Meeting 13 December on Skype

Everyone, it was a good call and we continue next week.

We coalesced around a list of threads for the work/competitions: Link Improvements, Classifications, Interoperability, Dynamic Views & Far Horizons.

However, through emails after the call the ones who remained towards the end continued and we are now leaning towards using Doug’s notion of a DKR as our focus. If we agree on this then what Jack calls semantic interoperability seems to be a good aim for how we aim to glue these disparate pieces together. Here is a bit of framing for the DKR:

Doug told me he had an epiphany in 1951: Boy, the world is complex, jeez, the problems are getting more complex and urgent and have to be dealt with collectively- we have to deal with them collectively. He would go on to write the seminal Augmenting Human Intellect paper, where he put a stake in the ground. He stated that his mission, what you might call his core principles was to augment human intellect, by which he meant:

Increasing the capability of a knowledge worker to
approach an urgent, complex problem,
and gain more rapid and better comprehension
which result in speedier and better solutions

In his words, from our documentary : These ‘means’ can include many things–all of which appear to be but extensions of means developed and used in the past to help us apply our native sensory, mental, and motor capabilities– and we consider the whole system of a human and his augmentation means as a proper field of research for practical possibilities. It is a very important system to our society, and like most systems its performance can best be improved by considering the whole as a set of interacting components rather than by considering the components in isolation. So the job then became a matter of finding the factors that limit the effectiveness of the individual’s basic information-handling capabilities in meeting the various needs of society for problem solving in its most general sense; and to develop new techniques, procedures, and systems that will better match these basic capabilities to the needs’ problems, and progress of society. This is important, simply because mankind’s problem-solving capability represents possibly the most important resource possessed by a society. The other contenders for first importance are all critically dependent for their development and use upon this resource.

With the augmentation as his aim, he invented a whole ecosystem which later come to refer to as a Dynamic Knowledge Repository, a ‘DKR’, which is concerned with; mental structures, concept structures, process structures and physical structures. The result of this dynamic environment was NLS/Augment where capabilities were developed within and across these structures in order to deliver on the augmentation goals.

Can we, as a group, re-define the DKR for the 21st Century in order to invite others to come and play and invent with us? Can we build and demonstrate the Open Hyperdocument System (OHS) which will power such as DKR I suggest we take Doug’s core principles as our main aim and inspiration from his implementations to catapult us far beyond what we can imagine with our current capabilities.

I have started uploading afresh audio interviews with Doug on the topic, at: where each heading to each recording is a link to an anchor placed on the same line, so that you can cite any of the recordings specifically by copying that link.

If we agree on this then what Jack calls semantic interoperability seems to be a good aim for how we aim to glue these disparate pieces together.

Shall we proceed? Shall we work ourselves and create competitions to build a modern OHS for a DKR?


(later emailed:)

This is the DKR built using OHS tools as I understood it from Doug. We should probably update the architecture. What suggestions are there in the group?

j j j

First Weekly Meeting, 8th of November 2017


On today’s call was Frode Hegland, Adam Cheyer, Bruce Horn, Sam Hahn, Mark Anderson, Marc Webber, Houria Iderkou, Stanley Gould.



  • How are we going to work to decide what we should build?
  • What should we build?
  • We need to agree on basic protocols for our interaction.


Agreements & To Do

  • We agreed that the meetings should continue to be held weekly.
  • Meetings will be recorded and shared publicly when text, not recorded and publicised audio.
  • We further agreed that we shall support Jonathan with the Augment project.
  • We agree we will probably show many demos on the day.
  • We agree to try to make one new demo collaboratively as well.
  • We agree to use Google Docs for collaborative writing during meetings.
  • We agree that we should all write a top list of Doug features to implement, using and other pages for sources.



Our Trello Board:

Notes from Call

Bruce: How can this be done if it’s not for money 🙁 also mentions Computing in the Middle Ages

Adam: Refers to research back in the early days but they were expected to become business.

Frode: ‘Sapiens‘ also points out how research has always had a commercial, political or religious agenda. Can we demonstrate an idea that’s big enough to deserve investment?

Mark: Small changes could change the way people contribute or organise information.

Chris: Products don’t play well together Facebook etc.

Sam: SO I also agree with a lot of these dynamics… BUT… are we going to discuss what we are to DEMO on 2018/120/9/ or … ?? Sorry to be curmudgeonly…

Chris: A demonstration not a defenestration.

Stan and Marc: Agrees we can make what to do on the day the urgent complex problem. Build to this.

Sam: Can we put something together like an issue-based netowrk for 2018

Chris: I have a working demonstration for discovering data from organisations using the network with no authority other than DNS… although it’s very early days. It’s not quite 2 way communication, but enables some of the dreams of the early web.

Mark A: yes what would it be?

Marc W: Adam and Gruber talk about AI and Doug’s work

Adam: My brother Jonathan worked for a few years to get an original version of Augment running, along with chord set, etc. He used an image from Doug’s computer and worked with Doug to filter out all personal content, leaving everything else. The intent was to put it in the public domain (working with the CHM I believe). I’m sure it doesn’t work any more, but with a year to prepare, perhaps we can persuade him to get it working again and then find a person familiar with the commands to run a live demo of Augment… He was almost all the way through the process of getting the releases necessary to launch in public domain, I wonder if we could pick up that from a legal perspective, and actually allow a download of Augment for future generations to explore.

Chris: My areas of expertise are open access research + open data services (separately, but they should be combined!):

Stans thoughts: MOAD50 – Past > Present > Future:

Sam: we need a system that by Dec 2018 shows several months of usage that threads together claims, platforms, lies, alternate facts, reporting, etc… so that there is actual usaful content in it for review by 2018 Dec.

Chris: Yup. Shoulders of giants etc.

Chris: Are these calls recorded? Can we have a policy on the text conversation? (– I think it should be published but people can request things expunged) Frode: No.

Chris: The most important goal is to inspire the next Doug Engelbart

Sam: I would want a few hundred 20-25 yo’s realize they can TOGETHER create the next BIG DEMO… not as a solo work… To be Engelbartian

Mark A: Also interesting (if showing old system) to reflect briefly on things not yet implemented from original idea.

Chris: Might not work in the PR sense. (designed and implemented (open access repo for university research)

Stan points to document above. Build personal information environments.

Adam: Do you think we should define a single thing to build together, or rather have a series of short demos by people who have built things that have been inspired by Doug’s work? Frode could present Liquid, Chris, I could show Collaborama or Viv, etc?

Sam: I think we don’t have time or will to organize a SINGLE EFFORT… becauseu we each have worthy ones…
I suggest we create a confederation of demos, and find opportunities to draw them into a larger context / tapestry opportunistically…

Adam: not enough time most likely and too many different ideas

Chris: I would like to be able to easy pull data from multiple sources, and visualise and analyse it in a way that understands the risks and errors that could involve and gives me both a result and an understanding of how to interpret it, so that anybody can answer new questions well without years of training, or risk of using incompatible or flawed data. 🙂 Tools that allow humans to use technology to discover and recognise truth.

Frode: Points to and asks about what can we do on wordpress?

Chris: Could we just all build tools that help people like us build shared tools !? (joking, but maybe that’s a real problem right there)

Marc W: Problems with linking

Timur: Confederation of demos is OK. What we will do with corresponding projects or doubles

Houria: WordPress too limited.

Chris: Is it really quality and quantity of links that are our problem? Or is it filtering them!?

Sam: What is the new paradigm? What are the new ‘primitives’?

Frode: WordPress? Chris, Marc – generally yes but hmm…

Houria: What would you yourself want?

Chris: You are now responsible for solving the immediate difficult problems of the world. Given unlimited budget; what tools would you ask to be created to support this task?

Sam: During meeting: is better than gDocs (for real time note taking shared) (Group says no)

Chris: Hmmm. Deeply addressable wordpress… (starts thinking…)





j j j