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Category: DougDemo@50

Lorand Reply 7 March 2018

Lorand has the perspective and passion to warrant serious discussion.

First of all, I am not against AI, I think it’ll be useful and that it’s inevitable (though real hard work for the inventors). You know about J. C. R. Licklider : Man-Computer Symbiosis right? That’s the also my perspective.

I am simply focusing on symbol manipulation since I see very, very little work being done in that field. I feel that the symbols are the ‘stuff’ of work in our field, since there has to be something to work with:

Text is always ‘lossy’ yes, since getting something in and out of your head is always a process. Your reference to code is interesting and there are many aspects of text which I’d like to make more code-like. The notion of a ‘direct knowledge manipulation tool’ is quite provocative. Can you describe what form the knowledge takes and how it can be directly interacted with?

Your bullet points are great. Yes, we have a strong need to build ways to reduce the need for thinking, this is energy conservation and prioritising. Usually this is good, sometimes very, very bad. We need better means to see this and we need much more powerful ways to interact with our AI to help in this and other issues. I am happy to engage on this but I am not clever enough to offer anything substantial with AI.

I need to learn more about Dust please.

For the why, we agree.

Change the world? We have no real choice: yes.

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Emailed to the Doug @ 50 Core team regarding the Book Summit


On the 19th of this month I’ll be presenting at the summit of the book in Baku. Yes, I know, it’s super cool.

I have three ideas for what I would like to present from our group and I wonder who is interested in working on what part (or would like to suggest alternatives). I am not talking about final projects but at least solid plans as to how we will complete and maybe some aspect working:

• HyperGlossaries implemented in a basic way in WordPress with a way to create, insert and access glossary entries which are at least close to being integrated with knowledge graphs.

• Socratic Authoring: Demonstrating exporting of a document to a server and have the server be able to ‘look’ inside the document to do advanced analysis/views.

• ViewSpecs in WordPress. Essentially a powerful, web based RSS reader with easy mechanisms to specify whose thread the user wants to read and what keywords to search for (this would be prime for our own dog-fooding/bootstrapping).

* I am also investing heavily of my own to have a basic version of dynamic views in Author useable by then:

This is a fantastic excuse for an early deadline and a great opportunity to sign up allies to our mission of making knowledge more usefully interactive, to have libraries as partners for a global, 21st Century DKR.

Others who will be at the summit will include:

Ismail Serageldin, Founding Director Emeritus of the Library of Alexandria (co-chair of NGIC)
Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Former president of Latvia (co-chair of NGIC)
UNESCO Representative
Former IFLA President – Claudia Lux
Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia
Aminah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius
George Ivanov, President of Macedonia
Ivo Josipovic, former president of Croatia
Emil Constantinescu, Former President of Romania
Boris Tadic, Former President of Serbia
On Google Books – (pending)
On the Work of the Library of Congress – Mary Jane Deeb
Brewster Kahle – the Internet Archive
Nadereh Chamlou, Former Senior Advisor, The World Bank
Ron Laporte – Towards mobilizing inter-library systems for development (TBC)
Peter Bae – Copyrights in the digital Age (TBC)
Ingrid Parent – former IFLA president
Han Yongjin, National Library of China
Sawako Hanyo, National Diet Library
Gerald Grumberg,
Krasimira Aleksandrova National Library of Bulgaria
Gholamreza Amirkhani, National Library of Iran
George Kekelidze, National Parliamentary Library of Georgia
Karim Tahirov, National Library of Azerbaijan)
Asadjan Khodjaev Deputy Director of the National Library of Uzbekistan
Zhanat Seidumanov,
National Library of Kazakhstan
Nazer Kurbanov, National Library of Turkmenistan
Jan Fischer, Former Prime Minister, Czech Republic,
On the future of Text: Frode Hegland
Susan Ness
Noram Amako, Deputy Director, Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria
Pradaig Kirby
Paul Sturges, Professor emeritus Loughborough University
Mohamed Hassan, President of the Inter-Academy Partnership
Nina Fedoroff, USA Presidential medal of Science laureate
Tay Ai Cheng, Deputy Chief Executive National Library Board
Helena Asamoah-Hassan, Executive Director, African Library and Information Associations & Institutions
Hassan ELOUAZZANI Morocco (Ministry of Culture)
Jay Jordan, Jay Jordan, CEO Emeritus of OCLC who is now on NewsBank’s board of directors.
Alicia Cristina Ocaso-Ferreira President Uruguayan Library Association (ABU) for more.

Who is with me on what part?


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Knowledge. Graphs

[Personal note] 


All this talk of knowledge and graphs has sent me back to my roots. I am a simple guy and this goes way over my head so I need to look at where I belong and where my work belongs in this space.  


Visual Communication  


My passion comes from a visual perspective (my education is that of a visual artist) and my project Author was designed to be visually simple with powerful controls (as we would invent as we keep testing and dreaming) and the Dynamic View is based on early dreams from the 1990s, of being able to move text/symbols around at will when working.  


I believe very strongly in the power of visual thinking, even for those who do not consider themselves to be visual people, since there seems to be many ways to interpret what ‘visual’ means. When pointed out that separating pieces of paper with different types of information on them into piles, it’s becomes clear that this is more useful than having just one big jumble. As Marc-Antoine wrote, turning clutter into clusters. The general gist of my thinking is to allow an author and reader the ability to cluster any information manually or by any criteria, while not loosing the central human thread of perspective. 


Liquid + Linear 


There has been much thinking and work towards completely liquid information environments but there is a reality that it’s one thing to think of information environments in an abstract sense and quite another when we are dealign with specific information – which is the only type of information, but that is another discussion.  


When dealing with specific information the linearity of the author’s point of view becomes a central vector. There is always a point, an intention the author is trying to convey when ‘authoring’ a document and it is this which must be presented in symbolic form in order for another person (including the author in the future) to grasp what the author is trying to communicate. 




A key point is that there will *always* be some level of cognitive processing of the symbols on their journey from substrate to mind via the human visual system, which will take place in the following spaces/domains/systems: 


Visual Space. What the reader sees visual on the substrate (initial typography, layout etc. and results of the readers interactive controls over the view) 

Mind Space. The filter of the readers mental perspective (experiences from memory which ‘comes to mind’, the reader’s expectation of the document, level of education, state of mind, initial understanding of the subject matter etc., both cultural and personal) 

• External Space. The readers ability reach into external sources for other connections, perspectives and information (by asking another human being, referring to a printed/PDF document or through symbol interaction for searches, listings, analysis both interactive and proactive, dependent on the readers knowledge of the possible tools and information) 


The goal of any cognitive symbolic communications system is to strike a balance between augmenting the ability of the reader to internalise and understand what authors intent with questioning the validity, credibility and relevance of the author’s claims.  


Socratic Authoring  


The notion of Socratic Authoring is based on Socrates’ position that writing is not as interactive as speaking with someone, which is of course true to an extent, but it is not always possible to have a spoken conversation with everyone. Socratic Authoring then attempts to provide a richer impression of the authors perspective for the reader to interact with. This seems to be a goal of the knowledge graph crowd as well, so I think this is where we aim to find ways to augment each others approaches.  


How to model and build on this I don’t know. To me it boils down to building interactive visual systems for symbol authoring and reading.  


On a related note, I saw some students today who are interested in augmented thinking. Inspiring chaps, hope they can join us December 9th. 











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