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Doug Engelbart

<A href="http://radio.weblogs.com/0110772/2002/10/24.html#a500">Doug Engelbart on improving collective IQ</A>.
<P>I don't think I have read as eloquent an explanation of what collaborative intelligence augmentation is and why it matters as <A href="http://www.bootstrap.org/engelbart/index.jsp">Douglas Engelbart</A>'s World Library Summit keynote speech <A href="http://www.fleabyte.org/eic-11.html">Improving our ability to improve: A call for investment in a new future</A>. Here are just a few quotes - but I think it's well worth attentively reading every word of the text. And taking time to think about it.</P>
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<P><FONT color=darkblue>...the investment in C&nbsp;activities is typically pre-competitive.&nbsp; It is investment that can be shared even among competitors in an industry because it is, essentially, investment in creating a better playing field. [...]</FONT></P>
<P><FONT color=darkblue>At the C level we are trying to understand how improvement really happens, so that we can improve our ability to improve.&nbsp; This means having different groups exploring different paths to the same goal.&nbsp; As they explore, they constantly exchange information about what they are learning.&nbsp; The goal is to maximize overall progress by exchanging important information as the different groups proceed.&nbsp; What this means, in practice, is that the dialog between the people working toward pursuit of the goal is often just as important as the end result of the research.&nbsp; Often, it is what the team learns in the course of the exploration that ultimately opens up breakthrough results. [...]

<P><FONT color=#00008b>One of the most important things that we need is a place to keep and share the information that we collect - the dialog, the external information, the things that we learn.&nbsp; I call this the "Dynamic Knowledge Repository," or DKR.&nbsp; It is more than a database, and more than a simple collection of Internet web sites.&nbsp; It doesn't have to be all in one place - it can certainly be distributed across the different people and organizations that are collaborating on improving improvement - but it does need to be accessible to everyone - for reading, for writing, and for making new connections. [...]</FONT></P>
<P><FONT color=darkblue>Another key, early investment is in the development of tools to provide access to the knowledge in the DKR for all classes of users, from beginners to professional knowledge workers expecting high performance.&nbsp; This "hyperscope" - that is my term for it - allows everyone to contribute and use the information in the DKR according to his or her ability. [...]</FONT></P>
<P><FONT color=darkblue>The feature of humans that makes us most human - that most clearly differentiates us from every other life form on Earth - is not our opposable thumb, and not even our use of tools. It is our ability to create and use symbols.&nbsp; The ability to look at the world, turn what we see into abstractions, and to then operate on those abstractions, rather than on the physical world itself, is an utterly astounding, beautiful thing, just taken all by itself.&nbsp; We manifest this ability to work with symbols in wonderful, beautiful ways, through music, through art, through our buildings and through our language - but the fundamental act of symbol making and symbol using is beautiful in itself. [...]</FONT></P>
<P><FONT color=#00008b><FONT color=#000000><FONT color=darkblue>I come to this conference representing my own small organization, the <A href="http://www.bootstrap.org/">Bootstrap Alliance</A>.&nbsp; We don't sell a product or anything else.&nbsp; But we do offer an opportunity for you to be actively engaged with other people and other institutions that are interested in understanding how to use this new fire that has been brought down from the heavens.</FONT> </FONT></P>
<P>More specifically, the Bootstrap Alliance is an improvement community that is made up of other improvement communities - we are focused on improving the ability to improve, and on helping other groups that share those interests do a better job of it.&nbsp; We exist to help C-level organizations do a better job of being C-level organizations.&nbsp; Our approach to this, not surprisingly, is based on concurrent development, integration, and application of knowledge across those different pioneering communities.</P></BLOCKQUOTE>
<P dir=ltr>[<A href="http://www.fleabyte.org/">Fleabyte, thinking with computers</A>]</P></FONT>[<A href="http://radio.weblogs.com/0110772/">Seb's Open Research</A>]

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