Originally published Summer ‘19

This page is a bit out of date. I'll put up a new, better organized version soon. Some of the links might not work — try the Wayback Machine if needed.
"Computers aren't the thing. They're the thing that gets us to the thing." —From Halt and Catch Fire
Communications Design Group, 2014
Communications Design Group, 2014
Alan Kay with Xerox Alto
Alan Kay with Xerox Alto
Margaret Hamilton with Apollo Guidance Computer Code, 1969
Margaret Hamilton with Apollo Guidance Computer Code, 1969



Aggregations of interesting or important content.

Computing History Hub (Molly Mielke)

Classic HCI Demos (Jack Rusher)

The Overedge Catalog

Computer Utopias (Chris Novello - RISD) ⭐️

Alan Kay's Quora ⭐️

Alan Kay's Reading List (See Also: Forgotten Books) ⭐️

Bret Victor’s Bookshelf (See Also: Transcription) ⭐️

Quotes (Bret Victor)

Hacker News AMA with Alan Kay

Alan Kay's HN Comments

Ted Nelson's YouTube Channel ⭐️

Folklore (Andy Hertzfeld)

Bookshelf (Patrick Collison)

Labs (Patrick Collison)

Progress (Patrick Collison)

Silicon Valley History (Patrick Collison)

Future of Coding (Steve Krouse)

What Should You Do with Your Life? (Alexey Guzey)

Research Labs

How can we recapture the magic of Xerox PARC and Bell Labs? What structures and cultural attributes support great work?

TAOR: A History (Vi Hart) ⭐️ — This elegantly captures the feeling of groups like these.

"What made Xerox PARC special? Who else today is like them?" (Alan Kay) ⭐️

Excerpts from Alan Kay's Emails (Bret Victor) ⭐️

How To Invent The Future Part I (Alan Kay) ⭐️

How To Invent The Future Part II (Alan Kay) ⭐️

CHI 2016 Plenary: Alan Kay in conversation with Vishal Sikka ⭐️

Mervin Kelly, A Biography (John Pierce) ⭐️

Reviving Patronage and Revolutionary Industrial Research (Alexey Guzey)

The Art of Research (Vi Hart)

Art-Based Research (eleVR) ⭐️

Art as Research (eleVR)

Musical User Interfaces (Arthur Carabott)

“Would you like to see an invisible sculpture?” (eleVR)

Talk: Art-Based Research for Immersive Media (Vi Hart)

CDG Research Agenda (Bret Victor)

Crit at CDG ⭐️

The Crit (Kurt Ralske) ⭐️

See Also: The Pixar Braintrust

The Power of The Context (Alan Kay) ⭐️

STEPS Research Proposal (VPRI, Alan Kay)

A Brief History of Industrial Research (Ink & Switch)

Alan Kay Interview (Ambitious) ⭐️

Lunch with Alan Kay (Steve Krouse) ⭐️

eleVR (Vi Hart)

CDG (Bret Victor)

HARC (Y Combinator Research)

VPRI (Alan Kay)

Learning Day (OpenAI)


OpenAI Fundraising (NYT)

#define CTO OpenAI (Greg Brockman) ⭐️

My path to OpenAI (Greg Brockman)

The OpenAI Mission (Greg Brockman)

Greg (Sam Altman)

Creative Thinking (Claude Shannon)

A Rubric on Rubik Cubics (Claude Shannon) ⭐️


Realtalk Tech Preview (Bret Victor) ⭐️

YC Research

The Risk of Discovery (Paul Graham)

Local-first software (Ink & Switch)

Muse Prototype Challenges (Ink & Switch)

We Need a New Science of Progress (Patrick Collison & Tyler Cowen)

Science is Getting Less Bang for its Buck (Michael Nielsen & Patrick Collison)

How Life Sciences Actually Work (Alexey Guzey)

The Independent Researcher (Nadia Eghbal)

Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums (Stewart Brand)

MIT Tangible Media Group


Still need to categorize these.

Tribute to Ted Nelson at "Intertwingled" Fest (Alan Kay)

The Center of "Why?" (Alan Kay) ⭐️

Panel with Alan Kay, Ted Nelson, Tim Berners-Lee & Doug Engelbart ⭐️

A Few Words on Doug Engelbart (Bret Victor)

Utopian UI Architect (Medium)

Spatial Interfaces (John Palmer) ⭐️

Leon Sans: Dynamic Typeface Made with Code (Jongmin Kim) ⭐️

Magazine Interview with Alan Kay

Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System (Ivan Sutherland)

The Future of Programming (Bret Victor) ⭐️

Active Essays on the Web (VPRI)

Programs with Common Sense (John McCarthy)

A Visit to Fujitsu Laboratories

Neuralink Launch Event

General Magic The Movie

Diary of a Disaster: General Magic Goes Poof (Richard Doherty)

The Bit Player Movie

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller (John Truby) - Recommended by Brianna from Stripe Press

The Creative Habit (Twyla Tharp) - Recommended by Brianna from Stripe Press

Twelve Tones (Vi Hart)

Alan Kay is Not Impressed (Fast Company)

Recreating the Magic of Xerox PARC (Fast Company) ⭐️

Restoring the Xerox Alto (Ken Shirriff)

Creation Myth (New Yorker)

Utopian Hacks - Kickstarter for Scientific Research

Explorable Explanations (Vi Hart & Nicky Case)

Parable of The Polygons (Vi Hart & Nicky Case)

Bicycle for the Mind Thread (Steven Sinofsky)

Andy Hertzfeld (Tools & Craft)

Stu Card (Tools & Craft)

Ted Nelson (Tools & Craft)

LOT2046 (Vadik Marmeladov)

Lapka (Vadik Marmeladov)

Airbnb Samara (Vadik Marmeladov)

Saul Griffith Profile (Wired)

Stripe’s Negative Emissions Commitment ⭐️

Project Wren ⭐️

The Arc of Collaboration (Kevin Kwok)

Introducing Mercury OS (Jason Yuan)

The Desktop Metaphor Must Die (Jason Yuan)

Chromachron, A Radically New Approach to Time (Hodinkee)

Cyborg Botany (MIT Media Lab) ⭐️

Elowan (MIT Media Lab) ⭐️

The Secret Lab in Tuxedo Park (HV Mag)

How to Work Together (Kevin Hale)

Research Progress Report 1 (Oscar Rosello)

How to make almost anything (Oscar Rosello)

Buster's timeline

Interview with Greg Brockman & Szymon Sidor (YC Podcast)

McMaster-Carr - Recommended by Alexander from The Long Now

The Calculus of Bad Driving (Vi Hart)

Nonprofit Explorer (ProPublica)

Dr. Bert Freudenberg

Google AI Bets on Canada (TechCrunch)

The Whole Code Catalog (Future of Coding)

Rethinking Education (Alan Kay)

Education That Takes Us To The 22nd Century (Alan Kay)

Upgrade Your Cargo Cult (Meaningness)

Stripe Envrionment

Augmenting Cognition (Michael Nielson) ⭐️

At Dynamicland, The Building is The Computer (Carl Tashian)

Cloudflare's Approach to Research

Laser Socks (Dynamicland)

Is it really complex, or did we just make it complicated? (Alan Kay)

Richard Hamming: The Art of Doing Science and Engineering (Lectures)

Introducing Jelly Labs

Asteroid AR

How do people get new ideas? (Issac Asimov)

The Neuroscientist who might hold the key to true AI (Wired)

Silk Pavilion (Mediated Matter Group)

How can we develop transformative tools for thought? (Michael Nielsen & Andy Matuschak)

Monogram: Productivity tools for creative pros

Futureland (InternetVin) ⭐️

Interview with Sam Altman and Greg Brockman

Teaching the Long Now

Longform Content & Books

As We May Think (Vannevar Bush) ⭐️

Augmenting Human Intellect (Doug Engelbart) ⭐️

Computer Lib / Dream Machines (Ted Nelson) ⭐️

The Art of Doing Science and Engineering (Richard Hamming) ⭐️

Interview with Bob Taylor (Computer History Museum)

The Dream Machine (JCR Licklider) ⭐️

The Senses: Design Beyond Vision ⭐️

A Mind at Play (Claude Shannon) ⭐️

The Idea Factory (Bell Labs)

Inventive Minds (Marvin Minsky)

You and Your Research (Richard Hamming) ⭐️

Valley of Genius (Adam Fisher) ⭐️

The Soul of A New Machine (Tracy Kidder)

Creativity, Inc. (Ed Catmull)

Mindstorms (Seymour Papert) ⭐️

The Humane Interface (Jef Raskin)

Art and Innovation: The Xerox PARC Artist-in-Residence Program (Craig Harris)

Design & HCI

The Qualities of Great Design (WWDC)

Designing for Wonder (Linda Dong)

Weird Technology (Lia Napolitano)

The Future Has Hips (May-Li Khoe)

Designing with Empathy (May-Li Khoe)

Humanities and Technology (Ashley Nelson-Hornstein)

Creating Delightful Events (Jessie Char)

Layers Conference

Dieter Rams Documentary: Overview

Graduals (Tori Hinn)

Update: a bunch of the above talks from Layers were taken down, but they’re back up on YouTube.


  • How can a group of people work together most effectively?
  • How can we recapture the magic of Xerox PARC and Bell Labs?
  • What structures and cultural attributes support great work?
  • What is the best way to fund long-term endeavors that focus on research?
  • What’s the best way to nurture and identify talent?

Tools Holding Us Back

Communities - work in progress


Book Recommendations Twitter Thread