Alex Wright


October 21, 2012

I'm looking forward to attending UX Brighton in early November. For me, this is a bit more than just another Web conference; it's also a kind of homecoming.

From 1978 to 1980, I lived in Brighton while attending school at the long-defunct St. Wilfrid's down the road in Seaford. For two years I led the full-on Tom Brown lifestyle - school tie, sweater, goofy shorts and all. When I wasn't boarding at school I spent a fair bit of time wandering around my adopted hometown - roaming the old amusement piers where the old folks fed their pensions into the penny slot machines, knocking around the crumbling waterfront promenade, and rummaging for washed-up salvage on the abandoned beach past the marina. My major Brighton claim to fame came in 1979, when I watched from the sidewalk while they filmed Quadrophenia.

Somehow it seems fitting that the talk I'll be giving is on the history of hypertext, looking at some of the early precursors to the Web in search of interesting ideas left by the historical wayside. I've always felt like I probably left some of my pre-adolescent self in Brighton - and while of course you can't go home again - I'm hoping that I may yet stumble across a few misplaced memories left somewhere by the sea.

Previously: Robot Theater

Now available for pre-order:

Cataloging the World:
Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age

by Alex Wright

A “shrewd, brisk biography.”
—Kirkus Reviews     

Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages

Mastering Information Through the Ages

by Alex Wright

“A penetrating and highly entertaining meditation on the information age and its historical roots.”
—Los Angeles Times