What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry

By John Markoff

So much histories of the non-public laptop specialise in know-how or company. John Markoff’s landmark ebook is ready the tradition and attention in the back of the 1st PCs—the tradition being counter– and the realization multiplied, occasionally chemically. It’s a super evocation of Stanford, California, within the Sixties and ’70s, the place a bunch of visionaries got down to flip pcs right into a potential for releasing minds and data. In those pages one encounters Ken Kesey and the telephone hacker Cap’n Crunch, est and LSD, The complete Earth Catalog and the Homebrew laptop Lab. What the Dormouse Said is a poignant, humorous, and encouraging e-book by means of one of many smartest expertise writers round.

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Fadiman may possibly suppose their devotion to the reason; the matter was once checking out and really imposing the imaginative and prescient. He get pleasure from that Engelbart used to be unique—his ardour was once so robust it used to be nearly a mental kingdom. Fadiman got here to enhance conferences and acted as a facilitator, looking at the reactions of the crew individuals, lightly preventing Engelbart while clean expressions started to shape at the faces of his researchers. He might then say, “I don’t imagine so-and-so understood that. ” He by no means touched the desktops; he easily sat in and listened and tried to get the crowd again on target while it threatened to descend into confusion. the development that most sensible symbolized the disconnect among Engelbart’s unique imaginative and prescient and the recent surroundings of exploration and dissent that was once sweeping via his laboratory was once an test by means of Dave Evans to create a gathering of the minds among the increase researchers and the counterculture group lively by way of the total Earth Catalog. even though Evans used to be on the subject of Engelbart, he used to be additionally one of many participants of the lab who used to be hooked up to Stewart model in addition to to Jim Fadiman and the human-potential rules he was once exploring. Evans determined that he may develop into the interface among the super-straight global of data know-how, SRI, and the wild and loose international of the embryonic substitute society that was once blossoming at the Peninsula. eleven He felt lot of the guidelines approximately group that model was once exploring and the information that Engelbart had a few “bootstrapped group” have been at the related continuum, and so he began to actively inspire a discussion among the 2 worlds. Engelbart, he believed, had a receptive brain. In 1969, at Evans’s urging, Engelbart took a small team of increase researchers to go to a commune referred to as Lama that have been begun by means of Steve Durkee and Steve Baer within the mountains north of Taos, New Mexico. Baer was once a disciple of Buckminster Fuller and the author of a singular form of domelike development known as a “zome. ” Durkee used to be an artist who used to be Brand’s former roommate and mentor/guru. As challenging as Evans attempted to bridge the space, he ended up expanding the tension on Engelbart, who in precept was once open to new principles yet who used to be more and more obsessing over wasting regulate of his workforce. Evans persevered in his quest and in doing so turned one of many major gamers in organizing the Paradam convention, an occasion hung on a farm close to Santa Barbara the weekend after the Woodstock song competition. The convention was once in line with principles recommend in 1928 through René Daumal, the French alpinist, poet, surrealist, and student of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. The philosophy used to be in keeping with the assumption of the life of a sacred mountain for the trendy world—a height that's, by way of definition, very unlikely to climb. In his novel Mount Analogue, Daumal wrote: “For a mountain to play the position of Mount Analogue, its summit has to be inaccessible, yet its base available to people as nature has made them. It has to be designated, and it needs to exist geographically.

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