Re: Xanadu meme, a case study (Ted Nelson)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Fri 27 Jan 2006 - 04:05:10 GMT

  • Next message: Richard Brodie: "RE: legend of Greyfriar's Bobby"

    At 09:59 PM 1/25/2006 -0500, Bill B wrote: Keith wrote:


    >> Fascinating article Bill, especially to one of the last two people who
    >> worked on the Xanadu (hypertext) code.
    >> Besides making several of the top spots on the first page, xanadu "Ted
    >> Nelson" accounts for about 5% of the total hits on Xanadu.
    >> I think I have a current email contact for Ted. He may not remember, but I
    >> can ask him why he called the project Xanadu if you like.

    > Sure, Keith, give it a try. The more the merrier.

    Heh. Of course he would remember. I clipped the personal stuff.

    ************************** Hi

    I chose "Xanadu" because

    1. "Kubla Khan" is the most romantic poem in English and I loved it;

    2. The backstory-- that he was interrupted in his reverie by the dreaded Person from Porlock and lost much of the poem-- represents the hazards of the creative process.

    Which I hoped to eliminate.

    Thus I always thought of the system as "The magic place of literary memory, where nothing is lost."

    I have always resented people who speak of it as "technology." The technology follows the idea and not vice versa: it is an idea for which a variety of mechanisms have been found. Or, as Hume said, " The Reason is, and by rights ought to be, slave to the emotions."

    And, incidentally, I say "idea," not "meme." Ideas matter, memes are ideas gone bad.

    Ted Nelson

    [I might argue about the words with Ted in email or perhaps I can get him to wonder in her for a bit. Keith Henson]

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri 27 Jan 2006 - 04:23:27 GMT