Course Related Public Lectures 24 Mar / 4 Apr

There’s a couple of upcoming public lectures of possible interest at the State library. The Ted Nelson lecture is of particular relevance, and is a rare chance to hear directly from an information technology thinker / pioneer with such historic significance. The web as we know it is less than 20 years old, and will undoubtedly evolve significantly in years to come. What are some of the underlying ideas that might frame that evolution? Visit Ted’s site for a sampler.


The computer world could be completely different– Ted Nelson: Founding designer, Project Xanadu

Monday 4 April, 7.00 – 9.00pm

Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria (enter via 179 La Trobe St) (Map)
Bookings – contact indicating the number of tickets required

Swinburne University of Technology, the Institute for Social Research, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, present a public lecture based on information that . . .

“the computer world could be completely different”

Fish, they say, aren’t aware of water. Most people, including computer scientists, don’t notice the hidden assumptions and traditions that have structured today’s computer world and digital documents. These assumptions push the real problems into the laps of users and programmers.  Almost nobody notices the consequences of this locked cosmology.  While there is no right or wrong computer world; what is wrong is that there is only one computer world, with no other choices.

We will consider some alternatives.

Theodor Holm Nelson is an American designer, generalist, and pioneer of information technology. He coined the terms “hypermedia” and “hypertext” in 1963, and is also credited with first use of the words micropayment, transclusion, virtuality, intertwingularity and dildonics.  He is the most important computing visionary of our time.  The main thrust of his work has been to create a different kind of electronic document which allows many forms of connection, instead of the “paper simulation” of Word, PDF and the World Wide Web. Nelson founded Project Xanadu in 1960, a project that has inspired a whole generation of computer programmers, hobbyists and developers. The effort is documented in his 1974 book Computer Lib/Dream Machines and the 1981 Literary Machines. He has just published an autobiography, Possiplex.


Global Perspectives on Media Piracy: An evening of public lectures from Joe Karaganis (Social Science Research Council, New York) and Ravi Sundaram (Sarai/Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi)

Thursday, 24 March, 6.00 – 8.00pm
Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria (enter via 179 La Trobe St) (Map)


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