To mark the 60th anniversary of this groundbreaking document, join us as we collaboratively read and collectively annotate Doug Engelbart’s 1962 research report and manifesto, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.
Doug Engelbart’s 1962 manifesto offers a unique, multidisciplinary perspective on how human ingenuity, in symbiosis with networked digital computing technologies, might enlarge human capability and help address humanity’s most urgent problems.
People who have heard of Douglas Carl Engelbart probably know that he invented the computer mouse. They may have heard of the 1968 “Mother Of All Demos” in which Engelbart and his Augmentation Research Center colleagues presented a comprehensive, interactive human-computer co-evolutionary environment to an auditorium of astonished engineers, mathematicians, and computer scientists, all of whom gave Engelbart and his team a sustained standing ovation for this glimpse of a future we have yet to inhabit fully.
But even those who know the name “Doug Engelbart” may not know the demo before the demo, the research report Engelbart described as “the public debut of a dream”: a nearly 150-page monograph titled Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, published in October, 1962 (to go even deeper, see Christina Engelbart’s invaluable “Field Guide to Doug’s 1962 Framework”).
This project seeks to bring Engelbart’s 1962 manifesto back into view, and to encourage close, hospitable (though not uncritical) attention to its central ideas and Engelbart’s unusually varied strategies of analysis, argument, and description. The fruit of over a decade of intense reading, thought, and writing, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework deserves our full attention, especially at a time when many (perhaps most) computer technologies appear untethered to any philosophy besides the pursuit of maximum profit.
Engelbart’s dream was different. He believed that networked computing could empower collective intelligence, offering humanity a way to address complex problems together. Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework insists that benign, liberatory collective intelligence is not only possible but urgently necessary. And it seeks to demonstrate that an “integrated domain” of human-computer co-evolution was the most powerful means human beings had yet devised to permit their intellectual capabilities to solve problems faster than they invent them.
By “augmenting” the research paper collectively through web annotation tools, this project seeks to bring Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework into the primary place of study and discussion where it belongs.
Our annotations— responses, questions, conversations— will use the Hypothes.is annotation platform. As described on their website, the annotation platform is free, open source software “based on the annotation standards for digital documents developed by the W3C Web Annotation Working Group.”
Welcome to the Project
Gardner Campbell and Christina Engelbart share a welcome message to the project.
Gardner Campbell and Alan Levine discuss the ideas and planning involved in the project.
What Will We Do Here?
- We will annotate the copy of Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework reprinted on the Engelbart Institute website.
- Annotations can be comments directly on the document itself, or replies to other annotators’ comments–or both!
- For your annotations, we encourage you to indicate your relationship to Engelbart and his work by tagging annotations and replies. For example: #SRI (colleagues from the Stanford Research Institute), #ARC (colleagues from the Augmentation Research Center), #NIC (colleagues from the Network Information Center). #PARC (staff at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center), #DEI (Doug Engelbart Institute), #scholar, #student, etc. Multiple tags can be used to indicate multiple relationships, as will often be the case. These tags will also help the annotations scale as the conversation expands by offering multiple ways to view specific sets of annotations.
- We welcome thoughtful annotations from all readers. Periodically, selected annotators will describe their annotations, and their relationships with Engelbart and his work, in special video interviews that will be posted to the Framework Project channel on YouTube and aggregated on this site.
This is just the beginning of the Engelbart Framework Project, with more opportunities for learning and conversation to come.
If you have questions, please contact Gardner Campbell: gardner.campbell AT gmail.com (substitute @ for AT). We look forward to your insights!
Heartfelt thanks to colleague and collaborator Alan Levine for all his help with project planning and website development, and especially to Christina Engelbart, Executive Director of the Doug Engelbart Institute, for her constant encouragement, inspiration, and support for this and many other projects.