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The web is woven in space and in time

Monday, 7 January, 2013

Anne Morrow Lindbergh The web, she wrote, “is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges… It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.”

In 1945, Vannevar Bush published As We May Think in which he predicted that “wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them,” and in 1963, Ted Nelson coined the term “hypertext“, but the most evocative use of the word “web” as a metaphor for the network we now use in daily communication was expressed in 1955 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh in Gift from the Sea, a slim volume, as they say, which went on to inspire both the environmental and feminist movements. “By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class,” she noted. The “web” Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote about was not a technological construct, but her choice of words sums up perfectly the thing that Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson imagined. Her definition should be studied closely by the National Newspapers of Ireland and similar organizations, which appear to be confused by the medium.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author and aviator, was born on 22 June 1906 in New Jersey. Wife of aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, she served as his copilot and navigator when he broke the transatlantic speed record in 1930.

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