[p2p-research] P2P platforms for wide ranging discussions beyond email? (was Re: The psychopath as peer?)

Paul D. Fernhout pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Mon Nov 2 22:16:02 CET 2009


I'm sure there are many who would agree with you. Even me. :-) And that one 
was especially rambling. :-)

Yes, I agree that email is not a very good format for having complex wide 
ranging discussions, especially ones linked to citations or brining in what 
other people have said. The trouble is, blogs don't especially solve that 
problem, even though they do have their role, including bloggers commenting 
on bloggers (even then, I see posts on other people's blogs like "your blog 
posts are too long." :-) Neither do web forums address all of that. Google 
Wave is one step forward there, but is also missing stuff. Same with Google 
Knol or Wikipedia.

I've tried to work towards improved tools for discussions, or at least the 
underlying technology, but usually get side tracked discussing things instead.
   "The Pointrel Social Semantic Desktop"

In any case, what we may need is a better stigmergic platform than wikis or 
emails or web forums or Google Wave for creating public interlinked 
knowledge covering a wide variety of interrelated topics from a wide variety 
of perspectives, especially one that is interlinked with things like real 
time data acquisition, simulations, and digitized historical records.

On "hand waving" specifically, that's exactly why I do put links and quotes, 
since often points people make are in effect hand waving, with no links to a 
larger literature of ideas and experiments and thoughts. Again, though, how 
to do that well is not worked out well, and should IMHO be the subject of 
more p2p research. Maybe that is something we can agree on? :-)

Related from:
   "Project Xanadu"
Project Xanadu is the name for Ted Nelson's hypertext work since 1960.  For 
the period 1988-92, Project Xanadu was owned by XOC, Inc., which was a 
subsidiary of Autodesk, Inc., makers of AutoCad(R).  However, Project Xanadu 
is no longer connected officially with XOC, Inc., or with the software 
developed there. We foresaw world-wide hypertext, clearly and specifically, 
even in the sixties when almost nobody could imagine hypertext.  No one else 
did.  We knew millions of people would want to publish hypertext on computer 
networks, and assuring this freedom for everyone to publish was always part 
of the Xanadu vision.  Making it happen was our commitment to freedom. 
However, contrary to legend, Project Xanadu was NOT trying to create the 
World Wide Web.  The World Wide Web is precisely what we were trying to 
PREVENT.  We long ago foresaw the problems of one-way links, links that 
break (no guaranteed long-term publishing), no way to publish comments, no 
version management, no rights management.  All these were built into the 
Xanadu design. That Xanadu design is not dead, just being redefined for 
today's realities. We were right about the power of world-wide hypertext, as 
anyone can see.  If only people understood that we were right about the rest 
of the structure, which is necessary now more than ever.  And we believe 
that same structure can be rebuilt, even with the Web as it is now.

I'm not endorsing the Xanadu design specifically, just pointing out that 
people have for decades realized the limits of existing p2p-like 
technologies, including email, and even before they became widespread.

So, in any case, there is a deeper issue in your post about good forms of 
p2p tools for complex wide ranging discussions, that it would be great if 
people could address with better p2p technology (whatever it was, rating, 
Xanadu transclusion, Engelbart's purple numbers, summary layers, 
presentation layers, virtual threads, filtering by personal choice of 
moderators and editors, or whatever).

All the best.

--Paul Fernhout

Stan Rhodes wrote:
 > Paul,
 > I do appreciate your enthusiasm, and I appreciate the very broad scope and
 > fuzzy nature of the p2p research group, but it's nearly impossible to
 > explore issues deeply with these sorts of threads.  I consider these
 > large, mostly digressive link-flood replies to be hand-waving that
 > obfuscates any attempt at concise and possibly insightful discussion
 > about issues.
 > It might be worthwhile to consider using a blog for these long,
 > digressive, almost stream-of-consciousness emails, while using the p2p
 > research list to explore one or two very closely-related points in-depth.
 > Until something like that happens, I will have to bow out of replying to
 > these sorts of emails.
 > I only include the list on the reply so that anyone else who feels
 > similarly will know they are not alone.  If I am in the extreme minority,
 > that's fine too.
 > Cheers,
 > -- Stan
 > On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 6:53 AM, Paul D. Fernhout <
 > pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
 >> Stan-
 >> You are right to be concerned about simple labels, and that's one reason,
 >> as a caveat, I mentioned the idea of moving beyond the paradigm of
 >> "psychopath" to maybe something more useful, someday.
 >> [snip]

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