I am thrilled to announce the launch of my website
http://www.officeofgreatideas.com . I do hope that some of you will
find time to scope it out and submit a few ideas (I welcome
computing-related ideas and knowledge, but please also consider
submitting political ideas, and the empirical info that qualifies
The site is a simple front end for a database - the goal is to store
and organize information in ways that will allow people to make
structured arguments with a minimum of redundancy. To this end, I have
created eight different types of data, each with a couple unique
properties, so that users can use the most appropriate tools when they
attempt to convince someone of something.
Basic instructions - first create an account. The ‘create’ link at
left allows you to submit data (text, hyperlinks, what have you).
After submission, confirmations show up with a link that says ‘draw’ -
click this to add the entry to your drawing board. When you click
‘save’, all the items on your drawing board are associated with each
Example - You are reading a book and discover something interesting.
Paraphrase it and submit it as an argument. Then create the author and
the book, and put all three on the drawing board, and save. Now,
whenever someone views that argument, they will see that it is related
to that book and author, and vice versa.
I plan to update the documentation that is available on the site later
tonight. For now, there is already somewhat detailed info up there (if
a bit dry). There is, however, an as-yet undocumented feature which I
will explain here for those who wish to read on.
In addition to a drawing board, each user has a clipboard. This is for
wrapping ‘old’ information into your ‘new’ ideas without explicitly
associating your new ideas with the existing ‘old’ stuff. Items on the
clipboard are not associated en masse like items on the drawing board
are; rather they are associated only with the items on the drawing
board that are of the same type as them. So, arguments on the
clipboard are associated with arguments on the drawing board, and not
with books on the drawing board. Specifically:
a book on the drawing board will gain a footnote for each book on the
clipboard (suggesting that the clipboard books were cited in the
drawing board ones)
a category on the drawing board will become a subcategory of each
category on the clipboard
a list on the clipboard will be added to a list on the drawing board
a message on the clipboard will be referenced by a message on the
an argument on the drawing board will ‘cite’ each argument on the
these relationships are dealt with in this way because they are not
symmetric. (author-author and hyperlink-hyperlink relationships,
conversely, are symmetric so they cannot be put on the clipboard)
I hope this is not confusing; I used the words clipboard and drawing
board to remind the user that the clipboard is for old things that need
not be changed, and the drawing board for new ideas that rely on those
old ones. Hopefully this will not be lost on my users.
As this is an open source project, my source may be downloaded from
I could use a few suggestions [one pressing issue is a bug in the
create controller that fails to store files that I attempt to upload].
Please feel free to publicize this site to other communities. My need
for a fast take-off is more pressing at this point than my need for a
semi-private test period.