Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Re: Just the facts.
Why hasn't it happened? (01)
I have just a simple theory, and I really have no idea how to articulate
that theory, but it goes something like this: (02)
WYSIWYG won. (03)
Some of the discussions for OHS-like capabilities that I have heard along
the way seem to argue (though not argued forcefully) for taking steps in
directions other than those which won the hearts and minds of people
everywhere. For better or for worse, we are stuck with windowing systems
that are a long way away from those that Douglas Engelbart demonstrated
more than 30 years ago and which still exist in his powerful Augment
system. The hard way? Maybe so; I don't really know. I just know, or think
I believe that we are creatures of the habits we construct for ourselves,
and changing those habits is a bitch. (04)
From my perspective on that situation, the argument can be made that an
OHS ought to start with something horribly familiar. It turns out that
OpenOffice is pretty (but not completely) familiar. They have concentrated
on getting interoperability with MS Office right, but left a bunch of
irritating (there's that word again) differences in behaviors -- like 32k
row limit in the spreadsheet, just to name the showstopper. Elsewhere,
Peter Jones mentioned the Multivalent browser. I've been playing with that
for a long time now. Only problem with it is that it's not really a robust
HTML browser; it does a lot of other things quite nicely, however. In
fact, with a bunch of coding, it could easily qualify for one version of an
implementation of the HyperScope, a browser that is supposed to bring
together all sorts of different document types. Starting down the
HyperScope path, however, brings out discussions of views and view changing
capabilities, and those arguments begin to enter paths that deviate from
the familiar. Maybe that's needed; maybe that slows things down. (05)
A breakthrough? I'll hoist a pint to that! (06)
Did you mean "Mute leading the blind?" (08)
At 02:10 PM 10/6/2002 -0700, Gerald Pierce wrote:
>Straight, clear and to the point. So the real question is Why hasn't it
>happened? For that, we seem to persue a course of constant technical re-
>finements resulting in a set of tools of great elegance and beauty that
>the public at large, if they notice at all, step over with mild irratation
>on their way to more of doing it the hard way.
>I'm sure you have all heard of the expression of "the blind leading the
>blind" It seems to me that Doug has an even more frustrating task,
>namely being clear of vision but short of voice. More like "the blind
>leading the mute"!!
>What we need is a breakthrough. There is some insight into human nature
>that we are missing. THAT is where we must look. The way it is now we
>stand around and ask "When all the Temple is prepared within, why waits
>the weary worshipper outside?"
>Jack Park wrote:
>>I don't think your solution scales well. Otherwise, it would make sense
>>to plaster images of scantily clad people into the many instructivist
>>lectures going on everywhere as well. (Snickers going on in the
>>background, even though Peter's wasn't a serious suggestion).
>>My own reaction to the profoundly instructivist, just-in-case lectures of
>>high school was to allow that mysterious "inner voice" take reign.
>>At the time, I dreamt of building an airplane. Whilst in college, I did
>>just that. Dropped out of college and flew my bird until I eventually
>>One of the things I got from the StoryCon convention I attended
>>(http://www.storycon.org) was the notion that the inner voice is quite
>>responsive to story telling, particularly as discussed by Stephen Denning
>>(_The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era
>>Organizations_). This, I think, roams around in the space of musings
>>about how good ideas pop out of one's subconscious. Perhaps one of the
>>most lucid discussions about this is found in David Gelernter's book _The
>>Muse In The Machine_.
>>My view of Dr. Engelbart's story is quite clear, my interpretation is a
>>simple one. There is a profound opportunity to exploit the interplay
>>between humans (plural) and tools (also plural) to create a space he
>>calls a "capabilities improvement infrastructure." The interplay of many
>>people in that infrastructure, when taken to the Web, opens the door to
>>what he calls a "networked improvement community." Nothing, I think,
>>could be more obvious or much simpler. The awsome reality (I think)
>>behind that is that Engelbart was showing how to do just that in the
>>sixties, long before the Web existed.
>>At 12:00 PM 10/6/2002 +0100, Peter Jones wrote:
>>>It's hard to know where the dividing line is though. For example, I know
>>>every good idea I've ever had has just leapt out of my subconscious - or
>>>nowhere, if you like, since the source is not really amenable to scientific
>>>investigation at this time. So the kudos has to be in knowing/seeing
>>>are healthy, and working to promote them in the world through action.
>>>However, the type of action chosen to promote those ideas is also
>>>crucial. It is
>>>easy to take a good idea, and subject folks to it mercilessly like a mad
>>>Inevitably people will rebel against the actions _and_ the idea.
>>>One of Jack Park's themes is that the orthodox school system tends to
>>>approach to learning - so many children just end up as big bags of
>>>with no conceptual centeredness.
>>>So it's almost as though one has to publicise ideas without pushing -
>>>ideas tempting in themselves.
>>>Unfortunately there are all sorts of problems with ideas being tempting.
>>>It is possible to make ideas tempting in a way that bears no relation to
>>>intrinsic rational value by weighting their popularity in respect of
>>>human desire and waiting for the herd instinct to kick in.
>>>Or, as advertisers do these days, simply visually associate an idea with
>>>something shiny/sexy/funny and wait.
>>>Welcome to the meme wars.
>>>In light of this it now seems clear to me that Dr. Engelbart needs to
>>>his papers with more pictures of scantily-clad models.
XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web.
Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-74960-2. (010)