early 90s    Additonal: March 2000
Attending Ted Nelson's
_World Enough_ talks...

I begin to pick
up something
about his methods.       And I begin to wonder: Is it
                         really a productive way to work?
One of the things
he really wants
Xanadu for is to
handle the                 You can drive yourself
intercomparision           crazy doing this!  Far
of different               better to try to get it
versions.  He              right the first time, to
wants to be able           develop an instinct for      You can't
to look at things          picking a good way           write an
every way, before          without trying to            essay the
deciding which way         exhaustively examine all     way a
is best.                   permutations.                computer
                                                        plays chess.

He also places a                                                      META
lot of emphasis on
methods of historical     But who is ever going
backtrack, so that        to look at those old
you can look at older     versions, except for
versions of what you      Lit majors, historians,      I wonder what Nelson
have, and so on.          and masochists?  Very        would think of a GUI
                          rarely is this a useful      editor with a simple,
                          feature.                     integrated interface to
Also, evidentally                                      a programmer's version
Nelson takes endless                                   control system, like
amounts of notes about                                 CVS?  (Suggest for Lyx?)
things, to the point
where he can't keep       Drowning yourself in              (January 27, 2006)
track of where the        notes is usually a bad            Now, the wikipedia
old notes are, or         idea.  You should                 has some "History"
what they're about.       always try to work on             features like this.
                          something close to the
                          finished product (if at
Ted Nelson puts a         all possible) rather
lot of emphasis on        than stall by taking         FINISHED
inspiration,              yet another note.
getting that idea
down on paper                                              BOTTOMSUP
before it's lost.

                       But, If the idea
                       is really good, won't
                       you remember it, or
                       at least be able to re-
                       discover it without
                       much trouble?

                  Taking an unsympathetic eye,
                  Ted Nelson looks an awful lot
                  like a plodder, a slow           Applying that unsympathetic
                  thinker with a weak memory.      eye to myself is left as
                                                   an exercise.
                  But it's actually a real
                  problem that there's no                  EXTERNAL
                  shortage of unsympathetic
                  eyes towards Nelson.

                  Despite the lack of success of his
                  software main project, his writings
                  have been a clear influence on the
                  current world of webs and browsers...
                  and the software we've got might be a
                  lot better if he'd had an even bigger

                          Tim Berners-Lee calls him
                          a "professional visionary".

                                                         And there was a Wall
                                                         Street Journal
                                                         headline: "Japanese
                                                         Embrace a Man Too
                                                         Eccentric For Silicon