EXTRO4: Timeline to 2020 Project Site now up

Tue, 6 Jul 1999 10:41:44 EDT

The Timeline to 2020 project web site is now up and ready for input at:


The site consists of pages for each of eight broad "development areas", which lead to separate pages for specific developments over the next two decades.

Although in working on this project we've come up with a very slick design for a database application for collecting comments, there is insufficient time between now and EXTRO4 (August 7-8) to develop and implement such an application. We're hopeful that we'll be able to develop such an application for use after EXTRO4.

For now, all commentary should be through Foresight's Crit Link system. Links in the Timeline web pages will lead you to Crit's view of the site and give you access to the Crit tools for inserting your comments, ideas and projections into the project. General comments on the specific developments can be tagged essentially anywhere in the text of the page or to the page as a whole.

Our goal of collecting specific projections for dates or ranges of dates when a development will become possible, available, common or ubiquitous requires a little care using Crit Link. To tag a comment to a particular year in the timeline tables you will find at the individual development pages, it is necessary to paste in the particular year in the "target phrase" area and THE TEXT FROM THE WHOLE LINE OF YEARS into the "optional context phrase". Thus, to tag a comment that you believe the development "Software Agents as Autonomous Actors" will be "Common" by the year 2020, you should paste the text from the year cell for that point ("2020 - C") into the "target phrase" Crit field and the text from the whole line for the year 2020 ("2020 - P 2020
- A 2020 - C 2020 - U") into the "optional target phrase". Although this
seems a little kludgey, Crit requires the second step in order to have enough context to "know" where to place its meta-tag. Because Crit will open a new window for the commenting process, it's easy to flip back and forth between the project site and the Crit commentary page to grab the text you need to properly tag your comment.

We are also looking for feedback on improving the categories. An example is battery technology. None of us in the group that developed the site knew enough to come up with a good metric for developments in this area, so we only have an item called "Advanced Batteries". If you can offer a refinement of an existing category such as this one, or a wholly new category that we've missed, use the links available at the site to make these kinds of helpful suggestions.

We're looking forward to using this site to collect good thinking about the near future and hope you'll come by the site and spend some time collaborating on making sound projections. We want to try to get as much commentary as possible within the next two weeks so we can have time to collate it for presentation at EXTRO4.

     Greg Burch     <GBurch1@aol.com>----<gburch@lockeliddell.com>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide
      http://users.aol.com/gburch1   -or-   http://members.aol.com/gburch1
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                      -- Thomas Huxley