I just heard the news that Seymour Papert, the creator of the Logo language, died yesterday at the age of 88. One of the things I’ve learned in my computer history research is that he was more influential than I at first imagined. Alan Kay credits Papert with inspiring him to understand that computers can be a new medium, which ultimately led him to think about the concept of the Dynabook, which led to the Smalltalk system. Kay helped Papert spread Logo into the schools when people like myself were growing up, and first learning about programming. Unfortunately, the reason for spreading it largely got lost in the process. What Papert intended was that it would be used as a tool for teaching mathematics to children. In most cases that’s not how it was used.