Quick scan of this thread, and I'm impressed by eloquence and erudition. But
I'd like to clarify what "bootstrapping" has meant to me, because I feel that
some of that eloquence and erudition has addressed other usages of the term,
including covering broader types of exponential change.
Let me provide some background using ref material as published in last winter's
UnRev-II Colloquium, as well as some in earlier, hard-copy pubs:
Yes, many exponential challenges -- AND not being matched by the
evolutionary paths of our organizations' ability to cope:
Problems are accelerating, but so are Opportunities:
Goal/Strategy: three statements that launched my "bootstrapping" strategy:
Expansion of the bootstrapping picture, circa 1962:
More refined conceptualization, from the '92 paper in the Groupware
Summary: The snowballing growth of complex, urgent problems facing society was
my primary "motivating driver" in '51; and such problems, because of scale,
have to dealt with collectively. The concept of harnessing computers to
improve our collective capbility to handle complex, urgent problems came next
-- within minutes, actually.
"Bootstrapping" strategy emerged in the several-year development of the '62
paper, "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework."
The '60s & '70s saw our evolution of NLS and collaborative augmentation benefit
significantly from "local" bootstrapping -- our developers "living it," and
from '74 to '88, our application-support people and customers becoming a
dynamic part of the process.
From '89, within BI's history, we had considerable refinement of
scaling-motivated strategic concepts as exemplified in the published papers of
'90 and '91, and last year's Colloquium.
I've certainly realized that knowledge and Collective IQ alone aren't enough to
produce a sane and lasting society -- in fact, in the '60s, as I became more
aware of such important elements as spirituality, integrity, etc., I almost
abandoned the "Collective IQ" goal in favor of some of the other movements of
the day. But, with a bit of reflection, I realized that converting the world
to any "better" mode of life would be a large-scale, complex challenge -- as
will just the matter of determining a best set of society's large-scale target
So, the meaning of "bootstrapping" that I bring to our UnRev is focussed on
compound interest (compound ROI) on investments in boosting our collective
capabilities to identify and pursue collective challenges and collective
pursuit of solutions -- and all of this within the huge scale of global
society, because we'll all go down together if we can't cope with global-scale
Very appreciatively, Doug
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