Portable Engelbart

“A frequent use of this [substructure] is to append descriptive material–something like footnotes, only much more flexible. Or, special messages can be hung on that offer ideas such as simplifying an argument or circumventing a blocked path–to be uncovered and considered at some later date. These different appended substructures can remain invisible to the worker until such time as he wants to flush them into view. He can ask for the cue symbols that indicate their presence (identifying where they are linked and what their respective types are) to be shown on the network display any time he wishes, and then call up whichever of them he wishes If he is interested in only one type of appended substructure, he can request that only the cues associated with that type be displayed.”

Long quote posted by Huyen Nguyen; I took out the not-so-relevant half for the sake of sparing you from reading too much. To water it down even further, Engelbart is producing the idea of saving ideas or sources for a later time in a convenient way (very similar to what we’re doing with diigo). He also mentions incorporating visual cues to make them more attention-grabbing and a way to remember how they relate to a subject (similar to what pinterest does, but more on that later).

“My mind develops conscious sets of concepts, or recognizes and selects them from what it perceives in the work of others, and it directs the organization of an external symbol structure in which can be held and portrayed to the mind those concepts I cannot (reliably) remember or whose manipulations I cannot visualize. The price I pay for this augmentation shows up in the time and energy involved in manipulating artifacts to manipulate symbols to give me this artificial memory and visualization of concepts and their manipulation.”

This is the quote from Engelbart that I posted and used as a previous nugget, which is about a way of memorizing information (like note-taking, but I’m imagining with more symbol and picture use). I focused on this due to the relevancy it has with Pinterest and its use of images to guide users to information they’re looking for.

And for the sake of not writing the same thing twice, I’ll go into Huyen’s chosen quote. It’s a great explanation of Pinterest’s ability to save information to be viewed later; that being done by “pinning” an image/hyperlink and simply click on it later. Plenty of pinners do this (I know I do) and even have boards dedicated as “To Check Out Later”. Now Pinterest doesn’t have icons to remind users that they have unchecked content they saved, like what Engelbart envisions, but I think dedicating a board to things you’ll do further research in does just as well.



(Completely unrelated, but I’m watching the Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense” film while writing this post, and this was worth sharing)

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