Notes on “Computer Lib/Dream Machines”


Some random notes from Ted Nelson’s 1974 book Computer Lib/Dream Machines:

  • “Computing has always been personal. By this I mean that if you weren’t intensely involved in it, sometimes with every fiber in your mind twitch, you weren’t doing computers, you were just a user.” (Computer Lib, page 3)
  • “People talk about the “depersonalization” of computers. I want to emphasize the personalization of computers – that they, their programs, and languages, are designed by individuals, each with his or her own obsessions.” (Computer Lib, page 4)
  • Mentions Ken Knowlton’s On the Frustrations of Collaborating with Artists – A Programmer’s Reflections (Computer Lib, page 399)
  • “When you first sit at a computer terminal, the feeling is one of sheer terror. Sweat and chills, jumpiness and sudden clumsy nervous motions, lunatic absentmindedness, and stammering fear and awkwardness interfere with your ability to function or understand the person who is helping you. It’s perfectly normal.” (Dream Machines, page 11)
  • “The computer display will be mankind’s new home.” (Dream Machines, page 13)

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