Hypertext, non-sequential writing, is the most general form of writing. It unifies all electronic documents. The world of paper is unified and compatible, whereas the world of computers is split into many incompatible systems such as: word processing, outline processing, networks, bulletin boards.
The computer, and now the personal computer, have opened whole new realms of disorder, difficulty and complication for humanity. With so-called ”computer basics“ and so-called ”computer literacy,“ beginners are taught a world of prevailing but unnecessary complication. [p. 0/4]
The computer world must be simplified and clarified, this will ”bring literature, science, art and civilization to new heights of understanding.“
Humanity has big problems to face, we need urgently the new facilities to aid the mind to get unified and available to all. Computing is a key technology:
We stand at the brink of a new age, a new time, when the handling of the written word will change very deeply, and civilization will change accordingly. [p. 0/11]
A universal hypertext repository providing text and graphics will become a basic infrastructure such as water, telephone and television.
Release from sequence will enrich education, too, leading to more self initiative and understanding.
Electronic publishing can replace paper, which costs are getting prohibitive.
An open hypertext network as a universal medium is the alternative. It unifies what Engelbart conceived together but later got artificially separated: word processing, outlook processing, teleconferencing, electronic mail, electronic publishing, archiving.
The chapter ends with a call for participation. The mission is important and brilliant people are needed.
We have to save mankind from an almost certain and immediately approaching doom through the application, expansion and dissemination of intelligence. Not artificial, but the human kind. To humankind. [p. 0/13]