voice of humanity: my vision for collaboration on the internet    
 my vision for collaboration on the internet1 comment
30 Jul 2003 @ 10:57, by Roger Eaton

Here is an article from Dec 1999 describing the need for a collaborative database as the underpinning for a global humanitarian effort. Go to original.

I see an indefinitely extensible, robust, shared, object oriented and seachable database as the core of any large scale collaboration on the internet. See earlier article online.

1) indefinitely extensible: I want to connect hundreds of millions of people to create a world government that works by persuasion instead of by force, so super-large scale is a must.

2) shared: many different sites will contribute to the database. Music is just a small subsection of the overall database, but how great a task it is to catalog all the music we have. It will take the combined efforts of thousands of afficienados, each of whom will have only a small portion of the overall music database on their local computer.

3) robust: redundundancy, of course, but the big requirement is that portions of the database can drop offline without notice and without causing a problem. Likewise, new sections of the database can be added at local sites without having to coordinate the addition with the whole world.

4) object oriented: this just means that if the data requires a special program to access it, that program is supplied with the data.

5) searchable: this is a tough one, but really it is an underpinning of the collaborative filtering that we want, too. It has to be a bottom up effort, but the details are still a bit beyond me. I see that each site (as well as each item) will have a position in semantic space, and using those positions, many different search algorithms will offer their separate solutions.

With such a structure in place, the rest of the collaborative effort becomes much much easier. Without such a structure, we are not going to be able to scale collaboration anywhere near even a million persons; grand collaboration on a global scale will be way beyond our reach.

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