Category Archives: Open Source

Online Education and Digital Storytelling

Mercedes Bell, a researcher for, shared an article The Art of Digital Storytelling.

The article makes several good points and provides numerous examples graphed below. When digital storytelling is used for education, a new challenge today is keeping the reader engaged, without clicking away, wandering through so many loosely related topics, its easy to get lost, and forget where a digital pathway started, or where it is heading.

The objective of digital storytelling, online education, large scale digitization and information projects needs to be spending more time with better information.


Physics of Data Flow

Welcome new subscribers!

Last week the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Northern Virginia Chapter (CSI NOVA) welcomed scientists from the NIST Fire Research Lab to give a talk about fire simulations and the new test facility.

NIST’s Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS)

A couple simulations were of just the fires themselves rather than walls, furniture, elevator shafts and other elements that might influence where a fire would move next in a building. The NIST Fire Research lab studies both the effects and relationships of different building materials with fire, and the physics of fire by itself. The physics of fire by itself has some known properties, such as maximum temperatures, and the short SHORT flashover point. The space around a fire is not always needed for better understanding of what a fire is likely to do next.

National Fire Protection Association (2001) from NFPA 1710

Today we have a lot of data moving around the Internet. Behaviors and patterns in the physics of data flow may have properties like maximum temperatures or flashover points in fires.

Ebb and Flow of Box Office Receipts Over the Past 20 Years – at Flowing Data

However it seems like most of these studies only look at the data, rarely the space around. As if the way different areas of the Internet were built, or the composition of various user communities, could influence where data are likely to go next and whether they are likely to spread quickly or slowly smolder. Below is an image about the flow of physics data from CERN, but who is studying the physics of data flow? Or more importantly, structural details about spaces around data, or how more precise configurations might help push relevant information into specific areas that are most conducive to those particular ideas catching on, spreading, and growing… Until at some point, inevitably, even the most gigantic ideas, like fires, will eventually die out. We are still learning about the physics of fire today, the physics of data flow and a better understanding of the life cycle of ideas and information may take many MANY generations of study until the statistics and calculations are relatively accurate, or at least aligned with the unpredictable real world.


Taking Apart and Putting Back Together in a Repeatable Process

The greatest thing about relational databases is they store everything loose in some kind of homogeneous level playing field. It is only be establishing relationships between data that anyone is able to see anything in context. Without context, they are just data. In context they are messages, thoughts, ideas, studies, results, and work products.

If an idea is very complex sometimes it helps to break it down into component parts. Systematically taking it apart to understand what makes this idea tick.

DesignIT Studios

Starship ModelerWikicommons Watch Movement

Taking an idea apart can be very informative. Especially when various parts need to be updated and optimized, continually changing like software releases. If the watch above was wordpress, the Swift theme, and the internet each gear changes sooner or later but the whole watch still needs to work together if it is to continue functioning.  Putting things back together offers it’s own set of challenges.  There is an opportunity to purge elements that are no longer useful during this process. Like a hoarder moving everything out of their house onto the curb then back into the house, maybe some of those items are not worth saving after all. Or fixing a car engine, or someones medical condition, when it is unclear exactly what the problem is but simply by taking it apart and putting it back together, whatever was not working gets repaired.

IDSA Materials and Processes Section

Instructions are needed, parts need to be labeled. A sequence of reassembly is needed to ensure the reassembled whole still is the same. It can be difficult to see how the parts fit together when viewed too close.

Carol Padburg

Because everyone’s perception and experience is different, the exact same elements, in almost exactly the same combination may be understood a different way from different points of view. The receiving end may be “reading something into” what the sender intended. It may not be possible for two different people to consistently see the same things the same ways.

Put Back Together Pictures

However, this is not true for machines like computers or networks like the internet because machines have no prejudices, emotions, or previous experiences.  They simply process the information, break up whole ideas into packets, send them somewhere, another machine puts them back together. For this to be reliable everything on both ends needs to be a repeatable process. It would be so helpful to have a mold with the end result packed in with every packet to ensure consistency. MIT has just started a project to map controversies that may be useful to understand multiple interpretations of the same information.

MIT Mapping Controversies Project

This project is important today because we are surrounded by so many controversies, and so much data, it’s difficult to sort out which parts are actually valid, worth processing, keeping in the information houses where we store things. For example the Washington Post had an article today about the disconnect between science and the general public entitled “Not Blinded by Science, but Ideology” where global warming is a perfect example.

To avoid using information the wrong way, or putting together messages, thoughts, and ideas that may be different than original authors intended, especially while processing the data in emotionless machines – repeatable processes are needed.

BZen Consulting

Info-Sight Partners Actionability Index

Global Wonderware

Today the primary representation of how pieces of information are to be put back together need to work with SQL. Looking at the relationships is usually just miles and miles of code. However, there is a company at who makes Schemaball, a Schema Viewer for SQL Databases where the relationships themselves can be put under a microscope and examined across the whole database in one glance.

It’s curious why geometry proper is not used more often to direct the arc, layouts and relationships. Something like a mold could be useful to ensure the reassembly is 100 percent correct on the receiving end, to match exactly, what the sender intended.

But how would you store and encode that geometry?


Emergent versus Imposed Boundaries

When organizing large quantities of resources and information in the digital world… putting things into groups, determining what goes where and assigning boundaries, it can be helpful to look at the real world for lessons learned.  Imposing boundaries in unnatural locations is bound to fail sooner or later, the results can be disastrous taking generations to overcome.

Take for example Southern Africa. Oceans, mountains, deserts, vegetation and other natural features determined where people lived and worked.


Physical Geography and Natural Vegetation
from Exploring Africa at Michigan State University 

Over time, people settled in various areas surrounded by their culture. Learning the best ways to be productive based on the conditions in their area – whether it was a jungle with vast resources or a desert with very few. 

From Africa Expat

Ancient people such as the Shona in modern day Zimbabwe congregated and stuck together in different areas.  Many of these languages and traditions continue today. But these curving, natural, and emergent boundaries don’t match boundaries imposed from outside cultures.

From Wikimedia Commons

Occasionally, an imposed boundary may coincide with a natural boundary such as a river.  More often though, imposed boundaries are designed to work within larger more global schemes, without paying enough attention to the local impact.

From Wikimedia Commons

Anyone can see where arbitrarily drawing lines has gotten us today.  What can be learned from history to avoid similar situations in the fresh, clean, brand new digital world where ideas and information are still patterning out and have no where in particular to belong except where they are emerging as “next to something else” or arranged for convenient, all encompassing, upper level views

Linked Open Data, Colored, as of March 2009

What about situations where digital terrain and intellectual data boundaries are being purposefully laid out. For example Master Web of Science, and Places & Spaces where navigating the data is like exploring uncharted territory, and Katy Borner and collaborators seek to enable the discovery of new worlds while also marking territories inhabited by unknown monsters.

The difference in the semantic world versus the physical world should be that the digital world has no constraints like rivers or mountains. Eventually all of the layout can be determined.  Attention does need to be paid to where cultures are emerging, and how this can benefit everyone both globally and locally.

 Not only watch how the semantic web is emerging, but to direct it’s flow in productive ways, geared for people in different areas that may vary widely in their density and resources, rather than as one empire. Because that only causes trouble in the long run.

Layout Algorithm, NYU

Data Mining at Information and Visualization

Random Layout Algorithm at Cell System Markup Language (CSML) an XML format for modeling, visualizing and simulating biopathways.

The advantage of paying attention to this is, reaching an appropriate balance between random emergence and directed flow will ultimately serve end users and programmers better than any other option, and the solutions will last for a long time.

Communities of Practice at NASA


Trace Back In Time – to tie together

How Stomach Bacteria Can Trace Prehistoric Events, by Med Gadget Internet Journal of Emerging Medical Technologies.

What would it be like to trace the history of standards and technology adoption through time?

Would it be obvious most building codes are in response to a disaster or emergency?

Could you see that most people interested in open source prefer Macs?

Brainwave Sofa is exactly what you were thinking also at MedGadget where “Ever wondered what a piece of furniture formed from raw data extracted from your brain would look like? But of course you have, and so did Lucas Maassen and Dries Verbruggen, the designers of the Brainwave Sofa. Mr. Verbruggen had his brain activity measured while he closed his eyes for 3 seconds. The extracted EEG data was used to create a 3D landscape with the x-axis representing the frequency of brainwave activity in hertz, the y-axis is the percentage of activity, and the z- axis is time. The sofa was then created in its physical form by a five axis computer numerical controlled machine, which creates a three dimensional object out of foam.”




Form Constant at Wikipedia

Quantities, Units, Dimensions and Types Ontologies Constants at oeGOV

POSTED BY: Hodgson, Ralph (ARC-REE)[PEROT SYSTEMS] to uom-ontology-s

Based on the QUDT Ontologies,  we have just released an Ontology of the NIST constants at

A sample in N3 format is given below:
# Saved by TopBraid on Thu Aug 27 14:57:34 PDT 2009
# baseURI:
# imports:
# imports:
# imports:
# imports:
# imports:
# imports:

@prefix cc:      <> .
@prefix dc:      <> .
@prefix dim:     <> .
@prefix nist:    <> .
@prefix nist-constants:  <> .
@prefix oecc:    <> .
@prefix owl:     <> .
@prefix quantity:  <> .
@prefix qud:     <> .
@prefix rdf:     <> .
@prefix rdfs:    <> .
@prefix unit:    <> .
@prefix xsd:     <> .

     rdf:type nist:PhysicalConstant ;
     rdfs:label “alpha particle-electron mass ratio” ;
     qud:quantityKind quantity:DimensionlessRatio ;
     qud:quantityValue nist:CODATA-Value_AlphaParticleElectronMassRatio .

     rdf:type nist:PhysicalConstant ;
     rdfs:label “alpha particle mass” ;
     qud:quantityKind quantity:Mass ;
     qud:quantityValue nist:CODATA-Value_AlphaParticleMass .

     rdf:type nist:PhysicalConstant ;
     rdfs:label “alpha particle mass energy equivalent” ;
     qud:quantityKind quantity:EnergyAndWork ;
     qud:quantityValue nist:CODATA-Value_AlphaParticleMassEnergyEquivalent .

     rdf:type nist:PhysicalConstant ;
     rdfs:label “Wien wavelength displacement law constant” ;
     qud:quantityKind quantity:LengthTemperature ;
     qud:quantityValue nist:CODATA-Value_WienWavelengthDisplacementLawConstant .

     rdf:type oecc:AttributedSource ;
     cc:attributionName “NIST”^^xsd:string ;
     cc:attributionURL “”^^xsd:anyURI .

     rdf:type owl:Ontology ;
     cc:license <> ;
     dc:contributor “Ralph Hodgson”^^xsd:string , “Irene Polikoff”^^xsd:string ;
     dc:creator “James E. Masters”^^xsd:string ;
     dc:date “$Date: 2009-08-27 22:08:01 -0700 (Thu, 27 Aug 2009) $”^^xsd:string ;
     dc:description “This graph defines terms for and contains the values and standard uncertainties of 324 physical constants taken from the NIST website:  The NIST Reference on Constants, Units, and Uncertainty, at”^^xsd:string ;
     dc:rights “The QUDT Ontologies are issued under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution should be made to NASA AMES Research Center and TopQuadrant, Inc.”^^xsd:string ;
     dc:subject “Quantities, Units, and Dimensions”^^xsd:string ;
     dc:title “NIST Constants Ontology”^^xsd:string ;
             oecc:NASA-ARC-Attribution , oecc:TopQuadrantAttribution , oecc:NIST-Attribution ;
     oecc:revision “$Revision: 1386 $”^^xsd:string ;
     owl:imports dc: , <> , <> , <> , <> , <> ;
     owl:versionInfo “$Id: nist-constants.n3 1386 2009-08-28 05:08:01Z RalphHodgson $”^^xsd:string .



Ralph Hodgson
NASA Constellation Program Ontologies Lead
               650 336-3035




Matrix Loops Black and White, Available at the BigRugStore

On the scale of everything that people have ever done and will ever do, multiple view points are always there.

Tomorrow, Barack Obama will give a speech he wrote himself.  This is the opposite of the last president.

Maybe the ability to play opposites against each other ~ to see what is going on ~ will be possible now.

A grand scale of idea and information exchange may now be able to swing across full spectrums of public opinion.  What a perfect mathematics and art problem.  Solving this problem in meaningful ways would include:

* Incorporating diverse viewpoints, agendas, and business models;

* Opening and strengthening communication channels;


Opposites can look alike – maybe people had to dislike Sarah Palin before being able to laugh with Tina Fey.  Maybe there had to be an economic crisis and two wars to:

* Speed up the pace of innovation about strategic data capture and efficient re-use;

Obama’s brand new speech tomorrow will address the oldest problems where:

* Seeing, being able to work with and fine tune diverse viewpoints in pragmatic, opposite-side-of-the-coin-ways may be able to help really understand what transparent governance looks like and how it functions;

* Public safety is the opposite of paranoia;

* Openess and Reason are the opposite of opaqueness, IE opacity, without the ability to see, compare or study;

* Actually thinking and considering multiple viewpoints are the opposite of rash actions that cost a lot of money and do not actually deliver schools or other locally useful buildings to the people supposedly being helped;

When Barack Obama takes office, the future is a welcome opposite to the past.


Making Diagrams

Today, there are so many ways to process ideas and information in computers and networks. However, most web exchanges are still based on words in the English language. However, when the information has to do with changing events, relationships, and critical paths ~ drawings and diagrams are able to convey what has already been done and what needs to be done next more clearly.  



Figure 3: Critical Path Identification in Step 2, by Agostino G. Bruzzone, Roberto Mosca, Roberto Revetria ?DIP – Dipartimento di Ingegneria della Produzione  

Work groups at NBIMS, the Building Service Performance Projectat OntologAccuracy&Aesthetics and many, many related interdisciplinary efforts need diagrams to map out what they are working on and express their project goals.  An excellent guide to mapping software is available at  Lots of people are making tools and there are a LOT of shared goals.  For example, the Compendium Institute, the Linking Open Data Project and related efforts at W3, the Open Knowledge Foundation is working on some interesting visualizations, initiatives to map science led by Katy Borner, view-theinfo at Google Groups, and networks like Twine are all doing amazing stuff.  Now how can we all work on, share, and gradually build the same diagrams and maps?

Some examples diagrams from simple to complex purposes are below.   One person, or a group of people, imagination is where it all starts, depending on how much information there is may need to dives down deep into uncharted complexity, then needs to come back up to communicate with everyone involved in such ambitious projects:


Real Change by Natalie Shell who … drew this up to amuse herself the other day while musing on real change at the same time as writing about organisational change processes for a clients and watching/dealing with the changes thrust upon people close to me


Yes there will be a test by Jessica Hagy …author writes her life and musings through venn diagrams on index cards

1RotorDesign (236)

Constructed topological skeleton by Max-Planck-Institut Informatik


Continuing with Tetrahedrization of critical points and connectors.


Finalizing with complete tetrahedrization


From the Progressive Licensing Framework for Discussion at Health Canada











Trace Continuous Threads

dance pattern IssacPastoral

Yang’ge Dance Patterns and The Pastoral Dance Pattern by Mr. Isaac

The diagrams above show dance patterns. Its easy to imagine how these shapes and places to put your feet could be drawn on a floor for dancers to follow. Experienced dancers could probably just look at the diagram and recreate the movements.

By contrast, its more difficult to imagine how dynamic movement of information could be diagrammed to be followed and recreated by others. Below are examples of a cellular automata pattern about Emerging Complexity by Stephen Wolfram, LLC.

This image confuses Photoshop because pixels and colors are more continuous than they seem. There are actually very few boundaries or stopping points. The flow is constrained to limited dimensions with all elements are moving in the same direction.


If working with this pattern was like preparing a set of building specifications – the first step is starting with everything possible. There are patterns which are unseen here before dimensions are constrained. First, a process of elimination to look at only parts. Then working with each part. Some parts may be the exact same on several levels. They can be picked up, inserted, repeated and slightly modified to fit within the set of working information. Tracing paths through working sets and patterns could be a really fun mathematics and art problem.

Finding Continuous Threads

1 – Light Blue – finding the fastest way through.

2 – Orange – trying to cut across horizontally by inferring a line. Started looking for configurations with a sharp tip and two vertical lines going straight down on both sides.


3 – Purple – noticed some of the orange shapes had a strong spine of exactly repeating shapes in chains of varying lengths.

4 – Blue – noticed some chains were independent from the ones colored orange in the red pencil shapes.

5 – Light Green – easier to see by itself with trails above filled in.

Depending on what you are looking for, there are lots of ways to find and isolate repeated elements and trace continuous threads in seemingly disconnected, parallel tracks. If the patterns themselves could be worked on to push the information around in the first place…

computer placement

Sketch to figure it out, automatic placement by the computer of 2 unlike scales, some angles still align.


Based On


Image collage presented to Jim Crutchfield at Santa Fe Institute and the Art and Science Laboratory in 2004. The black and white backgrounds are evolving cellular automata patterns, the blue lines were added to trace continuous threads.


Open Source Lifecycle

Deciding how to develop or acquire open source systems is different than standing in the store looking at software boxes. Open source will continue to develop against a constantly evolving and improving background. If there was a defined open source lifecycle for the construction of open source data and processing techniques, maybe the open source lifecycle could mimic the lifecycle of building construction, occupancy, and upkeep. The tasks and roles are set forth in numbered groups below.



Jerusalem Gold, A Modern Approach to Tradition
by Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik at NiceJewishArtist

1. The Owner – has a holistic goal, a site, and a program. Before engaging an Architect and Contractor, the Owner (which may be a person or organization) defines:

1A – Scope of Work

1B – Payment Procedures (Bid, Negotiated, Manager, No Payment)

1C – Legal Needs

1D – Acquires Property if necessary

1E – Initial Community of Practice Survey in context of their goal

1F – Infrastructure Evaluation and Plans

1G – Assessment of Relevant, Existing Standards

1H – Initial Review of Compliance Procedures

1I – Survey of related government organizations and jurisdictions

1J – Reporting requirements

1K – Presentation and Communication Methods for this project

1L – Logistics, Delivery, Schedule

1M – Goals for Long Term, Slow Change to CoP and their goal


The Persona Lifecycle, Keeping People in Mind During Product Design

2. The Architect/Engineer

2A – Analysis

2B – Design

2C – Ontology

2D – Defines Performance Requirements

2E – Produces a Design that complies with code

2F – Develops Measurable Features

2G – Sets Limits

2H – Defines Controls

2I – Sets Specification Values

2J – System Function – Item Evaluation and Acceptance – Elimination versus Collection

2K – Conflict Resolution Procedures

2L – Corrective Action

2M – Documentation of Error Correction

2N – Approval Process

2O- Permit Review, a milestone set deadline

2P – Integration

2Q – Scheduling and updating fixed, released documents versus live participatory models

2R – Testing and Inspection

2S – Certification Requirements

2T – Workflow

2U – Configuration Selection

2V – Thinking


Life Cycle of a Bug Bugzilla

3. Structural

3A – Change

3B – Parts of a System

3C – Ranking and Classification

3D – Data, Equipment, Structural Modification

3E – Disposition, Effect of Permanent Removal of Previous Support

3F – Impact

3G – Mathematical Work

3H – Prediction of Slow Change and Settling Over Time


Technology Lifecycle Management Phunghi, Inc.

4. Contractor/Manufacturing

4A – Acquires Raw Materials, not property
4B – Purchase, Furnish, and Install

4C – Supply Chain

4D – System of Parts

4E – Physical Process

4F – Geographic Process

4G – Production Process

4H – Transportation

4I – Delivery and Acceptance

4J – As Built Documentation

4K – Activation

4L – Assignment


PR Lifecycle Model, Inoue Public Relations

5. Security vs. Public Systems

5A – Warehouse/Distribution Center

5B – Customer Payment

5C – Selling and Marketing

5D – Open Licensing

5E – Distribution

5F – Release

5G – Lawyer

5H – Comply with Governance Requirements
5I – Press

5J – Documentation

5K – Network Standards

Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT)
Information Systems Audit and Control Association

6. Monitoring

6A – Installation

6B – Audit

6C – Monitor

6D – Feedback and Error Correction

6E – Measure Impact

6F – Operations

6G – Maintenance

6H – Service

6I – User Manuals

6J – System Updates


Stained glass window available from Tenyes Glass

7. Community of Practice (CoP)

7A – Reintegration

7B – Giving

7C – Receiving

7D – Mining

7E – Discovery

7F- Evolution

7G – Slow Change

7H – Communication

7I – Story Telling

7J – Record Keeping

7K – Public Records

7L – Instruct, Learn, Teach, Train

7M – Collect

7N – Generate


The interrelated cycle keeps going until a new owner sets a goal and decides to start a new project, the architect, structural, systems designers, reviewers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, standards bodies, auditors, and CoP end users begin to implement their special areas of expertise again with more knowledge, better data, and more powerfully connected networks and machines.


Community Center


Can the digital world be built like the physical world? Which construction document practices in the physical world have legitimate, helpful application to the construction of virtual worlds? What are the subject matters of these new construction documents? How are they approved and maintained over the life cycle of virtual constructions? What is the best way to record digital situations that may happen in cycles, constantly updating as opposed to buildings that are made once, by hand, then maintained?

Today, building designs are communicated in drawings, specifications, and contracts collectively known as the contract documents. Once buildings are in place, they transform into real estate. Instead of drawing, modeling and text software, buildings are registered on maps using different kinds of software and communication networks. What are the parallel transitions in the digital world from idea, to communicating design, to authorities having jurisdiction review, through construction, to public records? What can modern communities learn from old fashioned communities? Does there need to be a community center design template?
Community Center
Beresford Community Center Blueprints
Burning Man is a festival in Black Rock Nevada that happens every year, centered around a symbol that is burned in the end.

The geospatial community is getting involved because the festival looks so cool from above PlayaMaps


Burning Man Earth, Mapping the Cultural Genome
2006 Street Map by Rod Garrett

Construction specifiers put Division 01 in the center, not of our community, but the center of our consensus product, the construction documents.
Figure 5.6A Division 01 Relationship to Other Documents, Project Resource Manual, Construction Specification Institute.

Division 01 cannot be developed until several other activities have transpired, been decided and recorded, enabling several interrelated documents to be produced.
Figure 1.5-B, Typical Project Stages, Project Resource Manual, Construction Specification Institute.

Contractors need to qualify for bid bonds, payment and performance bonds, at competitive rates, established by their history, to win jobs. Construction itself appears to be a small part at the end of the construction document process. What assurances would, for example a museum have, that their virtual community centers are well designed and properly built? How are information architects and contractors evaluated and selected? Do they have to qualify for performance and payment bonds? Who are their subcontractors? Where do drawing and specification reviews fit in the process? Are there any authorities having jurisdiction?
Does every community need a center? If there was a center for construction specifiers to meet in a place like Second Life, what would the focus be? Would the place meet our persnickity requirements? What are the design requirements of such a community center? Would the purpose be to serve as an answer center?
How should these places be constructed? Can virtual community centers be used to hold gigantic meetings and be replaced over and over again for each new meeting? What essential elements need to be repeated, in the same relative location, for each iteration?
Once an organization scheme is established, won’t drawings and maps communicate the lay of the land better than machine languages and processing techniques visitors will never understand?

The drawings are only one part of the construction documents in the physically built environment. A system of drawing and public inspection is completely missing from current digital construction processes.

Comment from TomGruber ______________

The idea of planning for development in the virtual world makes a lot of sense. At first reading I thought you were talking about planning of virtual real estate – like a design review for second life. Reading on, it looks like you are talking about using a virtual space to give a context and collaboration space for community design planning and review. That would be a great thing to do. Seems to me the key to success is to add some unique value with the virtual space that can’t be done effectively today, beyond removing the physical constrains of co location and synchronous communication. Perhaps the new technology from the gaming community and the reality-tested experience of second life could give the community a place to “live in” the proposed designs for a while before signing off.


Purple Numbers


Above is an example of (an out of date) webpage with purple numbers envisioned by Doug Engelbart and An overlay is put on to a webpage generating random numbers to go right to the place where the text or image is located. The text below was written by Doug Engelbart, 23-Oct-2000.

Introduction 1

    Large-scale challenges are best served if there are appropriately scaled strategic principles to guide their pursuit. And special value results if the launch plan of a long-term and large-scale strategy produces significant payoff accrual early in the pursuit. 1AWe are addressing the large-scale, pervasive challenge of improving the collective development and application of knowledge. Many years of focussed experience and conceptual development underly the strategic framework guiding this proposal. 1B

Phase-1: OHS Launch Project: HyperScope enhancement of Legacy Systems: 2

    Special Note: Implementation of the HyperScope and all of the later stages of the OHS are committed to being done as Open-Source development. There are clear and compelling reasons for this, stemming from the scale and rate of evolution which needs be accommodated, and from the number of collaborative communities which need to be involved, PRO-ACTIVELY. 2AThe HyperScope will be a lightly modified web browser supported by an “Intermediary Processor” (IP) which operates between the browser and the files or data bases holding existing working knowledge of a collaborative community. The HyperScope is not an editor. 2B
    A Hyperscope user will be able to follow links into and between these “legacy” files in a manner similar to using a browser with web-based HTML files. And more, there will be numerous new capabilities and features which will give a HyperScope user considerable more flexibility and working power than users limited to standard browsers and “legacy” editors. 2B1

Brief Functional Description of Phase-1 HyperScope — new capabilities provided to HyperScope users operating within legacy environments: 2C

    1. In response to what may be an ordinary HTTP link, the targeted file will be (a) retrieved from its server and (b) dynamically “translated” into an Intermediary file (I-File) with special structure and format implemented with XML+. 2C1
    For any community seriously interested in applying HyperScope (and the follow-on, full OHS), it is assumed that appropriate “translator modules” will be developed for every file/db type of significance to their collaborative efforts. It is expected that an increasing list of customized translators will be developed as different application communities extend the range of legacy files to be brought into integrated HyperScope use. 2C1A

2. High-Resolution Addressability: Translation into the I-File’s special structure and format creates, among other things, new label tags attached to many objects (e.g. each paragraph), so that links serviced by the HyperScope can explicitly target many objects in the file which were not addressable in their “legacy” form. Ideally, every object in a file should be targetable by a link whose author wants to comment specifically about that object. 2C2

    E.g., here “” targets a specific object, assumedly not labelled in the legacy file, but given the “aaa” label by the Translator any time that it translates that targeted file into the I-File format. 2C2A

3. View-Specifications: The HyperScope will offer a set of “transcoded viewing options” which a user can selectively employ to examine that file. Simple example: just show me the first line of each paragraph. 2C3

    From past experience it is expected that users will invent many variations of the ways they would like to view portions of their files, under different circumstances, often shifting rapidly between views just as one might rotate a physical object, or shift its distance, to get a better understanding of what is there. 2C3A It is planned to enable the option of incorporating a “view specification” (viewspec) to a link so that a subsequent user will not only have execution of that link take him to the desired specific file location, but will also show the contents there with the specified view. 2C3BConsiderable evolution is expected to take place here. In the “open-source” mode, many groups would be experimenting and tuning, contributing to the evolution. 2C3C

4. Expanded set of HyperScope accessable “Legacy File Types:” In principle, this manner of HyperScope access can be implemented for any standard type of file or data base. The Project will establish the basic implementation conventions, and proceed to develop the translation and special I-File properties appropriate for a selected sequence of file/db types — planning tentatively for those to be used by: 2C4

    4a. the OHS-dev community (including open-source participants); 2C4A
    4b. the Software Productivity Consortium’s member community: 2C4B
    4c. communities selected with NIH (and possibly cooperatively with DARPA) for strategic progression of co-evolving tool- and community-development processes. 2C4CNote: Here again, it is planned to facilitate Open-Source development so that many individuals and application communities can pursue specialty application needs and possibilities. (Facilitating this evolution is planned.) 2C4D

5. Copying-Pasting HyperScope Links: When viewing a legacy file via his HyperScope, a user will easily be able to install a HyperScope link (HS-Link) in any legacy file, targeting an explicit location in the file being viewed on his HyperScope. Clicking on the desired target object in a HyperScope “Copy mode,” he can subsequently turn to the “legacy editor” and “Paste” the appropriate link into the legacy file. Later execution of that link will take any subsequent HyperScope user to the desired, specific location and with the specified view. 2C5

6. Back-Link Management: Provision will be made to capture information about links pointing through the HyperScopes into a specified collection of files, to establish a “Back-Link Data Base” (BLDB). For each such link, information to be captured would be such as: 2C6

    6a. Explicit target object being cited; 2C6A
    6b. The “foreign” location of the link; 2C6B
    NOTE: both 6a and 6b being very much more usefully explicit if exercised via HyperScope use. 2C6B1

6c. The author of that other-file citation link. 2C6C

6d. The “Type” of link citation, as per the vocabulary of “link typing” adopted by the usage community, and provided for inclusion in “link syntax” by appropriate standardization processes. 2C6D

    NOTE: Link Typing has been advocated and discused for many years. With the above HyperScope-facilitated LDB, link-type utilization within appropriately developed community conventions and practices, would offer very important enhanced capability for collective knowledge development. 2C6D1AND, in a larger sense, it would enable a practical way to improve on the established academic convention of only publishing AFTER appropriate peer review (with attendant time delays in the cycle of knowedge evolution). 2C6D2 HERE, a promising alternative is offered: Publish now, let Peer Review and “evolving attribution” take place after. I.e., much more than just counting citations can here provide effectively attributed peer evaluation: explicit back-link assessment of trails can operate in many complex knowledge-evolution environments to isolate the key contributions (and also the key misleading entries). 2C6D3

7. Extended addressing conventions to improve linking power: 2C7

    7a. Relative Addressing: A conventional URL with a “#label” extension can position the HyperScope at a given object in the target file. Extended conventions will enable the link to point to subordinate objects — e.g., to a word in a paragraph, to an expression in an equation, … 2C7A7b. Indirect Linking: A very powerful extension to the relative addressing is a convention which directs the HyperScope to go to a specific location and then follow the link at that position — and perhaps at the link’s destination to do further relative positioning and “link following.” This indirect linking provides very powerful functionality when users learn to harness it. 2C7B7c. Implicit Linking: Example — every word is implicitly linked to its definition in a dictionary; every special term is implicitly linked to its definition in that discipline’s glossary; every instance of an object’s name in a source-code file is implicitly linked to its imlementation code; …; every pronoun is implicitly linked to its antecedent. Special “jump” commands can be provided which can operate as though the term in question is explicitly linked to the “implicitly linked” object. (Jump to Definition, …) 2C7C

8. Same file in multiple windows — no real limit there — simultaneously allowing different positioning and different viewing portrayals of a given file. 2C8

    Later, when editing of the Intermediary File will be offered, any legal edit operation executed in one window is reflected accurately and immediately in all other of that file’s portrayal windows. 2C8AThis flexibility in utilizing multiple windows has surprising value when users learn to make effective use of it. 2C8B

9. Non-Link Jumps; Options offered via simple selection means — E.g.: 2C9

    A click in a given paragraph, not on an embedded link, would hoist that paragraph to the top of the window. 2C9AClick-select a given paragraph, then Jump Next, Last, First, Origin, … 2C9B

10. Double-click Jumps offer surprisingly flexible options: 2C10

    First click indicates what jump is desired; second click can be in any other window, indicating where the jump-result view is to be portrayed. Whatever viewing spec already established in the target window will also prevail when the jumped-to file/location is portrayed there. 2C10A Also, in the interval between window clicks, icon or menu clicks, or character input, can indicate the new viewing spec if the user desires something different from what is currently set for the target window. 2C10B For instance: Window 1 could be relatively narrow, with view spec set for small font and only first line of each paragraph portrayed; Window 2 wider, with larger, more-readable font and full-paragraph portrayal. 2C10C

We assume that the above capabilities would be useful to almost any collaborative community, essentially as soon as adequate HyperScope-application support services could be provided. (NOTE that a qualified SRI group is explicitly set now to establish and operate such servics. Optional whether arrangements for this are pre-established at outset of the “OHS-dev Project”, or later when support of a particular community choose to become involved. In any event, suitable lead time needs be allowed.) 2C11

Phase-2: Maturing/Evolving the Hyperscope into full-feature OHS: 3

    Evolution of the Intermediary File format will be given careful attention since it is destined to become the format for the full Open Hyperdocument System (which will continue its evolution). 3A An OHS “User Interface System” (UIS) will be developed to provide a basic range of functions for moving, viewing and editing. 3BProvision for archiving, version control, etc. will be developed so that it becomes possible to develop and maintain an evolving knowledge base soley within an OHS environment — with integrated flexibility and power accumulated from the best that was accomplished via HyperScope usage among the legacy files. 3CNow the VERY important feature of this approach to OHS development comes into play: task by task, or person by person, in almost any order and rate, users can start to keep their files entirely within the OHS environment. All the working material is still interlinkable, whether in OHS or legacy files. 3DAnd the critical community-development processes will become VERY important here — to start the active “co-evolution” of the “Human System” and the OHS “Tool System” (as discussed at length in the “Bootstrap Publications”). 3EFor the scale of utilization that will be necessary, in number of inter-operating groups, in the diversity of inter-operable knowledge domains, and in the continuing changes in tools and skills, processes, etc. — it will be absolutely critical that 3F
    (a) the Tool System be as open to continuing evolution as can be managed, and 3F1
    (b) the application communities be specifically organized to participate pro-actively in the Human-Tool co-evolution. 3F2

It is sincerely hoped that organizations investing in the Stage-1 HyperScope development and use will do so with clear intent to be simultaneously readying their targeted application communities for becoming pro-active, “evolutionary participants.” 3G

Phase-3: Special Evolutionary Provision: Multi-class UIS Architecture and High-Performance Teams. 4

    The OHS Interface Architecture will be set up explicitly to provide for multiple UIS options, with a common, full-feature Application Program Interface (API). To support extensive capability evolution, it will be necessary to provide for a range of UIS options, varying in complexity, potential competency level, difficulty to learn, types of interface devices and modalities, etc. 4A
    Being able effectively to support web-connected mobile phones is one example. 4A1

But a VERY IMPORTANT purpose here is to enable individuals, or special-role support teams, to experiment with interface equipment, functionality, and control options, together with optional special attributes of the standard Intermediary File, to pursue especially high performance at important parts of their knowledge processes. 4B

Having this kind of exploration in any event will be necessary. Doing it with special extensions to the widely used OHS will be very important in enabling feasible migration of these tools and skills out into the rest of the communities. Moreover, doing this exploratory high-performance activity over the SAME WORKING domains amplifies that benefit immensely; motivated individuals can optionally acquire special interface equipment, take some special training, and move up to a “new class of user proficiency” (e.g. becoming a certified Class-4B Knowledge Integrator). 4C

There are support roles anticipated in developing and maintaining a community’s Dynamic Knowledge Repository (DKR) which could very well be taken on by specially trained High-Performance Support Teams. Such a team could for instance be fielded in a university (as a research project into High-Performance Collective Knowledge Work), and take on the “Knowledge Integrator” role for a professional society’s DKR. And competetive exercises could be conducted among teams from different universities — or companies, or agencies, or countries — as part of an explicit processes to facilitate improvement in “Collective IQ.” 4D


Collective Mapping


Matthew Belanger has created Time Indefinite, a repository and collective timeline of individual significant moments in time.

What if everyone everywhere could dial in to this repository to create one shared recorded memory? Even with different views on what constitutes a significant moment in time?

ARTISTS STATEMENT MATTHEW BELANGER: “We all experience the occasional moment in life that has a clarity unlike the rest of our days. Perhaps it’s that time when for an instant everything just seemed perfect. Or maybe it is that moment when we realize that life has just suddenly and irreversibly changed. It may be that 7 a.m. phone call, or that perfect Sunday afternoon, or the last time you saw someone as the door was closing. What strikes us most in that moment is how the rest of the world seems unchanged. To our disbelief the world just keeps going as it always has ignorant of the monumental experience we are having. Time Indefinite is both a repository of those moments and a collective timeline. Time Indefinite charts where we all stood in time next to each other through our moments.”


Also see the registry of: Disappearing Places In building the new world of semantic spaces – why do some communities thrive and others disappear?

If areas of science were like places – which are the best to work in?

Both from Turbulence Spotlight both licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License


Better Living Through Networks

Today there is algorithmic encoding of real life art. But what if machines take over? Is there any possibility of better living through networks in this condition?




Its dangerous to assume that concepts are only accessible to the prepared. The Art Gallery of Knoxville




…new martyrs willing to sacrifice themselves for the beauty of the machinery. Christophe Bruno


Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world. Arthur Schopenhauer


GJ3814F.jpg Teleculture

The open data movement is going toward the direction you are probably thinking about. Open data is less known than open access, but I think, if the vision of open data can be realized, it will bring huge benefits including real time data publishing/sharing and data reuse, which will accelerate science and technology development for sure. AJ Chen W3C Scientific Publishing Task Force




Adobe Systems Streamline Logo

Fractal Dimensions and the Brain
Note that the use of the third dimension in computing systems is not an either-or choice but a continuum between two and three dimensions. In terms of biological intelligence, the human cortex is actually rather flat, with only six thin layers that are elaborately folded, an architecture that greatly increases the surface area. This folding is one way to use the third dimension. In “fractal” systems (systems in which a drawing placement or folding rule is iteratively applied), structures that are elaborately folded are considered to constitute a partial dimension. From that perspective, the convoluted surface of the human cortex represents a number of dimensions between two and three. Other brain structures, such as the cerebellum, are three-dimensional but comprise a repeating structure that is essentially two-dimensional. It is likely that our future computational systems will also combine systems that are highly folded two-dimensional systems with fully three-dimensional structures. Ray Kurzweil from The Singularity is Near, When Humans Transcend Biology


Biological reality is our brain trying to decipher the world in order to survive. Brian Holmes
Graph Theory
by Jason Freedman (concept, music, programming), Patricia Reed (design), Maja Cerar (Violin).



Goliath at Joyride

The present age prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, fancy to reality, the appearance to the essence for in these days illusion only is sacred, truth profane.
Ludwig Feuerbach 1804-1872 German Philosopher

if you ever get close to a human
and human behaviour
be ready be ready to get confused


there’s definitely definitely definitely no logic
to human behaviour
but yet so yet so irresistible


and there’s no map to human behaviour


they’re terribly terribly terribly terribly moody
then all of a sudden turn happy
but, oh, to get involved in the exchange
of human emotions

is ever so ever so satisfying


and there’s no map
and a compass wouldn’t help at all





Intersecting Backgrounds



Top: All of Figure 5

5A,5B, 5C:  Some of Figure 5

Figure 5: A closer inspection between three unrelated Context Driven Topologies reveals the recent histories of each user working on a task to organize their ideas and information. The only overlap between these three could be they are sitting in a coffee shop contemplating how to acheive their communication goals. A machines point of view is also given.


Fig. 5A A curator reviewed hundreds of potential exhibit pieces in person, on the Internet, and in photographs. Initial research, general observations and writings began to push the exhibition in new directions. Certain preferred pieces are found to be unavailable during the time they are needed for display, characteristics of potential but missing pieces may be referred to in the catalogue, but cannot be presented with the real exhibition.

Fig. 5B A scientist discovers a bothersome variable, a decision needs to be made about what to focus on. Different aspects of the dataset are compared, different comparisons are compared, variations of the same techniques are tested until the simplest, most reliable data and techniques are selected and run.

Fig. 5C A detective intellectually sorts through and compares rumors and facts that have been gathered about a crime. They compare details of this case with similar cases they remember from the past, and information they and their associates gather from their own database/analysis systems, and database/analysis systems their agency shares with other crime fighting agencies at city, state, federal, and international levels.

A machine is continually updating current priorities, available information, accuracy, value, and placement within a bigger picture being formed and filled in with detail. Networks are used to scan shared memory spaces and other remote sources to update and confirm the current information as required by users and the users directors. As each persons decisions begin to be more defined, machines and networks continuously consolidate sets and subsets of encoded elements, algorithms, display techniques and functions into mathematically compact wholes. Various options for data components, previous arrangements, and abandoned items no longer part of the final set are completely eliminated from combined records.


Taking Place

Its become almost impossible to identify the original context of an image. For example:

Was retrieved for a virtual conference on whale watching, but the original is from

Was discovered on a blog, it is also shown on and many other locations but it was started out as the graduation project of Jeroen Wijering from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

The image itself is a place, seen from different points of view.