11 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2021
    1. It was a general‑purpose tool designed to help knowledge workers perform better and faster, and that was a controversial idea. Letting nonengineers interact directly with a computer was seen as harebrained, utopian—subversive, even.

      A revolutionary idea.

    2. The mother of all demos

  2. Mar 2021
    1. Douglas Engelbart, who published a vision of tools empowering humans in his pioneering 1962 paper Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.
    1. Engelbart’s strategic vision began with the recognition of a major reason why some large-scale problems continue to elude humankind’s best efforts. His radical scale change principle asserts that as a complex system increases in scale, it changes not only in size but also in its qualities. This principle, in fact one of the three basic laws of Hegelian dialectic, seems at odds with the common-sense view that large-scale systems are reducible to smaller-scale parts without loss of qualities. Even if Engelbart knew that the computer was just another artifact at a time when more engineering was not necessarily the solution, he also knew that this specific language artifact was offering unusual characteristics. He understood that the computer was opening the cognitive realm to more dimensions than the usual three, allowing non-linear thinking. But, most importantly, it was extremely fast; it could calculate, display and help organize ideas at a blazing speed. He realized that the introduction of the computer, as a powerful auxiliary to human intellect, could turn a quantitative change into a qualitative change. Facing numerous too urgent and complex problems, the little inelastic mind of the human being could, with the augmentation of the computer, become up to the challenge. Most importantly, this basic tenet of his philosophy ended up playing as important of part in the human system as in the tool system.


    1. In a 1995 interview for JCN Profiles entitled “Visionary Leaders of the Information Age,” Engelbart argues that, while tech (which he calls “the tool system”) has advanced beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, “the human system” continues to lag. He explains: The scale of change [on the tool side was] going to increase by huge factors in the coming decades. It became apparent to me then that this human system side was in for massive, massive changes. […] Are we ready for viewing the scale of change on this [human] side that it will take in order to really, really harness what’s over here [tool side]? […] We better start learning and being explicit about this change in the human system rather than just letting the product people throw new stuff at us.

      在1995年JCN Profiles的题为“信息时代有远见的领导者”的采访中,恩格尔巴特认为,虽然科技(他称之为 "工具系统")的进步超出了任何人最疯狂的梦想,但“人类系统”却继续落后。他解释道:


    2. When I look at what the connected world has become, I can’t help but feel that Mike Daisey was right: “We were hopelessly naïve.” And the more I learn about Douglas Engelbart, the earliest days of the personal computer, and the internet, the more I believe that the technology that currently shapes our experience of the world is designed based on unquestioned assumptions and ideologies. By questioning them now, perhaps we can change the future.

      当我看到互联世界变成了什么样子,我不禁觉得迈克·戴西(Mike Daisey)是对的:"我们是无可救药的天真"。我对道格拉斯·恩格尔巴特(Douglas Engelbart)——个人电脑和互联网诞生之初——了解得越多,我就越相信,如今塑造我们的世界体验的技术,是基于无可置疑的假设和意识形态设计出来的。通过现在对它们的质疑,也许我们可以改变未来。

  3. Feb 2021
    1. Three principal conclusions may be drawn concerning the significance and implications of the ideas that have been presented.6a First any possibility for improving the effective utilization of the intellectual power of society's problem solvers warrants the most serious consideration. This is because man's problem-solving capability represents possibly the most important resource possessed by a society. The other contenders for first importance are all critically dependent for their development and use upon this resource. Any possibility for evolving an art or science that can couple directly and significantly to the continued development of that resource should warrant doubly serious consideration.6b Second, the ideas presented are to be considered in both of the above senses: the direct-development sense and the 'art of development' sense. To be sure, the possibilities have long-term implications, but their pursuit and initial rewards await us now. By our view, we do not have to wait until we learn how the human mental processes work, we do not have to wait until we learn how to make computers more intelligent or bigger or faster, we can begin developing powerful and economically feasible augmentation systems on the basis of what we now know and have. Pursuit of further basic knowledge and improved machines will continue into the unlimited future, and will want to be integrated into the "art" and its improved augmentation systems—but getting started now will provide not only orientation and stimulation for these pursuits, but will give us improved problem-solving effectiveness with which to carry out the pursuits.6c Third, it becomes increasingly clear that there should be action now—the sooner the better—action in a number of research communities and on an aggressive scale. We offer a conceptual framework and a plan for action, and we recommend that these be considered carefully as a basis for action If they be considered but found unacceptable, then at least serious and continued effort should be made toward developing a more acceptable conceptual framework within which to view the over-all approach, toward developing a more acceptable plan of action, or both.6d This is an open plea to researchers and to those who ultimately motivate, finance, or direct them, to turn serious attention toward the possibility of evolving a dynamic discipline that can-treat the problem of improving intellectual effectiveness in a total sense. This discipline should aim at producing a continuous cycle of improvements—increased understanding of the problem, improved means for developing new augmentation systems, and improved augmentation systems that can serve the world's problem solvers in general and this discipline's workers in particular. After all, we spend great sums for disciplines aimed at understanding and harnessing nuclear power. Why not consider developing a discipline aimed at understanding and harnessing "neural power?" In the long run, the power of the human intellect is really much the more important of the two.




      第三,越来越清楚的是,现在就应该采取行动ーー越快越好ーー在一些研究机构采取行动,而且是大规模的行动。我们提出了一个概念框架和一项行动计划,我们建议将这些框架和计划作为行动的基础加以认真考虑。 如果考虑到这些框架和计划但发现它们不可接受,那么至少应继续认真努力,制定一个更可接受的概念框架,在此框架内看待总体方法,制定一个更可接受的行动计划,或两者兼而有之。

      这是对研究人员以及那些最终激励他们、资助他们或指导他们的人来说,是一个公开的呼吁:把严肃的注意力转向发展一门能够在总体意义上解决提高智力效率问题的动态学科的可能性。这一学科的目标应该是产生一个持续的改进循环——对问题认识的提高,改进开发新的增强系统的手段,以及改进的增强系统,可以服务于世界上的问题解决者,特别是本学科的工作者。毕竟,我们为旨在理解和利用核电的学科花费了大量的资金。为什么不考虑发展一门旨在理解和驾驭 "神经力量 "的学科呢?从长远来看,人类智力的力量确实是两者中更重要的。

  4. Jan 2017
    1. Three or four years later, Engelbart repeated his hypertext-meets-desktop-sharing-meets-video-conferencing demo. In the audience was an MIT prof described by Andries van Dam, another east-coast prof in attendance, as among "the best and the brightest" of the early 1970s computing cognoscenti. According to van Dam, at the end of the presentation, the MIT man raised his hand and said "I don't get it - everything you've shown me today I can do on my ASR-33."

      MIT profs don't see the value in Engelbart's technology.

    1. "Doug's demo was not unlike a flying saucer dropping out of the sky and landing on the White House lawn,Â" Saffo continues. Â"It just electrified this industry because it showed people the potential of computers that they never considered."

      Disruptive potential of inventions.

    1. People say that the 1968 Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco was a watershed. After seeing your demonstration, people left that room never thinking about computers the same way again. Would you say that's an accurate encapsulation?

      Reception of the Mother of All Demos