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31 January 2010 / erikduval

Happy 85th – carrying the torch…

This what I wrote to Doug Engelbart yesterday, on his 85th birthday… More wishes at posterous, where mine doesn’t seem to have appeared yet…
Dear Doug,

I was 3 years and 3 months old when you did the mother of all demos. Some twenty years later, I saw the recording and was blown away. (How many demos keep that power after 20 years? Or, now, after more than 40 years?)

I was not just blown away by the demo, but even more so by what you said. What you expressed so clearly and showed in action resonated with what I intuitively felt but had not understood clearly until then – THIS is what technology is meant to do: to augment the human intellect and raise collective intelligence.

Your guidance and clarity of vision has been the basis for what I try to do in my own work. (There is a little voice in my head that often raises the “I wonder what Doug would think about this?” question. That voice has often helped me stay on target, even when off course.)

Some seven years ago, I was fortunate to discuss your ideas with you and a small group of likeminded colleagues over video-conferencing. My then three year old daughter joined us after the session had ended. With no other common language than body language, you pointed and waved and smiled to one another on the screen. It was one of the most valuable and moving uses of technology that I have ever witnessed.

I cannot begin to express how thankful and proud I am that I can help pass on your ideas and work, from your generation to that of my daughter’s…

A very happy birthday from both my daughters, my partner and me!

— Erik Duval
https://erikduval.wordpress.com

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