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 YEAR: 1974
 ITEM: Book
 PUBLISHER: Sixth Printing
RARITY: Not rare   Click here for further information on our rarity scale Information on the rarity of this item is unknown.

Computer Lib/Dream Machines New Freedoms Through Computer Screens - a Minority Report


Computer Lib is a book by Ted Nelson, originally published by Nelson himself in 1974. It is printed with another book, Dream Machines, also written by Nelson, as a two front cover paperback book to indicate its intertwingled nature. Intertwingularity is a term coined by Ted Nelson to express the complexity of interrelations in human knowledge. The book was later republished by Microsoft Press in 1987 with a foreword by Stewart Brand. Computer Lib, subtitled "You can and must understand computers NOW," was influenced by Brand's Whole Earth Catalog. The Whole Earth Catalog (WEC) was an American counterculture magazine and product catalog published by Stewart Brand several times a year between 1968 and 1972, and after occasionally, until 1998.

Nelson writes passionately about the need for people to understand computers deeply, more deeply than was generally promoted as computer literacy, which he considers a superficial kind of familiarity with particular hardware and software. His rallying cry "Down with Cybercrud" is against the centralization of computers such as that performed by IBM at the time, as well as against what he sees as the intentional untruths that "computer people" tell to non-computer people to keep them from understanding computers. In Dream Machines, Nelson covers the flexible media potential of the computer, which was shockingly new at the time.

Both the 1974 and 1987 editions have an unconventional layout, with two front covers (one for Computer Lib and the other for Dream Machines) and the division between the two books marked by text rotated 180. The text itself is broken up into various sections, with simulated pull-quotes, comics, side bars, and all that similar to a magazine layout. Nelson paid 2,000 dollars out of his own pocket for the first print run of several hundred copies.

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