nonsequential writing

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pages: 193 words: 19,478

Memory Machines: The Evolution of Hypertext by Belinda Barnet

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augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Duvall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, game design, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, linked data, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, publish or perish, semantic web, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons

When Nelson and van Dam set out to create a hypertext system, they decided that their model of association would be personalized, with fewer restrictions. ‘HES was also single-user and personal because there was only one graphics display at Brown – ours […] Unimaginable today’ (van Dam 2011). The Hypertext Editing System was SEEING AND MAKING CONNECTIONS 97 designed for personal text editing, information retrieval and nonsequential writing. This is one of the differences between ours and Engelbart’s system. That system imposes a hierarchical tree structure upon all textual contents, in contrast to our unstructured ‘string’ of text approach. While many benefits accrue from this automatic structuring, it does reflect an arguable theory of human thought. (Carmody et al. 1969, 301) Theories and models of human thought aside, I have been arguing that NLS’s hierarchical structure was based as much on the fact that the system itself was multiuser, and that it was the centrepiece of (the first) large-scale software engineering project, as it was on Engelbart’s conception of the structure of language and thought.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

By the end of the 1980s, the Internet had connected 800 networks, 150,000 registered addresses, and several million computers. But this project to network the world wasn’t quite complete. There was one thing still missing—Vannevar Bush’s Memex. There were no trails yet on the Internet, no network of intelligent links, no process of tying two items together on the network. The World Wide Web In 1960, a “discombobulated genius” named Ted Nelson came up with the idea of “nonsequential writing,” which he coined “hypertext.”40 Riffing off Vannevar Bush’s notion of “information trails,” Nelson replaced Bush’s reliance on analog devices like levers and microfilm with his own faith in the power of digital technology to make these nonlinear connections. Like Bush, who believed that the trails on his Memex “do not fade,”41 the highly eccentric Nelson saw himself as a “rebel against forgetting.”42 His lifelong quest to create hypertext, which he code-named Xanadu, was indeed a kind of rebellion against forgetfulness.