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

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MIT Press, 1985 - Computers - 359 pages
6 Reviews

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, and Rheingold'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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Review: Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology

User Review  - Bing Gordon - Goodreads

Well organized and written overview of the giants who wrestled personal computing into shape. Best book I have read about the " founding fathers" of the PC. Read full review

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

User Review  - Dave - Goodreads

A fun collection of stories about some of the visionaries of computing, but it's ultimately frustrating to read yet another giddy account of how revolutionary NLS and Doug Englebart's work was (to ... Read full review


The Computer Revolution Hasnt Happened Yet
The First Programmer Was a Lady
The First Hacker and His Imaginary Machine
Machines to Think With
Witness to Software History The Mascot of Project
The Loneliness of a LongDistance Thinker
The Birth of the Fantasy Amplifier
Brenda and the Future Squad
Knowledge Engineers and Epistemological
Xanadu Network Culture and Beyond

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About the author (1985)

Howard Rheingold, an influential writer and thinker on social media, is the author of Tools 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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