An In-Depth Look at
"The Unfinished Revolution"
January 13, 2000
ENGELBART AT PODIUM:. …Colloquium at Stanford, "The Unfinished Revolution." And, I need to repeat periodically that when I say "The Unfinished Revolution. " I’m not talking about my personal revolution. It’s a revolution the world has yet to go through and it isn’t finished. And, a good purpose of what we’re trying to talk about here is trying to make a picture of what that revolution could be and the strategic way in which all of you warriors can go about doing it. One thing to announce at the outset, is that it turns out, around the world, enough people have been listening and coming back with comments, and questions, et cetera, that it’s totally overwhelmed our staff ability to cope with it. So, anybody out there, or here, that hasn’t had personal answers, please don’t feel slighted. We’re just delighted but somehow; we’re not quite clear how we’re going to marshal the resources. A lot of it’s people power, which somewhat takes more money in order to make a cooperative, coordinated way in which the dialogue can get going. It was one of our purposes, explicitly; to try to elicit and develop a dialogue around here as a real prototype, hoping that the stimulus of the colloquium and interaction we could produce during the time would help develop a community out there.
SLIDE: Overwhelmed by flood of Reasonable Input from Interested People our there in the world!
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: But the flood is making it hard for us. And, Peter Yim has been doing a marvelous job over here of coordinating and putting together software to try help it, and management, et cetera.
SLIDE: Overwhelmed by flood of Reasonable Input from Interested People out there in the world!
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Do you have anything to add, Peter? That you’d like to tell anybody?
YIM FROM AUDIENCE: You might like to take the opportunity to introduce the two fitting assistants because of the fact you’ve been working with them in one way or another.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Yeah, good idea. We actually, since here in seminars at Stanford they offer point teaching assistants, which is a formal thing, and I’ve been gone from university for so long that it’s hard for me to get back on gear, but one of our teaching assistants is Marcello Hoffman, here. He’s a little bit bedraggled looking old guy but he’s been serving voluntarily in his off hours, which has gotten longer and longer, to help coordinate the—try to develop the community as a interacting. And then, Hilary Lamont, who isn’t here, but she’s in Washington D.C. where she woks, is coordinating the content for the thing of the repository that we’re building. And Peter is doing a lot of the support service. And Froeb Hanklin is also contributing. And then, our prize we got this year from Japan is Shinya Yamada. His father donated him. He’s just terrific. So anyway, these are the staff. I wish we had fifty people. Later on, I’ll try to point out the kind of picture we have of how a repository actually could work, and what it’s for, and what would be in it. And the dynamics of it represent one of the big challenges today.
SLIDE: Developing an Understanding
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: The way the colloquium is going to work is, there’s a whole set of set of concepts that are intertwined to make a strategic framework, and I’ve tried for years to just go through them; and, in one sitting it doesn’t seem to soak in. So, I’m going to play tricks on you. A lot of times I’m going to go by the same slides in different sequences to kind of show you the interactions that they do. One of the personal problems I have is I keep thinking as I get older my memory doesn’t work so well. But I really got my comeuppance about eight years ago when my wife, she heard that once too many and said, "The problem with you, Doug, is that you don’t remember how bad your memory used to be." So, you got that. So, I may go by things twice because I’ve forgotten about them, that I’ve told you already, but really I’m purposely trying to do that. So, I’m going to take several passes. There’s a fair amount of history back through all the years; and, some of it will be worth brining out from time to time because it makes a difference--sort of why it evolved like it did. There are a lot of experiences which I don’t want it to get to be like, "Oh, poor Doug. Look, he got squashed here, or pushed out the door here, or ignored there." There’s a very, very important thing we’re going to hit all the time is prevailing paradigms, and these are examples.
SLIDE: Considerable History Came With It
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: When the corporate vice-president for information technology at McDonald Douglas had given some of the volunteers who wanted to make this work within the company--and we’d spent a year making plans, interacting on how this kind of inner-linking could go on between knowledge work support and the computer-aided design and the manufacturing—and gotten enthusiastic people, and go back to the corporate vice-president and says, "Okay, you told us if we could get this moving this far then you’d do something."
"Well, I’ll tell you guys," he’s a very earthy fellow, "I think I’ve changed my mind." He says, " I talked to IBM, and DEC, and Hewlett Packard, and none of them knows anything about this link…." He used the nice expression that barnyard expression about what links were like. "None of them knows anything about that. So, I don’t see how the hell I can start investing in this."
So, bingo. There went a year. We learned a lot, but—There have been a lot of those things just put you up against. So, one of the real questions, during the time we’re bringing this colloquium out is: are there paradigms out there and within the community of people wanting to watch this—are they suitable? Are they sort of shifted in a way so what we’re saying now will take root and grow? And if they aren’t, well we’ll brush our hands and try again, I mean, as long as we can get support for trying again. There’s a lot of relevant stuff that’s on our website, and here’s the URL—I assume that everybody’s found out that you can go directly to getting the sequence of slides online with your browser. So, you can step through and review old slides. And you can actually make a URL to make a link to any one of those slides that you wish, which is an important feature. If people get into dialogue, they can send an email with a link pointing to a particular slide and invoke the kind of dialogue we can do about it. So, the other side is, what do we do if we get a whole bunch of ending like that? One of the things, if we could assess them well enough now, would be that people go and digest this stuff and tell me that, "Here are the kind of concepts that seem to be missing. And, there’s a lot of contention out there about your statements about this." And, either I’ll retreat and say, "Oops," or I’ll come back and try to clarify and resolve it. But that’s a downstream thing. Also, when we go through, we’ll be talking more and more about the issues about these improvement communities, of which what we’re trying to launch is a special kind. And so, you’ll see the sort of dynamics that we expect and the issues that are raised in there. And one of the particular issues of the community we’re trying to build is: how do you learn about the problems, and challenges, and the opportunities, and the techniques, and the processes, et cetera, that will let a distributed community of people that are trying to do an improvement attack, how they can cooperate and work better? So, that’s our pursuit. So, the next plus, a couple slides from now you’re actually going to start seeing a few extracts from going and looking at web. And, Shinya helped extract the web picture and paste it to our overhead so you could see it—so, a couple different signs. And, I’ll probably use that more and more during the course of the seminar.
SLIDE: A lot of the history shows in…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: One of these talks about the library, we just call it a poll, it’s a couple of pages in our lab in which we list a bunch of the different reference materials that are there. So, throughout all the years that we’re out there--beginning 1960 right on in through ’89, very active out there then, in the nineties a little bit more, et cetera—that we’re publishing reports and papers. A lot of papers have been put on the web. So there’s a lot of reference material there that we can point to from time to time. So, we’ll go now just to sort of see. There’s one more thing that we need to point out is—in the history of what we’re going to talk about, we’re going to talk about two interactive link systems; one of them is called NLS and the other is called Augment. Well, they were both the same. It was just at a particular time in history that we got moved out of SRI where we’d done all the research involved in building it, and we called it NLS up to that point.
SLIDE: Note the little purple numbers!
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And then, we went to the commercial world, which was all we could do to save all that work, and the system, et cetera, because the research world dried up. So then, the publicity, our marketing guys in that commercially, they said, "Let’s get a new name for this; NLS is too weak." So they named it Augment because we had been talking about augmenting the human intellect, et cetera. So, that was nice. So, it’s the same system. So, Augment’s been in there and, I still use it, believe it or not, because there were so many things in it that can do things that you just can’t get anywhere else today, which is diminishing some. And, the interface between my working in that world and the modern, more up to date one is getting more awkward. We’ll have time we can show you. But, one of the features in Augment was that every object in any document was always addressable explicitly with the address you could put into a link. So, your links could point to a word, or a character, a paragraph, you could even designate a branch that you were talking about what would be a section or a chapter of a whole document. And, it was even more than that. Your link address could take a route and it got there where you were pointing at would be another link. And you’d put in something in your address, and when it got that, it might take it. So, you could do this indirect linking, which just had real power that you could develop processes and procedures in that human system side of how you could work with that. One of the things then is, when we printed it out we would actually print out the hierarchy code location number on it. So, we formed a habit of, when we were publishing something, if the editors would let us, we would put those little numbers at the end of every paragraph. So then we found a way that, when you go out in the HTML, that those are actually an address tag. So, you can put that number at the end of a pound sign and you go right to the paragraph in the things we published like that. So, that’s what you’ll see in here. And, there’s some much fun things beyond that, too, that we’re making, and the dynamic thing that they point to themselves. So, it’s a link. So you put your cursor over that and you can elicit what the URL address would be to point right to it. But more than that, you can click on it and it hoists it right to the top, which is what we used to use all the time NLS and Augment. Scrolling has it’s advantages, but when you want to just get right to something, especially if you want to link to it, it’s just very much useful. So, you’ll see some evidence of that.
PAGE: http://www.bootstrap.org/library.htm#2 - Articles
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, here’s the—looking at this URL at the top, which is a part of the browser, points exactly to this branch two—and you see all here all lined up like this. And, these are the array of linkable addresses. And, the one that we’ve pre-fired, so it’s in red, is to a paper published in 1992, called "Toward High Performance Organizations: A Strategic Role for Groupware." And, it goes through quite a few of the steps we’re doing in here, and the detail in there talking about scaling, talking about improving infrastructures, you go back there and get a lot more detail and a list of questions from it. But, in amongst the rest of these things—there are just very, very interesting. I’m almost tempted to click on some of them. This "Authorship Provisions" in 1984 was a very detailed description of Augment, and the structure, and the conventions for addressing, many, many other things that are in there. And, others going back here—in the bottom one, "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework," in 1962 was that report that I waved in front of you last week. It’s really interesting that some group of technology historians in Germany converted it to web form; and did a very, very nice job, even with the diagrams that show all the feedback groups and the planning, et cetera. So, as old as it is, it’s still full of good things, even though some of the terminology will make you wince a little bit because it’s so old. Then the next thing here is a jump there to that cited paper takes you to this document and we talk about journal.
PAGE: http://www.bootstrap.org/augment-132811.htm – Toward High-Performance Organizations: A Strategic Role for Groupware
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, you see in here it’s got an address: it’s AUGMENT, 132811. So, one of the things we initiated in 1970 was something we called a journal, with which anything you submitted to it--a one-liner to a big, big document--would go in there and guarantee to be delivered back and they would assign you a serial number of it--which was good. You didn’t have to know the pathway to that, all you had to know was which journal and what the number was, and you get it back. And you were guaranteed that it would be like it was when it did it. So, as a matter of managing the knowledge and keeping track of things, it was just a big, big step ahead. And, something like that is needed very badly in the world out there. If you ever make links to things in a serious sense and they move the document around a little bit, you’re in trouble. So that’s there every time--and then, you can see the purple numbers out here. And so, the next one follows the purple number and it’s talking about the—anyway, I’ve already told you about all this.
PAGE: http://www.bootstrap.org/augment-132811.htm#2B – 1.2 Capability Infrastructure and its Augmentations System
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, this follows that link that goes down inside that document to a particular what we call a branch. And so, that’s very much what Augment would do; but it would do even more. We had viewing options. We said, "Look, when you’ve got the computer supporting you, let’s don’t just use it like a word processor—what they did is what you see on the screen is what you’re going to have on paper—look, you’ve got much more opportunities. Let’s have them put on the screen under control, flexibly, all kinds of views that help you study and assess what’s there." So, one of the very first ones we did a view that would either show open like this, or just show me the first line of every paragraph, which turned out to be very, very useful. And, it had a side benefit that people started doing what good writing policy is supposed to set up—that they put more in the first line that would tell you, more or less, what the paragraph was about because they know that people will be scanning it one line only when they do that. So, there are other things—how many levels down in the hierarchy would you show? Show me only things that have certain content. And, the structure we put on it was very flexible because, in a hierarchical structure, all the brothers and sisters at the same level, you could take a look at that and then you could start sorting on it. Or, you could do content analysis that you would, "I’d like to that file and pick up every paragraph that’s done at a certain level, has a certain content, and don’t bother indenting it. Just put it flat. And, when you do it, put something on the end that tells me where it came from, a link." Or, I can go throughout other documents like that and say, "Hey, I like this piece of text." So, you set it all up so you pick out that text and it gets installed in a list that you’ve created someplace that you don’t have to keep in sight with a link in the end from where it came. Then you get a bunch of those done, and you start massaging them, and moving them around, and adding notes to it. You did a very good job researching and every kernel that came from someplace; you know where you can go back when you want it. So there were many--it’d take day after day of showing you things and letting you try it to kind of get it across. That’s been sitting there all these years. And we kind of wave our hands to the world. And, we slowly realize that the momentum that’s there now, and the paradigms that are there that: "Hey what’s there is the latest." And, it started out with a very simple thing--with WYSIWYG, et cetera—and they’re hung up in those things. So, how do you get the world oriented about getting some explicit evolutionary process by which they could go try it? And explore more things that are in this fan of things out in that frontier that you could go to that aren’t something set aside? So, it’s going to take some real planning and thinking to try to get an evolutionary process that let’s you have something that can really, in a practical world, produce the kind of evolution that this scale of thing has to have. So here’s just diving into another one. In every figure, it has an address, too. Bingo, down there.
PAGE: http://www.bootstrap.org/augment-132811.htm#2B3 – Figure 1
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, we didn’t have the kind of graphic capabilities we do today, but—anyway I just thought I’d give you a flavor of this. And later on in the colloquium we’re going to be talking more about these kinds of capabilities trying to say that the way in which these kinds of capabilities--and more, and better—can evolve in the world has to be some different way from--they’ll only come out with things that will sell a bunch. And that will be only if it’s easy enough for somebody to learn in the current state of frenzy. So anyway, there’s just a plan we have to have, realistically, according to the way people work and get motivated. This is one of the things among the paradigms, one of the things is: how much different, and how much more powerful can our environment be, from what it is today? Sometimes I think it’s almost as if, when they invented writing, they didn’t want to go away from the stone tablet because, somehow, that was real, see? And that would have crippled us a little bit, would it? So, here’s one you’ve seen before; and, you’ll see it again.
SLIDE: Lifetime Goal, And a Pursuit Strategy
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So this goal has been motivating all the time: as much as possible to boost mankind’s collective capability for coping with complex, urgent problems. Okay, so what we’re going to do here now is review some of the core set of concepts and the vocabulary terms that provide what I call the "strategic framework" associated with pursuit of that goal. You’ve been exposed to a bunch before. Here’s another slice through. So, these are some of the terms, et cetera, and concepts.
SLIDE: Concepts & Vocabulary – 1
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Organizations as social organisms—this came out thirty years ago to just say, "Hey, they are." And, this new nervous system that the digital technology will provide is going to offer really significant evolution in those organisms, see? So, then we move to, say, one of the very important aspects of organization is its capability infrastructure. And, this had importance because looking at it like that you could point out how many places in that infrastructure could new technology make a difference. And, if it does it at lower levels, then it would probably enable restructuring the higher levels, which, in turn, would allow the restructuring of even higher levels. And, augmentation about just pointing out how much we’re already augmented and what we’d be like if we didn’t have all the things we list as part of your augmentation system. You’d be a speechless, primitive person that could only, maybe, probably speak because language—but that’s already augmented you a lot.
SLIDE: Concepts & Vocabulary – 1
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And then, the co-evolution frontier because we talk about the sort of technology artifact, et cetera, system, and the human system side. Those things are going to co-evolve between them and within them very much. So, this constant co-evolution that’s going on has to be something that you look at. How many different elements in that whole system are simultaneously evolving which makes organizational improvement, organizational evolution, et cetera just a lot more complex? And, the huge affects of the prevailing paradigms—just very, very much. So, you’ll be part of an experience, or experiment here now, trying to tell the world, "Hey, there’s something here that looks like there’s a lot of good reasoning, and concepts, et cetera, around with taking a new perspective, resetting your paradigms." So, let’s just see what happens. At the end of these six weeks, there may be a lot of confusion, and a lot of griping, and some barbs thrown like that, or maybe nothing will happen. But on the other hand, by the end of this particular session I want to tell you about the kind of things I would like to see happen. So anyway, this is one that we developed last week.
SLIDE: "Co-evolution" is unavoidable: should be explicitly cultivated!
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: This central thing of the capability infrastructure representing the sort of thing that you have to work on if you’re really going to change this to this goal. And, based upon the very basic human capabilities you have here, to interact with these capabilities, and with the paradigms, organizations, procedures, and methods, and with all of the tools, et cetera, like this. So, all this dynamics is there to support what you have as a basic human capability and what you get conditioned for your social reflexes, et cetera. And, you have to think and learn, and knowledge you have to have. So, you have to have skills and just latent knowledge, et cetera, in order to operate within that. But that’s the whole thing that gives you any real capability, or gives your organizations. And this model shows, you could look at this as a human, an individual human, or you could take any organization you want to, and plunk it in here and this is, at least, my contention. I’ve been living long enough so I can say this wildly and loosely.
SLIDE: "Co-evolution" is unavoidable: should be explicitly cultivated!
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, it would be very interesting if we could get more dialogue going, and people started saying, "Where could this go?" Dig down into it, in there, and dig down into capability infrastructures because the picture I’ve always had is saying, "Oh look, maybe here’s a very viable capability and it’s got an organization for making it run. And it’s dependent on quite a set of sub-capabilities. Well, so is this one over here dependent on some of the same ones. So, if one of those subordinate capabilities suddenly got boosted way up, hey, many of the ones above it could then be looking to re-engineer them—recombine how those capabilities are formed, or improve the capability there—which would then move on to the top. So, the whole corporate, organizational, personal—whatever you’re going to talk about—capability is just a lot of evolution going on simultaneously in there. It’s been happening all the generations that we kind of can be aware of, except that now days, the transitional rate, and the sophistication that’s happening on this side transcends anything that ever happened before. And I keep saying, "Look, the only thing I can think of that is qualitatively similar—that means it made the kind of change throughout all the social structure practices that this can happen in the world—the only thing I can think of is when the hunter-gatherers discovered agriculture." That invention changed, tremendously, the whole social structure, the language, the practices, the family relationships, and everybody else, you know, like that. So, that’s what I think.
They say, "Like a printing press?" No. A printing press was kind of feeble compared to what this is going to be—or any other thing you can think of that was in modern—Well, that’s my contention. It’d be very interesting if I got people a lot smarter about history, and dynamics, and anthropology, et cetera, than I am that would try to help think this through and make the models. But, in other words, if we don’t get some shared picture like this among the shared paradigms in the world--that there really, really, is something explosive going to happen there—then the kind of efforts that need to be to sort of dig in and cope with what’s coming won’t get exercised until things get pretty late. This is one of the talks here for bringing the energy story back here as saying, "All right, there’s something that you can point to that really is—there are a lot of things you could point to that are really important." And, how do you get the world’s paradigms shifting enough so that they take it seriously? And the, if they do, what are you going to do about it? How do you marshal the kind of cooperative solution development and execution that’s required? Who knows? They’re sitting there waiting to tell you the answer.
SLIDE: The World’s Organizations in Human-Tool Space
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, then we went on to say, in a very simplified way: if you took these two dimensions of tool system and human system, and watched the way the tools developed and harnessed like that, and here’s the best that’s anticipated today, and in 20 years you might anticipate way out there so that all through the history, the evolution went on there. And this population, today in the world, probably occupies some domain about like this. People get used to the fact that in 20 years technology is going to move out like that. And, yeah there are different other things to do it. So, we’re going to be moving out here, you know, one square every 50 years or something of that sort. So, then the question was, well, hey, what if it’s more like that?
SLIDE: Co-Evolution Frontier: "Advanced" View
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: That the technology’s made this big spurt? And, this might get people’s attention if they really, sort of, can see it like that. So how do we get help from people that can help detail this out to say, "Let’s try to detail this? And let’s try to see how many different dimensions there are on each of these." So, this is a multi-dimensional space, not just two-dimensional. But out there, is out there. And the pathway for any given organization to migrate as they’re trying to cope with the changes out there, and change themselves and their capabilities and practices, et cetera, is going to be something. So, it’d be very easy, in this multi-dimensional space out there, to get wandered off, and get lost, and find yourself in a dead end. So, it’ll be extremely important to every organization to try to help me help getting a picture out there sort of develop. And it’s a picture that, itself, is going to take a great deal of intellectual knowledge work, cooperative work, to try to develop the picture—the picture of what’s happening now, and of the different paths that different people are advocating. And then, what happened to them in the last year since they advocated and took a path? And, what are the paths open to you, your organization? And how much is it going to cost? And how in the world do you convince the people that provide the funds for your organization--if it’s a corporation, or something especially, but anything else, too? How do you get the funds to move in that world? --Because the questions are you may get stuck so you become obsolete. And so then, your organization evaporates. Well, maybe it deserved it, or something, but on the other hand, maybe it provides a very important service to the world that—who’s going to fill the gap? And that’ll be a problem for the rest of the world to take care of. So, if your government doesn’t start moving in its ability to cope and support the citizenry, then it might find itself in a similar way. Well anyway, looking that closely, I came to the conclusion that this picture—you’re right—it isn’t very accurate. This is the one we ought to use.
SLIDE: Co-Evolution Frontier: Probable View
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: The relative change out there, of what’s anticipatable and lot of that’s depending on both the digital explosion, but also the nano-technology and its impact on the digital world, and in the health world, and many others. It’s just really going to be change. Next week, or so, we’ve got somebody coming in who can give us a pretty good picture of a lot of the things that are happening in that world, but also some of the threats and problems.
SLIDE: Concurrency and Interoperability
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, in all of that, as another thing I learned in the aerospace world was, how many interactions there were between people that were working on building on working one airplane. And they were something like 6,000 people all together—6,000 companies all together—working in, sort of, a web to be able to design, and manufacture, and field support these aircraft. And this just stunned me. I knew it, intellectually, that they were inter-dependent, but not at that scale—and the kind of things that you would need when you were working together in that way. So, this really firmed up pictures like—you’ve got to have standards for the way your knowledge packages were made so it doesn’t matter whose support tools they’re using, the same packages will work. And then, also, as the evolution of a lot of functionality, those packages are going to start having more and more neat, sophisticated properties in them—the ability to twiddle them so that you get capabilities for manipulating viewing and processing those that you want. And those have to evolve as an open vocabulary, too. This came to be this open hyper-document system.
SLIDE: Lifetime Goal, And a Pursuit Strategy
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, when we look at A and that’s the complexity of going after that—So, oh, you’re trying to go after a real improvement in the world for the collective capability for coping with complex, urgent problems. And by trying to dig into that a while, you find that, that’s a very complex problem, scaled up to be very complex. And you say, "How urgent is it?" Well, then you look at the rate at which complex, urgent problems are rising in the world—created to a large extent by the same technologies that offer us an ability to improve these capabilities. Anyway, you say, "Hey, that’s a complex, urgent problem." So, how do we get the world to say it’s urgent in a way in which they will all go for hunting for a strategic approach, rather than hammer away at the front with the way it’s been doing now.
SLIDE: Harnessing explosive technology depends, to a new degree, on the "Capability-Improvement Capability."
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, another big step was then in looking at the capability infrastructure and saying: at what level in that infrastructure would you find the composite capability that provides how that organization can improve it’s own capabilities? How can it improve its improvement capability infrastructure? Anyway, so this is the kind of thing that when you’re trying to go out and improve capabilities in a fairly basic way, you realize that the capability for organizations to improve themselves is an extremely important one. And also, whether it’s that high of an organization or not, it also is something that uses many of the subordinate capabilities as other top-level capabilities do. So, you say, "Oh, if we give special attention to the capabilities that support that, then we’ll have a lot of value because that cross-section of capabilities can come back and be improving the rate at which we can improve."
SLIDE: Harnessing explosive technology depends, to a new degree, on the "Capability-Improvement Capability."
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And, maybe this is an organization whose primary purpose is: how do I improve the ability of organizations to deal with complex, urgent problems? And, if I had my own ability to improve my capability—if I’m enhancing that with the same products I’m putting out—that feedback is what we call bootstrapping. It’s sort of: the better I get at getting better, that’s going to make me better at getting better. So, try that on sometime. I usually always say, "Hey, I’ll see if the guys at the gym will listen to this." And, over the years I’ve realized that, no that doesn’t work. So here are more of the concepts. Collective I.Q.—so, to mean that’s very meaningful; we’ll have a discussion about it.
SLIDE: Concepts & Vocabulary – 2
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And this other one, this CoDIAK—this is how the term will come across. And, this term we call Dynamic Knowledge Repository is a very, very important thing. Interoperability is a very important thing; we’ve all seen that. And, the Bootstrapping—These are all concepts that—we’re going to have to come back to them over and over again in here in order for them to start interlinking in a way in which you show how they make a conceptual framework. They also make a strategic framework that’s important. And it’d be very important if we get more dialogue with thoughtful people in the world that say, "If this is too rough and simple a picture, then could it be evolved in order to get one that will fit and work?" What is it? So, it’s going to take help getting there. I’m asking for help.
SLIDE: Exploding Rate and Scale of Change
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, we’ve talked about this exploding rate of change, rate and scale of change, that also brings problems. Look at the energy situation, the education situation coming about—but also, and opportunities. So we’re looking at that and say, "Let’s take a special look at the opportunities for changing that.
SLIDE: People Working Together
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Out of this came looking at the thing we call "collective I.Q." So, people working together depend on collective knowledge. In the past it’s been mostly written—if it was any size of a group, a lot of it had to be in writing interaction. So then, if that gets into the more active world of today you could talk about—well, you could have at any given time—
SLIDE: Collective Intelligence in Action
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: You look at this collective intelligence of any organization, it has to be active at going out and looking at the world and understanding what the world has in the way of opportunities and threats, and how they can analyze that in order to adjust the behavior that they’re doing, and the way their structured, and the role they have, and the like. So, there’ll be dialogue going along that people used to have to remember, and later they’d have written down to some extent. And, they’re always collecting information about the outside world, so you could do that in a much more comprehensive way in forthcoming years with the technologies there. And at any given time, here’s the operative knowledge that we have. Using that knowledge I can, the organization can operate. And so you says, "Well, in that airplane picture, where did you go to look if you wanted to know what the latest design—you heard that they were going to modify the stress members in one of the wings. And, you’ve got to go out on bid to try to get them made and somebody was talking about making them change. So, where do I find that?" Well, if you weren’t in the meeting, or something, or you didn’t know how to go look in the diagrams or in the CAD system—trouble. So, these thing are what you need to know, the bigger, bigger operations just has to be able to go find out what the status—And, that’s generally generated by what you find out in the outside world and then everybody talking about it. And, part of the dialogue is talking about the current state of your knowledge product.
SLIDE: Collective Intelligence in Action
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, anything in here—a drawing from here, or a diagram, or a chapter, or a section, or a set of requirements, or something—is going to move you over to the B part of the dialogue because discussion about it caused it to be updated and the old one moved out, which you want to do because if you couldn’t go back and find out "why did we change that?"—Which I’ve heard stories about in aircraft—three years out there they start developing some really serious problems. Well, they thought of some solution. Well, somebody says, "Hey, that was thought about an rejected because da da da." Well, that’s very rare you find a guy available like that, so how do you go back and find out? What was the dialogue about the design? And, how many designs were rejected? And, was this one, one of them? And, why was it rejected, et cetera? Do we know more now? So, if you can’t go pick up that kind of issue—development and what’s the trail of it—you’re losing a lot. So, there are techniques that people came up with, maybe half a decade or more ago, that they called information-based information system, where they were really tracking the issues and what would happen. So, technology today would make that ever easier. That ought to be just a basic part of what the dialogue is on any kind of issues. Dare I even say the issues being brought up in our legislature, and the reasons why decisions were made? That’s pretty sneaky because we have a state legislator here. But he’s in cognito, so I won’t point him out. But maybe he’d, later, like to tell us what it’s like? --One of the chances that the law-making activities of our countries, and states, and cities could be improved. So, this point over here is saying concurrently integrating, collaborating, developing, learning, and re-using is very important. And, we’ve started isolating the basic set of capabilities it would take to do this. So, then the big, big, big thing that you begin to realize after awhile is, oh, every organization you know of has to be part of some kind of bigger organizational network with other organizations.
SLIDE: Critical Factor: "Concurrent" Evolution of Society’s DKRs
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And that composite organization, in turn, has to be having this kind of dynamics going on. And its stuff here is really made up of parts of almost all of those. And so, they’re all evolving concurrently with certain kinds of interdependence in them. And, that’s a big, big, big challenge. You realize, the people doing one kind of research, find out that over in another domain there’s research that changes—they hear more about biochemical tracing, or something.
SLIDE: Critical Factor: "Concurrent" Evolution of Society’s DKRs
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And, oh, that would just change immensely our models of what we were doing, and things like that. So that’s a very important thing. So, actually this really ends up that so much of the knowledge in the world is inter-related like that, that there really have to be ways in which this concurrency— So, it’s this dynamic knowledge repository, that we’ve been calling that, and the fact that it has to evolve concurrently with all the things going inside and all of the external relationships it has to maintain. So, we’ve isolated, in a term that’s easy enough to pronounce and remember, of CoDIAK is an acronym for the kind of capabilities an organization needs to have.
SLIDE: Core Capabilities for Collective Intelligence
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: It’s got to be able to concurrently develop, integrate, and apply the knowledge. Well that sounds like a simple thing, but the more you look at that in a deeper sense, you realize that, that’s a terrific challenge. And, you don’t get much of that in the literature today, about how knowledge work and group work are doing. So, how does a group show us that it’s collectively smarter? Well, these are two pretty apparent things.
SLIDE: How a Group shows us that it is Collectively Smarter
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, it learns more quickly. And it remembers its past experiences and actions better. So, how do you know if an organization in which you’re interested, concerned, is actually doing any better on this? So, one thing that comes out of this pretty soon is: we have develop ways to go assess organizations of various kinds to see—sort of get an I.Q. test for them. It’s serious; we have to.
SLIDE: How a Group shows us that it is Collectively Smarter
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, here are some of the things you’d have to find out. Here’s something else: it integrates the innovative and cognitive capabilities of its members more effectively. How well does a football team work? Well, this is exactly right. Somehow you have a set of players, and their capabilities, and the pluses and minuses are knit together in the way in which they play and design itself. And, understands its own makeup and capabilities better if it’s just blindly chugging along.
SLIDE: How a Group shows us that it is Collectively Smarter
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, many of the old models of organization and finding a fixed role for somebody, et cetera, were quite effective at the time, of course, but what are you going to do about it when the way of communicating and developing and using knowledge is changing so much? So, another thing about collectively smarter: it sees and understands more about what’s going on in its environment. If you get a very perceptive, intelligent person, that’s what you pick up from them, too. They see something and the immediately extrapolate figure out what that implies. And, it’s just very important. So, the ones that don’t, the stolid ones like that, you can’t depend upon for keeping up with what they need to know.
SLIDE: How a Group shows us that it is Collectively Smarter
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: The smart group also recognizes more quickly, and understands more perceptively, any external threats and opportunities. So, that means, what kind of subtlety does it have? If it sees some dynamic on the outside world that someone else might pass up, well, they automatically extrapolate that to say what the consequences would be in some first of second measure like that. So, how smart are they? So, that’s pretty good. So, you remember last week I talked about the colony of ants that had really figured out how to be very healthy and everything, and they’d got their nest bigger and bigger and bigger until it broke the branch and dropped them all in the water and they drowned? Well, you look at our current society and how much does it recognize the kind of things that are happening in the environment and et cetera? And so, when you and Ed talk about energy later this afternoon, I’ll point at him. Everybody point at him to say, "Okay, so how well does the world recognize the nature of that? --Especially the ones that are going to have to start doing something about it? And, can you tell us who are the ones that, in a practical way, can do something about it," --except the rabble-rousers that will go out and try to get people’s attention by picketing, et cetera—which is a very important thing. So anyway, another thing to be collectively smarter—
SLIDE: How a Group shows us that it is Collectively Smarter
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, in responding to a threat or opportunity, a smart one can generate a new plan of action more cleverly and comprehensively. Well, that’s intelligent for a person. Am I good at just blundering right straight ahead? Or, can I be subtler about it and get the thing solved and at the same time embellish something that we needed to do anyway? It can also apply and continuously coordinate its resources more smoothly and effectively. So, every time I think of this kind of thing here, I think of a running back in football. So quickly they sense what’s happening in the dynamics; and, so quickly they can re-organize and shift where they’re running and dodging, et cetera. It’s just a marvel. So you say, "Okay, is there any organization you know that can, any way, give you a semblance of that kind of fluid intelligence and coordination?" That’s what a really good nervous system can do for you. So anyway, we shift over to more of the concepts and vocabulary. So, the sense that you talk about what the world needs ahead of time someday is called an open hyper-document system. So, this term came our for me about 13 to 15 years ago in the aerospace world when we looked at that diagram of 6,000 companies and realizing that if they’re going to get beyond the primitive stage, they just have to have documents, and plans, and designs that are transferable and anybody can read and work with them.
SLIDE: Concepts & Vocabulary – 3
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And those are standard. You just cannot have it be that they’re locked in, in some proprietary way. I think of it a lot of times as: oh, that’ll be like our vocabulary is very important as we’re learning how to talk about all sorts of things in our world, so what would it be if certain people could lock up the use of certain words, et cetera? You can’t use that verb and these nouns because I’ve got them patented, and I’m going to lock them in. So, it’s sort of like that. The proprietariness has very much importance, but somehow it has to be watched—or the inhibition it’s going to cause about the evolution of this hugely important basic thing of how well does our society evolve its knowledge, and harness it, and use it, and grow it, et cetera. So, along with that there comes a vocabulary. The nouns are what are the properties and characteristics of those knowledge packages? And, the verbs are what can you do—how can you move it, show it, view it, liquidate it, process it, query it? So, those have to become relatively common, too. They may be, of course, translated into other languages, et cetera, but you’ve just got to be able to talk to people in the same language about it. If you couldn’t talk about the actions you take in your kitchen—which objects you use to put together, and the verbs you use for what you’re doing with it, et cetera--it’d be hugely a tough rope. So anyway, in this open source evolution, that we’re going to talk about a number of times in this process—And, Peter Neumann mentioned last week about the software issue of reliability and security—the need for that in the way the software evolves. Here also, is the need for that. If you’re going to get the verbs of your dynamic knowledge environment so they evolve coherently and cleverly, et cetera, it has to be an open way in which those evolve. And the way in which implementing those verbs in your software just has to be an open process for a lot of evolution out there.
SLIDE: Concepts & Vocabulary – 3
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And the multiple classes of user-interfaces—we’ll talk about that later on in an explicit way. But that’s just terribly important because some people won’t have as big a vocabulary in knowing what a bunch of the nouns are like in their knowledge packages—or, a bunch of the verbs, that they know what they can do. But they learn what they need to know; if they don’t want to learn more, okay. So others, though, you can’t let the rest of the evolution for people who want to do specialty things, et cetera, be limited because that’s the only vocabulary you’re going to be allowed about the nouns about what your knowledge packages have in them, and the verbs about what you can do to them. This just cannot possibly get stayed to what it’s limited to—the one kind of graphic user-interface that’s prevailing today. So, we talk about the Augment system, not to say it represents the whole future, it just represents steps toward the future that haven’t been though about today.
SLIDE: Concepts & Vocabulary – 3
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So it’s value to us will be just in pointing that out. And if we could get the right technology together, we could actually demonstrate some of these things which would be really, really fun. This, in some of the dimensions that we were talking about, as it moves out, it had to do without the kind of graphic software and hardware capability that you could do today; but it does some very interesting things. And so, we keep moving. So there is a question about, as you get early improvements in the capabilities, in the CoDIAK capabilities we were talking about, how are you going to deploy those? Where are you going to put them to work? And whom are the people doing what that it would be the best payoff to help move ahead of where everybody else is, so that you get some exploring in the future? So, that’s an issue that takes thoughtful discussion. So, we’re going to try to get to it in ways that are meaningful, too.
SLIDE: Concepts & Vocabulary – 4
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And then, we talked about improvement communities, and we’re going to go through that again. And Networked Improvement Communities, those are called NIC’s—and what a MetaNIC was, a NIC whose members are NIC’s. So, we’ll actually step through those pictures again today because all of these comprise part of that framework that keeping talking about them in their inter-relations is what seems necessary.
SLIDE: Concepts & Vocabulary – 5
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Then, I want constantly to be siding up the scale, and talking about—hey, whatever we do about these strategy and infrastructures, at the scales we can manage today, the real value to the world is going to come as if it evolved those so they’re scalable, up to national and global scales, so that the improvement infrastructures you can talk about can be on that scale. That’s not generally the case. And how do you get a state or a federal government of any nation, or something like that, to start thinking about it on that basis? So that’s one of the paradigm challenges we’ve really got. Already our government is putting quite a bit of money to improve things—with research, and medicine, and education, and defense department, and aerospace, and they give out grants a lot to people doing scientific studies—so, which of those might we find that are investing in something the strategic scale here? And it doesn’t turn out that the way in which they do their business of developing programs and going out there is sort of oriented about this. So, it’d be very, very important to sort of get enough dialogue going to see if a case can be made within those kind of agencies and their resources. And the same thing can be said about the sort of not-for-profit, philanthropic organizations that have a fair amount of money to put out. How do they decide where they can invest it to the most advantage? So they have one thing, usually, that they’ll say you can think of being more independent, sort of like that. Well, I’m really understood in the environment; I think that’s really a serious issue. So, they can go invest in all sorts of special studies, or movements, or something about helping the environment. But wouldn’t it be nice to give them a framework with which you could say, "One thing you could do is invest in the kind of capability improvements that, when you plug those into your other ventures, are going to make whatever you’d like to do about the environment, or health, or education make that a lot more effective investment"? So, that’s the kind of thing the strategy would offer. It’d be very handy if the paradigms and vocabulary out here in the world would get us to the point where we can actually address that with the executives and decision makers about where resources go when they’re trying to invest in improving our organizations, our problems, et cetera. To me, it’s important, and I’ll constantly keep coming back to this national and global level of scaling—that the kind of things that we’re facing are something that we have to get better dealing with things at those scales because it’s so that way. It’s like, those ants might have been very, very good about how they do better structuring and water-proofing their home, and getting food, but if they didn’t know enough about looking at over-stressing the branch and they all drowned, how much good did it do to get better at the things that they did get better?
SLIDE: Harnessing explosive technology depends, to a new degree, on the "Capability-Improvement Capability"
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So we come back then to this thing of, there’s my—figuratively speaking—the improvement infrastructure within the capability infrastructure. Now, I put it up there just so we can talk about it more clearly. But where does that fit in most organizations, and most institutions, et cetera? Well, it’s been semi-dormant, quite a low level, for most of the years through, and a lot of the changes they make are some kind of organic evolution. Oh, they invented elevators; so then, people slowly start building higher-rise. And then, there are things that start happening that they get more clustering because its value to them of working in high rise, or even living in it. And so it changed a lot in our society. But it did so much of it organically that it wasn’t anything that they thought ahead. So if things are happening more rapidly and more extreme, you’re just going to have to find better ways to think ahead in order to know how to deal with them. Maybe taking advantage of this thing and going in that direction, boy, that would be very dangerous—unless at the same time, you’re doing this and this. Well, who’s thinking?
SLIDE: Likely that this Bootstrap Improvement Strategy could start and work at small scales…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: It is likely that this bootstrapping improvement strategy could start and could work at small scales, but if we’re serious about the scale of mankind’s complexity, urgency situation, then we should begin by considering the scale at which the "solution strategy" must, in the end, be suitable. This is the sort of thing we come through to. It’s a very clever strategy, Doug, but--it might be good for how we improve the way we do our refuse disposal, but what’s there in the world--? Well, these are going to be able to help the energy problem, and the education problem, the health problem, the environment problem, or any of the fifteen things that are listed in that Millenium Project that Jerry Glenn was talking about. And he’ll be back in a few weeks. He and Peter are going to give a special presentation to the group here. But, that’s one of the questions to ask: what, in that environment, are we going to have to get better at coping with? So, one of them is energy. So, we’ve got these specialists here today. By the end of today, we won’t have to worry about energy anymore, I think. I’m okay if I advertise you like that? See, one of the problems is, I’ve known Hugh Crane there, for 43 years. He was a nice honest engineer at the time.
SLIDE: So, what about National Improvement Infrastructures—NIIs?
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, what about national improvement infrastructures? So there was a big push some years ago about the NII in our country, and that was the National Information Infrastructure. So, what if we refurbish that term and give it a new definition—call it National Improvement Infrastructure? --And went up to congress and said, "Hey, this would be an important thing, don’t you think? Let’s get behind it." So, what you say to them? So that’s what would be very worthwhile, in my estimation if, together, interested parties could learn how to phrase it to point out this is sort of what the value propositions and the needs, et cetera, that there are in terms that could be understood there. So, this has always been sort of a depressing thing for me that year after year I prove that I’m the worst salesman in the world. I just could not sell these things. I’m really almost embarrassed that I’m asking you people to watch and listen to this thing because obviously it’s not very good because it hasn’t sold—or, I’m not very good. How do you get to do that? How soon will it be feasible to plan and establish a national NIC, or a multi-national NIC of nation NICS? –Which, in the end, is going to have to be there, too. So anyway, for the rest of the colloquium, these things are sort of pushing and motivating me all the time: talking about we go this way or that way, how would you deploy early gains? You know, thinking about it in the kind of strategy that can really do what we’re talking about here. So, well, we’ll view this again. You’re going to come back to this thing quite a few times—I’m warning you. And then I’ll give quizzes. So, this is the start of talking about the infrastructure it turns out because you want to look at different roles that are being played in that world.
SLIDE: Readying the Organization for Frontier Penetration
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, at any given time, the A activities out there are exercising the current capability infrastructure for running an organization, or running a university. And the, any activity that’s there to improve that, we’ll just label that as the B category of activities. And quite often, we point out over and over again—don’t talk about the A guy or the B guy—it’s somebody wearing an A hat, or a B hat. Very often, a committee of people trying to plan for an improvement are A guys and people that have to go into a committee meeting and put on a B hat to try to talk about how they’re going to improve their organization. And the, the C is how you improve the way you improve, which was never a big factor in which you chugged along—the horizon wasn’t very far off about where you’re migrating to. So you could chug along with sort of the same method of organic ways of improvement. But when it’s getting way out there, what you have to know in the skills and capabilities in order to pick a new place for your organization to migrate to and how you get there is something that’s going to take some knowledge. So, C becomes very important when you’re doing this. So we talk about that. So we said, "Look, one way of characterizing what C does, is it’s got to scout that frontier." And, in the process it might go so far as to drop all of the other organizations off the chart. So, there are outposts out in that frontier. There may be; there ought to be; there needs to be. So, what are they going to be and who’s going to put them there? And what are they going to be like? So that was one of the questions that feeds back to when we talked about how you deploy early improvements in your capabilities.
SLIDE: ABC’s of the Organization’s Frontier Penetration
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Boy, it’d be great if the early improvements could be put out there. And, then you got problems that go along with that. How do you make and integrate that kind of knowledge and capability into your existing organizations? So, there are ways to do that if you shift things a little bit, et cetera—which would be extremely important because if there’s somebody that’s trying to learn to live under the sea in domes—because we’re going to have to move out there someday, a lot of us are— This is a conjecture--so suppose we are, in order to work in the world. So, how are we going to do that? Well, you can imagine a bunch of scattered different people going down in wetsuits and setting up one-person underwater camps for one week, would be one thing. But what you have to really do is go down there and find out how people can really live and work. So, you’ve got to have outposts for doing that. So, who’s going to do it and fund it? And how are you going to sense that, that’s real work? Well, hell, nowadays you want to communicate and be interacting with the rest of the world. So, there’s a—or, how about colonies out in space—how are they going to interact and work?
SLIDE: ABC’s of the Organization’s Frontier Penetration
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, these are like colonies, outposts, here in the frontier, and the rest of us are living back here. And we’ve got to learn from those guys where we’re gong to want to go. So that means, whatever they’re doing, it’d be very handy if that was relevant to our world and relate it. Well, the way the world’s working today, and can work with the technology, they could actually be working in your organization, living out there. So that’s the kind of thing which this multi-class of user-interface, et cetera, and multi-grades of user skills, et cetera, can work. And it would take thinking about how you run you organization’s knowledge work in order for that to happen. But I tell you, from our own experience, if you’re working on the same problems and projects somebody that’s working on there that’s got that kind of capability, and they can stop and show you, et cetera-- Remember I told you how, even in 1974, we had the capability for--if anybody in the country working on our system, that was on the Arpanet, if they wanted help they could call us up. And pretty soon our screens would be locked together so I could sit there and watch what their problem is. And I could say, "Pass me the controls, I’ll show you how to do it." So, that’s what you want. And that did more for helping users at all levels learn because somebody could come be right there, from any distance, and could watch what you do, and not only show you or tell you, but actually show you and then say, "You try it." So, this is a way in which you could actually have people showing you that are Grade Three user skill level and you’re at a Grade Two, or you know, One. That’d be just a terrific experience for you to be able to see what they’re able to do in your knowledge domain to give you some support when you’re watching like that. So that’s the way of transferring the knowledge both ways from these advanced sort of user experimental things into the today world. It’s just extremely important, and there’s a way to show that later on. So about these outposts—they’re just a very, very important thing.
SLIDE: ABC’s of the Organization’s Frontier Penetration
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So then, the B guy—excuse me, I did it. The B activity—that’s the equivalent of the guy who can organize a wagon train and take everybody out there. So, how do you move your organization like that, see? The way I think about that is, I’ve been wandering around that frontier for years, and of course, the reason why I’m not effective at anything else is because I’ve been spending all my time on the more important things, of course. Well, the real fact is that I’m just no good at all at organizing wagon trains. I like the animals; and, I like the details; and, I would get all hung up fixing a wagon wheel instead of figuring out where we got to be by tonight. So, I’ve got a head that doesn’t work well in today’s organization. So, in a way, what you could immediately deduce is I had to invent this kind of strategic future so I’d have something to do and talk about—just as long as I don’t have to do anything practical. So, it turns out, I can do practical things if they’re down and focused. So anyway, I’ve got a photograph of me when I was like fifteen, doing something every day for me, in an environment that was my environment at the time--but would look very strange to you guys, most of you--and which was part of what my orientation was in high school. And, looking around at the other people—they were just different from what I was like because I lived and came from this other environment. And, I didn’t think anything of it except, "I’m different." So, okay, so I staggered through life. So, I’m different. So, I’m sitting there for a couple of years and I don’t have any salary, but boy, look! Why don’t you go to work? Well, look, every year sooner that the world picks up and does this thing could make a huge, huge difference. And, if I believed it that much, I could just never sit down and wait for somebody else to do it. So, the orientation that people have is very important. And it’s important for you guys, and the ones out there, too--which it’s interesting to think that they’re watching. Hi, Dave in Australia. He tells that he saw that, which is great. We have some in Switzerland and Norway also their tuning in. But what I really don’t want is for people listening and watching this to think that in some way I’m a proven genius that knows all this, or in some way I’m a proven misfit and am no good. Just let it be in between. Let’s say, here are these ideas and concepts. And let’s talk about them and see if you’ve got alternates and better. And see, in the first place, if you don’t believe that the world is getting more complex and moving faster, et cetera, at a dangerous rate, well then, you probably aren’t motivated very much to get off of your horse and do something about it. So, how do we start there and do that? So, this is a problem. And if we have the right kind of dynamic knowledge repository, and the right kind of support staff, we could actually be eliciting that from all of those people out there. So, we’re not, yet.
SLIDE: Look for Other Organizations on the Frontier Heading the Same Way
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, we have this other step that was very important about saying: oh, one thing is you probably can find quite a few other organizations who are supporting different people as customers or users—government agencies supporting the citizenry, what have you. And you says, "Look, we all find out that we got a real worry about how we get our B’s capabilities moved up. And sometimes they’re not used the same in our A work; and, sometimes our A work is something we don’t want you to know about. But look, getting better B’s that know better about the world is important. You know, how to choose where to go. So I bet, even though we’re competitors, we better go the same way in some of these capabilities, or we won’t even be able to talk to each other." So, that’s why you find that the C stuff is just very important stuff that you can actually move to the stage in what we call an improvement community, sometimes we call it a C community.
SLIDE: Join Forces in an Improvement Community
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Let’s say, "Hey, a fair amount of what that C activity is, is something that not only we could save money on by sharing it among a group, but we would come out ahead. Whatever we’ve invested together like that, the collective investment could do a lot better than each of the independent ones doing that." So then you could say, "We’ve got consultants that do that." Okay, let’s just look, though, at the kind of thing that you could build on here that if you say, "this C community—talk about a place to invest what early improvements you have in this kind of knowledge work." Hey, investing them inside of C communities—that’s part of your improvement infrastructure. That’s what would really pay, so, hey, let’s just learn how to cultivate an effective knowledge repository and do the kind of dynamic CoDIAK work we’re talking about here, inside of that one.
SLIDE: Networked Improvement Community ("NIC")
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Again, as I mentioned before, this is like an outpost. So this is quite a bit ahead of what all of these are doing at the same time--and doing the common work about scouting the future--doing the scenario developments, doing the collection of intelligence, integrating it, analyzing it, fitting it there, and the business about showing people who should staff this. So then, this comes out if you think about it further. Oh, one reason why this community could be more effective for its problem than consultants are, that your own B guys and C guys could be spending a fair amount of time moving in it, working in that environment, and then coming back. See--it’s an environment you’re going to invest in anyways, so why not also invest by having your people go and spent it. So, it does a fair amount of good while they go collect together until they get to know each other better. And then, they can do a lot of that from their own home offices. But that’d be a very, very important process for what’s learned in here and the experience to get transferred. So it’s like, hey, the new kind of B person--given that kind of experience and knowledge base--when they come to A’s, do they come and say, "Let me tell you how you should change your work," as contrasted to "let me show you how," because in this environment we’re doing it in a very effective way. We show you and give you a feeling about it. We may want to move in a slightly different direction, but showing you, rather than telling you about it.
So then, you say, "Okay, the consultants can do that too, right?"
And, I say, "Yeah. So, you tell me how many big consulting organizations are going to say, ‘Well, you come in and see how well we do our collective work’?" That’ll convince you. And, almost everybody I’ve talked to inside any of the organizations that are selling and promoting hardware, people ware, et cetera on this, they would be embarrassed to death if you actually went in and did an assessment of how they do their internal collective knowledge work. So, one of the really interesting things about this would be: oh, what if you ask the organizations that are trying to sell the world the latest in, not only the hardware, but the software so you can do this or that, and do your beautiful enterprise resources working—ta da! So you says, "Okay, have an open house so we can talk to the people inside your organizations that are using it and pulling at all these different things." And, obviously then, this would really teach us where we want to go. So, I’ve been talking about that kind of suggested challenge for quite a few years. And somehow, it doesn’t seem to be grabbed with much enthusiasm. It’s much easier to have their marketing people make up the very nice ads that give the impression of how zooty you’ll be doing your work—it said, if you use their product. So, one thing that a community like this would do is—they’d be living it for real and learning the lessons about where to go, how hard it is. And consultants could come into them and tell them, and tell them like that. But they’d be much more critical about saying, "Well, show me, don’t just tell me." So, that’s a very big important thing. But how to make these NIC’s work is a consortium like thing, and there is a lot of experience running consortia. But, in this case, where there’s this interchange of people, et cetera, that can make it really work right, it’s a different sort of thing. So, how do you present a plan for this to people inside of pressured organizations? To, say, get the resources that you put in the dollars, the money, to really have this thing be very dynamic?
SLIDE: Networked Improvement Community (NIC")
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And also—the people dynamic have to be very committed, or you’re not going to get it. So, how do you make that value proposition to people? We need to have people from different environments like that start thinking about this. You know, if you’re from a school environment—K-12, or the people running school districts, or school boards, or something of that sort—you’ve got one set of problems: when your resources come, how could you staff to get it? And, if you’re running—ah, these are states. Each one of them has this similar kind of problem in how they really get modern and effective about the way they do all sorts of things in their executive, judicial and legislative operations. So, this could be a state model. Oh. Well, how do they get their particular legislators to vote for this kind of expense? --When, hey, maybe the—excuse me—what they hear from advisors who happen to come--and the ones who write checks for supporting them and all, but also are ones that can afford to have lobbyists in there like that--and say, "Hey, you know, look, the consultants do right, the da-da-da-da. These vendors out there have got the scale. Don’t bother getting into this." So, how do you present the story? This is the kind of thing which getting this kind of operation going for sizable scale improvement communities and NIC’s are going to face. So anyway, we’ve tried, and it’s just going to take more people who are knowledgeable about each of those domains, etc., to start getting it working. It’s going to take some people investing in it. And, the investment can’t be the kind which a lot of the products have to be--is, "Well, we’re going to ask for proposals and they will be peer-reviewed." I’ve got quite a lot of experience about peer reviews. If the peers have all been living in this same domain, their assessment then is very valuable. But if the paradigms are suddenly shifted and they don’t have experience in a domain that’s different like this—like if people don’t have experience in any underwater sea things to any great extent, except maybe they go scuba diving, et cetera, how are they going to be a peer-reviews for saying, "We’ve got to get these domes in there and learn how to live. Yes that’s right. Well, we’ll write a program prescription and send out invitations to bid on it. And then, we’ll have peer review select which of those seems to be more realistic."
It’s sort of like in the military and the army. You know, I was very interested in hearing the difference between tactical commanders at different levels—the sergeant, or the colonel, or something. The difference among them in how they had to think as contrasted to the difference in the strategic guy that says, "It’s important to take that hill."
The tactical guys love a thing like that. They get halfway up the hill. "Jesus, hey, we want more resource. Resource! We need ‘em. We need ‘em."
And the strategic guy says, "If you consume more resources, the strategy falls apart. We won’t have enough to take the next step. So you either make it or we’re not going to throw any more in." And the tactical guy just feels like he’s been really ruptured. So, there’s a difference in this. So where do we find people that look at these things strategically? So, that’s the question.
SLIDE: The Bootstrap Alliance—a "MetaNIC"
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So then, the thing we talk about here is, if that NIC idea works, what about a NIC whose members are NIC’s? The thing here is, how do you get to be a better NIC? So, there are lots to learn. This one may have a governance process that’s quite different from this and different from this. And that process may be a lot more effective in kind of making the right kind of decisions about doing it. Or, on the other hand, this guy here has a better way for educating, or something like that—or how it does it knowledge management or something like this. So anyway, this is just as important as any other set of organizations as far as NIC’s getting better by sharing their C work in another NIC’s. The different thing here though, is it sort of says to people, "Well, this is a little extreme, isn’t it?"
And you say, "No. If it’s as important as we think it is for people to learn how to work collectively better, these guys all have distributed communities out there themselves, which is very important."
SLIDE: The Bootstrap Alliance—a "MetaNIC"
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, it’d be just very much important to learn. So, these things could be professional societies because those are improvement communities, which is just extremely important. And some of them in medicine or in professional societies in the Association for Computing Machinery, some of the special interest groups in them—the Association for Computing Machinery is sort of like this, that each of its special interest groups is essentially an "IC." So, for them to start converting, it’s a real problem. So, I’ve got a commitment from the president of the Association for Computing Machinery, which is the biggest computer association in the world, to come and interact with us—if we behave ourselves.
SLIDE: Capability-Evolution Communities
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, here’s the issue about evolving those communities. So, every NIC has a capability evolving community out there, and its evolutionary human system working inside of that thing. And it’s got an evolutionary set of tools that it’s working with, and working on the community’s dynamic knowledge base. So, they’re all sort of evolutionary concepts and practices, as well as the tools, functions and all that, that it can do—and the documentation standards. So it takes these three kinds of things all evolving along with the practice for doing that. So this is a sort of model. And, we’ll talk about that later because one of the models that we’re going to plug this into—the way in which NIC’s work and the way in which the OHS evolution can take place—will be very, very important. A lot of this comes about that, if what you’re doing inside different members is doing things to improve its own activity that also would improve the NIC like that. This makes it the right bootstrapping. So that’s a way for showing that. And then, the international scene--
SLIDE: International Bootstrapping
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: A little over a year ago the Japanese chapter was formed. And Professor Ohashi showed us a little slide here and came last week. It’s a very important model as, hey, how could they interact till they really get to be a national scope information improvement infrastructure? And what other countries can we interact like this?
SLIDE: Volunteer Statement About Paradigms and Health Care
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, we’re going to have some discussions coming up like this. This one sort of fell through, so we won’t bother about that. So Jim Spohrer is going to--right after the break, which we start in about five minutes, or something—is going to give us a talk. Initially speaking, it’s about a worldwide improvement community that he helped establish, called Education Object Economy, which has some very unique things, as well as general considerations about improvement infrastructure.
SLIDE: Worldwide Improvement Community: Education Object Economy; as well as General Infrastructure Considerations
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And then following that—and when they do that, they’re going to sit here and run their own slides—and then, we’ll have some dialogue afterwards.
SLIDE: Second set of considerations about the State of the World’s Energy Supply
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And then, Hewitt Crane. He’s a colleague of Ed Kinderman who talked last week. So, Hewitt Crane has another set of slides to talk about it, too. And, we’ll all expect more insights about the energy coming from that.
SLIDE: Time permitting, some Structured Dialog and Q/A
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And so we’ll have structured dialog and question-and-answers if all goes well in that.
SLIDE: End of Session 2
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And so, this is the end. So, you are now free to move around. We’ll be back together again for these other presentations. And, thank you.
SLIDE: Engelbart Colloquium
JIM SPOHRER AT PODIUM: I’m at IBM Almaden Research Center, where I’m a researcher and scientist there. But I’m also the co-founder of the EOE, which stands for Educational Object Economy.
SLIDE: Education, Training and Lifelong Learning
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: And, Doug has asked me to say a few words about education.
SLIDE: Urgent Issue: Lifelong Learning
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: During times of rapid change the requirements of lifelong learning are self-evident. The Department of Education tells us that the average American joining the workforce today can expect seven careers in their lifetime. That’s not just same job, minor changes. These are radically different careers that people can expect to be involved in. Also, there are probably a lot of technologists, and maybe even some folks from the medical profession—which are two of the high-growth right areas of jobs. We know that, weekly, there’s updates to the technology, updates to the methods and procedures that we have to use. So, we really do see that lifelong learning is an urgent problem that we’re facing. The National Association of Businesses has said that the number one problem facing businesses today is getting qualified workers. Education and learning are critically important for national competitiveness in the global economy, as Doug has already said. So, among us here, we probably hold it as pretty self-evident that lifelong learning is a critical need of the world today. Now, in trying to explore what can we do to improve the state of education, what can we do to improve the state of learning, the National Science Foundation funded me to do a project a few years ago that was called the EOE, or Educational Object Economy.
SLIDE: EOE: On-line learning improvement community
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: And, what we did is we created a large directory of educational software, online. That’s not all we did. We made sure that the educational software was largely open source job applications. And we also freely distributed the tools and techniques that we had created to create our online community. We shared them with anyone that wanted them. The purpose of the exploration was really to promote sharing and adding value. Let’s look at that for a minute: promote sharing and adding value. If you think about it, one of the great things about open source is that it allows other people to add value to the work that you’ve done. We really sought out educational software that was open source. Ands, partly that’s because a lot of the educational software that’s out there may not be right for some educator or teacher’s needs. If it’s open source, it can be modified more easily; it can be changed; it can be upgraded. And, this experiment has led to several interesting things that I’ll tell you about in a minute, but the point was really: how do we work together collectively? And, this is a common theme in Doug’s work. How do we work together collectively to make a difference? How do we make the individual actions that we do collectively add up to something bigger? And, a little bit of motivation is that the work that I’d been doing, prior to creating the EOE, was creating authoring tools. We created wonderful authoring tools that would help teachers create educational software. And, what we discovered when we gave those authoring tools to the world is: the physics department over here at this university used the tools to create a pendulum simulation; the physics department over here at this other university used the tools to create a pendulum simulation; and we had fifteen or sixteen pendulum simulations. We had lots and lots of redundancy in the educational objects that were being created. So, there was a real inefficiency. And, the EOE tries to address this inefficiency by creating an online website that people can post their objects to. So, what’s the first thing you should do when you’re going to create an educational object? Go to the EOE, or some other dynamic knowledge repository for educational object, it doesn’t have to be just the EOE, and see if it already exists because if it’s already there, taking it out of the EOE is going to be much, much faster than using even the best authoring tools in the EOE to create this. Now, the EOE, when we created it, we wanted it to be free, so all of the educational objects that are there are totally free for anybody in the world to go to and use. We also, wanted to motivate people though to put their material into the EOE. And, what we discovered was that a very powerful motivator was attribution. So, anytime anyone uses anything from the EOE, we have a requirement: you have to give attribution. And, that goes for the EOE, itself. So, we have an original-- and, you can go to the website there at www.eoe.org –to see the original EOE. But a wonderful thing happened. We created the EOE and gave it away for free. And, other people started taking it and improving it, making it better, and carrying it light-years beyond what we, at EOE headquarters, had even envisioned. One of the first organizations to pick it up was the California State University system.
SLIDE: People adopt, improve, share back changes….
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: And, they created a statewide education object economy that has lots and lots of educational resources. In fact, they have over ten times the number of educational resources in their dynamic knowledge repository than we have in the EOE. That just goes to show the multiplying affect that when you give something away that other people can use--that’s valuable, and harnesses the collective potential of lots of people--they were able to harness the collective potential of the California State University system to build up a much, much larger knowledge repository. And, we also have another organization called J Campus, which used the tool that we gave away for free and set up a worldwide organization for computer science departments to promote Java education in the computer science department. They have hundreds and hundreds of members from all around the world. And, I really encourage you to go to these websites if you get a chance and look at the power of creating a tool that you can give away that other people can add value to, in their own unique way. And, we’ve even had people use the tool for other things, different from education. SO, it was an interesting experiment.
SLIDE: People adopt, improve, share back changes….
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: And, it was even used for commercial learning sites, as well. So, I just wanted to briefly give you a sense of: here’s an improvement community that’s out there for education. And, there’s lots of them; this is just one. So, there’s a larger issue, of course. The larger issue is boosting collective IQ. And, Doug, in his talk, has said here we are in this room, or around the world, listening. Is there some way that we can start working together on some of these problems that Doug has outlined? So, what I’d like to do in the remainder of the talk, that will be pretty brief, is just to tell you a little bit about some of the thinking that I’ve been doing in light of some of the input that Doug has given me about boosting collective IQ. Now, there’s two parts to boosting collective IQ, as I see it. One is boosting the individual IQ, which is the work that the EOE is focusing on.
SLIDE: Boost individual/collective IQ….
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: And, the other is really thinking about collective IQ, making organizations that think well. And, in terms of boosting individual IQ, I have these six R’s of learning that I’d like to refer to. And, the six R’s are: reminding, remediation, receiving, reconstruction, research and reflection. And, these six R’s group into three types of learning. The first two, reminding and remediation, deal with the situation where you, the individual, you knew the knowledge at one point and you can’t remember it—the problem that I share with Doug, remembering things at times like to turn off my cell phone when I come into a meeting. Remediation, which is practicing skills and habits—you know, I know how to do something, but I haven’t done it in awhile, I’d better rehearse it and practice it. But the knowledge did exist; the skill did exist in me at one point. It’s just, it’s not fresh. Then, the next two is when the knowledge has never been in my head before but it’s been in someone else’s head.
SLIDE: Boost individual/collective IQ….
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: This is where you start getting into the notion of collective IQ. I haven’t known this information, but you have. And, I need it right away because this is a training situation. I want to receive the information from you as quickly and efficiently as I can. Then there’s reconstruction, which is more like education. This is a situation where: you’ve got some knowledge in your head; I’d like to have it in my head but I’m not under a time pressure to use the knowledge. What’s more important to me is that I learn something deep about the knowledge, something that’s going to allow me to apply it in the future in some flexible way that we can’t determine right now. So, training and education. And then, the last two, research and reflection—this is when the knowledge has never existed in anybody’s head on the planet.
SLIDE: Boost individual/collective IQ….
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: Okay, and research is: we’ve got a question and nobody knows the answer to this question. The knowledge has never existed in anybody’s head on the planet. So, we’ve got to find the answer. Now, reflection is interesting. And, this is sometimes the highest form--and, this is what Doug does very, very well—is it’s asking the new questions. What are the new paradigms? What are the new problems we should be working on? So, the six R’s, I like to think of them in terms of: what can we do for collective IQ? The ultimate solution—and, Doug, correct me if this seems wrong—is that, ideally, and we’re nowhere near this, but ideally, anything that any one of us learns, the rest of us should have. That would be the ideal, total efficiency. So, if Dave Singer, who’s also at IBM, learns something about a standard he’s watching, if I knew that immediately, instantly and effortlessly, that would be the ideal of some sort of collective learning. Now there are people who actually envision techniques for that, but we won’t get into those today.
SLIDE: Boost individual/collective IQ
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: This is the kind of thing that, I believe, Doug, when he’s asking for help, he’s looking for people who are willing to work together to take some of these ideas and flush them out, take them in new directions and iterate. So, that’s what I’m giving some examples of. Now, the even larger issues—we started with lifelong learning which, in some sense, most of the work that’s going on right now is not about collective IQ building, it’s about how to make you learn something faster, individual learning. So then, the larger issue, beyond just individual learning, is collective IQ. And then, even beyond that, is improving the capability infrastructure. And, this is really about the co-evolution of the human system and the tool system. You can think about when individuals or groups of people learn something that’s evolving the human system, but when you get the tool system involved, then there’s an interesting dynamic.
SPOHRER: And, I like to tell one story--that, to me at least, makes this human system/tool system co-evolution salient—which is: how many of you know about the Apple Newton and handwriting recognition? Okay. That’s right. Somebody in here has one. And, I’m sure all of you know about the Palm Pilot. Well, there’s an interesting thing. Apple created the Newton, and they made a gamble that handwriting recognition technology was good enough. And, if it is good enough, what does it mean? It means it’s easier for people to learn how to use this device. Palm made a bet, and said, "Handwriting recognition isn’t ready. We need to invent something--let’s call it Graffiti—that will allow people who are smart to learn something in maybe half and hour or an hour, that will allow them to take notes on this device." Two approaches. One said, "The tool system is ready; let’s bring it to market." The other said, "The tool system isn’t ready, but the human system is ready; let’s bring it to market." Now, neither one is an ideal solution. I mean, handwriting recognition that doesn’t work but so-so is a tool that some people use today. It’s got to have some value. And, Graffiti, while it’s wonderfully easy to learn for some people, still is a barrier that keeps its adoption more widely. So, I think that’s a nice example of this human system/tool system co-evolution. And, if we look at the—one of the things that I’ve been thinking about quite a bit, and once again this is in the mode of Doug has posed some problems. And I want to think about them. So, I’m sharing with you some of the thoughts that I’ve had on them. The improving the capability infrastructure is a big, big problem. And, Doug said we need some people who’ve studied the evolution of the technological and social developments through the years to even begin to get a picture of this enormous evolution that’s occurred. But the thing that I’ve been focusing on recently is: what are the drivers for that capability infrastructure improvement?
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: And some of the drivers are the basic needs and wants, both individual and collective that people have. So, my analysis is I’m starting to look at these various needs and wants and see how they map onto different infrastructures that have been developed. And, some of the basic infrastructures, I’ve just listed them here: the defense, legal, government infrastructures. These are amazing--the evolution of laws. I think the first written laws were some of the early Persian laws that said if you were caught stealing, they’d cut off your hand. And, that had an affect on society, the codification of those laws. Medicine and education—I told you a little bit about why I perceive education as one of the most urgent and complex problems—it’s this rate of change that’s increasing. And, how to we get enough people to maintain our aircraft?
SPOHRER AT PODIUM: How do we get enough people to teach the material in schools? This is a really critical problem. Financial and retail: this deals with value exchange. Energy, water, sewage infrastructure, you know, energy and the transportation of matter; transportation and entertainment; media and communication and the transport of information; agriculture and natural resources; and, manufacturing and construction. Just like the EOE is for education, Doug envisions a world where we’ve got collective efforts working in all of these areas. We’ve got improvement communities that are thinking about the science of shopping. How do we make shopping better? Actually, I just read a great book by that title, "The Science of Shopping," if you can believe it, that’s fascinating. Some of the work that we’re doing in my group at IBM, which has some interesting complexities, is the technology for tracking what people are looking at. So, we’ve got companies that are interested in—they put up an advertisement and they wonder, "Well, how many people looked at it? How long did they look at it? Can you tell me something about the demographics of the people that were looking at it? Was it kids? Was it adults?" And, we’ve got technology that does this. Now, there are hosts of issues around this, right? Privacy concerns are probably the highest on the list. But we’re creating technologies, at Almaden, for example, that within a decade, within this form factor, will have enough storage to record all the audio in your life. So, my nine-year-old, when he goes to college, is going to be able to record all of the audio lectures, and probably take some pictures and capture some things in life. That’s an amazing thing that’s going be here in ten years. What are the consequences of that? Privacy is the main one. I mean, someone whose gotten devices like this can be recording everything that happens in their life. Well, what if something about your life intersects their life and you don’t want it shared? These are some of the things that we’re going to have to deal with. Now, how do we deal with those? Well, it’s over here in the legal area, in the government area. There’s going to have to be new laws, laws that protect privacy and information. Those laws have to co-evolve. And organization that enforces those laws, organizations that monitor, they all have to co-evolve. One other nice example, while I’m holding this, of the co-evolution of technology and law, is, by 2001, all phones have to become location aware—all mobile phones. Right now, if I make a 9-1-1 call on this phone, they don’t know where I am. It goes off to some state—it doesn’t even go to the local 9-1-1—it goes to some state 9-1-1 number and I have to tell them. Well, a lot of 9-1-1 calls people aren’t clear about where they are, and in emergency things get sent out wrong. So, there’s a new law. Because we now have this mobile communication technology, we need a law that tells the manufacturers that are building this technology that, "You have to build location sense, location awareness, into these technologies." So, I’m going to end here. But what I hope I’ve done is, in a very short amount of time—and I’d be happy to talk to you more, or in greater depth on any of these things—give you a sense of some of the issues that I’m personally working on, and trying to get some of my colleagues at IBM interested in working with Doug on, and, of course get the EOE organization, or education research non-profit
SLIDE: In Sum
SPOHRER AT PODIUM. The urgent issue of lifelong learning; how do we boost collective IQ? And, how do we think about this larger issue of the improving capabilities infrastructure and this co-evolution of the human and tool system that has to occur? So, I’m going to end here. And, I’d like to introduce Hugh Crane to tell us a little bit about energy.
CRANE AT PODIUM: I’m the honest engineer that Doug referred to earlier, of forty-three years ago. When he hit me with that number I just ricocheted a little bit and had to think that, ten years before that I worked on one of the first big computers at IBM that worked at a whole twenty-five instructions a second—tons of relays and vacuum tubes. And, device density was measured in cubic inches per bit. And, it was hard to think that in one person’s lifetime that has been involved with that, I can see what we have today. And, Doug mentioned another thing about ant colonies, which made me think to quickly try to think to reconstruct some numbers I once did. E.L. Wilson, the Harvard ant-man, if I do make it a little casual, estimates, if I remember, that the number of ants on Earth is ten to the sixteenth or ten to the seventeenth. And, massaging some of Gordon Bleur’s numbers from a couple years ago, and extrapolating for today, I can’t believe that the number of transistors, equivalent transistors, produced per year today is less than ten to the seventeenth or eighteenth. There are more transistors being produced than there are ants on earth. But if you want to do it per capita, then that gets kind of interesting, because you take that number and divide it by six billion people and there are approaching ten million transistors per capita per year. It doesn’t matter per year because it’s going so fast, all the others—hardly matters. It’s only last year’s production. Okay. Let’s move on. Let’s see. We aren’t going to move fast enough. Ed Kinderman, who spoke to you last, here’s a summary of some of the things he said.
SLIDE: AS ED SAID LAST WEEK
CRANE AT PODIUM: Energy is essential to modern industry, to the modern world. No energy, no rooms, no Internet, no lights, no cars, no nothing. Energy is under everything. But there’s some really dangerous things happening. We live on fossil fuels, which are limited and being used at an ever-faster rate. And, the thing that’s most scary is this glib talk about alternative energies that are going to be extremely difficult to implement. Now, the way we got started on this is Ed Kinderman—who’s even older than me—he’s worked on, started in the early 1940’s on isotope separation, and has been in the world of energy ever since. He’s been in practically every phase of it. I have no background whatsoever in the world, but just happened to stumble across a new unit that we think is going to make quite a difference, a unit of measure. We’ll take the time of how that came about. But I’ll show you in what sense we’re creating a view; you’re going to have to book now, for about six years now since the fruition. It’s like cleaning the windows on such a complex system, this global energy system. This new unit is like cleaning the glass and you can see. And, you’ll see in a moment what I mean by that. We’ll see how this goes. Now, the current world of energy, its an old business. It has evolved an enormous range of units of all sorts that are used today for oil, coal and gas, plus dozens of other units.
SLIDE: A CURRENT BABEL OF ENERGY UNITS
CRANE AT PODIUM: Just to keep track of the units or be able to communicate, there’s a real chore. I won’t even try to explain what some of those are. In our enterprise, we’ve used only one unit: the cubic mile. Now, never mind how that came about. Well, I’ll tell you how it came about. I was sitting in a long gas line with a lot of other people here in the early 70’s, almost thirty years ago, and I said, "I wonder how much oil we use." So, I looked and it was getting close to a trillion gallons per year. And, I said, "a trillion—it’s not a million. It’s not a billion. It’s a trillion." I said, "Is that a lot?" Compared to what? And, it turns out, besides you got a lot of ways to look at it, a cubic mile—a mile by a mile by a mile—contains a trillion gallons, close to it. I said, "That’s interesting. We’re using a cubic mile of oil per year" Wasn’t at that time, not quite, but today we are passing through, it’s continually increasing. Production this year is one cubic mile of oil and still growing. Let’s see, where are we going from here? Now, oil—you say, "Why should we built a unit out of oil?" Well, it just happened to be a very convenient unit, but oil is very special. And, unless people really understand it, you can continue to waste it as we do. Oil can power a child’s aircraft and the biggest jet flying—the same fuel.
SLIDE: OIL IS SPECIAL
CRANE AT PODIUM: Don’t look forward to solar panels on the wings or nuclear reactors on the inside—or, even coal burning fires on the inside to power it. Oil is very special. So, the fact that we use a unit based on it is very appropriate. Now, let’s see why this Babel of units that we all live in now, people involved in energy, is so confusing.
SLIDE: A BABEL OF UNITS MUDDIES UNDERSTANDING
CRANE AT PODIUM: On the left, for example, there’s some numbers: so many gallons per second, so many gallons of oil, how many tons of coal, et cetera. And, if I said to you, what’s the total? You wouldn’t have the foggiest idea. How do you add incompatible things? All right, everything we do is in terms of CMO, cubic miles of oil or the equivalent. You’ll see no other unit. So, there it is. Oil is one CMO per year. And, there’s coal and gas. 2.1 units are being consumed annually today of fossil fuel. Well, what else is there? Alternatives. Well, what about alternatives. There’s, on the top three rows, is the same numbers you just saw, 2.1 CMO.
SLIDE: COMMERCIAL GLOBVAL ENERGY PRODUCTION (CMO/Year, Rounded)
CRANE AT PODIUM: In the solar world--the only technology of any significance is hydropower, which has been around for a long time, hydroelectric power. And, that makes the equivalent of about 0.2. And then, there’s biomass, which is commercial biomass, which is very small. And, photovoltaic, wind and solar thermal—meaning these kind of fields that concentrate light, solar light, make heat, high temperature, energy—are insignificant for all of the hype of windmills here, and in Norway, and they’re here in the west. The total production of all solar alternative energy is irrelevant. And, you’ll shedder when I show you a few pictures of what it might cost and the complexity of building that system. Nuclear fission is also about 0.2. And, there are other things--wave power, and tidal power, and OPEC—there’s so many things, but they’re all on the drawing boards. They’re all researching. The only one else I mention is geothermal steam underground, which derives, incidentally, from the cooling molten core of the Earth plus radioactivity within the Earth generates an outflow of approximately seven CMO per year of energy, comes out from the center of the Earth. And, we only capture less than 0.01 CMO. It’s hard to get this energy. There’s a lot around, but it’s hard to get it. There’s the world: 2.5 units. You don’t have to worry about billions, trillions, and quadrillions. There are 2.5 units. Everything we talk about on an annual basis, you can use the fingers of one hand. You don’t have to be confused, as many articles are, saying trillions when they mean billions. Who cares? Factors of thousands, they’re so big. No one ever understands when there are errors made in articles. So, there we have: 2.5. How’d we get there? Started from about 1900, it was about 0.2.
SLIDE: COMMERCIAL ENERGY USE (1900-1999) PROFECTING TO 2050
CRANE AT PODIUM: We’re now up to 2.5. That dotted curve is an averaged out exponential. It’s compounding at a rate of 2.6% per year for a hundred years. So, we’re up to 2.5. So, essentially, a twelve-fold increase. The amount of energy consumed to date, up to 2000, has been about 90 CMO, which about forty was oil taken out of the ground--forty cubic miles of oil being moved from the ground. Now, if that rate continues at that 2.6% per year, by 2050 you’d be up to about 9 CMO per year—the equivalent of nine oil industries. Wait till I show you nine numbers how bid—what that means. There’s no way we’re going to reach 9 CMO per year. Okay. So, the question is, how are we going to constrain things and turn them around? And, how are we going to get through these fifty years? As they say, energy is not a subject that’s on the radar screen. There’s no concern. There’s no public concern about this issue. It’s a very complicated, critical issue. The UN has meeting on women’s rights, and the environment, and population, and so on. Not yet, until we push on them to get energy on the radar screen because we’ve got no sense that it’s even important. All right, now, forget all these numbers. I’ll just tell you what—if you look here, we’ll start with Japan, which isn’t listed. Japan has no energy resources, essentially zero. You move into Western Europe, these numbers here are when, the conservative estimates of how much oil is left, when it would run out.
SLIDE: CONVENTIONAL OIL: WHEN MIGHT IT BE GONE?
CRANE AT PODIUM: Western Europe, which has very little, will run out, depending on certain assumption, within five to ten to fifteen years. Out! North America isn’t much better, but a little better. We don’t have much left. Most of the oil taken to date since the Industrial Revolution came out of the United States, 40 CMO. There’s only a few left. So, we’re approaching some very dangerous times, very fast. And, the alternatives do not look very thrilling. Now, it’s not only just numbers. There’s very sever international questions involved here, too, because there’s a great mismatch between where energy is used, in the developed world, and where it comes from.
SLIDE: MAJOR MISMATCH BETWEEN WHERE ASSURED OIL, GAS, AND COAL ARE FOUND AND USED (1994 USGS)
CRANE AT PODIUM: This is the conservative estimate of how much is about left worldwide of oil, gas, and coal. Now, boy, these pictures all change. This is the way the world is broken up by districts. The Middle East, not surprise to anyone here, has most of it—a one lump model. Gas comes in two lumps, the Middle East. My god, these have gotten all loused up in getting into the computer here. Gas is in two big lumps. Oh, I see. And, coal is in three big lumps. Okay, the bottom line here is there’s a great geo-political problem because wherever energy comes from isn’t where it’s used in the main, right now. That there’s a naval patrol sort of on permanent duty in the Persian Gulf should be a surprise to no one. There are frightening things ahead. Now, so the situation with the fossil fuels is not very encouraging. Wait till I show you some things about what’ll be involved in alternatives. The alternatives are solar and nuclear. And, there’s five issues: cost—there’s going to be a significant increase in cost; land area use; electricity storage—for technologies like wind and photovoltaic.
SLIDE: Cost; all….
CRANE AT PODIUM: See, coal, oil, gas and nuclear come in stored form. Burn it when you need it. These—you only got it when the wind blows or the sun shines. So, there’s a tremendous new need for mass, large-scale energy storage. Perception of danger, and limited, not very rapid rates of change, which I’ll show you. Oh, this has really gotten destroyed. Let’s see what we can make out of it. I want to give you an idea of what it takes to make one CMO per year of energy.
SLIDE: TO PRODUCE CMO-YEAR OF ENERGY
CRANE AT PODIUM: Let’s look down here at a nuclear reactor that’s an average size, on the order of a thousand megawatts—that one below and over here. You would have to build one of those per week for fifty years--one nuclear reactor per week for fifty years. And, if the first one’s are still running after fifty years, we then have the equivalent of the cubic mile of oil that we use. Now, just for perspective, how big—suppose we’re going to start some new oil industries. Joke—there’s not that much around to do it, but what would it take?
SLIDE: TO PRODUCE CMO/YEAR OF ENERGY
CRANE AT PODIUM: You’d have to find the equivalent of a thousand megawatt reactors around a twenty-seven thousand barrels per day field—which is a very big, not a field but a well—and you’d need one of those a week for fifty years. Now, you sort of hold on to your hat. Let’s move down here—wind machines. The biggest windmills of today, wind machines are in the order of ten to twenty stories high—huge machines. They’re in the rage more like a thousand kilowatt or a megawatt. So, in other words: this is more like a thousand megawatts; this is only one megawatt. Not surprising, you’d have to build fifteen hundred windmills per week for fifty years to make the equivalent of one CMO. Wait till you see what kind of land is it will take up. If you don’t think that’s a major undertaking that will take not exactly relying on the free-market to move on its own if it’s such a risky thing, wait till you see cost in a moment. Talk photovoltaic panels. The typical 4X8 sheet of photovoltaic panels, they’re only in the 200-watt range—12 million per week for fifty years. Let’s move on. We’re going to get through these fast, in fact. Cost—let’s do it quickly.
SLIDE: APPROXIMATE PLANT-ONLY CARTEL COSTS FOR 1 CMO /YEAR PRODUCTION: 5 Trillion
CRANE AT PODIUM: Okay, the entire oil industry today, if you just looked at the cost of refineries itself, which is the largest component: a trillion gallons. And, if you look at the numbers here—I can’t read them, here so—
AUDIENCE: A trillion dollars a year.
CRANE AT PODIUM: Okay. Take photovoltaics: 10 trillion, and possibly, probably conservative. So, you’re looking at these numbers much higher; oil comes cheap. The technology is cheap. We’re talking many factors increase—got to go faster. Land: for reference look down here.
SLIDE: LAND REQUIREMENTS TO PRODUSE 1 CMO/YEAR
CRANE AT PODIUM: The U.S. about 3 million square miles and about 2 million square miles of all sorts of crop, pasture, forest lands.
SLIDE: SQUARE MILES
CRANE AT PODIUM: Look at commercial biomass that means growing trees for energy use—2 million square miles. In fact, it’s worse than that because that’s just to make more biomass. The biomass has no use until you convert it into some kind of fuel. And, that often comes at about 50% efficiency, or even less. Tremendous land is is required. The coal and uranium come in volumetric form. And, these are spread out. Might be interesting, we were talking about numbers before, if you take a cubic mile of oil and spread it over the world, it would make a film less than a mil thick. If you take a reserve, say, 50 CMO reserve, it’s equivalent to a few mils thick. All of the remaining energy available is equivalent to a film around the earth only a few mils thick. Now, I tell you that only because you get some idea of why it’s so hard to get solar energy because it comes in the same spatial-aerial form, not volumetric form. So, solar is a very difficult path. Now, just a couple of comments on nuclear because it’s very sad. There’s some very uninformed, incorrect—in our opinion—ideas out there about certain dangers of nuclear, and so on, which is unfortunate because nuclear can and will, we hope, will be an important part of the solution. Let me just make comment on the first two.
SLIDE: ISSUES IN NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT
CRANE AT PODIUM: There’s great fear about radiation; and, there’s great fear about radiation from nuclear accidents, radiation from normal operation nuclear accidents. Let me show you a chart.
SLIDE: AVERAGE ANNUAL EXPOSURE FROM RADIATION SOURCES
CRANE AT PODIUM: Natural radiation we all live with, so many units. Let’s get down to the things that are related to nuclear, including the Chernobyl accident, which gets so much publicity, got so much, Three-Mile Island, and so on. They are in the relative noise compared to natural radiation. Let’s take another different kind of look: dangers to life. Starting with cigarettes, male smokers: 2,200 day lost on average—about six years of life on average.
SLIDE: EXPECTED LOSS OF LIFE (MEASURED IN DAYS) FROM VARIOUS ACTIVITIES: U.S. POPULATION
CRANE AT PODIUM: You come all the way down this list, and over here is nuclear electricity. One organization says, "Well, it’s two days loss." And, one is 0.05 days per year. So, there might be considerable controversy by a factor of forty, in the irrelevant noise.
CLOSE UP OF SLIDE
CRANE AT PODIUM: There’s a lot more to say about it but we got to keep going. This is, to me, one of the most interesting charts: how long it took to develop today’s industries.
SLIDE: EVOLUTION OF ENERGY SUPPLY; A SLOW PROCESS
CRANE AT PODIUM: Before the Industrial Revolution, we sort of count from the late 1700’s, and it was powered by wood--the native forests. Now, this is a plot of shares. The total energy keeps going up, but this is the shares per year. So, if you add up all the units, it’s 100%. So, it took until about 1880 for coal to finally surpass wood, at 50% each—1880. It took till 1940 before oil overtook wood. To our shock when we saw this, it took till 1960—this is where we almost fell off our seats when we saw—it took that long for oil to pass coal. Now, see oil, by share, is dropping off because finally nuclear is coming up and gas is coming up. Long times involved in making transitions to major industries. And, it surely doesn’t happen just because people want it to happen. It can only come by a command decision that we shall do this because it’s going to take enormous sums of money, enormous units of land. How would you even start to make twenty or thirty thousand miles of photocells? You might say, "Well, you’re certainly not going to go all at once because there isn’t even long-life statistics on these. How many are you willing to bet your life on?" Would you start with a square mile? That’s huge a square mile of photocells. You start with acres, and so on. But to get up to the kind of numbers we’re talking about, is staggering.
SLIDE: MAJOR MISMATCHBETWEEN WHERE ASSURED OIL, GAS AND COAL ARE FOUND AND USED (1994 USGS)
CRANE AT PODIUM: I remind you; in closing here is great disparity between who uses energy today and who has it.
SLIDE: COMMERCIAL ENERGY USE BY COUNTRY VARIES DRAMATICALLY
CRANE AT PODIUM: And, that’s the seeds of some enormous, difficult, international situations going to be based on it. I’ll show you this last picture—it’s kind of interesting. When I first started in working with Ed, oh six or seven years ago, I said, "I want to see a list of all the countries." So, we had some UN publications of how much energy they used. Your eyes go like this—they’re numbers without end. We said, "Hey, there must be a better way to present this." So we said, "Look, energy is energy per unit—a state, a country—is energy per capita times how many capita, people." So we said, "Okay, let’s make a two-dimensional plot of population versus energy per capita." So, every country is a dot. And the unit along here is Global Average, which turns out to be at 500 gallons per capita. The world currently uses, on average, 500 gallons of gasoline equivalent per capita, the United States, having about five times as much per person. Places like China—that one has about ten times less. India is about twenty times less than the United States. So, this is most of the consuming countries today. And, this is the developed, so to speak, countries. And, this is where the big changes are going to be happening because populations are still increasing and energy use is going up as these countries start to develop. That’s where a big problem is going to face us, which was summarized—we didn’t—we just took a sketch and started giving you some of our fancy numbers. If you plotted the first, the developing nation group, up through, say, 2050 they’ll probably be able to control themselves in energy use, and it might actually decrease. But the developing nations, you guys, and the developing nations are going to, we estimate, pass the developed nations in energy use as early as 2010, or earlier. And this is going to be what wags the dog.
AUDIENCE: And, they listed both as the developing?
CRANE AT PODIUM: They did? You know something you didn’t get further—oh, gosh. Something happened in the transition to—I’m sorry. Thanks for the—you’re reading the wrong slides here, but--
SLIDE: CURRENT AND POTENTIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT ROLES IN ENERGY
CRANE AT PODIUM: This is something we drew yesterday just for fun. We said, "Hey, this is a big problem. This is one of the biggies as far as survival, in many ways, of modern society." So, we said, "Well hey, let’s list all of the major departments of government from that point of view." What’s in it for them? Does it come out of any one? It comes out of all of them. Obviously in the Energy Department there’s many things to do. Department of the Interior—resolution of major mending—not in my backyard—problems of land, water, and waste issues. How do think it will look when you have thousands of square miles of twenty-story windmills that you drive by instead of corn as high as the elephant’s eye, and so on? Big change is coming if we’re going to survive, as we know it. Commerce Department—promotion of energy efficient technology at home and abroad. Things in red I’m prepared to say a few things about but I think we’re going to stop anyway. There are some very important things about import policy.
SLIDE: CURRENT AND POTENTIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT ROLES IN ENERGY
CRANE AT PODIUM: State and Defense—minimizing energy related conflict—put down here pre-World War III martial plans. After World War II we had a martial plan that rebuilt Europe—one of the great events in history. We’d better be smart and do the equivalent of a martial plan to avoid World War III by providing the most efficient energy technology to the developing world or we’re all going to be in very grave trouble. In education there’s some very important thins, which—I’m over time. I’m going to stop right there. If anyone wants to talk about these things, I’d be happy to do so.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: It’s a lot harder to do—this work? We’d like to take down anyone who also wants to join in the seminar. This is a very, very good start. It’s some set of the people who are going to be involved in the decision, and so, how does the solution get driven to the agencies that aren’t going to do things unless there are fires built under them? SO, someplace the guiding force has to come from education awareness out there, which is a paradigm. That reminds me— Is it working?
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, that made me feel like that’s what I’ve been doing for years—talking in a room and I don’t know how to work the microphone. I don’t expect everybody, but for your homework you’re supposed to design a knowledge-based solution for this. You see why we say that itself is a complex problem. I think it’s something that’s very worthwhile in this colloquium to get a snapshot of some of the complex issues and problems there are and realize, the way we’re sailing along, that’s just not getting solved. How many of you, in the last month, have heard anything about the energy problem in any other source? Oh, good. It’s an issue about how do the salient, big problems get put up there in front? They’re competing with what kind of information flow, and what kind of urgencies, et cetera? So, one of the problems has to be that we have to find a way for the knowledge to be available and to try to educate our world so that we’re aware that there’s an environmental issue there and this energy situation, and our energy environment, this is very, very critical. I look at that, and it could be depressing but it’s like saying, "Aha! It really is the time for things like that." And then, Jerry Glen and Peter Young-- You know, you could have fooled me and just let me go on talking to a dead microphone.
AUDIENCE: You’re voice carried so well we just though it was on.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Oh. So, now I’ve said everything I want to say about it. Jerry Glen and Peter are going to go over the problem. When is it that he’s coming?
AUDIENCE: He’s coming in two weeks.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: In two weeks. Okay, so as that list of fifteen big issues like that, but then there’s another very, very, very important issue that raises in the processes by which he’s evolved a way of sort of cultivating the scenario development and the awareness of these things by worldwide knowledge network of people working together to do this, which is a terrific model. So, that’s one of the things—I hope we don’t get sidetracked too much into those fifteen bad things, and look more into the way in which he’s chosen to go about it and the kind of way in which, if we turn into a NIC world, that’s a beautiful example of a kind of a NIC. And so, could you think of similar examples out here? If they dig down into individual problems—the fifteen of them sound like any one of them could be as bad as this. Organized crime, for one of them, for instance, getting to be worse and more and more. Okay, how do you solve that with the awareness? So anyway, we have our hands full of that sort of thing. And, what I’d really like to do is sort of get the dynamics of dialogue about: okay, find a solution. So, you says, "Oh, the frontal attack of this is just overwhelming." Okay, so, as in the military, what is there we look at strategically about what could you start doing that would help improve the situation? If you’ve got a very heavy problem, you know, military-wise, there’s this whole area you’ve got to take and subdue. So, bash it, or go at the front end, or something. But you say, "Wait a minute—it we go and capture this high ground then we can sweep across and get that. And, that would get us in a position to pick them off one a t at a time." So, strategy like that is something we’ve got to—So, what we’ve got to think about in a situation like this—because any one of these is almost overwhelming—and, it’s also as overwhelming how you learn how to go after it. So, finding a strategic solution is just very, very important. And, that’s the major thing in this colloquium is we’re trying to talk about it saying, "here’s a model for a strategic framework that potentially can make an approach like that. Let’s either see if we can get that thing moving or get people thinking about what alternative strategies could be as effective. So, Ed, do you mind telling me who else, besides these guys, are needing to be part of a solution development.
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Well, certainly one thing—we have a major industry that’s one of the largest in the world. And, the people occupied in the various aspects of that industry have to get involved.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, there’ll be things like the oil industry would run out of gas, so to speak.
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Yes.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Then, if the new industry were nuclear, it’d be a totally different set of skills and investment.
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Well, that’s not quite true because at least some of the major players in the nuclear industry are also in the oil industry. Of course, the oil industry is also the gas industry and, to a large extent is the coal industry. They’re extracting—they’re people who extract fossil fuels from the ground.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: I guess I was thinking more about the kind of skills and knowledge it takes towards an established and operate the nuclear, as contrasted to the other. The same guys aren’t going to move over—
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: No, they’re not going to move over. And, another factor that enters into this equation is: the nuclear industry is losing its knowledge base. People, who started my time, or even twenty years later, are retiring. A lot of the technicians in the United States, and I suspect in other countries, come from the nuclear navies. And, the nuclear navies are being cut back. Many of the schools in the United States have started with brave nuclear programs, have cancelled them, including several years ago-—quite a few years ago—Stanford.
CRANE FROM AUDIENCE: I’d make one comment. As I sit here I really have to apologize because I see these are all unreadable and why they got loused up I—that’s a different problem. But the one, under-education from K-12, there’s certain thoughts that I could pass on—at least my own thoughts to add. But the university, having said I have a long background in the computer industry, I know that starting in the 1960’s, early 70’s, there was a tremendous push on by a few stalwarts saying, "God, we have to go to the universities and get some university departments of computer science." And, it was a long push. They struggled very hard until a few broke down. And, of course, now today, no respectable university would not have a computer science department—out of which sprung, to a large factor, the industry, the computer industries, like the Silicon Valleys of the world. I suggest that we now need the equivalent of, not computer science departments, but global energy departments nationwide—around the world, in fact. And, the industry is so huge that I’m sure there would be corresponding kind of spin-offs. But I would add one last thought: there is a fundamental difference between computer science departments, from a social point of views, and energy departments. Computer science departments grew, but there was no urgency, it just was an opportunity. The world wasn’t dying, didn’t even know it needed computers, but out of it came computers. The world is in trouble with energy, we believe. And so, starting now, so that within ten years we could start having a stream of really knowledgeable people, real knowledge bank—when you talk knowledge phase, it’s absolutely missing now. So, whereas computer science departments were an opportunity, I suggest that the corresponding energy departments around the world would be a necessity.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Hey, we better solve that and even if we have too boosted our taxes and everything else, we have to do it. Would the management and planning to do that is rather overwhelming?
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: No, but otherwise, what will happen, I mean, besides the huge political things that will happen if the rich countries get pinched without oil and they’ll go after it no matter what. So, besides that kind of thing,
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Well, I think if that happens sometime in the future, people will give up a lot of their toys that they have today. There won’t be any SUV’s, for certain.
CRANE FROM AUDIENCE: The job that can sell us, I would suggest that California, as the leader of the world, should take this on in the State University System for starters.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Gee, it must be awful to be a politician.
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: I’d like to make another comment here. There energy is very slightly on the radar screen. The first two articles in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs deal with energy. The first one is a discussion of how we don’t have to worry because we have enough oil—it’ll last forever. But slipped into that is: we have enough oil for –I think it was four trillion gallons. Anyway, I calculated it out--and this is the oil, not only as oil but oil shale, tar sands and other difficult and environmentally difficult things to get—that’s enough, if we continue at current rates of use, for about one hundred years. Nothing left. And, the arguments will begin long before that. The other article that’s there is a strong defense of nuclear power, a lot of it devoted to explanations of how dirty wind and photovoltaics are in the way of the waste they generate just in building the facilities, and compare that to the nuclear waste. Of course, everybody has their own point of view and I noticed the nuclear people didn’t talk about the amount of concrete that would have to be used in building containment vessels for nuclear reactors.
CRANE FROM AUDIENCE: I would like to leave you with, as far as I’m concerned, with a question: Do you think--when you think of say the intensity of discussion about nuclear power, for example, and the relative few people who have been killed, very small—do you think that if the auto industry was to be proposed today, note that it did not exist and was just being developed, where there are 40,000 deaths per year in the United State alone, and probably several times that in people who were maimed for life and seriously damaged, could you conceive that the auto industry could be permitted to start?
AUDIENCE: Philosophically the issue is control of your own destiny, so I think it would but your point is still well taken.
AUDIENCE: So, you need personal nuclear reactors?
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Chernobyl happened because Russians didn’t have containment vessels around that set of reactors. Everyone--the rest of the world, all the commercial reactors have containment vessels.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Well, I think it’s sort of numbing isn’t it? That you look at a big one like that and you says, "Oh, how abstract is a discussion about trying to get the world so we can find the capabilities to handle these things better?" So anyway, someplace we have to do it. So, I’m going to do us a favor and for ten minutes of free time--it’d be nice to have you spend it here and talking to each other and whipping up a solution. We got some questions or something? Mike? Richard?
RICHARD KARPINKSI FROM AUDIENCE: Hi. I wondered about how much, in cubic miles of oil, sunlight do we get in a year?
CRANE FROM AUDIENCE: I told you that what comes out from the Earth is about seven--
AUDIENCE: Push your button.
CRANE FROM AUDIENCE: What arrives, and is intercepted, and enters the atmosphere from solar light is 17,000 CMO per year arrives. We capture an infinitesimal amount of it because it so difficult—it’s an aerial phenomenon, not a volumetric phenomenon likes coal and oil. But twenty CMO is captured in total for growing all of the forestland, all of he basic growing stuff. We get twenty out of 17,000 coming in.
KARPINSKI FROM AUDIENCE: So, in that scale, what we’re using is not gigantic; it’s almost insignificant. So, if we find a way, for instance to split water into hydrogen and oxygen with sunlight, we might have some kind of handle on growing a hydrogen economy that would work.
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: It’s a great idea but you’re going to have to have wind machines, photovoltaics panels, solar thermal, or nuclear power to generate the hydrogen. All the other schemes of making hydrogen from water without electricity don’t seem to have as many legs. And then, hydrogen, the difficulty comes in handling the hydrogen—not the safety, but the fact that hydrogen is a very low energy density fuel and you have to move it around one way or another.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: There’s a question back here—do you want to see if you can get to it? Do you have a microphone?
AUDIENCE: No I’ll just speak loudly. I come from the automotive industry and I find this has been very, very interesting. And, I just wanted to make a couple of comments about some of the views here that were made here, and that is
AUDIENCE: Excuse me; could you move to the microphone, otherwise the people on the web will not be able to hear you.
AUDIENCE: Again, I’m from the automotive industry and we’re looking at energy related topics. We’re exploring, clearly the fuel sale option, so methanol burning, hydrogen burning energy sources, and also, just the future of mobility in general. So, what are our vehicles going to be in the future? And, are they just—are vehicles going to be important in our society in the future? Instead of thinking of ways to reduce our energy consumption, we’re looking at entire lifestyle changes—urban planning, everything. And, just, car manufacturers are thinking very much in those directions—thankfully, because otherwise I would have an ethical problem working for the company I do.
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: You bring up a very interesting question, and it’s a lifestyle question. We have turned, in our affluent society, to the suburbs. We’ve destroyed central cities. Would it be better, should we change our lifestyles, and go back and live in more concentrated surroundings where transportation is much easier? You don’t have to necessarily walk to your school or to your business, but you should have enough people in a traffic mode that you can use less energy than certainly used today. But incidentally, quite a different fact, several years ago I was looking at some aspects of energy efficiency and I got some information from BART and from the Metro system in Washington. And, I found they were using more energy for passenger mile than the commuter automobile with one-and-a-half average passengers per car.
AUDIENCE: That’s probably based on not a full—
ED KINDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Well, of course not, the Metro in Washington, which I’ve used quite a bit, is, not empty, but certainly not crowded in the daytime. And, even in the nighttime, if you go out to the end of the line. You’ll find fifteen or twenty passengers on a vehicle—And wait, one other point—they run a lot of motive equipment, all those escalators running down, and all the lights that are there for security really take up the energy. At least a third of the energy goes in operating stations.
AUDIENCE: Right. And, one other point--public transportation, things like METRO, if they don’t run them frequently enough, you won’t use them. As it is, I don’t use Cal Train to go to San Francisco because if I miss one, it’s two hours to the next one. That’s not effective, no matter how energy efficient it is.
AUDIENCE: Seems to me that we’ve well identified that this problem is probably not going to be solved by anybody in this room. And so, we’re getting a little bit redundant. And, it seems to me that maybe we ought to consider some of the approaches that Doug is suggesting--that we look at this more abstractly in a more thoughtful way as to, not how to solve the problem in specific because we cannot do that, but perhaps how to accelerate the process of solving it and learning how to solve it.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: There’s another basic question. I have to learn how to keep dialogue going. So, thank you. And, you have a comment to that?
AUDIENCE: Yes. I agree with that because when I hear that this is identified as a big problem and then I hear that the major player ought to be the oil companies who own the coal companies, who own this, and all that, as an individual I feel that—hold on, let me finish my point—I feel that, as an individual, my interest gets all the way down to less than zero. And, I’m just wondering if the, since we’re talking about the process of dialogue, if there is a way to start to introduce, or give a voice to the consumer as a group. I mean is the consumer well represented by any of those twelve groups on the chart or by the oil companies? Or, I’m likely to think that my voice is represented maybe by the media that may have a different spin on this entire problem. So, how do we include the voice of the consumer as a real player at this table? That’s my questions about the process.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: That’s great. That’s what I’d like to see out of this and other big problems is, okay—what are the secondary problems we have to solve in order to get at this? Which helps amplify the complexity of it? But again, who’s going to be smart enough to offer the community the approaches that include all that secondary things.
BYRON HALE Excuse me. I’ve had my hand up for a long time here.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Sorry. I noticed on the video part of this thing that I tended to go left and watch see, so I’m sorry. The right wing over here—
BYRON HALE: Byron Hale. One of the reasons, I think, that people don’t like the idea of a nuclear solution is because of the fear of what might happen to those nuclear materials and the fear of the political repercussions of that first fear. And, I’m wondering, as I sit here, what ever happened to mirrors in outer space? Why not move some of that real estate into outer space and do something like, say, focus some of that sunlight efficiently onto small areas?
ED INDERMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Well, can’t quite answer that. I know of some enthusiasts who’ve devoted twenty or thirty years to the idea. You won’t have as much mirror space requirement in space, truly, but how are you going to transmit the energy down? If we worry about a few eagles killed by windmills, how are we going to worry about all of the birds that are going to get fried n a microwave? I’m just not a space enthusiast, I’m sorry. I think the problems on Earth are more severe.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Okay, I don’t want too get in the habit of running over with what's the formal thing. So, it’s time now we close our sort of colloquium meeting and feel free to get around and talk. Is there any compulsion about people getting out of here any great hurry? Or, has the management all left? I guess not. So, we had thought, since last week it was so great to have a place for everybody to meet and be together and get some food, we had thought of trying to arrange for that sort of thing, too. And, a lot of people have been turned away who wanted to come to these meetings because the registration for it got full. And, we thought maybe that they could sit and watch the video close and come and talk. So, anyways some of the sort of exploring how the dynamics of interest and activity can go is very much of interest to us. So, if you want to stay around and talk and you have any suggestions, we’d appreciate it. Otherwise, consider it adjourned, and we’ll solve the energy problem next week.