Computer Lib/Dream Machines

Ted Nelson

Published: 1974

Type: Text

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  • medialab
  • Hypertext Blazing
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  • Description:

    You can and must understand computers NOW.

    Ted Nelson's prophetic hypertext (non-linear text) on the promise and perils of the coming computer age.

    Computer Lib/Dream Machines is two books interwingled.

    Computer Lib covers the technical and political aspects of the computers. Nelson explains inner workings of the computer to the layman during a time when personal computers had not yet become mainstream and anticipated the machine being open for anyone to use. His rallying cry "Down with Cybercrud" is against the centralization of computers, as well as against what he sees as the intentional untruths that "computer people" tell to non-computer people to keep them from understanding computers.

    Dream Machines discusses the potential of computers and alternative uses for them. This side was his counterculture approach to how computers had typically been used. It covers the yet unheard of media potential of the computer, and predicts the future of artificial intelligence, animation, hypertext, virtual reality... much of what has come to pass.

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