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    That was a very interesting video to watch.

    It raises some questions for me, however:

    1. How much better/worse would Xanadu have actually been? It seems like it’d give more control to 3rd parties. I also think of things like pingbacks, on blogs, which rarely seem useful, although having microtransactions cracked/solved would be preferable to ads, at least as an option.
    2. Did Englebart get a chance to similarly give an end of life lecture?
    3. It is a bit funny to watch a guy place himself up there with Alan Kay/Englebart, and claim first invention of so many things.
    4. I hope I have as much mental acuity at 80, if I make it that far.
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      Regarding point #3, would this change you opinion?

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        There’s also this from Woz at the same event.

        I personally think Computer Lib / Dream Machines was a great book, and it was published at just about the right time (1974) that its ideas of pervasive individual DIY control over computers were slightly but not unrealistically ahead of their time, just becoming plausible to implement. I’m less enamored by Xanadu really, especially the later claims that it would’ve been much better than hypertext as it actually happened. But hey, of course he’d have that opinion.

        Anecdote: I sat next to him on a plane once. I was heading to AAMAS 2008 and he was apparently heading to keynote a conference in Portugal somewhere. I didn’t recognize him and probably wouldn’t have initiated a conversation. But he saw me editing some LaTeX document on my laptop and asked what I did, so I said I was a CS grad student. I politely reciprocated and asked him what he did and he said something like, “oh a lot of things, but people mostly know me for coining ‘hypertext’”. Then I got a lengthy demo of a version of ZigZag.

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          It does give it more context. Thanks for the link

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          I also think of things like pingbacks, on blogs, which rarely seem useful, although having microtransactions cracked/solved would be preferable to ads, at least as an option.

          Pingbacks mostly seem to be a way to circumvent the comment-spam-blocker. It seems to be a good idea to see everything which links to something. However, it requires filtering and nobody has solved that yet afaik.

          Do you suggest micropayments to solve the comment spam problem, like “pay 1c to comment”? Or do you generally prefer paywalls to ad-selling-click-spam, like “pay 10c to read the blog”?

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            To be honest, I’d rather have something akin to Youtube Red or Flattr, likely, where I pay a fixed amount in, and that amount is split among the sites I visit, excepting payment for larger things like books.

            It seems that Patreon is the first major platform to start taking a bite out of ads for a decent subset of creative types.

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          Computer Lib / Dream Machines is a remarkable book to hold in your hands. If you’ve only ever seen scans or PDFs, ask around and find a copy of the large edition. It’s big and brittle and densely packed with Nelson’s idiosyncratic paste-up clippings and hand-drawn illustrations. While a lot of attention is paid to the comparison between Xanadu and the WWW, there are many more interesting ideas inside about the production of non-linear texts and business models for new media.

          Nelson self-identifies as a filmmaker and his 1974 conception of software was much closer to something like a Hypercard stack than a word processor. Software, in his McLuhanesque view, was a medium for self-expression. His later book, Literary Machines, is even more tightly focused on the idea of branching, interactive narrative. It’s less widely read (and perhaps less widely compelling) than CL/DM, but it has nonetheless had a lasting influence on literary scholars and hypertext authors.

          Also, my favorite feature of the original Xanadu vision was that the network would give rise to a franchise of locally-run net cafes. Nelson even made some architectural drawings of possible layouts for the buildings. Inspired by McDonalds, he suggested that giant Xs would be erected along major highways!

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            A lot of lessons here to be learned here about the realism of vision and what it really means to bring an idea into reality. It’s somewhat sad to see a man unaware that the common factor in all his failed projects is him.

            Edit: I take that back a bit, I just got to the last 10 mins and he is reflective about what he could have done differently

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              Interesting to learn that one of the motivating constraints for the PieceTable data structure was having a tape as a storage!!