Future of Text 2015 Presentation by Stan Gould

I am here today as the “Wondering Futurist”, crowdsourcing foresight about the Future of Text. Based upon my own foresight studies, I see the beginning of the end of text, as we know it, already in the works.

I watch my grandchildren playing the latest online games with such speed and dexterity that I have never before witnessed. I see Google, Facebook, UTube, Slack, Skype, eBooks, League of Legends, World of Warcraft and countless more digital message streams as the new norm, now crowding out the world of dinosauric text. Yes, there will always be a place for classic text – whatever that might mean to you.

In terms of the real-world communications and messaging volume, the classic direct person-to-person transfer of messages is fast disappearing. Machine-intelligence now increasingly serves as intercessor to curate messages between persons in order to bridge their personal contextual mindsets.

We have already witnessed Apple, Google and Facebook rise to global status … becoming unstoppable developers of our collective future, as I shall elucidate further. Currently, here is where our fantastic future is being built. It’s a fact that within just 3 years, over half of the world’s adults already use a Smartphone.

The Smartphone’s embedded Artificial-Intelligence-driven software fuels humankind’s fastest evolutionary paradigm-shift in history. We have already reached the point of no return as human-intelligence and machine-intelligence have begun their irreversible symbiogenesis, creating a new hybrid extra-intelligent-species that I like to call the “Avatar”. I think of the Avatar, not as the person, but as the person’s interface with the external world.

As humankind completes its rapid transhuman-to-posthuman evolution, messaging will primarily travel from Person A to Avatar A then to Avatar B and finally to Person B. During that routine transfer of data and information, the message content becomes recomposed into a variety of representations by both Avatars supporting their human users’ needs.

Those recompositions, occurring at nearly the speed-of-light, will include adding new and existing content, human-avatar negotiated changes, and rapid transformation of the original message into one or more of many alternative forms as needed, such as introductions, abstracts, summaries, conclusions, facets, views, fractals, graphs, outlines, keyword summaries, etc. These components are necessary to successfully complete the message intake, its understanding, and then finally stored as knowledge within each recipient’s Personal Knowledge Ecosystem.

In this state-of-communications, the original text formats disappear, and frankly in my opinion, so does classic text, as we know it. As you will see here today, that while there are many different esoteric views of the “Future of Text”, there can only be ONE FUTURE!

Today, we largely speak of text … as an external entity to our minds. Within the decade we will witness the beginnings of nanobots-augmented-human-intelligence, coupled with direct mind-to-mind communications, replacing natural-humans as the new top-species.

In the following decade we will see machine intelligence begin to match human intelligence and in the decade following that one, machine intelligence will exceed both natural-human-intelligence and nanobots-augmented-human-intelligence, as it becomes the final top-species, capable of acting autonomously within many different shape-shifting forms, and when needed, merge to become a single-global-intelligence.

It’s up to you, to determine which viewpoint is most beneficial to your future planning … and actions. I’ve expressed my¬ future view, and I hope it helps inform your future view.

Stanley Gould (6:00 minute speech)

Compendium of 1:1 Personal Interaction Types, illustrative

    • shooting the sh*t
    • watching a movie together
    • idle conversation
    • excited pointed conversation
    • argument
    • teaching
    • advising
    • joking around
    • poker playing
    • teaching martial art
    • therapy
    • counseling
    • meeting with agenda
    • brainstorming
    • interrogation
    • mediating
    • dialog
    • serious conversation
    • introduction
    • flirting
    • training
    • testing
    • poking
    • prodding
    • kissing
    • making love
    • arousing
    • titillating
    • fondling
    • massaging
    • spooning
    • f*cking
    • impressing
    • dating
    • marry
    • attracting
    • emanating?
    • glowing?
    • overpowering
    • torturing
    • tweaking / pushing buttons
    • hating
    • irritating
    • firing
    • hiring
    • recruiting
    • teasing
    • story telling
    • performing
    • killing
    • muting
    • spinning up
    • inspiring
    • encouraging
    • supporting
    • sympathizing
    • empathizing
    • co-creating with
    • co-authoring
    • co-evolving?
    • sitting with
    • sitting beside
    • driving with
    • travel with
    • pick up
    • drop off
    • enter commitment
    • insulting
    • complimenting
    • protecting
    • enveloping
    • appreciating
    • thanking
    • worshipping
    • honoring
    • respecting
    • celebrating
    • congratulating


Compendium of Document Types, illustrative

  • PhD Thesis
  • Novel
  • News article
  • Contract
  • Email
  • Academic Paper
  • Essay
  • White Paper
  • Obituary
  • Short Story
  • License
  • List
  • Summary
  • Brain Dump
  • Transcript
  • Playscript
  • Movie Script
  • Wikipedia article
  • CV
  • Resume
  • Identity — ooh… ahh
  • Photograph
  • TV show listing
  • FAQ
  • Product Description
  • User Manual
  • Service Manual
  • Advertisement
  • Poem
  • Love Letter
  • Scratchpad
  • Shopping List
  • Definition
  • Glossary
  • Wedding Announcement
  • Police Report
  • Insurance Policy
  • Credit Report
  • How-to instructions
  • Invoice
  • Principles
  • Practices
  • Patterns
  • Protocol
  • Lesson plan
  • Syllabus
  • Children’s Story
  • Picture book
  • Political editorial
  • Cartoon
  • Diagram
  • MindMap
  • Insight

Call for comments on new document format

I have published a (rushed, but I can never get my mind still enough to do this properly…) very early proposal for a new document format. Your comments would be very much appreciated indeed:


Is interactivity a crucial or trivial part of text, in terms of knowledge work?

Frode asks (Facebook status update, 20151027) “Is interactivity a crucial or trivial part of text, in terms of knowledge work?”

The trivial superficial response is “trivial”. The deeper crucial response is “crucial”. But beyond the wordplay gamification:

I’ll respond in terms of “how we experience text”.

When I am “reading” as in “consuming text”, inasmuch as “text” can appear like what used to be called “paper”, and inasmuch as paper could be viewed as “non-interactive”, then the answer here would be on the “trivial” side of the question.

Insofar as we are LIVE, as in living beings, and living beings shift focus from object / issue to object / issue, and physically move, and receive dynamic stimuli from varied sources… then as we “experience text”, we will need to contend with a number of distractions, and attend to a number of ancillary needs, as we try to extract as much meaning and understanding as possible from that text.

    • For example, I may encounter a topic, concept, or term that I am unfamiliar with. I may most optimally need to divert myself to addressing that knowledge gap so that I can then optimally experience the original text / document with the best possible frame of mind to leverage that text for whatever purposes.
    • In another example, I may want to drill into a particular presentation or line of reasoning, and may want to “lay it out” spatially, or reorganize it some way, so I can look at associated “nodes” or “chunks” of knowledge, to really follow implications and make the most of the connection points between the material and my existing mental model.
    • I may need to put my ingest of the material (reading) on “pause”, as life gets in the way of my full attention. After the distraction, I may need to reconstruct my mental context, which may have been lost while I dealt with the demands of that life distraction.l
    • I may want to create a citation, or note, or “transclusion” of some sort… so that I can add a snippet or the entire work into my “personal knowledge repository”.
    • I’m sure I can come up with more use cases…

So my more serious response is that interactivity is a key enabling mode that can be designed, optimized, adapted, etc. so that knowledge work can be as effective as possible.

How I Write

I’ll start with understanding clearly what I want to achieve.

    • What do I want my reader to “take away” after reading my writing?

Create a workable plan that will achieve that / those result(s)

    • What progression of content (to be created or curated / cited) will create that line of reasoning and shift in mental model?
    • What could make it most compelling?
    • Where shall I put this contribution / artifact?

Create an artifact with this plan.

    • The plan is a set of TODO items for the artifact
    • This plan is metacontent.
    • As sections of content get created, the metacontent can be “checked off” and made invisible
    • The metacontent can evolve as the content evolves. It’s essentially the “backlog” for the content creation project
    • Appendix / Final section: Where this document exists on the Internet. What single location is authoritative?

Once the metacontent has dwindled to “nothing”, the document / artifact is DONE.

What is Community of Impact?

For collaboration to work well, we need to evolve in 2 fundamentally discontiguous domains:

  • inter-personal principles and practices (teamwork)
  • intra-personal principles and practices (integrity)
  • No amount of teamwork (extra-personal principles and practices) can fix situations that arise when the INTRA-personal integrity of collaborating team members is awry. To attempt this is to formalize rules of engagement to an Nth degree that flexibility, agility, responsiveness, creativity, tolerance, differences, are damaged by the restrictions and controls that must be put in place to account for this.

    No one is expected to be perfect in any sense; proper practices need to accommodate honest mistakes – these will of course happen.

    We Amigos each seek to model the following principles and practices

  • I declare that we want to Do Good in the world.
  • I will make explicit WHAT we want to do
  • I will make explicit HOW we want to do the what
  • I will periodically (frequently preferred) hold myself accountable with retrospectives
  • Held with trusted peers – trusted enough to be direct and authentic (constructively) with their assessments of each others’ results (the reality that is manifest by living the WHAT according to the HOW
  • Recorded as high-fidelity as possible (audio, written notes, action items, etc)
  • Shared within the Circle of Trust
  • With such feedback directly informing revisions in WHAT and HOW of each individual
  • When we have a community of such individuals who share these principles and practices, the Circle of Trust is the Community of Impact.

    Each member of the COI can feel assured that to some degree, with accountability, each other member is Doing Good in good faith, with accountability to each other.

Tamera is a School and Research Station for Realistic Utopia

Sheri Herndon writes about Tamera:

COMMUNITY BUILDING: CREATING A BASIS OF TRUST In the context of this balance between inner and outer peacework, in the center of the education and research of the GC are questions about what it means to live in healthy relations. How to create community: How do we create social systems that create trust and mutual respect? Community is essential for sustainability: the technologies of the future will only be regenerative and sustainable as far as the human communities function. Again and again, in ecological, social and political movements, we witness groups fail based on interpersonal conflict and unresolved inner structures. Community can be a powerful vessel to become conscious of these mostly unconscious steering mechanisms.
From a recent report from Tamera and their Global Campus Gathering. Those interested in the new models, this is a great summary and harvest of an epic gathering of world changers creating a culture of peace from the inside out, embodying this new culture in all our relations.

What is Intertolerance?

When discussing application, infrastructures, protocols, messaging, etc. it is necessary to precisely agree on semantics of expressions in order to avoid “mistakes”. However, HTML as a representation format has survived largely due to its ability to “tolerate” expressions that are not understood… the browser just ignores those expressions. That has allowed “backward compatibility” of HTML and browser versions, as new language constructs can be introduced that are just seamlessly (mostly) just ignored by older browsers.

Recently, Frode has introduced a need to discuss representation formats. One very strong reason Frode likes HTML is this ability to tolerate expressions that are not currently understood.

Sam (I) was asked by Frode today “If you went off on your own today with $2M+ to build something, what would you build?” I recalled my early 90’s desire to build a “spreadliner” – an application (we thought in terms of apps in those days) that could take a chunk of text, and allow those memes to be spread out spatially so that visual relationships could be depicted (not just mind-mapped), and also have individual nodes / chunks / memes that could be attributed so that they could be viewed in tabular, or spreadsheet, views. Fundamentally, I (Sam) seek knowledge representation that can allow multiple presentation modes (Doug calls them viewspecs), clearly separating the KNOWLEDGE from the PRESENTATION OF THAT KNOWLEDGE. (reference here to GlobalSIM vs GlobalVIZ).

In order that the knowledge be presentable in multiple views, we must design knowledge representation in such a way that metadata required for one view be non-harmful to the fundamental knowledge object, or to other views.

What is still a question is WHERE this metadata ought be located. Is it a part of the knowledge itself? Arguably, it is NOT essential to the knowledge itself, but to the viewspec / presentation mode that is being applied at viewtime.

More to be mulled…

What is Dictipedia?

We each have our own diction, aka language. We use terms the way we understand them, regardless of whether they are completely consistent with the “correct” dictionary definitions. For basic everyday terms, this usually is not a problem, and usually no difficulty in the course of human interactions.

In domains with specialization of terms, eg. medicine, construction, sciences, and other highly skilled and technical areas of activity, these differences in meaning / definition / usage / implication / etc. can lead to project complications and even failures, if not caught and managed well.

Dictipedia is a toolset and set of practices that recognize and facilitate that “we each travel with our own language”, and that when we come together to collaborate, or to form teams, bringing these “languages” together is a necessary step in team formation.


    • Recognizes that we each have terms and phrases that carry certain meanings to each of us as individuals
    • Recognizes that we have potentially conflicting or at least inconsistent meanings when we use the same terms and phrases
    • Recognizes that explicating these terms and phrase differences for discussion and eventual resolution is a Good Thing in team formation
    • Recognizes that as we go from team to team, we pick up and migrate terms and phrases and bring them into our next teams
    • Assists in bringing forth the discussions necessary to align terms, phrases, and concepts
    • Assists in tracing the derivation of meanings from individual to individual, team to team, etc.
    • Assists in bringing language to the fore as a key First Class Object in team formation
    • Assists in disambiguating language so that the team can be in flow as quickly as possible

A dictipedia (noun) is an asset of an individual. A dictipedia is an asset of a team. Allowing teams to form with multiple individuals from potentially different backgrounds, and for teams to form, execute, dissolve, etc. is a key tenet of dictipedia’s services.

Much more coming…