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Re: Who are our technology evangelists?

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Dr. Rod King, Gavin Harper, Giuseppe Platania, John Waters, Steve Bosserman, Pamela McLean, Franz Nahrada and all, Welcome and thank you to all for responding
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 7, 2006
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      Dr. Rod King, Gavin Harper, Giuseppe Platania, John Waters, Steve
      Bosserman, Pamela McLean, Franz Nahrada and all,

      Welcome and thank you to all for responding to my request for technology
      evangelists! Special welcome to Gavin Harper
      http://www.iee.org/OnComms/Circuit/jobs/Profiles/gavin_harper.cfm of the
      Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales! http://www.cat.org.uk Thank
      you for bridging our communities! Do you have a link to your
      alternative energy strategy wiki?

      I'm realizing that by thinking of ourselves as technology evangelists we
      may arrive at a natural organization of ourselves in terms of large and
      small teams. Indeed, there is a need for a path by which a team can
      grow from a single person like Dr. Rod King's
      http://www.idealsolutionsmanagement.com Fractal User Interface to an
      entire community such as Rick Nelson's SolaRoof http://www.solaroof.org
      or even Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language movement. And along
      the way the team grows complex and differentiates itself. We can help
      encourage this team building process. I think it helps to realize from
      the start that the teams are of very different sizes and at very
      different stages. Correspondingly, in each domain our knowledge grows
      and evolves. And it becomes more clear what kind of projects are
      relevant for each team and what kind of intercoordination is helpful.

      This also suggests a "working-in-parallel" that will help us realize
      what expectations should we share so that we can truly support each
      other as independent thinkers. What are the values that make our
      technologies better than "neutral", that make them wholesome, that have
      them serve those who are ever marginalized? What is it about a
      technology, a methodology, an evangelism that opens our heart to include
      it? I think that, for example, it should encourage knowledge to be
      available to all so that all might engage it. What should we be able to
      expect? For example, I think that it's not helpful for us that
      Christopher Alexander has copyrighted the architectural patterns in his
      book "A Pattern Language" or that Edward de Bono has trademarked his
      "six thinking hats" methodology. And I personally think that a
      "copyleft" approach may, in many cases, be unhelpfully restrictive and
      inappropriately legalistic. But what should we work towards and how do
      we start with each technology? For example, Franz Nahrada and our
      friends in Kirchbach, Austria have decided strategically that at this
      time for video bridging we shouldn't wait for open source technologies
      to develop but we should make good use of existing proprietary hardware
      technologies and break ground in terms of usage. I understand and
      support this approach, but how do we make sense of it? How can we tell
      if a technology (whether it's nuclear power or giant windmills or
      Microsoft Excel or Skype or the Google search engine) is helping or
      hurting our vision of "global villages"? Or more practically, in what
      directions do we support Dr. Rod King's Fractal User Interface or Rick
      Nelson's SolaRoof or Christopher Alexander's Pattern Languages or KB5's
      Video Bridges? How do we work to help these all flourish as open

      We'll want online tools that can match the simplicity and the complexity
      of our teams. I look forward to seeing a central role for Helmut
      Leitner's ProWiki http://www.prowiki.org as a wiki engine for our
      projects of various sizes. We're making a list at
      http://www.findbetterways.info of our technologies. I want to see a way
      for us to adapt our wiki technology to projects of very different sizes
      for different kinds of readers and writers:
      A) Creating "read only" pages using metadata that we keep at our wiki,
      as we are at: http://www.ms.lt/?thinker=Franz_Nahrada which makes use of
      data stored at http://www.ourculture.info/wiki.cgi?FranzNahrada
      B) Having super simple "editable" pages that serve a very focused
      purpose, such as for an individual to write about themselves, or
      describe a project they are working on, or a book review, etc. These
      should not expect wiki mark-up or wiki links or much formatting in
      general. Instead I think there should be a form that people fill out,
      perhaps selecting a question and writing out the answer, and being able
      to have several questions and answers on a single page, yielding wiki
      pages and meta data. Links where applicable would be treated as
      metadata, as answers to questions. I would like this data to be
      updatable by email using the social ping system that we've discussed
      with Thomas Kalka.
      C) Have a normal wiki for advanced users, but just a flat wiki for that
      particular project.
      D) Have an advanced fractal wiki (as we've set up now) that (I foresee)
      is used primarily for moving and interrelating pages amongst various
      I think that most of this can be done with the existing ProWiki engine,
      it's a matter of us learning how to do this and perhaps creating B,
      perhaps as part of Thomas Kalka's system.

      Thank you to all at Cyfranogi (John Waters, John Rogers, Jon Cousins,
      Samwel Kongere's interviews) who have been sharing stories about our
      "money minds". http://www.ms.lt/?action=Experience I'm very happy that
      these stories (vignettes, episodes, anecdotes) are capturing our first
      hand experiences. These are the types of knowledge that I'd like to see
      us contribute using the "simple editable pages" described in B.
      (Perhaps this is a use for transLucid and TheBrain and related "atomic"
      technologies?) I look forward to collecting more such first hand
      accounts regarding our "living space minds" (what makes a building
      alive), our "learning minds" (our learning styles and strategies). And
      what kinds of "minds" are relevant for sustainability, for alternative

      I am happy to announce a new working group at our Minciu Sodas
      laboratory: "Ethical Design"
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ethicaldesign/ led by James Ferguson, an
      architect in Vilnius, Lithuania.
      http://www.ferguson-studio.com/aboutus.html Send a blank message to
      ethicaldesign-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to subscribe James's key
      concept is "ethical solutions" and his investigatory question is "How
      have people successfully gotten city planning departments to adopt
      sustainable planning ideas?" He's agreed to host our laboratory's work
      to organize the pattern language movement
      http://www.patternlanguages.info and to advance, apply and further
      develop the ideas of Christopher Alexander, Nikos A Salingaros and all
      who want our buildings to be profoundly alive. I'll be gathering
      pattern language enthusiasts as I promote Nikos's new book "A Theory of
      Architecture" http://www.umbau-verlag.com His publisher is happy to
      send you a free copy if you'd be willing to write a review, good or bad,
      in the Public Domain or as you note otherwise. Send me your address to
      ms@... and a sentence or two why you're interested that we might post!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +370 (699) 30003
      +370 (5) 264 5950
      Vilnius, Lithuania

      Gavin D. J. Harper Esq. wrote:

      >At the Centre for Alternative Technology, we have been developing an
      >Alternative Energy Strategy for the United Kingdom as a think tank
      >using a Wiki based approach. We have found it very successful,
      >however, the approach requires a lot of setting up, administration
      >and training on the part of the user to set up the system. Would be
      >happy to discuss with others who were interested.
      >Gavin Harper
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