Worn Amtrak logo passing though Richmond. (Taken with instagram)



Just as he is more well known as Lick than J.C.R. Licklider, he is much more recognized for his ideas and concepts about technology than for any particular invention.

Licklider holds degrees in physics, math psychology, and psychoacoustics. He worked at APRA for several years where he is said to have set the stage for the creation of ARPANET.

He later worked at BBN, the company that supplied the first computers connected to ARPANET.

He was later the director of ProjectMAC at MIT. The project produced the first computing time-sharing system (CTSS) and one of the first online setups with the development of Multics  - the direct ancestor of the Unix operating system.

He also worked on SAGE - Semi Automatic Ground Environment designed to create a computer-aided air defense system. The SAGE system included computers that collected and presented data to a human operator, who then chose the appropriate response.


The Big Three

He may be most known for his authorship of Man-Computer Symbiosis which foreshadowed interactive computing, and advanced concepts like cybernetics and artificial intelligence.

"Licklider formulated the earliest ideas of a global computer network in August 1962 at BBN, in a series of memos discussing the "Intergalactic Computer Network" concept. These ideas contained almost everything that the Internet is today. His paper The Computer as a Communication Device, Science and Technology, April 1968, illustrates his vision of network applications.” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._C._R._Licklider

His ideas foretold of graphical computing, point-and-click interfaces, digital libraries, e-commerce, online banking, and software that would exist on a network and migrate wherever it was needed.

What It Means To Us

As divergent an complex as the path of the history of modern technology is, Licklider seems to be at the root of quite a few of them. His concepts about the internet were impactful and had far reaching influence into how we operate on the web today.

His title as "Computing’s Johnny Appleseed" is not undeserved. He was there at the inception of many of the technologies we use today for personal computing and theorized about quite a few more.

Interactive computing, point click interfaces, networking of systems all have references to this man and so he’s quite an important fellow.

Here are 3 things I’ve made.


I project I recently completed for the people at Infochimps. Blog design powered by wordpress complete with lots of little bits of metadata about the site. Infochimps deals in datasets and makes them publicly available. Their blog supports this effort


This is an infographic I complete for a post on my blog about repetitive and annoying website intros. It was generated from a post on another blog and refined into usable data with an online text analyzer.


This is a site I completed as a part of an IM2 project last semester. This site collects out of context text messages, rangning from the halarious to the mundane. It incorporates javascript, html, css and php. It’s powered by wordpress

Here are 3 things I wish I’d made.


This is a truely awesome and powereful site that i’ve used to get data about a variety of subjects. The output is quite wonderful for anyone interested in data visualization and is a great resource for a lot of cool data.


A beautiful movie by my favorite director - Wes Anderson. I very much wish i had made this movie. I think it’s a great piece of film and a must see.

book cover archive

I think this website is beautiful from concept to execution. I am a sucker for a beautiful book cover and this website is chock full of them. It is also a very nicely designed thing in its self.