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Seymour Papert's “Mindstorms” made freely available online (mit.edu)
33 points by michael_nielsen on Feb 17, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments

This is the first edition of this important book.

AFAICT the only differences to the second edition are the additional forewords and a new Foreword to the Second Edition by Papert. This foreword is not mentioned in this online edition by MIT [0]. I have the second edition at home; I can try to share the forewords and specially the new preface, I don't think they are online (even on library genesis).

[0] http://mindstorms.media.mit.edu/ "A second edition, with new Forewords by John Sculley and Carol Sperry, was published in 1993."

I told some people that I consider "Mindstorms" the most important book of the 20th century.

Why is that?

Little kids (2 to 4 y.o.) are like scientists. They are curious, and they continuously experiment. The world is their laboratory, and they are having such a blast with it. They build theories about nature, they test them, debug them, discard some, improve others. This cycle is not unlike how computer programs go through.

And then they go to school. And the curiosity and joy is squashed without delay and replaced with the dread of the homework. Millions of scientists replaced every year by millions of little order obeying soldiers.

Can school be different? Can kids continue to be little scientists, and have fun, and learn by discovery and aha moments and by constructing their own internal models of the world? Mindstorms' emphatic answer is that it can, and the recipe is there.

Are we going in that direction? Fortunately, I think so (at least in the US), although I feel that the private schools and the top public schools are way ahead of the rest. I am not fully familiar with the whole education movement of the last 50 years or so, but from a distance it appears to me that Mindstorms is a (if not the) guiding force there.

If you are at all interested in education, I can't see how you can go wrong reading this book.

Available in Multiple formats on the Internet Archive:


I'm always disappointed when I see such blatant copyright violations on the Internet Archive. It is so contrary to the generous spirit of what they're trying to do.

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