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Feb. 05, 2009

Of Computers, Mice, and Distracting Ourselves to Death

by Karen A. Frenkel

By Karen A. Frenkel

I recently covered two 40th anniversary celebrations of the demonstration of the computer mouse, hypertext, and other interactive computing features we take for granted today. Computing luminaries hailed Doug Engelbart, the computer scientist at SRI in Menlo Park, CA who invented those features. Moreover, they lauded his greater vision, which reached far beyond the sum of those parts. Engelbart's contribution was an entire system devoted to augmenting collective human intellect. If computers were going to be good at anything, Engelbart thought, they should be used to boost every effort to solve important problems. They were supposed to help us make the world a better place. Click here for the demo. Read more

About Karen A. Frenkel

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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