The Dream Machine is a book by M. Mitchell Waldrop
Tells the story of the birth of the computing revolution through the life of J.C.R. Licklider, a psychologist and computer scientist who was one of the most influential figures in the development of the internet.
The book begins with Licklider’s early career at MIT, where he was a pioneer in the field of human-computer interaction. He believed that computers could be used to augment human intelligence, and he developed a number of innovative ideas about how to make computers more user-friendly.
In 1962, Licklider was appointed head of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), where he launched a number of research projects that would eventually lead to the development of the Internet. These projects included the creation of the ARPANET, the first packet-switched computer network, and the development of time-sharing operating systems, which allowed multiple users to access a single computer at the same time.
Licklider’s vision of a “human-computer symbiosis” was not fully realized in his lifetime, but his work had a profound impact on the development of computing. The internet, in particular, is a direct descendant of the ARPANET, and it is impossible to imagine the modern world without it.
The Dream Machine is a well-researched and engaging book that tells a fascinating story about the birth of the computing revolution. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of computers and the Internet.
The Dream Machine, key takeaways from the book:
- J.C.R. Licklider was a visionary thinker who had a profound impact on the development of computing.
- His ideas about human-computer interaction and the potential of computers to augment human intelligence were ahead of their time.
- He was a key figure in the creation of the ARPANET, the first packet-switched computer network, and the development of time-sharing operating systems.
- His work laid the foundation for the development of the Internet, which has had a profound impact on the modern world.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of computing and the internet, I highly recommend reading The Dream Machine. It is a fascinating and inspiring book that will give you a new appreciation for the technology that we take for granted today.