440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700

Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 00:01:08 -0800

03 00050 61 99110801

Mark K. Rutkus
English Department
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Subject:   Alphabet Technology for
History, Analysis, Planning
Past, Present, Future

Dear Mark,

Fascinating exploration on the history of writing. It was a great pleasure to encounter penetrating incites you offer on orality, writing, history and analysis.

I have been having a tussle selling the idea that history, analysis and writing are integral to human intelligence, essentially analogs of innate subconscious processes that manipulate small meanings into larger understandings of the world. For some reason, the notion of the alphabet as a technology is hard for people at Intel and other places to grasp, despite Grove's book that extols the value of writing copious notes to avoid ambiguity of mental maps.

I am looking for people in education to work on a proposed National Science Foundation project that reviews a technology I have created to extend the power of the alphabet. The basic idea is to think of the alphabet as a method to generate information which the human mind then processes to create knowledge, wisdom and vision by connecting common patterns into stronger sequences of cause and effect. Historians do this on a grand scale, but the human mind does it on the fly in constructing what we call "experience." So the question becomes how can technology leverage daily experience in the age of information overload, where traditional uses of the alphabet to generate static bodies of information in books, memos, articles, letters and so on, detract from effectiveness, absent a new technology to help a more fundamental process, to wit "intelligence"?

I do not want to give away the store in this letter, but the basic idea is to use the alphabet a little differently in a way that integrates time and information. Adding automation using a computer enables people to accomplish and to see for the first time a large part of what the subconscious mind does using "intelligence" to process information. I call the technology POIMS, as you might guess, to respect poetry as the original method of remembering and managing complexity.

If this sounds interesting, you might take a look at my paper on POIMS. A fascinating nexus with your work is that email, what I am doing now, is really closer to orality than literacy. Second, fear of accountability and limited time forces a larger share of modern life to rely on conversation and pictures rather than the strength of writing. POIMS enables more people to convert a larger share of daily information into useful knowledge and ideas, and therefore portends another major step in the long march of civilization, at least it seems so. See what you think.



Rod Welch

Copy to:

  1. Nerlove, Sara B." ,
  2. DeHart, Bill" ,
  3. Buck, Kim" ,
  4. Henmi, Denis" ,
  5. Jones, Morris E." ,
  6. Malvini, Merrill" ,
  7. Raley, Rita" ,
  8. Vannier, Dave" ,
  9. Welch, Millie" ,
  10. Wetzel, Wayne" ,
  11. Wideman, Max"