January 27, 2006
Udell, Ferren, Engelbart

When I feel doubtful about my place in the world of technology and the applicable value of the work I do, I often find it helpful to think about Doug Engelbart, listening to him describe in one of many interviews his goals, the genesis of his goals, and his dogged perseverance toward meeting his plan.

This column by Jon Udell feints at exposing some of that inspiration, and provides a few pointers to other resources around the same area.

As a species, we face huge political, social, and technical challenges. The only way to tackle them effectively, he believes, is by enhancing our ability to create, share, analyze, and collectively act on representations of knowledge.

I haven't yet come to the same depth of decision as Engelbart on my own goals, and I don't have pretensions to bringing the same degree of brainpower and understanding to the problems he takes on. I do regain inspiration in the ultimate goals of his work, and reviewing his work periodically allows me to refocus on that. Listening to the gentle perseverance in Engelbart's cadences and the (in hindsight) gracious discovery of his goals aids in the ongoing focus and refocus.

Posted by esinclai at January 27, 2006 06:33 AM |