03 Readings (which means they ‘live’ in week 4)

A mixed bag.

Two important speculative pieces, both imagining in different ways the future. Both have been enormously influential. The Vannevar Bush essay influenced many original technologists, including Ted Nelson and the inestimable Douglas Englebart, and helped establish the vision of computers as machines to help and augment intelligence and human capacity.


Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” The Atlantic July 1945. The Atlantic. Web. 19 July 2013. (PDF)

Nelson, Theodor Holm. Literary Machines 91.1: The Report on, and of, Project Xanadu Concerning Word Processing, Electronic Publishing, Hypertext, Thinkertoys, Tomorrow’s Intellectual Revolution, And Certain Other Topics Including Knowledge, Education and Freedom. Sausalito: Mindful Press, 1992. Print. (Apologies for the strange scan, the scanner freaked out a bit – PDF)

Now, nearly

David Weinberger is a popular tech writer, making a living as a sort of tech journalist come populariser of ways to think about what it all means. This book is now dated, to some extent (the pace of development online in relation to pre internet technology is treated as a dog year, so 1 year = 7 years of development and change online), but the deeper principles he describes remain, and go to the heart of what the ‘network’ might be.

Weinberger, David. Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web. New York: Perseus Books, 2002. Print. (PDF)