An Open Letter from Ted Nelson

I cannot begin to express my disappointment at this stage of my life, for decades I been a pioneer at the forefront of digital technology and information sharing. I have developed theories and technologies which are still used today, and have inspired those who have followed in my footsteps, and have too aimed to pioneer an internet that is effective and efficient. However, my life and my work, while a source of motivation and joy, has also been a source of great disappointment.

Ted Nelson on Bitcoin Creator Kinship

“I feel a special kinship to him. I do not have his brains or his capabilities…but I know how it feels to be the only person in the world who understands something, both the escatcy and bitterness of it, being all along amongst beatiful stuff, having no one else to share it with and other sneering.”

Xanadu: censorship nearly impossible

Roger Gregory, Ted Nelson’s most loyal collaborator, is a sad man. He suffers from a common, disabling ailment that Abraham Lincoln, who was similarly afflicted, called “the hypos.” His sadness grows so acute at times that he becomes incapable of working, and his fits of black sorrow go back many, many years.

.. Nelson’s idea, McClary explained, was that the computer was the resource to get into the hands of the people. With a global publishing system, the need for printing presses could be eliminated. Censorship would be difficult, if not impossible.

.. Nelson became convinced that they were making major contributions to computer science. He believed that the newest versions of the data-search algorithms, dubbed “General Enfilade Theory,” allowed the Xanadu system to grow forever without its performance degrading unacceptably.

.. Enormously bitter, he was furious at the setbacks but helpless to grieve and move on. Around this time, Nelson contemplated suicide and got as far as holding the pills in his hand.

.. “Maybe most things that people do shouldn’t be remembered,” Jellinghaus says. “Maybe forgetting is good.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Total insanity,”