Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology

Overview

The digital revolution did not begin with the teenage millionaires of Silicon Valley,claims Howard Rheingold, but with such early intellectual giants as Charles Babbage, George Boole,and John von Neumann. In a highly engaging style, Rheingold tells the story of what he calls the patriarchs, pioneers, and infonauts of the computer, focusing in particular on such pioneers as J.

C. R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Bob Taylor, and Alan Kay. Taking the reader step by step from ...

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Overview

The digital revolution did not begin with the teenage millionaires of Silicon Valley,claims Howard Rheingold, but with such early intellectual giants as Charles Babbage, George Boole,and John von Neumann. In a highly engaging style, Rheingold tells the story of what he calls the patriarchs, pioneers, and infonauts of the computer, focusing in particular on such pioneers as J.

C. R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Bob Taylor, and Alan Kay. Taking the reader step by step from nineteenth-century mathematics to contemporary computing, he introduces a fascinating collection of eccentrics, mavericks, geniuses, and visionaries.The book was originally published in 1985, andRheingold's attempt to envision computing in the 1990s turns out to have been remarkably prescient.

This edition contains an afterword, in which Rheingold interviews some of the pioneers discussed in the book. As an exercise in what he calls "retrospective futurism," Rheingold also looks back at how he looked forward.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"... a special book, one of the best histories yet." Personal Computing"A solid read." Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262681155
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/18/2000
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Rheingold, an influential writer and thinker on social media, is the author ofTools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology,The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier (both published by the MIT Press), and Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Computer Revolution Hasn't Happened Yet
2 The First Programmer Was a Lady
3 The First Hacker and his Imaginary Machine
4 Johnny Builds Bombs and Johnny Builds Brains
5 ExProdigies and Antiaircraft Guns
6 Inside Information
7 Machines to Think With
8 Witness to History: The Mascot of Project Mac
9 The Loneliness of a LongDistance Thinker
10 The New Old Boys from the ARPAnet
11 The Birth of the Fantasy Amplifier
12 Brenda and the Future Squad
13 Knowledge Engineers and Epistemological Entrepreneurs
14 Xanadu, Network Culture, and Beyond
Afterword
Footnotes
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