From: Mitchell Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jan 01 2003 - 20:50:20 MST
I think the quality of discussion might be helped enormously if
there was a Wiki-like nonlinear forum in addition to a threaded
1) Nodes for ubiquitous concepts like "intelligence" and
"Singularity" could short-circuit some of the definitional
debates that recur endlessly; you could just say, "Well, I mean
'intelligence' in the 3rd sense listed, and if you look at that
part of the node, you'll see where the validity of that definition
has been debated before."
2) There could be nodes for topics like "CFAI 18.104.22.168", where
particular subsections of important documents can be discussed,
quizzed or critiqued. I'm watching the #sl4 chat right now, and
it's disheartening to see how often discussion ends "Well, I'd
better go read LOGI/GISAI/... then." I think more people would
be encouraged to read those documents in detail if they had a
forum in which they could discuss them in detail. You can do
that on a mailing list, sure, but the multiplicity of topics
leads people to lose track, even with an archive. Simpler to
have the discussion take place in nonlinear Wiki-space to begin
with, and let people follow the associations as they need.
3) It would permit a sort of segregated interaction between
technical topics like "What Friendliness content needs to be
added by hand?" and general-interest topics like "This hard
take-off concept sounds a little scary!" On a mailing list or
an IRC channel, when these discussions happen in parallel,
they sometimes trip each other up. In a Wiki-forum, the
technical nodes would point mainly to each other, the
general-interest nodes would point mainly to each other,
and when a person wants to cross over, they just follow the
link to the other part of topic-space.
Things can go wrong, of course. I have no great experience
with nonlinear fora, but I'm sure there's whole new forms of
stupidity and inefficiency that thrive in such environments.
Nonetheless, it's an experiment I'd like to see happen.
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