Sunday, 25 July 2010

everything in moderation...

Some more thoughts...

1. It's hard to motivate yourself to input lots of data into a spreadsheet, even when you're following a personal whim.

2. The search function should have 4 filters - timeline, place and two other variables (context sensitive)

3. 3 (three) moveable sliders, floating on the map, with category buttons along the bottom. Needs to have the potential to be trimmed down to a iphone/android screen - perhaps have 2 views, one with 4 sliders taking up the whole screen, one of which is some kind of strange mobius strip type map of the world...

4. What are the categories? Define by nature of output - i.e. "Writing", with 'literature; poetry; science' etc as sub-categories? "Audio", with 'music; spoken word; nature'? It should be intuitive but also prompt thought, encourage connections, argument, refining.

5. Moderation - can we build this into the way in which users comment, express support/disagreement? I like the idea of having all dissenting opinions displayed, but proportionate to the support they have (i.e. consensus position covers most of the screen, all others squished to the sides). Difficult cases - holocaust deniers? More difficult cases - majority opinion becomes something manifestly untrue (according to me and other people I like) - how to encourage a continuing skeptical examination?

To iPad or not to iPad - discuss.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Emergence, emerging

After many years of musing, and some well directed prods from Carlton, I am finally going 'public' with Project Timeline, as it shall henceforth be known.

What is Project Timeline?

Big wooblie vision answer....

A directory of human action, accessed via a map and a timeline.

Slightly more detailed but still somewhat aspirational answer....

An emergent history of human achievements in the Arts and Science. A forum for passionate skeptical enquiry into the nature of innovation and progress, the connections between individuals, movements, memes, paradigms and dogmas. A place where communities of enthusiasts can tend to the gardens of their favoured people, places, eras and ideas; debate over minutiae and the fundamentals; discover what lies over the fence in the garden next door; float into the sky to survey the vast, expanding complex of intellectual horticulture.

Grounded, starting point answer (with thanks to Carlton for grabbing my ankles and pulling me out of my whimsical tree)....

A set of data points about the activities of Louis Armstrong up to 1930, to work out how, what, where, when and, probably most importantly, to attract some 'who' to do some weeding for us.

First Deadline - August 6th

Things I need to do before then -

1 - Input lots of lovely data into a spreadsheet
2 - Do lots of sketches of what I want it to look like and how it should work
3 - Send 1) and 2) to Carlton so he can tell me how simple this will all be to program.