December 24, 2008

Geeks Bearing Gifts: New from Ted Nelson!

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 12:25 pm
Cover of Geeks Bearing Gifts

After a last-minute gift? I’m looking forward to receiving a copy of Ted Nelson’s brand-new book, Geeks Bearing Gifts: How the computer world got this way.

To my knowledge, this is the first new volume in years from the author of the original personal computer book (Computer Lib / Dream Machines) and developer of key concepts in digital media (most famously, hypertext), who remains one of the field’s consistently engaging thinkers.

In this new book, as outlined in the online chapter summaries, Nelson argues: “The system of conventions called ‘Computer Literacy’ make little sense and can only be understood historically.” He stars with ancient beginnings like hierarchy, alphabets, and punctuation — and ends up with Google, mobile devices, and Web 2.0. Grab your copy while they’re fresh!