This article isn’t about those well-funded conventional thinkers, but rather the hidden pearl under the water that was forgotten a decade earlier. That perfectly-round black pearl has finally been cracked open from the clam shell…
In the 1960’s, Theodor Holm Nelson (Ted Nelson) foresaw a futuristic new screen with literature of parallel, interconnected documents, in which a person could just pluck knowledge with a scroll of a mouse. Did I lose you? Keep reading. Instead of clicking from one page to the next looking for a document, imagine scrolling right and left with the visibility of having not just one document at your fingertips, but several in which to compare and contrast. No initial need for a search/tab button as the computer has already compared several documents all in front of your viewing pleasure.
You would think the pavement for the millennials was set. Imagine a current world where someone taps a paragraph to instantly obtain more information on it and at the same time, visualize the other different writings similar to it from other pages. Interconnection at it’s finest. Attempt to forget the phrase “World Wide Web”, a place where you may lose your train of thought because your link is now covered over from other pages you visit. Heck, you save a page, and you pray a dead link won’t occur in the future. Nowadays, you have to pay for a program to save your information. Or you have to cut and paste the information and find a place to save it. Have fun finding it later.
Think of a place where you have the less likelihood of losing your train of thought because you can see many parallel pages at once. Visualizing content and wondering if it was taken from another website? Yes, parallel pages will show you with a skim to the left of your eyeballs. Seeing where a certain phrase originated from and you’re thinking, “Hey! Who just coined that term? Urban dictionary?!” Then you scroll to the left on this single page and see a slew of people that used the term and find it’s true origin. “Hmmm… ‘Cablinasian’ coined by Tiger Woods was the answer” and you chuckle as you scroll left and see an article that mentions “maybe Woods should have started out aiming for a little more Charles Barkley and a little less Ghandi…” and then you move on to your next search about Charles Barkley and his cool shoes. Want to be educated? You’d be able to see a content/idea/word/phrase that has changed with time and see where it’s heading. Yes, this idea of a platform was conceptualized and was coined “Xanadu”(I wish it could have been called Parallel because…that actually makes sense for a common user).
Project Xanadu is now available, but there’s a problem. Conceptualized some 50+ years ago, it took many decades for it to be officially released to the public. Looking at it reminds me of a program from the 1990’s (Windows 3.1). The concept is a solid foundation, but it seems to lack a beautiful user-friendly interface. If you think that this project is mind blowing, could you imagine what would have happened if Ted Nelson (the founder of the Xanadu project) would have released it a lot earlier?
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Richard Stallman. Three names that a techie should know. Jobs, Gates, and Elon Musk. Three entrepreneurs that have become household names.
Their names and companies will not indefinitely be forgotten, all because of one thing. They didn’t get to their respective positions by themselves. They got there with the help of others. Whether it was the public that supported them, or it was the teams that they worked with; they got to these places with the help of others. Whether someone’s name is wiki-worthy, or not; a positive change to society is what ultimately matters. Whether they followed a recipe to success or they failed because their personality and attributes were unique is a different story. It’s these under dogs that won’t be written in history, and if you’re one of these common people; just remember this: Thank you for your contribution to society.
Remove someone’s current “unique” personality in the world, and their contribution is what’s written down in history books. There are things that you have to remember in your journey. You have helped spur your ideas and imprint it into humanity’s journey. We are living in an age where many projects, like Xanadu, can be thrown out to the public. Many incubators, teams, companies, and inventors are doing just that. Don’t be scared to just throw it out to the world. Whether it’s bad or good let the public give you their opinions so you have something to improve. Along your journey, have a friend or a group of friends to bounce ideas. Steve Jobs had his friend “Woz” to help him.
The point is, you need help and a perfect product isn’t something you should take upon yourself. In your journey, throw out your imperfect product or idea to the world and have a team to help you make it better. We’re living in a technical revolution in which time is our enemy. Problems are plaguing mankind and information needs to be readily available to the public so they can decide what to do with that obtained knowledge. How is a problem going to be solved? From a realistic non-bias standpoint, how can the problem be eased?
For every second that someone is tragically dying, I cannot help but think of questions. If this project (Xanadu) would have been released in the 1970’s, would the problem of obtaining information more readily have been solved? Would someone have been able to obtain a certain information to become the next Steve Jobs or during that extra millisecond did they have to walk away from the computer screen to help their family members run an errand? Here’s a question: If this project would have been released in the 2010’s, how many teams would be taking advantage of such knowledge? What would have Zuckerberg initially done with such knowledge? If this project would have been released at the start of 2017, what competition does this Xanadu (program/ interface/ or whatever you want you call it) have in the market? Do you know of any other platforms?
Think about it.
Featured image: Gareth Halliday
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