a thesis by
George Washington University
Elliot School of International Affaris
Dept. of Science, Technology and Public Policy
Warning: This page utilizes Frames in a significant way. We have done our best to make it navigatable by non-Frames browsers, but there is only so much one can do. We recommend that you use Netscape 2.0 or 3.0 or the most recent version of Internet Exporer to view these pages.
In the summer of 1995, David Jonson and I began researching various areas of study which seemed to be converging to the conclusion that the world according to humanity was changing, and it was changing significantly and quickly. Over the next year, we put together the text of "The Complexity Threshold" which attempts to summarize our research and set forth our "grand theory of synthesis" which we hope will add to the study of the coming emergent society, or possibly the emerging post-society (whatever that will look like).
During the summer of 1996, I began work on this web page which brings our static thesis to the web and provides a platform for us to more efficiently share our ideas (thus making one step towards feedback enhancement which we suggest in the Policy Recommendations section of the paper).
The web site contains several resources which we hope you will take advantage of.
Firstly, of course, there is the paper itself. At this time, the paper is simply a hypertext markuped document, and fairly static. As the web site develops over the next year, and as the technology itself grows, we will add more fluid linkages between sections of the paper and enhance the multimedia presentation. For example, we will eventually be linking all of the references from the paper to the bibliography to make it easier for you to find reference information while you are reading. Secondly, we have creted a Bulletin Board Program which allows you to leave us your comments and join an archived listserv-like discussion. The program allows for threaded discussion and since we will be regularly checking the area, expect to be responded to. It is our hope that people will come here to discuss issues that relate to the paper so that the memes can lift themselves from the static pages and evolve as we all learn more about our emergent world. The program was written in perl CGI and involves half a dozen scripts totalling to some 2000 lines of code. The code has all been made publically available free of charge at http://www.extropia.com and we hope other researchers will be able to use them for the benefit of the Net Community. Similarly, we have also created a real-time chat application so that if enough people visit this site and become regular participants in the discussion, we can hold regular meetings in which we will use the chat to simulate a study session. Like a conference call, the online chat will provide the ability to have real time discussion with mutiple parties at one time. Like the BBS scripts, these were also written in Perl CGI and are publically available free of charge. Finally, we have created an archived reference library containing articles, usenet posts, faqs, and papers which relate to the issues discussed in this paper. this "Net Culture" archive includes hundreds of works which we felt were particularly relevant corresponding to as many abstracts of the articles as we have had time to compose. We hope to be maintaining this permanently, updating it as we find new material.
- Eric Tachibana (Selena Sol)