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“Wanted: Toolsmiths” & The Future of Text

Last updated on October 9, 2018

Email to William Regli at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), currently serve as the Acting Deputy Director of the Defense Sciences Office (DSO)


I read with great enthusiasm your article in Communications of the ACM today, where you call attention to the continued development of tools for science. I am particularly impressed with your reference to Licklider’s classic  though rarely hear about these days – notion of man-computer symbiosis.

I had the pleasure and honour of working with one of his chief ‘investments’ if you will; Doug Engelbart, who very much became my mentor. We put together a brief web-documentary quite a while ago, which I’m afraid has suffered from the digital ravages of time making much of the video non-playable – I really need to update the site at some point, but some contents is still live:

I am contacting you about what may be a bit below your radar, the notion of improving text for serious communication in order to allow for the development of deeper literacy:

In support of this I host an annual Symposium on the Future of Text, where people who are passionate about the powerful augmentations future text developments can provide, if we invest in making it come about:

This year will be the 7th annual event, which will be attended by Vint Cerf (who co-hosts when we do the event in California) as well as people from industry and my host university – I am currently a mature PhD student at the University of Southampton supervised by Dame Wendy Hall.

I would finally like to let you know of how I am personally ‘putting my money where my mouth is’ so to speak, with the development of a word processor for academic use which will feature a very rich thinking space called Liquid Views:

I thank you again for the inspirational article, you have brightened my weekend and if you are at all all interest in any of the activities, including joining us at the Future of Text September 11th and 12th, or if you feel someone else at ARPA would be interested, that would be great also.


Frode Hegland
The Liquid Information Company





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