Engelbart Colloquium at Stanford
An In-Depth Look at "The Unfinished Revolution"
Session 6 Tape 1
February 10, 2000
Engelbart: Welcome to session six of "The Unfinished Revolution". As you will see, this session is gradually scaling up, as sort of a scale of sizes of considering things within the strategic framework that we are talking about. But before we get into this, we have a short announcement by Peter Yim.
Peter Yim: This is in response to the questionnaire in which people wanted to have access to the slides even after the live event. First of all, the slides are available along with the archived webcast. Now weíve also worked it out with Stanford so that the links to the slides are also available even when the webcast is moved from live to archived, so if you go to the webcast access page all of the previous slides will be available shortly, as well as the live ones. The other thing I needed to say is I apologize for the delinquency of getting last weekís questionnaire out, I was sick most of the week. Session five questionnaires are out now. Session six isnít, and hopefully before the weekend I will get that one out as well. Thank you.
Engelbart: Thank you, Peter. One of the interesting thing that is happening to me personally, over the course of this is I keep groping about who is it. I am really addressing I know that there is a spectrum m of interests and knowledge background. I keep being oriented so heavily about the scale of strategy so I am going to start right out hitting that again, and if it somehow seems to people, "oh he said that before", its that year after year for the last 40 years the trouble that I run into besides not being organized and incoherent things like that, is that is it very hard to get people to think about the kinds of changes that really are there to go after and that are really going to happened for us. So this is just over and over again. When at times like what we are facing now that is really coming bout us is that change is just monumental. It is going to come we really have to get used to cracking out heads open about what is likely to happen and what we need to think about if we are going to facing that or we are just going to get swallowed, hit by a tidal wave. So I start off that again this session so please donít go to sleep.
Slide: Orienting for huge "solution scale"
Engelbart: We start out by early introduction about the Millennium Project and the various earnest things that have been going on for about three or four years. About really surveying among a lot of distributive parties around the world: how to isolate what the major challenges are for mankind as we come into the new millennium. Itís just a beautiful work in that respect. And you look at the fifteen problems and you realize hey, that has to be addressed collectively. And more and more we are going to see that the major issues that are extremely important have to be dealt with collectively. So we come to the conclusion that if we donít get smarter about working collectively, we are going to be in trouble. That is the pursuit that has been driving me over the years how do we actually get mankind smarter, and work collectively. The emergence of the computer and particularly interactive computer just opened a brand new door and so the picture we developed so far that the scale of the impact of the technology is going to be explosive about smaller, faster, cheaper and invading so many application areas. So anyway, that just creates an avalanche. So the scale of that raises itself a big challenge and so then the challenge that we take up would be how do we get to be more effective collectively about dealing with complex problems. Oh we realize, that problem too is at a scale that is not unusual for man and people, to say letís collectively go after something of that scale. That seems to me a very critical issue for mankind that we start facing that. And if there is a chance to boost our collective capability then lets go after it. So thatís year after year what I have been working on and coming up with ideas and fitting them together. Getting them knocked down, passing them out sorting them out myself, etc....
So that is what I am trying to get across in this colloquium, that is what I call " the unfinished revolution", not "the unfinished revolution" that is not e commerce, that is going to part of it but it is e brained or e thinking activity. So anyway, in this "unfinished revolution" the assumption is that it is only going to succeed if it finds a truly scaleable strategic approach to this problem. So in talking about strategy and scalability, we get beyond where the normal dialogues are that we are all used to be dealing with. That creates problems for me to explain it, for me to find a formulation that seems to work. But above all what is my need is getting people first of all face to face and then more or less distributing to be in continuing dialogue to work out a lot of the domains and get consistency in the respective and try to find ways so that if this persists as a viable strategy and trying to make the valued propositions to the various segments of society that are going to have to get in gear and do something about it. So the basic aim is to produce an appropriate evolutionary environment.
Slide: Basic Aim: Develop an Appropriate, Evolutionary Environment
Engelbart: Then weíve introduced the idea of improvement infrastructures, were talked about the concept of a social organism that is a way of representing a way to think about human organization. These organisms like other organisms are going to evolve. In response to a lot of different pressures but also internal perceptions and what they can see about the world too. What are their options they have for evolving which ones have particular values that they appreciate that they can go be better? So the big thing about the internal infrastructures is to produce better visibility for all the different evolving organisms. They need to participate in that, because it is not something that can be dictated from outside. So in working collectively together to get those perceptions: whereís best to go, what is happening out in the world, where should my organization move, also how should it move. This is also something that collective operations can help so this C and B concepts that we have raised, fit into a sense like that. We get this evolution of ever more improvement infrastructures, and that they evolve into an interoperable global infrastructures.
Slide: Basic Aim: Develop an Appropriate, Evolutionary Environment
Engelbart: What we need is fairly global solutions about the way we deal with collective things; we have to have an improvement infrastructure that gets global too. Social Organisms have best informed choices for their evolutionary targets and the best options for implementing their evolutionary steps. So thatís kind of the idea. So again will just go through some of these terms. Capability infrastructure, as we have talked about in the past, well then there is a capability improvement infrastructure that is trying to improve the capability infrastructure.
Slide: Huge Goal, Heavy Challenge- Strategic Framework Required
Engelbart: And the basic concepts of the infrastructure with the A, B, and C activities. And we talked about when you pool the C activities you get a C community. Then collective IQ is in there, as a very basic set of capabilities that help you do that, infrastructure improving. Then we have isolated a set of the capabilities we call them CO-diak, a cluster of capabilities that are easy to focus on rather than saying collective IQ.
Slide: Cont. Huge Goal, Heavy Challenge- Strategic Framework Required
Engelbart: There will be more capabilities components then the CO-diak that will be in the factors about how you do better, collective IQ. And of course you can create a very smart organism, but if it is not stable emotionally or something like that youíre in trouble. So how do you deal with that, emotional stability within organizations? You see things where people just massacre under groups of people, which have been happening in the last year, and you think that they may be collectively intelligent, but they are certainly insane collectively. Which this can happen. We talk about the dynamic knowledge depository as being a sort of basic core factor in the CO-diak. The most visible sort of thing. It may turn out that there are others that are important at that, but itís something that we have grabbed on and said that is a very important thing. The basic components of those emerged many years ago for me as saying that we have to manage and record the dialogue thatís meaningful. At the outset you donít know what is going to be meaningful, so you better get into the practice of recording and interlinking it doing all the stuff of managing the dialogue that is going to be important. And then you also have to keep track of the outside world and what is happening there, so you have an intelligence collection. Then these things have to be integrated so that at any one time you have a coherent picture of the state of things.
Slide: Cont.: Huge Goal, Heavy Challenge- Strategic Framework Required
Engelbart: So that is why the integration part of Co-diak and develop, integrate and apply the knowledge. It has got to be integrated so that itís most useful applicable. So these are things that just put out there that are important. So we say can significantly sized groups of people really improve that? We donít see any basic reason why. So a strategy because it is a complex problem we get the improvement infrastructure. Now we start learning how to improve it with the CO-diak capabilities so that leads us to the boot strapping sense. So explicitly plowing back into improvement infrastructures the best current improvements in relevant capabilities emerge from what you are doing. If you get fed from a consultant about how you should change, you are not doing the boot strapping. The bootstrapping is way out there someplace and how the consultant gets in there. It is a feed back loop. We need to think more about boot strapping. Next is networking. So what constitutes a NIC?
Slide: Bootstrapping: a critical component in that Strategic Framework
Engelbart: This is something we will talk about today. So we have a number of improvement communities and whether or not they are NICS or not, they are candidates for being a NIC. And we hand selected them because they have special characteristics that make them appealing to be recruited. The job that it is a NIC is a multicomponent community of people that work together pooling their C type of activities, so that they can boost their own C and B capabilities of knowledge and experience. If they start using the Co-diak explicitly then they can be in a NIC. And so there are organizations that can start calling themselves NIC. You are not going to argue about it unless you have a more refined term for it. Letís back away from confrontation of that sort and say that the next step of the strategy is a NIC of NICS. You may get much more leverage with that. This is a NIC where the members themselves are NICS and they are pooling together so they can help in a C community feedback way so that they can improve their abilities to be active NICS. Thatís the ones we are trying to get most interested in with that, so we have a term for that. Someone facetiously said this a couple of years ago, you know boot neck but we donít have another term for it yet. Thatís just saying they are bootstrapping if they belong to an active MetaNIC and they are feeding stuff back and we are all contributing to that MetaNIC so we all know how to be a better NIC. So they are NICS that are bootstrapping. That is the key to the whole strategy.
Slide: BootNIC: A NIC member of a MetaNIC
Engelbart: Pooling their C level knowledge is an important part. This provides both knowledge and experience. This is often something people get excited and overlook. The knowledge depository is everything. Itís the way you manage the evolving knowledge base but the ability to get people to make the knowledge really workable and get the experience in working with the processes and methods that really produce this effective is another step. So you canít just have on-line distribution and knowledge base and know that you are going to get the bootstrapping effect that you want to have here. So the NIC has to be more dynamic than that. So this here is one of my very favorite diagrams.
Slide: Harnessing explosive technology depends to a degree, on the "Capability-Improvement Capability"
Engelbart: It really puts together a lot of factors here starting with the basic capabilities that humans have to depend upon. And the human that does not have any training, education, or socialization at all canít fit into its augmentation system. It does not know how to apply all of the tools. It does not know what kind of processes and methods, customs, and skills, etc...They are essentially helpless. Each human system that they get conditioned and trained for is in their socializing. They have to be conditioned so that they can work with people and teens and know the customs. Like what constitutes supportive bonding. They have to have processes like that so that they are integrated into the way a person gets introduced and puts on this system. Then you get further into it and realize the capability of any individual l and organization is constituted by some infrastructure.
Slide: Same as above.
Engelbart: Itís not some ridged thing. There are lower level capabilities down here that are absolutely vital to anything above them. Like the ability to read and speech, there are many others. Knowing how to do things. The infrastructure is where I would like people to untangle and point out what those infrastructures look like and some of the inter-relations between them. One sub-infrastructure part of it is that which can make for improving the capability of the rest of the infrastructure. That capability improving is very important. Then we go on to talk about the collective IQ of something like that. This is a figure that we have shown before.
Slide: Collective Intelligence in Action
Engelbart: Many nodes within an organization need to cross talk. They need to have a dynamic knowledge depository thatís been implicit locked in the past so technically explicit in dealing with the outside world like this.
Slide: SOís Capability-Improvement Infrastructures
Engelbart: We get this idea of saying well, the social organisms that are sitting there, if they start pooling the kinds of outputs that they can create like resources and knowledge etc...That can come back and serve their capability improvement infrastructures, and then youíve got a community bootstrapping effect. So that is the basic idea of improvement communities and NICS will join that. The problem is trying to convince people about the value of this thing and give them instances of this kind of thing. In todayís marketplace it is very hard. So if any of this is going to work itís got to start from the ground up. How do we get communities of people striving to develop this concept or something else that may be better?
Slide: Networked Improvement Community ("NIC")
Engelbart: So hereís what we call the NIC. If that was a NIC where different organization served different customers or clientele are pooling their C knowledge like that.
Slide: Key.... "Concurrent" Evolution of DKRs
Engelbart: If they are doing that then you look at a large organization is made up of smaller ones. Each of the smaller ones has to have their own dynamic knowledge depository. But not only that, they are working concurrently and there has to be a composite. What ever the cluster organization needs to have for their knowledge has to be concurrently evolved from the compliments of all the others. That is a challenge. That is the same thing that NICS and MetaNICS need to do. So you just model the whole thing that way. This evolution has to take place as a complex thing. Communities and parties have to deal with different factors.
Slide: Developing improved Evolutionary Environments...
Engelbart: Just saying that there is going to be one representative of the community deal with the tool system and dealing with the human system isnít going to be enough. There are many other interesting disciplines, capabilities, and concerns that are mixed into that. So there will have to be for a while, quite a few communities represented in these different parts. They will have to learn to work together. So you could take it like a matrix organization like an aerospace program. You have one big project vertical then you have the big functional capable units horizontal like the draftsmen and designers. And so forth. There will be a sign to different segments of this project like a matrix. It may well be the different communities are like those functional things that have to represent different things of interest moves. They need to be involved as communities with other communities that are working on specific challenges about how you improve things. That multiplicity of evolving things, that factors into this co-evolution and it really takes place as a complex thing.
Slide: Recruiting, enlisting, creating appropriate communities is a critical task....
Engelbart: So recruiting, enlisting, creating appropriate communities is a critical task in launching a bootstrapping Improvement Infrastructure. There are selection criteria for considering which of the limited initial resources you can have for putting up some of these NICS together and getting them going because it is going to take unusual funds. Which ones do you want to pick so that when you are working with them you get the best leverage. There was a paper that I wrote about some of those things in Ď72 that had a big influence on me.
Slide: Discipline-Or Mission-Oriented Community
Engelbart: We are favored today to have a speaker that is a long time acquaintance of mine. Howard Rheingold. He wrote a chapter about me and we are still friends. He has been working here for two decades and he is going to be giving a talk. This is a mouse, an apple mouse, it only has one button.
Slide: Howard Rheingold
Rheingold: I went and spoke with CEOís and watched them come up and operate the mouse. Many of them said well how do you work this thing. They will die and that will go away. This is a slide that is my web site. Iím not sure where the intersection is between what I do and what Doug does is. One way I was thinking about that when I was watching Doug explain things. Doug is doing this from the top of his head. I am going to talk about the things that I have been doing by the seat of my pants for quite a while. I stumbled into it. I met Doug because when the personal computers came out, I was convinced that there was a way to write with them not knowing that there were some people who were using these things called text editors. Via Xerox Park, I found out about these things and about Doug and that led me to write tools for thought. I remember the day I was driving on the 101 and feeling like my life was going in a new direction because I had met this person. There are probably others of you out there that have had this kind of experience. It was not the kind of thing that was prescribed. I started thinking about things and got a personal computer and word processors came along. I heard about the stuff that was going on with ARPnet but wasnít qualified to participate in. So I discovered the bulletin board systems around. There was something called The Source, about 1982-83, when I first started messing with this stuff. Then there was The Well, which was less expensive. The cyberspace is really a social place. I started looking for information, but really found people. Stayed there for quite a while. I wrote another book called The Virtual Community about all that. With both the books: Closer Thought, which I talked about Doug, and The Virtual Community, I revisited and re-interviewed people and have updated them and they are coming out by MIT Press. It was not long before I spent many hours staying on-line. Like many people who got drawn into this business of communicating with people on-line, I had some conflict with my wife. She felt it was strange that I was communicating with these invisible people. I would be laughing or crying and found myself alone in the room. In the book I tell the story of one night when my wife found a tic on my infant daughterís head and itís not really a big medical emergency. But it was our first baby and thereís this gross floating insect sucking your babyís brain, you want to communicate this with someone. My wife called the p and I logged on to the web. I got a look from my wife. I went into the parenting conference and found a discussing about medical problems. I posted a quarry and fortunately got an e-mail reply from someone who I knew to be a legitimate medical authority. I had removed the tic by the time the physician called my wife back. That is the beginning. Our infant daughter is now a teenager, and she does instant chat, Internet conference calls, and chat, and then claims that she is doing her homework. She gets good grades, she is doing her homework. A number of different experiences, many of them voluntary, some of them commercial enterprises, done for myself or others, I probably started 15 other virtual communities. To some extent, what I am involved in now are consciously improvement communities. With our ability to collectively be knowledge resources, as a writer, this has been an incredibly valued resource.
Slide: Cyberspace is a Social Place
Rheingold: It has been part of my life just to put a question out there and get an answer back from someone who I have never heard of or met before. There are issues about the quality of that information. We were doing this for a good decade before the web came along, and search engines came along. And combine that information with the ability to sift through the information that is out there with the capability of a group to do a collective knowledge gathering. A gift economy of providing questions and answers. I donít think it would be possible for me to do the things that I have without having that. A lot that I tried to write about it is not something that I have formulated and abstracted as Doug has. It has been things that I discovered by the seat of my pants. More consciously I am involved in trying to raise the bar of the kind of discourse that can happen in a many to many, synchronous, asynchronous, multi-media kind of community atmosphere. The kinds of communities that Doug is talking about that are designed can be informed from what we learn from these informal communities. That are only grown and partially designed. In order to grow them you have to know them and be inside and know what is required. Some of what is required is somewhat onerous. As all attempts to deal with diverse humans who communicate with each other regularly. People have conflicts, the fact that you are disembodies. No one can punch you in the nose for what you say. It does create the possibility for a lot of misunderstandings. As you get more and more involved with this type of communications, the lack of cues goes away. But as long as you are not in the same room with people means there are going to be a lot of exacerbated social problems. How a group deals with those problems is a book right there. Aside from what our intellectual goals are for participating in a distributed community, we are social beings and we are going to have to deal with these personality conflicts. Doing it governs framework that is more or less fair. Or the people will go away. The media itself is evolving rapidly. Before it is words on a screen in user net style BBS or and irisy or chat room synchronous activity.
Slide: (Repeated) The Social Web
Rheingold: Now we are seeing increasingly millions of people having access to what Doug cooked up decades ago. The video, the synchronous, the asynchronous, the search capabilities, and the voice, all in the same environment. We have had the telephone for close to 100 years and still, people abuse it daily. Our social literacy about communication technology lags the capabilities of the technology thatís not gone away. Maybe itís because people are aware that it is an invisible cloud of social norms that surrounds any technology that involves humans communicating. That we are more able to raise the awareness of those norms. This paramedic story on Internet is the use net and the September net that never ended. It used to be that every September a lot of freshmen would get access to the Internet and use net. They wouldnít read the facts and they wouldnít understand the etiquette. The people that participated in that community too the time to teach them the norms because the more people on hand that understand those norms, the more valuable the community is to everyone. Itís a collective good and commons. When people understand how they can contribute to it, rather than just take out it becomes increasingly valuable. AOL dumped several million people to use net, with out any instruction or etiquette. That became known as the September that never ended. In that community, it may be that what kept Usenet signal the noise ratio totally manageable and a community for decades, broke down. People were overwhelmed by the people who were coming aboard. Normís people voluntarily teach each other, rules are something that you assign. It is more difficult to garden norms than design rules. The people on line in this communication environment are new to it. The problem of addressing the norms is a big one. Are we going to be able to evolve our way to make it useful of hundreds of millions of people as it was for tens of thousands?
Every virtual community has social contract. You set out the rules at the beginning, or they emerge from people dealing with transgressions.
Slide: Social Infrastructure of Virtual Communities
Rheingold: On-line communities cannot exist without people cooperating and contributing. Some of them go on for a long time because some people have a need for conflict and enjoy it. It is fine for those places to exist. There is no need to make a moral judgment. But there are other places that need to have more cooperation then we find otherwise.
How can we create such a social contract through a group? Itís easier to formulate it first, and have people agree with it. Rather than try to get a group whoís only connection is on-line, then try and get them to come up with something.
People adopt roles, as coaches, hosts, and cybrarians. Coaches are the people that are going to sit down with you, get on the phone, or e-mail, and help you figure out how to use things. On-line tools or norms. Hosts are like a party. Those facilities need to meet people, remove fights into the hall, and keep conversations going. They naturally evolve or you can train people to do it. Cyberian is someone whose job are knowledge management, and also someone who lives in the community. Idle talk is social glue. If it is not fun people will not contribute. You cannot step on fun if people start having it. People who make friends in those informal settings are more likely to have useful knowledge in a more formal setting. Also learning is a social activity. When people are not compelled to participate, they do it voluntarily. Inventing things and sharing knowledge is fun.
Slide: Informal Knowledge Communities
Rheingold: People become more serious with what they have done with Usenet groups for many years and they have more intentional communities of short or long duration of people whoís only connection is an affinity or practice where that type of application of ability and knowledge connection is desirable. How you do that in an informal role and connect it to the world Doug is talking about? The world consists of that which is designed and that which just broke. We have machines and building, but also people who have evolved social practices independent of what anybody have designed. They need to work together in order for it to work.
Engelbart: All the things he is saying are important. I have been in many organizations, one of them an aerospace, before that I had interesting experiences by the thing that you might call bonding. I was lured into part of Earhartís world. He got people bonding. Also in the years I spent in the Navy, I watched people who had come from all sorts of environments who might not normally meet each other, much less be attracted as friends, became buddies because they were dumped in there and had to be dependent on each other. In order for organizations to come into coherence it really has to be like that. That is what Rheingold is talking about. It canít be anyway which you can organize groups of humans to be effective, even if you think it is cold blooded intellectualism. You are not going to reach the people without that kind of bonding.
Slide: The transfer of knowledge and experience back and forth within a NIC.
Engelbart: So we move on and realize that within any of these NICS that we are talking about, besides that kind of bonding and social maturity, there is also a considerable amount of knowledge and training. So having NICS involve in a MetaNIC they themselves are concerned with education and training. Our next speaker Roy Pea.
Slide: Network improvements on education and training.
Pea: I am from SRI, and am going to talk about of a number of network improvement communities that we are engaged in at SRI.
Slide: Center for Technology in Learning
Pea: Our mission is learning and teaching through innovation and inquiry in computing and communications.
Slide: How does CTL do this?
Pea: How we do that is through two basic activities, advanced theory and research on learning and teaching whether it involves technology or not. Mind brain experience is an example of a topic that has just been published. We also build learning environments and put them to creative use and do systematic assessments to see if they make any significant difference. So in short we do learning science and engineering. We do a lot of work with different people in a lot of disciplines, with a lot of activities.
Slide: What is the need?
Pea: The key point here is that the American education system is very fragmented and decentralized. Education improvement efforts they are very isolated and incremental. So how do we leverage the knowledge "in the system" in some revolutionary way? We have found the network improvement community to be a generative idea.
Slide: A "powerful idea" for CTL
Pea: We describe it as a coalition of organizations each engaged in a similar improvement process. It may be a creating better math activities or teacher development. We have a number of projects funded by the federal government such as foundations for educational companies that network associations can craft new mechanisms create for improving their isolated improvement processes. It is learning to learn, and builds value and leverages knowledge for distributed communities.
Slide: The Many NICS of CTL
Pea: I am going to talk about scale and progress for five network improvement communities from our center, five different emphases. One is Tapped In, an on-line teacher professional development institute. A second is CILT (Center for Innovative Learning and Technology) a visual center for K-14 learning technologies across scores of institutions in the states and some overseas. The third is PALS, which are new developments of performing assessments for learning science rather than the standard multiple-choice tests. OERL, is an on-line library of education project evaluation resources, which can help make better a lot of the funding that is, provided by a lot of these agencies. Finally ESCOT is an interoperable mathematics educational component.
So I will say a little about each of these. Tapped In is lead by Mark Shlager.
Slide: Tapped In
Pea: It is an education Community of Practice Model for Scalable, Sustainable Teacher Professional Development.
Slide: Tapped In An Overview
Pea: It is a web-based virtual conference center that has emerged over the last couple of years with a lot of design work by education professionals K-16 with 15 partner organizations and agencies and small groups who create on-line learning experiences with any computer at anytime. For multi-user virtual environments, synchronous and asynchronous communication, storing, and sharing of Website documents, and community-wide activities and support services. This gives you a sense of the campus map.
Slide: Gathering Place
Slide: Growth Chart
Pea: There has also been considerable growth word of mouth with 7,000 members in the community.
Slide: Some Tapped In users
Pea: A lot of education agencies have taken to this as serving their needs. Teacher and cybarian professional organizations and web sites from parts of the country that have been feeling considerable deficiencies in face-to-face and standard teacher development activities. So what do people do in this type of environment?
Slide: What can educators do on-line?
Pea: They can extend to interact on-line through a real time and e-mail help desks. There are after school online discussion sessions that have a broad schedule. Free offices are available to individuals and small groups where they can have meeting and review documents. There are newsletters and calendars, meet me lists, for all of the affiliated groups. In addition, there are How to Guides and Consulting for organizations.
Educators do a lot of things in here; they pull together distributive project meetings with colleagues and students. They lead discussions, they conduct and attend courses. They find experts and new colleagues, and discuss ideas in a safe and supportive environment.
Slide: What are we learning?
Pea: The learning that is going on is not just about content. The learning occurs through discourse around content. Membership is diverse. You will not find this is the physical world counterpart. These teachings are communicated as members cross many agencies, programs, projects, and geographical boundaries in the virtual hallways of these places and share what they are learning. They need public and private spaces to support what they do. Itís not easy.
Pea: Nuts and bolts, it is difficult to sustain these places. Itís hard, costly and takes a lot of staff. TPO (teacher parent organizations) need to understand that their challenge begins where their efforts leave off. We get them in this environment after they go home and close their doors at night. Teachers need ownership of an on-line workplace that will be there after TPO courses, projects, workshops, or grants end. There needs to be sustainability.
Teachers are often ready for this type of environment, but leaders are not. They see them as a costly risk and donít know how to budget them. Traditional teaching approaches donít translate well on-line. A second network improvement community led by Edys S. Quellmaiz is called PALS. The idea here an interactive resource bank for improving the standards-based science assessment.
Slide: Performance Assessment Links in Science
Pea: This is funded by the National Science Foundation. A page from the site gives you an idea of the several hundred performance based assessment for science. This often makes teachers do things that they donít know how to do. That is assesses kids doing more authentic kinds of learning, like hands on kind of things. There are a number of states and different groups that develop, at their expense, new ways of assessment to do this. We provide administration procedures, places where people can be supportive in learning these new approaches. School districts are getting involved in that effort.
Slide: Performance Assessment Links in Science
Pea: Lessons learned are pretty common across efforts of these kinds. There are different agendas. They need to involve the participants from the very beginning. The challenges are co-evolutionary. This issue of collecting systematic evidence of quality, usability, and impact is real important in this. We seek to do that.
Pea: The third effort, also lead by Edys S. is OERL. The challenge here is NSF funds literally hundreds of millions of dollars to projects for new curriculum, new undergraduate instruction, new use of technology, and people are not good at doing evaluations. That is a problem. So we are trying to share models of best evaluations practices and methodologies and provide examples and designs and results of evaluations. And begin to pool those resources, instruments and plans and create an improvement infrastructure around that evaluation of work. This has been a vibrant and lively activity in these various groups. Exemplary content may be hard to find. In terms of bringing standards together, people debate around what constitutes a good evaluation and they find there are a lot of different criteria to consider. They spend time on the web so there has been a lot of concentration on navigation. Thereís a lot of focus on customization of user audiences. School superintendents and people who are doing assessments themselves donít necessarily want the same interest.
Slide: OREL challenges
Pea: In this theme of pooling our efforts we need to support and provide content for improvement by keeping people enthusiastic and feel that they are getting something out of the community and participating to keep them there.
Pea: This is another network improvement network that is called the Center for Innovative Learning Technologies. (CILT) There is huge expertise out there that is very fragmented. It is about how to do research informed learning technology research and development with kids and hard subjects (math and science). We have done it for twenty years and trained lots of people, yet we continue to be frustrated about the bar of quality of work in the field that we know is not as high as we know it could be. The notion was to create a distributed center and act in a lot of activities to try to raise the bar of the quality of work going on in k-14 learning technology. We spent time defining high priority breakthrough themes where we saw the work and advances going. But also break though opportunities with willingness and interest in for education reform and other problems we find facing schools.
Slide: CILT Activities and Participants
Pea: We define visualization and modeling, ubiquitous computing, community tools, and investments for learning as problems of this kind. We then bring together people from research and industry and policy makers to these workshops. We have tuned a process where we share of new knowledge and brokering desires. People tell us what they have learned and what they need to. There is a lot of work done over the course of these days by which partnership groups tell us about the methodologies, technologies, and funding then need for their projects. So we support the leadership groups that emerge in these workshops with funding and other efforts. We are trying to support a self-knowledge network where we collect information about people, places, projects, the courses people teach and collaborations they do that can be resourceful for the community as a whole.
Slide: CILT Multilevel NIC
Pea: It is a multilevel network improvement community. We work to improve our own processes across this different organization. We Inage in different annual meetings with the research community are the high priority areas. We try to understand how to weave in the very different priorities of industry, policy, and makers around learning and technology. They are concerned with studying the impact of things, also teacher practitioners themselves.
Slide: Lessons Learned: Getting Started
Pea: It takes time to write papers about NICS but it also to run them. It involves so much coordination a lot of things that get reviewed as overhead by partners become coordinate functions. Keeping tack of people, connections, and who influences whom, and who needs what. As Doug learned at SRI with the network information center, become core to a NIC. Work with stakeholders early. We found he concrete focus is collaboration is critical. How collaboration raises the bar of what we can do. We can all do better. We use the mechanism of workshops. Some of my favorite stories are single researchers from obscure universities suddenly collaborating with leading researchers and having access to supercomputing and things like that. One of the things we are now doing running... is sponsored by Paul and Puman and Handspring others.... is we are running a hand held learning applications competition. We got them to underwrite. Our community set standards of what we thought was possible high yield leaning applications. On March 6 there will be an update of how that is going at the Exploratorium.
Lots of challenges.
Slide: CILT Challenges
Pea: Contracts. This nearly killed us. Universities and other institutions like to own and not share. Our conditions for funding on these small chunks of money that we give out are that everything that gets produced is in the public domain. We want to amplify the results of what goes on by us. Doesnít mean that prior work gets compromised. It has been challenging. Under traditional models the process of collaboration is rarely funded. Time and attention. NICS bring together the best and the brightest. All of these people that run five, ten, fifteen million dollar centers. This is a new thing. IT is stressful. On design... for example kids studying water quality with hand held computers and simulations; we try to bring tighter the best understanding of all of together.....the methodologies, tools, and assignments. We find designing these things with collaborations from the start really make a big difference.
Slide: ESCOT series
Pea: The last on is on ESCOT this is improving the quality, interpretability and use of JAVA software components for teaching middle school mathematics. Lots of redundant efforts. Companies produce their own spreadsheets simulations own right way components creating their own application islands. What we do is create a variety of conditions for setting up a test bed for evolving knowledge network and interoperable software library for continuous improvements. Lots of developing components, a few dozen for developing the web standards.
Slide: Cross NICing and Meta "NICS"
Pea: The last point is about MetaNICS. Even though we have a lot of NICS running out of our center, we donít have a lot of cross NIC activity. Itís significant that we donít and there has been effort here. Each NICs has different mechanisms and solutions for doing its improvements. We find it hard to do the integration.
Engelbart: Tomorrow when we learn how to do knowledge integration. We will bundle it up and say here is all the lessons bundled up and integrated in one handbook. You amplify that by all the relevant activities and see that there is a big challenge ahead. There are lots of lessons to be learned by everybody else. There are other NICS that what they are doing that would be valuable to what these guys are doing. I want to point out in the educational field there are many improvement communities that cover different things.
Slide: Education has a variety of Improvement Communities
Engelbart: The NSBA is one of them. All of the school boards in the state belong to a state one and then all of the states belong to a national one. Here is something that they trying to get down that affects the communities where the K-12 and K-14 schools are going on. This other and they are trying NASULGC has been going on a long time. There are a number of organizations among the higher-level universities. The SLL is going on here has international partners. Then there is New Media Center that is helping state colleges get them new media involved and help them use them. There is a whole spread of things. You can go to their web sites. Now Jim Spohrer is going to talk about a unique educational NIC. He was at Apple when he co-founded this.
Slide: Jim Spohrer
Spohrer: There is the logo for the EOE. Why does it look like that?
Audience: It looks like there are connections. Looks like DNA.
Slide: EOE logo
Spohrer: So the EOE started at Apple funded by the National Science Foundation. But the EOE is an online community that helps build communities that build knowledge.
Spohrer: What we at EOE do is design a tool that is very simple in setting up on-line communities. We use the community building tool ourselves that would be a directory of open source educational JAVA objects. One of the things you can do on the site is (you can see) learning objects, member profiles, news and events, other resources, and professional papers. We try to have a current feature, so when people come in they can see a member of the community that is that is talking about something the community is doing. We are a directory of thousands of educational JAVA objects. About thirty thousand of them are open source. Itís not required but we encourage open source so that others can add value to it. That is our brainchild with the EOE DNA is that other people take an idea, add a little value to make it better, and share it with someone else.
Slide: (Web demonstration)
Spohrer: We have JAVA outlets that range from a to z. We arrange them by the dewy decimal system. When you do a search for educational objects...you get a thumbnail picture and a brief. One thing we stress is attribution. So in addition to seeing what the object looks like you see the author and creator. Click on details, which lets you know how it is classified, who put it there, and if it is open source. You can add a comment or pedagogical tips. People add technological comments and the mediate it. Also at the bottom there is a note, but often there is more information how you can use it in a classroom. This one for example is categorized under life sciences, but people can us it for teaching under physical sciences or we used it to talk about collective emerging behavior occurs in complex systems. IF you go to the EOE you will see thousands of these. In addition, to having educational JAVA outlets, we have a resources page where we classify the resources. Essentially what the EOE is a database infused on to a data base page. In the resources page, we are interested in tracking information on licensing of open source software, on-line communities, and various other things that we track there. Also we have membership sign up, itís an open membership sign up. We have founders, members, and associates. We also have them enter if they are primarily interested in business, applications, research, or software development, education or other. This helps them in networking. If someone is a developer, with an educational background sometimes they are looking for a business partner, for example. We also have classified from what continent they are from.
Slide: EOE website: Founders
Spohrer: Byron Henderson, one of the founders of the EOE works with the international cooperative alliance in Geneva. He helped us understand about what we were doing, as far as how the international cooperative movement got started and spread. Cooperatives are like this viral form, a good idea that spreads. They started in the 1800ís, and at the time they were spreading very rapidly. A decade had passed before they would spread to the next country. With the Internet time, we have this spreading occur much faster. I would like to tell you about where the EOE is spread. We created EOE, and then wanted to share the DNA to allow other people to set up on-line learning communities. One of the first groups to do this was the California State University System.
Slide: Merlot Homepage
Spohrer: In Sonoma Valley, a group created a Merlot on-line site. It is twenty times larger than EOE. If you look at the EOE children and grandchildren you see the organizations that took EOE added value and did certain things better than EOE. It is all about sharing and adding value.
Slide: The Apple Learning Interchange Homepage
Spohrer: The Apple Leaning interchange. This site is about one hundred times larger than EOE. It was started based on EOE.
Slide: The World Board Forum
Spohrer: This is WBF a group I helped form with interesting, ubiquitous, and educational computing. When this form was created two years ago, it collected a group of people who wanted to work on open source standards with augmented reality systems. They published the standards.
I want to go back to Merlot for a minute. The Merlot system is part of the Cal State University system. Chuch Nheabach is part of the organization SHEA (State Higher Education Association). The SHEA organization saw what CSU had done, and four people came up after a meeting Oklahoma, Georgia, and North Carolina and other to set up their own EOE. When it was being set up they were thinking this would create redundancy, they decided to divide up the world a little bit. California is biology; Oklahoma is physics, North Carolina is math, and Georgia is business applications. This creates a challenge, so we need a tool for connected community growth.
Slide: EOE as a NIC
Spohrer: If educational objects were added at one site it would be nice if they can propagate with appropriate meta data at other sites and be filtered. This is a goal for about three years. We have been looking for funding, but SHEA is doing it. This is one of the beauties of this system. Each generation adds value. One problem is link decay and sustainable growth. If you are directory your URLs can break and start fading. This is major problem. Your community has a half-life, it is decaying. If you are not growing fast enough with many Itís, finding the broken links and replacing them, soon your noise level is much higher than your signal level and you go through an inversion. We look for the children and grandchildren of this EOE community to solve and flow back into the original EOE. The other challenge is the notion of intellectual capital appreciation attribution. Look at business improvement structure. Itís clear if there is a better idea, or if it can be faster you use it as fast as you can. If you are in education, think of all of the school systems like little Microsoftís. They are little monopolies. They donít have to be as innovative. What is going to change that? I donít think it will happen at the K-12 level, but at the higher education level. It has already started to happen with on-line courses. They can compete so it is able to reach out to the world. We are on the cusp; we are going to see something interesting in the next few years about how this competition will play out. The local community colleges may do well. They have a local lock much like the K-12 schools. If some organization is producing the best course, and you can get cheaper and better there then the college you are going to, then why are you going to spend six weeks is class to get a degree when you can pay a little less, or pay a little more and get a more prestigious standpoint of the class.
When you are thinking about network improvement communities, there has to be a kind of improvement that matters. In K-12 schools often improvement doesnít matter. I think it would be good to brainstorm ideas of how to fix the K-12 system. I will give it back to Doug.
Engelbart: Changing our human systems. How do you get people to think about the impact of augmenting?
Slide: Brick and Hand
Engelbart: I thought hand it to people. Take this de-augmentation, and suppose it will be inflicted on you. How much impact do you think it will have on the world? Before word processors were the way to be, just think what our language would be, what our business would be like, and our education. It would have a tremendous effect if it happened the best way you could have an instrument come along.
Engelbart: The other thing is as these bicycles, can a bicycle really go like that. Then another person comes along and says look that is too hard and it is not natural. That is what else I think about. Somebody decided that it was too hard and unnatural to use to push for other interactive interfaces. That is a consideration. What is the potential for moving ahead? To let us explore. Skateboarders, and hand gliders...... We have to open it up for the kids to explore. We have to untie our thinking, about what we listen to the marketing people about the products that they give you. They are of course going to say that they are easy to learn.
Engelbart Colloquium At Stanford
An In-depth Look At "The Unfinished Revolution"
Session 6 Tape 2
February 10, 2000
Engelbart: Welcome back to the second part of our session. Very stimulating. I enjoy the energy that we are creating here today. Is it attributed to what we are talking about? Or is it just something here that is useful good spirits. We have two more speakers and plan to have an open dialogue among the speakers and audience.
One topic that comes into my mind about the answer to the bootstrapping effect is what is the selection criteria to recruiting early NICS to into a MetaNIC. If the improvement communityís knowledge and experience products were delivered to its customers how important would those products be to future NIC members in the MetaNIC. That is what we look for.
Slide: Selection Criteria
Engelbart: That is why it may seem unfair that there are very effective improvement communities out there that are going to do the world a lot of good. Strategically we are going to the more important to recruit those as products themselves are the thing that a lot of NICS are going to need to get through itís work.
Slide: Whom to Augment First
Engelbart: This is the kind of thing I got to thinking about way back. Here is an article from 1962. If you start learning to augment people whom are you going to augment first? I can really remember the editor I was working with at the time. My text said "Who to Augment First", and I got it back with a circle around the "Who" and a big GRRRR......She had been working with me for months and here I was doing something like that.
Engelbart: It led me to a lot of thinking, such as..If we have a research activity going on...itís A1. It is providing on working on knowledge that it gets from the world all the time, and itís output is how we do better knowledge work. That is what we are doing so lets feed it back. This effected how we ran our research lab in the mid-sixties and into the seventies on programming, software, interaction, and field reports. We were going to support real people in the world.
Slide: Feedback Chart
Engelbart: So, I called it regeneration and made it bootstrapping. We built quite a structure of activities over the years and made feedback lines between them. It has been almost forty years now. That kind of thinking, it has just welded itís self into my brain. If there is some potential that the world is going to take off after this thing we are going to be able to do a lot of good. With peer review, as it is and was, it has been hard. There have been people who replaced each other. Then we got someone who didnít believe in this. Before that, we got to get going. We need to have what we are doing effect the attitudes and impressions of the world that would be good. Admitting that the software role is important because the software flexibility and capabilities of the people are going to evolve as tools. We are going to need flexible tool development. Werner Schaer is going to speak to us.
Slide: Unfinished Revolution Speaker-Werner Schaer
Schaer: I want to give you an introduction to an organization that was founded fifteen years ago. I will point out the differences of what you have heard so far, and what we are trying to do. First of all, what we one of the oldest consortium. What we heard before is that you need to worry about decaying links, sustaining growth, and reinventing yourself to stay relevant and current. That has really been the history of the consortium. The idea was essentially born out of the need to make significant improvements on software productivity out of the mid-eighties.
Slide: Vision and Mission
Schaer: It was initially funded by large aerospace companies. They each initially put in three million dollars for three years in order to get this effort funded. We wanted to do is find what the tools, methods, frameworks, and processes that are out there to somehow deduce the practice. How you reduce the practice is take a twelve or twelve hundred page Ph.D. thesis, and enable it in such a way that a professional at their desk can actually use it. That is what we have been doing, and we have evolved significantly. I would like to share with you what the dynamics are as to why itís working and why we are evolving.
Slide: Business Model
Schaer: First of all, we find being that the government and privately funded is an important aspect of continued growth and stimulation between the two communities. Exclusive funding has some limitations in todayís interaction between government and private. If you are talking about community of learning then, the transaction model that is typically inherent in a consulting activity model, doesnít lend itself because typical transactions are by definition going to end. A large part of the value of sharing resources is also the exchange of best practices or the exchange of anything that will seem to relate to improving performance. In the early 80ís there were strategic decisions being made by companies and they were strategically funded. In todayís environment, unless this strategic decision can be made in terms of business results, it has been increasingly difficult to get private and commercial organizations support that. We have put emphasis on measuring what we are doing and how we work with the organizations.
Finally, the non-profit model as you will see by the community that we are interacting with, in order to have the largest group of interacting communities, we need to make sure that there are not obstacles in there that would to prevent the interaction from happening. For instance if you are a commercial organization and you are trying to get the government to interact with you very openly, and there are all of these hurdles there and obstacles over there.
Schaer: Just briefly who our members are..... There are still a lot of aerospace companies. You basically find five industries primarily represented. Aerospace industries, financial institutions, IT Companies, some electronic companies, and telecommunications. Basic members is an invention that came about five years ago because initially, the idea was that we would have large corporations because they have large purses to fund this effort.
Increasingly we realized that unless we could tap into smaller organizations, start up organizations eventually, and be able to insert those ideas into the consortium activities, we would deny ourselves from an important source of knowledge and knowledge exchange. Basic members are those companies who typically operate at less than a hundred million dollars a year. Therefore, they donít contribute that much in terms of money into the organization or to the technical program.
The full members direct the activities of the consortium in both the technical and business forms. There is a board of directors. Each of the full members has a board member. Each of the full members has also a technical advisory board member who directs the activities of the consortium. The co-opting of the user community in to the consortium is an important aspect of having a continuation. Service members are those companies who are currently trying us out. They are staying here, and want to feel their way into the consortium and if they feel it is beneficial to them they will continue.
Schaer: In addition to commercial organizations, we have government organizations, academic affiliations, and non-profit industry affiliations. As these organizations are working with us, each party needs to find the benefit in collaboration with the community. They have found, as we have found, that there is an advantage and incentive to communicate and work with each other. One of the things when you deal with commercial organizations that will continue to help you grow is to understand what these commercial organizations are driven by. Look at a simplistic abstract of what the business priorities are of the organization that we are working with. At least as they relate and are impacted by IT and software in general, you can see that they generally fall into five or six categories.
Slide: Business Priorities by Industry
Schaer: The reason that is important to us is that if you focus on a given activity with in the consortium, it is important that the members who are a part of consortium really get a benefit out of it. They will not get benefit out of it if their priorities are not being met. That is why it is important for us to understand that. In addition to that, in order for it to be a vibrant community, where everyone felt that they were giving and taking to the right kind of proportion, we felt that the companies that should be members should meet certain criteria.
Slide: Membership Criteria
Schaer: Mainly that software is critical to the companyís success. If it is not on the radar screen, they are probably not going to be a very active member. They need to have a demonstrated commitment to improving systems/software processes and technology. The other thing we found that there are companies who feel that they already know everything there is to know. There are other companies that are ready and willing and interested to learn. Those that you have a dialogue with that already know everything is very difficult to make any progress with and it is quite frankly a waste of time. In order to be in the mainstream of the activities that are going on in any consortium, they need to have representations of recognized leaders in the industry. It is important to us that there is that representation.
Slide: Technical Program
Schaer: In order to conduct our business technically, we do a lot of tracking. We do a lot of research as to what is going on. Most importantly, we get input from the academia, from government, and from business and then we get the input and direction from the actual members. What we as a consortium staff do is really the technology industrialization. To take whatever promising technologies are coming and we industrialize them and package them. Make them ready so individuals can use them. We are currently dealing with a community of about a hundred thousand professionals that are represented in each of these corporations. We are probably interacting with about ten percent of them on an ongoing basis. In order to do this we have learned lessons as far as transfer technology with in the consortium. They come in the form of tools, methods and consulting services.
One shoe or size does not fit all.
We thought we were very clever in doing interactive CDs in order to spread around. Only to find out that there are companies that want to have the flexibility of videoconferences, other companies who want lunch seminars and workshops. The other companies want to have videotapes. They are doing exercises in the evening. There are various ways about how information is being transmitted today. The feedback that is coming back from the consortium, as far as needs, it is both the result of the experiences with products and the services. As well as their own sense of what is important to them in order to continue the cycle. These cycles are anywhere from six to eighteen months depending on what product we are talking about.
Slide: Technology Transfer
Schaer: If there is on thing that we have learned a lot of lessons about are how to do that and how not to do that. If the organization doesnít feel they are getting the benefit from it eventually they are going to go away. The organization is going to atrophy. To be able to leverage the knowledge and information out in the community is one of the most important aspects of an ongoing consortium. The innovative tools that are available today obviously, we are all interested in and experimenting with, but it is also a difficult process that we will reach to whole community.
Slide: Customer/Member Management Model
Schaer: Depending on what kind of project you run, in our case running a consortium means that we have to maintain a relationship and understanding with literally all levels of management, of our commercial members and public members. We heard before that a school board member or a supervisor doesnít necessarily appreciate or think the same way as a professional down in the trenches. The communication with all levels of management is an important aspect of conducting a consortium. In addition, we do have account directors whoís mission it is to actively work with individual members to make sure that there is a human interaction going on not just an electronic communication going on so that they take advantage of these means.
Slide: Value Proposition
Schaer: Finally, if you stand back and look at why the number of all these members that are participating with us, you can typically categorize them into five reasons. Some of them participate with us because it is technical leverage. They do not want to staff this type of capability, they canít afford to staff it with in the company, and the rate of return is in other words is much bigger than if they would conduct those types of activities themselves. Participating with us and getting the benefits of the technologies many companies derive competitive advantages from this. Government contracting for instance this technology makes the difference of run off of two or three million dollar programs in terms of productivity that results from being asserted there. There are marketing advantages that are important to some members. Like a trademark, being certified is a in certain circles a competitive advantage. That is one of the reasons why some of our members participate as actively as they do.
In any community that interacts and is vibrant, people not only talk about tics on a childís head, they talk about how they are going to solve a business problem, and who they are going to partner with there is a lot of business communication going on. As a result, they are marketing referrals and teaming arrangements being made in any community. This is no exception. That has proven to be very important.
The best practice in benchmarking is one of the things we struggled with the most, initially, because the really important information is not voluntarily or easily shared amongst companies. If "Block E. Martin" is achieved a fifty percent productivity improvement, as the result of certain test automation technology, they are not anxious to share that with "Bowing" We struggled with that.
I am happy to report that the climate has changed dramatically over the last five years. Companies are now much more willing and interested to share benchmarking and best practices information that is fairly detailed, partly because they making significant progress steps every year. So that if I share with you what progress I make this last year, it is not going to be easy to figure out what type of progress I am going to make next year. It is not easily extendable and many of the companies are making significant steps forward in anything that they do.
To give you a whiff as a closing comment. One of the most exciting and new technologies that our members are inserting into their organizations is based on modeling technologies and frameworks that are combined with automation tools. The measured effects and impacts in the area of productivity have now reached several factors.
Before we were talking twenty to thirty percent a year. So this is where most of our advanced members are putting their energies now.
Again, there is a lot more to talk about. It is a working consortium but we have to learn a lot of things to make it work you go though the fifteen-year history, you see the ups and downs and I am happy to say that some of these lessons are paining out. We are now growing in terms of membership, about thirty to thirty-five percent a year. The important thing is to understand how to transition a publicly funded project into an ongoing improvement community that carries forward beyond the initial funding. That is the challenge that we have to overcome. Thank you.
Engelbart: We are trying to leave time for a panel. We already dealt with this one a little bit. The augment first, feedback and more complicated feedback that would be fun to discuss with you guys some time. We just met Werner. This was a link of his world; this is an active link up there telling you where to go.
Iíll go back a little bit. Software, open hybrid system, software of the future, and interfaces, this is designed and we had it want to have it implemented in technology. As far as I am concerned, if we canít get something like this build into the projected open hybrid document system like that, we are going to loose an immense potential for the evolution ability of the things. There is actually a separate user interface system between your terminal (hardware) and the servers that you are trying to get your support from. I think it is very similar to the IBM web we talked about before. Itís got the protocol that is dealing with transmission back and forth between the web. Itís got a virtual terminal controller that at any given time, you type any given file, and it then it tells the controller how to deal with the type of terminal you have there. This can be your cell phone or any other given thing you have there. Including the handicapped people and including the gadget that Neal Scott says you put that there and it can move cursors and click and type just like it is a real user using icons. So that you can be driving it here from the interface language of your choice and in fact then you say the command language of your choice.
Slide: Application Independent User Interface System
Engelbart: If you make it right then it is driven by a file that describes a language, grammar. A lot of this has evolved by you before you left. Then we added the grammar for file scripts, which really gave it immense power to it. The combination there could drive very interesting macros so that if you learn how to control this with whatever you just get tremendously more flexible manipulation in windows and all sorts of other things that you can do. So in the way in which that you could get evolution by people who want to explore. It is very important for the evolution of the future. So I keep talking about these things of how you are going to get the evolution.
Here is something that wills the interface was a one handed key set.
Slide: Key Set Photos
This is something that I fooled with very early in the 1960ís, and found that you could learn to type. The codes were like this.... A was just that key, B was this one key, C was both of them D, E, and F. In fact you could put numbers on your fingers of 1,2,4,8, or 16 on your fingers and show little kids how they could count that way. My little girl was six or seven learned to count. Then I showed them the alphabet, and in a week they were talking. You could cheat in class cause you could tell your friends the answers. They grew up relatively respectable despite that. That rearranged the whole command way and stuff like that. The commands were verbs and nouns that you could click relatively easy in here. Generally you would see something that would need change, and by the time the cursor up there, you would have told it what to do. Instead of clicking on it and then telling it in some clumsy way. It had a lot more powerful potential. If I have gaze sensors and all kinds of things to go with like that, then there is a lot more that we can do. I just want to keep saying the exploratory stuff.
Engelbart: You go back to the 1960ís, to 1963-4. To say this was a display. It was the electronics that could move the beam around. You didnít have enough memory to write all the characters. You had to draw all the characters. You had to have very powerful amplifier so that you could move the very powerful beam around like that. Itís this box over behind her that did character generation. That whole thing cost eighty thousand dollars in 1960ís money. To order go ahead and start thinking about interactive things. If someone had not done that we wouldnít have learned about that. There are the exploratory pushes that are need today that are going to push ahead.
So where are they?
Young Jeff Wilson, when he left University of Washington with a masterís degree in computer science he came down and worked in my laboratory. We were just moving in from the hyper linking structure stuff that was in a very primitive way, on to better time-sharing computers. When he got interested in that, he found out that he could put a source code on it and he became sold. He did a lot before he left three years later to really get that stuff working. In his later years he really started to help us and sort of make us feel sorry for the old guy. Heís got an important position and he really helps a lot. He has some important things to show and tell you.
So anyways, Jeff.
Jeff: So I am going to go on a suicide mission. A couple of years ago, I took Doug, and we went to Japan and tried to explain bootstrapping to the Japanese, very interesting experience. They actually got a lot of it. It is a quality country, so they understand quality circles, and feedback charts and stuff like this. We had a really difficult time. We put up the A, B, and C charts and went though things like this. We did a number of visits, a half dozen or so to various universities and companies. It didnít work too well. They see things right, they have a community, and they use networks so they must be a NIC. But we had a real hard time on trying to zero in on what bootstrapping really is, and when do you really become a NIC, and what the difference between working on a problem and being a bootstrapping organization is.
Jeff: So we went back for a second trips and I made up a small pitch. How to explain, bootstrapping and NICS in two slides?
Slide: New Product Introduction Process
Jeff: So we need example, so inside SUNN we build products, and part of the product process there is a piece of it known as the New Product Introduction Process. Where engineering transfers a product to manufacturing. This might involve over a thousand people for a large system that goes out. It is quite an elaborate process, huge manuals for this process. Every few years this process atrophies and they have to start a team to change the process because the process gets out of whack. During this process you have all this stuff that is going on. That is the process that we are going to worry about here. In building this process there are all of these things that we do.
Jeff: This is the A column. We do testing, we write documents, we build stuff, and we train people. There is a whole group of A level activity. In some place there has to be B level activities. Its a B level activity goes on as lots of things. One-way is we constantly upgrade the hardware and software test harnesses as a B style improvement to improve the A activity. We are constantly upgrading the way we handle the engineering change order database. This database for giant products over the cycle of the whole thing might have tens of thousands of engineering change orders. Itís a huge complicated thing. Upgrading that, it is improving at the way the data base works is improving at a B level the way we do the A level.
Jeff: Another thing we do at the B level is the NPI SUNN teams every couple of years. What they do is go in and change all this stuff that is going on, plus look at the way all of this works. They are an official B level team that is improving things. Inside SUNN there is another level of activity going on. The NPI SUNN team is just one improvement team that goes on. There are actually a lot of improvement teams inside SUNN. They are going out and improving these various processes that is going on. There is one overall sun team. They are run by the quality office. Their job is actually to go out and make sure that these various specific SUNN teams actually get their jobs done. They hold training classes, they monitor their progress, give awards; they actually give stock bonuses and all this stuff so that they are successful. That is a clear C team in that it is improving the way we improve the things that we do. We are being clear about the A, B, and C. When we get to bootstrapping, and whatís a NIC, and how to get the Niches going, we have to be clear and crisp about where is your A stuff B stuff and C stuff.
Slide: Bootstrap to Multi-NIC
Jeff: So here is the explanation with a different form. We design products. That is our A level activity. The B level activity is improving the design process in some way. We are improving the product introduction process. At the C level we have the overall SUNN team improving the B level things. Inside SUNN this is all very networked and there are kinds of tools. It doesnít make it a NIC or a bootstrapping organization at all. There is a clear distinction about what is going on here. What the bootstrapping organization has to do is being focused not on how to make some products or how to teach kids at schools. There has to be focus on CO-diak and dynamic knowledge depositories. The activity that is going on here has to be focused on this stuff. You have to be running a pilot about the nature of dynamic knowledge depository stuff. How one builds or improves them. If that is your project, and you have pilots going on, then you are becoming a bootstrapping origination. Just because you have all this activity going on about new product improvement, doesnít really qualify. You have to be focused on bootstrapping on this fundamental bootstrapping cycle, which is the problem with building these dynamic knowledge depositories, not the problem with education or how to build things.
Now you can get bootstrapping organizations and they participate more than one of them together, then they are a NIC TM bootstrap, rather than a NIC in the world at large. There is a distinction going on here. Then if there are a whole bunch of things going then you can build them into a MetaNIC. So if we can get that far, where we want to get to with all of the bootstrapping, is to projects focused on these CO-diak DKR tools and teams subject areas. Then get them going and build them into a NIC. The NIC being the conglomerate of all of the individual projects we have been at that for a long time. Doug has been trying to get these going and it is not happening in a lot of ways. What has happened? Why donít people automatically do this? Letís try to understand what happened here.
Slide: Team Type Checklist
Jeff: This is a list off the previous chart. You have to have a project, you have to have an improvement process, and you have to have an improvement process for the improvement process. You have to be using the CO-diak things and using a knowledge depository, and be doing all of these things. What is the different between the NPI and a bootstrapping NIC, the topic area? In our NPI NIC, we are focused on building a product not a dynamic knowledge depository. If we had a real bootstrapping project, the project would be focused on building the dynamic knowledge depository. We have a NPI SUNN team that is focusing on improving the product, where is if we had a real bootstrapping the improvement process would be focused on improving the use of the dynamic knowledge depository, not making the product better. The SUNN team counsel that is improving all the SUNN teams inside SUNN. Working for SUNNís business, but that is not what the bootstrapping MetaNIC would be doing. The bootstrapping C level stuff would be focusing on multiple versions of the improvement process of the dynamic depository. This goes on.
Slide: Urgent vs. Important
Jeff: In a sense the bootstrap value proposition is that we have this type one end users, with business or educational problems. They would see enormous value in a type two project. We have companies and government would see so much value in the type two projects that they would fund them. That the end users with the type one issues would take a lead in driving the type two projects. But this is not happening. I think if I look at the interest and what has been going on over the last few years, it really becomes clear to me. The type one projects have high visibility, high interest, and lots of funding behind them. The urgent vs. important sense, they are all urgent. Lots of money riding on them and lots of focus. The individual who are good at doing the type one-style projects are really good at doing the type two projects. The type two-value proposition is very long, way out over the horizon.
Often if you go and talk even to the government funding agencies the pay off is so far over the horizon that they donít want to deal with it. The actual people who are interested in how one improvements dynamic knowledge depositories is a very small group of people compared to a type one group. What I want to see us do is this is one..... This is what I propose to break out of the cycle of always getting a lot of type one projects going but never being able to leap into the bootstrapping NIC kind of project.
Slide: Bootstrapping Proposal
Jeff: So take the UN fifteen problems that Doug talked about in the first slide. Establish a type one center, to work at the fifteen slides. Do it a SRI because you have all of the expertise about how to build the type one center. You have all of the tools available, and if you donít then SUNN and IBM will give you the tools. You have expert administration, you really know get positive results, know how to advise people, and make it click. We could go out on UN stuff and go to industry and get funding for it. Go to Exxon and go to counties and get the money for it. Specifically tax those projects to take a percentage of money off them to do the type two projects. I donít think that we will every get the type one projects on their own to do the work.
End of my time.
Engelbart: That was terrific, Jeff. I have been wandering around in the wilderness not really knowing how the organizations really work. So letís do it, there are only a few obstacles in the way. What weíd like to do now is have the five participants. The issues about how tenuous it is to keep an improvement community working and improving. How hard it is to find people interested in the issues of improving the improvements? One of the important things is the dialogue. Among yourselves and questions from out here in the group. From what you guys know what are your comments about what was just said.
Audience: I think that Jeff was in a breakthrough with his analysis. The thing that I want to challenge in the spirit of making it better is the type two centers. You say that they are long-term and that they are slow. I am seeing more and more products that are DKR. So I am wondering if the commercial world isnít catching on. IBM and Lotus spaces. Lotus in general would look at the DKR and say this is your space and we are trying to move as quickly as we can. Microsoft has outlook on other products. I am wondering if you are a little pessimistic about the type two. I wonder if that is really warranted.
Jeff: Yes, I actually think I agree with you. What I had in the back of my mind is when you go to people and you want to do one of these, they perceive it as long term. There is a perception about it that it is not as urgent as their real business problems. I agree that people now are really taking off and doing stuff.
Panel: I donít know how religiously we want to apply definitions. In our experience, the example that you used with SUNN. It applies to other companies. Other companies are interested in funding long-term programs and improving the organizations. You probably find organizations that are at all levels of that spectrum. Of some that are very progressive, that has corporate incentives that are being funded, that are not necessarily subject to an RRY every quarter. Where there are others that are funding it though the division and insist essentially on the return every year. So there are organizations that are doing that.
The other point that we have experienced, I think, the reason that the type one projects get funded is because you can make the connection between what is being done, and the benefit. That to my way of thinking is not just a question of the type of project that we are talking of but itís an understanding that has to be gained by the people who are doing it and then communicated. Just as you were talking about your Japanese visitors, in fact when I first joined the consortium that was the biggest problem. It was not a question of whether the particular improvement be proposed, it was well understood or not. Can we translate that into benefit the particular organization that we are talking to?
I think that is really the charge. We need to understand their problem, and what their priorities are. We need to build that connection. For the most part this will happen at level one, but I will venture to say that there will be organizations that will happen at level two.
Engelbart: You work with government and private, the two categories, non-profit....
Panel: Yes, they are government agencies, some of them are research, and some of them are performing agencies. There are states that we have; half the states are participating with us. We are the technical arms for the NAIRE.
We are dealing with a lot of them so that is the reason that we see some people who are dealing with very fundamental issues and some are dealing with very advanced and strategic notions. It is a question of being able to talk their language so to speak. And to be able to articulate the process that we are talking about into the potential benefits that they will enjoy.
Engelbart: Are the things that you learned, dealing with industry and operating organizations be transferable to K-12 educational systems.
Panel: I canít pick them out all at once but, we were surprised how applicable the process improvements, methodologies, and technology is to various communities. Before, we thought that in order to use these things you have to be working as a government contractor, or you have to be working at an aerospace structure. We found that many of the same principles not only applied to government and aerospace but also to banks and financial institutions, telecommunications, and other companies. Many of them properly transformed, can serve and benefit three-man start up companies as well as ten thousand people organizations. It is a question of understanding the different context in which they operate.
Panel: One thing that is a question for me and the people that had a lot more experience working in type two centers and doing type two work. It really raises a question about pipeline for human talent. And where is that going to come from. What does it mean to have graduate training or other experience doing type two work? What are the special kinds of motivation and incentives that encourage people to do it? By one rendering, it is as invisible as plumbing; it may require a very different mindset and training programs. What does it mean to train people for type two works?
Engelbart: Two of you come from major organizations so jump to it.
Panel: I am just going to jump in. The DKR this stuff is really taking off. Look at Oracle; they are a big database company, they build the GOE on file maker. Well, why did they build it on File maker? A very cool easy way to use products. The reason that GOE is so hot is because File maker is so hot. We actually looked at some open source databases when we were getting started, and there was nothing as hot as File maker. Itís simple to use, itís cheap. While I was at Apple, I actually convinced the people at File maker to give File maker to anybody that was setting up a GOE. I think that there is quite a bit of expertise out there in the data base world, and a lot of evolutions we have seen DKR and others is infinitely tied in, and that is a heavy component. I donít know of any open source databases. There are a few that we have played with, but I donít see it as a big open source area.
Audience: If I could I will address that issue too. Youíll actually find, I think, that when you start a type two organization you will have people youíll have people coming out in rows. There is very little type two works out there. My whole career has been one of abstracting. I see a problem, and want to solve that problem. Then I look at all of the tools that I have, see a problem and solve those. It is a compelling opportunity. You may find that you will have to beat them off with a stick, rather than make it hard to find them.
Audience: I have a question for Jeffís presentation. I thought I understood what bootstrapping organization was until you made your presentation. I want to try and clarify a couple of things. I am trying to understand the relationship between what you are doing in SUNN, and what a bootstrap organization would be doing. My understanding from what you were saying with that. Essentially, in order to be a bootstrapping association you have to be a DKR, in COdiak to do what you are trying to be doing, in that particular situation. So the bootstrapping organization would fall under this type two category. Which I must say has a very long and soft improvisation. So I can see how it is very soft. What you see is the long-term value improvisation and how it relates to bootstrapping organization, and is directed towards DKR. That relationship to what you are doing at SUNN.
Panel: It is really dangerous to put SUNN in this. I think if I stick to the strict definition of things, there is no bootstrapping going on in SUNN. It may be fun to address this issue of what is the long-term value proposition. I donít know if Doug has gone into the scaling discussion yet. A little bit. There is a vision in the end of all of this, if people could work together constructively, then I think in Dougís terminology we call it NIC sense. The quality of their work, the idea of a collective IQ actually scales (as physicist would talk about it) to the number of people in some sense. So that you have twice as many people that are working, you get three times the benefit. It is pretty clear today with all of the tools that we got, and the way that we build things, that we just donít get it. Fundamentally, we are not where we are supposed to be. We have ideas that if things are indexed, linked, and available, things will happen. But we donít have working examples were we can point and say well these people they were really using these automated tools, they are working at some massively scalar productivity. But I donít know how to get there, except through some of these techniques.
Panel: It might be helpful to think of some .coms that do have significant bootstrapping going on inside them. I think one thing to think of is scient.com. They might have science tools and hyper linking, augmentation, and project and people information. It is not up to augment standards yet. It certainly is in a vector going there.
Audience: I was partially struck today when Doug put up the figure of the tool system and the human system, and the capability infrastructure system. We have been really focusing on the tool system. Creating the DKR, creating the open hyperdocument system and the mailing lists. We have neglected the human system; in terms of how do you use such a tool once you have it? How do you have a discussion in it or annotate things, how do you cooperatively edit documents? I was hoping that some of your earlier papers might cover some of you experience from augment. It struck me as another area that we could be working on. Particularly the people at the seminar that are not feeling that they want to get involved in a big coding project. That sort of changes the human system type organization. There are a number of them that would get that amplification and scaling effect much faster than the dropping technology.
Engelbart: It would be nice to have some quiet discussions sometimes to try to isolate a number of the things in the kind of the human system that give examples of that. You have to have the experience of it or talk with some one who shares the interest or else it kind of falls flat. There are a number of domains in this framework that I would like to have a cluster of people that would follow through and weíd have face-to-face discussions and then expand to other kinds, so that we get a framework among us. I sort of feel isolated when I try and talk in anything deeper or more far out. There isnít sort of a framework that I could climb up and meet somebody. One thing of downstream thing that I thought about is that we could get it where we had there are fellows that we could get together with that have experience and maturity in different scales and places. Spend like three months jointly working on these domains together. It would be the various backgrounds that would help make it a balanced portrayal. What are the value propositions that will come out cause it is very hard for me to make value propositions beyond this very abstract way. This sea level stuff ought to be important to share, but I canít do a business like that.
Audience: I have to inject another note of skepticism. I am somewhat skeptical about the technical feasibility of dynamic knowledge depository reserves in terms of data base technology. It is a technical reason that has to do with a formal knowledge. If you think that knowledge is data, then you can do something with it. In first order predicate calculus. There are no atoms, and those are like data. Then you have rules and functions. Rules are functions you canít quantify over functions. You canít talk about "for all functions such that". Like you can about data or atoms.
That is an issue, and a second issue is that we are going to unambiguously specify things. Completeness theorems are like a logical uncertainty principle that says you can have completeness or consistency but you canít necessarily have both.
Engelbart: Please donít misunderstand me. I also had to sit though some back in the fifties. I came away with a few details. A lot of things can help how we generate the plausibility of certain things like logical consistency and attribution trials. It will make it a lot more healthy in the human sense for people that are working there, and we will learn more and more about how to tie down to this reasoning and make a sturdy enough structure so that we can depend on it. My intuition is that there is a lot to be improved in that respect. I donít argue with what you say that you canít have both but if you do a lot of physics on the fact that inspire of the uncertainly principle......
Panel: I think that people care about that. Relational databases are much more advanced than the prior type of databases. Object databases are starting to replace them. I think you are on a vector far from but along the lines of CO-diak in terms of trying to show that people care about improving that part of the tool system. There is quite a bit of investment in that area. If there is someone who can show you that you can get beyond data and rules by evolving databases. I think that is my point.
Engelbart: Do we have a guest here from Encyclopedia Britannica? So someone is going to come. I met some people there and I think that they are going to come and talk. Think about the job that they have to do. As the worlds knowledge starts accelerating? How are they going to keep up with something that they are coherently integrated? That is close to the integrals job and the dynamic knowledge depository. So that is going to be interesting.
Audience: I really resonate with Jeffís question about the value proposition. I would claim that it is too early for the next five or ten years. I would note that we are basically entering into an exponential environment. We know about mores law and Medcalfs law. Basically, knowledge acquisition is an exponential process. As long as there is a need, there are ideas, and resources. For some reason I donít understand it tends to be exponential. The world is moving into that kind of environment. Where the needs are unlimited which means that you want to move as fast as you can. So in the fiber-optic world as one example it doubles every six on this so every time the need goes up fifty percent faster. So it is compounding that keeps on driving it. Now if you want to survive in that world.
If you are doubling every nine months in two years you are out of business. The business case becomes really compelling to get on the fastest exponential that you can, point number one. Point two because knowledge has no limit this can go on infinitely. An organization that can put together a learning environment that lets them incrementally one or two or five percent. If their exponential moves faster than someone elseís, it wipes out the competition very quickly. That is my motivation.
Panel: That is the motivation of some of our companies and they are thinking along the same terms. In terms of evolution that in our case we started to focus on tools first as well. We quickly found out that tools without the understanding the methodology of the process is not going to lead to a solution. In order to have a solution we find that we need four components. We also need tools, and the human system and the processes and methodologies. We need to understand the relationships of the topic matter and the processes with others. For instance, in the case of software and system engineering. Finally, we nee to have a measurement system that can measure that at all levels. This is in order to understand whether there is an impact. As far as how these are applied, we use the medical as a model in order to improve an organization the first step is to focus on the organization. Or the first step is there is the injection of new technology. It is clear that at the end of the day there has to be all of it there.
AS far as the strategic advantage that some of our companies are looking, at is in order to insert human processes, into large organizations, it is a very lengthy process. Certainly it has lead-time of six months at least. The introduction of a new tool............
Audience: You can have very different time scales. You can have an improvement process that takes ten years. If it adds one percent on to your exponential then you win.
Panel: That is the point that I was trying to make. Some of our organizations have spent a great deal of time in improving their human processes and organizational capabilities so that they will then have the ability in a collaborative way through out the organization, to insert the technologies that are coming at a very rapid pace. They argue that the companies that donít have the human systems in place, they will be in trouble because they cannot take the time that they have spent in cultivating these organizational elements.
Engelbart: I would be curious if you can expect that kind of knowledge and package that for other organizations that care about that. They invested something about the human system that makes them better. This is about measuring. Quality people want to measure, but if you just say hey, everybody has got to do it if we are going to be hill climbing. One thing that tickles me about when we get to the point where you can start taking any assessments about any organization, and kind of gage a collective IQ, and publish. I just love that. It would have a big leverage on a lot of places.
Audience: There is another bottle neck that is coming that is compounded a lot of things that we are talking about right now. The aerospace and automobile industry is being crippled by the interface between the engineer and the CAD program. The CAD program is the total working environment for making the next aeroplane or spaceship, or satellite or whatever. Every six months they go on a hiatus because the engineers cannot learn the new version of the user interface. Yesterday I was talking with a mechanical engineer and graduate here at Stanford. She was saying that the CAD systems that she has needed to learn to be able to go out and be competitive in the workplace are so clumsy that it is crippling all her new knowledge. Until she is able to interact by gesturing and looking, talking and nodding and frowning and all of the things that we do naturally, I believe that is going to be the crucial interface. That is where the work that is being done with disabilities need to move in and why we need to be doing the improvement of improvements at the physical and perceptual level. It is the very base of your brain.
Engelbart: We have a few more minutes of discussion.
Audience: We have a hard time seeing the big picture, because we are down at ground level where we can only see the near by things that are happening. If you back away from this a bit, you will see that we are at a place that humanity has not seen been before. We are entering an era of abundance in everything. It started with an abundance of computer cycles, computer memory, and bandwidth. We are doubling that every six months. The fiber that is in the ground will carry twice as much data every six months. We have never experienced growth like that before. Itís making possible many things that were uneconomical before. We donít have to worry about supporting a WebSite for handicapped people. We can do that with any of our lunch money. Itís so cheap to do that kind of thing these days, that we donít need funding models, when we can pay for it for it with advertising if necessary.
Engelbart: Well yes, some things. I donít think that is the answer for everything. We still have to find what we canít get free and the same amplification and multiplication things are causing a lot of problems too. Getting collectively smarter is still a key thing to go after.
Audience: Your capability infrastructure diagram shows human systems and the training that is going to be needed to improve those plus the education that shows the technology systems the DKR that we need to put together. It shows the human social systems the procedures and policies, which is essentially a management problem. It strikes me that you can address all four areas with an open source NIC, an education NIC, a management NIC, and an on-line building community NIC that would all work together and be the four basic prods that you need to build a foundation.
Engelbart: That would be a start. I would be willing to bet that many of the sub-communities. But yes, good observation. Would any of you five like to make a closing remark? If you knew them better, then you would be surprised.