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Revisiting Geddes' Outlook Tower - Mike Amundsen, Director of API Architecture, API Academy @ APIdays

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The Information Age, 100 years on

The rise of the computer and the digital revolution is responsible for an explosion of devices, data, and connectedness. These are all enabling what is called the dawning of the Information Age. And software designers, developers, and architects all share an important responsibility for shaping and guiding the world’s progress through this axial age into the future.

However, more than 100 years ago, the work of organizing the world’s information into a single all-encompassing taxonomy had already begun. Partially influenced by the positivist doctrine of Auguste Comte, leading thinkers of the early 20th century such as the librarian Paul Otlet in Belgium, museum curator Patrick Geddes in Scotland, and educator Melvil Dewey in the US were each working to design universal classification systems that would encompass and coordinate the explosion of information appearing in libraries, museums, newspapers, magazines, and eventually even radio, movies, and television.

What did we learn in the last century? What have we forgotten? How does their work affect our current trajectory in transforming the work of software and systems design and development? What can we take from Dewey, Otlet, and Geddes with us in to the next 100 years of the Information Age.

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Revisiting Geddes' Outlook Tower - Mike Amundsen, Director of API Architecture, API Academy @ APIdays

  1. 1. Revisiting Geddes' Outlook Tower Mike AmundsenAPI Academy, CA Technologies@mamund The Information Age, 100 years on.
  2. 2. 1890s –1940s The first information age…
  3. 3. Camera Obscura
  4. 4. The Mondotheque
  5. 5. “I had read maybe 150 books by the time I hit 1st grade. And I already knew that the teachers were lying to me.” -Alan Kay
  6. 6. “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” -Alan Kay
  7. 7. Collective Intelligence
  8. 8. “I decided that I would focus my career on making the world a better place for humankind. ” -Douglas Engelbart
  9. 9. •Windowing •Hypertext •Graphics •Command input •Video conferencing •Computer mouse •Word processing •Dynamic file linking •Revision control •Real-time collaborative editing
  10. 10. Machine Dreams
  11. 11. •Hypertext •Hypermedia •Hyperdata •Transclusion •Intertwingled
  12. 12. “The purpose of computers is freedom.” -Ted Nelson
  13. 13. “For Doug that great demo was just the beginning.” -Ted Nelson
  14. 14. World City
  15. 15. Inter-Galactic Network
  16. 16. The InlookRoom
  17. 17. Revisiting Geddes' Outlook Tower Mike AmundsenAPI Academy, CA Technologies@mamund The Information Age, 100 years on. http://g.mamund.com/2014-apidays-paris

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