Ted Nelson

‘So, that notion of hypertext seemed to me immediately obvious because footnotes were already the ideas wriggling, struggling to get free, like a cat trying to get out of your arms.’

Inventor of Project Xanadu

"Intertwingularity is not generally acknowledged - people keep pretending they can make things deeply hierarchical, categorizable and sequential when they can’t. Everything is deeply intertwingled."

‘I am a design chauvinist. I believe that good design is magical and not to be lightly tinkered with. The difference between a great design and a lousy one is in the meshing of the thousand details that either fit or don’t, and the spirit of the passionate intellect that has tied them together, or tried. That’s why programming - or buying software - on the basis of ‘lists of features’ is a doomed and misguided effort. The features can be thrown together, as in a garbage can, or carefully laid together and interwoven in elegant unification, as in APL, or the Forth language, or the game of chess.’


‘The problem is not software “friendliness”. It is conceptual clarity. A globe does not say, “good morning”. It is simple and clear, not “friendly”.’

‘They were saying computers deal with numbers. This was absolutely nonsense. Computers deal with arbitrary information of any kind.’

‘Telling computer guys that they need to have permission to quote things is like having to tell little children about Death.’