The Author PhD Project
Frode Hegland







"I went to my first computer conference at the New York Hilton about 20 years ago. When somebody there predicted the market for microprocessors would eventually be in the millions, someone else said, 'Where are they all going to go? It's not like you need a computer in every doorknob!'"


"Years later, I went back to the same hotel. I noticed the room keys had been replaced by electronic cards you slide into slots in the doors."


"There was a computer in every doorknob."

Danny Hillis


"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Charles H. Duell, commissioner of the US Office of Patents 1899.


"I think there is a world market for about five computers."

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM 1943


"Truth subverts creativity"

John Adams (Syracuse University Professor of Rhetoric)


"Norman's goal is not to develop isolated leading technology but to build a useful combination of computers and communications through understanding how people interact with one-another and the technology."

(MacWeek 09.11.95 p28) Don Norman - Apple Interface guy.


"The changes that tomorrow's computer interfaces are going to cause in the minds of millions of people are good and necessary, considering the fact that we are entering the home stretch in our race against extinction. Personal computers that evolve from contraptions to companions in less than one human life span are part of an overall acceleration of the biosphere's system for becoming conscious enough to take control. The cellular circuit resonates with the neural circuit, the communication circuit, and the whole planet waking up to itself in the nick of time."


"I predict that if interfaces are designed with the notion of interpersonal communication in mind, the information technologies of the next ten years are going to link amplified individual minds into a global groupmind."


"Interactivity is interpersonal..." "The personal computer is becoming the interpersonal computer."


"The right kind of interface design can take advantage of the worlds evolving communications web and turn our screens into windows on one another's minds"

Timothy Leary (T.A.O.I.F.D.p23


"Today we live in an information-based technological world. The problem is that this is an invisible technology. Knowledge and information are invisible. They have no natural form. It is up to the conveyer of the information and knowledge to provide shape, substance and organization...

The best artifacts will become invisible, fitting the task so perfectly that they will merge with it."

Don Norman (T.T.M.U.S. p 104/5)


"Roy Williams, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology's Center for Advanced Computing Research, estimates that all the information from all of human history stored on paper in the world today amounts to about 200 petabytes. A byte roughly equals a printed character. So a petabyte is about one quadrillion (or thousand trillion) characters. That figure includes all the paper in corporate filing cabinets, all government archives, all homes, all schools, universities, and libraries.

By the year 2000, Williams estimates, the amount of online information that will have accumulated in just a the few decades leading up to the new millennium will be about two and a half times that amount now on paper."

Evan I. Schwartz - Webonomics


"More information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the previous 5,000. About 1,000 books are published internationally every day, and the total of all printed knowledge doubles every eight years"

Peter Large (Information Anxiety)


"Thus far we seem to be worse off than ever before - for we can enormously extend the record; yet even in it's present bulk we can hardly consult it."

Vannevar Bush, The Atlantic Monthly 1945


"Everyone spoke of an information overload, but what there was in fact was a non-information overload."

Richard Saul Wurman

What-If, Could be


I still have a dream that the Web could be less of a television and more of an interactive sea of shared knowledge.

Tim Berners-Lee

At the MIT Media Laboratory's News in the Future symposium, May 24 1996


I chose HTML not to be a programming language because I wanted different programs to do different things with it: present it differently, extract tables of contents, index it, and so on.

Tim Berners-Lee

Axioms of Web architecture


"When you design a system, or a langauge, then if the features can be broken into relatively loosely bound groups of relatively closely bound features, then that division is a good thing to be made a part of the design. This is just good engineering. It means that when you want to change the system, you can with luck in the future change only one part, which will only require you to understand (and test) that part. This will allow other people to independently change other parts at the same time. This is just classic good software design and books have been written about it. The corollary, the TOII is less frequently met. Modular design hinges on the simplicity and abstract nature of the interface definition between the modules. A design in which the insides of each module need to know all about each other is not a modular design but an arbitrary partitioning of the bits." Tim Berners-Lee

Axioms of Web architecture


"Over the last several years LANs, WANs and dial-up communications have become nearly ubiquitous media for file-sharing, printer-sharing and e-mail. What is new - and growing - is the demand for, and supply of, software which exploits this network infrastructure to improve everyday business processes. Software which assumes the availability of communications, establishes group computing as absolutely essential, rather than merely useful, to the successful enterprise. The demand for such software will accelerate as the global business climate grows ever more competitive and dynamic. In this climate, knowledge is a company's fundamental asset."

Jeff Papows and Justin Fielding Sr in Groupware in the 21st Century


"The phrase networked computing may soon join horse less carriage as a quaint , turn-of-the-century relic."

Jeff Papows and Justin Fielding Sr - Groupware in the 21st Century


"Mobile computing is going to give the computer industry a very severe case of culture shock. Historically, the culture has always been that the user goes to the data. The new culture is that the data follows the user."

Tim Keen - Groupware in the 21st Century


"Unfortunately, the fact is that e-mail is pretty crude stuff. It's likely to stay that way, to be honest, for quite some time. Its strength is that it is easy to understand, shows the user immediate benefits and has wide cross platform support. At the end of the day, however, it does little more than pass unstructured, plain text from one address to another"


"We might also observe that the greatest impact comes from simple technology, widely implemented. Simple e-mail will become the great groupware enabling technology. "

Tim Keen - Groupware in the 21st Century


"Any technology sufficiently advanced is magic"

Isaac Aasimov


 "By three million years ago, the left side of the brain of the tiny Australopithecus differed from the right, the slightly larger left side handling manipulative, tool-making abilities.The hands were now more precise, capable of complex movement. The eyes could see into the distance as well as coordinate hand movements and this led to an increase in the informational capacity of the brain. Busy brains are big brains, and so by two and a half million years ago hominid brain size had doubled. Two handedness. Coupled with an enhanced ability to process information in the brain, took hominids to the next stage of evolution. The new type is called Homo Habilis."


"Habilis changed the course of history, because they were able to shape pebbles into flint tools , and these tools could and advantageously help them to manipulate their environment. It was this ability of these first axemakers that would break the cycle that had bound us to nature and that over the following two million years would imperil all life on the planet."


"The first primitive tools, simple cobbles made by fractures and used 2.6 million years ago for cutting and scraping, were found in what's now Ethiopia. Then pebble-axes gave habilis the cutting edge with tools that would not only bring change to the environment but also release the tool-user forever from the slow development of natural process. Now tools could supplant biological evolution as the main source of change."


"Axes made it possible to build shelters and construct primitive settlements, and they physically changed the world once and for all. This, in turn, changed hominid behavioral patterns because the tools also permitted habilis to go hunting. More important they went hunting in groups, and this was to prove a meaningful thing to do. First of all it changed the working day and then it changed the menu. Previously, foraging in the bushes for enough fruits and berries to feed a small community would consume a great deal of time, but now a small group of tool-using hunters could being home enough from a single chase to support several families on meat for days."

James Burke & Robert Ornstein "The Axemakers Gift" Tarcher/Putnam 1997 ISBN 0-87477-856-5 page 10.


Isocrates was a great speech teacher who believed that it is language which separates us from animals. He believes that there are three essentials for learning, natural ability, training and practice. This is where it gets interesting, he maintained that "learning to speak properly was tantamount to learning to think properly (TRoWT p 46/47).


"Wherever there is persuasion there is rhetoric. And wherever there is 'meaning' there is 'persuasion'".

Kenneth Burke


More and more of the information stored online is stored in the informal conversational way of Usenet News Groups, which, according to A Primer on How to Work with the Usenet Community has an estimated 22,000,000 users.


This must surely be the fastest growing un structured, distributed, democratic repository of information the world has ever seen. It's growing fast and it's a mess. A huge mess- Usenet News Groups consists of approximately 30,000 different discussion groups from around the world, generating approximately 7 to 10 GB of data each week!


"Computer conferencing enables us to talk, teach, inform, learn, find, debate, gossip, commiserate and share jokes in a way no earlier communications medium made possible."

"Much of the effectiveness of this new medium derives from a structure which enables users to receive and send information only on subjects on which they have previously declared a formal interest."