RE: Singularity PR: Idea for a Website

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu Nov 14 2002 - 04:50:00 MST

Aaron wrote:
> > Graphs could make the site look a little too techie and scare people
> > away. Especially if they are used for navigation.

Reason wrote:
> Ben is right on the impact of the graphs, however -- words
> really don't do to convey the impression to the uninitiated.

I think that if someone can't understand a simple coordinate graph, they're
unlikely to be convinced by a website full of discussions of science and
engineering news trends, either. For people below a certain education
level, we need "Singularity: The Movie" instead. But the production costs
there are a lot greater than plotting a few graphs... ;)

I always remember watching Ronnie Reagan on TV during his presidential days.
He was a huge fan of graphs, charts and statistics. You got the feeling
*he* barely understood some of them, but they were damn convincing to his
audience, most of whom probably didn't fully understand most of them either.

Clinton on the other hand rarely used such visuals, in spite of being a
vastly more intellectual guy. Go figure....

Anyway, not surprisingly I agree with Reason.

Ever see Kurzweil give his presentation on the Singularity. It's all
graphs. They make the audience's jaws drop ... then he starts in with the
explanations, once the graphs have them receptive. Admittedly, it's a
fairly techie audience; but even so, he has trouble getting the message
across, not because the graphs are hard to understand, but because of the
startling nature of the message.

Aaron wrote:
>Unless some people have written good stuff in the past few years, building
>custom graphs on the fly is a horribly expensive development project (in
>comparison to the rest of it), just FYI.

Reason wrote:
> It can be pulled off if done correctly; but you're right in that
> that's not
> exactly easy UI design.

I agree that the graphs are going to be the hardest part of the proposed
project, Web development wise.

The hardest part of the project overall will probably be keeping the site
going based on volunteer effort -- keeping the volunteers enthused and
reliable, finding new ones when some of the originals get tired or aren't
reliable enough, etc. But that comes after the Web development part.

>Nice idea. I think that would be a good thing
>have out there, and I'd be happy to volunteer a little web dev time at some
>point to such a project.

That's great. I will keep a list of people who are interesting in helping
out with such a project assuming it's seriously initiated.

What I'm really hoping, however, is that someone else will volunteer to not
only help out but effectively project-manage the thing [perhaps contributing
new ideas as well] ;). Novamente takes a LOT of time as you might imagine

I agree that is better than Singularity Report
... I wish it were shorter though? [the familiar domain name dilemma...]

-- Ben

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:41 MDT