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Ask HN: Alan Kay says programing is pop culture. Where can I find the classics?
8 points by philipbjorge on Mar 28, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments
I've read Alan Kay refer to the field of programming as pop culture in Coders at Work and the following interview on drdobbs:

"Pop culture is all about identity and feeling like you're participating. It has nothing to do with cooperation, the past or the future — it's living in the present. I think the same is true of most people who write code for money. They have no idea where [their culture came from]."

http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/interview-with-alan-kay/240003442?pgno=1

What books, documentaries, papers, essays, etc would you recommend to someone hoping to better verse themselves in programming/software's history?




Most important software innovations, 1837 -- http://www.dwheeler.com/innovation/innovation.html#innovatio...

Origins and precursors, 1936 - 1982: Turing, Von Neumann, Shannon, etc. http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~christos/classics/cs298.html

A Golden Age? 1964 -- 1974 http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/2059

Significant new inventions in computing since 1980 http://stackoverflow.com/questions/432922/significant-new-in...

Lisp machines, other language-based machines and OS: Smalltalk, etc. https://github.com/jon-jacky/Piety/blob/master/doc/precursor...



OK, as a non-coder, I'd recommend seeing the video of The Mother of All Demos:

http://youtu.be/yJDv-zdhzMY

I'd also suggest reading Ted Nelson's book, "Literary Machines."

Another book would be Steven Levy's "Hackers." And Paul Freiberger & Michael Swaine's book, "Fire in the Valley."


If you can find it, Computer Lib would probably be good too, though it's sort of just a prequel to Literary Machines.

(I myself failed at this task.)





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