Beyond the Information Age discusses a new way of thinking about computers, knowledge and understanding. See the editorial for more information....

Dave's History of ISSU

Before we discuss how ISSU will revolutionize business let's go back and look at how this book and ISSU came to exist. Let's let Dave tell it his way:

Back in the early 1980's I was studying how people used computers to communicate. I studied on the EIES computer network of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. At the time this network was at the forefront of computer communication technology and the Internet was just a dream. After spending about a year on EIES working hard to realize some meaningful communication with any of its members, I gave up and became a bit disillusioned. I concluded that accurate communication via email and newsgroups with strangers was a impractical. The level of meaningful dialog was almost nonexistent. I wondered why? About this time I started a pet project that I called the Greater Mind Project to think of ways to use computers to link many human minds together so that they could perform complex tasks. Similar to a multi-processor computer, I wanted to develop a multi-mind system that could out think any single mind. I began looking for examples of groups of people that were thinking together in a single minded way.

As it turned out the obvious example of group-think was in a business or corporation. Companies could easily hire a select group of people, move them all to a central office location, and get them thinking together to produce virtually any kind of product they wanted. The question was: What goes on in the office building that makes communication so successful? And why doesn't good communication happen when using email or computerized discussion groups? The answer to these questions took me years to realize but that didn't stop me from designing ISSU.

Actually, the way the knowledge in this book came about was in exactly the reverse order of what you have just read. First there was ISSU, and then I learned about intelligent-systems, thinking, issues, understanding, knowledge, and eventually data physics. This reverse progression back to the source of all knowledge started when I began studying what made corporations operate as they did. My goal was to reverse engineer a corporation and then rebuild its operation on a computer network.

If you look carefully at the structure of a typical corporation you will see a management structure that looks something like this: Board-of-Directors, CEO, Personnel Director, Facilities Director, Operations Director, Financial Director, Marketing Director, and Sales Director. This structure varies slightly for different corporations but the fundamental positions of authority stay much the same. From these positions of authority, I derived the notion of the ten directors which I only much later discovered were knowledge contexts.

From the list of ten directors it was easy to imagine a computer network system based on these ten positions of authority. What was not as easy was coming to my eventual realization that a group of people thinking alike and working together actually formed a single intelligent-system. It was then that I realized that the computer network would need to store a specification for the intelligent-system. From this realization came the design of the computer network based Intelligent-System-Specification-Unit called ISSU.

Now over the past twenty or so years ISSU has evolved into the knowledge base that you see presented here in this book. ISSU still has a long way to go but the time is right to get others involved in its design, and make ISSU a reality.

If you wonder why it took ISSU so long to get to the point of writing this book, it was all about me and my issues. Once I had the design of ISSU, I looked for people that I could discuss the project with and found none. I then searched the Library of Congress, United States Patent Office, and any other information sources I could find to see if anyone had written about any similar work, I found none. As the Internet evolved into the mainstream in the early 1990's I began searching regularly for anyone interested in intelligent-systems, knowledge, data physics, or the like and I have found none. I was alone on this one, and even to this date I can cite no references for the material in this book.

The fact that I could find no prior-art to act as a justification or foundation for the concept of ISSU made me doubt my work and doubt the possibility that ISSU could ever exist. The only problem was that ISSU was already a living intelligent-system born in its own right here in my mind, and I was its only understanding engine. It is the nature of intelligent-systems to grow and try to stay alive as long as possible, and ISSU refused to die in my mind. ISSU eventually forced me to write this book so it could escape from my mind and enter the minds of additional understanding engines to support its growth. Will ISSU be successful in its attempted escape from my mind and will it be able to grow in other minds? I don't know. But, let's go back to the business of ISSU.

Last Update: 2006-Dec-23