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The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell Waldrop

The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell Waldrop

The story of the man who instigated the work that led to the internet--and shifted our understanding of what computers could be.

Behind every great revolution is a vision, and behind perhaps the greatest revolution of our time is the vision of J.C.R. Licklider. He did not design the first personal computers or write the software that ran on them, nor was he involved in the legendary early companies that brought them to the forefront of our everyday experience. He was instead a relentless visionary who saw the potential in the way that individuals could interact with computers and software.

Quotes that stood out

That was what people like Vannevar Bush, J. C. R. Licklider, Wes Clark, and Doug Engelbart had always perceived so well, he thought. The real significance of computing was to be found not in this gadget or that gadget, but in how the technology was woven into the fabric of human life-how computers could change the way people thought, the way they created, the way they communicated, the way they worked together, the way they organized themselves, even the way they apportioned power and responsibility. That was what had resonated so deeply in Taylor's mind. And that, in the end, was why he now found himself hoping against hope that this interview with Pake would work out. If this new laboratory could be kept from a fatal infection of SDS-itis, and if Pake could be made to understand what computing was really about, then there could be a tremendous opportunity here to make the dreams into something real.

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