One of the things I am excited about this go around with the Internet Course are all the resources I’m finding thanks to awesome folks like Alan Levine and Micahel Berman. In the comments of my last post, Alan linked me to [[Ted Nelson]]’s YouTube channel. On it you can watch Nelson give his own, very particular, history of the world wide web as seen through his “much misundertood initiative” hypertext Xanadu.
So crazy, not only can we talk about Nelson’s pioneering work in the world of hypertext, but we can hear him ran t about the history of the web just a easily. Something that embitters him to no end given his own hypertext project Xanadu was jettisoned on the rocky shores of historical obscurity.
If that’s not enough, in the same comment thread Michaal links me to yet another awesome internet history gem on the Internet Archive (he was responsible for pointing me to this gem starring Alan Key talking computer interfaces) about the Internet Superhighway.
Here’s the description:
It wasn’t quite the World Wide Web yet, but everybody started hearing about this thing called “the Internet” in 1993. It was being called the Information Superhighway then. This program looks at the earliest stages of the Internet including Aladdin Systems SITComm, a Macintosh communications program for Internet access, and the WELL (Whole Earth Lectronic Link), an early online community. Also featured is a visit to the former Bell Labs in New Jersey (now Bellcore) for demonstrations of internet based teleconferencing, video on demand, ISDN, and optical network technology; a preview of the World Wide Web as used at NASA; a visit to where it all began, ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency in Virgnia; and a look at the Internet Multicasting Service in Washington, the first Internet radio station. Guests include Brendan Kehoe, author of “Zen and the Art of the Internet”, Howard Rheingold, author of “The Virtual Community”, Dr. Robert Kahn, former found of ARPA, and Carl Malamud, author of “Exploring the Internet”. Originally broadcast in 1993.
The role of documentaries and other resources for framing this relatively recent history is part of the process we need to dig deeper into, and I am really loving this.