My main opensource project is called LifestyleLinking. Describing what it means has proven difficult over the years, half due to my poor explaination of it and half because of it visionary nature back when it started. But now the Quantified Self movement and BIG data have brought a context to explain it better. What is being built is a Self Engine. What is a self engine? We all know a search engine brings back results based on keyword inputs, a self engine makes suggestions on information to ‘consume’ based on the authoring of your life. Life captured by web publishing tools, to sensors to your very own DNA. A self engine terms has be used by the folks at Wolframalpha. It think this term will become more common in use as hardware sensors explode in daily life.
Suggestions will ultimately be integrated to make future simulations that can be passed to the make tools to achieve the desired outcomes.
It was sad to read that Doug Engelbart had passed away. During my time in Silicon Valley I was lucky enough to meet with Doug. The SuperHappyDeveloperHouse SHDH had invited him along to surprise him with a demo of his original mouse. When I arrived the house was a buzz with software engineers configuring modern computers to act like those back in the day when Doug invented the mouse and they succeeded. Doug was delighted. And the mouse was not just a pointer device with a click button but a full communication authoring tool complete with hypertext markup that provided machine readable structure as the human input text. Genius and “ahead of his time” describe Doug, with the latter disappointingly making him ‘too risky’ for mainstream venture funding. But that would be look at the world through the glasses of money. Doug stood above that culture and raised the expectations to sheer intelligence itself. He provided the thinking theory, practical delivery of ideas and most importantly the inspiring vision and an exciting vision for tomorrow, that fuelled those developers that evening in SHDH and a whole generation of developers out there on the web today and no doubt tomorrow too.
Doug was driven by a goal to “augment human intellect.” A goal I share. RIP Doug.