Thierry Bardini

author of BootStrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Co-Evolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing ISBN:0804737231 (2000)

also earlier paper "Bridging the Gulfs: From HyperText to CyberSpace" (1997) The purpose of this paper is to focus on two main conceptions at the origin of hypertext technology, and contrast the associationist and the connectionist views. From the starting point provided by this conceptual opposition, it surveys the relationships between users and developers of new computerized communication technologies as inscriptions at the interface. Upgrading Brenda Laurel's models of the interface, it proposes a new conception of the personal interface that acknowledges the virtual presence of the designer, and locates the space of the screen as a dialogic space of mutual engagement... Full understanding of the origins of hypertext technology must go back to the ideas of Vannevar Bush on “association” (Associative) and of Benjamin Lee Whorf on “connection”... In a 1927 letter printed in his first edition (1956) of Language, Thought, and Reality, Whorf introduced the concept of the connection of ideas as “quite another thing from the association of ideas.” When the latter have “an accidental character” as the subject “jumps at the first idea that comes to [his] mind,” the latter corresponds to a controlled association.”

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