Thursday, December 29, 2005

A nice article by Ted Nelson about ParaMode. Here's a small excerpt that is relevant to our cause:

But the history of Para mode does highlight three deep sources of power that, in one form or another, lie behind all successful new ideas --- and not just in the software realm. Those power sources are:

  1. a boundless extensibility --- the potential to modify, customize, and reconfigure something far beyond the original conception. People's minds have that. So do human languages and mathematical systems. So does software ... provided the initial developers don't get selfish and lock the doors to change.

  2. a solid foundation --- something to build upon that does at least part of the job well, something reliable yet elegant and ├Žsthetic. It's impossible to do everything ourselves; we must rely on the work of our ancestors.

  3. a culture of sharing --- so that several people, each with a piece of the jigsaw puzzle, can get together and come up with a solution. Sharing works well (or should) within a family, a small group, or a properly-run company. Ill-wrought "Intellectual Property Rights" laws, however, truncate the sharing process and give short-term profits to idea-squatters ... at the expense of long-term progress for all.