Post source: Gail'sNew MediaBlog

This was an interesting article, and it was nice to read something not so technical as our recent readings. According to our reading’s introduction to Ted Nelson’s Computer Lib/Dream Machines, Nelson, like Thomas Paine’s with his Common Sense,  spurred the public to rally around the cause of demanding that computers be designed to do what we need them to do, and not accepting the excuse that they don’t work that way. He proposed, (yeaah!) that designing computers should be a creative process designed with the user in mind, and that the end result should be simplicity of use.

It was interesting to read his words and see much of what he said come true. For example, he says, “computers will be embraced in every presentational medium and thoughtful medium very soon” , “not only will computers be much cheaper, but their usability will improve”, and “when the real media of the future arrive, the smallest child will know it right away… That…will be the criterion. When you can’t tear a teeny kid away from the computer screen, we’ll have gotten there”.

Also intriguing are Nelson’s ideas about education – that we have squeezed all the natural curiosity out of students by boxing them into structured subjects that can only be looked at in prescribed sequences. Nelson proposes starting with the big picture and allowing the student to pick and choose which path to take in satisfying his or her natural curiosity to learn about life. Nelson does acknowledge this would be challenging to teachers.  Hmmm. Discussion of this should be interesting this week.