Tuesday Jan 13, 2009

Engelbart - Evolving Collective Intelligence

The December break is one of the few times when I'm able to find chunks of time to read. One of the books I was given was Doug Engelbart's Evolving Collective Intelligence", which is really a (very) short (88 pages!) set of essays calling for action on using computers to improve our 'collective intelligence'; meaning our ability to manage complexity. The book was a bit disappointing in that it didn't feel very focused and I didn't come away with a clear 'message'. However it did talk extensively about the 1968 demo.

The 1968 demo is described by the Stanford website that hosts the video as:

"was the public debut of the computer mouse. But the mouse was only one of many innovations demonstrated that day, 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."

It was also described by Steven Levy as "The mother of all demos".

Now I've just got to find the time to watch nearly two hours of video....

About

Darryl Gove is a senior engineer in the Solaris Studio team, working on optimising applications and benchmarks for current and future processors. He is also the author of the books:
Multicore Application Programming
Solaris Application Programming
The Developer's Edge

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