Ted Nelson - Computer Lib/Dream Machines (1974)
5 Sourced Quotes
I see Professionalism as a spreading disease of the present-day world, a sort of poly-oligarchy by which various groups (subway conductors, social workers, bricklayers) can bring things to a halt if their particular demands are not met. (Meanwhile, the irrelevance of each profession increases, in proportion to its increasing rigidity.) Such lucky groups demand more in each go-round - but meantime, the number who are permanently unemployed grows and grows.
In order for something to Catch On, it has to be standardized. Unfortunately, there is motivation for different companies to make their own little changes in order to restrict users to their own products. The best example of how to avoid this: Philips patented its audio cartridge [i. e. the standard audio "cassette"] to the teeth, but then granted everyone free use of the patent provided they adhered to the exact standard. The result has been the system's spectacular success, and Philips, rather than dominating a small market, has a share of a far larger market, and hence makes more money. That's a virtue-rewarded kind of story.
It is imperative for many reasons that the appalling gap between public and computer insider be closed. As the saying goes, war is too important to be left to the generals. Guardianship of the computer can no longer be left to a priesthood. I see this as just one example of the creeping evil of Professionalism, the control of aspects of society by cliques of insiders. There may be some chance, though, that Professionalism can be turned around. Doctors, for example, are being told that they no longer own people's bodies. And this book may suggest to some computer professionals that their position should not be as sacrosanct as they have thought, either.