Monday, October 11, 2004

Doug Engelbart's Bootstrap Institute

I always felt that one of the reasons that Doug Engelbart's ideas took 20-30 years to hit the mainstream was his lack of communications skills. How could anyone who saw the 1968 demo of the NLS system not go run out and try to change the world with this new technology? Although Engelbart is a genius, I felt the talk he gave at CHI '98 was rambling and hard to follow. I have seen him speak two or three times about the Bootstrap Institute and it never makes much sense to me. But, given how hard it was to get people to quickly understand his great innovations of the 60s, I fear that I'm simply missing it. I think I need to devote a graduate seminar to studying Doug's early work and then studying his recent work from the Bootstrap Institute in detail. Who would want to participate?