Stanford Seminar: I forgot, I invented hypertext - Ted Nelson | Summary and Q&A

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June 6, 2022
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Stanford Online
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Stanford Seminar: I forgot, I invented hypertext - Ted Nelson

TL;DR

Ted Nelson, a philosopher and visionary, discusses his role in the creation of hypertext and his early experiments with interactive computer systems.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Ted Nelson come up with the concept of hypertext?

Ted Nelson coined the term "hypertext" and envisioned a future in which interactive screens would allow for the easy navigation and connection of information.

Q: Did Nelson have any successful ventures in the early days of personal computing?

Nelson founded a company called General Creative and planned to open a word processing coffeehouse in Harvard Square, but the project did not materialize.

Q: What was Nelson's experience meeting with Doug Engelbart and his hypertext system?

Nelson found Engelbart's system too complex, with its extensive keyboard commands, and believed a smoother, more intuitive interface was needed for hypertext.

Q: Did Nelson's vision of interactive screens becoming the new home of the human race come to fruition?

While interactive screens have become an integral part of daily life, Nelson's vision of a unified hypertext system accessible to all has not yet been fully realized.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Ted Nelson coined the term "hypertext" and envisioned a future in which interactive screens would be the new home of the human race.

  • He founded a company called General Creative and planned to open a word processing coffeehouse in Harvard Square in the 1960s.

  • Nelson met with Doug Engelbart, who demonstrated his hypertext system, but Nelson found it too complex with its extensive keyboard commands.

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