THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
October 11, 2000
04 00067 61 00101101
Mr. Pat Lincoln
Computer Science Laboratory
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Studies and Pilot Test Agenda
Events this past year have galvanized national attention on the need for better
management, called out by Doug and SRI over the past 40 years. Public demand
for improvement actually reflects a deeper need for moving from information to
a knowledge based culture. Expanding complexity
within industry and government,
fueled by the rush to build information infrastrucutre, is causing
a crisis in
and now the debacle
These high profile indicators of havoc,
that lies ahead on a growing scale, provide an opportunity for moving
decisively to empower people and institutions with a stronger means of
converting information into knowledge, so that the information infrastructure
being put in place, will become an asset, rather than continue the current path
Legislative attention on health care, the space program, and now autos, offers
a window of opportunity for SRI to lead the way in solving the
of the 21st century: the growing disconnect between limited human mental
biology and an expanding complexity that threatens the nation's security, and
economy, evidenced by recent dynamics in world markets.
Health care poses a particular urgency because the baby boom generation will
soon impact retirement demographics that dramatically increase the burden of
delivering effective care to everyone.
SRI can propose three steps through its contacts in Congress:
- $10M launch study over 12 months to identify the common cause of
problems in disparate sectors, which the Congress has addressed this
SRI can point to initial research over the past 9 months that shows SDS
under POIMS technology connects chronologies of cause and effect based
on context, which emulates human thinking that converts information
into knowledge using a simple intelligence process of plan, perform,
report, noticed previously by the
US Army Corps of Engineers.
This study will establish the lineaments of
meaning drift that
permeates all human knowledge work, and comprises the hidden cause of
entropy in human systems, cited in an earlier study by
which SDS avoids by maintaining alignment of daily work
with requirements over long time spans. SDS directly redresses a core
weakness of human cognition, i.e., people can only maintain alignment
for about a minute, and traditional means of augmenting human cognition
using alphabet technology in documents, can no longer keep up with the
growing pace of human life. Therefore, it is essential that we move
quickly to a deeper solution.
If there is a factual and scientific basis established by SRI's
study that shows a common cause of failure in health care, the space
program and the auto industry, then each of the separate remedies the
Congress is pursuing are conflicting, and so cannot be successful.
SRI's study will identify strategic and practical solutions that enable
the nation to deploy SDS capability for managing complexity across all
sectors, i.e., the proverbial boat that lifts all ships.
- $20M - $40M project to verify prior work by
that shows SDS is a direct remedy of meaning drift in human cognition.
This study would be a 2 - 4 year program of rigorous pilot testing
called out by Doug as central to organizational improvement.
SRI might be a
based on recent interest to improve
internal management. Other organizations may need to be paid to
participate in effective pilot testing to establish that adding
intelligence to information saves time and money. Arrangements could be
made for savings to pay for the testing, based on prior experience at
DNRC, PG&E and USACE.
Federal support for pilot testing knowledge tools is justified by the
record showing that without national leadership
industry lacks the
to discover the crucial role of intelligence, since, unlike
the government, there is no tradition of an "intelligence" role in
business, as further set out in a letter on October 4, 2000
to the DKR team, explaining the
dilemma of knowledge management
that prevents pilot testing to discover that intelligence saves time
Since the Congress has recently focused on three specific sectors
(medical, space and autos) enabling follow on legislation should be
passed mandating pilot testing of SDS to accomplish accountability
which prior legislation has already mandated. It will turn out that in
aiming for a better finger pointing, target sectors will be forced to
arm themselves with an intelligence capability for avoiding the
mistakes that lead to calls for better accountability. This will help
overcome fear of accountability by empowering individuals and
organizations to get credit for better work, rather than worry about
disclosure of mistakes.
- $100M pilot test to enhance basic education, and to discover the best
level for introducing a fundamental advance in alphabet technology as
the only way to prepare a citizenry for a New World Order of expanding
complexity, more commonly characterized in the popular media as
"information overload." Basic reading and writing skills of
will be significantly strengthened, as explained in POIMS. This is
the crux of the issue, and the foundation that can lift the nation and
civilization to a higher plateau.
In the same way that automobiles strengthen mobility, SDS strengthens
cognition to enhance continual learning at the academic level, and
throughout a lifetime.
This project will develop plans for full funding to move from
traditional documents that will increasingly stymie progress, to a
that teaches our young, the most critical
resource for a secure future: how to convert information into useful
knowledge, routinely and accurately every day, all day long.
Communication Metrics may be a new management science that requires
special skills and aptitudes that are shaped and endorsed through
Attention to formulating dedicated support for
adding intelligence to information recognizes a need for a
new work role
proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its report.
Follow on deliverables include...
- National security - better intelligence strengthens the nation.
How can military intelligence be strengthened by the addition of SDS
for organization, analysis, alignment, summary and feedback? A report
on August 15, 1998 showed continuing blunders caused by
How can the same capability strengthen the legislative process,
industry and education?
- Organic Subject Structures - solving the riddle of human cognition
Is there an underlying universal process, or structure of knowledge,
that enables people to efficiently build and exchange organic
structures (some authorities speak of an "ontology") to organize and
retrieve knowledge sets, in much the same way that the alphabet and
grammar enable the exchange of information through documents?
Like current research funded by Congress to discover the genetic
code, this project identifies the process by which the human mind forms
to retrieve information for sustaining life, growing
communities, forming culture and building civilization.
- Integrating multiple knowledge sets - solving Pandora's Box
The complexity of knowledge is clearly demonstrated by the the SDS
record of one person over the past 15 years. In some respects this
environment is "mind boggling" and overwhelming.
Methods need to be worked out for efficiently integrating multiple sets
of knowledge. This is an ideal issue for the DKR team to take up.
Up until now, only information is exchanged in documents. Knowledge
that comprises chronologies of cause and effect based on context is
retained in the minds of people. Speaking and writing filter knowledge
from the subconscious mind through the medium of the conscious mind
that makes exchange of information manageable, commonly called
The SDS environment under POIMS technology more closely entails an
exchange of actual knowledge in the subconscious minds of people, which
is a more expansive and complex exchange by several orders of
magnitude. People unfamiliar with this are initially shocked and
overwhelmed. If every person, or merely a large number of people, are
generating this form of exchange complexity will necessarily explode.
How can this occur, and what are the legal and social ramifications of
- Operating System, People and Organizations - public or private utility
The nation and the world are moving rapidly toward electronic
information exchange, but remain rooted in traditional documents as the
only means of communication and knowledge growth.
POIMS technology offers a stronger paradigm that integrates
documents with human thought derived from daily experience. An example
is the review of Andy Grove's book,
Only the Paranoid Survive,. Initially, the environment
appears confusing and overwhelming, but careful review reveals
connections between Mr. Grove's book, analysis, prior history, and
subsequent action that is not available by any other method, other
than the human mind.
Over the past 100 years or so, the private sector, with government
help, has evolved an efficient operating system for computers that
enables a lot of people to benefit from technology. Now, however, in
order to take the next step in the evolution of human cognitive
capacity, a different model is needed, which makes the computer an
Operating System for People and Organizations
The history of developing an operating system for the computer shows
that focused study and public input is warranted to determine the best
method for ensuring efficient application and growth of the capability
for use by the widest possible number of people and organizations.
The following questions require focused research rather than left to
the chance of market forces...
- Should this capability be a public utility, as an expansion of the
alphabet which nobody owns?
- Who sets the standards for implementation and who controls the
growth of the technology?
- Should it be done entirely by private industry, as occurred with
the operating system for the computer?
- Should a consortium be formed to establish guidance?
- What rules should govern the evolution of the capability?
- How can the engine of market forces energize deployment in
conjunction with open source methods?
SRI's mission and standing to perform basic research for advancing the nation,
and ultimately civilization, together with recent objectives on improving
internal management, and to advance basic education, all position SRI to be a
strong, responsible voice presenting this opportunity to policy
makers. SRI can point to the SDS record on the web as proof of ability to
perform proposed tasks, and it can point to the absence of any comparable
record as proof that nobody else can address these critical issues. SRI's
mission , standing and expertise therefore provides a potential basis for an
effective working relationship with Welch who can deliver SDS.
We may not be initially successful; however, posing these issues now
provides a constructive framework to view continuing tragedies that will unfold
in the period ahead, absent an increase in the ability to convert information
into knowledge, as proposed here. If not this year, then next year or the year
after, people will wake up to the fact that every facet of life is at risk from
meaning drift that makes communication the biggest risk in enterprise, which
can only solved at the fundamental level of strengthening human cognition.
Since this can now be done, we should try to move forward.
THE WELCH COMPANY
- Doug Engelbart