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Theodor Holm Nelson, generally credited with inventing hypertext, calls himself a nexialist. Although the word does not appear in the Wiktionary or have a Google definition, I find it to be a very appealing and useful world, meaning, presumably, someone who studies the connections between things which are ordinarily studied in isolation by various scientific specialties. The word comes from a science fiction novel by A. E. Van Vogt.
I went to a college on the outskirts of Philadelphia called Swarthmore. During my freshman year, Ted Nelson returned to the campus to participate in the Hamburg Show, a traditional theatrical event, and to express his opinion on various topics. Being a nexialist, Ted Nelson is unlikely to speak on any single particular topic, but on a whole host of connected topics, or in his term, (which does appears in Wikipedia), topics which are intertwingled. The words intertwine and intermingle appear in dictionaries, and Ted says the term is a portmanteau, or intertwingling, as it were, of the two.
I would have not known about Ted Nelson's birthday had I not read about it in Mark Bernstein's blog. Mark, another Swarthmorean, has dedicated his career to creating innovative and powerful hypertext software, which includes Tinderbox, the very software with which this weblog is created, and which makes it piece of cake for me to intertwingle gastronomy, theology, popular culture, and comics.(Click here for Ted's photo license.)
Mark gives a link (this one) to a podcast of Ted's lecture at the University of Southampton, during which Ted proposes interesting solutions to problems such as nuclear holocaust and AIDS, as well as giving a thumpin' (to borrow President Bush's term) to the World Wide Web as presently implemented, which Ted sees as a gross disservice to the whole concept of hypertext. Ted actually apologizes for any inadvertent role he may have played in the creation of the Internet. If you suspect that you may have nexialist proclivities, by all means watch the podcast. The whole podcast. Yes, it was Ted's birthday on June 17, exactly 70 years since he was brought into the world by his mother Celeste Holm (the Celeste Holm, who won an Oscar for Gentlemen's Agreement in 1947). Intertwingle that.Permanent Link to This Entry | | | Technorati Tag: TedNelson blog comments powered by Disqus Comments (View)
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