historical context

The ambitions and principles of else are better considered when placed within a broader historical and cultural context.


3.8 billion-years ago
evolution by mutation



The primary means of longterm survival seen within all organic life is evolution by mutation (the permanent state of alteration). Darwin's Special Theory of Evolution can also be applied to the survival of non-organic matter such as man-made tools and technologies when considered as a General Theory of Evolution. It is critical that technology mutates in order for it to progress and for human culture to preserve diversity over monotony. Technology in suspended stasis will one day be rendered extinct. else evolve new web search engines and information retrieval (IR) models by mutating our existing means of organising information into new favourable alternatives.



2.6 million years ago to 200,000 years ago
slow progress


According to the Smithsonian Institute Homo Sapiens began using simple tools 2.6 million years ago in the form of unprocessed stone hammers and sharp stone flakes. It took a full 1 million years (30,000 generations) before we realised that we could sharpen the basic stone hammer into a stone hand axe. It then took another 1.4 million years before we thought to put a handle on the hand axe (a little over 200,000 years ago). Once we had paired the stone axe with the axe handle it seems we were off to the races, however, and it was merely a few hundred thousand years before we were sat in a steam engine in our Sunday best drinking imported tea leaves whilst reading the days newspaper. The internet, as a human made tool, is arguably our modern day stone hand axe. The question is how long will, or can, we wait before adding the metaphorical handle to the internet inorder to radically evolve its applications and usefulness? else propose to develop and deliver such a potential handle for the internet. It can not predicted or promised if it will be 'THE' handle, but it will be 'A' handle, and it will be evolutionary.



18th Century
enlightenment and classification



The vast world of new knowledge being gathered in the 18th century had to be classified and organised so that it could be more easily understood and used. Key figures in the Age of Enlightenment began to catalogue objects by type, material, date, purpose or culture, creating systems for organising meaning making that are still used today. As an act of 21st Century Enlightenment else believes that the vast world of new information being gathered in the 21st century has to be (re)classified and (re)organised so that it can be more easily understood and used.



1960's
augmenting human intellect



The American engineer, inventor, and an early computer and internet pioneer Douglas Carl Engelbart can be said to be responsible for much of what we know of modern computing. In his 1968 90-minute live presentation known as the 'The Mother of All Demos' Engelbart essentially demonstrated almost all the fundamental elements of modern personal computing: windows, hypertext, graphic user interface, video conferencing, the computer mouse, word processing, dynamic file linking, and revision control. Given Engelbart's significant contribution to the Computing and Information Revolutions we might now be wise to revisit and restudy his early visions and theories of our relationships to computing, such as his 1962 paper Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework. The reconsideration of many of the notions proposed in this paper are still as relevant today as they were at the birth of computing, and maybe even more so given our current position at a cross-roads of choosing to navigate critical future decisions by means of natural intelligence, artificial intelligence or a conscious combination of the two. else follow Douglas Engelbart's conceptual framework for Augmenting Human Intellect by "Boosting mankind's capability for coping with complex, urgent problems".




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