Archive for September, 2006

The Future of Web Apps

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

I’ll be at The Future of Web Apps in San Francisco next week.

Wiki Wednesday: Participatory Media

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Participatory Media at Wiki Wednesday tonight. We’ll talk with Ryan Singel about the Wired Wiki experiment.

Dropping Knowledge

Monday, September 4th, 2006

dropping knowledge is an initiative in the wider area of online dialogue and deliberation. From the FAQ and the overview:

dropping knowledge is a web-based platform for the exchange of multiple viewpoints, open to every citizen of the world. dropping knowledge is committed to heightening social awareness, challenging habitual ways of thinking and acting, fostering a global dialogue and inspiring real-world initiatives.

On September 9, 2006, 112 scientists, social entrepreneurs, philosophers, writers, artists and activists from around the world will come together in Berlin, Germany, as guests of dropping knowledge. They will individually answer 100 pre-selected questions from the vast pool submitted to our website by the global public.

On September 10, 2006, dropping knowledge will launch a freely accessible Copyleft knowledge portal and dialogue forum, seeded with audiovisual content from the first Table of Free Voices. Founded on a catalog of 23,000 interconnected problem classes, the platform will empower the global public to ask and answer questions, exchange viewpoints and ideas, and join in dialog around the most comprehensive hierarchy of social topics ever compiled.

Navigating by natural language search and an intuitive visual browser, users will come together to ‘inhabit’ shared themes of concern, setting up camp around the topics that matter most to them. By igniting global discussion covering the most pressing questions of our time, dropping knowledge will foster new thoughts, reflections and sustainable solutions to inspire communities of action within the emerging global society.

A transparent initiative to support global knowledge-sharing, dropping knowledge is a way of asking and answering the questions that matter to you. When you question in order to understand, when you answer in order to share, you are dropping knowledge.

The project is the brainchild of Ralf Schmerberg (founder and CEO of Berlin-based Trigger Happy Productions, a full-service production company for commercials, documentation and feature film), Cindy Gantz and Jackie Wallace. The “Living Library” software is being developed by Professor Hans Uszkoreit of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.

German insurance company Allianz Group is a partner to the project (the partnership was announced on February 15, 2006: Global dialog gets underway, see also the Founding Partner Agreement). They have more information on their dropping knowledge project microsite:

Dropping Knowledge Principles

INCLUSIVENESS dropping knowledge is an open public resource that seeks to include every citizen of the world, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or class.

SUSTAINABILITY dropping knowledge will convene future tables of free voices around the world, expand the reach and access of the living library and stimulate new initiatives and partnerships among individuals, NGOs and corporations.

COPYLEFT dropping knowledge abides by a CopyLeft principle of distribution. All content donated to or generated by dropping knowledge is freely available to all for all time.

PUBLIC OWNERSHIP dropping knowledge is an open-source platform with 100% stakeholder perspective. dropping knowledge cannot be owned by any organization, corporation or individual. It belongs to the people of the world.

TRANSPARENCY dropping knowledge commits to full transparency and disclosure, informing our community of donors, participants and users of the way it spends its donated resources.

At this point, Wikipedia only has a brief article on dropping knowledge (the German version is up for deletion even).

Some mentions on the web (mostly in German):

You can visit The Drop, the dropping knowledge weblog, to follow the project.

It will be interesting to watch how this works out. I only came across the site by accident last night and I am still trying to figure out what to make of it. Many questions come to mind, but I will leave those to another post.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts about dropping knowledge?

Little Miss Sunshine

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine — And here I thought the fountain of good movies had run dry. Really earns its good reviews.

One thing, though: Why is this flic rated R? I mean, hello?!


Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

It’s about time I learned some programming. I decided to go with Ruby, I’ve found a great tutor, and I’m on page 7 of my 800 page book. Look, it works:

irb(main):004:0> def sum(n1, n2)
irb(main):005:1> n1 + n2
irb(main):006:1> end
=> nil
irb(main):007:0> sum (3, 4)
(irb):7: warning: don't put space before argument parentheses
=> 7
irb(main):008:0> sum(3, 4)
=> 7
irb(main):009:0> sum("cat", "dog")
=> "catdog"

This is fun.

HyperScope Version 1.0 Release Party, September 5

Friday, September 1st, 2006

HyperScope is an interesting project:

The HyperScope is a high-performance thought processor that enables you to navigate, view, and link to documents in sophisticated ways. It’s the brainchild of Doug Engelbart, the inventor of hypertext and the mouse, and is the first step towards his larger vision for an Open Hyperdocument System.

The HyperScope is written in JavaScript using the Dojo toolkit and works in Firefox (recommended) and Internet Explorer. It uses OPML as its base file format. It is open source and available under the GPL.

Eugene presented HyperScope at Web Monday Silicon Valley last month (see notes). The HyperScope core team has been working hard over the last few months to get the first version out. A few weeks ago, Nicole and I had the honor to be invited to one of their monthly work meetings. To me, the most amazing thing was to be in the same room with and listen to Doug Engelbart, a man who 40 years ago had envisioned so many of the things we’ve come to use only very recently (as I understand, HyperScope remains — at least for now — only a small piece of his larger vision, and hopefully we’ll get to see much more of it over the coming years)

Release celebrations will be held this coming Tuesday, September 5, in Menlo Park. RSVP on the wiki or on Upcoming.