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Now

Posted on Mon, Apr 6, 2020

πŸ›Έ AlanNet

I'm working on building a real Open Hyperdocument System with concept as the fundamental element and bi-directional hyperlink as the basic structure.
I am very interested in the pioneers of computing in the 1960s and 1970s and hope to gain a deeper understanding of their history and the many important ideas that emerged during this period. Alan Kay said, "Your job is to wake up, find ways of criticizing the stuff that seems normal. You have to go against your genetic impulses to try and learn the environment around you." I believe that going through this history and these ideas will help me jump out of my current environment and truly wake up.
How were humans meant to learn? How to do great work? How to think? I believe these two books will give me some inspirations.

Archived

β›° Dynamicland / Notion
Dynamicland and Notion are the two organizations that I believe are closest to my current goals, values, and mission. I want to know more about what they've done, what they are currently doing, and what they are trying to do in the long-term future.
  • Dynamicland
    What I've already done is learning the materials in Chapter 2 & 3 of Bret Victor's website. Here are some that I've found particularly useful for understanding Dynamicland: Media for Thinking the Unthinkable, The Humane Representation of Thought, A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design, Seeing Space.
    I also searched the Internet for all the information related to Dynamicland. Here are some of the best pieces I've found (including my notes on them): At Dynamicland, The Building Is The Computer, Utopian Hacks, Computing is Everywhere: Bret Victor and Dynamicland, Notes from Dynamicland: Geokit.
    Right now I have talked with a Dynamicland researcher, and will go to Oakland to experience their current version of "Dynamic Computer as a Room" in April.
  • Notion
    Douglas Engelbart had provided a solid conceptual framework that includes treating the H-LAM/T system as an interacting whole, redesigning the repertoire hierarchy of process capabilities, developing new means of external symbol manipulation, increasing organization's collective IQ by applying bootstrapping strategy, etc. I realized Notion, the product I had been using for more than a year, has embodied this framework inside its product, and inside the organization itself.
    We want to empower everyone to shape the tools that shape their lives.
    The mission statement of Notion seems very simple, but it contains the spirit of Engelbart: guiding the co-evolution of the human system and tool system, and giving the agency of creating tools back to the public. It sums up my biggest goal at the moment, and that's the reason I want to reach out to Notion.
πŸš€ Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework
Bret Victor's perspective on Human-Computer Interaction has inspired me deeply. In his A few words on Doug Engelbart, he said, "Our present-day systems do not embody Engelbart's intent. EngelbartΒ hatedΒ our present-day systems." I am very curious about the world Engelbart wanted to create, so I decided to research his original paper.
πŸŽ“ Minerva Schools - Freshman Year
I am currently a freshman in Minerva Schools, and one of our main focus is to immerse ourselves in various cultures and contexts through four-year global rotation in seven cities, with peers from 70+ countries and different disciplinary backgrounds.
Right now I am living in San Francisco, our first rotation city, receiving training on Habits of Mind and Foundational Concepts, which is an essential part of Minerva's curriculum. Our goal in the first year is to learn thinking tools and reinforce our grasp of these tools by applying them in real-world projects. We've written several thesis-driven essays, analyzed complex social systems, proposed scientific hypotheses, made statistical inferences, done literature reviews, interacted with local organizations, interviewed cultural informants, and collaborated with Civic Partners.
My Civic Partner is Mighty Health, a Y Combinator-backed startup that provides a cardiologist-designed treatment plan in the mobile app to help heart patients recover at home. My job is to develop strategies to help them effectively acquire new heart patients and seniors.
πŸ€– Complete Intro to Netlify in 3.5 hours
I believe the ecosystem of web development is facing a paradigm shift from monolithic server-run web app to microservices. As a former web developer, Netlify and JAM Stack seems like a good start. I also want to spend time reading Modern Web Development on the JAM Stack to get into more details.