Why we are calling for a National Project
October 8, 2003
Many natural scientists have long ago given up on computer science, specifically the software systems that we have to use.
For some of us, we regard ourselves as knowledge sciences; scientists who work on extending our cultural understanding of human knowledge.
Our pursuit is an investigation about the nature of human knowledge and cultural knowledge sharing. But our activity has been, all to often, about funding and software issues. The software tools are so imperfect and so hard to get and maintain that we cannot properly frame our investigation based on first principles. The computer science is confused, and confuses the natural sciences.
Understanding the systemic behaviors of the software/computer science community is essential if natural scientists are to break away from an entrenchment. The entrenchment is a stable status quo that just happens to be what historically developed from the economic and social forces at work.
But, some of us claim, the status quo does not allow the natural sciences to use computers in an optimal fashion. We ask that those who believe this claim, combine efforts into a political movement, perhaps under the flag of the BCNGroup.
The BCNGroup is an empty vehicle ready to respond to a membership. If you find the Charter acceptable, then join us in a call for a National Project.
Bring organization to something that has not been organized. Certainly those of us who have brought this not for profit corporation into existence are not very skilled at those types of things.
What is attempted with university, private and government support are most often not an advancement of the core issues related to the investigation of human knowledge and cultural knowledge sharing. We work on the margins, being very conservative.
The Mythology of Artificial Intelligence is just one indication of this entrenchment.
The American economy is currently spending just a few billons less than 1/2 trillion dollars per quarter on hardware and software. Perhaps 70% of this is true, and immediate, waste. Perhaps 10% is funding the continuing rapid development of hardware.
At the same time, our health care system flounders because there is no foundational infrastructure that addresses the issues of complexity and computation directly. We face critical deficits in biodefense information systems and in intelligence vetting. Moreover, our media, television in particular, often expresses a deep failure to understand other cultures properly and to understand the anguish felt by improvised peoples. An economic philosophy is often taken to an extreme.
One has to step back and ask about first principles. Is it possible that the vision of a radically simpler and optimal Internet operating system for knowledge sharing could be built and made freely available as an infrastructure for a
National Project to Establish the Knowledge Sciences?
We believe that the technical answer has been yes, at least for 5 years. But the key here is the issue of “free” and how one might support a free exchange of ideas in a world that is radically shaped by old cultural conflicts. Who pays?
One can only assume that an open, and free, knowledge exchange technology would create a transparency on processes that include the slave trade, and international crime. This, along with the war on terrorism; is a responsibility of the federal government struggling with a sense of urgency.
Such an infrastructure can be built now and made available, nationally, within 6 months. But such an infrastructure cannot be supported by war, it has to have social value above the conflicts that some believe are made both larger than life and marginalized.
This infrastructure would NOT compete with .NET directly, but enable a new independent, and commercially and culturally viable foundation to a new academic discipline.
The New War is not a war that can be understood without a memetically complex culturally grounded discussion and agreement by the American people.
But the knowledge scientists are missing. They are missing because those of us who can be nothing else but knowledge scientists have found poverty and disappointment in the current funding system and academic environment.
This is why we are calling for a National Project.
We ask for your help.