Ben Langhinrichs

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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Fri 16 May 2003, 08:39 AM
In traditional Geometry, a square is a set of points and lines on a coordinate system.  In Turtle Geometry, the same shape is described from the point of view of a "turtle" (from the Logo language turtle).  Not much different, but if you start to look at fractals using Logo), they are very easy to describe in Turtle Geometry, but hard to describe in coordinate geometry.  It is all about perspective shifting, but in this case it makes some difficult problems easier to describe and focus on.

So what about Turtle Collaboration?  As I watch all of us Notes/Domino people trying to get our heads around blogging, it is hard not to think that we are being controlled by our paradigm.  We are used to forums, discussion databases and the lot.  We are very adverse to distributed collaboration, because it feels like e-mail discussions that flow in different directions with different people forwarding threads, etc. etc., until it is impossible to follow.  Discussion databases (forums, or fora for those more into LC) were supposed to replace all that, and they have, but blogging is new.  Maybe not new to the world, but new to us in the Notes/Domino world.  All of a sudden, we are faced with distributed collaboration, with each node (blog) thinking for itself.  Sometimes, this is messy, and we try to squeeze ourselves back into the discussion forum by aggregating and consolidating and trying to see the "whole picture".  That is fine, but I think we might want to try to see this more like the different units in Dragon Army in Ender's Game.  Each independent unit can think for itself, and each has its own perspective like the roving turtles.

Now, as with Turtle Geometry, some problems are harder to describe and some are easier.  Maybe it is time to focus less on what is harder with this model, and try to figure out what is easier.  I have a few ideas, but I'd rather let them percolate and post more later.  Let me know if you have some ideas about what would be easier to describe, or better, to actualize, with a view of blogging as "distributed collaboration", or even "turtle collaboration".

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