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

Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 08:36:17 -0700

04 00067 61 01091701

Unfinished Revolution
OHS DKR Project
SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Subject:   Eugene's work Organizing the Record

Dear Eugene,

Your letter this morning comments on Eric Armstrong's letter complaining that it is too hard to find anything in the OHS/DKR record of email. In another letter this morning, Eric was amazed by SDS that obviously works for finding everything.

Eric is not alone. This group has witnessed use of the email archive almost daily for 18 months, beginning OA December 22, 1999, that demonstrates a new way of working called out by the group leader, Doug Engelbart.

On November 16, 2000 Jack Park notified the OHS/DKR group about....

...the ability of SDS to delineate temporal sequences appropriate to this discussion is simply amazing. Of course, anyone could mine the archives and eventually arrive at the same or similar statements, but Rod does it automatically, by way of his technology.

The same day, Paul Fernhout notified the OHS/DKR group that SDS.... keeping up with this list) is inspirational of what is possible. Your work demonstrates the value of active human involvement in processing information into an ordered framework of knowledge on an ongoing basis. From that framework can grow new synthesized information and plans.

More recently on April 11, 2001 Jack Park commented again noting that SDS enables remembering every little thing.

Organizing email for the OHS/DKR group is a small part of a much larger body of knowledge that is connected into a web of daily intelligence called out by Doug Engelbart. Email is a small part of the requirement for an effective Knowledge Space, which Jack Park recognized on May 3, 2000. Email is integrated into the record along with other information that provides context for guiding daily work minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day over months and years, as discussed with Eric on May 17, 2000 during a meeting at Intel.

Accordingly, the record of this group is not lost to anyone, since SDS is available for everyone, as reported on November 21, 2000, and it enables people to remember everything by managing the context of daily information. This group recognized the benefits of managing context in a letter from Gil Regev on October 19, 2000.

Eric wants a better interface for SDS, even though he has never seen the existing interface.

He discloses in a letter on May 3, 2000 not knowing how to develop support for knowledge, but he probably knows something about computer interfaces. It is possible that a better interface for knowledge would be helpful, but nobody knows that for sure until experience is gained working with the SDS process that converts information into knowledge. Once that experience is gained, then it is appropriate to discuss how to deliver it with a better interface. Eric and many others are capable of this task.

So what is the real fear that prevents progress? It has to do with climbing mountains.

Prattling about interface is really a concern that it takes more than 20 minutes to learn SDS for moving civilization forward. Doug Engelbart's call for a new way of working is enabled by SDS that adds intelligence to daily information, so it is useful for getting things done correctly on time and within budget. Eric presented marketing analysis on September 21, 2000 that respects customers fears about investing time to learn a new way of working.

Jack Park reported recently on September 8, 2001 that people are too lazy to improve the work. When money is is coming and there is a roof over head we are satisfied with pressing Reply in the email, rather than adding intelligence, as explained on December 19, 2000. On September 11, 2001 the roof caved in and the money stopped coming for a growing number of people.

No interface will ever reduce the learning curve for SDS that takes several months and actually extends over a lifetime, although folks can pick up some basics in a few hours. But in the face of evidence that current methods don't work for finding anything, cited by Eric in his letter on Eugene's dialog mapping system, and SDS obviously works for finding everything noted by Eric in his earlier letter, wouldn't it be prudent to look into SDS for intelligence support to see what it takes to strengthen national security and the economy?

Transitioning from IT to a culture of knowledge that lets everybody remember and use the archives to guide planning and improve performance of daily work, takes a little bit of commitment to improve, as discussed with DOD on July 30, 2001.

The only missing ingredient is leadership -- the vision to see, the courage to act and the will to persevere. With leadership we can create a better interface and secure the blessings of a powerful advance that lifts civilization to new plateau.



Rod Welch