The Internet may be our finest tool for inculcating the highest values in ourselves—but before cultivation comes freedom.
I’d like to share with you a section from the famous book on software creation (and creation generally): The Mythical Man Month, by Fredrick Brooks. Why? This particular section is a proud example of our habit, as a species, of letting our tools dampen and simplify our thinking, rather than taking the time to build tools that are ideisomorphic—that is, sensitive enough to represent human thought—or even to build tools that actually expand the compass of cognition.
Ted Nelson once quipped, “Can you believe that some people spend more money on their cars than their computers?” 2019 US average new car price: $38k; computer: $650. There are caveats, but this strikes me as astonishingly low relative spending on brain-augmentation.
“Presentational sequences are arbitrary. Hierarchies are typically spurious. Boundaries of fields are arbitrary. Compartmentalized and stratified teaching produces compartmentalized and stratified minds.”—Ted Nelson
The important thing about science is not that everything will be known, or that everything unanimously believed by scientists is necessarily true, but that science contains s system for seeking untruth and purging it.—Ted Nelson
“If the button is not shaped like the thought, the thought will end up shaped like the button.”—Ted Nelson
Frauds like Keith Raniere of NXIVM are quick to use “tech,” thus, as a mask. You are what gets packaged, then sold back to yourself.
Dear Rowan, It was lovely to speak with you yesterday on the subject of writing and publishing, and how these things affect us.
I read the introductions to Ted Nelson’s Computer Lib and Dream Machines: two foresighted books published together in 1974.
The computing world is based on one principal system of conventions — the simulation of hierarchy and the simulation of paper. — Ted Nelson Twitter