"A collective mind — Part One"
If we can imagine it with our current mindsets, created from thinking with our current tools, we are not really innovating, we are implementing. There is no way of knowing how a capability can grow us as humans before we use it since the capability becomes a part of us and in turn generates a deep understanding of the capability’s extension of us than a theoretical inquiry might.
McLuhan famously said that all media becomes our extensions: “All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical.” This is true to the point that even our physical bodies are our mediums: A baby is not born with the understanding of what a baby arm can do – and certainly not what an adult arm can do in an adult body. Our basic understandings of our basic capabilities grow as our capabilities grow.
However, we still need to build what we can imagine, to then be able to imagine the next step. & so on. & we need to build it well:
The interactions, through some computer environment, is where the rubber hits the road, where the actual system happens and is where the visible innovation happens. If the interactions are not good, whatever ideas there are behind them, the system is just not going to be useful.
I really should not have to state this but so many comments mean I feel I have to.
What I am trying to do is to work on is better computer systems for people to use to think and collaborate, primarily using text, primarily using documents.
This does not in any way mean I think that these are the only important issues to work on. The way we interact as people, the way we deal with meetings, the opportunities of AI and VR are massive and important, but they are outside my immediate area of work, though I will naturally aim to understand them and contribute if possible. I am writing this here since I frequently get comments on my goal that there is really this other things, whatever it is, which is more important, whether it’s tone of voice or systemic change or looking at whether even collaboration is what we should aim to augment. Yes, there is a lot of important work to do. And this is my perspective.
The chance that you will get to the end of this document, having read and considered every point and aspect I make is very small indeed – you are a busy professional after all. This is perhaps the crux of the matter, a large point of what I am working towards; systems which will help authorship and readership.