Frode Hegland: I was just thinking if everyone from Monday had actually entered at roughly the same time, I could have said Hello Dreamers. And that could have been the start of something, some kind of a science fiction franchise. Anyway. Here is Mark as well. I’ll say it to him that hello, dreamer. Have you all seen Equilibrium? The sci fi movie with Tom Cruise. Are you an effective team? So memorable, isn’t it? That little audio snippet? Yeah.
Karl Hebenstreit : I never got to spend that much time with Doug, but every time I did, he always told the story about getting to a meeting early. And as he walks in, it’s like that.
Bob Horn: Engelbart. He’s just.
Fabien Benetou: A dreamer. It was like.
Frode Hegland: Like, I.
Fabien Benetou: Have a real problem with that word. Just because being a dreamer is hard work.
Frode Hegland: Exactly. That’s what we’re going through now.
Mark Anderson: See the equilibrium thing? That was what I used to send to my supervisor if there’d been a bit of a break in communication. So I just said, Oh, we’re an effective team. And I always got a reply.
Frode Hegland: Yeah, that’s good. It’s an amazing movie. The story is so-so, but the atmosphere is incredible. Hi, Bob.
Bob Horn: Hi.
Frode Hegland: So on Monday, the team that was here, we decided that we we need to make some decisions. And in order to do that, we should think far and deep. So we’ve spent this week dreaming. So the beginning of our discussion today will be a bit about dreams without too much constraints and see what different people have had as their kind of conclusions or epiphanies. I don’t know where everyone else is, but since we are being recorded, we could start. Fabian, you have sent a few things. Do you want to go first or.
Fabien Benetou: Just to make sure, sure, sure. I said one of the things I sent was a silly show on Netflix, but I think five guys in a basement or in a barn that are building stuff that kids want, which often doesn’t make sense but could be fun, and they still try to build it and everybody has a good time doing so. And I thought that it was a good idea, a good metaphor for analogy of what could be done, that in the end you never get exactly what you dream for, what you hope for. But as long as the journey is interesting, you meet people, you learn things, you learn from your failure. I believe it is quite valuable. So I thought that was a good way to unwind a bit, let’s say. And it’s actually also it’s a city show where it did showcase a lot of skills. Like to go from a dream or a seemingly silly idea to an implementation is not trivial. You need to have quite a bit of knowledge and that usually means more than one head is too much knowledge, too much tools to learn how to use. So I thought, again, I think that’s I recommend it for this aspect in terms of my personal dream, I mentioned some of it already. I think one of the first times I was here. It’s to be able to give some make some ideas tangible and in the process being able to juggle with them and implement them. Like we mentioned a couple of times, also here, the beauty of having a wide pool and then sticking things on it, but also being able to not be stuck at home and then folding that roll into something virtual or digital and then being able to go anywhere with it, share it with anyone.
Fabien Benetou: So this is the kind of thing I won’t dream of, dream about, but while still being natural, well, seeing having interactions where I can move them around. And I also mentioned on Twitter, I believe the lenses, the augmented reality lenses. That’s also I’m excited by this. I want this as a medium. I want this as a medium. So that, again, I guess the paradox of my dream is I want things to be I can work on anywhere in any place in a natural fashion, a way that I’m used to, let’s say, moving signals around or things like this, but still being whole online, accessible from any of my device safely and including devices like, let’s say the tuples or the lenses that might not take any space that might be so things like that. I don’t I don’t want to care about devices, so I want to be able to freely navigate through my information, being more creative thanks to it, building more things, thanks to it. But while the process itself, the tools themselves, are not as less tangible as possible. And the little thing on top of it too, which to me is self evident, is I don’t want any of this to be locked in any system, no DRM, no proprietary software. Everything has to be interoperable because so there is the philosophical, moral, ethical mindset. But the truth is, even from a just pragmatic perspective, if I want to build more prototypes or get more creative, good ideas, I’m going to have arbitrary limitations. So, yeah, everything there has to be open.
Frode Hegland: I think that’s wonderful. Obviously, on your last point about the openness that’s actually written into our documents and into our intentions document, for sure that’s important unless there is a really compelling reason in the for specific experiments to do something else, in which case we would have to decide why and still make that open. But that would be an edge case. Also, I think is that because we need to focus on deciding what we’re going to do, this is really the last day of dreaming. I’m going to get this call transcribed, but it will be heavily edited. I’ll ask the guys during the transcription not to include my waffle like this, but only write down the stuff that we’re reporting as being part of the dreams. And along with that, because Bob and Carl, you didn’t have the opportunity to be with us on Monday. If there’s any thoughts that come to you this weekend, feel free to tweet them or email them or whatever we will put them in because this should hopefully go out in the issue of the journal that Mark and I aim to release early next week.
Bob Horn: Well, I’ll you know, I think that what Fabian has said is very good at and I applaud all of it at the level of being able to move stuff around. There’s a sort of and we haven’t named these levels, but so I’m going to call this the the the linking and move stuff around level, right. Which has to do for me with the fabulous stuff you do with coding, coding and, and making, making this happen. There’s another level or multiple levels of this that have to do with intellectual frameworks of subject matters. Of the ways that human beings think. And I’m going to name three or four different ones. But there are 15 or 20 of these, not one or two or three. Ah one is is major classified coterie ways of thinking which we have ontologies and other other classification systems that have happened. There’s argumentation differ. This is number two argumentation mapping, which is a different structure and has different things, different classes of things in it and different moves in the intellectual operations. There’s the timeline that is the putting the linking causally of of, of events and processes together over a period of time. Another one. And then I could go on, I said, there are 15 or 20 of these. I won’t list them, but I’ve worked on all of the ones that I’m able to name in anyway. And I’m sure there are others that that and others to be invented. But this is a level. Thinking about what we’re doing. That’s that’s that’s for me.
Bob Horn: It’s I don’t know, maybe it’s not distinctly different for everybody else in the in the group. But it is for me, it is a separate way of of of thinking about subject matter which we cobble together these days with I do with illustrator and other people attempt to do with Microsoft Word and other kinds of of of written things. So my vision is about these is that they become much more stable. Capacities of the. The thinking system that we’re helping people build thinking together system let’s put it that way because I think that what what what I’ve experienced has been that that in the end it’s a bunch of teams that do a lot of the thinking for the world. And. So these become stable and they become supportive and they become easy thanks to the whole work on on the level that I was talking about that Fabian and others work on. Um, so so so my vision is that, is that these are that the levels are recognized soon and so we can continue to work on them and in our prototypes, in our first prototypes even and and then build and perfect them. Many have been identified. I’ve worked on on several of them. And they’re, in my view, 80, 80 to 90% complete. But there’s a lot of fuzzy edges to them, as in any almost any intellectual enterprise there is. So I’ll stop right there and happy to answer any questions or elaborate if you want me to.
Frode Hegland: Yeah. Putting an intellectual framework level on this is definitely a different way of looking at which is good. Any comments or questions or what Carl or Mark like?
Fabien Benetou: Bob, can you share a link with the ontology of of such? Has this been formalized basically?
Bob Horn: In in in various ways. But I don’t. Well, I formalized parts of parts of it in my book, Visual Language, which I’m happy to send to you if you don’t have it. And part of it in my book, Mapping Hypertext. Three of the three of the of the methods are are linked are described pretty well in mapping hypertext the classic story or the map of the information. Structured writing of stable subject matters. Argumentation, mapping and. And Science. Science. Experimental science is another intellectual structure. So. And also you can download the link is is Bob haunt us. You can download, you can download bad, bad digital copy. Somebody scanned these. And of course, what happens is that when you have a scanner who isn’t paying attention to what’s what the structure is, I, I designed the book as, as a two page spread, and they scanned it one page at a time. So you can download both of those books. But beware. It’ll it’ll be a little harder to read them on paper.
Fabien Benetou: And did you did you already I imagine if if, for example, one of the outcome is the mural that symbolizes or is you formalized part of the process? Do you I guess when it’s your self doing it, you don’t need this to be displayed. So you don’t have, for example, on top or b below where the mural would be. You don’t need reminders for yourself of those steps, but if you do it with others who for others and they they want to get a clearer view of the process. Do you have, let’s say, the mural and then on top below to the side or even I don’t know, like as I stand in front of it, such formalization on how to get that outcome.
Bob Horn: Usually. Usually it usually if I’m using a framework, I can go often I can simply ask them for particular things. For example, on the on the, the Vision 2051, which you’ve worked on, I simply have to remind the subject matter people, maybe that’s a that’s a third level, by the way, that that the actual subject matter of sustainability and climate change is different than the intellectual structures of of how to frame these human thought, which is different than the the the intellectual, the structures that are done in encoding and moving and stuff around in either 2D or 3D. So we’ve got three, at least three levels there. And so I’m talking, I’m talking, I’m working putting the I’m counting on the, the, the, the manipulations to be there in the coding so that I can do the intellectual stuff. And I and to answer your question, Fabian, I take I usually in working with the teams, they don’t have the time or interest to at that moment learn about the structure. So for example, in the Vision 2050, I would say look what we’re filling in the text in this one is is requirements. So think think as you think about this what is required in 20. In the 2030s to achieve what we’re saying we’re going to have accomplished in the 2040s. And similarly what and so forth the requirement. So so think think about characterizing your climate change and sustainability comments in terms of requirements in agriculture, manufacturing, forestry, blah, blah, blah, all, all the different kinds of things. So that’s how we sought out those. I sought out those with teams. One would hope that we had form more formal and stable.
Frode Hegland: That’s ironic.
Fabien Benetou: Not stable.
Frode Hegland: Is that stable? Yeah.
Bob Horn: Connection goes and there have been attempts to do it. But education is very, very slow in changing.
Fabien Benetou: First I’m asking because I’m trying to imagine how to spatially represent, say, the processes on with the outcome to understand that it’s not exactly how it’s not how it’s been done so far. But I believe that that could be interesting to visualize the process, and especially not as you do it now again, because you do it with a with the screen so you don’t have plus you know it by a card that’s a bit different. But I imagine for others to be on board and be yeah, that’s also a bit of a question I guess for you, but for everyone else is is the vision you have in mind something that would be that others could use too? Or is it something so personal that you don’t expect everybody else or anybody else even to be to be interested?
Bob Horn: Oh, well, no, of the of the intellectual structures, the class, what I’m calling structured writing or the class factor system, which incorporates quite a bit of process, has been has been formalized, was run in a company. We trained 400,000 writers in business and government. We trained 400,000. When I left and I left 30 years ago. Sold the company. So one of those systems has been around for almost 50 years in in almost it’s the standard of of writing in business, in technical writing and procedures, policies and documentation in the major companies. We we trained. Probably six or 7000 people in in AT&T alone. Because they have to communicate with each other. And it’s terrible way to. It’s terrible without structured writing anyway. Then argumentation mapping is well, you know I helped helped launch after Tollman invented the whole notion and there is a whole subfield in in both encoding and in critical thinking, teaching and philosophy around the world. And there are half a dozen different, least software things that products that enable people to do that. It’s been held up by the the slowness of of educators in the high school and junior high school areas to implement. But some very, very good work. And there’s a whole community of people who work on that structure and so forth. I won’t go on. But and and by the way, the the 20 or so different kinds of of intellectual structures of this kind are on one thing on my on my website also. But I can I’ll send that to you.
Frode Hegland: Yeah. Yeah, that was good. I think we need to keep moving with the dream agenda, but definitely a worthwhile aspect. I see Mark has his hand up.
Mark Anderson: Oh, sorry. What it was really just actually is a sort of question of observation for for Bob. And this is very prescient because I’ve seen it. Part of what he’s alluding to is something I’ve seen on two, three big infrastructure projects I’ve been involved in. A big gap. We have is is still broadly an art sciences thing where the science edges to hard edged and the humanities is too soft edged. So at one edge you got people saying, you know, when you say, well, what is he trying to do? He said, No, I’m just dreaming. I just do big stuff, you know, don’t you spoil it? If you make me put it in a box, it’s ruined. And at the other end, you’ve got people who are unintentionally trying to overengineered. And what we lack of people with the skill set in the middle, which is often this mapping from the very formal to the extremely informal, it’s something we don’t teach. It bedevils large scale projects. And I think of one way and one one at one time we got to the bottom of it and effectively we had to affect the requirements people almost far to a man and woman, because although they were skilled at what they did, what they did was done to no useful purpose because they didn’t actually understand.
Mark Anderson: What they couldn’t do is they couldn’t bridge between the loose edge and the hard edge in terms of trying to work out a thing we actually had to build, which it had to be in the case. That time was an aircraft carrier, which is a very complicated bit of thing that has people living it last for a long time. So there is a functional gap and this is actually something I’ve been reflecting on in terms of looking at things because if I’m honest, I’m excited by VR having played around with it. No, not that I think it won’t come. Not they think it’s not interesting, but I’m not excited by it. But part of the reason I’m not excited is I can’t do anything useful in it at the moment. And one of the one of the missing parts is that it’s too easy to pay attention to the extremes. So the microcode level or the the macro loose edge that is mapping in between because if you know, one of the reasons, one of the things I thought was interesting about Bob’s mural was probably for a reason, totally different to everybody else. What I saw was a known artifact that we at least know as an artifact in its current form that rests on a lot of bits of information that are moving that is is although when seen as a mural is a sort of static representation, is in fact a representation of some quite deeply stratified material, and some of which is even changing as time goes past.
Mark Anderson: Now what something like VR ought to allow us to do is to allow all those bits to be movable. But I’m thinking, not in anything so trite as can I move it from this wall to this wall? Or Can I walk through the middle of it? But just how do how does the the thing that I see, the anything that I see actually link in any meaningful way to all those all those variable things underneath. And that’s an area that I just don’t see being addressed. And it’s too easy to punt it. It’s more than doing another structural ontology or something. It’s separate to that. It’s a it’s part of part of it is, is, is beginning to teach people. And I think we do have to teach people to think that, well, if you want this idea that you have here to be represented there, it’s not just enough to have the idea at some point.
Frode Hegland: That Mark Mark, we did actually set aside time for that this week. That was the point of that, because the next step is exactly what you’re talking about. Now.
Mark Anderson: That doesn’t make sense to me, so I’ll stop.
Fabien Benetou: Okay.
Frode Hegland: All right. Anything on dreaming for me?
Bob Horn: I can respond to Mark with with one other thing that is, I attempted in part to to deal with not all of the fuzzy connections, but with a process called mess mapping of messes between organizations and people. And you can download the draft book from my website, Bob Haunt us, scroll all the way down to the bottom and hit PDF and it will arrive on your screen.
Mark Anderson: Sure, I know. I mean and the answer to my mind is yes. But I don’t think sadly very few people I just experience in a number of working public and private sector entities, very few people have an understanding of that or even have an interest in understanding of that. And that’s right. That’s problematic.
Bob Horn: And they shouldn’t you know, it’s only the people that are involved in this that need to be to be connected. We don’t need to teach that in high school.
Mark Anderson: No. Well, yes and no.
Bob Horn: Not when you say people, it just I tune out. Because that people you’re talking about, right.
Mark Anderson: Well, the easiest to talk from experience, which is just in the sense of what I see so often is is is the grand plan going awry? Because the very sort of skill that you’re talking about is call manifested in people. But let’s call it a skill is is underpopulated within the organization. You’re absolutely right. You’re not. And this is another problem about collaborative structures is a lot of people assume that how it works is that everybody needs to understand what I do. I think that’s fundamentally flawed. You need to be skilled at what you do and you need to have an honest and open interaction with the things that you don’t understand. And that’s the bit that that is sort of under resourced. You know, it’s not I’m not trying to put some numbers or lines on where they go, but one of the big gaps is where things come unstuck is is this the sort of that and it’s probably quite a small number of people, but who are able to actually produce order from the chaos. And you’re absolutely right. I mean, you know, and there are a number of ways to do it. And it’s not as if it’s not a known thing, but it’s people batted away because it doesn’t fit neatly in any of our current disciplines. And I think that’s why I think that’s why there’s an antipathy to embracing it. And yet it’s it’s it’s just clear when you look at any large, large thing or you try and take a small thing and scale it out, you need that.
Bob Horn: I agree. You don’t need to keep describing it. I agree. And and there is there are emerging professions that are that have all the difficulties of emerging professions that that are tackling this. For example, there are people who try to do murals like mine on the fly while groups are discussing this. It’s called they’re called visual practitioners, and they have an international forum of visual practitioners that meets every year. And in fact, the local group here in San Francisco is about 30 or 40 of them. And they meet every month and they do it on the fly in real time. And that’s a vision, I mean, that put that vision into into our virtual reality thing. But there are there are probably 500 or 600 or 1000 maybe around the world. Then there are then there’s an emerging profession of meeting facilitation where there are a bunch of different skills that that the facilitator realizes there are different kinds of meetings and you need different kinds of interventions in those kinds of meetings.
Frode Hegland: Well, I really appreciate what you’re saying, but we’re half an hour in. And so far in terms of dreaming, there hasn’t been that much. There’s been Mark saying why he doesn’t want to dream because he feels you have to look at the structures first.
Mark Anderson: No, that’s that’s totally misrepresenting.
Frode Hegland: I apologize. Can you then please tell me about how you are dreaming about the future of working in hybrid VR and traditional environments? Then I would really, really like to hear that. But usually when we ask the question, including this week, we’re met with other other aspects of it. But if you want to say that, I would absolutely, massively love to hear it.
Mark Anderson: Yeah. I mean. Like the thing I’ve been thinking about in the dreaming aspect is in a sense how I’m able to interact with ideas or problems or information. In in a in a in something that isn’t tied by. My current physical limitations around me. So rather than take a rear view mirror and say, can I make can I make a timeline and put it on?
Bob Horn: Can you tell us what you’re seeing? What are your visions, whether they’re looking back, oh.
Frode Hegland: Oh, let him talk. Give him a few minutes. He’s actually talking about dreaming now. And it may be a very different way from what you’re looking at. And, you know, to actually think of the specific visuals now, maybe a little premature weight.
Mark Anderson: Yes. I mean, I certainly when I think of these things, I don’t think of it in terms of pictures in that sense. Know. But what I what I do see what I do see is the ability to I’ve always been a quiet, non linear thinker, so I’m slightly contrarian in that view. So I tend to see well, not by choice, but I find I often see a very different picture of the same information as is presented to others. And one of the things I’m interested in and where I think VR does offer is the ability to take something, some information, an idea, some data, whatever, and to view it in a different way. And I’m trying to avoid stating it in terms of things that we have already, because then we’re back in the rear view thinking it’s not, can I have a timeline alongside a radar graph or something? But also it’s trying to avoid falling into the trap of saying, let’s start counting the countable things, because that again leads us down a garden path where we get we get seduced by giving extra salience to things because we can count them, not because they’re necessarily important. And I’m reflecting on the talk last Friday by Janie, which was talking about discourse, public discourse and things and some of the mapping going on there. And I think that’s that’s interesting. But I also saw it slightly going down this path of saying people falling into the trap of placing too much information on what they see or what they’re able to sort of map, rather than looking at the whole piece and saying, well, why are there great big gaps here? Because that’s often where the most interesting thing is. In other words, I find I get most traction in problems by looking in the gaps, not in the overpopulated parts. You’re muted for it.
Frode Hegland: So I guess one of the things you’re trying to highlight then is you would like to have systems that will help you look at connections, but also to see where there are no connections or where things are missing.
Mark Anderson: Yes. And just the fact of being honest with myself that if some of the things I want to see you all be able to interact with, let’s put it like that in this virtual environment. I think the visual aspect of it could get overplayed because one of the one of the interesting things we’ve talked about is the the extra sort of manipulation we have with these things and things and our ability to just move things in a way that we can manipulate things that are not allowed us if we do it in a real physical space. And where that leads me is is being sort of trying to be more honest with myself. Well, if I want to if I want to do that, what does one of those things look like? It’s all very well to have the idea of a bit of it sort of existing, but for it to exist, we’re actually going to have to at some point, someone is actually going to have to make some code to do that. So we need to be generous in our understanding and rather than as as we tend to do about things we don’t understand, say, oh, well, it’s an implementation data or basically it’s somebody else’s problem. I don’t have to worry about it. I keep putting my back, my self back saying, you know, that’s that’s being too generous to myself. So if I want to do these things, what responsibilities does that lay on me to, to explain what I’m wanting to do, rather than saying, I have this cool idea here, now you go fix it and then sit there like the person telling their decorator it’s the wrong shade of colour without telling them what actually colour they want, which is where a lot of our work ends up.
Frode Hegland: Thanks, Karl. Yeah. I’m kind of I’m kind of a disadvantage of not.
Fabien Benetou: Having the week to think about things.
Frode Hegland: Just from.
Fabien Benetou: What I’ve heard here, I resonate very strongly with.
Frode Hegland: Things.
Fabien Benetou: Sorry. Sorry to interrupt, but if you. To give you a dream. Which to go back on Mark’s point.
Frode Hegland: I’ll let you go.
Fabien Benetou: Then, if you have more in with what Mark was saying. Sorry to interrupt. It was because of Mark’s remark. What I wanted to say about seeing too much or trying to visualize everything. It is actually an open problem or an open question in the pedagogy of mathematics at the moment, where, as far as I know, there are two camps, one camp that say you need to visualise everything and make everything tangible, and that’s actually helping to learn faster at the earliest stage, making anything tangible that you can grab and you make you make it even if it’s 3D printing or in Virginia or that actually works like you will learn mathematics more efficiently. The problem is up to a point, and at a certain point, except if you are stuck in geometry, you will have to be conformable with abstractions, things that don’t exist, who can’t easily be represented, or if you represent them, it will be incorrectly or it will be basically dirty, the wrong version of it. So that’s I don’t as far as I know, nobody has an answer on this for now that if you build a scaffolding that is too visual or too tangible, you might at some point miss some opportunities if you are not comfortable with. Playing with things that are not there or that you can’t represent easily. Sure.
Frode Hegland: I mean, just a little bit on the dreaming thing. Like Carl said at the beginning and Karl, I have been quoting Doug a lot on this. You know, dreaming is hard work. Fantasy is one thing. Fantasy, Harry Potter. I do purple flash to green flash, and then suddenly it’s the yellow one that’s deadly. You know, fantasy is easy, but dreaming is very, very difficult. And I think Mark is being really annoying in the best possible way because we shouldn’t just dream the paths that are relatively linear, but we should also dream those paths. I mean, one of the things we really have to do is just a nice, simple mural and a timeline. We have to do that. But this week was really to shake our head a little bit and see how far we could get. I have shared a document with some of you of my dreaming things, but what was really annoying for me was and I think that’s in parallel with you, Mark, was the stuff in VR has to be known stuff. I talked to the working group yesterday that’s in charge of the Microsoft Word document format. They had their monthly meeting I there. It was really, really interesting to British people one American and Korea. And Todd, who is in charge of an ISO, the American National Institute of Standards Organization, was also there. And we talked about the importance of address ability, which we all get back to here. So at the end of my long, dreamy run, I have to fix how glossaries work in author. That’s one of my personal things. There are many other things. Because if you’re going to do something, you know, I’ve a dream often when trying to do this or standing in a room, I’ve got all kinds of little dots in the room.
Frode Hegland: Call them nodes or whatever you want. Right. Are they books? Are they single words? What are they? Of course, that’s part of our discussion. But then when I want to manipulate them, I’m like, Mark has been struggling and Noda for all of us for so long. If you just pull one and another, it’s kind of boring and stupid. If you want to do operations based on criteria, obviously the system needs to have those criteria known to it. And that’s when I realized that for the aspect I’m most interested in right now, I have to fix how glossaries work. Because otherwise I’m going to take it into a VR space. Fabian is going to make something amazing and then when we interact with it, we’re going to have all kinds of ideas and it can’t be done. So I completely agree with Mark’s anger at how as a community, we don’t look at the infrastructure stuff. You know, we have to dream beyond it. But at the same time. So that means that for what I wrote and what I’m working on because I’m quite actively trying to get some funding to hire coders, to do some of the infrastructure work, etc.. I had to be honest with myself and say that I also need some money to finish. Author. You know, the 2D side of things has to be done too. And if we get enough money, then. Fabien I want it to be not just for Mac, I want it to be web based, but either way it must be connectable to other systems. So with that note, Carl, did you want to go into dreamy stuff? Just randomly checking about something. Yeah, well, as I was saying at the beginning, I’m kind of taking a.
Fabien Benetou: Step back and kind of go into the.
Frode Hegland: The.
Fabien Benetou: Fundamentals for me. And one of.
Frode Hegland: Them is basically it’s about it’s focusing at the network improvement.
Fabien Benetou: Community level for.
Frode Hegland: For like looking at Doug’s work and stuff.
Fabien Benetou: So what’s the interface?
Frode Hegland: What’s the interface that.
Bob Horn: The.
Frode Hegland: Groups like?
Bob Horn: Like Bob was just.
Frode Hegland: Talking about people who are.
Fabien Benetou: Facilitating.
Frode Hegland: Meetings in particular.
Bob Horn: That’s I see.
Frode Hegland: Meetings is that’s the nexus of where we can have organizational change and things. So what are the tools we need to have effective and efficient? So that’s kind of.
Bob Horn: Where.
Mark Anderson: I’m at.
Frode Hegland: And then it’s like.
Bob Horn: So we.
Fabien Benetou: If.
Frode Hegland: We have like.
Bob Horn: Really great.
Fabien Benetou: Interfaces for different improvement.
Frode Hegland: Communities because people with the different contexts, people might have a whole different set of things they need. But then it’s like, can our augmentation system talk with yours?
Mark Anderson: And kind of.
Frode Hegland: Focusing at that, that level. So that’s how I kind of.
Fabien Benetou: Seeing the future.
Frode Hegland: Future user interface. But I’ll just toss that out for now and have to think about things some more. And I.
Fabien Benetou: Look forward to what.
Frode Hegland: Other people will be saying. And then I can look to build on that. I think in a couple of weeks or months we should probably have a session on that of what network improvement communities can be, because Fabian keeps hammering on the openness of this and it’s really refreshing to be reminded because you can’t build a NIC with walled gardens. So that definitely has to come into it. But you mentioned future. I’m going to show you a future user. Hang on. Sorry. Zoom being annoying where the buttons are. Can you all see my incredible screen? So that’s today. That’s my son, Edgar, whom most of you have seen many times. He got an award for the headmaster, a Jesuit award for having been demonstrating the Jesuit pupil profiles of kindness, etc. kindness and being able to stick to things. He made a few decisions for Lent. He stuck to them. He’s given up his bed so others can sleep in it during the war. He has been absolutely amazing, so I am showing him off without any relevance other than I will show him to everyone so that everyone at all points. Yeah, that was that was kind of an emotional morning for us right there.
Fabien Benetou: But I can help to dream also that sometimes we don’t really want to push our dreams to our kids. But but I think also to build a better world that makes it a lot more pragmatic that we can’t just have something okay today. But to see how others will use it, I think considering for my children right now and also a future adults, what tools, what processes they should be comfortable working with. And then just to reiterate, I’m going to sound like a broken clock, but that is also why I find openness so important that if we build, we help to build some of the best, most interesting tools. And I want some kid in sometimes I give workshops also around VANIER to kids in Brussels and and I don’t at any point I also don’t want any of them say, oh, I want to do this. And then I have to tell them, no, you can’t do this because somebody decided you can’t. If you want to make, let’s say, a virtual workspace for anyone, including kids, that space, that workspace also, and any steps or components in it have to be open source and have to be modifiable. Also in you kind of being humble enough to not assume that you thought of everything ahead. So I think thinking forward with letting ourselves dreams for ourselves, but also for the ones coming after us and making sure that they can build on that, I find that usually pretty valuable and inspiring.
Frode Hegland: For some reason what you made me think of. There is 11th of June. We’re having a summer party, and Mark is not very far away. You’re not very far away, Fabian. You’re all invited if you can make it to London on the 11th of June. Fortunately we don’t have accommodation right now, but we can we can look into things like that. But yeah, so this document that I’m trying to write as a pitch document, at some point we have to write what we plan to build. I’m writing a budget for one year and the likelihood of me actually getting the money is not very big. I’m not going to kid you or myself, but outlining this, writing it properly, having a budget and having bent and other support does make a difference. And the thing that I’m screaming about the loudest is the whole thing about we only have a year or two in my mind of fresh imagination for humanity to look at VR afterwards, we’ll all think we know what it is. And it’ll be. It’ll be what it is. So we need to decide to build something that will be useful, not just a demo and will in some aspect, blow people’s minds to keep their imagination going.
Frode Hegland: I think one aspect of that means it has to be hybrid. I think everyone here has said that it can’t just be VR. That’s just another toy or another ghetto or a CD-ROM. And then we have to look at what we mean by documents. Of course, we can use liquid and visual media and PDF, but we’re not tied to that. Obviously, that’s just I happen to like that because that’s what I’m working on. If there are compelling reasons to use other standards, of course we will. And by the way, Jacob is working now on exporting from author to HTML directly. So there are many ways we can go about it, but we should probably know, despite the fact that there’s very few people on this call spend the weekend thinking. What specific thing do we think we can reasonably demonstrate and let’s say December, to give us the most time at the future of Text 11.
Fabien Benetou: Hey, Bob, you’re muted.
Bob Horn: Sorry, it was muted. What? Let’s just do what? Here’s a question. What kind of thing would blow people’s minds in a demonstration? Because I think I like the I read your vision. Your your dreaming vision. Thank you. And I thought, boy, this needs visuals. But it was inspiring to me. Although before long, I got. I got. Lost in I got sort of lost in what was what the what the what was what I could see. You know, because I I’m translating what you’re writing into, what I’m trying to see. And so I’m wondering what it would be that that, you know, for for requests like this. The proposal, as you said, I’m quoting you, what blows up people’s minds. And I’m asking everybody here in the group.
Frode Hegland: But yeah.
Bob Horn: For the proposal, maybe not for ten years from now, but for now, for this year.
Frode Hegland: Yeah. Bob is doing too much thinking, not being able to talk. First of all, Oculus is adding a future near future update which does better screen capture. So it’s not just a box I’ve heard. So we’ll get something better in many ways that will help communicate what I think we need to do. Brandel has already built a way to take JSON into VR and do basic things there. I think that is one start. But one of the big challenges, I think is you have this thing and you have that thing. How do they know about each other? Right. So let’s say this is a constellation of glossary terms for my system. And then let’s say Mark has worked in Excel and made a spreadsheet for something else and Fabian is taking those two things into his world, you know, can he draw a line between them? And if so, where does that line exist? These are really important issues. So I think we just need to start experimenting.
Bob Horn: Yes. For for me that the the line is needed in the intellectual structures part of this and then is implemented in the coding and tool level of this and so that. So the there isn’t much theory that I’m aware of at least. And I, you know, I can’t read everything, obviously. Is, is how do we do the connections between those kinds of levels? That that’s at least one. And and not only the intellectual level, but if it’s if the subject matter happens to be climate change, then we then we’re talking about linking three levels. In some sort of way in in the coding, in the actual implementation of the coding as we’re flying through VR, is that is that make sense to you?
Frode Hegland: Listening. Not getting all of it.
Bob Horn: Uh huh. Yeah. Is that because my my Internet connection has been bad this morning.
Frode Hegland: No. Just thinking. Also looking at Fabian, put two links in in the chat. So yeah, the thing is, so when I talk to the wonderful people in the doc working group and I mean it was one of the most incredible discussions I’ve ever had because these people are the ones making the stuff, you know, they’re in charge of both Doc and Doc dot x. So know we didn’t agree on everything but they greatly agreed on the notion of having metadata visual at at the end of the document. Of course they had some concern about messy and so on. And of course in something like word, which is a manuscript rather than published format, they were concerned about how that would be dealt with. But the fact that when I presented visual meta, which was the key reason I was there, there is a slide on VR as well. So they hadn’t really thought about taking these documents in and out of these environments. So we. Hang on 1/2. Yes, I go. Can you close the door, darling? I’m still going. My meeting is dressed as a ninja so I could hardly see him. Right. They are currently not thinking about VR. Hardly anybody is who is talking about work stuff. Right. So this is where we can be real thought leaders and this is where the dreaming thing is, is really, really hard because at a certain point, it’s stupid, no question. And in another point, it’s mundane, only obvious. So for us to foster with us a dialogue where somebody can say something stupid, but because we respect each other, we try to find out what that is, is really, really important.
Frode Hegland: Because if we manage to publish in our journal, either screenshots with links to live VR or videos or just textual descriptions or picture of whatever it is, we really are building a body of early thought in this space. Mark used the term rearview mirror. That’s obviously a reference to Marshall McLuhan. We’re inventing the future by looking at the rearview mirror. We have no choice, really, but we can choose how we try to look in that rearview mirror. You’re putting all kinds of interesting things in there, Fabian. Ken, could you turn that into many article piece? Thank you. Because the thing is, to be honest, this often for me becomes really, really depressing. Know my imposter syndrome thing. You know, what are we doing? We’re having a journal and a book about VR. Who the hell am I? Is what I think. And then I remind myself, that doesn’t matter who I am. I’m just trying to help you guys put it together. There is no intellectual lead in the world in this area. So if we just let it slip, that’s just ridiculous, right? So that’s why I’m just begging for everybody to vote it down in some way. It doesn’t have to be a fully fledged academic article or anything like that. Now, one more thing I say. There are two hands up. On the 27th of next month, I’m going to have my viva my exam for my PhD. Just got that confirmed today. So if I’m correct, Mark, I will know that day whether I passed past with corrections or failed, right?
Mark Anderson: Yeah. And essentially, I mean, in a sense, unless you fail, you’ve passed. It’s just how long before they give you a bit of paper proving it and you may have some more work to do. But I would say my my observation of the process up close is that most people sort of treat that as, yeah, pass or fail.
Frode Hegland: Yeah. Thank you, Mark, because Mark has we’re colleagues and he’s actually going through this. So the reason I’m saying it is I’m thinking of not sending out my pitch document until at least the next day, because in there there’s a question of who are we as a group and also who am I? And I do put down that I have recently gone through the PhD thing. If I can sign it with a PhD that shows that I’m at least currently able to have gone through the process. It gives me a tiny bit of credibility. And that gives us roughly a month to put together something nice in the pitch document that shows. What we’re talking about. Yeah. Carl, first, please. I guess. Well, part of it is can be kind of seeing what is kind of out.
Mark Anderson: There and things.
Fabien Benetou: It was weird. This the thing I’m going to post.
Frode Hegland: Was from February.
Fabien Benetou: Of 2016, although it was it was weird because I thought it was posted on March 23rd, which happens to be Kristina’s birthday and stuff. But if you really want to dream what there’s.
Mark Anderson: Not going to be one.
Frode Hegland: Single daughter demos but.
Mark Anderson: Could like having having.
Frode Hegland: Daughters of demos in January of 2025 for Doug’s hundredth.
Mark Anderson: Birthday or something. You know if you want to.
Fabien Benetou: Kind of dream.
Frode Hegland: And stuff.
Fabien Benetou: What.
Frode Hegland: This one really blew.
Mark Anderson: Me away.
Frode Hegland: Because the guy’s talking about it’s the brain operating system and there should be like a zero.
Mark Anderson: Learning curve.
Bob Horn: That’s I mean, there’s a lot.
Frode Hegland: Of interesting ideas he has. I mean, it’s called augmented reality headset and it’s what it was there.
Fabien Benetou: But there’s some.
Bob Horn: That could be part.
Fabien Benetou: Of this, too. It’s kind of seeing kind of what’s out there.
Frode Hegland: And then there’s this spark that’s cool, but can we do this, this.
Mark Anderson: And that or whatever too.
Frode Hegland: So this live with that and. Mark. Yeah, thanks for that, Carl. By the way, in this community, unless I am speaking out of turn, we see no difference between AR and VR right now. Physically, the devices are different, but I do believe that very soon you’ll be able to toggle between them. We already have passthrough on VR and and so on. So just that, that was, that was cool for that. Link, Yeah.
Mark Anderson: Mark Yeah, it’s something that was prompted by your comment about missing lines and links and things, but it sort of segways right into the demo really in that I’m trying to sort of think, well, what was yeah, people were blown away by Doug’s demo, but in a sense what there were lots of things that you could look back with hindsight and see were there but weren’t necessarily being touted as that. So we only see this really with hindsight. And I’m just wondering, well, one of the really interesting things we could do basically is to show what we see trapped at the moment in various forms of documents as something much more fluid. I don’t think most people in the room will find that sexy. So to a certain extent, the cell becomes the visual part of it. But the long term, the the intellectual heft of it or the the benefit for the long term is is thinking about this because. So you said, you know, and sort of very, very obvious thing to say, if I take an Excel spreadsheet into VR and I imagine that the five people sitting here were imagining a sort of table like thing floating probably in their mind. But but I mean, that gets to the heart of it. Why why is that the sensible starting representation of the information in the spreadsheet? And I mean, this is something I’m sure it’s been discussed somewhere. I haven’t I haven’t tripped across it.
Mark Anderson: And it was something that I was forced to think about when doing that, playing around with Node, which was a lot of effort to really no to no real effect. But the one thing it really said to me is, well, if you one of the problems about moving something that, you know, you have some information that, you know, has some knowledge, it enshrines something in a sense. There is a picture in it somewhere, if you put it that way. But taking it in a form that you can even do anything with it when it gets into this new medium is, I think I reminded myself, far harder than I imagined. It’s a step beyond saying, Oh, I have a picture, I’ve got a JPEG here, I’m going to make it appear in a space in this other space, which even that involves quantum decoding at the moment. But there’s there’s less surprise in it because, you know, what it looks like at the end. You’re going to see a picture. You’re just going to see it in a very different place. But the idea that. So Brandel took Bob’s mural and put that into a VR space, that’s very interesting. One of the things we realize is at the moment, the limitation is you don’t have the depth of field that you have if you’re stood in a room with it. But you could also ask, you could have this as a provocation, say, well, is that if we had all the information from which Bob’s mural was made, is that mural the best way to put it into VR, which isn’t making a judgement on murals exists.
Mark Anderson: It’s just saying with all these other affordances is is this the most useful tractable form of it? And, and I don’t know the answer to that. And I think this is one this is one of the sort of chicken egg problems we have, because we’re we’re trying to dream the other side of that barrier. And we’re sort of it’s almost if we don’t have again, the need experience taught me that we don’t really have tools to play with these things very well. So we have the difficulty, we sort of have information and we have a sense that we could do more with it. But what we don’t really have is we, we don’t have the, the working space to put in part. The difficulty for that is that working space has to be built with code and that code has to understand what it’s trying to do. So we’re asking to people to build build a build. Well, it’s the reverse sorry. It’s the reverse of sawing off the the branch you’re sitting on. And I don’t know what the metaphor is for that, but we’re asking someone to sort of build something that we can’t describe. And that’s is tremendously difficult. And I see.
Fabien Benetou: If I’m going to stand.
Mark Anderson: Up, who’s going to point out I’m wrong? Say Fabio and take it away.
Fabien Benetou: I think you’re wrong on two things or on the, let’s say, the proposal of the mural. Again, with all respect to above, it’s definitely not the best solution in the. It’s perfectly normal. It’s a different medium, different way to interact, as you said, also with some limitation. So it might not be it might be full of it, but I would be shocked if it if taking the mural from an actual wall and getting it in there was the best representation. That doesn’t even make sense to me. I’m sure there are more interesting ways, and just because there are some things that are like you can add also trivially easily are so that when you look at the mural and you look at that, I don’t know the the top left part, then you have additional metadata or information that pop up behind it that you might choose to look at. You might not. You want the references. If you look, let’s say more than 5 seconds specific part, then you have the references that are here to the side and if you move either yourself or the mural. So I’m sure it’s not the best solution. It’s the best step that which led me to my my other. Right. We are criticism is that we don’t have to go from the idea or the dream to code because especially if we can express ourselves properly, which is normal as we are still discovering the medium, we we can actually and that’s that’s my I think I mentioned it at some point about my father and his desire to make a video is you need to do anything, any step that goes toward that goal.
Fabien Benetou: And if that that means printing on your black and white printer and stick it on an actual wall and having Post-it notes or if it’s using glasses like this from your window and then writing on it just to simulate what it will be. And it’s always lower precision because then a criticism will be okay. But when you do this, it’s not automatic or the text is not processed or whatever, then those are always excuses. You don’t need programmer or developer or database. In order to start prototyping, you use a piece of paper, a pen, and then if you want, let’s say VR, you make it as a box. Like you make six pieces of paper, you put it one on top of your head, one on the right, one on the left is going to look very silly, but a lot less silly than if you just go from the crazy concept that doesn’t actually make sense. So you definitely don’t need a developer. You don’t need, you know, more than a piece of paper and a pen.
Fabien Benetou: Of course, the next step will be you will actually be a developer. As you mentioned, it’s a database transforming the different data and all this definitely needed. But I tend to be a bit aggressive in terms of excuses that none of everybody wants the final product. And I mean, I say this with a respect and passion, but this is what I do for the typing, is to help people transform the crazy idea to something. And everybody is always the same. They have a me too. It’s not against anybody like you want to buy something. And when you’re the first step, let’s say a piece of paper and pen, it doesn’t look sexy. It’s pretty. And then you can have some kind of imposter syndrome. It’s like, Oh, well, our idea doesn’t make any sense. Or This is not the grandiose concept that is going to revolutionize everything, and it probably might not. But the process itself, you’re going to learn so much that it is valuable. And honestly, it’s the only way. The only way is to actually do it and start with low resolution. Crappy data doesn’t connect with this or that other devices, but no developer needed no excuses. It can be done by anyone at any point. And of course the further steps will involve other people with different skills in building developer. But yeah, well good.
Mark Anderson: I mean essentially I agree and I just quickly hands up things. But just to just to make the point and and I suppose that was in my mind when moons ago when I first sort of made the comment through the comment and said, wouldn’t it be an idea to do something with Bob’s mural? Because what I saw immediately was although I saw an artifact in a sense in terms of mural, what I actually saw was a boatload of data behind that and what I was thought I was offering and maybe I didn’t make it plain enough is the prototyping I’d be doing in that would be pulling together all of this to have some manifest, to give it tractability in terms of, well, what can we do with it? So for instance, because it probably exists in one form, but some of those forms can easily be maybe transformed into others. But someone needs to look at that as a whole and take it. So that’s that’s one of the things I’ve offered to do. And it’s sort of there was a resounding silence. So I assumed that it there was no interest. So I haven’t bothered to take it forward because I’ve been doing other things.
Mark Anderson: But I’m again, I’m happy to step up. It’s sort of area where that speaks to things that I understand, if only to be able to represent that body of information as as other then or alongside a picture which we have that we have already, but to do some of the things we want to do and to start exploring these other things. And my approach deliberately is to not try and expand at this point the artifacts because that’s just adding extra noise it to me it’s enough of a challenge just to effectually deconstructs the wrong word because as Bob said, he’s got all the underlying information but effectively corral it and put it in a put it in a sort of a defined digital space so we know what’s there. We’ve put some metrics on it, and we can begin to tease apart how we can use it in the way that Fabian just rightly said so, so that we can, we can we can walk towards it because it’s not going to leap fully formed out of out of the ether. I, I couldn’t agree more fundamentally with that observation.
Bob Horn: Fred, I, I’m very happy to cooperate with you on that, Mark. And and I’ll if I can begin, unless there are other immediate things, I’ll begin right now by saying that the left hand portion of it is history. And you need you need all of the logic and and methodology and good judgment of history historians for putting that together. Which we relied on. Which we relied upon those historians. Yep. We summarized their data into little headlines. The summary is is captured by little newspapers, fake newspaper headlines, as if as if what we’re what the historians will be describing were actually front page news. But but they never were, except for an explosion here, here and there. So in one sense, yes, it would be quite easy to say. In a demo even to go behind one of these one of these events and say, here’s here’s the history behind it and here’s the documents of the history behind it. And it would also be it would also be possible to critique it or to say, here’s the limitations of this whole collection of headlines, because they are limited. They are constrained by the British view. Of the history of the nuclear age and how it impacted on the British nuclear waste issue. So that’s a that’s a constraining of the context of something. And these are these are intellectual constructs that I that he’s he’s shaking his head. Yes. Most of the time. So. So I’m saying I’m thinking we’re understanding each other, even though this kind of these kinds of linkages between the actual subject matter of nuclear waste and the history of it in the past.
Frode Hegland: Okay, Bob.
Bob Horn: Well, there.
Frode Hegland: Yeah, but going back. Sorry.
Bob Horn: But this is you know, this is, I think one of the critical elements in our ability to to. Distinguish between the subject matter, nuclear waste history, the intellectual structure that is we’re making. We’re making a a network kind of linear history that’s that could be put into code on a third on the third level. So I’m trying to illustrate that concept that I introduced before.
Frode Hegland: But the thing is, our job now with this is to illustrate that working in VR can be useful. It’s really, really focused on that because there are many, many, many areas of information and interaction that needs to be worked on. But I think I disagree a little bit with you, Fabian, and what you said earlier from my personal perspective, because I come from an arts background, Chelsea School of Art and all of that good stuff, I’ve got two masters and HCI. I’m very much about mucking things up and making images and thinking and dreaming. But yeah, so for me, for instance, when I designed author and reader it, you know, yes, I’ll do a ton of stuff in Photoshop and click about and use Keynote. Absolutely. But in order to really see if it’s pretty or actually pretty useful, I had to have it built. The amount of money I’ve spent on that software is at least twice as much as if I had given a really good spec to the programmers to build it on. Right. So what I’m trying to say is that the living and using on real data is so crucial. You know, I have this I have this hair next to me and I go in relatively often. But other than being in immersed, which is so primitive and just being focused on working on my normal stuff, there isn’t that much work activity I can do and be ah at the moment that has value to me. So that’s why I think it’s so important that we get some of our own real data in and we start with simple things, start with having sheets of paper, murals, whatever. Simple things, dots. Because and tell we’re there and we can feel what it is. It is mind masturbation. Not that that’s bad in itself, but, you know, it doesn’t become virtually tangible. It’s like trying to decide on the best way to decide to design a bicycle without having been on a bicycle. I know I’m provoking you there, Fabian.
Mark Anderson: Can I just bottom out something? Fred, I was just interested to your your sort of observation that said Bob was describing the the mural work and things and you’re saying there was a sort of but that implied that in some way it wasn’t useful to explaining the VR. And I’d just like to I just like to tease that out because I, I don’t I don’t have the same reaction. I’m wondering what it is you find it is not useful to the task to do that.
Frode Hegland: What I find not useful is that Bob has never been in VR. And Bob’s work in general is super important. And there’s a point to it.
Bob Horn: I was I was in the first VR lab at the University of Washington 20, 25 years ago. Please don’t.
Frode Hegland: Oh, please. You haven’t been in current. We are right. And the thing is, your work is very, very important. I value you on so many levels. But the thing that I think we need to do now is I can’t afford as a group or as myself look at many different you know, I’ve been doing the future of text for ten years. What a vague thing that is. The future of text is going all over the place. So right now, the only thing is what is it like to work in VR? And to do that is really hard to understand. I don’t understand it yet. I have some vague ideas, so I that’s why I really strongly feel that we need to focus on that aspect. Not all the intellectual levels of knowledge work in general. You know, that’s really, really important. And I would be very happy to have separate conversations on a weekly basis on that because it’s super important. But in the discussion now, it really is.
Mark Anderson: I think I think I’m beginning to see the stretch here in that it’s difficult to see. I mean, again, I for my sense, I’m a quiet abstract thing which gets me into all sorts of difficulty because I just clearly don’t have a sane world view. But I’m listening to what I’m saying. I not only see what he’s talking about, but I see I immediately see an abstracted framework. One of the useful things of the week I spent trying to just get one set of data into Noda was to realize that Neda wasn’t as sexy as I thought it was, because you can build stuff at arm’s length, but that’s about all you can do with it. So you can play with stuff, and that’s fine if you want to exercise the tactile part, but you’re not going to build anything very meaningful out of it or not. That’s probably going to go between 20 to 30 nodes or not. One of the things that doesn’t have to it doesn’t have to overtake everything. One of the things that I thought and I just surfaces. So I’m making sure my my rationale is here is that by taking something where we actually have a lot of known information on a number of levels in the sense that it exists, but also for it to get to the point of being used in it also broadly being, it was it’s not controversial stuff.
Mark Anderson: And to me, that’s that’s incredibly valuable because so so often you’re not only trying to make something, but you’re trying to make the very data, the very information that you look at in it and that that makes experimentation really hard. So actually taking something where an awful lot of the intellectual heavy lift has been done for us so that we don’t have to we don’t have to worry about the in a sense, the argumentation. What we what we can engage is the very thing that you said, which is what does it feel like? What does it look like? If I have this thing, how is it even visually represented in this space? And we’ve got it not just in the one or two bits we’ve made, but we’ve actually got it potentially in bucketloads. And and we may find, for instance, it’s more than we can even cope with at the moment. But again, if we don’t look, we won’t know. And that doesn’t stop us doing other things. But I just I just want to understand why that why having that is not seemingly useful to the demo we want to do. Sorry, I just don’t understand.
Frode Hegland: Having what Mark. Sorry.
Mark Anderson: Well, the idea of what if we, if we take the what I’m calling either the nuclear industry mural timeline thing that that body of work if we, if we did some work with that in terms of oh.
Frode Hegland: Mark I’m not saying that wouldn’t be useful. Not at all.
Mark Anderson: Sorry, sorry. Okay. It’s unintentional, but but if you play it back, the riposte sounded like what you were saying is. No, no, no. That’s all very interesting. But I’m more interested in what I was trying to.
Frode Hegland: Is to to what I was referring to was the layers of intellectual stuff above that to have a mural and VR as a beginning point for how to interact with it, I think would be very, very useful.
Mark Anderson: Just so we’re on the same page. I’m the word mural. They’re to me in the VR space is an entirely conceptual point. I am not thinking of the picture that is on the wall behind.
Frode Hegland: I am. I think.
Mark Anderson: That’s why. That’s why I make. That’s why I’m trying to tease this apart, because I think this is really useful in.
Frode Hegland: What it can mean about having in VR space. Stenmark.
Mark Anderson: Right. So well, we, we keep going around the houses. We want to have something to show people. We want to do a demo towards the end of the year. Having something that is has some edge to it because we can keep dreaming the boundaries further and further back. But my gut feeling is we will not have anything useful to show by the end of it. We can we can do lots and lots of things at the same time as indeed we are. But I, I still haven’t I haven’t heard the, the point that says, well, let’s not let’s not take a body of work that we could do something with.
Frode Hegland: So we haven’t discussed that today. I don’t think there’s been pros and cons of that at all. All I was saying was that Bob was going on all kinds of very important levels of knowledge.
Mark Anderson: No, he was referring to the effects of the implicit metadata behind us, which is a really, really interesting part of the thing in which I see somebody, which is which leads to the power of the demo that we can do.
Frode Hegland: Mark Of course, metadata is important. Of course, I think that. Right. I’m not saying we should have an animated gif in VR and we’re done with it. Of course not.
Mark Anderson: That’s all Bob was saying, and that’s why I was surprised.
Frode Hegland: Mark, let’s not you and me have a long discussion of what Bob was saying, but we’ll keep teasing things out. But we need to figure out what to put in VR and what to interact with at some point in terms of artifact and actual data. Fabian You have your hand up as well.
Fabien Benetou: I think you’ll regret giving me the floor there, but. So it’s provocative. But I think, too, I’m saying just hopefully pedagogical provocation or useful provocation. But so I don’t know how other has been funded and what was the design process and how it went. But I’m going to argue that if you were to do, let’s say, auto equivalent in VR, can you do it without paper prototyping? You’re going to have a lot less money for research, you’re going to enjoy London less. So I think that in general, prototyping is a way to get closer to the idea. But this is even more the case for emerging media. Just because we’re merging technology, just because the design principle or in the process of being discovered, we don’t have an easy rule and say, Oh, design, this kind of object goes in that position. Like we’re literally figuring out now as we do it how people appreciate it or not. So it’s it’s really also a term of, let’s say, efficiency and funding and how to use the resources. That being said, I absolutely don’t mean that making it static or that a piece of paper or a Post-it note is sufficient. It absolutely is not. And is, of course, a much lower resolution. No need to go. I mean, I want me to non-interactive, but it can even be interactive I think really, because most people are not creative enough in the process of doing the prototype that you can have a friend or a colleague that when you say when you touch the piece of actual paper, they switch it, they give you another piece of paper. And that’s an interaction. Yes, it does look silly. Yes. We need to convince a nice friend to be there during COVID time to actually play the role of the computer.
Fabien Benetou: But there are there are really good ways to do this so that in the end, in terms of resource and money spend, that can be done. And the other important thing is you don’t need my permission or anybody’s permission. It can be 3 a.m. on a Thursday night. You have that brilliant idea. You think it makes sense. You don’t have a battery in the quest. You don’t any. There is, again, no excuses not to do it. There are always ways to do that. But then that has the same way we do. For example, the terminal has to be captured and then as a support to explain to somebody or even yourself someone who would put in the headset, because that can also be done. You can bring, for example, in Mozilla hubs, but in other solution, the sketch you’ve done on paper, some photo you took it of how you use it, you bring it in hubs and then use the pen and then you start to draw it. It’s not going to look again as nice, but it’s one step closer in the sense that you have a visual prototype. It’s not functional yet, but it’s one step further. And and then you invite me or Brandel or anybody who would be eager to actually implement it. And then the level of how you say quality of explanation, being able to converge to the actual same idea, same understanding of your idea is going to be like an order of magnitude better rather than the hand-waving that we tend to do on camera here. So I, I really insist to put this on so many aspects where it helps us all be more efficient. Not in any way. It’s not sufficient to just do paper. Of course it’s not efficient. It’s not immediately.
Frode Hegland: Okay. Just to reply to that before I see you also have your hand up to a certain extent, we all have different ways to communicate and think, right? One of the ways that I do it is through a writing. You know, I can do all kinds of image stuff, Photoshop, all of that stuff. But when I write, that’s how I do it. So far in the community, the comments on my writing have been almost none. So if we are all going to let ourselves write stuff, communicate in the way we want, then comment on it. You know, Brandel doesn’t like writing. He does VR stuff. We comment on that and same with with Adam, right. But when it comes to this kind of interactivity, for instance, the Adam and Brandel taking the mural into VR was a revelation because of the interaction. It could not have been replicated with paper because I do this and it comes towards me, you know, obviously I’m not going to have 20 by 30 meters worth of paper and I’m being a little funny and I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but there are some things you cannot do on paper. Right? But also what Adam is working on now, he’s put some things in our in our Twitter chat on how how do you fold you know, actually fold it this way or that way. You know, these are really sculptural things. You know, of course, some of this we can mock up. But, you know, I’m 53 years old and, you know, Bob and me are, you know, senior citizens in this community both. We’ve looked through lots of different ways of manipulating information, you know, so there’s a certain level of history that we’re set in our ways.
Frode Hegland: There’s also a certain level of we’ve tried this already, so many things we’ve gone through. I’ve spent so many insane mornings working on doing knowledge drops, for instance, in Photoshop, especially in Singapore, when I used to travel there because of my families being at Starbucks from 4 to 8 in the morning doing nothing but focus on that. It’s useful to an extent, but but you see, if you have this insane, great thing of really understanding VR to a way that we don’t. Right. So Mark has invested a ton of time to do no dose nodal stuff. Most of it turns out to be rubbish, which is hugely valuable for us to learn about the interactions. So that’s why, yes, I will try to continue. Robyn I have actually mocked up a timeline in keynotes in 2D and written interactions around it. So I’m not saying you’re rubbish. Clearly not, because you’re a fantastic prototype. That is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that for us was not as used to VR to actually be able to go in and actually feel it has a real strong value. And that’s why I think we should start with something like murals which are quite simple, and then go in there and say, Well, what if I pull here? What if I push hair and kind of see how obviously there’s a lot work for you and Brandel and whoever else might help us with the VR work. Otherwise, I feel a bit stuck.
Bob Horn: I wanted to capture an idea that Mark named but did not articulate any further. A few minutes ago. And what he called was what he said was the implicit metadata behind the mural. Blew my mind. That blew my mind. That’s the one idea that I wrote down from this session thus far. Because I, I what it said to me was that. Yes, there would be metadata attached to the mural and the metadata would be about to differ in part. An important part of the metadata would be about the levels and the construction of levels and all that sort of thing that that is implicit in in making the murals. It’s all in my skills and head. But would need to be articulated as metadata. I mean, it’s, you know, excuse me, I’m having an a big Aha moment here in front of you all and thank you, Mark, for for your contribution to it. Even though I don’t know whether you realized it was a contribution even at the time, I’m not finished. Thank you for now.
Mark Anderson: Very quickly, Freud, I think and try and circle back and link it to what you’re saying is because I think the point about the implicit metadata is that it’s this sort of information, even though we may not yet define what it is, but we can posit that it’s there is the glue that you were talking to when you said, when I take this thing here and this thing here, how does this know what that how do they know they’re interrelated? That so and that links to what Fabian was saying. Yeah, we don’t have to build all that now. So I mean so in that sense, I’m trying to stay within the metaphor that, you know, so we have, we have a rich bunch of stuff, we know stuff about it now that is made manifest by the making of the object. So we know that there’s an Adobe file. We know it’s this big, it has this text and things. We may have separate stuff that tells us there was all this thinking about what created this, this whole set of information. We we have all these other skeins of thought and we have a fact that actually history is a time has actually moved since the time of creation. So that’s interesting itself because there’s actually a moving boundary through the thing we’re looking at. But even just the fact saying, okay, so this part of the this part of the mural is actually some textual information about this. This is a diagram about that. It’s it’s beginning to have some understanding of how they interrelate so that the this sort of quite tactile sense that you rightly alluded to.
Mark Anderson: You’re absolutely right. I mean, this is this goes back to I think why put stuff in Node? Fine. I’ve got all these I’ve got all these objects in space. Great. Now what do I do with them? So instead of the thing of saying aha success, you know, something wonderful appeared. I had a fun looking diagram with which I could do nothing meaningful. And what it made me realize is that in order to in order to make the things that you’re talking about be more than just objects in space, we have to in parallel think, because we can’t do that to Fabian’s point, we can’t necessarily build all of this at once. But that’s useful if it’s a plastic process because the one should inform the other. If I’m if I’m sort of constructing a line of thought that can’t be supported by the constraints in which it has to live, something has to give. And I suppose I very much come from a pragmatic background where I’d love to have had the money in the power to colour outside all the lines, but I’ve never had that. So normally I’ve been in the world of delivering deliverable things and that’s not cannot against everything. It’s more just explaining sometimes where my my viewpoint comes from. But anyway, so I just want to again make the point that I actually think we’re all talking about the same thing, even if we appear to be arguing at odds to one another.
Frode Hegland: Right. Just for the sake of clarification, before I give the mic over to Fabian, I’m really surprised with Mark and Bob that you seem to think that I am not interested in the data or the metadata. I do think I think I’ve said it is absolutely crucial. There’s no point having just a JPEG screen in in VR. It is entirely crucial. But it seems to come up every once in a while that it feels like you’re arguing for the importance of it and I’m ignoring it. I’m saying that at this point, I think we take it as a given that we need to really look at the knowledge we take in and how it’s structured so that we can really manipulate it in intelligent ways. And that’s why it’s now time to look at the what kind of thing are we taking in and how do we think we should manipulate it rather than kind of go back to. A discussion of the metadata, because once we decide what we’re going to do and with what, that becomes quite crucial. They are Fabian.
Fabien Benetou: So if you don’t mind, I’ll be brief, but I’ll try to bring you on my little journey. Prototyping in VR. I’ll try to share my screen. Let me know when you see it, please. Three. Yep, yep. So it started before, but one thing that could show for was in 2016. So a couple of years ago. And just to share my struggle, like I also like to write also I have a page where I define new concepts, new words with new meanings, at least as far as I know. So I do enjoy writing. It doesn’t mean I’m good at it, but I definitely see the value of it. There is no question there what what I want to share that I’ve been struggling to transform from a concept, an abstraction to an actual not even product prototype. It’s hard for me to, and so much so that I also invested money and time in building tools to prototype for VR. So that’s an example where basically I mentioned the six phases of a cube that will represent the 3D space you can move in. So what I did was like how you use a paint, for example, very simple during program, and then you go on each phase of the program and you can change color very basic, but then you could see it with your phone or in a VR headset a couple of years ago.
Fabien Benetou: And I did that also for clients, people who did not know VR and they had an idea. I sat at the coffee table and then they told me the idea and I sketched it. And as you can see, I’m definitely not an artist, but that’s enough to facilitate the conversation. I also started then to sketch about the process itself, due to zoom in just a bit more from the idea on the coffee stained table, the photo in the painting prototyping. And what I highlighted also before is that the price is also more expensive. You have more ideas and every step of the way is usually more expensive. So that’s why you have to be so cautious. And also the emotional roller coaster that that you get the idea, it’s exciting, nothing works, doesn’t work. So it’s also challenging not just to push it out from the mind to the piece of paper to a sketch, to code that’s honestly emotionally challenging, and then to an actual visualization of it, where I have the piece of paper with the idea when I put it, for example, in a hub.
Fabien Benetou: So in another tool, when I paint it in 3D so that I’m in the space and then when I load assets and then you become functional. But it’s multiple steps and steps that are iterative with the user or the client or the person who is going to need that. And there are several tools on it. I developed that a bit and a bit of a metaphor, so I’ll share that in the chat and on a more pragmatic aspect. If some of us go into it and like I said, it is demanding, but from my experience. It’s the most efficient way still. So, yeah, one thing that could also be done is a session where some of us know VR headset required. It’s optional. But if some of us want to do, let’s say, a one hour session where we prototype something, an idea, whatever it is from whatever we already have either big words or sketches or event audio source or video resources. And some of us who don’t have the or drag and drop in the VR space or the 3D space, some of us who are in the headset can grab it, sketch it on top, then I’m up for that.
Frode Hegland: Yeah. There’s much to be said for that approach. It absolutely works. I mean, when I got my masters in human computer interaction, that was very key. You know, every step of the way of the design process is more costly. There’s no question about that. But at that time, we did have Photoshop and other tools so we could mock up something. You know, at Apple, they famously do pixel perfect mock ups because they need to get a real feel for what it is. And it doesn’t take that long in Photoshop to take a screenshot and move things around. So what I would really like if I do get this funding, what I would like is to have built environments where we do simple interactions but off to the side. Figuratively, figuratively speaking, there is some kind of a control system where we can change the variables for what the interactions are. So we build a prototyping system. Right. So because the act of, you know, like you’re supposed to do this action and some of them to turn, some know very often that doesn’t actually work. It doesn’t get that thing. So that’s really annoying. But this works and there are so many things you mustn’t forget. Fabienne In the same way that I’m a Photoshop expert on absolute top level, you are a VR expert at top level. Right. So the process you’re describing is fantastic when you have the deep knowledge of what that later steps could be. Where to ignorant for that? Well, I am anyway. You know, when I put my headset on and I want to do something, you know, we have so much to learn.
Frode Hegland: Just as simple thing as a good friend. Keith Martin, I think you’ve met him here. He takes 360 pictures, puts them in VR with some video and things. He told me that the tripod should be a bit lower than your head, not higher, because otherwise it’ll feel weird, you know? That’s something you could only know once you’ve been in the space and once you’re in the space in VR and the Oculus and you’re looking the fact that it’s a 360 flat dome, but you can still move your head and move around a bit. It really gives a feeling that we couldn’t have pre guests. So that’s why I’m hoping we can build some kind of specific testing environment. And I think I think the things to build and don’t forget, Doug’s demo was him talking about a shopping list at the moment, so I have to answer that in a second. Clearly, timeline is useful. Clearly mural is useful. Clearly an academic type document is useful. But yeah, can you call Grandma back and say I’ll call when I finish this? Because obviously sorry, my mother’s been having scans. She has a fractured spine. That’s not very pleasant. Right. So. To make this real and to be able to do what you’re saying. Fabian as well. We need to decide on the gosh darn artifacts we’re going to work on. And I have suggested three. Are there any artifacts other than timeline, mural and documents which you guys think should be considered for initial work? Or should we look within one of them and basically pick one isn’t.
Mark Anderson: But a timeline is a document, essentially. So forgive me, but I don’t I don’t quite understand the difference between the two.
Frode Hegland: Right. When I say document in this context, I said academic type documents. So I’m thinking about something that is page one, page two references, all of that good stuff.
Mark Anderson: So you mean linear text document is is a piece of linear text if we take the word document.
Frode Hegland: Let’s let’s call let’s call it a book, a book, a timeline or a mural. Now, of course, one of the dreams is if you have a book or a text document within that, you should be able to have a timeline and a mural, just like you can have pictures and figures. So I don’t think there’s any question that at some point you want to be able to open a document book and VR and there’s a timeline and you make it the whole wall. Absolutely. And there is a mural thing. It may be this tiny in the book, but you slam it up against the wall and now it’s room size, that kind of stuff. Absolutely. But now that we’ve done the whole dreaming thing and looked at lots of different things, what are the actual artifacts we want to build?
Mark Anderson: Well, before I answer that, I’ll just get back to referencing and say one thing. So I’d be really interested. Just to pick up your point about prototyping is one thing is to explore this thing of what does information look like when it turns up data, call it what you will. In other words, whether it’s, you know, it’s easier to think something like a spreadsheet because text is already sort of semi formed, basically if you’ve got a bucket of a bucket of numbers. That have some meaning. You know, they have some meaning. How do you how do you take that into into a space and then to give back to Fred saying, I actually think that I’ll say it again, I think a way that addresses all the things that you’ve mentioned would be to take a a I’ll call it a body of work rather than a rather than a boss, Miro, because that’s what I see it as. And the body of information that currently manifests is most obviously manifested as a, as a diagram, as a is a large. Picture. But let’s not. Let’s not get stuck into that. This is a body of information that within it has has text, it has a book, it has a timeline, it has a sort of a visual component. It has layering. So it basically has all of these things wrapped up into one already existing dataset. And within that we can explore all the really important things you’ve mentioned, like, well, how do we how do I shift from one visualization to another? Or do I want them all side by side? Or how do I how do I zoom in, ask out all very pertinent things? But I think basically sitting there in front of us is something that’s going to make things a lot easier, even if we only use a fraction of it, because everything we don’t everything we don’t have to think up to work with is, is, is a win, I would say from experience. So I don’t think that runs a tool counter to what you’re proposing.
Frode Hegland: So are you saying you want to start with the mural?
Mark Anderson: No. I want to stop. I don’t want to call it a mural because we’re getting we’re getting hung up on visual terms that the data.
Frode Hegland: What is that? What Mark, what would you call the tangible artifacts that when someone dons a head mounted display and goes in to interact with. What kind what how would you characterize it? What would you call it?
Mark Anderson: That’s the rub. That’s that’s the very thing that I was alluding to and I said said to and this is the thing I don’t know. And I desperately want to not presuppose. I can totally see that if I want to read a book in a VR space, I might like to have it manifested like a sort of facsimile of a book. The one thing that really excites me about the thought of the information contained within the picture behind Bob at the moment is not to think of that as something tacked to the wall, but as a bucket of information with all sorts of interesting different visualizations and terms. And I don’t know what the best starting thing is. I feel I failed. If if I just say I want that picture in the thing, then I, then I feel I fail the process because I’m not actually I’m not really engaging with the challenge of saying, how do I take how do I take this information, this this idea, this picture and place it in this environment in a way that makes it more tractable to all the wonderful new tools we have?
Frode Hegland: Okay, fine. I’ll be on.
Fabien Benetou: So to me, just those three types of items make sense. Book or a document that includes text with multiple paragraphs would also fit your mural. So that whole that for me is fine as long as we start with one of those and we figure out one week later that actually that doesn’t work and it has to be a research paper. Instead, we need to say it’s a research paper with a three letters word I’m going to mention because it’s taboo in this group or HTML or whatever. So I’m fine with those for start doesn’t mean set in stone and we can extend now briefly to go back on Mark’s remark, let’s say on dropping a set of data or number in a VR space, I’m going to be a little bit a tease, but that’s what I hope to dig a bit more on my overdue presentation of a librarian moving walls around. One thing, though, that could be useful to give a bit of a taste is the grammar of graphics. I don’t know if some of you are familiar with that, but yeah, so the idea that you can have a representation, that representation can have an easy to consume meaning in a certain format with. So you can imagine that, but push it to more dimension three dimension and freedom of movement with also interaction. Because I really don’t think just seeing a document is enough. I really think overall, yeah, consuming a document efficiently to me means also interacting with it in some form, even if it’s just pushing annotations to it. But yeah, you have to push back against the document, so.
Frode Hegland: Thanks, Bob.
Bob Horn: One of the one of the difficulties is in that you and you and Mark were having just before was trying to to to decide on a class name rather than on a specific document. No. And so it was things like Bob’s mural is what? Mark was talking about things like the book that Bob wrote. I would put it that way. So we have a specific thing or we have things like a whole class of things like those. And you were just arguing, it seemed to me, between what to call the class of those things and what to put in the classes. And and there are methods for doing that there. They’re they’re not perfect, but they’re pretty good for naming those kind of things. But you have to you have to agree and you have to agree what it is you’re trying to agree on. So that’s that was my thought about what was going on there.
Frode Hegland: What we have to agree on exactly is what thing shall be taken into VR and taken out again, because we all agree it has to be a hybrid environment. So when something is in VR, I think we all expect it to be at a certain point, maybe not initially, but a certain point extremely intractable to the point where the original name of it, like this thing is called a phone. We don’t use it for phoning anymore where the name falls away, but we do have to decide on initial names for the artifacts. And I think the best thing would be is to start with a document. In the sense of a linear book type documents where we use different means to encode the metadata because the book type document should contain all the other type information. There should be possible possibility of a mural. It should be possible to have a timeline, a map, all these other things. And if we can do that, if we can safely take it in and out of a VR environment, do very rich views of it, then over time I think we can decide more on how these different components are interacting.
Fabien Benetou: Fabian, you clarification needed for me. I mentioned the interaction before, but for example is a notebook, a book, so I’ll show it just to make sure it’s the same thing. But for example, quite often I use this kind of things to learn about the topic, but to discover so that I do have text, but I also have widgets, and then those widgets are going to change the rest of the document, including visualization, data and all that. To me, that that’s the modern book.
Frode Hegland: Is this like Jupyter Notebooks or what is it?
Frode Hegland: I’m basically for the long term I want at the end of a work period or product to be able to produce a PDF. Doesn’t need to capture everything but a lot because we went through Flash and we went through early VR. Those things are all dead and you can’t find them anymore. So that’s why I think at some point a document should come into it. I just got an email now the Dublin core, the metadata standard, they want me to talk to them on Wednesday. So they are also desperately understanding the need for something like visual matter at some point in the workflow. They were the head of Dublin Core was at the meeting last Friday. So sorry recently. So there is a hunger now because of all the things happening in the world that we can’t just aim for. Elegant. We also have to aim for practical. So what you’re talking about there is. Crucial. It’s also very bright, Victor, like, of course, that kind of interaction. Vint Cerf calls it computational texts. Any maths and any documents, anything should be able to. This is what has frustrated the hell out of me. Or at least 15, 20 years, that this is not normal thinking. And the reason I’m now jumping up and down on VR is because when you show something like that to us in this community, we get it. It’s absolutely super important, but other people don’t. So whether that counts or not, I don’t care. To a certain extent, if you think it counts, you put it in, right. But what really has to happen is that when these traditional things get into VR, that level of, wow, you can do that. It can happen because what we’re fighting is a PR war and a political war. Right. All those amazing futuristic text things like what you showed. There isn’t a market for it because people’s imagination isn’t there. I know I usually end these calls on this. Standing on a rock screaming thing, but we really are at the nub of it now. If you want that to go in and out. I’m extremely happy to support that. Yes. Probably Unplaced.
Fabien Benetou: Finicky, maybe a bit pedantic of me, but you mentioned I forgot the word. Exactly. But you say these traditional kind of documents and maybe I’m a bit behind there, but I don’t think those compositional documents or all the different ways and the details made, I don’t. Well, at least I would argue they were definitely still new for most people, though as new as we are for most people, you’re not really familiar with it. They’re not really thinking or reading this way. I think a lot of people still see a book as a passive item that day on your shelves. So and why do I mention this? Not to just be pedantic, but in the sense that if those documents were those books or the commercial books are still evolving, they are evolving slower than ever. So it might not be trivial to be able to integrate it in the sense that they were still changing and evolving.
Frode Hegland: And my yes and my dreamy document thing, one of the things I talked about is I also prefer to read on paper, believe it or not. Oh, sorry, this is another copy. But so many of these to give to people. One little thing is I should be able to read a paper book, do my annotations, put on my headset. The is good enough that I open up just to flick through the annotated pages. It understands what the annotations are, those funds on the stuff. So when I’m in a VR environment, I can say everything that I’ve done in an annotated paper book. I want to see it like this, but it’s easy for me to say to you guys, I want to see it like this. The actual interaction we will have to experiment with. What does what does this mean? Does it mean far away? Does it mean my hand? This something that no really points out you don’t want things to close to you, right? That’s what I mean about that. So when it comes to the imagination, what I have invented with author and reader, it is not as advanced as Jupyter Notebooks and stuff, but some of it is much more advanced than anything else available in the world. And I’m not saying that because I’m a genius. I am not a genius. I pick some low hanging fruit inspired by Doug, but that just isn’t the real global global market for it. I was on the BBC with Vint Cerf in December talking about this. Our sales increased nothing, right? So supporting lots of work within this is fantastic. But if all we managed to do in December is to take one of Bob’s current murals into VR and then fun way because liven it up a bit and in there suddenly you can start deconstructing it and see what the you know, let’s say it becomes a fancy 3D image map. That in itself would be really worthwhile.
Mark Anderson: I think it’s an interesting point. I mean, listening to Fabian describe things like genetics and things, I mean, I suppose partly my I look back and really my main work tool since 2004 has implicitly has multiple sort of view states in it. So I suppose that informs my thinking and maybe that’s why I’m, I appear to be speaking from a different place. I just don’t I just don’t tend to think of things so much now. I mean, I know if I’m working in word, I’m making a word document, but most of the time working tinderbox and basically any node in that can be all sorts of things and it happens to be the tool that has these built in. I’m not saying that to show for the tool, what’s relevant to it is when I reflect. Now I’ve worked in an environment where that sort of flexibility that am I looking at a timeline, am I looking at some spatial map? Who cares? I just flick a button, it’s done. It’s that sort of I’m already living in that space. It’s a bit trapped within the space of a screen and there are many things it can’t do. So again, I don’t want to oversell it, but but I guess that’s why it doesn’t surprise me this idea of active documents and in a sense is how how has it takes so long for people to get there. But I think my reflection from support in the community that use is the same to a mention is most people find it really, really, really hard. And regardless of their background, regardless of their intelligence, most people find it really hard to conceptualize one set of information existing in in in two visualizations at once. If I hadn’t seen it and had to teach in a sense people through that barrier a lot, I wouldn’t make that statement because it does sound it sounds slightly contentious. But again, if I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t think that was the case. And it certainly is nothing to do with knowledge or level of learning or attainment. It’s it’s something different.
Frode Hegland: Yeah. So I say in addition to that, we’re really running out of time. This last Fabian thing about remarkable and VR, I love remarkable, but it’s to me it’s too much ghetto so I can’t really use it. So I absolutely love your integration into different things. Definitely something to do so. I think we well, first of all, as you know, these meetings are recorded. They’re transcribed, but also the chat log is also put on our blog. So they are always searchable, always findable, and we can always look at ways to get in. But the act of opening a book in VR is a fascinatingly huge issue. Right. Let’s say that we have one with all the metadata, whatever it might be. You open it as a traditional book just to simplify. Then what? Right. This is the kind of stuff I think we can experiment with and hear. Absolutely. Pen and paper drawing photographs. Yes. No question about it. But let’s say I decide I’m going to have the mural there. The picture’s there, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Make an amazing thing. How do I then store that so that someone else can view it in the same exciting manner? You know, like my remix of all this stuff. I think these are really core questions and I think we just need to put some kind of stake in the ground and say, Hey, we’re taking documents in and out of VR and we’re going to keep working on our imagination, our writing, our mockups and implementations of what does it mean with the different elements in there?
Bob Horn: Well, I’ll. I’d like to propose a specific mural. The Vision 2050 mural that we made. It’s now ten years old, but it’s it’s relevant. And there’s also a book that is a it’s only 40 pages, but it’s a book that I wrote that contains the mural, it contains it, and it contains parts of it as well. It was authored co-authored by three other people and introduced by the past president of the Standard of Stanford University. So it’s a book, even though it’s small and it’s all about sustainability. It’s an important topic. If we could use that and I have since all that to you all before, you should be in your files. If you’re keeping a file or some other or a future of text file, I suggest that that’s what we use at least to refer to. And then if we’re going to talk about murals, when you say murals, you mean murals like the one that we have and we’re talking about?
Frode Hegland: I think that’s absolutely. I think that’s absolutely fine. But I also think it is absolutely, completely crucial that it’s also live data. I desperately want to be able to put my own documents in there because I remember that, you know, when I showed my mother in law a globe thing I’d made, what does she do? Talk about how cool the tech is? No. She want to show her city where she grew up. You know, that really awoken that in me. And I think what you’re talking about, yes, we should look at doing that. But also, it really needs to become part of our workflow or own documents, whether you use author or word or HTML or whatever, we have to figure out ways to allow you to experience your own stuff or your own community in a live discussion.
Mark Anderson: Well, let’s just the different data in the same framework. I don’t see a difference between the two.
Frode Hegland: The difference is, I agree with Bob, we should try to do that, but we shouldn’t constrain it to only building it on his data. That’s all I’m saying.
Mark Anderson: Yeah, but you’ve got to use some data that’s there, really, because in a sense, if you say you wanted to add your reflection on this, I mean, so the whole idea of this is, is you.
Frode Hegland: I want the journal input. I want the journal. I think that is also an important data set. Our journal that we do every month should also.
Mark Anderson: Note that this is not a zero sum proposal. I’m really not sure why this.
Frode Hegland: I don’t understand why you even talking about this. Because I said we can do what Bob wants, but I don’t want to be constrained to because he said he wanted that to be the data set, the mural and the book. I said, we need to also have other things in there.
Mark Anderson: Well, in some sense, the main reference.
Bob Horn: Is the name of the theme it and say and propose it to the group. And we said, okay, that’s fine. And then we then we put that in a list in the journal so that we’re all talking about the same thing.
Frode Hegland: I’m proposing that at least the journal goes in there. But it doesn’t have to necessarily be that because we’re talking about computer data, obviously, which means that it shouldn’t be that detrimental to our work thinking and workflow to be able to make new stuff continuously to put in there. I don’t think we have to work with a very specified data set. But if we work, if our focus is some sort of document wrapper in and out of VR with a really rich view and VR. Then we should be able to put in what we what we feel is relevant for our own work. Right.
Bob Horn: I’m what I’m trying to do is make it the beginning of a table of contents of what would be in the demonstration. I’m happy to put your journal into the table of contents. And but I’m not happy to put in general comments like not necessarily blah, blah, blah, because that’s very hard to get into table of contents and then to make a demo about it.
Frode Hegland: What do you mean? Table of contents.
Bob Horn: As far as a list of the items that will be manipulated in.
Mark Anderson: Virtual reality in the demo.
Frode Hegland: Yeah, but.
Bob Horn: Guys, chapter one, chapter one. A list of the items that will be shown in the virtual reality demo that this group makes.
Frode Hegland: Yeah, but, guys, if we can open one document of a certain type, we can open any document of a certain.
Bob Horn: You’re talking now you’re talking about a class of documents. The document that we’re going to talk.
Frode Hegland: I don’t think I don’t want I don’t want to have just one document. I think we need to be able to deal with a class of documents, because.
Bob Horn: That’s why I have a table of contents. I mean.
Frode Hegland: I’m not interested I’m not interested in only working on a demo for how to deal with one particular mural. So say later, Fabian, I want to be able to work with my own data in VR. I want when I’m working on the journal or writing back issues. That’s one thing. If I want to write my own thing for my own purposes and manipulate it in VR, I think that is really important.
Mark Anderson: Let me try and square the circle here, which is that imagine that the thing that you had written was the Journal. That that basically it’s as simple as that. It’s just a specimen. It’s an instance of the class, of the documents. Yes. And so in that sense, yes. You or it is already your document with the the the thought experiment is that you have produced this document. And this is what this is a way in which you can do it. It helps to have something that already exists because it’s.
Frode Hegland: We do we have three or four journal.
Mark Anderson: Sorry.
Frode Hegland: We have three issues of the journal that already exist.
Bob Horn: We’re switching. What? The frame. You switch with the five.
Mark Anderson: Yeah. I mean, that’s not really. I mean, you can.
Frode Hegland: You could what I hear when you guys are not talking over each other, what I hear and I think may the most the misunderstanding I think I heard that Bob wants us to start with one book and one mural.
Bob Horn: I want to start. I thought we were trying to envision a vision today, and then we were trying to envision what would be what we would use in a demonstration for this to get some money for this project. That’s what I thought the frames were. And so the tape. That’s what I’m making a table of contents of. And it’s that simple. It’s not excluding anything else that you want to do. You know, but that’s what I thought we were. That’s what I thought we were talking about today, although we tend, like most groups, to go off in all sorts of directions. Because we jump out of the frame all the time. We want to have a different frame. That’s how I lost my experience of today, anyway.
Mark Anderson: I just I don’t I don’t see the two is antithetical. The journalist here is ill defined. It will be with something. With something. It’s something we’re working on. Because but but there’s no reason that it can’t be part of the demo at the moment. One of the things is compared to the this the mural, the vision 2020, whatever the the one thing the journal isn’t yet is it doesn’t actually have as fixed a structure. And I know that because as as someone trying to help edit it I still don’t really know. I don’t we don’t have a clear document. We don’t have a style document. We don’t have a clear list of things that are in it and more as importantly, what’s not in it. So there’s got some clarification to go. It doesn’t mean certainly something that we would be able to show in in as part of the demo because the same the very same ideas and deconstructions that we can use to use the the vision 2050 stuff we can use with the journals. So I don’t see them as any in any way, shape or form antithetical. But it certainly be easier to to start getting traction, I think, with data that already exists rather than data where we’re actually in the in the. Perhaps of make the moment. Of course I’m making sure I say.
Bob Horn: I used the journal the other day. I used it to find to find some. Well, first of all, I was looking for some links and they were there. Thank you very much. It made it easy. Made my life easy and and different. And and it also attracted me. And what attracted me was that you’re putting boldface headlines in frequently. That was that enabled me to scan what to what I wanted to do and skip what I didn’t want to look at. So that was my there’s a user reaction if you if you’re interested in user reactions to the journal. Thank you very much.
Mark Anderson: Now it’s good because funnily enough, I’ve been discussing this thing for my part, I actually it reads to me it’s visual noise, but I don’t mind because I’m just one viewer. So one of the things actually we’re doing in the current version of the journalists, you just make the point as to what what these ad hoc buildings are, because they they they do. Exactly. If I know that if if I know that.