks he had created them to do."
I have always been fascinated about how the unique characteristics of a medium define its design space.
"I see this as a core principle of higher order UX; to use the medium in such a way that the medium facilitates the delivery of the message instead of polluting it. It's that pollution that brings about unanticipated consequences in what the user experiences. This is just as much a holistic experience problem as well as a nitty-gritty design and interaction problem."
(Erik Flowers a.k.a. @Erik_UX)
Same magazine as 'As We May Think'. No coincidence.
"In a hut like this -- and maybe even one of these huts specifically -- Engelbart opened up that issue of LIFE and read Bush's Atlantic article. The ideas in the story plowed new intellectual terrain for Engelbart, and the seeds that he planted and nurtured there over the next twenty years grew, with the help of millions of others, into the Internet you see today."
A proposal which changed the world forever.
"The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system. The project is based on the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by support groups. Originally aimed at the High Energy Physics community, it has spread to other areas and attracted much interest in user support, resource discovery and collaborative work areas."
Another giant with strong shoulders.
"I couldn't end a conversation with one of the fathers of computer graphics without asking him where he thought the field might go in the next fifty years. I should have remembered, though: Sutherland had already explained to me that he's not into the prediction game."
Knowing where you come from is a great foundation.
"The greatest thing is that this has sort of become a sandbox for the mind. It's a medium, not just a calculating machine. We now have this thing in front of us, it allows us to paint, to write, to listen to music. It mesmerizes us and steals our lives. I think it is the invention of the last 500 years. And we're waiting to see what it does next."
One of the giants on whom's shoulders we stand.
Interview with computing pioneer Alan Kay ~ "One way to think of all of these organizations is to realize that if they require a charismatic leader who will shoot people in the knees when needed, then the corporate organization and process is a failure. It means no group can come up with a good decision and make it stick just because it is a good idea. All the companies I've worked for have this deep problem of devolving to something like the hunting and gathering cultures of 100,000 years ago. If businesses could find a way to invent "agriculture" we could put the world back together and all would prosper."
(David Greelish ~ Techland)
Remarkable woman in the Paul Otlet trajectory.
"During her thirty years at the Bibliothèque Nationale (BN), Suzanne Briet (1894-1989) made important theoretical, organizational, and institutional contributions to the documentation movement in France. This paper attempts to place her documentation work within the context of the far-reaching reform of French libraries, with special attention to the transformation of the BN. Like her colleagues in special libraries, Briet embraced modernity and science. However, because of her strong orientation toward humanistic scholarship, she viewed documentation service and bibliographic orientation as an enhancement rather than a rejection of the scholarly traditions of the national library. This paper will focus on her efforts to integrate the innovative ideas of the documentation movement into the practice of librarianship at the Bibliothèque Nationale."
Have I been waiting for this one.
"Brussels, Belgium, Europe, 1895: two men shared a dream of 'indexing and classifying the world's information'. Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine's work foreshadowed the network of knowledge that a century later became the Internet with its search engines! Otlet and La Fontaine aimed to preserve peace by assembling knowledge and making it accessible to the entire world. They built an international documentation center called Mundaneum. They invented the modern library Universal Decimal Classification system. La Fontaine won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1913. By 1935, their Mundaneum grew to a staggering 16 million cards covering subjects ranging from the history of hunting dogs to finance! World War II and the death of both founders slowed down the project. Although many Mundaneum archives were stored away, some even in the Brussels subway, volunteers kept the dream alive. The French community government of Belgium brought most of the archives to a beautiful Art Deco building in the heart of Mons near Brussels."
One of the giants on whose shoulders we (HCI) stand.
"Man-computer symbiosis is an expected development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. It will involve very close coupling between the human and the electronic members of the partnership. The main aims are (1) to let computers facilitate formulative thinking as they now facilitate the solution of formulated problems, and (2) to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs. In the anticipated symbiotic partnership, men will set the goals, formulate the hypotheses, determine the criteria, and perform the evaluations. Computing machines will do the routinizable work that must be done to prepare the way for insights and decisions in technical and scientific thinking. Preliminary analyses indicate that the symbiotic partnership will perform intellectual operations much more effectively than man alone can perform them. Prerequisites for the achievement of the effective, cooperative association include developments in computer time sharing, in memory components, in memory organization, in programming languages, and in input and output equipment."
(J.C.R. Licklider a.k.a. Lick, 1960)
Paying tribute to one of our founding fathers.
"A tribute to esteemed museum director Bill Moggridge, who passed away on September 8, 2012 following a battle with cancer. Hear about his pioneering work and influence in the field of design from Tim Brown and David Kelley of IDEO, Bernie Roth of Stanford University and Caroline Baumann and Cara McCarty of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum."
The founding article (1984) of Service Design and service blueprints.
"Faced with service problems, we tend to become somewhat paranoid. Customers are convinced that someone is treating them badly; managers think that recalcitrant individual employees are the source of the malfunction. Thinly veiled threats by customers and managers are often first attempts to remedy the problem; if they fail, confrontation may result."
(G. Lynn Shostack)
"HyperCard's problem was that Apple never quite figured out what the software was for."
And boy, what a symphonies did it bring us.
"In the mind of today's technological entrepreneur, the ideal user (and employee) is semi-skilled - or unskilled entirely. The ideal user interface for such a person never rewards learning or experience when doing so would come at the cost of immediate accessibility to the neophyte. This design philosophy is a mistake - a catastrophic, civilization-level mistake. There is a place in the world for the violin as well as the kazoo. Modern computer engineering is kazoo-only, and keyboards are only the most banal example of this fact. Far more serious - though less obvious - problems of this kind tie our hands and wastefully burn our 'brain cycles'. Professional equipment, whose mastery requires dedication and mental flexibility, may not be appropriate for casual users. But surely it is appropriate - in fact, necessary - for professionals? Just why is this idea confined to crackpots shouting in the wilderness? I hope to learn a definitive answer to this conundrum some day."
Always been a great admirer of Thomas Kuhn.
"The problems that dominated Kuhn's life after his great moment of insight arose not because Kuhn wasn't brilliant enough. Rather, they arose and persist because while we increasingly understand that the old metaphysical paradigm has failed, for several generations now we have not found our new paradigm. Our culture has inappropriately latched on to Kuhn's message as an exaltation of the rootless disconnection of our ideas from the world because we were ready to hear that knowledge is not apart from our knowing of it. But he and we have not yet come to a new shared understanding about what it means to live truthfully as humans."
Justice will be done to those with universal ideas and visions.
"Decades before the creation of the World Wide Web, Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine envisaged a paper archival system of the world's information. They built a giant international documentation centre called Mundaneum, with the goal of preserving peace by assembling knowledge and making it accessible to the entire world. For us at Google, this mission sounds familiar."
(Google | Official blog)
I'm always thrilled when new historical connections are found.
"It is a constant complaint: We're choking on information. The flood of data on the Web has reached mind boggling proportions, and it shows no signs of stopping. But wait, says Harvard professor Ann Blair - this is not a new condition. It's been part of the human experience for centuries."
Information design, one of the many giant fields on which shoulders we stand.
"In a competitive business marketplace, not everyone wants to acknowledge that each generation tends to learn from, build on or divert from the previous generations ideas and output. We see this phenomenon clearly evident in the various streams of Information Design history."
Great read about the making of the iconic vision video by AAPL.
"Sparked by the introduction of Siri, as well as products such as iPad and Skype, there have been many recent posts and articles tracing the technologies back to a 1987 Apple video called Knowledge Navigator. The video simulated an intelligent personal agent, video chat, linked databases and shared simulations, a digital network of university libraries, networked collaboration, and integrated multimedia and hypertext, in most case decades before they were commercially available. Having been involved in making Knowledge Navigator with some enormously talented Apple colleagues, I thought I would correct the record once and for all about what really happened."
Should be part of "The Web That Wasn't".
"I was a Hypercard child - though our friendship was brief."
Great reference article to pass around. The more Otlet, the better.
"He dreamed of a 'mechanical, collective brain' and his complex system for indexing information could be considered an analog version of Google. Belgian lawyer and librarian Paul Otlet died in 1944, poor and disillusioned. But his work is now being looked at in a whole new light."
(Meike Laaff ~ Der Spiegel)
A first hand recollection of ideas, concepts, and prototypes.
This is a verbatim transcript of a public lecture given on October 28, 1997. ~ "We got clearance, thankfully, from the Apple lawyers, which came about two - three weeks ago, so we could give it here, just in time to announce it. We're grateful to Apple to release this for public disclosure, because we think it's of general interest."
The Least Boring Computer Magazine In The World ~ "It's always a crap shoot, you never know how an issue is going to turn out.Just coordinating all the elements is a task only slightly less humbling than trying to align all the planets. No wonder it's become a standing joke around the EW office: that moment each issue when we start laying out pages and I get to see the magazine in its final form for the first time, when I proclaim in genuine surprise, hey, this issue isn't so bad - in fact, it's even better than the last. What makes it doubly gratifying this time is that this is the first issue of the rest of our lives. Thirty six months and two publishers later, ElectricWord is independent."
(Louis Rosetto) ~ courtesy of johnrynne
"Jef Raskin, my father, helped develop the Macintosh, and I was recently looking at some of his old documents and came across his February 16, 1981 memo detailing the genesis of the Macintosh. It was written in reaction to Steve Jobs taking over managing hardware development. Reading through it, I was struck by a number of the core principals Apple now holds that were set in play three years before the Macintosh was released. Much of this is particularly important in understanding Apple's culture and why we have the walled-garden experience of the iPhone, iPad, and the App Store." (Aza Raskin)
"(...) all media - in and of themselves and regardless of the messages they communicate - exert a compelling influence on man and society. Prehistoric, or tribal, man existed in a harmonious balance of the senses, perceiving the world equally through hearing, smell, touch, sight and taste." (Next Nature)
"The MIT/Brown Vannevar Bush Symposium was held October 12-13, 1995, at MIT, marking the 50th anniversary of Vannevar Bush's seminal article "As We May Think" (Atlantic Monthly, July 1945). The video archives from the lectures and panel discussions from that Symposium are now available online as part of the Doug Engelbart Archives collection at the Internet Archive as follows. Refer to Symposium program for title and abstract for each talk, as well as speaker bios, and panel notes; speakers' slides were captured but can no longer be viewed." (Douglas Engelbart Institute)
"HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help. We propose the implementation of a simple scheme to incorporate several different servers of machine-stored information already available at CERN, including an analysis of the requirements for information access needs by experiments." (Tim Berners-Lee ~ November 12, 1990)
"On the night of June 1, 1934, a Belgian information scientist named Paul Otlet sat in silent, peaceful protest outside the locked doors of a government building in Brussels from which he had just been evicted. Inside was his life’s work: a vast archive of more than twelve million bibliographic three-by-five-inch index cards, which attempted to catalog and cross-reference the relationships among all the world’s published information. For Otlet, the archive was at the center of a plan to universalize human knowledge. He called it the Mundaneum, and he believed it would usher in a new era of peace and progress. The Belgian government, however, had come to view Otlet and his fine mess of papers, dusty boxes, and customized filing cabinets as a financial and political nuisance." (Molly Springfield ~ Triple Canopy)
"(...) the story of Doug Engelbart, the man who invented much of the information environment we live in today - the computer mouse, word processing, email, hypertext and so on. In short: Interactive computing. This is his story, and the story of his fellow dreamers, thinkers, doers - revolutionaries - who changed our lives forever." (Frode Hegland & Fleur Klijnsma)
"I would like to draw attention to the scientific models of the Belgian information pioneer Paul Otlet who albeit that they are standing in positivist and Modernist tradition can still be relevant for mechanical and manual modelling of science within the Semantic Web and Web 2.0." (Charles van den Heuvel - Modelling Science)
Pre-publication - The designs of Paul Otlet (1868-1944) for telecommunication and machine readable documentation to organize research and society - "At the end of the nineteenth and in the first decades of the twentieth century various European scholars, like Patrick Geddes, Paul Otlet, Otto Neurath, Wilhelm Ostwald explored the organisation, enrichment and dissemination of knowledge on a global level to come to a peaceful, universal society. We focus on Paul Otlet (1868-1944) who developed a knowledge infrastructure to update information mechanically and manually in collaboratories of scholars. First the Understanding Infrastructure (2007) report, that Paul N. Edwards et al. wrote on behalf of NSF, will be used to position Otlet’s knowledge organization in their sketched development from information systems to information internetworks or webs. Secondly, the relevance of Otlet’s knowledge infrastructure will be assessed for Web 2.0 and Semantic Web applications for research. The hypothesis will be put forward that the instruments and protocols envisioned by Otlet to enhance collaborative knowledge production, can still be relevant for current conceptualizations of ‘scientific authority’ in data sharing and annotation in Web 2.0 applications and the modeling of the Semantic Web." (Charles van den Heuvel in: Knowledge Organization, 36 (4) 214-226)
Pre-publication - Otlet's Visualizations of a Global Information Society and His Concept of a Universal Civilization - "I have discussed at such length Berners-Lee's Weaving the Web in order to compare the US-oriented views of the history and future of the World Wide Web, as its proclaimed inventor expressed them toward the end of the twentieth century, with the ideas explored 50 years or more earlier by Paul Otlet and his colleagues about knowledge organization on a global level. My aim is to try to show how some of the issues that were important in explaining the origin of the World Wide Web and in predicting its future were already being explored at the beginning of the twentieth century by a number of European pioneers, who proposed similar solutions and encountered similar problems to Berners-Lee." (Charles van den Heuvel in W. Boy Rayward [ed.] European Modernism and the Information Society, pp 127-153)
"Some historians see in Otlet’s work a prototype of the World Wide Web and the hyperlink. Although unsuccessful, it was one of the first known attempts to provide a framework for connecting all recorded culture by creating flexible links that could rapidly lead researchers from one document to another — and perhaps make audible the previously unheard echoes between them. Anticipating postmodern literary theory, Otlet posited that documents have meaning not as individual texts, but only in relationship to each other." (Wired) - courtesy of lievenbaeten
"In this article, I sketch Otlet's and Kaiser's ideas about information analysis and compare the types of knowledge organization systems (KOSs) that they constructed on the basis of these ideas. As we shall see, Otlet and Kaiser held very similar views about the possibility – and desirability – of disaggregating documents into information units and organizing the latter into indexed information files. Both men also agreed on the technological means to implement their information-analytic approach." (Thomas M. Dousa - ASIS&T Bulletin Dec/Jan 2010)
"Pause for a moment and think about the history here. 1993 is 16 years ago as I write this, about the same span of time between Vannevar Bush's groundbreaking 1945 article 'As We May Think' and Nelson's initial work in 1960 on what would become the Xanadu project. As far as software projects go, this one has some serious history." (Micah Dubinko - Micahpedia) - courtesy of markbernstein
"Uniting a team of international and interdisciplinary scholars, this volume considers the views of early twentieth-century European thinkers on the creation, dissemination and management of publicly available information. Interdisciplinary in perspective, the volume reflects the nature of the thinkers discussed, including Otto Neurath, Patrick Geddes, the English Fabians, Paul Otlet, Wilhelm Ostwald and H. G. Wells. The work also charts the interest since the latter part of the nineteenth century in finding new ways to think about and to manage the growing body of available information in order to achieve aims such as the advancement of Western civilization, the alleviation of inequalities across classes and countries, and the promotion of peaceful coexistence between nations. In doing so, the contributors provide a novel historical context for assessing widely-held assumptions about today's globalized, 'post modern' information society. This volume will interest all who are curious about the creation of a modern networked information society." (W. Boyd Rayward) - Introduction chapter available for download
"If I have seen farther, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants...and then I looked down at those giants and saw the silly videos they made back in the day. CHI Video Showcase 2009."
"The look back by this forward-thinking man is not without its bitterness. The Web, after all, can be seen as a bastardization of his original notion that hyperlinks should point both forward and backward." (John Markoff - NYT) - Chapter summaries available.
Event videos available - "On December 9, 2008 at Stanford University's Memorial Auditorium, SRI International commemorated the 40th anniversary of the world debut of personal and interactive computing by Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart and the SRI Augmentation Research Center (...) Speakers at the 2008 event included original participants in the 1968 demo and presentations on Doug Engelbart's vision to use computing to augment society's collective intellect and ability to solve the complex issues of our time." (A 40th Anniversary Celebration)
"The Mundaneum, a series of museums, was meant to promote international understanding. The concept was conceived by Paul Otlet (1868-1944), an information theorist and librarian, who commissioned Le Corbusier to design a 'cité mondiale', an institution for all the world's knowledge. Charles van den Heuvel discusses how Otlet's thinking about distributive networks resonates in Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Wide." (Charles van den Heuvel)
"The film, developed in 1992, predicted the explosive growth of the world wide web at a time before graphical web browsers even existed. Starfire: The Directors' Cut explores in candid detail a technological future based on industry cooperation, human-centered design, and the continued presence of bad guys." (AskTog - Starfire: A Vision of Future Computing)
"It is hard to find an old technology that is not available in any form any where on earth. But today I may have found one. Alex Wright's story in the New York Times about Paul Otlet, the little-known Belgian who worked out an early version of hypertext (...) prompted a reader to point out a system similar to Otlet's that was once available commercially in the US." (Kevin Kelly - The Technium)
"On a fog-drizzled Monday afternoon, this fading medieval city feels like a forgotten place. Apart from the obligatory Gothic cathedral, there is not much to see here except for a tiny storefront museum called the Mundaneum, tucked down a narrow street in the northeast corner of town. It feels like a fittingly secluded home for the legacy of one of technology’s lost pioneers: Paul Otlet." (Alex Wright - The New York Times)
Translated and edited with an introduction by W. Boyd Rayword (1990) - "We must bring together a collection of machines which simultaneously or sequentially can perform the following operations: (1) The transformation of sound into writing; (2) The reproduction of this writing in as many copies as are useful; (3) The creation of documents in such a way that each item of information has its own identity and, in its relationships with those items comprising any collection, can be retrieved as necessary; (4) A Classification number assigned to each item of information; the perforation of documents correlated with these numbers; (5) Automatic classification and filing of documents; (6) Automatic retrieval of documents for consultation and presented either direct to the enquirer or via machine enabling written additions to be made to them; (7) Mechanical manipulation at will of all the listed items of information in order to obtain new combinations of facts, new relationships of ideas, and new operations carried out with the help of numbers. The technology fulfilling these seven requirements would indeed be a mechanical, collective brain." (internet archive)
For those of you proficient in French - "His 1934 masterpiece, the Traité de documentation, was reprinted in 1989 by the Centre de Lecture publique de la Communauté française in Belgium. The original edition has recently been digitized (...)" (Paul Otlet 1934)
"32 years ago in 1975 I was one of several lucky Americans who were invited to Pisa to help celebrate 20 years of computer science in Italy. I presented a paper on the first fruits of our attempts to invent personal computing at Xerox PARC. Over the years I somehow lost that paper, but Porfessor Attardi, who was more organized than I, was able to locate his copy and it has been republished as part of our cderemonies today. It is tempting in this talk to go through that paper and see how this past work influenced today." (Alan Kay - VRI)
Book excerpt - "Like a cross between a touring rock entourage and a commune, USCO was more than a performance team. It was a social system unto itself. Through it, Brand encountered the works of Norbert Wiener, Marshall McLuhan, and Buckminster Fuller - all of whom would become key influences on the Whole Earth community - and began to imagine a new synthesis of cybernetic theory and countercultural politics." (Fred Turner - EDGE)
"The purpose of computers is human freedom." (Theodor Holm Nelson)
"Vannevar Bush's famous paper 'As We May Think' (1945) described an imaginary information retrieval machine, the Memex. The Memex is usually viewed, unhistorically, in relation to subsequent developments using digital computers. This paper attempts to reconstruct the little-known background of information retrieval in and before 1939 when 'As We May Think' was originally written. The Memex was based on Bush's work during 1938-1940 developing an improved photoelectric microfilm selector, an electronic retrieval technology pioneered by Emanuel Goldberg of Zeiss Ikon, Dresden, in the 1920s. Visionary statements by Paul Otlet (1934) and Walter Schuermeyer (1935) and the development of electronic document retrieval technology before Bush are examined." (Michael K. Buckland)
The Universe of Information: The Work of Paul Otlet for Documentation and International Organization
by W. Boyd Rayward - University of Chicago, Published for International Federation for Documentation (IFID) by All-Union Institute for Scientific and technical Information (VINITY) Moscow 1975 - (courtesy of Michael Buckland)
It's the journey and the destination: Shape and the emergent property of genre in evaluating digital documents
"(...) this paper will extend the analysis of 'user navigation' to the evaluation of user behaviour in web environments. In so doing, the present authors will attempt to unify work in the area of structural representation of content with models of navigation based on physical movement." (Andrew Dillon and Misha W. Vaughan 1997) - courtesy of petermorville
"Suzanne Briet ('Madame Documentation') was an important French Documentalist just before and following the Second World War. Though others preceded her, Briet was unique in so strongly attributing to documentation and to documentary signs a cultural origin and function. In this she followed the founder of European Documentation, Paul Otlet, but she differed from Otlet in that she understood 'science', 'culture', and thus documentation more in the context of military-industrial post-war capitalist economies and in terms of the global 'development' of the time than in terms of the harmonious world of global 'knowledge' that Otlet had envisioned. In this way, Briet stands between Otlet's information utopia (reminiscent of the world industrial exhibitions of the 19th and early 20th centuries) and information theory and cybernetics in the United States which saw human culture and language as troublesome mediums for successful communication and information transmission." (Translated by Ron Day and Laurent Martinet)
"(...) Richard Wurman explains how information architects can open themselves up to understanding, learning, and ultimately being able to explain information to others." (Richard Saul Wurman - informit.com)
"If the Web and the Net can be viewed as spaces in which we will increasingly live our lives, the economic laws we will live under have to be natural to this new space. These laws turn out to be quite different from what the old economics teaches, or what rubrics such as "the information age" suggest. What counts most is what is most scarce now, namely attention. The attention economy brings with it its own kind of wealth, its own class divisions - stars vs. fans - and its own forms of property, all of which make it incompatible with the industrial-money-market based economy it bids fair to replace. Success will come to those who best accommodate to this new reality." (Michael H. Goldhaber - First Monday 2.4)
"(...) there can be no disputing that the computer has increased the power of large-scale organizations like military establishments or airline companies or banks or tax collecting agencies. And it is equally clear that the computer is now indispensable to high-level researchers in physics and other natural sciences. But to what extent has computer technology been an advantage to the masses of people? To steel workers, vegetable store owners, teachers, automobile mechanics, musicians, bakers, brick layers, dentists and most of the rest into whose lives the computer now intrudes? These people have had their private matters made more accessible to powerful institutions." (Neil Postman) - courtesy of designobserver
"Propose to consider the question, 'Can machines think?' This should begin with definitions of the meaning of the terms 'machine 'and 'think'. The definitions might be framed so as to reflect so far as possible the normal use of the words, but this attitude is dangerous. If the meaning of the words 'machine' and 'think 'are to be found by examining how they are commonly used it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the meaning and the answer to the question, 'Can machines think?' is to be sought in a statistical survey such as a Gallup poll. But this is absurd. Instead of attempting such a definition I shall replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words." (Alan Turing, 1950)
"(...) an exercise in retrospective futurism; that is, I wrote it in the early 1980s, attempting to look at what the mid 1990s would be like. My odyssey started when I discovered Xerox PARC and Doug Engelbart and realized that all the journalists who had descended upon Silicon Valley were missing the real story." (Howard Rheingold) - courtesy of victor lombardi
"A pen and ink sketch of 1943, the year before Otlet died, brings together his ideas on a global networked world." (Envisioning a Path to the Future)
"Throughout thirteen succinct but thought-provoking chapters, Kuhn argues that science is not a steady, cumulative acquisition of knowledge. Instead, science is 'a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions' [Nicholas Wade, writing for Science], which he described as 'the tradition-shattering complements to the tradition-bound activity of normal science.' After such revolutions, 'one conceptual world view is replaced by another.'" (Thomas Kuhn) - courtesy of anne galloway
The Historical Development of Information Infrastructures and the Dissemination of Knowledge: A Personal Reflection
"With the advent of the Internet and the Web, it has become clear how pioneering and important historically the work of Paul Otlet and his colleagues was. It seems yet even more relevant today with the recently announced agreement between Google and a number of research libraries to digitize and make their collections available through the Web." (W. Boyd Rayward - ASIS&T Bulletin April/May 2005)
"Notation and examples are taken selectively from: Colon classification. Basic classification: 6th edition / S R Ranganathan -- Sarada Ranganathan endowment for library science: Bangalore: 1960. SRELS has been asked permission of reproducing." (S.R. Ranganathan) - courtesy of petervandijck
"Various European scholars and scientists considered at the end of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th Century new ways to unite science and art of the world. They sought for new ways to store and retrieve knowledge on a global level. They wanted to find ways of representing our knowledge of the world, of simplifying and visualizing it, of ordering it in new ways for universal access to it. They developed new comprehensive classification systems, new standards to store and organize data. They explored what were the new technologies of their time to try to overcome the inefficiencies of the book and to find substitutes for it. (...) Buildings and user are considered both transmitters and receivers of information that shapes continuously the architectural form. Architecture and knowledge are interrelated." (The Project - Maastricht McLuhan Institute)
"Here is the essence of the theory: When one encounters a new situation (or makes a substantial change in one's view of the present problem) one selects from memory a structure called a Frame. This is a remembered framework to be adapted to fit reality by changing details as necessary. A frame is a data-structure for representing a stereotyped situation, like being in a certain kind of living room, or going to a child's birthday party. Attached to each frame are several kinds of information. Some of this information is about how to use the frame. Some is about what one can expect to happen next. Some is about what to do if these expectations are not confirmed." (Marvin Minksy - MIT CSAI Lab)
"The editorial board of Cognitive Science has identified several classic articles that appeared in our journal over the last couple of decades." (Cognitive Science Society) - courtesy of peter van dijck
Original text translated by E. M. Edghill (The Classical Library)
Xanalogical Structure, Needed Now More than Ever: Parallel Documents, Deep Links to Content, Deep Versioning, and Deep Re-Use
"Xanalogical literary structure is a unique symmetrical connective system for text (and other separable media elements), with two complementary forms of connection that achieve these functions -- survivable deep linkage (content links) and recognizable, visible re-use (transclusion). Both of these are easily implemented by a document model using content lists which reference stabilized media." (Theodor Holm Nelson - ACM Computing Surveys Hypertext and Hypermedia Symposium)
"This astonishingly prescient book originally written and published by by Theodor H. Nelson in 1974 in a glorious oversized format is one of the 'tap roots' of the soon to be born microcomputer and "cyber" cultures. The following pages provide a retrospecitve of this work and Ted's current projects and vision. We will present excerpts from the 1975 (second?) edition, kindly provided to us by Dan Croghan." (DigiBarn Computer Museum) - courtesy of anne galloway
Immediate access to the complete book (text and images, fully searchable, 30,000+ links, and many enhanced features) - "This book is the culmination of nearly twenty years of work that I have done to develop that new kind of science. I had never expected it would take anything like as long, but I have discovered vastly more than I ever thought possible, and in fact what I have done now touches almost every existing area of science, and quite a bit besides." (Stephen Wolfram - wolframscience) - Limited registration required
"On January 24, 1984 the personal computing movement was changed forever with the Superbowl launch of Apple's Macintosh computer. While the graphical user interface, mouse, and bitmapped display+printing had been around for more than a decade, the Mac represented the first combining of these key innovations into a beautifully crafted package that an ordinary consumer could pick up and use in daily life. The Mac went on to spawn several revolutions including the 'Desktop Publishing' phenomenon of the 80s. This site is a special project of the DigiBarn Computer Museum to bring together some of the rarest artifacts relating to the Mac (many never seen online or published in any way). We will also pull together many materials that will give you an idea of where the Mac came from, predecessor systems, people and organizations, and where the Mac fits today in our evolutionary tree of visual computing." (DigiBarn Computer Museum)
"The striking symbol that is recognised across the globe was the brainchild of Underground electrical draughtsman, Harry Beck, who produced this imaginative yet stunningly simple design back in 1933." (London Underground)
"The fascinating history and evolution of structured flowcharts (usually called Nassi-Shneiderman Diagrams or structograms) goes back to 1972. As a graduate student, I got the idea while attending an ACM organized talk in New York by Michael Jackson on structured programming. If GOTOs were to be avoided, then shouldn't the lines in old flowcharts be avoided as well. Fifteen minutes of sketching led to the first ideas of sequence, conditionals and iteration." (Ben Shneiderman)
"Media affect the evolution of knowledge in society. A suitable hypertext publishing medium can speed the evolution of knowledge by aiding the expression, transmission, and evaluation of ideas. If one aims, not to compete with the popular press, but to supplement journals and conferences, then the problems of hypertext publishing seem soluble in the near term. The direct benefits of using a hypertext publishing medium should bring emergent benefits, helping to form intellectual communities, to build consensus, and to extend the range and efficiency of intellectual effort. These benefits seem numerous, deep, and substantial, but are hard to quantify. Nonetheless, rough estimates of benefits suggest that development of an adequate hypertext publishing medium should be regarded as a goal of first-rank importance." (K. Eric Drexler - Foresight Institute)
"What is design? What makes something a design problem? It's where you stand with a foot in two worlds - the world of technology and the world of people and human purposes and you try to bring the two together." (Mitch Kapor 1990)
"(...) the public debut of the computer mouse. But the mouse was only one of many innovations demonstrated (...) including hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking, as well as shared-screen collaboration involving two persons at different sites communicating over a network with audio and video interface." (Douglas Carl Engelbart - MouseSite)
Table of Contents (Harm Zwaga and Ronald Easterby eds. 1984)
Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information (George A. Miller 1956)
A Unified Field Theory of Design s(Nathan Shedroff 1994)
Journey to the edge of the universe and back down to the quark (Charles and Ray Eames)
"One of the tools that shows the greatest immediate promise is the computer, when it can be harnessed for direct on-line assistance, integrated with new concepts and methods." (Douglas Engelbart 1962 - Bootstrap Institute)
"Alan Kay is best known for the idea of personal computing (...)" (EDUCOM'98)
"(...) the slides from this landmark talk on the web." (HT'91 Keynote - Frank Halasz / RealVideoStream)