Doug’s true legacy lies in his expanded view of human augmentation through technology but always anchored in human relationships and the context of work. Reviewing his demonstration tapes is a fascinating way to understand how he was thinking, and both how much and how little of his ideas have made it into the mainstream.
Doug seemed as interested in the human side of the man-machine interface as he was the machine side. How interesting it was that we were perhaps one of the first groups at that time to utilize computer terminals in our day to day work, and we each had an individual office. Yet, through Doug’s brilliance, there were no terminals in the offices. They were out in a central area where we could collaborate as we used them. The office was for thinking, contemplating.
Doug, like Mandela, was a visionary. Each, in their own way, had a dream to help people. An idea that was unshakable. Man nor money could sway them. During their lives many days where dark and rainy. But they drew their warmth from their soles. And that warmth from within is what guided them down the road of their dreams.
You wondered about alot of things, full of questions and quiet tenacity. You really cared about society and the world and what kind of shape it was all in. You were as good as your word, upstanding. I was proud of that in you. You insisted on family meetings, surfacing the issues, talking things through, collaborating, reaching consensus. You helped me with my math homework, taught me to re-wire a lamp, change a flat tire. You taught me to waltz and hambo. You sent me to college, walked me down the aisle, you were there to welcome my kids into the world and our growing Engelbart clan which delighted you so. You were a family man at heart, even as your research agenda took on a life of its own, demanded your undivided attention, you still enjoyed any excuse for a family get together.