An In-Depth Look at
"The Unfinished Revolution"
January 20, 2000
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: …the Session Three of the Colloquium. And, it’s called "The Unfinished Revolution." And every time I’ll probably say, "Don’t get mistaken; it’s not my personal revolution. I get personally involved, but it’s a revolution that we really hope the world will take seriously. It’s started."
SLIDE: Session 3 The Unfinished Revolution—II
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: There is sort of an issue for me, year after year, of having a set of new concepts. If you go through them in one lecture and maybe spend five of ten minutes on one of them, it isn’t easy to fit them together when you have five or six new ones. So, I will just sort of insist on making light brush-ups through, and try to use some different words, when I go through them. But at every time, we’ll probably hit those same basic concepts, just to be sure, and then show about weaving them in. So, this session is going to focus heavily on what we call the CoDIAK capability. And that was just an acronym that evolved about seven or eight years ago to try to talk about a special cluster of capabilities and organizations. And we’ll talk about that more, but we’re going to bump into that over and over again. This is sort of the heart of how organizations can be collectively smarter, is by concentrating better on those capabilities we lumped into the CoDIAK term.
This session will focus heavily upon CoDIAK Capability and its key feature, the Dynamic Knowledge Repository (DKR)
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, the way this colloquium started out, also, is we hit hard on big global problems that the world is facing, and telling the world that the technology that’s erupting is going actually to add a lot more global problems because it’s going to pervade throughout the globe in many, many, many, many, many special activities that people employ. And as each one of those activities changes its nature, the ones that depend on it, inter-relate with it, are going to have to adapt. And they, in turn, might also be adapting because of the technology, so they have to double one. So, essentially, every organization has this double thing to walk about, and this rapid change. One is the change it has to go through in order to make itself more competent by harnessing the technology in effective ways. But at the same time it’s going through that, it has to change its role. Its role is changing in society because the rest of the institutions, on which it inter depends, are also undergoing change. That big, massive set of changes is very likely, in the future, to cause sudden dislocations—all of a sudden somebody is just—their connection is sheered off with their way of working in the past, and they hadn’t adapted enough. So, one of the things we talk about is the kind of foresight every organization is going to need as it evolves. And part of the strategy is, in the complex, many-faceted change that’s going to go on, how can a glimpse about the future be constructed and provided to people? And so, that’s part of a general, strategic, evolutionary environment that we’re talking about, has to happen. And it’s an environment which no single entity that I know of on the Earth is big enough to say, "We will do it," because it’s going to take many, many. Every nation has got to adapt in this way, but they’ve got to do it in a way that doesn’t cut them off from interchanges with other nations, with other countries and their languages, et cetera. It’s a very big scale evolutionary adaptation that has to go on, and it’s happening rapidly enough that the normal cut and dry organic evolution is just bound to get into trouble. So you say, "All right, this calls for something—" just say it’s a strategy. How do the organizations follow the strategy? And there have to be some explicit ways in which there’s inter-communicating coordination among people to the extent that, say—Well, let’s look at it like this: we’ve said as a way to think about organizations is, every one of them is a social organism. And the technology that’s erupting is bringing to them, among other things, a brand new, very much more efficient nervous system to interconnect and function as nervous systems do in organisms. This is going to elicit a lot of associated evolution inside of organisms. So we just talk about trying to get an evolutionary environment that there’s no one who can say what the end state is. But we can look for the kind of evolution in which every organisms, operating in its own ecological niche, has the best chance of seeing what’s happening among all the other organisms that are changing, so that it can make a judicious decision about which way its migration is going to follow. And so some will go the right way, and some won’t. And everybody should learn by it. But if we don’t have an open environment like that for the evolution, it’s going to be really tough because huge masses of people that are tied in with, say, one product line, or something, end up sort of declining in their capability because the evolution wasn’t open enough. It’s many, many, many facets to the evolution that have a similarity to the bio-evolution. I’ve really enjoyed the discussions with biological evolution people who study that.
SLIDE: This session will focus heavily upon CoDIAK Capability and its key feature, the Dynamic Knowledge Repository (DKR)
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So that will be part of our discussion. But anyway, so we’re interested in the global capability-boosting measures in the world. That’s what we have to do, is look for key capabilities and find out the better ways for boosting them. And then, we also have to be watching the paradigms that we employ and try to help the general paradigms out in the public from getting locked up in cases. So this is a job where you can shake your finger at the journalists a lot of times and say just the very way that they handle a write up--the nouns and verbs, et cetera, that they throw around—just sort of, either go along with somebody’s out-of-date paradigm, or they actually indicate to the person that there’s a shift in some kind of subtle thinking that they’re thinking about. So anyway, this all adds up that there’s really a global need for some large-scale strategy. This is something that not hardly any of us ever get to interacting with—is things that are strategies of any great scope.
SLIDE: This session will focus heavily upon CoDIAK Capability and its key feature, the Dynamic Knowledge Repository (DKR)
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: You know, we stumble through our own lives, generally. And, once in a while, we read about a general, who’s great at strategies, and the fights that general has with the tactical leaders--who may be great at tacticians but they’ll run ahead of their resources, and things of that sort. So anyway, strategy takes a different kind of thinking, too, that I’ve found.
SLIDE: Reminders about CoDIAK and Collective IQ
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, this CoDIAK and collective I.Q. are the kind of focus we’ll try to hit on today, but we’ll do it from going around in a circle, sort of, and looking at it from different points of view. When you get into the collective IQ, the sort of thing you see is a set of capabilities that we call CoDIAK. So, we’ll use them almost interchangeably. They’re both capabilities; but Collective I.Q. is, in a sense, a bigger one and more general than the CoDIAK. And, the CoDIAK is sort of a first shot of how to get going on it. So, we’ve seen this before, and I’m sure you’ll see it again.
SLIDE: Collective Intelligence in Action
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: It sort of depicts an organization and the way it interacts with the outside world, and the way it has to develop its own dynamic knowledge inside that organization, and its operative knowledge. And you could say that’s a model of each of you individuals, too—that you’re interacting with the outside world, and you’re ingesting things, and you have to integrate them. And a lot of things come in to you that you just take at surface value. And it takes quite a while for that to be integrated in with other things you know, and believe, and disbelieve, et cetera like that, so that there’s an operative layer of what they’d say, you have ready knowledge that goes along with what we say is a knowledge product, here. And so, creating among all of the activity going on inside the organization, dynamically keeping updated this sort of knowledge product, is a very, very significant challenge; and, I don’t see it being done elsewhere. I do not say we know how to do it, too; but it represents the challenge that is really there. So, we call this a DKR for short, Dynamic Knowledge Repository. And, we’ll get more details about what goes on during that here today.
SLIDE: Core Capabilities for Collective Intelligence
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So this is the derivative for CoDIAK: it’s the Concurrent Development, Integration, and Application of Knowledge. And people always say, "Well, what about learning?" Well, I sort of bypassed learning in the terms of that application is—you’ve got to get it applicable. And that just carries with it the implication that you’ve learned it, or the organization has learned it. Development can mean both, that you’ve innovated inside, or you go find it, and assimilate it, and integrate it into your operating knowledge. It’s both. Innovation, et cetera, is a dynamic part of making an effective organization. But this CoDIAK is kind of independent of that. It would function better if people were more innovative. And then you say, "Well, there’s a lot of dynamics within the organization that really can stimulate and support innovation from the individuals." So, things like this we want to deep bringing out and patching in to the whole picture
SLIDE: Critical Factor: "Concurrent" Evolution of Society’s DKR’s
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So here’s another diagram that we’ve seen before—and you’ll see again—because it conveys a lot. It’s like saying, these little balls around there like that are nodes that represent organizations. Well then, the whole collection of it represents an organization, too. This came out for me, when somebody sketched out for me what a big manufacturing outfit--like McDonnell Douglas, where I was embedded for years--this is the way they operate. And you begin to realize—all these lines criss-crossing between those nodes represent the kind of knowledge-accessible funnels, conduits, that have to be there. And that means, whether you have the legal staff, the marketing, the design, the manufacturing—all those people—and then, plus they pointed out the suppliers out there. And I was kind of vague about suppliers, so then they drew me the map I showed you before, too--that showed you that when you’re building an airplane that inside the corporation there are about 2,000 people operating on the design and manufacturing—but outside there are about 6,000 organizations that are suppliers t of various degrees of involvement. And some of those are involved in very close design work. And then, the specifications have to be conveyed between them, so the interaction between them as to be very dynamic. And the kind of things we talk about in this place will be very effective in there. Boeing has become famous now for applying a lot of those things inside. And it’d be very interesting then to see how much more, beyond Boeing, we could already point to the fact that they’re going to have. So if we carry this colloquium for very many months, I could get some of my friend from Boeing and McDonnell Douglas to come and tell you stories, too.
SLIDE: Critical Factor: "Concurrent" Evolution of Society’s DKR’s
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: But, the big thing to learn from here is, that when you realize that, that this concurrency factor here, that’s part of the term CoDIAK, that it really implies that every organization’s sub-organization has to be dynamically evolving its repository--but at the same time as concurrently with the rest of them. But they’re all part of the bigger one, which has to have a coherent, concurrent, development of its Dynamic Knowledge Repository, too. So, the concurrency among all those is a very big challenge in both having technology, common standards, et cetera, as well as practices and conventions about the users, et cetera, and people involved. So, it’s a challenge. So you just, in no way, could have people on-site doing their knowledge work by one vendor and those at another by another vendor, or the terms, and the conditions, and the discussions, and what functions do, and the content of the files are different. It just would be a mess—unless you had some very fancy conversions things between them so that you—anyway. When we look at those three boxes on there, there are so many discussions about them. One of the obvious ones is this intelligence collection, and the other is recorded dialog.
SLIDE: Critical Factor: "Concurrent" Evolution of Society’s DKR’s
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Both of those take discussions and descriptions about what’s in between them. Anyway, so this external one is what’s going on out there that affects our future. So how do we assimilate that? And how many of the facts and stuff do we need to have in order to have that picture?
SLIDE: External Intelligence
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And where do you go scouting for them? Is it enough for your people to go to conventions and professional meetings? And when they come home, what should they do about the notes? What should they do about cataloging the proceedings from there? And then, what'’ going to happen to all of these conference activities and professional societies in the way that they do their integrations of what happens within their activity and making it available and applicable to you? It’s just inevitable that all that’s going to be done in a networked way. And so, you say, "Oh, those sources are going to have to be that way. And those associations are going to be organizations, in themselves, which need to function that way because their Dynamic Knowledge Repository is something they’re delivering to a lot of people. So, it’s just everyplace you turn that you’re going to face that—that the new ways of working with those organizations will be that you both got to have a lot in common in your DKR’s.
SLIDE: External Intelligence
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So another aspect of this, in this scenario development, that most of us don’t think much about scenarios, but it’s a thing that’s taken very seriously by quite a few organizations. And every organization’s got to have some working scenarios of what its specs and the things it’s going to bank and bet on about what’s happening in the future. And those scenarios are going to get more and more expensive to maintain because the future is evolving pretty fast. And you can’t have somebody do a year study and come out after six months of digesting it and give you the picture. He’ll be seventeen months out of date.
SLIDE: External Intelligence
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: You have to figure out how you know what’s important, who should we be listening to, or who should we be watching, how will our organization’s own environment be changing. Those are all just very critical things. The implication in the kind of improvement infrastructure that we talked about--with the A’s, B’s and C’s, et cetera—that a lot of that is the C kind of activity in your organization. And we are going to be trying to make a case, over and over again, that that is much better if the expense, in both dollars and your staff, in doing that C work is shared among other things within a NIC. This would be the most efficient way in the future that’s part of that. So anyway, then we turn to this knowledge product on this side. Later on I’ll be pointing to some of our publications that are online—back in the seventies. I worked a long time on one that’s called, "Mission and Discipline Oriented Communities." And, a "mission oriented community" is like a project. And a "discipline oriented" one is like what a professional society id doing. And they both have similar things; and they both could do what we talked about—a communities knowledge workshop. So there we were talking already about the similar set of Knowledge Repository components. So what I did about the product one is I likened it to a handbook—that, at any given time, if your handbook is up to date, you can go there and find reference to the way it’s organized and find out the current state of something. And it would have citations referencing off to the material on which it depended, and you could backtrack on those. And then, there’d be a constant dialog about different aspects of what’s in the current handbook. And that dialog eventually would need to be recorded. And we talked about the back links and the environment so that you could find out that--when an issue was raised, and a lot of interaction, and then, resolve--that you could backtrack to that, and find out the actual way in which that issue was resolved—who contributed to it, and the sort of conditions and factors that ended up making the agreement among people that they would then change something. So then, a piece of the handbook gets retired as part of the dialog. And that’s part of the recorded dialog, too. And it’s superceded by something, so you could backtrack from any passage in there and find out what its earlier versions looked like and why they were changed. So, to me, its just inevitable and totally imperative that, that kind of dynamic is available to the kind of dialog we’re going to be using. So, it’s a far cry from the way in which our news groups, et cetera, operate today. It isn’t enough to say, "Okay, we’re going to have this super-duper search engine there." That’ll be very nice, but you still need the tagging and the explicit conventions that provided those back trails in there, in the relationships.
SLIDE: Recorded Dialog
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, dialog goes on between the people in the organization, and also the outsiders, and the dialog about things in our intelligent repositories. So people are talking about the content that’s there--dialog about mending our dialog record, that in cases where it’s inaccurate, or something like that, somebody points that out. And, it’ll be part of the dialog--and dialog about improving the content of the handbook, or the knowledge product. So those are going to be always in there. So when we talk some later on about the kind of things in the technology and the tools systems, and the conventions or properties of the knowledge packages--that we call documents today--that those things are all going to need to evolve. And they need to evolve concurrently with the emergence of the practices that we’re talking about doing here—you know, conventions. And that means that people are going to have to relearn how to be correspondents inside this dialog environment, et cetera, and the conventions they follow.
SLIDE: Reminder of basic concepts and terms about personal and organizational…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, there are sets of these basic concepts and terms about personal and organizational capability infrastructures, augmentation systems--comprised of tools system, human system--the co-evolution frontier, and improvement infrastructures. So, just to get another touch, I’m going to go through those again now. So we talked about capability infrastructure.
SLIDE: "Co-evolution" is unavoidable: should be explicitly cultivated!
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And then we find out that it actually isn’t infrastructure, whereas any given capability in this infrastructure, generally, is dependent upon some set of lower-order ones. But so are many others. And many of these lower-order ones are found to be common basic part of the infrastructure of higher-level. So this is part of the disturbance that when the tool system comes through with really, really radical things, it can go through and touch some of these lower-level capabilities to change them by quite a bit of how they operate. Then the higher-level ones here, even if they’re not touched directly by the technology, they need to start adapting to sort of take advantage of the new capabilities they have in subordinates. So you said, "I like to look at simple things like elevators that got invented and brought in the world." And then you looked at a whole bunch of the conventions for how urban areas operate and businesses in those places operate. And we know the telegraph, and telephone, and the photocopier all changed it like this. And again, I just claim that what this technology is bringing forth is the biggest transitional perturbation in the whole augmentation system in society that anything in our history before. That’s something that’s a paradigm issue—that if it isn’t believed, then it’s a big difference. So I’ve been proceeding as though it is the biggest. And, yes, I notice the difference because I’ve been slightly out of step with prevailing paradigms for some decades. But it’s sort of this hope now that we’ll get people thinking about it and maybe we can meet someplace halfway in between. So then we’ve talked about the tool system and the human system; and both of them must co-evolve. And, in the end, they’re inter-depending upon these basic human capabilities, down here, that you’re born with and have to be developed by training into skills and knowledge so that you can operate within these things.
SLIDE: "Co-evolution" is unavoidable: should be explicitly cultivated!
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: People easily see that they have to operate upon the devices and facilities they have over here, but that’s just exactly, you have to do it over here. You have to know the terminology; you have to know how to operate; you have to know about meetings and conventions and a whole bunch of things. So that’s a very, very complex system in there that’s going to be just as much perturbed as this one over here. And since they both are inter-dependent, it’s just going to cause a lot.
SLIDE: "Co-evolution" is unavoidable: should be explicitly cultivated!
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So we talk about the fact that it’s just totally inappropriate for radical changes on this tool system side to think of themselves as automating the things on the left side--on the human system side--because they’ll come in, and they’ll make enough changes there that you have to adapt and learn how to harness it. Well, it isn’t just like someone can invent a better pressure cooker and that will improve something about kitchens. It is sort of this, you look at the way that kitchens have changed over the last hundred years—the refrigerator, and the electric stove, and the garbage disposer, and the microwave oven, and the freeze. So these things are just totally different—the whole practice of cooking, and food preparation, food distribution has changed because of that. So this is what we have to expect.
Are you been keeping time? How much? Is this your time now? Okay,
So next, we’re going to have—Marcelo Hoffman, of SRI International, is going to give a talk on knowledge management. And he has two sort of attributes to bring here: one that he’s been working in this business intelligence unit at SRI for years, and focusing a great deal over the past years on knowledge management. So he really understands what’s been happening out there. And the second one is he also sat in on one of our three-day seminars about eight years ago and, ever since then, has been interacting with us. And now, in fact, he’s actually serving as this seminar’s teaching assistant for helping the community evolve, et cetera. So, I’ll have to disengage from mine, and go pick up his. There you are, Marcelo.
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Okay, thank you, Doug. Okay. So what I will do today is give you a very, very short run-down of knowledge management in the business environment. It will be a very short—twenty minute, or so—presentation. And, take it with a grain of salt--it’s meant to be for business because those are our clients.
SLIDE: Knowledge Management: Key Findings and Lessons
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: But the meta-lesson from this, if you will take is, is how does this relate to bootstrapping? How does this relate to the government, or NGO’s, and so on? We’ll have Peter Yim speak afterwards about an NGO and what they do, which in a sense are a type of knowledge management. But my bias will be directly related only to companies because that’s the environment where I work.
Okay, I have to move this to get—sorry, presentation on the left there? Okay, thank you.
So, the concept is nothing new. It’s been around for a long time. Different authors have taken different perspectives on this.
SLIDE: Concept of KM is not new
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Doug has presented his views. Peter Drucker has written extensively about knowledge workers. But what is new now is the Internet. It is the networks; it is the greater computing power and the like.
SLIDE: Status of KM in business
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: We can say that the status is pretty much equivalent to the quality movements of 20-30 years ago when you talk about knowledge management in the corporate settings. Everybody speaks of knowledge management as if it were something consistent, unique, individualizable, et cetera; it is not. And I will give some descriptions of what different folks mean by knowledge management and then talk about some cases, some suggestions for implementation, and then what we see in the future. And then, perhaps if you will keep in your mind—how does this relate to Doug’s ideas, theories, strategies, and the like. One thing I would like to emphasize—that this knowledge management stuff is not a fad. It’s definitely something that will remain for a while, but it will evolve.
SLIDE: Status of KM inn business
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: The popularity has been only in the last five years. It probably might change in terms of methodology, syntax, semantics, and the like, but it’s not going to go away as some of the other business consulting fad have come and gone. Perhaps, something to keep in mind, also, is what methodologies are applicable to be transferred from the knowledge management to bootstrapping? I believe some will, some will not; but perhaps it’s something we should look at collectively. For lack of a definition, there are many descriptions, but one thing that is very consistent is something about value—either creating value, or re-using value, or conversion into or out of value, reuse of knowledge and the like.
SLIDE: KM implies value, purpose and appropriate methods
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: It’s a result of many evolutionary processes and trends. But, definitely, it’s mostly about management. When you really get down to it, if you cannot manage a corporation, you’re not going to be able to do knowledge management particularly well. And, I’ll get into that in greater detail later on.
SLIDE: KM involves a range of concerns and practices
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: The practices vary. And, these I would to emphasize. Different writers, different authors and consultants speak as if knowledge management were any one of these four components--and sometimes a mix, combination, hybrids, and the like—but all these are included by some anyway. Valuing knowledge has been around for a while, getting increasing importance in terms of recognition and evaluation. Evaluation is very problematic. There are some attempts to go beyond accounting, but it is a matter of judgment. There are no ways to measure and value knowledge in a unique, repeatable way. But there’s some ways in which you can compare greater or lesser value.
SLIDE: KM involves a range of concerns and practices
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Exploiting intellectual property--that’s something that’s very much in vogue--particularly by large companies that have been able to reduce the cost of maintaining intellectual property, selling what they have that they’re not using. Companies like Dow and Motorola--there are a number of cases where they have used this very effectively both to reduce their cost, and to increase their profitability.
SLIDE: KM involves a range of concerns and practices
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Managing knowledge workers—that’s been around forever, perhaps since the middle ages. But obviously it’s getting more and more important now. And I will emphasize this later on in my presentation--that if there is a meta-message behind this knowledge management, the fad or movement, is that what is being used rather effectively is what’s considered explicit knowledge—stuff that falls into databases, knowledge bases, manuals, you know, all the stuff that’s obviously very valuable, and useful, and repeatable, and reusable, and so on. What isn’t well used, or not as well used, is what’s tacit, implicit in people’s heads, that sort of thing. We haven’t quite learned how to reuse what’s in people’s heads. But I’ll give some suggestions as to technologies that might help reduce the problem of reusing implicit knowledge. The last one is the one that perhaps has the most potential, the greatest value, and arguably, the most difficult to capture.
SLIDE: KM involves a range of concerns and practices
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: This whole issue of capturing—I will read it directly—sharing/distribution of work-based learning from the day-today work of knowledge workers. And this implies from within the firm, outside, competitors, suppliers, allies, and the like. This is very problematic, and for this you would need to have something like what Doug calls a Dynamic Knowledge Repository. What we have seen in the companies we have studied is that this is not done particularly well. It’s done very ad-hoc. Some companies will bet on others, but perhaps by chance, or by cultural reason, there is no great methodology that can be transferred. And the practices of the four components that you see above here do overlap, and at times, keep expanding. Now when looking at the approaches, the formal approaches used by companies who are very heavily involved with knowledge management evolve. The first movement, if you would, of keeping track of repositories has been pretty much done by most large companies. It’s fairly straightforward; it’s not that difficult to do.
SLIDE: Approaches evolve
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: And you see all the different kinds of collections of knowledge, or information, or data, if you would. But the latter component, which we think is very important, is relatively new—the whole thing about search engines, data-mining, visualization—making stuff available more easily, making stuff available when people need it, ideally as they need it. That’s a little bit of a stretch as of now, but perhaps in time. Technology solutions are coming. The second set of activities; the second set of approaches is this whole arena of networks. And that’s for the purpose of creating, holding, transferring tacit, or implicit, knowledge. This is much more problematic. It’s much more about managing people, deciding organizations, evolving organizations and the people who are within them.
SLIDE: Approaches evolve (cont.)
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Different companies use different approaches. The classic ways are connecting people, teams, and ad-hoc get-togethers. Some of the companies locally you can see they design their offices and their buildings to increase the likelihood that people will meet with others. Several folks here who have worked for Sun will smile when I mention that at the new Sun facility in Menlo Park there are like mini-cafeterias every so often as a way to have folks gathers there, exchange information, knowledge. And, surprise, surprise—there are whiteboards right across there. Well, it is to get this exchange, which cannot be done in other, more formal ways.
SLIDE: Approaches evolve (cont.)
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: And, the last point about communities of learning and practice is something that has been going on now for a while, but increasingly there is more attention to this. And, I think that as the technology to connect on the networks, which has become increasingly more powerful, this will become even more popular. However, face-to-face will not go away any time soon. If there’s a question about this, perhaps there might be competition with very high definition screens, and so on--if you can get the dynamics that are better than being there. But I’m not sure that, that will be the case—not yet, not for a while anyway.
SLIDE: Enablers and Resources Span a Broad Spectrum
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: If we look at the enablers and resources that are used for knowledge management—you can go from the left side, going from noise, data, information. I spoke about knowledge as object, then going on from knowledge as process. The higher, right-hand corner will be knowledge as emergent properties. And this is really tricky to go to. That’s something that I believe is still a research question. Perhaps by using bootstrap in evolving organizations beyond the current state, this will work out. But there is no methodology approach that I know of for all the companies I’ve interviewed, and visited with, and spoken to. But, in a sense, there is this transition from the low-end stuff to the higher-end, increasingly more tacit, and more complex, and much more difficult to transfer.
SLIDE: Emphases vary
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: The emphases, by various companies, vary dramatically. If you look here, from the left side, the more mechanistic approaches to the organic. If there’s one message that we can convey it’s that, in general, most modern companies are going from the left side to the right side, but not all evenly and not evenly down this list of characteristics. One company might be very interested in short-term tactical ideas, but very involved with creativity and innovation, and so on. So, you would see somewhat of a zigzag of organizations if you were to take some sort of measurement across a large number. But, in general, we have seen a transition from the left side to the right side, towards more biological approaches—and also larger-scale, and more chaotic, perhaps going along with, the Santa Fe Institute talks about that, chaos and chaos theory. Another way of looking at this knowledge management and the processes underneath is that they tend to go from the simple/tangible on to the less tangible, but potentially the greater the benefit.
SLIDE: Knowledge processes span a range of parameters
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: And, when I’ve given these presentations in different companies and different companies, what tends to come back from the dialog is most companies are at the left-hand corner, bottom left-hand corner. Trying to avoid repeating the invention of the wheel. And they keep doing that, over time, more efficiently. Some are going to the concept of how do they make a better wheel—but not that many, and not often on purpose. If this were drawn to scale, there would be a major chasm between that and the fellow on the hand-glider, because that’s changing paradigms. That’s very difficult—going from there to thinking about thinking. The meta-approaches that Doug proposes, I have yet to see any organization, any other speaker, besides Doug and the group that’s promoting and trying to bring this bootstrapping to happen, suggesting this.
SLIDE: Knowledge processes span a range of parameters
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: So, if there were a chart describing where the companies are that we have observed, it would be largely at the bottom left, with a few going up, and the, nobody at the top, right-hand side. And, there might be some hypotheses about countries, and size of organization, and so on. Going back to, say, some visits in Japan some time back—Japanese companies, for example, are very good at not re-inventing the wheel. They transfer that kind of knowledge relatively well. They have a very hard time with creativity and innovation, and so on. Different cultures will work differently—better for some things, less well for others. Organizational models are something very important to look at for considering knowledge management.
SLIDE: Organizational models set context
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: The three kinds of organizations, for lack of a better taxonomy that we have seen—command-and-control, exchange economy, and gift society. What’s very common is that many speakers present the idea for gift society as if that were the one that they would get to first. I have yet to see that happen—if anything, you can get into exchange economy where there’s a trade off: I will give you something if you will give me something in return that’s equally valuable or better. And one of the suggestions we make is to go for that, to go for the exchange economy. Don’t assume that you will generate a gift society or a gift group just by itself. You have to develop the trust—go from command-and-control to exchange economy and then to a gift society. And, in fact, most organizations will probably oscillate between an exchange economy environment and a gift society environment. You know, depending if the trust goes up and down. But, it’s still better than working in command-and-control where folks will only contribute what they have to contribute, and no more. So, this is something to consider if one were to analyze what is the situation in a particular company and we suggest to also consider how to ferment the evolution from an exchange economy to a gift society. What we have found among the cases that we have analyzed in greater detail is that they’re extremely contextual to be successful. There’s no generic approach that will work in different companies.
SLIDE: Successful approaches are necessarily contextual
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: There are two cases that I have found that are classics: Chaparral Steel, a small mini-mill, some couple thousand people, and Boeing, the triple seven—I just couldn’t think of Boeing as a company because it’s just too large. But if you can compare Chaparral Steel, they work essentially as if they were a company working in the Middle Ages with apprenticeships. And they have their R&B on the production floor, so newer folks learn from people who have been there longer and who have done steel-making longer, and so on—very tacit knowledge. Very little use of computers. Once they sell the steel, it’s gone; they don’t have to guarantee it anymore. If you contrast that to Boeing where they have to keep track of everything they’ve done for years and years, maybe for 40 or 50 years after the airplane will fly, it’s a very different environment. It’s a different approach—and for good reasons. So if I were to take another metaphor—it’s sort of right-brain/left-brain, but the whole concept here is to be specific. What kind of organization do you have? What do you want to get out of it? And then, what do you decide for it? Perhaps, what sort of folks do you hire, train, support, that sort of thing? One of the suggestions we have found is very useful is, go for the early benefits. There’s nothing better, to build up the bandwagon effect, than being successful early on. And what we have found within that is the idea of going after improved knowledge repositories.
SLIDE: Early benefits are common and desirable
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: It’s much easier to prove the benefit of these than to prove the benefit of a network that might take six months, a year, two years to come up with something interesting and exciting. Also, going for effectiveness and efficiency, and even though these may be lower-level gains, they’re still useful to create the environment that, in a sense, will take you to a higher-level. But one thing to keep in mind—you cannot predict what will happen in the longer run. Literally, users build the road as they travel it; and it’s a co-discovery between the developers, the designers, participants, and the like. It’s an interesting travel with all kinds of detours. Some of the risks that we have found in organizations that try to do this fast is shifts in power, the changes in politics and relationships and so on, were very problematic. And, often times, the senior manager was not aware of what the effects would be until after the fact, until it was a major crash.
SLIDE: Associated risks
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: And, the problem of implementing this things is also difficult enough that we suggest: start small, evolve, grow, see what works in your organization, and then, as long as there are successes, things will evolve nicely. Otherwise, if you try to do something big, there will be major problems in allocating costs because those who pay are not necessarily those who benefit. Then, there will be a major fight for who pays, who gains, where, when. In addition, these things spread over time, which is very problematic because there is still—as I mentioned before--not very good ways to measure what the value of improved knowledge management will be over time. We have found that there are at least two kinds of resources that are absolutely crucial. The organizational part, in Doug’s terminology, would be the human systems, the agreements, the excitement, and he commotion of the right kinds of activities, of behaviors, that sort of thing. We would add mentoring, training, support to the point of being pedantic.
SLIDE: Resources needed: organization
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Definitely leadership from senior executives is very important.
SLIDE: Resources needed: infrastructure
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Besides that infrastructure, I will go back to what I mentioned earlier: even the architecture of the buildings where collaborators work is important—for folks to meet in an environment that’s conducive for them to do what they want to do, better. Obviously, computers, networks, all that, they are nice, nothing new there but important to have ongoing mentoring, training, and support. We have had cases of that, even at SRI, where as Microsoft keeps changing the software, we need support where we didn’t think we would need support. So, I’ve had several cases of that myself.
SLIDE: Information technology enablers in use now
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Several things that we see as enablers now that also I mentioned earlier—about the networks, the tools, the internet—a lot of value will be gained from the transition from HTML to XML, perhaps KQML, Java, others. I think we’ll have some speakers later--next week and the following week—getting into this in much greater detail. So, I will not dwell onto this one. Search technology is going to be very important because soon there will be the ability to capture, as Jim Spohrer said last week. You know, if you can have a very small form factor hard drive that can store all the audio for your whole life, well that’s nice, but then how do you find anything. So, if we have better search techniques and approaches, particularly things from artificial intelligence—speech recognition, natural language, knowledge bases, and so on—in a somewhat automated fashion. That’ll be quite nice and useful. These things are here now; they can be used better, but they’re there. Okay, one thing that’s coming up, that’s not quite there yet, the idea of cross-referencing multi-media—actually SRI has some efforts on this where you can cross-correlate different media streams from video, sound, documents, and so on. And, if you can do what amounts to a multi-media search, there’s a great potential there—both for good and for spying, and for privacy violations, and for security problems. But still, it’s something worth looking at because it’s got very good potential. This whole idea of automating some of the activities that people do now also has huge potential, although it will never, or not for a long time, become completely automated. I don’t think people will be pulled out of the loop; but, perhaps the lower-level activities, thee lower-level tasks, can be automated. I believe Doug goes along with that in terms of co-evolution and so on. The suggestions that we have made that seem to be consistent with most of the success cases that we’ve seen follow here.
SLIDE: Methodology for new initiatives
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: The idea is to start looking at what are the needs. Take a very gook look at the human organizational elements, factors, environment, culture, all that. Then start the design process with the knowledge architecture. What should be the ideal combination of things so that users would get benefits fairly early on? Only then think of the technology infrastructure, and then stop. Start doing this in modular fashion: test, improve and repeat the steps. This is a highly intricate process. I have yet to see any successful company deploy a formal, large knowledge management system in one fell swoop. It just doesn’t happen; it’s too complicated.
SLIDE: Possibilities ahead
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: Some of the possibilities ahead include: the processes in a much more global fashion--large scale implementations, what Doug talks about, you know, meta-meta levels--large organizations collaborating in a closely coupled fashion, maybe across countries or large enterprises. Another great opportunity is the one to enhance individual and group creativity. That’s something we don’t have much of a handle yet, but perhaps by reducing the lower-level functions then perhaps folks will have the time and ability to do the higher-level activities.
SLIDE: Possibilities ahead
HOFFMAN AT PODIUM: And then, this whole notion of this seamless web of resources combining them in a fashion that is useful at the time that has needed, in the best way. That is a little bit of a pie in the sky for now, but perhaps not in a few years. It is something that we will have to evolve into. And, I want to finish with some comments on a slide presented by Jim Spohrer last week about learning that although when it comes to knowledge management it has taken, to some extent, the first three of these components, performance support, practice skills, habits, and training. It has yet to, within the corporate setting, look at education, research, the finding of new answers and the finding of new questions. There’s still a lot of opportunity there, but I’m not sure that we quite have it yet. And, with that, I finish my presentation and cede the floor back to Doug. Thank you
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Find me out of there. Does everybody remember what I was saying? I was caught up on what Marcelo was saying. And, it is a really good example. We could almost go slide-by-slide, point-by-point, and just say: "Well, if you got a strategy that you think is going to be effective, how does it accommodate the different, you know, describes states of things. What’s happening to people out there, real life experiences, and the real-life edging and moving, real life things about? ‘Hey, I’m going to protect my knowledge because that’s a big part of my value, so I’ll only put out what’s necessary to put out the next set of points I need to make.’" So, those are cultural changes and practice changes in side organizations. So, there are two things we can think about in that respect. One of them is how much better could we get? And the other is how many things like we’re talking about will need to change?
So then, you say, "Okay, is there an evolutionary environment which would bring that about?"
So all I can just say is in that search for that environment, those organizations, of every size, that are more successful in finding an evolutionary environment that works, are going to move on ahead. And that’s going to be a thing in itself: that some of them won’t. They’ll fall back and they’ll die, or whatever it is. There’ll be a lot of bloodshed, or, at least, resource-shed, et cetera, and sadness. So one of the other things that come out in our strategy here is saying, "Hey, what kind of visibility does each organization need about what’s happening out there in order to be as smart as possible about deciding what’s there?" Some of the people who are making decisions about what to invest in that
Aren’t oriented about that future; they’re oriented to be very pragmatic, tactical executives at the time like that. And the, the ones that are running for-profit organizations have a very definite handicap these days: the stock market--especially with day trading coming on—that every little wiggle, they’ll have people through the board descend upon them if it’s the wrong direction. And those wiggles would just kill you if you have to spend all your time. You can’t get resources approved for longer-term improvements because what you have to do is invest in the bottom-line, at least by the next quarter. And so, for the scale of things that are happening, and the degree of change, it’s sort of a kind of madness. And historians in 50 years, or sometime in there—in 30 years there’ll be such smart historians that they can assess things much more quickly and effectively, I guess, right? But I’m just willing to bet that today will look like the dark ages—the sort of primitive ways in which we operated; the sort of ways in which a local tyrant could build a castle and be a lord for a while, and fight it out with the other lords, et cetera. There’ll be a lot of things about it. Sometimes I get pictures of the big cities from, say, 150 years ago, or 200 years ago where sewage wasn’t there, it was noisy, the police weren’t very effective, all kinds of things. One of the things, you’d be afraid to walk in the street. And one of the reasons you’d walk the woman on the inside and the man on the outside is because they’d dump the things out of the window a little bit, and the one closer to the house was a little bit safer from the falling stuff. That right?
AUDIENCE: Less safe.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Oh, less safe. Oh, that is the way to treat women.
AUDIENCE: Men were dandies and they didn’t want their clothes damaged by the chamber pots.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, let’s just translate that into some picture from 20 years from now—historians looking at what wee do today. What will look barbaric about today? It is very interesting.
Anyway, the issues of being idealistic about a strategy that may help us evolve, it is easy to look at a look of the pragmatic things that are happening today and discard it. And say, "Oh you’ve got to face reality." But some of the realities are the rate and complexity of the change that are happening, and the reality that our old methods of coping with change aren’t at all adequate for this new rate--or especially for three years from now, or something of that sort. We really have to start looking for a strategy, so don’t knock a strategy until you’ve got something that’s a better strategy—and it needs to take account for quite a few different things. So, I would welcome the dialog.
Anyway, this basic co-evolution is very important. Also, we look at the concept of the augmentation system. That, down here in the middle-bottom, this basic human capabilities is all we’ve got. And the only thing we can do to boost our effectiveness at dealing with the world, et cetera, is what we build up in the tool system, the human system, and the capability infrastructure we have there. And along with that goes ethics and many other cultural aspects that are very, very important. But anyway, that’s all we have: that augmentation system. And so, it’s going to have tremors like an earthquake coming about. And so, we need to have a way to look and think about the evolution of that as it goes. So, we talked also about if you’ve got a human system and tools system, and they’ve both been changing through the years.
SLIDE: The World’s Organizations in Human-Tool Space
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: We went through this picture of saying that we could put many of the societies of earth; locate them someplace in this rectangle. So this is a very, very, very simplified picture because both the tool system and the human system are multi-dimensions, so it’s really a complex space out there. But it’s a space in which the traversal has been out in this direction.
SLIDE: The World’s Organizations in Human-Tool Space
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Then we say, "okay, that’s sort of the environment that most of our organizations—the evolution of it in this environment was what now guides the way we evolve."
SLIDE: Co-Evolution Frontier: Probable View
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: But, you know, this is more like it—we’re approaching. A little later Neil Jadobstein will talk about the sort of nano technology aspects, which are a clear sort of example of what’s propelling us out there. So, that’s a much bigger, much more complex frontier out there. So, what’s going to guide your evolution? And, how much resource are you going to have to spend in scouting it out, and then picking a path and moving? Because if you move at the old rates, you’ll just be out here an inch or so when the real action is out here in the world. So, who’s going to change? So this is everybody—individuals, every sized organization, every city, county, state, every country, and the nation as a whole—has to adapt to that kind of change. So, that’s just big. So, if that doesn’t warrant a strategy, or demand one, I don’t know what will.
SLIDE: Harnessing explosive technology depends, to a new degree, on the "Capability Improvement Capability"
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So that and another appreciation was the improvement infrastructure—that part of your capability infrastructure is that sub-infrastructure which does the changes that bring about the improvement in the capability of the major one. So it’s just up in here so you can see it. It’s generally submerged and sometimes it’s very far down and not very strong. But the thing is that the improvement infrastructure is based upon a lot of the same infrastructure components that the major capability infrastructure is. And so you say, "By making that better, I’m going to also change a lot of things that will do the capability infrastructure for the whole organization quite a bit of good."
And so, this is one of the benefits that we look at that says "Hey, if we early concentrate on the capabilities which boost the improvement capability, then this is going to be a strategic thing to consider." So, that’s what we’ve done; and, that’s what we call the bootstrapping.
SLIDE: Reminder: Improvement Infrastructures
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So this reminder about this whole infrastructure--that we had the A, B, and C activities; and that a C community is an improvement community; and a Networked Improvement Community was an improvement community continuously improving its community-support CoDIAK capability; and a Meta-NIC, it’s a NIC serving a cooperative community of NICs towards their continuous improvement as NIC’s. So, those are all not very complicated, but through the last fifteen years, they’ve just emerged as something that fits together in my mind. But we need a dialog to get there. So, here are our A, B, and C. A is the core business activity. B is the activity that improves A. C is the activity that improves B, et cetera.
SLIDE: Join Forces in an Improvement Community
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: And we could group people, group organizations, together that have common improvement vectors or plans in mind so that they can share the C work. So this is exactly what a professional society does, in which your corporation will send you out to participate in and spend resources like that. It’s to help them keep an eye on what the futures going on; and you’re supposed to bring it back and integrate it. Then as that future is getting much more complicated, we’ve got to be more effective about it. And one of the things is—the hypothesis is that cooperating on that investment will be real pay-off. And then there are other cultural things about different organizations saying, "Well, why? If we keep it secret, we’re better off." Well anyway, it’s just something to learn, that pretty soon the other organizations in the NIC should kick you out if you’re going to fall short about participating to your extent.
SLIDE: Networked Improvement Community ("NIC")
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Then we say that the next thing to do is make this with the Dynamic Knowledge Repository, and have the most advanced sort of knowledge capability support that you can in order for the operation of this as a NIC, as a improvement community. So, we call them NIC’s. And then another step to that is to say, "Oh, then what if we find a bunch of good NIC’s—good NIC’s," and say, Hey, would you like to join under an umbrella of a Meta-NIC?" So, the function of this NIC here is to be helping with the associated things that the different NIC’s need to know in order to make choices of how they evolve to be better NIC’s.
So from time-to-time we’re going to trying to elicit, you know, there’s education NIC’s that we lined up with talking, and several kinds of things like that; and professional society NICs, especially the computer society, et cetera. There are a lot of candidates out there. So a question is saying, "Whom can you go and elicit, or solicit, to say that they are going to start investing in becoming a NIC and joining this kind of an organization?" Well, in the first place you have to find ways that are just similar to what Marcelo was talking about; is how do you make a business case for these people to spend their budgets more money and differently than before? A professional society, for instance, makes a fair amount of its money, apparently, from selling its hardcopy proceedings. So, if they’re going to go online like this, they won’t have everything online. So, you say, "Oh, what happens there?" Well, the same way in book publishing in science today—they’re all starting to look at the net for a publication medium. And they have to find a way to sell them. So there’s a complication, but it’s something that just needs to be done because it’s absolutely inevitable that that’s the way things are going to be done, is online. So, get there quickly. And there’ll be much smaller packages of what you deliver often than a whole book or a whole article. You make a contribution it could be something short—take you 20 minutes maybe to put an idea in and get it integrated. So, the challenge for environment to be more dynamic is going to put many of these organizations in a real problem. So here is Marcelo’s thing. I’m going more slowly.
SLIDE: Reminder: The "Bootstrap" approach to large-scale capability improvement
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So this bootstrap approach to large-scale capability improvement; so it involves strategic choices in the type of community that’s favored in early recruitment of NIC’s by a Meta-NIC. So that is all the candidate improvement communities aren’t alike in that sense. And some of them, by becoming members and investing some of their resources and trying to coordinate them within a Meta-NIC, would turn out the very product of what they’re building and doing as a NIC is something that all the other NIC’s could benefit from. Just that single kind of criteria would be a very important sort of a thing. So you say, "Which order would I get them in?" And, the idea of starting out with a Meta-NIC is a very important one, too even though it’s kind of primitive is, "Hey, what I’m collecting in knowledge, et cetera, is that what any NIC could use? And I’m doing it for the benefit of maybe one NIC, but I want to be careful that I can start being able to share that with others that come in and survive it."
SLIDE: Reminder: The "Bootstrap" approach to large-scale capability improvement
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, which capabilities to focus on in early development of high performance teams, High Performance Augmented Teams—so I keep talking about this and we’ll try to get to it later in more detail. But that’s a very, very important part of how you’re going to get the evolution going is you have to get some mutations out there that aren’t handicapped by the evolutionary struggle for a big organization to become something new and different. So you have to get a bunch of new and different things out there that can be looked at as real lessons, which is different from ""somebody put something together and did a little bit of experimenting that’s not on real time, not a real organization." And then, those early applications about early efforts at making a Meta-NIC, which efforts would pay-off the most? Just like early investments in high performance teams. So, the high performance team is just something that definitely needs in the future. So what we’re going to do now is shift to a –we have time for both? We had a short film on two weeks ago by Jerry Glenn, who’s the one that promoted going on this Millennium Challenges. So, Peter Yim has been working with him for some years; and he’s also now working with us intensely enough that he’s the hugely valuable manager for getting this colloquium up and off the ground. So he’s going to now shepherd us through a film and some discussions he has about the participation in that program that represented a—you want to go ahead? Can you run the video now, please?
VIDEO TITLE: Jerome Glenn
VIDEO CLIP OF GLENN: How can we improve our ability to think about the future? We know thinking ahead is the right thing to do; we know not thinking ahead is not a smart thing to do. But we’re now no longer isolated little entities in a village somewhere; we’re now part of a very complex global system so that we as a human species have to learn together how to think better into the future. One of the ways the Millennium Project has approached this methodologically is by identifying leading thinkers across the board—be they right-wing, left-wing, up-wing, down-wing doesn’t matter as long as they’re a cross-section of the thinking in public. We’re not doing a general opinion poll; we’re not interested in the middle of the bell curve; we’re interested in advanced thinking across the board. We send out questionnaires, and they’re translated through nodes; we have eleven nodes around the world—from Tajaran, to Beijing, to Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and various places around the world. They identify the leaders in those areas of thinkers and translate questionnaires to them and ask them, "What are the developments that in your judgment are the most important things that we ought to pay attention to that could change the nature of the future, be it positive or negative? We rate these in terms of who should take the leadership, what action should be taken on these; and then we bring these back to the nodes around the world and they identify policy-makers who have the responsibility to address these developments, and ask them for their judgments? These become one-on-one interviews that are almost like personal briefings: This is what the rest of the world thinks, Mr. or Miss Decision-maker, about an area that you’re concerned with; this is what they think ought to be done; what do you think about that? So, it becomes both a collection device on judgments from around the world from policy makers, but it also becomes a briefing for them. So, it’s a two-way process. All of this then gets put together in our annual State of the Future reports, given back to all of the participants, be they futurists, scholars, or policy makers so they can see how their though related to everybody else’s. We also use this information into organized forms of scenarios: here is how it can go with these dynamics from what people have said; here is how it could go if things work. Therefore, we do normative scenarios as well as exploratory scenarios. And, through our nodes around the world, we keep track of change in various forms and make it available on our website: www.acunu.org. And it has even a section on information we’re collecting in terms of main domains of socialization from economics, to technology, to governance, and environment, and so forth. And then, what are their issues? What are the opportunities? What are the developments? What are the various actions? What are the scenarios? And we have a whole category going across these. So, this becomes almost like a sort of a periodic table of what’s important to understand about the future in global change. So, we basically collect this information, analyze it, feed it back, analyze it, feed it back, and make it publicly available on an on-going basis. And this is our methodology for trying to improve how we think about the future.
A unique part of the methodology of the Millennium Project in dealing with all this complexity is the decentralization of our system into nodes. Nodes we have defined as groups of individuals and institutions that do the work on the project in that given region. When they do interviews, they’re doing it within that regional cultural format. They self-organize themselves in how they work slightly differently. In the South Pacific—which is a pretty large area—they have telephone calls once every month or two for coordinating their activities. In other parts of the world they’re clustered into like one city like Buenos Aires or Tokyo, so you’re a closer-knit group. I bring this up because it has been very popular to talk about chaos theory—the idea of tractors and self-organizing nodes and new groups. To some degree we’re doing experiment here: instead of the normal hierarchical system, we have these nodes that have emerged--through the original three-year feasibility study, by the way—of people who wanted to do more for the project than simply answer questionnaires. They have created their own nature; they’re creating their own relationships to some degree; and take on some of their own future studies where they are. So this is, in a sense, the idea of self-organization of human-ware around the world. It remains to be seen how well it works. Ideally, we have each of these things self-funded and self-organized, but right now they’re funded through an overall mechanism: the Millennium Project, which is under American Consul for the United Nations University. The other part of the methods that I would like to stress is that we have written a book, essentially, a 500 page book, that’s now on CD ROM for easier access, that has eighteen chapters on methods, futures methods, thinking about the future. I mentioned two of them previously. One was a scenario; and the other was the questionnaires and also environmental scanning. But there are, in our book, sixteen categories of futures methods—everything from systems modeling to cross-impact analysis, futures wheels, and other methodologies. It has an introduction giving an overview of futures thinking methods, and then, a concluding chapter of where we think methodology may be going in the future and the integration of methods. Each chapter explains what a method is, how it’s used, where it came from, how it can be used in combination with other methods, and speculation about the future of that method. Half of the sections are written by either people who invented the method, or historically significant in the evolution of that method. We now will be sending this out to people who will be critiquing it, reviewing it, and we’re going to upgrade and improve that methodology. So there’ll be a version 2.0, or so, eventually, soon. So this, in addition to the overall Millennium Project of the human-ware inter-activity and thinking together about the future, will also enter the same interactive process of making the methodologies improved as well. This is our approach so far in how we think we can improve the capacity of humans to think better about the future in terms of being able to shape it, and to anticipate it, and to act accordingly to improve the human condition.
PETER YIM AT PODIUM: …as Doug mentioned I’m in a fairly unique position because I’ve spent the last there years or so with the Millennium Project and also I’ve spent over a year with Doug, in person, now. With Doug, it goes way back. I remember it was the end of the 1980’s. I was working on my own company. I ran a manufacturing operation with a fairly strategic outlook. And I was going into computive integrated manufacturing. And soon enough, I found that we were dealing with a lot of transaction processes that needs automation, that could be integrated, but did not cover a lot of the aspects that human interaction engaging in.
SLIDE: UnRev-II: Session 3 Leveraging Our Collective Intelligence
YIM AT PODIUM: And there I had a chance to read about Doug. And I believe the first book that I came across was Irene Greif’s CSCW’s Book of Readings, and the first paper there was B. Bush as we were thinking. And the next four papers were Doug Engelbart’s; and I believe the first one that came after that was Doug’s sort of predecessor or a variant of his seminal October 1962 Air Force Report on augmenting the human intellect. I was awed; and I said one of these days I will want to meet with this person. And through a lot of coincidence I got to communicate with Doug—I mean, I can tell you later in a different setting. But in through last year, working closely with him, I come to realize more and more what he was trying to do. And I was suggesting that the Millennium Project might be a good case where we that could sort of see how one group has been doing things that are fairly similar. And, at the end of this presentation, maybe I will try to pull some parallels and provide some of my personal observations.
SLIDE: The 15 Challenges (99-SOF)
YIM AT PODIUM: Just sort of a point of order, a few people came up to me and asked what were the fifteen challenges, I mea, I just put a slide on it. You can’t read it here anyway.
SLIDE: The Millennium Project Website
YIM AT PODIUM: Other people asked me what were the website URL’s. There are two, I mean, actually, they are aliases. I mean either its millennium-project.org or ac-unu.org/millennium.
SLIDE: The AC-UNU Millennium Project
YIM AT PODIUM: And the Millennium Project’s purpose as stated in the 1992 visibility study is to assist organizing futures research; update and improve global thinking about the future; and making that thinking available for consideration in public policy making, advanced training, public education and feedback to create cumulative wisdom about potential futures. And, I believe it’s a wonderful example of how this one group has been harnessing the collective intelligence of hundreds of individuals to achieve that purpose. How should we characterize it?
SLIDE: Characterizing the Millennium Project
YIM AT PODIUM: I believe the Millennium Project is the first example of the globalization of futures research. Futures research is actually fairly new even in the United States. And to extend it across the world, I mean, from places like Africa, to Eastern Europe, to Latin America, to Asia this is fairly unique. It is an inter-institutional, multi-disciplinary, and international participatory think tank of about 550 futurists, scholars, and policy makers in 50 countries and, as Jerry was saying, organized in a distributed network of more than 11 nodes. I mean he said eleven, but I added one more; he didn’t count the United States.
SLIDE: Characterizing the Millennium Project
YIM AT PODIUM: And like the Bootstrap Community, it provides a new forum, a new environment for discourse on issues which did not seem to fall within anybody’s day job. When you really think about it, I mean, you would think the policy maker’s day job or corporate leadership, but the way our paradigm, the way we are structured, our corporations, our law making. The entire system, I mean is actually nobody’s day job. I’ll come back to this point actually later if we have time. So, if we look at them, towards what they are doing, then let’s ask the first question: What are they trying to improve?
SLIDE: What is their "Improvement Vector"
YIM AT PODIUM: Or in Doug’s terminology, what is their improvement vector? You could say that they are trying to improve "Global futures thinking." And do they have this sort of A work, B work, and C work? I mean, I’m going back to almost everything Jerry was saying in the video just now.
SLIDE: What is their A, B, &C Work?
YIM AT PODIUM: In the A work they execute their research agenda, for example, like identifying global issues, opportunities, challenges, plausible scenarios to the year 2025, et cetera, this is planned on a yearly basis. What is the B work? They try to organize themselves effectively to cope with their work; and thy collect and apply futures study methodologies. And that’s how they try to improve executing that research agenda. Do they do any C work? I would guess they do because they study how they could better organize; and they try to improve, as Jerry was saying, I mean, getting the mixed iteration on the futures methodology on improving the futures study methodologies.
SLIDE: Is it a NIC?
YIM AT PODIUM: Are they a NIC? Well, they network. I mean they do it via meetings, telephone, snail mail, courier; they have a listserv and a website. Yes, I would think they are a NIC in terms of they are a group of networked, global outlook panelists, researchers, and policy makers. And even at times, they are a NIC of NIC’s because, I mean, Jerry was mentioning that certain nodes have their own network environment doing--have their own research agenda besides just trying to execute the Millennium Project research plans. What’s the knowledge process and knowledge product?
SLIDE: Their Knowledge Process & Products
YIM AT PODIUM: Well, one thing is they have the feedback loop. They try to leverage through feedback of findings to panelists and policy makers. Their products include like an annual State of the Future Report. They have what they call the Futures Matrix. And they have Futures Methodology Book.
SLIDE: The Futures Matrix
YIM AT PODIUM: This is sort of a picture of the website where they show their futures matrix. I mean, it’s kind of difficult to see. On the left, we have things like development, questions, issues, opportunities, challenges, actions, and scenarios. And on the top, across, we’ve got: demographics of human resources, environmental changes and biodiversity, technological capacity, governance and conflicts, international economics and wealth, and integration of whole futures. This is one way they are presenting a fairly dynamic view of the information, o knowledge, they are gathering. And if every one of those sort of blue dots is clickable. And if you click into it—I mean, for example if you do technological capacity against challenges, you see all the challenges and answers in terms of technology answer that they have. So are they bootstrapping?
SLIDE: A M-P/Bootstrap Collaboration
YIM AT PODIUM: I guess we’ll have to ask Doug. But, I mean they are actually doing things that I would say would be highly synergistic. And that’s why sometime in the middle of the year I had the honor to put Doug in touch with Jerry. And sometime in November last year we came to an agreement that we would try to collaborate. And that’s why Jerry is showing up on video. He is actually going to be here next week. He couldn’t be here this week because he’s in Japan. And then, we are going to have some fairly serious meeting about ongoing collaboration. Where are the sorts of possibilities for collaboration? Like co-evolution of tools systems as well as human systems? I mean, they could definitely use a boost in technology, which is one area that some of our bootstrappers are highly interested as think about.
SLIDE: A M-P/Bootstrap Community
YIM AT PODIUM: They are content rich and have already focused challenges into major domains for us. The Bootstrap Community can actually isolate specific areas to delve into as test cases for Bootstrapping. They would offer tremendous opportunity for contribution to metaNIC’s because a lot of their methodologies would be helpful across the board for NIC’s. And more pragmatically, jointly we could tap into funding support that, possibly, neither of us alone, could access. So, through this time maybe, I mean, now that I still have a couple of minutes, maybe I’ll express some personal observations on the paradigms shift that Doug is calling us to go about.
SLIDE: PPV’s Personal Observations on the Paradigm Shift Doug is Calling for
YIM AT PODIUM: First of all, I mean, I think stands out more than anything else does, bootstrapping is holistic and not sort of reductionist approach. It calls for some openness, and for a total different attitude towards sharing, that almost needs a transformation in our culture for it to thrive. It needs to be internalized. Doug sort of complains sometimes when companies come in and ask, "What can you do for us?"
In addition, he says, "You have to be doing this for yourself." I mean, I sort of draw a parallel with this on the quality movement. The Japanese were extremely successful; we see how they take quality. I was watching CNN when they talked about the last few decades, I mean, when Japan was going strong with its shipbuilding industry. The factory managers would watch the ships launch with sort of their katana, or whatever you call the knife, in hand. I mean, if the ship doesn’t launch, they kill themselves. That’s fairly serious about quality. We don’t do it that seriously. Or, alternatively, when you internalize—I mean sometimes my kid would say he is busy, or he is sleepy or tired, or something. And, I would say, "I can’t learn this for you." Or, "I can’t take a nap for you." I mean that’s something that they will have to do it themselves; same thing with bootstrapping—it needs to be internalized.
SLIDE: PPY’s Personal Observations on the paradigm shift Doug is Calling for
YIM AT PODIUM: And, at this point, bootstrapping is still sort of, in Donald Stoke’s term, in his Pasteur’s Quadrant—this is a book, which critiques on the way that B. Bush has sort of isolated the research agenda into two poles of a basic research and an applied research. Doug’s idea is a sort of use-inspired basic research; and again, it doesn’t fall into anybody’s lap.
SLIDE: PPY’s Personal Observations on the paradigm shift Doug is Calling for
YIM AT PODIUM: And, lastly, it calls for action, and not just talk. So with this I will end the session. And I was told that it’s time for a break, too. Thank you.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: …for the second part of our session today we’re going to start out with a very interesting speaker. And he’s a good guy and probably entertaining on his own; but the topic is one that, I feel, very much turns me on. I did a study in 1958 about the scaling of electronic components and what the implications that would do on technology for information processing because I was assuming we were going to just need huge amounts of it. And that study affected me a great deal by what it taught me about the changes that happen when scales change. A lot of these changes are things that normally if you work in one scale, you just don’t think about it and you get surprised—very surprised. And it taught me that if things get smaller and smaller you shift to different kinds of technology to make a device so other things would be available that size. So then about twelve years ago I met Eric Vecksler; and he’s now a technology pursuit, and it just instantly—that’s right. So I’ve become a total believer that, that’s going to change the world immensely. So, in another channel, I met Neil Jacobstein, I am learning how to pronounce it at the end. I met him several years ago, five years ago, I guess, and got acquainted and liked him. So, he’s been involved enough with the nano technology people and with his background of different slant of interest that I think he’d just be a very, very good one here. So, I’m very, very pleased to introduce Neil Goldstein.
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: It’s okay. Pleased to be here
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Oh! Sorry.
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Many of you are already familiar with molecular nano technology concepts. For those of you who are not, I will briefly review the concepts, talk about some of the upside and applications that are possible. Then, I’ll review some of the risks that are not usually talked about in the research community. And then we’ll talk about some guidelines for the responsible development of the technology.
SLIDE: What is Molecular Nano technology?
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Currently, Molecular Nano technology is a research and development activity. It has not quite happened yet. We have 2D nano lithography, molecular electronics, lots of nano-scale activity. But, specifically we are talking about the precise, inexpensive control of the structure of matter. And, we’re talking about the ability to fabricate 3D, a periodic structures—or irregular structures—that are specified with atomic precisions, and of course, they do not violate physical laws. What we’re after is the ability to pick a place molecule exactly where we want them. I believe that when this occurs we will have a revolution in our relationship to atoms as fundamental as the computer was in transforming our relationship to bits.
SLIDE: Feyman’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom Talk at CalTech
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: This goes back, way back, to 1959 to a talk that the Nobel Prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman gave at CalTech where he talked about the "plenty of room at the bottom." Where he said: "The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom. It is not an attempt to violate any laws; it is something, in principle, that can be done; but in practice, it has not been done because we are too big." Well, it’s not clear that the reason we haven’t done it is that we’re too big. I think he was joking about that. Clearly, we have these ability examples in the biotechnology arena.
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: We have photosynthesis, which grabs carbon dioxide; cleaves the carbon, releases the oxygen, synthesizes glucose, polymerizes that glucose into cellulose; and thus, we have wood, which we use as an indigenous building material almost everywhere. You may be amazed that the reason why our houses deteriorate so rapidly is that the termites that attack our houses have the enzyme that cleaves the cellulose back to the component glucoses—we’re basically building our houses out of candy. So we also have the example of people: who start out as fertilized eggs, and nine months later turns into gurgling babies. These are examples of control at the molecular level. The state of the human technology practice, however, is much more primitive. We can manipulate individual atoms with scanning probe microscopy, but that’s currently a very primitive practice, as we shall see.
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: The applied science foundation for molecular nano technology has already been laid out. It was done so by Eric Drexler in an excellent book called, Nanosystems, in 1992. I recommend it to any of you who are interested in diving into the details. Over the feasibility debate has shifted from "Nano technology is impossible; it’s science fiction," to really a debate about "how are we going to do it; and, when is it going to happen," not "if" it’s going to happen. And for the details on the debate, I have some URL’s for you. They include IMM, the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, and Foresight.
SLIDE: We Can Move Individual Molecules with Scanning Prove Microscopy
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: This is an example from IBM-Zurich of the ability to move molecules with scanning probe microscopy. You can see in the box up at the upper left, here, we have a lattice of six molecules. They are composed of about 173 atoms. They run a scanning tip through them to break them up. And then, they reassemble them down at the bottom into—number six, here on the bottom right—into a ring structure that is not typically found in nature.
SLIDE: Seeman’s Self-Assembled DNA Octahedron
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Ned Seeman, at NYU, has utilized the sticky ends of DNA to get the DNA to self-assemble into an octahedron shape. This is actually a truncated octahedron that can be used as a platform for building other structures.
SLIDE: Buckytubes Made Out of C60 Buckyballs
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Richard Smalley’s group at Rice University has been working with Carbon60, or Buckyballs. They form Buckytubes from these Buckyballs.
SLIDE: Buckytube Used as SPM Tip
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: These tubes have amazing tensile strength. They can be used also as very sharp tips for scanning probe microscope. You can see in the slide marked A; this big structure here is the former tip of this very precise device. And, over here, we have a Buckytube that was basically adhered to the old tip using glue. And the new tip is 5 nanometers in diameter and 250 nanometers long. It is a very sharp tip.
SLIDE: Drexler and Merkle’s Design for a Planetary Gear
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Long before the capability has come into play, Eric Drexler and Ralph Merkle did some design ahead for a planetary gear at the molecular level. And they went so far as to simulate the properties of this gear. And, if you look at the Zyvex site, Ralph Merkle has an excellent set of URL’s and resources for exploring nano technology at the molecular level.
SLIDE: Molecular Assemblers
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Wet chemistry today largely depends on controlling lab conditions--like temperature, and pressure, and pH—so that large statistical aggregates of molecules will react to form some yield of reaction product. But, the central goal of molecular nano technology is to develop a molecular assembler, or a positional controller, that can act like a set of "hands" that will let us put molecular parts exactly where we want them. These assemblers could vastly increase the range of structures that we’ll be able to build. And when we get to the point of being able to build these things so that they can self-replicate, we’ll be able to drive cost down dramatically and achieve industrial-scale manufacturing.
SLIDE: Drexler’s Proposal fro an Assembler or Molecular Positional Device
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Here is a proposal from Eric Drexler on a Molecular Positional Device, an assembler. This is based on the concept of a Stewart platform, with six degrees of freedom.
SLIDE: Timing: When Will Molecular Nano technology Happen>
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: So, the question, "When will Nano technology happen?" really depends on what kind of nano technology you’re talking about. If you’re talking about nano fabrication in 2D semiconductors and some molecular electronics, and biotechnology that’s is a form of nano technology, that exists today. But the 3D, anatomically precise, pick-and-place capability is not here today. And how long it takes to arrive will depend on our capability infrastructure, like Doug has been talking about; on research funding; and on how fast the technology will evolve. If you look at the trends in computing hardware, and do an informal poll of the nano technology research community, usually the answer you’ll get is something around fifteen years from now we’ll be able to see this technology really hit hard—sometime in the 2010 to 2020 timeframe.
SLIDE: Timing: When Will Molecular Nano technology Happen?
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: It will happen. And, when it happens, society will experience explosive changes. We think we need to begin preparing for those changes now.
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: So, I’ll briefly go through applications, and information systems, building materials, medicine, environment, space industrialization, and security and defense.
SLIDE: Future Information Systems
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: When we get the capability we’ll be able to pack more power into a sugar cube sized device than the sum total of all the computing power that exists in the world today. We’ll be able to store more than 1021 bits in that same volume. We will have the equivalent of more than a billion Pentiums operating in parallel.
SLIDE: Future Building Materials
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Instead of using photosynthesis to create cellulose or wood, we could extract carbon atoms from CO2 and we could polymerize the carbon atoms into a sheet of diamondoid materials. Those materials could have a tensile strength that is 50 times the tensile strength of current metallic alloys, like titanium. This will drive down the cost of per kilogram of this kind of building materials to about 10 to 50 cents. And, it will enable us to do some things that are currently unthinkable. Whether we do these things or not will depend on our capability infrastructure and our values. But, we will be able to rebuild cities, distribute abundance, and industrialize space.
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: In the medical arena: illness and disease are caused primarily by damage at the molecular and cellular level. Molecular nano technology will enable us to build surgical tools that are molecular both in size and in their precision. We’ll be able to embed computers in these tools. And, we’ll be able to do cellular repair. Today, the inability to repair cell structure means that loss of cell function results in tissue deterioration; so, the function has to be preserved. In the future, when we develop cellular repair systems, we will be able to restore cell function if we have a blueprint, or a map, of the structure. And thus, we can use structure as a guide to restore function. That will be a real revolution in medicine.
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: In the environment arena: most pollution today is a byproduct of dirty manufacturing, transportation, and energy production. We are not picking-and-placing molecules exactly where we want them. But since molecular nano technology is atomically precise, we will have a zero emission manufacturing technology, or transportation technology, or energy production technology. If you ask Paul Urlet he will tell you that environmental impact is a function of population times affluence times technology. We know that we already have a fairly large population, over six billion, and the future of that will grow geometrically. Eventually it will level off—hopefully sooner rather than later. But any way you look at it, we have to focus on the technology end of this equation: to try to get zero emission technology for lower environmental impact. Molecular nano technology could also be used to disassemble toxic chemicals into their component parts. It could also be used to redesign our fundamental housing, transportation, and energy systems.
SLIDE: Space Industrialization
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Currently space industrialization is blocked by the high cost of vehicle and payload shooting them into space. Molecular nano technology will enable us to warrant vehicles that have a structural mass that is reduced by about a factor of 50. And the cost per pound for creating that mass will be under a dollar. So, we’ll be ale to reduce the cost of low earth orbit by a factor of better than 1,000. This came out of a NASA and National Academy of Sciences study in 1977.
SLIDE: Military Applications
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: This is a quote from Admiral Jeremiah, who is a retired vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1995 he said: "Military applications of molecular manufacturing have even greater potential than nuclear weapons to radically change the balance of power. So, if you can design and manufacture nearly everything that you can imagine, you also can design and manufacture weapons systems, or intelligence systems, security systems. So we have some risks to go with the upside opportunities.
SLIDE: Dealing with the Risks
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Dealing with the risks really means that we have to consider what the range of risks could be and think about using our newfound powers wisely. Molecular nano technology could be considered a weapon or potential weapon of mass destruction, similar to chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Or, it could be considered a potential environmental hazard because it could be interpolated into DNA or introduced into biological cycles in undesirable ways. This creates the potential for very reflexive and uninformed government regulation. They say, "Oops. There’s a risk here—let’s regulate." What we’re after is some foresight in the development of this technology. And we’re after seeing if we can educate researchers about the potential risks, introduce development guidelines, and see if we can encourage the research community to self-regulate early. This happened in 1971 in the biotechnology community; and it was done remarkably successfully with the advent of the NIH recombinant DNA guidelines. So our community, that is, IMM and Foresight communities, are focused on the unprecedented benefits of molecular nano technology; and we’re simultaneously addressing the risks—rather than addressing the risks as an afterthought.
SLIDE: Undesirable MNT Devices
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: You could look at this ellipse as representing the possible structures that could be built with molecular nano technology; you can see that some of the structures that could be built have some undesirable characteristics.
SLIDE: Biological Systems Interactions
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: And, the reasons why really have to do with fact that they interact with the biological world. Living things have co-evolved internal components and external ecological interactions; these interactions are still poorly understood. We know that, in the last century, humans have released thousands of synthetic compounds, which interact—which still interact—with organisms and ecological cycles in unplanned, and often damaging ways. So, molecular nano technology systems and products are going to interact with the biological environment. We know that know. So it’s incumbent on us to understand in advance, as best we can, how to deal with that problem. The problem is one of interacting with complex control systems that have evolved over four billion years.
SLIDE: Complex Control Systems
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Many of nature’s components are ad hoc. In some cases, from and engineering perspective, they can be improved upon. But any of our improvement has to fit with the environment. And humans have a tendency to make linear connections between point A and a big tangle of complex interactions, and node Z in that same tangle of interactions, and just draw a line from A to Z, cutting across all the cyclical interactions. That can have disastrous consequences. So what we’re after is being able o interact intelligently with non-linear, and extremely complex, control systems. This is a major challenge for our capability infrastructure.
SLIDE: Interventions Tend to Cause Problems of Tradeoffs
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: It’s difficult to do just one thing and not cause system-wide consequences. We tend to call those consequences "side effects." But they are not side effects really, they’re just effects in the system which we’re interacting with. They’re only side effects from the point of view of our linear human purposes. So, what we have to have to do is pay attention to the possibility that we may be improving the system in one dimension and degrading it somewhere else. This is something you can anticipate now. And so, what we ought to do is look at the range of possible consequences and start doing some design ahead. It’s very clear that we’ll eventually have laws that will require us to do this.
SLIDE: 1999 Foresight/IMM Monterey Workshop on Nano technology Development Guidelines
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: Long before there’ll be any laws to requiring us to think about these things—in February of 1999 a group of people from IMM and Foresight got together to produce principles and specific guidelines for the responsible development of molecular nano technology. The participants are listed here on the bottom. Tonya Jones is handling audio; she’s one of the people that joined us for that workshop.
SLIDE: MNT Development Guidelines
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: What we were after was some look ahead. We wanted guidelines that were similar to the guidelines for NIH for recombinant DNA. Those guidelines, as I mentioned before, were remarkably successful; in fact, so successful that they were relaxed over time because the researchers were too conservative in regard to their guidelines. And they found that they could be a little bit less conservative after they had gotten some experience in working with the technologies. So some examples of design guidelines would include things like, in these molecular nano-devices we could create an absolute dependence on a single artificial fuel source that does not exist in the natural environment. We could do hazardous experiments inside of a sealed assembler lab.
SLIDE: MNT Development Guidelines
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: We could make devices that could turn to an off state automatically—like when you take your foot off the pedal, it turns to an off state. And, it could depend on a broadcast transmission for replication, or in some cases, a broadcast transmission just for operation without replication. We could route control signal paths throughout a device so that subassemblies won’t function independently. We have, actually, quite a few of these guidelines; I’ve included them in an appendix to these slides.
SLIDE: Summary: Tools As Powerful As Our Problems
JACOBSTEIN AT PODIUM: So, in summary, I believe that, for the first time in human history, we may be developing tools as powerful as our problems. But, if we don’t learn rapidly how to use these tools responsibly, undoubtedly the consequences will be severe. Developing and using these tools effectively will require the capability infrastructure that Doug and Bootstrap have talked about for years. What we’re talking about here really involves tools, information system tools, to build tools and to use them wisely. Molecular nano technology will happen. And it will transform the playing field for humanity. If you’d like to participate in the dialog to help make the transition possible, join Bootstrap, Foresight, IMM, and participate in this transition. Thanks.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So anyway, this is very exciting to me. Is this on? The switch says it’s on. Anyway, I needed talk long because we’ve coerced Curt Carlson into giving an extemporaneous little talk. Now, Curt has been the president of SRI for a year now. He has been friendly about things like this and some history of working with the defense department about biotechnology hazards. And so, you want to talk from there?
CARLSON FROM AUDIENCE: ***AUDIO PROBLEMS*** Well, I….a wonderful presentation….us, and of course, the developments in biotechnology which are basically decoding us so that we can understand, basically, the information content that makes up all living things. The problem is that, as Neil pointed out, you’d like to know the interaction of the devices Neil was talking about with us. And, understanding us is a difficult problem, one of the most difficult problems we’ve ever encountered. So, we know today that people are decoding the DNA; and that’s a big job; but that’s, frankly, a trivial job. The next big job that people have started on, just begun, is decoding the differences that make up all of us, called snips. But, basically, every one of us is unique; and that needs to be understood, too. But the truth is, even when you know everything about the human genome, and everything about the variations that are in the human population, those are still trivial problems. The real problem is--what’s going on inside of us? What are the interactions? What are the biological pathways? What are all the different ways that all of those different genetic variations—what do they mean inside of us? And, frankly, you need to understand those if you want to address Neil’s concern—which is: if you’re going to build devices and put them out into the world, how are they going to interact with us as organisms. And, frankly, it’s obviously not just us; it’s every living thing on the planet. And that kind of a problem interacts really, I think, very directly with Doug and his entire theme in this conference. It’s a job that cannot be done alone; it takes cooperation around the world to address a problem of that magnitude. It requires organizations that can develop technologies and processes so you can do that better and understand it quicker. And it requires C level organizations so you can learn from what’s going on to even do those better. Now, what’s interesting though is, if you imagine you created a database--that allowed us to understand us and the implications of everything that might happen to us, and how to modify us in ways to prevent disease or just to change us to keep up with developments in nano technology--we’re talking about a very interesting database. It’s obviously the most important, valuable database that’s ever been discovered or developed in the history of mankind; it is the database of life. Now, that database can be used for lots of good things; but it also could be used for lots of bad things. And this goes back to Neil and Doug’s major point, too, which is that it’s not enough just to assume that this database will be developed. Other groups need to be brought on board and think about the use of that data in other ways—politically, socially, and morally. And I profoundly agree with Neil’s observation that it behooves all of us to start developing those relationships and confronting those issues now before they come upon us and things happen that we don’t like.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: I think I would rather listen to them. Thank you, Curt. So we try to take the scaling thing—I think it’s good for us to get hit over and over again by the scale of what’s happening. If we’re going to learn to cope with that, then the scale of our picture of how we cope with that has to be commensurate with the scale of the problem and issue. So that’s why I keep coming back to talk about strategic approach. It isn’t something that you can just walk up and attack. You’ve got to get a lot of cooperation; you’ve got to get a lot of input; you’ve got to, you know—anyway. So, many of these things did come about that it’s the collective knowledge, the collective capability within groups of people that becomes important in this case. And so, that’s why that it starts so early that I said that would be my career focus—is seeing what’s being done by that collective power. But just pursuing that alone is a scale of a challenge that’s very big. And it isn’t going to be something that you can write a proposal and get a project—10 million, 50 million, 200 million, whatever it is--it’s something that’s more akin with getting to the moon. It’s a big thing. It needs an architectural approach, and concepts and pursuits. And, it’s something, though, that would be good because a lot of the things that people assume they’d like to have in the world are going to be dependent on how collectively we can be able to handle complex, urgent things.
So anyway, in the sixties, I have to say that I sort of got jolted a little bit out of that thing. I’d been hanging on to it: that’s the pursuit for me. And so, people were talking not only about the drug scene and things like that, but openly about spiritual approach. And if the whole world became Zen or something like that, then we wouldn’t have these kinds of conflicts or problems. We could proceed peacefully, and in time to do things. In addition, I thought, "Oh, maybe I ought to give up what I’m doing and do that." But then I got to thinking that the thing about organizing the world in order to shift for that is something that requires a lot of collective action isn’t it? Oh. So very soon I was right back to where I started from. And then, when I started making a slide today, if I can find it, that was just saying, "Okay, so you can make a social organism that’s smarter. That’s good. But, how about it’s ethical nature?" How about corruption? How about all the things that human personalities get aberrantly fixed on? How about: you can be very, very, very smart, but still narrow-minded? And so, prejudice you can’t move." So anyway, many aspects of human organizations and their human conduct aren’t something you’re just going to cure by getting smarter. But, getting smarter will help us find collective solutions. That is just been-- So anyway. I think this is where I was in my sequence of slides when we shifted. See, I had this great excitement over this weekend that two days ago my laptop started making grinding noises. And I just knew if I went to work and made the slide things that they’d go down. So, I found somebody that would loan me a machine for a couple weeks--and the transfer of that. And then, I found out that there were more and more things that I needed to get tuned up in there. So Shinya Yamada—where is he hiding? There he is. He spent hours and hours and hours getting it like that, but it ended up not—we forgot to get the printer driver in there. And so, when I came down to getting all this together, I couldn’t it to print out so I could get it straight about what my sequences were. So, I was lucky to get slides today. So, how I augment me is a continual problem—especially, as I explained to you guys, that I have these recurring senior moments. Sometimes I just forget.
SLIDE: Selected reading, linked to from http://www.bootstrap.org/library.htm#…
So, assuming that this was about where I left off, what I wanted to do was point out to you people that, via the web, there are a lot of documents and papers that were written back in the sixties, and seventies, and eighties, and nineties, that bore on this thing. And some of them were quite a bit of painstaking descriptions for these and the terminology developed, and such. So, I just wanted to give you a picture here of how you can go looking for them. This URL at the top is a general one. It goes to what we call a library page in our web. And then, every entry in there has an access number on it that’s coded in as a—what’s the term? Target, tag, something like that. And so, these happen to go along with the way in which our Augment system automatically gave access or location numbers to different of the statements in a hierarchy. So, you see down the row of these things 2A1, 2A2, 2A3, 2A4.
SLIDE: Selected reading, linked to from http://www.bootstrap.org/library.htm#…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: When we extracted this from Augment it was put in there with these things as nametag; so in Augment they’re addressable. Every paragraph is addressable. And there are also conventions for addresses to go to any character, any word, anything like that. I should say while I’m at it that there are conventions in there if you want to describe a path between this link your having and some object in there, you can say something like, "Oh, I’m going to go to Christina’s file so and so down to a certain place in there, and there’s a link there. And she’s going to have that link aimed at someplace all the time. And, every time I click on this link, it’ll go there and take that one." So, they call that indirect addressing in programming. But we built that in there almost 30 years ago, I guess. It’s been a standard thing. So there’s quite a few things we built into that system assuming that we’d be much more aware of the kind of properties we’d like to have in our knowledge containers, and the functionality we’d like to have as we fly through and manipulate these things. So, from time to time we’ll introduce more of those things. Today we’re just introducing that, that library has these particular characteristics to it.
SLIDE: Selected reading, linked to from http://www.bootstrap.org/library.htm#…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: If you substitute after the # sign in this URL in the heading there this location number that’s at the end of every on of these citations, then the link on there will take you right to the library document, and right to that particular statement. And then you can choose to go click on it and see it if you want to. Unfortunately, HTML, and such, XML, I don’t know yet whether it has indirect addressing or not. Where is our XML? Does it yet have indirect?
AUDIENCE: There’s an adjunct specification called X-link that has most of the advanced linking features.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: How soon?
AUDIENCE: Actually, that’s been through several public-working drafts. There’s a recent working draft that you can get on the W3C website—that would be www.w3.org/TR, for Technical something or other, I forget, Reports, or something like that. And if you just search on Xlink, you should find it. There are two parallel things from the same group: Xlink and Xfinder. They’re hung up in the final throws of getting everybody to sign off on every feature. So, it may take another few weeks or even a month or two before those are made actual recommendations. But if you just ignore all that and take the current working drafts, you’ll probably be fine.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: John Bosack, Sun Microsystems—sort of, was the founder, I guess, of the XML working group with the World Wide Web Consortium. I’m just very pleased and honored to have him come and attend our things because, as we’ll talk about later, this thing of embedding the properties you want inside of your knowledge containers is currently the move is that they’re done by this market language, called XML, s they turn towards that—which is very good. And they coordinate it that the functionality that you want to employ in these, to go do unusual new things, is sort of separate and have depend on it. But the open source software evolution like that holds a lot of promise. We’ll talk about those things later. Meanwhile, back on the track we have here—these different documents in there.
SLIDE: Selected reading, linked to from http://www.bootstrap.org/library.htm#…>
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So it starts with a list of what’s in 1995; the 1992 article has got pretty good, explicit description through page after page of the sequence of scaling, of improvement infrastructure, of et cetera, and bootstrapping, and talking about an open hyper document system. So there are allusions to this hyper document system in our documents going back almost fifteen years, I guess, when McDonnell Douglas began to realize that there was no way that the industries could work without that sort of thing going. It’s still the kind of thing that in this collective action towards this strategy that we have to find a way for that to evolve. And, I think, there’s a little bit more than what the World Wide Web Consortium is doing today. We can talk about that later.
SLIDE: Selected reading, linked to from http://www.bootstrap.org/library.htm#…>
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So, in 1990 there was this defines explanation in this one thing of Knowledge Domain Interoperability and an Open Hyper document System, and you’ll see that. The 1988 one was a very complete description through the years of what we were developing in our laboratory. Then, the 1984 one here—the two 1984’s talked about the provisions of both collaboration and authorship, which was the basic stuff. If you want to sort of feel where I’m coming from when I talk about, "Hey, there’s bound to be a lot more you can do to make effective the knowledge management, the knowledge work, the integration of knowledge, et cetera." And, what we’re talking about today—it stems from evolving systems and applying them day after day with a lot of aspects of groups—including the software developers—that were actually doing those things. I just have huge intuitive faith that they’re there to go after, and the things we talked about, at least, should be good candidates to put out in front of doing it. So, here’s some more of these references.
SLIDE: More basic references, ‘73-’62
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: We have this secret language. These two guys, I depend upon so much. I just realize every day how much having people around whom can really get things done, that without that, I somehow tread water. So anyway, these papers are worth pursuing. So, here’s just examples of browsing in towards that library.
SLIDE: Welcome to Bootstrap Institute
SLIDE: Authorship Provisions in AUGMENT
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: You can browse to the publication sheet there; and then, you can soon get to authorship provisions. And this indicates something like we talk about. One of the provisions we’re going to have is the journal system, which I talked about before. But it’s described in this field, too.
SLIDE: Controlling the Views
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: In the things that we do in Augment, there was—right from the beginning in the mid-1960’s was the optional field control. Whenever you’re looking at any place in a document there are lots of options you begin to learn you’d like to be able to apply, and very quickly and easily. So, some of the basic ones were multiple windows, one line per statement, et cetera like that.
AUGMENT WINDOW: Augmented Knowledge Workshop
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: So we were showing you here, in the Augment windows of the form we’ve got working now, you go to that same document and you ask for a view that just shows me, "Show me the top level one line only, and for the hell of it, leave the numbers on here for that." And then, this one down here is picked down here—is clicked--on this item seven. It’s saying it wants to jump there. And, it’s also just added a couple characters for the view control. So, the next one is, you’re at seven; and you’ve got a new view. Now you click on windows with another view, under the window views, 7C—and bingo—you’re down there looking at its structure. And you say, "Okay, I want to go here." You can tell by the view spec that is off of there, "I want to see everything." So, moving around inside of there like that is just so much more flexible than scrolling is. How did I get back? All right. See—all these special views—here’s one that tells me I’m done
So, what we’re going to do next is—part of what we intend to do in here is try to develop a repository that starts to mean something. And the audience—including you people and the ones that are out there web-watching—we would like to have starting to help. So, Peter has just worked manfully, struggled hard with other volunteers putting together a prototype set of tools and conventions for an early repository that we could have that we could start doing things. So, we could start taking Neil’s, and Curt’s, and John’s links and put them in there with descriptions. There’s a whole bunch of things about what are the interesting communities out there that are going? What are people who are studying things like really interesting intellectual stuff about how you construct your thinking and how that needs to be portrayed in order to help the work? So you want to build all that. And the intent would be to build a repository and focus on the content of those kinds of things that are going no in the world, et cetera, that are important to running a NIC?
So now, we’ll switch. Since Peter had this marvelous experience inside the Millennium Project, he’s going to tell you now about the first conventions we’re establishing. Did I give you enough time?
YIM AT PODIUM: Okay. I’m going to sort of take off my futurist hat and try being a sort of system manager for a while. Maybe you want to ask, "What are you trained in?" I wasn’t trained in any of those. I was basically trained as an operations researcher, an industrial engineer, and then in business school, in organizational behavior and personnel management at that time. I guess you’d call it "human resources" now. But I’ve been with systems a long time. I’ve been an entrepreneur, started companies, ran a software factory that had like 250 programmers. And so, I find it a challenge to try to sort of get things going in a way that maybe would come slightly closer to what Doug wants.
SLIDE: Un-Rev II: Session 3
SLIDE: Collective Intelligence in Action
YIM AT PODIUM: So, going back to this slide, I mean, this is what he terms as the DKR. It’s the set of recorded dialog, intelligence collection, and Knowledge Product. And I understand from Doug, and from Marcello—I get highly enlightened these few days that I’ve been trying to put this together--that this whole thing is an interactive process, with multiple feedback loops.
SLIDE: The Prototype-DKR
YIM AT PODIUM: So, this is sort of the prototype, at least the basic pieces, that I believe needs to be put together. We had a team, some of our members are here—Frode, Tanya, Shinya over there, and Doug, Norm Hardy, and a whole bunch of people working with us. Essentially we need to put together a front end, a back end, some processes to get us started, seed contents, services, and architecture—eventually, I mean, we don’t have one put together—and then, a current status. What is a current status? That’s Doug’s terminology—I mean, his terminology, his handbook—but then could be an encyclopedia, goals, plans, and comments.
SLIDE: Relationship between DKR and CoDIAK
YIM AT PODIUM: But essentially, this is another view of how. We’ve got an external environment, inputs in terms of and dialog and intelligence collections, some sort of an integration process, and then, sort of a knowledge product with a status, constantly available and dynamically changing. We’ve got the user-interface systems that would provide different views for different users. And this whole thing in the box is the DKR, and the process of it—the concurrent development, integration, and application of it, this Doug’s CoDIAK. Sometime in September, Doug and Christina drew on the board what they wanted.
SLIDE: The Prototype for DKR Platform Consideration
YIM AT PODIUM: We could put these requirements on the web for everyone. But essentially they got like: open, evolvable, integratable, cross-platform, scalable, persistent knowledge base, persistent interlinking, provision for migration—I mean, it has to be off the shelf, but then it’s migratable into something; it goes on. And, I tried to mimic those things by trying to grab what we have that’s off the shelf to, at least, get us started. So far we’ve got at least the input part of it in place, hopefully.
SLIDE: The Prototype-DKR Front End
YIM AT PODIUM: And this is where we stand. I mean, we’ve got the Bootstrap and Colloquium participant community here. And then, of course, we’ve got our colloquium session, which is offered on campus, on the web, over microwave television. And then, with each session, we’ve actually got like Doug’s talk, some guest speakers, live participants, and with those, we actually have three products that are coming out.
SLIDE: The Prototype-DKR Front End
YIM AT PODIUM: We’ve got audio-visual that’s archived, that’s available as archived on the net. We’ve got slides that are coming alongside with them. And then, we’re actually going to have transcripts of all the conversation, all the dialog. Eventually we might even work on synchronizing all of those. And then, most of you are probably aware that we’ve got a weekly questionnaire with some questions related to each session and some requests for feedback. And then, we’ve also put together an online forum, under the mailing list, called unrev-II@onelist.com and that’s the sort of the user interface that you’re seeing. Behind unrev-II, actually we’re sending it through hyper mail so that each episode of the discussion is now sort of converted to HTML and they are all linkable. This is sort of how the AVD and the archived colloquium looks like—for those of you who’ve been on the web cast, that’s what you’d get, I mean, on a good day.
SLIDE: The Online Forum Frontend
YIM AT PODIUM: And, going to the online forum, for those of you who have joined, this is the sort of off-the-shelf, free of charge, live with the advertisement type mailing list platform that we are sending people to. Why are we doing it? We’re doing it because they’ve got administrative services that will save us a lot of time in providing our own. What else do we do with it?
SLIDE: The Online Forum
YIM AT PODIUM: Of course, it provides threaded discussions. It supports link contribution; any user can submit links that are sharable. People can upload files to the shared space, file space. And then, it provides a polling and survey capability. And as I mentioned, we are making it linkable via hyper mail. So, all the episodes of the discussion will be available as linkable hyper documents.
SLIDE: Link Submission (via ONElist)
YIM AT PODIUM: This is the screen—I don’t think anybody has any submitted links yet. I mean, this is the screen where you could be submitting links.
SLIDE: File Contribution (via ONElist)
YIM AT PODIUM: This is one screen that is sort of put together for people to submit sharable files. Hilary Lamont, our online TA, who’s also coordinating the online content on the DKR, actually has opened up various folders. Like, I mean: one folder for the NIC"s frontier, one folder for augmenting organizational intelligence, organizational capabilities, one folder for leveraging our collective intelligence, and so on. I mean, roughly corresponding to the weekly sessions that we are topic under.
SLIDE: Surveys/Polls via ONElist
YIM AT PODIUM: This is another screen, a survey screen that the list owner can actually be sending out surveys on email. And people could vote or take polls on it; and it would be instantly available.
SLIDE: The Discussion Archive through Hyper mail
YIM AT PODIUM: This is the screen where we have most of the online discussions captured, by virtue of the use of hyper mail. Unrev II is sort of all the threaded discussions available and could be sorted by thread, by user, by sender, by dates, and so on.
SLIDE: The Session Questionnaires
YIM AT PODIUM: So, what else? The weekly questionnaire—a lot of you are familiar with this screen. What we have put together after each session—this week’s questionnaire will probably be out tomorrow—I mean, we will have a questionnaire that pertains to each session. And, for those of you who have answered the previous surveys, or questionnaires, you will notice that an online feedback is available instantaneously.
SLIDE: Responses to the Questionnaires
YIM AT PODIUM: The verbatim replies are taken out, I mean, we still need some processing probably to put them online for everybody’s reference. So far, we’ve put it away in lack of the sort of enough bandwidth to deal with them, but it will be available soon. So, what are the seed contents? I mean, Doug was showing us the Bootstrap library of all the documents that have been developed through the years, I mean, starting as early as the ’62 paper.
SLIDE: (Seed) Content
YIM AT PODIUM: The Bootstrap library will be available on the unrev-II postings, will be available—actually you could now access it through the dougengelbart.org/colloquium/forum/discussion. This area is password protected for all of you who have access to the web cast and you have access to this directory. It’s the same pair of use name password that allows you to get into the web cast. The reason why we are doing it is a lot of people are using their real name, and we’d just hate to have some spammer come in and mine the whole mailing list of the community. So, it’s under sort of a fairly simplistic authentication process. We will be making excerpts from the 1999 State of the Future Report available I promise staff that will get it on the off-line format so that it will be anchored and addressable, not in terms of the document, but in terms of every single paragraph. The State of the Future Report is a very dense document; and I think it give a good demonstration of the real need to access inside the document—rather than just telling people "this is the URL for the document." When it’s a 50-page document, it’s close to being meaningless. Responses to questionnaires, as I said, that will be made available once the team or some of us have the time to work on it. Services that we are getting between ourselves, and a lot of it is supplied by the ONElist mailing list, is like membership administration.
YIM AT PODIUM: There’s a group calendar, which also provides a reminder. For those of you who have actually signed up on the unrev-II mailing list, you probably got a reminder yesterday telling you that the session is on today. I mean, that’s automatic; it saves us a lot of time. Survey and Poll results, again. And, Shinya, over there, has just put together our search capability. And, once that’s becoming available, we’ll be advising everyone through the website. The search would be for the colloquium sites, the DKR site, and the library site. The DKR site is password protected; the colloquium and the library sites will be publicly accessible. Of course, the Bootstrap site will be open and available. That’s sort of the membership screen.
SLIDE: Where Do We Stand Now?
YIM AT PODIUM: That’s the calendar screen. And, where do we stand now? At the colloquium last week I was telling everyone that we had like 987 registrants; as of yesterday, we’ve got 1,243 registrants. On campus we’ve got like maybe—the first session we got a big crowd, about 85 people. We were sort of overwhelmed—this room. Session two and today we’ve got roughly about 50 people. We’ve got about 100 people responding to the first web cast survey. I mean, that was a test and also a drive to try to help people get onto the web cast smoothly. We‘ve got about 94 people responding to the first session questionnaire, and 71 to the second session questionnaire. 120 people have joined the online forum now, of which 24 of them have made postings—I mean, sort of a total of some 64 postings, 61 was the count as of last night. Obviously there is a discrepancy between registrants and the people who have joined the community. So, since I am online, I would like to sort of call to everyone who has registered for the course, that participation through the online forum is very useful and will probably be a part of active participation. So, please join us there. Also, filling in the survey is a requirement for the course. So please take note.
SLIDE: Calling for
YIM AT PODIUM: So, what do we need? Doug was saying we need a lot of support. I mean, obviously, we need content contribution—I mean, there will be no dialog if nobody speaks up. And then, pass that, we need administrative support: maintenance, database, and version control system. We need architecture and design ideas. We have actually formed two teams in preparation for the colloquium. One we call the infrastructure development team, which looks at the technology and processes—which Frode, and Tonya over there is part of the team, Shinya, too. And then, we need a content development team. We’ve got Hilary, Marcelo with this team, we need people who work on the knowledge. If we were to come up with a handbook, or an encyclopedia like knowledge product, we need people to be editors, I mean, to filter and integrate those knowledge.
So, essentially, that’s where we stand in regards to the prototype DKR. Back to Doug.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Thank you very much. It’s sort of an abstract plan to say that sometime, if there ever is going to be a move like this, someplace it has to start. And, we tried to get it started in the past by writing proposals. Somehow, peer-review drops the potential, apparently, of what we’re doing with that. But some way, we’re just hoping we can start. And it will be small and primitive, but we can get people going on it and staying focused on collecting and integrating the kind of knowledge that’s what will be needed to support NIC’s. Seems to be the best place and it’s the best strategy like that, so that’s what we’re doing. So anybody who really is interested in kicking off NIC’s in this world, a NIC kick—I don’t know, but anyway. Maybe we can get some resources—people resources and dollars. And no one knows how much it would cost to set up a trial system like this; it really does stay dynamic for a reasonable knowledge domain like what we’re talking about. The estimate could be saying, "Well, you could spend a million dollars a year, or 5, or 20 million dollars a year." I don’t know of anybody who’s got enough of a grasp around the dynamics of that problem to know. So, it’ll be just very useful just to build one, and especially if the knowledge product you’re trying to produce is really useful.
So anyway, next week we talk more about this open hyper document system thing and some of the dimensions on which it’ll have to be established in order to get the evolutionary situation under control. Maybe that’s a bad term—"getting the evolutionary situation under control." It is just; getting it so it’s operating in a well evolving way.
So, we’d like to have people stay around and talk. We like the dialog; we like to know where your heads are. Does anyone have any particular question? We have a few minutes. Will you use the microphone so that people out in the world can hear?
AUDIENCE: Sure. I believe that you have…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Identify yourself please.
AUDIENCE: I am Marcus Kromenocher. I have mainly an interest in nano technology—biochemistry and computer science backgrounds. I think last week you mentioned that occasionally you still are using the NLS Augment system, so that raises the obvious questions: on what platform does that run nowadays? You know, could we get a hold of a copy of it? Could we see a demo of it’s advanced capabilities? I think that would be a really great demonstration of what kinds of capabilities have been around for a long time that we still generally lack.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: We thought about doing demonstrations during the colloquium, but it turns out that the dynamics of that wouldn’t propagate out there. So for local people we probably will. And if somebody could get a video record way of that, that would be beneficial. The platform is now--the last implementation of it was running on a deck 20, which was a 1970 machine that lasted for a decade. So, some very good, supportive friend—and some other reason—he made an emulator that runs in UNIX that emulates that machine. So every machine instruction has to get interpreted through a whole bunch of sequences, itself; and yet still it runs twice as fast now on a reasonable Sun workstation as it did there. And newer ones are going faster. So, we keep it alive. And Christine and I, and a few others use it every day. It’s just hard to give up. And, we could give a demo, which would be very, very good. We’ve done that in the past; and several times, for a week we say, "Come, and we’ll start showing you." So, through the day we cycle through about five times. We show them some features; we let them play with it. And, it takes a whole week; and, it’s still not done, but they’ve learned enough. So, we could give demos.
AUDIENCE: What about your…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Would you identify please?
CROCKER FROM AUDIENCE: Dave Crocker. What about your demonstration tape from the sixties? That you did at Ifit conference, or I can’t remember exactly…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: No, that was the Fall Joint Computer Conference. We have that and another one a year later, and several others we’ve done in the past.
CROCKER FROM AUDIENCE: That might be something that could go out over the air.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Yeah, we’d be happy to do that.
AUDIENCE: I was actually wondering just the other day whether it was possible, and how it would be possible to obtain copies of that video.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Oh, yeah. The ’68 video we’ve been having on hand and we could reproduce for people for a price.
AUDIENCE: Doug, you might actually make some money off this.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Right. But, it is be fun to, next week, to tell you a little more about the kind of things it can do. And the very fact that we got it structured in a hierarchical form opens up things you can do—like it’s very easy to sort and stuff. You can sort all the brothers and sisters along with something. Well, then you can do content analysis very simply and easily. Well, you can sort all the content analysis, so pretty soon you learn the tricks. You can sort on the dates even though the dates are mixed in position in a paragraph. Okay, we’d like to try that. So, after this series we might schedule some demos. It’d be good for us to do that.
AUDIENCE: Marcus Kromenoecher. Kromenoecher, Mark. Is it being possible for this emulator to get downloaded, or the source code to be made available so that it can be ported to Lynx, as well?
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Well, it belongs to a private party, and we could ask him what he wants to do with it. He did it for a commercial, hoping he could sell it. And, he sort of gave it to us to use, but we’re not free to give it. I think he has it running on Lynx now, which would be very easy. And you get a faster machines that we have and it would be—flash. I’ll bring the key set we have to use; that’s the option that makes it really fly. Okay, your name?
ARMSTRONG FROM AUDIENCE: Eric Armstrong. One of Peter Yim’s slides mentioned KQML. And, I was wondering—what is that?
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Use the microphone.
YIM FROM AUDIENCE: It is not my slide, but I’ll take it.
JACOBSTEIN FROM AUDIENCE: Knowledge Query Manipulation Language. It’s part of the Darpa program; it was developed under Darpa auspices. And, it’s an inter-agent query language.
ARMSTRONG FROM AUDIENCE: Does it look like Sequel? Or does it look a whole lot better? Or, what can you say about it?
JACOBSTEIN FROM AUDIENCE: It is built on a set of primitives for communication and you can look it up on the web. There’s quite a bit available on it.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Next week we’re talking—excuse me—next week our special focus is on the technology. We try to make it so that a lot of it stays general enough it gives non-techie people the feeling for some of the potential and some of the architectural issues that would come about to try to do it that are different from today’s. And then, the techie people can get delicious because we have a mix of people with different backgrounds. The thing will be to conduct that group through a meaningful thing. Really the thing is: What’s the potential for really boosting the kind of power that skilled and trained people can employ in doing their knowledge work? And I just feel like it’s very much higher than today. You can just look at very different ways that you approach the stimuli you give your sensory apparatus with signals that can be converted by your perceptual apparatus into this symbol association that language provides. But language as we use them now, evolved in very noisy, different environments—different from the environments you can create when interacting with the technology. And also, many aspects of that—that they could only employ certain kinds of sensory motor and perceptual apparatus that you’re using. So there, just seem to me, that you stepped out the side a little bit, and just opened the gate for what you could really go out an explore. And I’d be willing to bet you that, in 20 or 40 years, you’ll find high-performance people that can just walk away from us like—I don’t know—a jet plane. There’ll be a great deal of difference. And, computer interface people can open the doors into more. Anyway, these are my feelings, and intuition; and I’m betting on it. So, we have to close the gate—you’ve got another one?
GOLDMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Yeah. Ron Goldman. I’ve got a question. When you talk about C level organizations, I’ve got a confusion in my mind because when you talk about them as a C level organization, you talk about they’re for improving improvement; and that makes sense. But then, earlier when…
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: No, it’s improving the capability to improve.
GOLDMAN FROM AUDIENCE: Okay. And then, when you talked earlier, when you sort of sketched out the landscape of what’s happening and where the organizations sit, you talk about a scouting function—being able to scout out the new domain. And those seem to be, to me anyway, to be two separate functions. And I’m wondering if they’re two separate functions to you, or if you see them as being the same.
ENGELBART AT PODIUM: Well, what C is there to do is to help improve the B capability to do its change? So, scouting that future is part of it—to help know where you want to go--and also helps sort of say that by case studies and experience out there, you see that if you want to get there, probably the best way is like this. And then, actual--the sort of operations like you need a wagon with seven oxen. How do you get there? So, that’s something that will be more and more expensive to get—and doing it collectively.
Okay, I think you’ve been good. People who want to stay around, we’d like to talk. Okay?