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Some Englebart links

Continuing the discussion from “The Future of Text – A 2020 Vision” book launched:

These came up in a 9 December call Frode Hegland hosted.

Although his explicit focus was on “tools”, I wonder if people here might want to talk about the “human” side, and about the “tools+human” interaction.

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What’s with these? They apparently have been largely abandoned some time ago. For the human side, don’t we have information encoding + language + learning + systems analysis + paradigms down? Nobody addressing copyright, no collaboration. A lot is also available in video form to listen to, the Bootstrap Seminar, Bootstrap Dialogs, many interviews, etc. Tools not to mention, lean test on here sort of failed.


I was a little concerned that Frode’s talk explicitly set all of the human part aside (though it came up again in the Q&A part with Howard).

Certainly we talk about it in the Peeragogy project! But I was concerned that there’s no real plan for a rapprochement between peeragogy and those specific tools: so should I think instead of my own set of tools…?

I guess my most immediate concern is, how to make use of the new writing space that is our mailing list? How to set up some schedule for writing that I can stick to? Exactly what time will I set aside to work on the sysadmin required for setting up the simple stack we discussed?

And, between me writing + setting these things up and it being a collaborative effort is quite some difference! I do still need to respond to the criticisms that came out in the MetaCAugs reading of Version 3 (which you joined!)… so that’s a kind of “slow collaboration”.

But, would there be a way to build more explicit improvement processes into the project? I’ve spent quite a lot of time posting on the OGM forum and I felt good about the conversation with “Group 1” today, but I’d feel better still if I was making progress with the v4 Handbook, and if I had a concrete sense that it really was progress.

All in all, just some of my personal concerns at the end of a long day — during which time I also went to a Webinar which was almost surely a mistake b/c it focused on a bunch of low-quality information that took up too much time.

When I have more energy I’ll look at the resources you linked to!

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Yes, it’s very dumb, there’s people who say that Engelbart failed to get his tool side capabilities into adoption and into meaningful use towards the improvement process helping with solving urgent, complex problems, coupled with worry/resentment that big companies productized many of his inventions (but downgraded, as isolated gimmicks fitting better to sell) and he didn’t receive much money to keep his effort going. At the same time there’s the tool side camp of people, who acknowledge the poor, primitive tools of today with Word and the WWW, and want urgently to arrive again back at powerful capabilities as presented back in 1968, given how long it takes (by now, very cheap as the network is in place, computers are cheap, collaboration would be in theory possible, on the other hand, no money in it, no talented staff around/available any more, major trouble with fighting against existing components/stacks). The point is, these two, human side and tool side, are never mutually exclusive, it’s always both together! Some people may say that they’re trying to balance it back out for a previously neglected side, or they might lack the interest/inclination for the other. But I just don’t see how co-development or bootstrapping could start up then, or with isolated/separate or projects merely on an abstract level.

Frode probably suffered quite a bit from people only theorizing about some human side model theories, which hardly on their own and just in themselves amount to informing/assisting the parallel tool building, so I assume he went with building his apps so he eventually ended up with having these at least, as opposed to nothing.


rather slow indeed :slight_smile:

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@skreutzer given the resources of cash/ equipment/ talent… what would be your dream project, approach to NIC/DKR etc?

Very quick, just my personal opinion, would like to hear how/why it’s wrong/incomplete: I think Engelbart needed to spend most of the cash on buying/maintaining the equipment and hiring talent (hard as well as easy back then - on the one hand, not many implementers/designers around back then, at the same time, no legacy constraints, people very experienced with the operations of the machine, ARPA one of the few places sponsoring/offering that kind of project/research/opportunity). With no adequate network available, hiring staff essentially to have them employed and on-site in the office.

Today, the equipment is basically gratis as well as the network in place to enable online collaboration of teams. Talent however is obviously elsewhere, high-paying jobs at some big Web companies doing other things. Don’t think there’s much of a point burning lots of cash trying to hire them away for sensemaking/problem-solving infrastructure, and then what happens if the money runs out, they might simply leave and move on to other stuff, leaving the effort stranded/abandoned. In lack of raw, natural talent, you can make up for some of it by work and clever structures, even if not in itself entirely hugely transformative, but goes a long way already.

Now, if Engelbart’s theories are any good, wouldn’t their realization/implementation rely on bootstrapping the effort (also for scaling and organic, sustainable growth purposes)? Dog-fooding, co-developing solutions which make it faster, easier, cheaper to build even more and better solutions based on the improvements/benefits/leverage of the steps completed before (helping to identify the main blockers/difficulties and engineer ways around them, reducing them, getting rid of them entirely)? Wouldn’t collectively intelligent teams work together to find answers of how to gather and allocate resources, organizing/coordinating them and the project/projects/activities in a way that aids/realizes even more effective improvement? Don’t know, but if Engelbart’s theory/concept doesn’t practically work out, there’s probably little hope/use/relevance for his vision and systemic/cybernetic proposal/method, and instead only admire the technical achievements as a historical nostalgic retrospective (notwithstanding that a lot of it is lost/abandoned and needs rediscovery/recovery just as well).

Doesn’t matter, but I recently registered the domain, so if somebody could make good use of it, I don’t mind transferring. Advantages are that it doesn’t need to be “Augmentation Research Center” (center as in building, maybe as a virtual center, but decentralized physically), as I think @Gyuri proposed, could/would-be today “Augmentation Research Community” (if there were such a thing), and NIC both, not only “Network Information Center”, but “Networked Improvement Community” as well. But could be any other words just as well. Not to be confused with


you’ve not answered my question.
leaving the resources issue aside — imagine it’s not an issue, you/ we won the huge lottery or a magical angel has now blessed the initiative — you are saying it’s not worth going further in imagining practically and actualizing the vision??
it seems your messages are mixed — clearly you share the dream but don’t allow yourself to suspend disbelief…!? that because of human nature, state of the world, it never happened yet, etc. — it won’t happen and let’s not put energy into that any longer.
confusedly, cb

Trying to supply more clarity to the extend I can: the topic of this thread is not about my dream, it’s Engelbart’s, and not really a dream actually, more of an super-over-urgent, maybe too-late necessity.

“Never happened yet” is not true, was stopped from continuing and scrapped/abandoned (by extension, take the Library of Alexandria, Paul Otlet, or the ARC) for various reasons. It’s not favorable times as it hasn’t been the last few decades, isn’t now and likely won’t be within the short-term, foreseeable future. With best resources/talent/focus, no practical work has even begun, quite a lot would need to be undone and re-wired, also facing opposition, which likely translates to several years of stress and agony. For the human side that would need to co-develop, you know how people are, as it goes for system theory only in the abstract and the many models/frameworks, and coordinating team collaboration or making sense or learning in modern, digital times.

Don’t think that much energy has been put into a contemporary effort of realizing/implementing Engelbart’s strategy, at best very minimal. There’s simply, beyond any doubt, no interest at all. Which is fine, natural and not too surprising, people following their own things, not Engelbart’s, and I don’t need necessarily either potentially at risk of ending up as the only one (give or take).

Trying to answer as directly put: such can map/match Engelbart’s vision/strategy/approach very closely, but given the circumstances, it’ll work out much better, easier. A pivot, switching/adapting strategy, and doing these things somewhat differently. Practically speaking, wrapping up this year and planning for 2021, I have a bunch of ideas and seemingly interesting directions to explore, you probably know quite a few of them. Didn’t write all of them down, it’s just too much and too many, but simply attempting/attacking one after another, whatever manifests.

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As a self-appointed, part time member of the trutleocracy
the focus of my interest had always been
and only learned about Doug’s work 10 years ago,

The good news is that an end-to-end first slice of a Kernel that allows the co-evolutionary meta-design and collaboration within emergent NICs is about to be ready. Expect invitations early in the new year.

I am looking for pre-alpha testers and financial impact sponsors to get some “complete finishers”, a team on board. I am a Shaper and a Plant according to Belbin Team roles

I see so man people working on this.
A good start is the list of people who liked @TrailMarks pinned tweet

and quite a few who follow @TrailHub1

But it is also true that the brand of “Augmenting Human Intellect” had been stifled, damaged, eradicated and eclipsed by Cognitive augmentation and AI that stifles Human Intellect

The belief in Human Potential has been usurped by belief in TransHuman Machine Potential all out of spite against dignity of being.


thx @skreutzer!! signs of hope, optimism :smiley:

important !! thankyou @Gyuri

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