Inventing the Future

Are we there yet?

I love Google Alerts. Last night one came in that seems to mark a change. Instead of folks like me talking about what we’d like to make possible, this one appears to be non-specialists (with good technical skills) discussing what people can do now.

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General Exception

Noosifixes spotted in the wild!

The still unfinished masterpiece, The Pains, is already having a n impact on our culture, as evinced by this John Galliano fashion show, complete with models wearing nooses. Nooses! What could be more trendy? OK, maybe the knitted penis-gourds that they mentioned, but that’s probably just the thought of having a nice toasty penis-gourd on a cold and frosty New England morning.

Read The Pains now, and it’ll make you far more fashionable!

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Inventing the Future

Maturity

< %image(20071124-church.jpg|853|494|600K polygon model of church ruins produced by a laser-scan of the archaeological site.)%>

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Inventing the Future

Intellectual Property Is Not An Enforceable “Right”

Internal problems in Brie. Some nasty, some trivial, all annoying. We’ll work ’em out, but time to think of something else for a while. How about huge cultural paradigm shifts?

Clearly, something’s going on in the area of intellectual property. The old models are not serving. Everybody’s got something to say. (Here and there are some current MIT community examples.) On the one hand, Apple tries to sue companies for using a Windows-Icons-Menus-Pointer (WIMP) look-and-feel that they themselves didn’t invent, and they won’t let me rip the songs I legally bought from them. On the other hand, they want to use the name “Apple” despite clearly being in competition with Apple Records in the music business, and they produce a variety of devices in the new-cultural rip-mix-and-burn chain. Are they schizo, or is it just opportunistic business? I think it’s another data point towards the conclusion that we’re waiting for Thomas Kuhn (in a broad sense) to point the new way.

How can we understand intellectual property rights in a digital age? I propose that we try to get at what we really mean in terms of some established axioms.

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Inventing the Future

components status

I had hoped to have a usable version of the components framework by now. Instead, I have a reasonably self-consistent set of scaffolding that illustrates a lot of the concepts. It isn’t at a critical mass of functionality, and it has a lot of bugs and mis-steps. I was sure that copy semantics, multiple views, and event handling were going to be hard, as would getting enough corners tacked down so that I could start to cut the cloth. But they turned out to be much harder than I imagined. Nonetheless, I’ve now got a stake in the ground as the starting point. Maybe now there’s enough ‘it’ there that I can next report, “made ‘it’ do such-and-such”, or “added X to ‘it’.”

Below the fold is a diary/log of how I got to this point. (I originally called this a “bootstrapping” architecture, because components allow people to build their Croquet models from within Croquet itself.)

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