It is common knowledge that California, especially the San Francisco Bay Area is the birthplace of modern computing. Between 1945 and 1970 people such as Frederick Terman, professor of electronics at Stanford University, or William Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor transformed the once rural Santa Clara County south of San Francisco into Silicon Valley, the fast growing industrial centre of high-technology. But the Bay Area of the 1960s is not only well known for technical ingenuity but also as the stronghold of social movements (anti-Vietnam, civil rights, women’s liberation), that are often subsumed under the term ‘counter culture’. It is sometimes overlooked that there was an intense interaction between these two developments, at least during a short time around 1970. In this chapter we will analyse the creative and destructive effects of this interaction. Therefore it focuses on Douglas C. Engelbart and his computer science laboratory at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_friedewald/44/