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March 3, 2004 » 11:11 pm

Chaordic Commons Revisited

Tom Munnecke (a member of our Collaboration Collaboratory) posted some thoughts on Chaordic Commons. Tom, who’s currently working on a project called GivingSpace, worked with Dee Hock on a health care venture a while back and has some interesting insights into Dee and the Chaordic Commons.    (14T)

I want to take issue with something he said about Doug Engelbart, however:    (14U)

As a student of visionaries, I am interested in how far-sighted individuals succeed or fail in getting their ideas across. One of the patterns I see is the degree to which the visionaries are able to dissociate their own identity from the ideas they are promoting. Sir Tim Berners-Lee did not name it “Tim’s Web” – but rather gave it away to be “the World Wide Web.” However, “Ted Nelson’s Xanadu” and “Doug Engelbart’s Augment” and “Dee Hock’s Chaordic thinking” got tangled up in the charisma of the visionary. The really successful visions, I think, embed the charisma in the vision, not the visionary. “Success has many parents, but failures are an orphan.    (14V)

This may be true of Dee’s work, but it doesn’t apply to Doug. How many people have heard of Doug? Not enough. How many people know what a mouse is? Quite a few.    (14W)

Anyone who attended Engelbart’s Unfinished Revolution symposium at Stanford in 1998 knows how many important thinkers Doug has influenced over the years. More telling is that Doug insisted that his name be removed from the followup colloquium held at Stanford in 2000. His reasoning? It’s not his unfinished revolution; it’s ours.    (14X)

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