📅 RSVP to Early Tools For Thought, with Mark Bernstein | Tools for Thought Rocks!

RSVPed Attending Early Tools For Thought, with Mark Bernstein

Mark Bernstein of Eastgate Systems, Inc., is the designer of Tinderbox: https://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/ 

​Join Mark as he turns back the clock to examine some early Tools For Thought, and the people who created them. There’s quite a lot to learn from both, as well as a research literature that repays study.


​The infinite canvas as a thinking space now has a long history, but few of the early systems are well known.  I think some of them might be worth a brief look, in terms of the ideas they brought forward and in terms of the tasks they sought to address.  For example:

​Sketchpad: Ivan Sutherland’s system from the 1960 kicked off interactive computer graphics AND object-oriented programming.

​NLS/Augment: Doug Engelbart’s original outliner, the first system that explicitly sought to be a tool for thought.

​Xanadu: Ted Nelson’s early proposal for a hypertext docuverse.

​Storyspace: the first system intended for non-sequential narrative. Introduced in 1987 and still in use today.

​Intermedia: a platform for digital pedagogy, developed at Brown and BBN. 

​KMS: a hypertext system for technical documentation, the source of Akscyn’s Law

​Microcosm: A hypertext system based chiefly on contextual links, the ancestor of all sculptural hypertext.

​Aquanet: the 1990 system from Halasz, Trigg, and  Marshall at Xerox PARC, described as a tool to hold your knowledge in place.

​VIKI: the first spatial hypertext system, designed by Cathy Marshall as a reaction to Aquanet and the start of an enormously influential line of research

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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