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After Thoughts is something you write after but goes before the rest. After thoughts is a bit like the defense of a committed act. This might make it the hardest to write literature on earth, particularly in the context of literature opened to constant revisions.


So welcome to the Big Black Book (that’s how it started). In my late teens I started to add beside my author name (also my birth given name), [1961-2037]. The idea is I would write a single book in my life but it would last a very long time. It evolves, ideas get refined, and it is revisionist. The year 2037 is totally arbitrary, I made it up when I was 19 or 20 based on life expectancy figures.


[Insert: Pictures of me then and now]


The interval 1961-2037 for me is the first degree content editing pertinence era. Actually since I was born in 1961 it’s probably a bit later then birth. At the moment of death the content is frozen in the equivalent of near-persistent media. The content might continue to evolve but probably externally.


In a way because at some point it would become a bit like talking with Plato in 2047 (not much to talk about) or writing a book about computer technology in Latin.


The initial framework addresses text as it’s the easiest media type to interrogate and web so we can more easily root the principles of evolutionary versions. The enterprise turned out harder then I thought it would be when I decided back then (around 19-20 years old) to focus such energy in that fashion. So I share some thoughts and some segments of the result texts here.


So, basically here we address the idea that you could copy a Page from this Book into your Book and a literary economy is formed around that basic transaction. You then copy another Page and another one from another Book… And eventually your Book is so big that no one including yourself, the author, can read it anymore, at least without computational reading aids.


So in the process a social network of content is formed, a society of Minds, Machines and Pages. The Page here is the “transacted” unit, the object. The Book is the medium via which authoring minds structure their communication. The medium is a virtual state machine diagram holding the Pages. The resulting dynamic graph representing the network of Pages, onto which linkages and data-processing driven edits are performed, is around/over what the upcoming Society of the Book is formed. 


What Page, Book, Copy and Yours mean we attempt to define in this book.


Maybe this project will not work. Maybe it comes too late. Maybe our current mindset is forever contaminated by one view of what information processors should be like. Wasn’t the future wonderful? 


Author: Onosko;

Publisher: Plume; 1st edition (April 20, 1979)


Something like the Book we describe here will happen… how close it will resemble the project we describe here is unclear.   Anyway, it does not matter I am doing it… Why wait? At this point I can only be 10% off. If 10% of what you read becomes FALSE within 10 years, then it’s fair to say that some bad ideas influenced your thought process. This unavoidable form of reactive thinking creates patterns that take a while to untangle. Also often times it’s not the best idea that wins, and we, from there, perpetually work around it without thinking about it.


At some level, I end up feeling that even if this structured data collection, this document, is/was eliminated systematically by some radical thought police type organization, that at this point there is enough data out there, so that this Book could be rebuilt from other ones. Someone-somewhere (or a computer program pretending to be) could patiently mosaic the same book, a better version of it, a more updated version (buzzword replacement), a different version with more features, a version that appeals to a younger target audience for a longer lasting effect. In the end, as the document I am writing and the one you end up reading might have nothing in common, one hope is the vague architectural trace left will help one to visualize what large data sets mean for survival. Even to turn into a myth of some actual Book that might have one day existed, might be a sufficient service to render to the community. As they say, before you build/make it; describe it, visualize it, and document it.


The moment the possibility of the Book (an exo-somatic memory that is literally part of your extended self, and even more essential then having arms) enters your mind, you are for ever perverted. The Book imprints something fundamentally hardwired in your self, something that’s innate, maybe in our genetic make-up. Denial is a temporary comfort zone that will not succeed. In the last thousands of year, that comfort zone has often been provided by a combination of religious scriptures and legal texts, both coordinated and mediated by a system of interpretation (from priests to judges), institutions that maintain a form of social order.   Somehow the Society of the Book does not challenge the moral, the political and the commercial other than by saturating them with a good compromise.


The first realization one has is that it’s not possible anymore to ignore the desire or necessity to fuse into a collective intelligence framework (to mean the post-religious in the evolution ladder, in parallel to rational conscience development theories as expressed in biological evolution terms including by Richard Dawkins). My related/relevant conclusion here is there can only be one Book, much like there once was attempted that there be only one bible, or one legal system in a given geographical territory. The alternative to intelligence fusion evolution will be to end up together-alone with others in the anti-chamber of evolution. Either you regress towards the relative equivalent of a Cromagnon state (a return to a prestate perhaps via an accident of global nature or self-imposed addictive behavior) or perhaps initially as meat for bots as in the Matrix trilogy movies (science-fiction is full of dystopic futures playing with the theme of the potential consequences of “headless chicken” development). Our point is to imagine a “Light Age”, as part of a strategy to workaround such doomsday scenarios.


This Book believes it is the fundamental method (even if as a metaphor) for Homo sapiens to survive. It’s already implicitly present in our lives, and actually everyone reads the Book right now without necessarily realizing it, perhaps not via this text stream, but most probably without being aware of it. Even The United State of America National Security Agency is writing it’s own version of this Book to deal with the idea that they can collect more data then they can process, but that storage, processing power and IT functions in general continue to grow following a “one over cost” exponential curve (e.g. 1 over cubic root of 3).

Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 406. ISBN 0-618-68000-4 )

We, like everyone else should, do not guarantee the factual truth of what follows. For one thing, the writings now span a few decades and in many cases I don’t even remember writing some of this. (And we would have to agree on what “I” means, and let’s be clear that I am in no way in contact with some divine forces). As well, I cannot always make sense or understand what drives me into writing this, even retrospectively. This Book could have all it’s words rewritten and still be the same Book, like the human body morphs to another set of atoms every 7 years yet is still the same body (just older).


One must understand that once you reach a small threshold like 12 active contemporary co-authors, one already for ever keeps finding parts of the Book that he did not know existed. At 101 authors, there starts to be regions of the Book one has never been and will never go to. 


Houston, Kennedy Elementary School, Interactive Group Writing Project.


Can we imagine in some future 100 reader-writers in an inner nerdy world, not unlike CB radio of another time. 100 writers, each with a mutually exclusive list of 100 reader-reviewers and an inventory of 1000 Pages they manage editorial responsibility over?

Many minds (in many places) over time accomplish tradition building.

Also in the resulting sea of details I am soon not sure what is factually non-important. For instance, whether Jesus was really from Jerusalem or actually from Bethlehem after all probably adds nothing to my thinking process (as long as there is a story we say is the truth). So rather then remain in a persistent state of doubt at some point it becomes more useful to simply eliminate concrete examples to bring this closer to pure thought. Doing so might look less scholarly and as a result this might become a less popular search engine object by not creating links to popular literature, and thus reduce your ranking in citeseer friendly engines and others. However I argue that doing so facilitates the creation of Inverse Linkage Kinematics by sticking tags in my Book (forward linking) to someone who discusses that matter (as a specialized example). Then another author-citizen can look-up stats and see that some readers enter their book via this book. Such feedback loop is much more resilient.


Note: how via private networks you can sort of bridge in a manner not much different then how one use to need to specify IP routes to send email, so that one can avoid being “googled”.


When the first batch of this writing happened, the internet web was nonexistent and I had never written an e-mail. I was familiar with the idea of a “personal” computer like the Apple II and eventually learned to drop computer code in punch cards and soon was using a word processor connecting to a black and white low-res TV set to write patterns on the stone.



The Digitization Age was something coming, the new next thing but effectively not a done deal. As a teenager, I was sitting in the public library and trying to figure out how I could take all the non-fiction books there and progressively remaster them into a giant book that ends up less like a sort of open source encyclopedia (a browser paradise) and more like a personal construction of what matters to me. 


The Book, by its problem, became different things: creating a context to assimilate dynamic data, focusing on a set of methods that enable the process of making the Book rather then the actual particular data that may end up there… Think for example that for each published page that Kafka has written, maybe 15 000 pages have been written about it. Think of each of these contributions in micro-economics terms. If this statement is not clear, drive to a city and look at all the car related services in that space. Imagine that the city in 50 years will have as many Book related services. If this is not clear, drive again and note the copy store, the sign printer store, the book store, the record store, the photo store, the Apple store, the cell phone store… and imagine all these things are serving a single integrated media form, which for the most part has dissolved (as hardware objects) into the invisible to the human eye, except perhaps for audio-visual projections / manifestations.


This Book project takes cues from different things we have become accustomed to see as distinct because so evolved as natural boundaries in the corporate socio-economic narrative: things like an operating system, a compiling language, an application. an application programming interface, a file format specification, a window system, a graphical user interface, a style guide, a manual of operation documenting usage, a literary piece of fiction, whatever, all and none of the above.  



The finality (the driving target) is one thing which integrates all media forms into a single digital media framework where transactions and communications are performed. That meta or hyper all encompassing media is perhaps still in a state of flux, however the Book does not predict or pretend to work in a non-unified state. As such, since it is virtual, it probably needs to be recompiled and reformatted, sometimes to fit various presentation form factors / formats to come.


This project sometimes feel like it’s simply more like a lifestyle type of thing, something to do on Sunday afternoon or Tuesday at 4:00 am when everyone is sleeping.


That said, while realizing that we are still grounded in a reality where in 2007 Adobe PDF files are more or less synonymous with electronic books in over 50% of the active user population (and I imagine forms of html-xml browsers for most of the other half), and most books in the last 15 years were written in Microsoft Word. Every day, all this becoming a more and more massively crystallized paradigm.  


FIG: illustrates the work at the coffeehouse micro-society where the New Book movement fomented.


Although we are sometimes still being shuffled and driven by ever evolving format incompatibilities produced by the pressure of competitive commerce, the hope is that such format ownership eventually becomes irrelevant as public institutions will require public documentation etc so a mechanism of preservation will emerge.   The day where technology achieves that maturity, we will have people customizing their Books like some customize their motorcycles or their bodies (surgery, piercing, tattoos…). Then Life will have a style in a software sense.


I started to re-write this text around 2002 after seven years of silence. Certain events triggered hope that time was right. To name a few, the Internet Archives “wayback machine”, the popularity of old game console emulators. Yeah! Revelation: Maybe we will be able to play Space Invaders in 3006. Despite its initial software-hardware configuration, the game had archivabilties outside of that specific configuration which we had not predicted. As well, I was impressed by the fact that our understanding of the brain functions had suddenly evolved dramatically to a point where concepts such as conscience could start to be discussed in scientific terms of their own rather then via metaphors to other better understood processes. Each time we push the barriers of self-understanding we create a better user model which is what we essentially map the digital processes to (as long as “we” are the clients). logos

In 2005, my model of “myself reading my writings” status (current net sum) is probably more like a reflection, not unlike a Jewish scholar who is forced by empirical evidence to acknowledge that the words of the Bible have been edited 1000 years ago to make some people the chosen ones. Some stories changed, some were excluded. The chosen ones in our case might for now appear to be those that were able to monetize the transformation and in so doing sponsor history writing.


To evacuate personalities we could try by analogy to recontextualize writing the Bible into the simple question of how do you create a book that a billion people will in-part read in the next few thousands years when the cumulative population from the first humans to the time of writing it is still in the millions probably (the sum of all homo sapiens since the first one). That would be like us asking how to write a book that 100 billion people will read.  This not to pretend that this is the next Bible, Koran… which would be heretical, but simply that there will be a new human collective consensual construction that will address aspects of existence that cannot be properly encoded in religious or legal scripts, and that religiosity and legality will be rewritten to fit the new context. That context is what we address here, rather then attempting to be a prophet or something.


In the digitization age, our approach is not concerned as much by the problem of a Book that transforms its content via agency to maintain its popularity. A more appropriate analogy for our thought experiment here would be the Egyptian or Mayan pyramid construction problem before any had ever been built. A design criterion is that you can’t get rid of it. 2000 years from now it must still make sense (or maybe it has to start to make super sense, that is when our current culture becomes a bit like our reptilian brain layer, something hardwired like migration paths can be in a bird).  

La Gran Pyramide (The Great Pyramid) at the Mayan ruins of Uxmal, Mexico.

Photo by Keith Pomakis on 2003-08-13 (cc sa 2.5)


Cross-Analogy: The above structure depicted can also be seen as a protective envelope for the Book archival artifact stored in it’s core to last a long time. The structural material should be engineered to resist to the impact of a meteorite, a long underwater epoch, and even travel through space (for a very long now).


To develop literature for the quantum computing ages might be more like developing a chess playing software. The next computing era will be completely characterized methodologically by exploiting the capacity to derive a solution statistically by exhausting a large data population space rather then via classical analytical methods. We can look into different domains where these methodologies are somehow practiced to imagine how that would work. The  Genome mapping project (and follow up) solution was systematic brute force of a similar nature, in the sense that a large data set is digitized and consolidated into a form which can be re-searched. A looser contemporary methodology is how some new technology development operates, for example how new drug development techniques widens the effect analysis to see if it does not have other positive or negative side-effects completely outside the primary measurement objectives of the designed experiment, or where experiments become largely testing interaction of complex multi-variate chemical cocktails. These sort of technical/scientific methods have yet to produce cultural contemporaries that would allow us to solve successfully for textual forms ideas announced as early as in Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folk Tale (1929), yet they do clarify for ever how certain problems can only be solved via computational collection and analysis of large data sets, and how new problems cannot fit the analogic reasoning capacity of our own unassisted brain.


This discussion avoids naming pieces of hardware or software or popular cultural figures (insert a joke about the Hilton sisters) as much as possible, simply because this discussion is not especially directed at hackers (he who cuts stuff into small pieces and functionally reconnect these pieces into new assemblies that may create new particular affects) at a certain point in time. Also the fact that this was written for the most part relatively so long ago makes such examples by name dropping ever more irrelevant to the ideas discussed. So, discussions about real products are minimized, and when used always date-stamped. One reason is because real products often don’t have permanence or acquire a different meaning in time. This purification is probably good. Maybe then, if I ever have a great great son that has a great great son, then it might still make sense (still have a similar sense) to that man.


This is a Personal Documentation System. A popular word in year 2003 is blog (web log) but let’s say this is my notebook, and the question is how to make it yours. By this I mean for example at a real simple level, that I don’t think I am the best English writer, correct me (translate me from English to English). How do you rewrite each sentence so it’s your book, yet the same book? Also, how do we provide incentives so if I provide a personal reference you can replace it by your own personal reference if it exists, personalize it, and make it less boring for you, more connected to you, yet the same Book.


[Business Opportunity: A micro-transaction accounting system managing inserted elements rights on pro-rata formulations.]


SO, let’s get started as there may have already been 1000 updates to what you read so far…