PCC Heroes & Role Models

Every social group, every organization, has its heroes. In this subpage, I have collected materials about some of the people I believe influenced our thinking and actions during the halcyon days of PCC. I think it was Sir Isaac Newton who said that if he had been successful, it was because he had stood on the shoulders of giants. (And Richard Hamming who quipped that in the computer business we mostly stand on each others toes.) In any case, this page is dedicated to those giants upon whose shoulders we stood. Nominations, additions, corrections to pcc@sumeru.stanford.edu. -dra

The Futurists
Buckminister Fuller
Buckminister Fuller was an insightful futurist and an American original. Dymax, Bob "The Dragon" Albrecht's company, was named after Bucky's dymaxion concepts. Most often remembered for his invention of the geodesic dome, Buckminister Fuller's biggest contribution was his deep understanding of system thinking. Today the Buckminister Fuller Institute continues to promote his ideas. Read his books. Amazon lists 76 books by or about him, many now out of print. Try your local library.
Theodor Holm Nelson
Theodor "Ted" Nelson was really a contemporary of the People's Computer Company, but his ideas have played a significant role in shaping the course of computing and thinking at PCC. We sold his self-published books. These books (Computer Lib and Literary Machines) are still goldmines of information and understanding. The World Wide Web is an imperfect implementation of his conceptual model of a world in which information is completely intertwingled. His concept of transcopyright provide a workable solution to the question of who owns what in a digital world.
Vannevar Bush
A distinguished scientist and the Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during WW2, Dr. Vannevar Bush has coordinated efforts of US scientists in the application of science to warfare. In the May 1945 issue of The Atlantic Monthly Magazine, he published his seminal article, "As We May Think" which describes how, in his view, the new sciences of information tecnology might effect the future. Memex sounds exciting, even today. The article's still a good read.