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 - 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]


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