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Christmas Email to Doug@50

Merry Christmas to one and all! 

This quiet Christmas Eve morning I sat down with a lovely shot of Cru Cafe espresso with just a dollop of foamy soy and a hint of Canadian maple syrup, and started writing a list of concrete capabilities I personally think we should build, for Doug@5o and beyond. In between tasks as a new father(!!!) I wrote and edited and had some more coffee. The list grew and included an exposition of Doug’s aims, as presented here, but in the end, there is no list. That is simply because if we are truly to become deeply literate and really use computer systems to make the world a better place for all of us, then *we must do this together* because: 

Our capabilities define who we are in the world so we must dream this together, based on who we want to be in the world. 

For example, do you want to improve your comprehension, as Doug presented as a core goal of augmentation in his 62 paper? Then we need to improve how you can ‘grasp’ information (from where the word ‘comprehend’ poetically originates), so that you can see it from different angles related to what you already know and compare it with what exists out there in the world. This is a huge, multifaceted challenge and I have many ideas and so do other inventors, developers and philosophers (pretentiously I identify with all three), but coming up with how we should do this is an intimately human act and all of us have to get involved.  

( In case you think I am waffling, I have put my money where my mouth (or typing fingers) are, by building Author and Liquid, which I have done off my own back and which is running as non-profit operations. It is a tiny start but an honest one I think: if you don’t know me ) 

HOWEVER, we are running out of time. A year goes by quickly once we start building something. We have a ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to actually make something monumentally important happen, rather than just chat about it and argue of the size of angel wings (file formats, human vs tool system and all that nonsense). YOU have to answer the questions, no matter how very successful you consider yourself to be, or not: 

What capabilities do YOU want and why – who do you want to be in the world? 

How can we go about realising such powerful capabilities? 

How about you sit down with a nice cup of coffee/tea/mineral water and just dream, then post on the website. If you don’t have access just tell me and if you prefer to blog somewhere else that is fine, we’ll just link to your post.  

Merry Christmas everyone, this sleigh ride is about to get exciting! 

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