Category Archives: About Software

General ideas of what makes software unique, the role of software in society and history.

Software Management

I am trying to summarize a short list of what I deem the most important for software management.

Management is about the right people making decisions. It is about forming the trust and delegate chains.

Emphasis on programming skills. Everyone should try to learn programming.

Break the boundary. People should not be separated way too early into testing people, system admins, developers. They should try to learn the comprehensive programming skills, which include how to do testing and how to run servers and do deployment. Testing people and system admins are encouraged to learn programming.

Rich projects to build up a comprehensive learning environment. Projects of different size and difficult levels, many of which are independent projects that are not tangled with other projects. So every individual in a software team can find projects that fit her/him to improve step by step.

Emphasis on product. Everyone in the software team should care about the software that s/he is building. Thus everyone should care about the product. Dedicated time (for example, Friday afternoon) is allocated for software team members to do nothing but playing with the product.

Emphasis of design skills, cultivation of programmers’ architect skills. Design sessions are secluded regularly, when team members take turns to tell what s/he has found in her/his daily life that has a good design or bad design and why. Various design topics will be covered during  such design sessions.

Do pair programming and code review very often to help programmers improve programming skills.

Everyone is building stuff. Everyone is builder. No one is just talker, doing management only. This is from Spotify founder. I think at least for software management, this should be enforced. It might seem radical to enforce this at the whole company level. But I would love to see that happen, and I tend to believe that should be a very good thing for the software company.

This list might not be comprehensive. They are what I can think of off the top of my head. Maybe they are what I deem most important. Or it might just be related to my recent experiences. Time will tell, I think.

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A new understanding on life

Note: This is a repost of a book outline with a new title and a little addition in the content.

Our science so far hasn’t developed sufficiently to provide a proper understanding of human consciousness and development of human society. Using scientific methodologies and concepts, combined with meditation experience and software programming experience, this book tries to provide a new framework of understanding. With this new understanding, hopefully we can gradually build a peaceful world with a high degree of life. Meditation and software are going to play a big role in that picture.

The outline of the book:

Part 0: The revolution/evolution in America

Part 1: Individual Consciousness:
Individuals are the natural centers of human society. Everything starts from the right understanding of our individual self. Buddhism teaches that we know our individual self directly. They are not like the physical world, which is external to us and we have to rely on science to explore. Through meditation, activity and reflection, we can know the self. So let’s study our individual consciousness.
ch 1: brain, mind, consciousness, growth of consciousness, and how they are tangled with community
How is consciousness formed? Where is it coming from? What is its material basis in the brain? What is the material basis of the self? How is the distance created? What is its relation to language? What is the health of the brain?
ch 2: memory, expectation/imagination vs. dwelling in the past and fascination about the future (both are thinking)
When there is no self, there are only two types of “legitimate” brain activities: accessing the past (stored as memory in the brain), and jumping to the future moment (the expectation or the imagination). What is driving the brain to do these two activities is the present moment or your encountering with the environment at the present moment. When you have a self, however, accessing the past becomes dwelling in the past (e.g. you are lost in the memory). Jumping to the future becomes fascination with the future (I am referring to illusionary fascination of the self). Both are thinking.
ch 3: learning, playing
ch 4: feeling, love

When you feel without thinking, you are experiencing love and interacting with love. That is playing. What is love?
ch 5: knowledge, brain, knowing, learning, not-knowing
What is knowledge and what is the wisdom that is beyond knowledge.
ch 6: peaceful forces
The peaceful forces in human history.
ch7: how to get to know your individual consciousness
Silence, sitting meditation, self-reflection, going back to the nature, going back to your childhood,  walking carefully in your life and doing no harm.

Part 2: Collective Consciousness:
After we know the self, how millions or billions of people can live and play together can be a challenge. The collective of consciousness can be a quite new topic on top of individual consciousness. The history of human beings is a history of how people organize themselves together.
ch 1: collectively
ch 2: society and community as external memory, space
ch 3: forces in history, peaceful forces, barriers
ch 4: social space, unlimited resources
ch 5: enriching each other, playing together (has nothing to do with money?)

ch 6: how to explore collective consciousness with software


Part 3: Life Science:
Computer Science is a science about life. Software is a bridge between the human science and the physical science.
ch 1: science, and the historical perspective, subjectivity/objectivity, the evolution of math and physics (just more transformation of plus and minus)
Traditionally, science has excluded subjectivity from its study. Christopher Alexander advocates bringing subjectivity back to science because subjectivity is objective. After all, we know ourselves directly. I argue that software is the tool to bring subjectivity back to objectivity. Software is a brand new way to explore social science and is a very effective tool.
ch 2: applying modern physics to the mental activities
What is the center of gravity? What is time? The movement of mental activities is more about degree of life.
ch 3: software and the principle of playing
We expand the concept of software to the social programming. With principle of playing, we can refactor the society and build a better playground.
ch 4: degree of life
Christopher Alexander says everything has life. They have different degrees of life. How do we understand life? How do we measure the degree of life?
ch 5: what is computer science
ch 6: diversity and equality, limitation and perfection, life
The phenomena of life: equality is manifested as diversity, perfection is manifested as limitation, absolute is manifested as relative.
ch 7: space
Everything is about space.

Part 4: Global Peace
ch 1: cultural communication
How the two great things of human civilization can meet and melt into each other? How the west and east can communicate the values of individual and collective?
ch 2: how to bring out democracy
The explosion of the self-organized production of social product is going to transform the society and change the social structure.  By engaging in these self-organizing activities of producing social product, we are enriching our lives and pursuing our happiness.
ch 3: we need pioneers to open up each individual field
Each individual field is going to be opened up one by one by the individual professionals in the field. They are going to use open source software and open organizations to empower themselves. Each professional field is going to be transformed. Individuals can pursue their interests in these fields freely and  independently. Ways of cooperating and organizing are going to be brought to a more granular and ad hoc level.
ch 4: build a better playground
With every progress of society, we have a better playground. That is how I look at history.
ch 5: the future of learning: how to engage with the space, true teachers…
How this individual field is going to be opened up? How learning/education is going to be transformed?

Part 5: Global Humanity
ch 1: the east, the thread of Chinese culture and how it is going to evolve
ch 2: the west,  the thread of western culture and how it is going to evolve

—————————————————————————————————————————

Outline with blog posts associated with each chapter

Part 0: The revolution/evolution in America
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/the-revolution-in-america/

Part 1: Individual Consciousness:
Individuals are the natural centers of human society. Everything starts from the right understand of our individual self. Buddhism teaches that we know our individual self directly. They are not like the physical world, which is external to us and we have to rely on science to explore. Through meditation, activity and reflection, we can know the self. So let’s study our individual consciousness.

ch 1: brain, mind, consciousness, growth of consciousness, and how they are tangled with community, language and culture:
How is consciousness formed? Where is it coming from? What is its material basis in the brain? What is the material basis of the self? How is the distance created? What is its relation to language? What is the health of the brain?
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/01/05/language-culture-human-brain-and-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/exercise-your-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/on-self-help-books-and-regrowing-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/see-with-your-whole-body/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/consciousnessexperiences-cannot-be-transfered/

ch 2: memory, expectation/imagination vs. dwelling in the past and fascination (both are thinking):
When there is no self, there are only two types of “legitimate” brain activities: accessing the past (stored as memory in the brain), and jump to the future moment (the expectation or the imagination). What is driving the brain to do these two activities is the present moment or your encountering with the environment at the present moment. When you have a self, however, the accessing the past becomes dwelling in the past (e.g. you are lost in the memory). The jumping to the future becomes fascination with the future (I am referring to illusionary fascination of the self). Both are thinking.

ch 3: learning, playing
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/play/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/02/25/do-you-believe-that-you-are-complete-and-have-the-potential-to-fully-develop-yourself/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/a-summary-of-learning/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/comments-on-the-summary-of-learning/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/no-chinese-food-anymore-continuous-exploration-of-space/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/thinking-feeling-and-playing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/06/01/doing-things-learning-and-playing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/06/12/reflect-on-my-schooling/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/05/08/the-art-of-my-life/

ch 4: feeling, love
When you feel without thinking, you are experiencing love and interacting with love. That is playing.

ch 5: knowledge, brain, knowing, learning, not-knowing:
what is knowledge and what is the wisdom that is beyond.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/knowing-and-thinking/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/22/no-self-no-problem/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/when-you-walk/

ch 6: peaceful forces
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/peace-what-is-peace-and-how-to-build-peace/

Part 2: Collective Consciousness:

ch 1: collectively:
After we know the self, how millions or billions of people can live and play together can be a challenge. The collective of consciousness can be a quite new topic on top of individual consciousness. The history of human being is a history of how people organize together.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/managing-common-property-is-a-challenge/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/collective-vs-individual/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/14/my-standard-to-evaluate-a-societyculture/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/my-fundamental-belief-and-why-i-am-doing-what-i-am-doing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/buddhism-and-social-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/desire-and-future-society/

ch 2: society and community as external memory, space
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/community-vs-networking-part-2/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/material-culture-as-an-extension-of-human-cognition/

ch 3: forces in history, peaceful forces, barriers

ch 4: social space, unlimited resource
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/john-locke-has-a-second-thought-on-private-property/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/software-programming-for-everybody/
ch 5: enriching each other, playing together (has nothing to do with money?)

Part 3: life science:
Computer Science is a science about life. Software is a bridge between the human science and the physical science.
ch 1: science, and the historical perspective, subjectivity/objectivity, the evolution of math and physics (just more transformation of plus and minus)
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/the-subject-and-object/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/the-subject-and-object-part-2/

ch 2: applying modern physics to the mental activities
What is the center of gravity? What is time? The movement of mental activities is more about degree of life.

ch 3: software and principle of playing
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/a-better-way-to-understand-web20/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/software-like-buildings/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/01/03/web-brain/

ch 4: degree of life
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/one-billion-times-more/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/where-is-life-coming-from/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/only-losers-complain-about-too-many-choices/

ch 5: what is computer science
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/computer-science-is-life-science/

ch 6: diversity and equality, limitation and perfection, life
The phenomena of life: equality is manifested as diversity, perfection is manifested as limitation, absolute is manifested as relative.

ch 7: space
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/it-is-all-about-space/

Part 4: global peace
ch 1: cultural communication
How the two great things of human civilization can meet and melt into each other? How the west and east can communicate the values of individual and collective?
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/two-great-things-of-human-civilization/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/two-different-philosophies-of-life-and-society/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/news-of-china/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/inside-biosphere-2/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/the-myth-of-chinese-population/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/collective-vs-individual/

ch 2: how to bring out democracy
The explosion of the self-organized production of social product is going to transform the society and change the social structure. By engaging in these self-organizing activities of producing social product, we are enriching our lives and pursuing our happiness.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/22/how-to-take-back-our-democracy-part-2-democracy-money-social-products-local-services-the-power-of-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/how-to-take-back-our-democracy/

ch 3: we need pioneers to open up each individual field
Individual professionals are going to cooperate in new forms of organizations.

ch 4: build a better playground
We are going to build up a better playground in the social transformation.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/build-a-better-playground/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/open-organizations/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/open-cooperation-within-an-organization/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/national-initiative-and-law-20/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/grassroots-web/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/software-programming-for-everybody/

ch 5: the future of learning: how to engage with the space, true teachers…
The true face of learning will be brought out.

Part 5: global humanity
ch 1: the east, the thread of Chinese culture and how it is going to evolve
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/a-brief-rundown-of-chinese-recent-history/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/development-and-environment/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/china-capitalism-communism/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/china-and-environment/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/olympics-and-china/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/watching-olympics-opening/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/the-chinese-renaissance/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/two-ways-to-help-china/

ch 2: the west,  the thread of western culture and how it is going to evolve

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Filed under About Software, Chan/Zen, Computer Software, Culture, Learning, life, Python, Social Software

Social consciousness, software, and our future society

Note: a newer version is available.

Note: Based on my review of 2008 posts, I added more posts, and some introduction for the parts and chapters. I am thinking of publishing this as a book. I haven’t thought a good name yet. “Social consciousness, software, and our future society” is a temporary name for now. To be honest, it is very exciting to be with Americans. Americans are very ambitious. They dare to predict and plan the future. So here is my piece.

The outline of the book:

Part 0: The revolution/evolution in America

Part 1: Individual Consciousness:
Individuals are the natural centers of human society. Everything starts from the right understand of our individual self. Buddhism teaches that we know our individual self directly. They are not like the physical world, which is external to us and we have to rely on science to explore. Through meditation, activity and reflection, we can know the self. So let’s study our individual consciousness.
ch 1: brain, mind, consciousness, growth of consciousness, and how they are tangled with community
How is consciousness formed? Where is it coming from? What is its material basis in the brain? What is the material basis of the self? How is the distance created? What is its relation to language? What is the health of the brain?
ch 2: memory, expectation/imagination vs. dwelling in the past and fascination about the future (both are thinking)
When there is no self, there are only two types of “legitimate” brain activities: accessing the past (stored as memory in the brain), and jump to the future moment (the expectation or the imagination). What is driving the brain to do these two activities is the present moment or your encountering with the environment at the present moment. When you have a self, however, accessing the past becomes dwelling in the past (e.g. you are lost in the memory). Jumping to the future becomes fascination with the future (I am referring to illusionary fascination of the self). Both are thinking.
ch 3: learning, playing
ch 4: feeling, love

When you feel without thinking, you are experiencing love and interacting with love. That is playing. What is love?
ch 5: knowledge, brain, knowing, learning, not-knowing
What is knowledge and what is the wisdom that is beyond knowledge.
ch 6: peaceful forces
The peaceful forces in human history.
ch7: how to get to know your individual consciousness
Silence, sitting meditation, self-reflection, going back to the nature, going back to your childhood,  walking carefully in your life and doing no harm.

Part 2: Collective Consciousness:
After we know the self, how millions or billions of people can live and play together can be a challenge. The collective of consciousness can be a quite new topic on top of individual consciousness. The history of human being is a history of how people organize together.
ch 1: collectively
ch 2: society and community as external memory, space
ch 3: forces in history, peaceful forces, barriers
ch 4: social space, unlimited resource
ch 5: enriching each other, playing together (has nothing to do with money?)

ch 6: how to explore collective consciousness with software


Part 3: Life Science:
Computer Science is a science about life. Software is a bridge between the human science and the physical science.
ch 1: science, and the historical perspective, subjectivity/objectivity, the evolution of math and physics (just more transformation of plus and minus)
Traditionally, science has excluded subjectivity from its study. Christopher Alexander advocates bringing subjectivity back to science because subjectivity is objective. After all, we know ourselves directly. I argue that software is the tool to bring subjectivity back to objectivity. Software is a brand new way to explore social science and is a very effective tool.
ch 2: software and the principle of playing
We expand the concept of software to the social programming. With principle of playing, we can refactor the society and build a better playground.
ch 3: degree of life
Christopher Alexander says everything has life. They have different degrees of life. How do we understand life? How do we measure the degree of life?
ch 4: what is computer science
ch 5: diversity and equality, limitation and perfection, life

The phenomena of life: equality is manifested as diversity, perfection is manifested as limitation, absolute is manifested as relative.
ch 6: space
Everything is about space.

Part 4: Global Peace
ch 1: cultural communication
How the two great things of human civilization can meet and melt into each other? How the west and east can communicate the values of individual and collective?
ch 2: how to bring out democracy
The explosion of the self-organized production of social product is going to transform the society and change the social structure.  By engaging in these self-organizing activities of producing social product, we are enriching our lives and pursuing our happiness.
ch 3: we need pioneers to open up each individual field
Each individual field is going to be opened up one by one by the individual professionals in the field. They are going to use open source software and open organizations to empower themselves. Each professional field is going to be transformed. Individuals can pursue their interests in these fields freely and  independently. Ways of cooperating and organizing are going
to be brought to a more granular and ad hoc level.
ch 4: build a better playground
With every progress of society, we have a better playground. That is how I look at history.
ch 5: the future of learning: how to engage with the space, true teachers…
How this individual field is going to be opened up? How learning/education is going to be transformed?


Part 5: Global Humanity
ch 1: the east, the thread of Chinese culture and how it is going to evolve
ch 2: the west,  the thread of western culture and how it is going to evolve

—————————————————————————————————————————

Outline with blog posts associated with each chapter

Part 0: The revolution/evolution in America
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/the-revolution-in-america/

Part 1: Individual Consciousness:
Individuals are the natural centers of human society. Everything starts from the right understand of our individual self. Buddhism teaches that we know our individual self directly. They are not like the physical world, which is external to us and we have to rely on science to explore. Through meditation, activity and reflection, we can know the self. So let’s study our individual consciousness.

ch 1: brain, mind, consciousness, growth of consciousness, and how they are tangled with community, language and culture:
How is consciousness formed? Where is it coming from? What is its material basis in the brain? What is the material basis of the self? How is the distance created? What is its relation to language? What is the health of the brain?
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/01/05/language-culture-human-brain-and-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/exercise-your-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/on-self-help-books-and-regrowing-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/see-with-your-whole-body/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/14/consciousnessexperiences-cannot-be-transfered/

ch 2: memory, expectation/imagination vs. dwelling in the past and fascination (both are thinking):
When there is no self, there are only two types of “legitimate” brain activities: accessing the past (stored as memory in the brain), and jump to the future moment (the expectation or the imagination). What is driving the brain to do these two activities is the present moment or your encountering with the environment at the present moment. When you have a self, however, the accessing the past becomes dwelling in the past (e.g. you are lost in the memory). The jumping to the future becomes fascination with the future (I am referring to illusionary fascination of the self). Both are thinking.

ch 3: learning, playing
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/play/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/02/25/do-you-believe-that-you-are-complete-and-have-the-potential-to-fully-develop-yourself/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/a-summary-of-learning/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/comments-on-the-summary-of-learning/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/no-chinese-food-anymore-continuous-exploration-of-space/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/thinking-feeling-and-playing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/06/01/doing-things-learning-and-playing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/06/12/reflect-on-my-schooling/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/05/08/the-art-of-my-life/

ch 4: feeling, love
When you feel without thinking, you are experiencing love and interacting with love. That is playing.

ch 5: knowledge, brain, knowing, learning, not-knowing:
what is knowledge and what is the wisdom that is beyond.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/knowing-and-thinking/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/22/no-self-no-problem/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/when-you-walk/

ch 6: peaceful forces
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/peace-what-is-peace-and-how-to-build-peace/

Part 2: Collective Consciousness:

ch 1: collectively:
After we know the self, how millions or billions of people can live and play together can be a challenge. The collective of consciousness can be a quite new topic on top of individual consciousness. The history of human being is a history of how people organize together.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/managing-common-property-is-a-challenge/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/collective-vs-individual/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/14/my-standard-to-evaluate-a-societyculture/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/my-fundamental-belief-and-why-i-am-doing-what-i-am-doing/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/buddhism-and-social-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/desire-and-future-society/

ch 2: society and community as external memory, space
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/11/09/community-vs-networking-part-2/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/material-culture-as-an-extension-of-human-cognition/

ch 3: forces in history, peaceful forces, barriers

ch 4: social space, unlimited resource
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/john-locke-has-a-second-thought-on-private-property/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/software-programming-for-everybody/
ch 5: enriching each other, playing together (has nothing to do with money?)

Part 3: life science:
Computer Science is a science about life. Software is a bridge between the human science and the physical science.
ch 1: science, and the historical perspective, subjectivity/objectivity, the evolution of math and physics (just more transformation of plus and minus)
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/the-subject-and-object/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/the-subject-and-object-part-2/

ch 2: software and principle of playing
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/a-better-way-to-understand-web20/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/software-like-buildings/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2007/01/03/web-brain/

ch 3: degree of life
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/one-billion-times-more/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/where-is-life-coming-from/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/only-losers-complain-about-too-many-choices/

ch 4: what is computer science
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/computer-science-is-life-science/

ch 5: diversity and equality, limitation and perfection, life
The phenomena of life: equality is manifested as diversity, perfection is manifested as limitation, absolute is manifested as relative.

ch 6: space
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/it-is-all-about-space/

Part 4: global peace
ch 1: cultural communication
How the two great things of human civilization can meet and melt into each other? How the west and east can communicate the values of individual and collective?
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/two-great-things-of-human-civilization/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/two-different-philosophies-of-life-and-society/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/news-of-china/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/inside-biosphere-2/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/the-myth-of-chinese-population/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/collective-vs-individual/

ch 2: how to bring out democracy
The explosion of the self-organized production of social product is going to transform the society and change the social structure. By engaging in these self-organizing activities of producing social product, we are enriching our lives and pursuing our happiness.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/22/how-to-take-back-our-democracy-part-2-democracy-money-social-products-local-services-the-power-of-consciousness/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/how-to-take-back-our-democracy/

ch 3: we need pioneers to open up each individual field
Individual professionals are going to cooperate in new forms of organizations.

ch 4: build a better playground
We are going to build up a better playground in the social transformation.
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/build-a-better-playground/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/open-organizations/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/open-cooperation-within-an-organization/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/national-initiative-and-law-20/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/grassroots-web/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/software-programming-for-everybody/

ch 5: the future of learning: how to engage with the space, true teachers…
The true face of learning will be brought out.

Part 5: global humanity
ch 1: the east, the thread of Chinese culture and how it is going to evolve
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/a-brief-rundown-of-chinese-recent-history/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/development-and-environment/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/china-capitalism-communism/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/china-and-environment/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/olympics-and-china/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/watching-olympics-opening/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/the-chinese-renaissance/
https://freestone.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/two-ways-to-help-china/

ch 2: the west,  the thread of western culture and how it is going to evolve

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A better way to understand web2.0

Note: there are various definitions of web2.0, with the most quoted one (http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html) being provided by Tim O’Reilly. But I feel all those definitions fall short of hitting the true nature of web2.0. I have articulated my understanding of web2.0 in various posts of this blog. Here I want to briefly summarize it and give the reason of why I think it is better to understand web2.0 in this way.

A better way to understand web2.0: web2.0 is a better way to program social software, which is highly human software.

Why is this understanding better? Because it is more tied with the big picture.

With this understanding, it is easier to understand our position in human history. It is based on the understanding of software’s position in human history. It is based on the understanding of history of science in human civilization. In that understanding, software is a bridge between physical science and human science. Social software is to program in the social domain, which has intensive life features, such as the need to change/adapt often, being collective from many people, highly interactive….  (Regarding the set of features of these highly human oriented software, I can have a separate post to summarize their features.)  Web2.0 is the set of solutions programmers come up in how to program in the social domain. It summarized the efforts programmers have made in solving the common challenges that we were faced during the recent years. (In the software world, we are increasingly dealing with domains that are increasingly human.) So with this understanding of web2.0, we also recognizes the nature of the problems that we are dealing with in our age: how to program in the social domain, e.g. how to bridge the social domain and the physical domain.

All these tie into the big picture: the new kind of science, which combines our best knowledge of human nature with our knowledge of the physical world.

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Computer Science is Life Science

Computer Science (CS) is not a science of computers. CS is a science of life. It is a bridge to connect the physical science with human science.

Here I take the word life as what is meant by C.A. (Christopher Alexander) in his book The Nature of Order. And I use his concept Degree of Life as the measure of life.

So what is CS studying? The essential part of CS is software programming, which is about how to create life. It is commonly known that OOP (Object Oriented Programming) is about agents and interfaces (e.g. the contracts between agents) (so is economy). Here we can summarize it with the Principle of Play (as in the post about Python).

Briefly, the Principle of Play is about how other life entities (I will start using this word throughout this essay to describe anything that we consider having a degree of life, probably a degree of life that is higher enough to interact with other entities) can easily interact/play with.

So for a life entity, if we want to measure its degree of life, we can look at the following aspects: how many different entities are able to interact with this entity in different ways; how much time those entities need to learn to figure out how to use this one.

For a system, on average, how much degree of life within a system of many life entities? We can look at these from the following:
how generative the system is, how the system is able to come up with new ways to deal with new problems (kind of like human body);
how adaptive the system is to the outside;
how adaptive the system is to its own growth/evolution, whether the system is able to carry out the evolution in a more peaceful way;
how much time the life entities in the system spend in figuring out how to work with each other;

A better system is more able to be life-generating. It is more efficient at converting energy from lower forms to higher forms, such as converting energy into life entities. Take music for example. When a musician create the music, he consume a lot of energy (he has to eat a lot of food and use the energy that is from the food) in creating that music and put that music down in some kind of physical format (for example, a mp3 file on a computer). When that mp3 file is listened to by another person, the music causes some life-generating events in that person. If we say it causes some new material being generated in that person’s brain or causes restructuring of his brain, then the energy is transformed into the material (new life entity) in that person’s brain. So good music, just by being played over and over again for different people, simply consume some physical energy (electricity, for example) and push a higher energy being generated and stored. (The real situation, of course, can be way more complicated. Here we just simplify it temporally for the convenience of introducing the idea.)

So a system with more life means that more energy are taken from the physical world and stored at a higher level.

So what kind of brain has more life? Possible answers below:
A brain that has real knowledge, the brain structure is shaped very well that it can recall knowledge and engage with the world in a very efficient and creative way;
A brain having a higher degree of life is better at creating life.

More questions for our consideration:
Why human being is a higher form of life? (Is the language giving us the potential to have more life?)
Why creatures have more life than furniture?
Which society is more able to adapt to change? For example, with the new frontier in the info age, which country is more able to adapt and imagine a new future?
What kind of life creating process is it in human body? How does DNA create life for human? How does human being take physical energy from outside and convert that to its own energy?

There are definitely endless fields that we can go into to examine how the life generating process is carried out there.

So when we go to the macro level, we look at the whole human society, we want to see if our society as a whole has a higher degree of life than societies 2000 years ago, which means if our society is more able to adapt to change, more responsive to outside, more able to carry out the evolution in a peaceful way.

To give an example of how we can measure the degree of life, maybe we can try to see how we measure the degree of life of different programming languages (for example, Java VS. Python). I am thinking the method can be as below: we look at how people in different professions or different age groups are able to pick up the programming language quickly and how diverse are the software/apps that are built by this programming language, how the language itself is more able to adapt to change… Surely, sometimes whether a programming language is used more often has a lot to do with marketing. That is why we need a better playground so the better ones can be played by more people.

Every life center (entity) has billions of plus and billions of minus. Thus it is math on a higher level. (Any math is just an extended transformation of plus and minus). So what is this form of transformation of plus and minus in life centers (entities)? One clue is that this is computation of plus and minus on the scales of billions (http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory). Another clue is as  CA has pointed out in his book Nature of Order, it is expressed through geometry forms. Certainly any geometry forms (if not a dot) contain billions of plus and minus. Thus visualization of huge amount of data might be part of the big picture of solutions.

Google’s search engine is a way to compute the billions of plus and minus, if we treat a link as a vote (a form of plus and minus). In words of O’Reilly, Google “built real-time information systems to capture and respond to that vote”.

Above are just some early hypothesis. Any new science starts with great hypothesis, then countless proving and figuring out the details. I hope these hypothesis can be a good start.

The ideas here are still very rough. I put it out early for the purpose of getting some early feedback. So if you know someone doing similar work on this, please let me know.

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Software programming for everybody

When software programming is made so easy, it is a revolution. I am referring to python and its web frameworks. Programming with python is like writing articles. Instead of writing things down, I just write them into software directly. In a sense, this is the true writing. The writing is not static, but dynamic, and it more fully represents the thoughts/knowledge, which are dynamic and running, and can be interacted with in a totally different level from static writing in words.

With the emergence of all the social software on the web, we see that more and more people need to program themselves to better utilize all the data that is on the web and meet their own specific needs. With this happening, the human world is going to be ushered into a totally new area of knowledge sharing. The significance at least can be compared to that of the invention of paper and printing technology.

Here is Computer Programming for Everybody by Python author Guido.

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Managing common property is a challenge

In our time, there are a lot of thinking that many resources should be managed as common properties instead of being privatized. For example, I just watched the documentary Flow the other week: http://foodandwaterwatch.org/

As I came from China, a common reflection we had since the start of economic reform (which is 2 years after the culture revolution) is that managing common properties is very difficult and is a big challenge. Socialism values collective goods, and advocates individuals to sacrifice for the collective. For example, if an electric pole fall down in the river and are taken away by the river, you should jump into the river to save the electric pole, even that means you might get killed by the torrent river, because the electric pole belong to the public. The reflection of the generation after culture revolution is that whether the value of individuals’ life is more important than that electric pole. Are we, the individuals, also part of the collective? If so, are we human beings more valuable property than an electric pole? This kind of thinking wasn’t allowed traditionally, since the holiness of the public should not be questioned.

A common reflection of our socialism time is that collective is good. But there is no reliable way to tell if the thing belongs to everyone, how can everyone OWN it? Since there is no way for everyone to OWN it, the result you can get is a small minority is selected (by whatever means) to govern it, and whenever a small minority is chosen to represent the majority, there is a problem of how this minority can really REPRESENT the majority.
In the current crisis of America, we know even here the democracy is broken. The elected officials cannot really represent the people’s interest.  For many things in our social life, you can be very eloquent that people should sacrifice for our country. But it is really hard to tell who is making that sacrifice.

So these are the reflection in China as it is going through the process of going from an agriculture society to an industrial society, and thus a process of modernization. That is how China is trying to learn of the wisdom in the design of capitalism and market oriented economy.  I bring this up so it might be helpful to remind some people here of the history of their own. It is not easy to come up with the market oriented economy (The Wealth of Nations,btw, is really a great work.). We have to remember this history, then we can know how we can do better.

So managing common properties is a challenge. We need to use our wisdom to come up with something better. This takes a lot of wisdom, creativity, and time to accumulate experiences. And here I want to point out the hope is that the software and web, by connecting people’s consciousness and provide tools for people to manage the flow of consciousness, provided a big opportunity for us to meet the challenge.

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