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September 28, 2006 » 4:09 pm

HyperScope Talk at SHIFT in Portugal

Doug Engelbart and I gave a surprise remote talk at SHIFT this morning from his offices in Fremont to the conference in Portugal via video Skype. Thomas Madsen Mygdal took this picture while Doug was talking. Here’s how it looked from my point of view:    (L9F)

http://static.flickr.com/95/255054999_f3d63d5a2f_m.jpg    (L9G)

At the end of our talk, Beverly Trayner asked a question that I’m not sure I answered adequately. She asked about the relevance of these advanced capabilities when so much of the world doesn’t have access to computers or the Internet.    (L9H)

If you can make one group of people more effective, and if that group’s productivity has a positive effect on the world at large, then your influence has extended well beyond that group. My example for this was Wikipedia. Many developing countries don’t have widespread access to computers or the Internet (although One Laptop Per Child will change this). Nevertheless, Wikipedia is improving their lives by making it cheap and easy to publish high-quality textbooks that can be distributed in book form. Wikis allowed Wikipedia to happen, which in turn is affecting far more people in the world than those who have access to Wikis.    (L9I)

SHIFT looks like it was very cool. Many thanks to Pedro Custodio for inviting us to speak. Hopefully next year, we can attend for real.    (L9J)

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