I just bumped into the first known infographic about “computer user types” and wanted to share it with you. That, my friends, is one of the joys of studying computer culture from an archeological point of view.
The infographic is featured in Ted Nelson’s 1974 cult classic Computer Lib (South Bend, IN: published by the author). The book was actually a double feature, and it read both forwards (and in this case the title was Computer Lib: You can and must understand computers now) and backwards (as Dream Machines: New freedoms through computer screens—a minority report).
As a foretaste, what about a joke about AI? This one’s taken from page 12.
“ONE OF THE FEW GOOD LAYMEN’S COMPUTER JOKES
A very large artificial intelligence system has been built for the military to help in long range policy planning, financed by ARPA, with people from MIT, Stanford and so on. ‘The system is now ready to answer questions’, says the spokesman for the project.
A four-star general bit off the end of a cigar, looked whimsically at his comrades and said: ‘Ask the machine this: Will it be Peace or War?’
The clerk-typist translated this into the query language and typed it in. The machine replied: ‘Yes’.
“Yes _what_?”, bellowed the general.
The operator typed in the other query. Came the answer: ‘Yes SIR!’.”
Nerdy, right? But, like for other mimeographed publications from the 1970 computer underground, this book has everything, from cellular automata to cartoons, from practical jokes to ASCII erotica…
..from political activism to “computer dating”, from the very first “file Web” to cognitive and bodily augmentation. I told you: everything. Enjoy folks!