Interpretation of base principles

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Hi Phil

I posted a question earlier:

"How did you see the "knowledge" utopia? And do you think it can still

I asked this because I have had my team implement, extend, enhance and
evolve some open technology spawned from your days of ArsDigita and
saw the direction it was taking to be pure genius. So much so that I
believe it's principles to be so forward in thought that they still
hold a level of purity many others simply over look or discount in value.

In me querying your view on the existence of a "Knowledge Utopia", I
was merely attempting to gain further insight into what you saw the
bigger picture to be and in turn allow me the opportunity to validate
my own interpretation of the direction you were heading.

In essence, I wanted to see if a question of it's nature was something
you still held enough value in to warrant any form of response.

Thanks for your time.



-- Brett Di, May 29, 2008


Google has the guys with the knowledge utopia vision, i.e., making all of the world's information accessible. My personal utopia is a teaching utopia, where everyone who wants to teach will be able to find a student online, even if the teaching is as simple as answering a question such as "What approach speed should one use in a Cessna 172 when landing on grass?"

Some of the good ideas from ArsDigita were (1) developing software on an operating online community and then releasing that software straight from a running real-world system, (2) providing an open-source toolkit for solving fairly new customer problems, and (3) giving small teams of programmers direct responsibility for a project, including profit-and-loss responsibility. These could be applied to a lot of things other than toolkits for building Internet applications, which happened to be our market.

One thing that strikes me as odd is that it has been more than 10 years since we released the first versions of the ArsDigita Community System and there is nothing in the open source marketplace that is a suitable replacement. There have been thousands of new programming tools developed and released in those ten years, but nothing that is comprehensive at the application level.

-- Philip Greenspun, July 16, 2008