Engelbart Demo at 50

Demo@50 | Doug Engelbart | The Demo | What Is Still Missing | What We Are Building

The 50th Anniversary  of Doug Engelbart's Great Demo

Augmentation Research Community

On the 9th of December 1968 Doug Engelbart ushered in the future of interactive computing, dealing lighting with both hands, at what would become known as the ‘Mother of all Demos’. This was the introduction of interactive computing, introducing many of the systems which would come to define how we work with information, including everything from word processing to the mouse.

The 9th of December 2018 will be the 50th anniversary of the demo and in anticipation of celebrating it, we ask the question: “What can it mean to augment human intellect in the 21st Century?” to which the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, adds; “could we even resurrect the capabilities he demonstrated back then?”

Doug Engelbart wrote about the potential of computers to augment our capabilities in ‘Improving Our Ability To Improve’, where he referred to interactive computers as “a tool that radically extends our capabilities in the very area that makes us most human, and most powerful”. He likened the power of computers to the use of fire by mankind as portrayed in native American folklore:

“There is a native American myth about the coyote, a native dog of the American prairies - how the coyote incurred the wrath of the gods by bringing fire down from heaven for the use of mankind, making man more powerful than the gods ever intended. My sense is that computer science has brought us a gift of even greater power, the ability to amplify and extend our ability to manipulate symbols.”

“We need to become better at being humans. Learning to use symbols and knowledge in new ways, across groups, across cultures, is a powerful, valuable, and very human goal. And it is also one that is obtainable, if we only begin to open our minds to full, complete use of computers to augment our most human of capabilities.”

It is with these words we invite you to join us as we work to re-ignite the revolution by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ‘mother of all demos’ by building useful software tools:

Doug Engelbart | The Demo | What Is Still Missing | What We Are Building

There will be a public event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the demo in the Bay Area in California on the 9th of December 2018 where this work and other projects will be showcased:

The Symposium Website : thedemoat50.org

Marshall McLuhan said There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew” and we should at least all be able to read the flight manual and contribute to new editions of this most complex planet
with it's most complex crew

The Augmentation Team

(Original notes on the planned collaboration) fry