Re: [unrev-II] Relational thinking and improvement

From: John J. Deneen (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 14:24:29 PDT

  • Next message: John J. Deneen: "Re: [unrev-II] Re: Towards an atomic data structure."

    The Pervasive Computing Fabric: An Ad Hoc Linkbase Generation Scenario


       "Imagine you are walking along a corridor, you look at a poster on
    the wall and the text and images on the poster prompt you to think of a
    number of associated things. Think of this as having a few collections
    of hypermedia links (linkbases) active in your mind. In our scenario, a
    wearable computer behaves in a similar way, with various personal
    linkbases, a linkbase associated with your current task and one
    associated with the building you are in. This highly dynamic, highly
    context-sensitive and ad hoc situation is what we are trying to realise
    through the hypermedia link services in our pervasive information

       We extend this vision to a collaborative setting: you walk into a
    meeting room and sit down with several other people. Everyone is
    carrying computing devices and these form a shared workspace of
    documents relevant to the meeting; perhaps each has a Web server. How is
    this information space structured? Imagine everyone has linkbases that
    they publish - then we have an ad hoc aggregation of linkbases to assist
    in constructing the hyperstructure for the shared information space.
    Looking at the agenda of the meeting, you now have links available
    according to the linkbases of everyone in the room. Even if you do not
    use these directly, your agent may wish to - perhaps, trivially, for
    search purposes, or in general to answer a context-sensitive query.

       We are developing a notion that the hypermedia middleware - the link
    service - needs to support ad hoc networking by supporting ad hoc
    combinations of linkbases. But first it must also support mobility,
    sharing and mobile access to linkbases. These then are the goals in our
    next iteration of the architecture of the Distributed Link Service
    (DLS). Our approaches include the use of directory services [2] and
    mobile agent technology [3]."

    Gil Regev wrote:

    > Sherry Turkle's article reminds me of a host of promises and concrete
    > experiences. In chronological order:2001 Space Odissey: didn't HAL
    > ended up with having developed a personality, a sense of humor and
    > emotional statesApple's Knowledge Navigator video: this was the future
    > according to John Sculley. They had a beautiful folding PDA which
    > intelligently answered the phone, contacted people for advice, knew
    > how to handle unexpected situations etc. I was at an Apple developer's
    > conference where they showed this video and immediately followed it
    > with what it could be if the device developed a bad personality. I
    > wouldn't want to have the latter.Microsoft Bob: Apart from the fact
    > that it needed 8 MB of memory at a time when most PCs only had 4, it
    > also came with a host of "intelligent assistants." I can't forget that
    > one of them had an unreliable character. I can't understand why one
    > would want one of those. Do we need an assistant that makes us send a
    > fax to the wrong number or that gives us bad advice?The most
    > interesting sentence for me is this question she asks: Are we tacitly
    > acknowledging that we do not have enough "human" time to spend with
    > them [the children and the elderly]? Maybe this is why we so badly
    > want to replicate oursevlesGil-----Original Message-----
    > From: Henry van Eyken []
    > Sent: mardi, 2. mai 2000 12:59
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: [unrev-II] Relational thinking and improvement
    > Jack:
    > First about the Sherry Turkle article. It reminded me
    > immediately of a famous experiment conducted by experimental
    > psychologists quite a few decades back. It involved the
    > attachment of monkeys to wire-frame surrgogate mothers and
    > the effect of clothing it with a fabric. Guess what? Draping
    > the frame with soft towel did wonders for affection. I
    > should be able to get a proper reference if you want me to.
    > I know, I know, Prof. Turkle looks not at soft cloth, but at
    > electronic intelligence as a discriminating factor in
    > affection. Might it have something to do with Kurzweil also
    > hailing from MIT? Just suspecting.
    > As for your TSC, I sincerely believe that you may be better
    > of looking for the kind of connectiveness you are enquiring
    > into in the domain of evolutionary psychology - looking
    > along the vector of time rather than across it, so to speak.
    > Before making any recommendation I want to be absolutely
    > sure people understand that I am not schooled in psychology
    > other than having taken a course in the now thoroughly
    > damned behaviorist school of educational psychology. (I like
    > to believe my mind has not been warped by that anymore than
    > by programming in BASIC.)
    > Now the recommendation (which would be some years out of
    > date by now): there is a book of papers edited by Jerome H.
    > Barkow, Ledas Cosmides, and John Tooby that is called "The
    > Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of
    > Culture." One of the most captivating phrases in it is the
    > title of a paper by Barkow, "Beneath new culture is old
    > psychology." Because I sensed the subject matter to be
    > important to my personal, 15-year-old belief that people do
    > well to augment themselves with on-the-person computers, I
    > extracted a bit of he book in short "report" under the
    > heading, "The bias that got us places (or Some booby-traps
    > on the way to spiritual machines)."
    > puting_to_a_purpose-1.html#The bias that got us places
    > As for man-machine affection, you may find some personal
    > affinity in "Roots: Why Fleabyte?"
    > mputing_to_a_purpose-3.html#Roots, Why Fleabyte
    > I salute you in your TSC efforts.
    > As for my "expertise," I cannot enough emphasize a
    > disclaimer, but whenever circumstances permit I like to have
    > at least a sense of what's going on in important domains of
    > human society, and what of it makes sense or not -
    > regardless of what makes us tick.
    > Henry
    > P.S. Thanks for that note I didn't have to write.
    > Jack Park wrote:
    > > I have, for more than a dozen years, been evolving a
    > > theory with which I could construct a program I call The
    > > Scholar's Companion (TSC). TSC was always intended to be
    > > an IQ-enhancement tool. I have been sold on the notion of
    > > "apparent IQ" -- that of the combined efforts of a human
    > > and a computer working together to solve some problem,
    > > learn something new. Along the way, I became acquainted
    > > with the work of N. Raschevsky, and R. Rosen. Rosen took
    > > Raschevsky's Relational Biology to its current incarnation
    > > complete with a mathematics founded in Category Theory.
    > > Of course, I have been studying just what it would take to
    > > incorporate this thinking in TSC. Today, I stumbled upon a
    > > web site (, and a talk by Sherry
    > > Turkle, "A new kind of object: From Rorschach to
    > > Relationship." I am beginning to view the OHS/DKR, and
    > > TSC, from a viewpoint articulated in this paper. I'll be
    > > interested in the comments of others with respect to her
    > > views. Jack
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