doug engelbart

doug engelbart bw

Howard has intro’d us to many people, here he is giving us an intimate peek at Doug:

Ted Nelson and Doug Engelbart come to dinner

Published on Sep 18, 2013

Sadly, my inspiration and hero Doug Engelbart passed away this year. A couple years ago, I hosted Doug Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and their wives for dinner at my house with me and my wife, Judy. It was like having Galileo and Newton over for dinner, as far as I’m concerned. I took the opportunity to interview them briefly

5:15 – elated about how it’s gotten into the world.. there is a new different collective iq.. i’d like to see something much more alive.. alive about what people can be.. what humanity can be… – Doug


The Mother of All Demos, presented by Douglas Engelbart (1968)

Published on Jul 9, 2012

“The Mother of All Demos is a name given retrospectively to Douglas Engelbart’s December 9, 1968, demonstration of experimental computer technologies that are now commonplace. The live demonstration featured the introduction of the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, bootstrapping, and a collaborative real-time editor.”

19 min – introducing links

31 min – introducing mouse

37 min – intro programming

46 min – intro skype – ha..

54 min – intro wiki

1:01 – intro google/online dictionary

1:03 – gee… that’s an interesting way to study..

1:15 – intro blackboard collaborate ..

1:30 – google search


wikipedia small

Douglas Carl Engelbart (January 30, 1925 – July 2, 2013) was an American engineer and inventor, and an early computer andInternet pioneer. He is best known for his work on the challenges of human–computer interaction, particularly while at hi sAugmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International, resulting in the invention of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to graphical user interfaces. These were demonstrated at The Mother of All Demos in 1968.

In the early 1950s, he decided that instead of “having a steady job” (such as his position at NASA’s Ames Research Center) he would focus on making the world a better place, especially through the use of computers. Engelbart was therefore a committed, vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and computer networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems. Engelbart embedded a set of organizing principles in his lab, which he termed “bootstrapping strategy”. He designed the strategy to accelerate the rate of innovation of his lab.

Guiding philosophy

Engelbart’s career was inspired in December 1950 when he was engaged to be married and realized he had no career goals other “than a steady job, getting married and living happily ever after”. Over several months he reasoned that:

  1. he would focus his career on making the world a better place
  2. any serious effort to make the world better requires some kind of organized effort
  3. harnessing the collective human intellect of all the people contributing to effective solutions was the key
  4. if you could dramatically improve how we do that, you’d be boosting every effort on the planet to solve important problems — the sooner the better
  5. computers could be the vehicle for dramatically improving this capability.


just whoa.

no wonder Howard was so close to him.

let’s do that. let’s carry on. with that.


guiding philosophy:

guiding philosophy - doug 


from 1996? with Doug Engelbart, Tim Berners-Lee, Alan Kay, Nicholas Negroponte:

Douglas Engelbart, who was the keynote speaker and the numinous soul of the symposium, has interwoven these themes throughout his life’s work from the very beginning when, shortly after WWII, he decided to devote his life to a vision of using computers to help individuals and groups augment their capabilities to deal with ‘complexity and urgency’.


Kay commented that

    This was the visit that changed my life.  What Doug Engelbart 
    offered was not just a vision of interacting with the system, 
    but also a philosophical underpinning that is even more important 
    today than it was then.

Kay describes one aspect of Engelbartian thought:

    One of the phrases that he [Engelbart] used that I particularly 
    liked was 'thought vectors in concept space'.  I'm not sure I 
    understand what he meant, but what I think is that you are 
    creating an extension of the kinds of spaces that you think in 
    terms of inside of your head.  So, you are creating an 
    augmentation of the ways of thinking, the ways of representing, 
    the ways of associating that was now going to be extended 
    in a way somewhat analogous to the way writing has extended 
    us but somewhat more like the way we actually think.

Engelbart describes it as a method: externalize your thoughts in the concept structures that 
    are meaningful outside; moving around flexibly, manipulating 
    them and viewing them.  It's a new way to operate on a new 
    kind of externalized medium.


Berners-Lee – .. He described these protocols as fractal topologies that can occur both in network and social structures. Fractal topologies are those that scale so as to be present at all levels.


In the final presentation of the symposium, Alan Kay gave a retrospective of a period that he felt embodied a great paradigm shift in the way people thought about and wanted to use computers. He described the figures who influenced him in the ’60s and helped shape his own vision of a computing society and its technology. Prominent among these influential figures and events were Ivan Sutherland with Sketchpad, Doug Engelbart and the FJCC demo, the Simula language, and the Grail system at Rand. The people and systems populating Kay’s talk were all examples of successful efforts to do something completely new. His explanation for their success was that at this point in the evolution of research in computer science, the players were all people whose main interests and training cam from outside the field. They didn’t know what the technology couldn’t do, and so weren’t bounded by such restrictions.


Negroponte .. -But, he also reflected an optimism that the Internet would survive intact when he described the persistence of a migrating flock of birds in which there is always a new leader at the point of the formation no matter how many times hunters may shoot the previous leader.

copying is by permission of the Association for Computing Machinery.
Copyright 1996 ACM 1072-5520/96/0300


interface/link life bits.... for (blank)’s sake

io dance/hosting life bits (blockchain/stack ness: replace server farms – chip energy efficient –dna\ness)
ps in the open (idiosyncratic jargon)
decision making/B redefined via self-talk as data
3 ship  [a kids’ bookan app/chipan experiment]
short  [deep problem,simple mechanism,opensystem]
short bp


calm tech


augmenting human intellect… 62 article [shared by joi on fb]

augmenting human intellect


doug’s unfinished revolution.. by howard (2013)

Engelbart labored for most of his life and career to get anyone to think seriously about his ideas, of which the mouse was an essential but low-level component.

the computer and mouse were just the “artifacts” in a system that centered on “humans, using language, artifacts, methodology, and training.”

Like Tim Berners-Lee, Engelbart never sought to own what he contributed to the world’s ability to know. But he was frustrated to the end by the way so many people had adopted, developed, and profited from the digital media he had helped create, while failing to pursue the important tasks he had created them to do.

chomsky serious things law

let’s do it..

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


Sam Hahn

share from Sam

augmenting human intellect

By “augmenting human intellect” we mean *increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems.

perhaps *increasing capability will come via rapid prototyping to slow.. et al..via 2 convos

so too .. wondering if it’s not more augmenting interconnectedness.. wondered if we’d have less of the problems we are trying to solve.. in the first place..?

Man’s population and gross product are increasing at a considerable rate, but the complexity of his problems grows still faster, and the *urgency with which solutions must be found becomes steadily greater in response to the increased rate of activity and the increasingly global nature of that activity. Augmenting man’s intellect, in the sense defined above, would warrant full pursuit by an enlightened society if there could be shown a reasonable approach and some plausible benefits.

perhaps let’s try a nother way

This kind of system approach to human intellectual effectiveness does not find a ready-made conceptual framework such as exists for established disciplines. Before a research program can be designed to pursue such an approach intelligently, so that practical benefits might be derived within a reasonable time while also producing results of longrange significance, a conceptual framework must be searched out–a framework that provides orientation as to the important factors of the system, the relationships among these factors, the types of change among the system factors that offer likely improvements in performance, and the sort of research goals and methodology that seem promising.

We see the *quickest gains emerging from (1) giving the human the minute-by-minute services of a digital computer equipped with computer-driven cathode-ray-tube display, and (2) developing the new methods of thinking and working that allow the human to capitalize upon the computer’s help. By this same strategy, we recommend that an initial research effort develop a prototype system of this sort aimed at increasing human effectiveness in the task of computer programming.

perhaps it would be quicker if we used tech to facil daily curiosities.. so that no one has to be trained.. et al .. a means for 7 bn to leap to a nother way

rest of this section (ie: of architect) .. sounds like designing reality

Increasing the effectiveness of the individual’s use of his basic capabilities is a problem in redesigning the changeable parts of a system. The system is actively engaged in the continuous processes (among others) of developing comprehension within the individual and of solving problems; both processes are *subject to human motivation, purpose, and will.

begs our infra is deep/simple/open enough to resonate with 7 bn .. today.. ie: not after we coax them or after they train. or whatever.. just now..

that is also the key to dealing w/urgency.. for (blank)’s sake

To redesign the system’s capability for performing these processes means redesigning all or part of the repertoire hierarchy. To redesign a structure, we must learn as much as we can of what is known about the basic materials and components as they are utilized within the structure; beyond that, we must learn how to view, to measure, to analyze, and to evaluate in terms of the functional whole and its purpose. In this particular case, no existing analytic theory is by itself adequate for the purpose of analyzing and evaluating over-all system performance; pursuit of an improved system thus demands the use of experimental methods.

so let’s let the people experiment everyday (rev of everyday life).. and let’s let teh basics be authenticity and attachment (maté basic needs)

But an active research effort, aimed at exploring and evaluating poasible integrated changes throughout the repertoire hierarchy, could greatly accelerate this evolutionary process. The reaearch effort could guide the product development of new artifacts toward taking long-range meaningful steps; simultaneously competitively minded individuals who would respond to demonstrated methods for achieving greater personal effectiveness would create a market for the more radical equipment innovations. The guided evolutionary process could be expected to be considerably more rapid than the traditional one.

perhaps that’s the what i’ve been learning the last 10 yrs

The category of “more radical innovations” includes the digital computer as a tool for the personal use of an individual. Here there is not only promise of great flexibility in the composing and rearranging of text and diagrams before the individual’s eyes but also promise of many other process capabilities that can be integrated into the H-LAM/T system’s repertoire hierarchy

imagine that tech/mech listening (via 2 convos) to 7 bn daily curiosities.. and then connecting people locally per that data..[self-talk as data]

In amplifying our intelligence, we are applying the principle of synergistic structuring that was followed by natural evolution in developing the basic human capabilities. What we have done in the development of our augmentation means is to construct a superstructure that is a synthetic extension of the natural structure upon which it is built. In a very real sense, as represented by the steady evolution of our augmentation means, the development of “artificial intelligence” has been going on for centuries.

i see this augmentation (at least initially) as more of a means to detox us.. get us back to us.. believing that the alive energy from truly free humans is all we need..

Apparently there are counter-arguments to this; e.g., if a concept needs to be used often but its expression is difficult, then the language will evolve to ease the situation. However, the studies of the past decade into what are called “self-organizing” systems seem to be revealing that subtle relationships among its interacting elements can significantly influence the course of evolution of such a system. If this is true, and if language is (as it seems to be) a part of a selforganizing system, then it seems probable that the state of a language at a given time strongly affects its own evolution to a succeeding state…It seems very likely that *a more useful language form can be devised.

i believe this mech (to listen to all the voices via *idio-jargon) is a means to go beyond words.. so perhaps.. again.. back to an indigenous us

If it were so very easy to look things up, how would our vocabulary develop, how would our habits of exploring the intellectual domains of others shift, how might the sophistication of practical organization mature (if each person can so quickly and easily look up applicable rules), how would our education system change to take advantage of this new external symbol-manipulation capability of students and teachers (and administrators)?

much like h g did

only now with added dimension – ie: eagle and condor ness

It must be borne in mind that a great deal of study and invention is yet to be done in developing the improved augmentation means that are bound to come

What Vannevar Bush Proposed In 1945

“Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and to coin one at random, “memex” will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is

vannevar..memex.. perhaps ie: hlb [via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..]

Three people working together in this augmented mode seem to be more than three times as effective in solving a complex problem as is one augmented person working alone–and perhaps ten times as effective as three similar men working together without this computer-based augmentation. It is a new and exhiliarating experience to be working in this independent-parallel fashion with some good men. We feel that the effect of these augmentation developments upon group methods and group capability is actually going to be more pronounced than the effect upon individuals methods and capabilities, and we are very eager to increase our research effort in that direction.”

imagine on top of that.. that each person.. is  only working on what they are curious about that day.. imagine that energy.. that art.. [red flag we’re doing it wrong.. the need for incentives]

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.


from howard – technophiles and technophiles 2


reading adam fisher’s valley – because it starts out:

book one – among the computer bums

the big bang – everything starts w doug engelbart


doug was the first to actually build a computer that might seem familiar to us today..


engelbart’s idea was that computers of the future should be optimized for human needs – communication and collaboration.. ..

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity – Luma Mufleh

they should augment rather than replace the human intellect..

the ai humanity needs.. augmenting interconnectedness

letting nonengineers interact directly w a computer was seen as hare brained, utopian, subversive even.. and then people saw the demo

listening to every voice – tech as it could be..


DougEngelbot (@DEngelbot) tweeted at 5:13 AM on Mon, Nov 19, 2018:
Computers have been used to simulate dynamic systems for which we humans had none but descriptive models, from which we otherwise could gain little feel for the way the system behaves. #augmentintellect 113

love the man.. however.. i think we took a wrong turn and/or have the means today to augment interconnectedness

simulation/intellect/behavior.. killers to dynamic (characterized by constant change) systems


DougEngelbot (@DEngelbot) tweeted at 6:15 AM – 25 Nov 2018 :
Our concept of language as one of the basic means for augmenting the human intellect embraces all of the concept structuring which the human may make use of. #augmentintellect (

imagining idio-jargon for augment interconnectedness


Stewart Brand