[unrev-II] Lucid Thinking

From: Jack Park (jackpark@thinkalong.com)
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 23:13:22 PDT

  • Next message: Alex Shapiro: "Re: [unrev-II] Lucid Thinking"

    Well, it had to happen. I've been musing about implementing something in
    the Nexist theme that tries to learn as much as possible from my
    experiences playing with Lucid Fried Eggs at http://www.memes.net

    What follows is perhaps longish (sorry), perhaps nonlinear (not sorry), and
    nonetheless the result of a flash of insight.

    What's fun with Lucid:

    1- The personal portal-like feel and user (my) experience
    2- The reminders of what's been recently touched -- much like a neural network
    3- The statistics showing what's most active
    4- The BLOG-like interface
    5- The Wiki-like interface

    What's missing with Lucid (my opinions only):

    1- The ability to generate varying views (explained below)
    2- The ability to construct threads (in a manner about which I am thinking)

    Why do I care about what's missing?

    1- Because I'd like to snap a topic map views (which is partially available
    by way of TouchGraph) on threads (see 2)
    2- Because I'd like to be able to have IBIS-like discussions going on all
    over the Lucid network, without, say, having some particular IBIS-like home
    page at the a portal such as memes.net.

    How might I go about implementing what's missing?

    I am completely convinced that Lucid could be enhanced in the manner I am
    thinking. I would be glad to discuss such enhancements, but, I am also
    convinced that I am not a PHP programmer; I'm inclined to roam about
    looking for various components already existing in Java and patching them
    together. For instance, there exist a couple of open source Java Wiki
    implementations that are, at once, simple and elegant, and capable of
    mutating (excuse me: evolving under facilitation) in the desired direction.

    What then?

    Each entry (as made by a user typing into the input text box) in a given
    page (Node) is, itself, an individual cell which can/should take on
    properties not presently visible in Lucid. Consider the ability to include
    contextual links within each cell. A contextual link can be thought of as
    actually a cluster of links each associated with some context. Here is
    what I am thinking. I have often thought that the real meaning of data,
    any data, lies in that which we make of that data. It would be nice to
    have a tiny cell associated with some chunk of data (another cell) that, in
    effect, is labeled "Kilroy was here" and which, when opened, has some
    comments by Kilroy related to Kilroy's experiences with that data. Now,
    the cell created by Kilroy is actually another cell somewhere else in the
    Lucid network. That cell would, of course, hyperlink to the cell for which
    it lends meaning.

    Now, suppose that Kilroy was actually lending a pro or con argument with
    respect to the particular cell. And, the particular cell was, itself,
    lending an idea, question, or argument to some other cell (to which it
    would hyperlink). Now, all over a Lucid network, we have the basis of a
    Mapped Dialog.

    How might such a network be organized? An easy way to imagine this is that
    Kilroy has his own Node, which, itself, is a container for as many of these
    cells as he wishes to contribute. With that arrangement, I now have the
    ability to rapidly gain a view of Kilroy's contributions. Of course, I
    don't have to organize an entire network that way. I can just let the
    topic map engine (that, of course, is a part of the new system) pop me a
    view of Kilroy. By way of that very same topic map engine, perhaps using
    TouchGraph as a visual presentation system, I can pop a view of the Mapped
    Dialog or any part of it as well.

    Why do all this?

    Simply because I am looking for the fastest way to prototype a DKR with
    parts of a HyperScope included. This one seems easy. The entire network
    maintained by Lucid now is a great start at a DKR. My inclinations are to
    render it navigable in a variety of ways. I still like the "most recent"
    and "most talked about" views, and I would like the threaded views I am
    suggesting as well. With those, Lucid grows into a powerful Dialog Mapping
    tool while still maintaining its character as a public white board for
    musings, news, and so forth. Given that, you have a much more powerful way
    to allow for spontaneous eruption of argument, and a way to focus and
    control that argument as it progresses. Much more powerful, that is, than
    are the slashCode-like interfaces that just allow for random, though
    potentially hierarchical organization of comments, made without regard to
    any rules of engagement.

    Dialog Mapping, by the way, is envisioned to be implemented in two
    different fashions: there's always the spontaneous discussions, now made
    cleaner by the linking facilities, and there's also envisioned a moderated
    (facilitated) system where someone can "own" a discussion and perform some
    amount of facilitating (censoring, classifying, etc) of contributions.

    And, as you might guess, I'd like to experiment with a text mining engine
    on all that information that allows for the potential discovery of links
    not noticed by the humans in the loop.

    Where might one go next?

    This, for me, is the fun part. Imagine a Knowledge Portal that also serves
    as my own BLOG, as my own (private) email system, and as my favorite place
    to satisfy my need to argue with Eric about all sorts of things. Lucid is
    close. Now, I can imagine dropping all these email lists because they will
    all be easily available to me such that I can subscribe to headlines to be
    presented at my own "homepage" at the portal, where I would otherwise deal
    with my email, and respond to the headlines (including entering mapped

    In the system I am envisioning here, I can imagine a strong authentication
    system that allows me to deal with my own email privately from anywhere in
    the world where web browsing is available, a personal WebLog (BLOG) in
    which I can do the sort of musing I am presently doing, but available to
    everyone, not just those who chance to search the bootstrap.org web site,
    and which allows for automatic linkage with the BLOGs of all the other
    participants at this portal, regardless of their focus of interest. Notice
    how many times some of us forward interesting posts from other email lists
    to this list (and vice versa). You may not agree with me now, but I tend
    to think that email lists balkanize human experience. Recent events show,
    if as never before, that balkanized human experience means big trouble.

    The architecture I am proposing draws heavily from some truly creative
    work, including Lucid Fried Eggs, the many Wiki implementations, email as
    we presently use it, and the many comments by Douglas Engelbart that have
    argued for the "many views" HyperScope coupled to a DKR.

    For me, this one seems easy to prototype. I arrive with this intuition by
    way of playing with memes.net, which, in my opinion, is strongly suggestive
    that an OHS mantra should be to "implement early, revise often." I don't
    think it's nearly as easy to flash ideas like this in the absence of
    personal experience with well-made tools.

    There are, to be sure, many other architectures available for consideration
    and implementation.

    Say what?

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