Computer Lib/ Dream Machines

nelson book Ted Nelson is often cited as the guy who invented the term hypertext. So, I thought, let’s see what he actually said. It wasn’t easy to track down his 1973 book Dream Machines, in which he wrote at length about hypertext. I had to borrow a copy from Massey University Library in New Zealand. But what a delight this book turned out to be when it finally arrived. So evocative of the 1970s, fired by idealism, self-sufficiency, anti-authoritarianism, and plain wackiness (witness the fact it’s two books in one, and you can start at either end). Plus I’d forgotten how major a role photocopying and physical pasting played in the creation of the media of that era: reminded me of making student newspapers in the 1970s by cutting out out a story or illustration that took your fancy in another publication, and simply gluing it into the layout of your own. Thanks Ted!

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