10¹⁰: Ten To The Ten

"Until everybody is connected, nobody is connected."—William Loughborough

Ten to the Ten is the virus through which we infect the Web with its own inclusivity. The aim is to get everybody connected in the true sense of connection: most current attitudes to connectivity focus on people being connected as audiences: slaves to a hierarchial top-down media system.

When we speak of "the media," the 10^10 people—all but ten of them—are, in effect *subjects*, not real participants. The Web in its current mode is mainly "read-only"; we need everyone to contribute.

The empowerment for their "property" that was (correctly) feared by slave holders resulted in laws aginst slave literacy. This attitude is still embedded in those who thrive on the privileges brought by exclusivity. This point of view espouses a model of society based on the tree, holding that a top-down arrangement is how to run things.

Even a decade after the Web has demonstrated its power, it is still widely held that "the media" rule our information resources: there's a circumscription that says "oh, and then there's the internet". The nature of a network: any spider can feel a Web shake when a fly lands on it.

Although there's plenty of arcana (FTP, HTTP, etc.), there's no particular reason that the illiterate should be excluded, because literacy does not result in wisdom. Innumeracy is a hundred-fold more widespead and debilitating, yet we allow innumerate people to participate in the ruling process, which brings into question the advisability of there being such a thing as ruling! In order to have ruling you have to have rulers and rules, and though it's possible to be willingly ruled, for that to last—it has to be participatory. And that participation can only come from something like 10^10.

So that's the fundamental statement. And that's the history of jazz!

If you can do it, you often don't care enough about those who can't.



Whenever I see people on T.V., these points are always emphasiz(s)ed. For "grassroots" to really be the oft'-cited bottom-up ideal, there has to be, uhm, ten to the tenth grassroots. I mean, maybe they're seeds that become roots—I dunno.

And sitting here and dictating this is compared to having feedback to bounce off is one of the main reasons that it has to happen—and yet! When these things are merely posted as commentaries on a blog for example, uhm, it's hard to keep up because it, it draws you into side-effects. If I get into a discussion about universal healthcare and somebody says "isn't that socialized medi-care", then I know I'm in for a really long discussion about semantics and examples from medical industry, and I really intended to deal with people who are past that, and to get past that demands ten to the tenth over a period of time. So that if we get the ten to the tenth happening, it is self-healing. At least: that's the theory!


To speak of our bet, say that we've improved and got the 10^10 utility, so that you can go onto anybody's site who's interested in this and you can click and it establishes a presence. What will spread this virus? In other words,there's no equivalent to epidemiolog—oh we'd better quarantine this place, because, you know [[auses fortyping] it needs an incentive to get spread. And the lag in the acquisition of the incentive is measured —at present—in generations.

[Which is why our bet's twenty years long]


What happens is that when you make use of the tradional media, if this became a book and I was on a tour, the time would be shortened and I'd win the bet by cheating. Because I have such an overhwelming amount of chances of implementation that er the respopnse level is done in the noise 10% turns out to be somebody. The other thing is that if you pick a particular thing so that natalie cole sings it and it gets heard but until then nobody was that prominent—you didn'tever see that, er, her great performances [n] program on {BS? well it was esentially a thing to publiize that album, and that song is the featured track in the alubm [cool]. it's the one they allow you to download completely, and she's introducing in, and that sort of imprimateur (testimonial) makes the song sell.

The means by which this is spread is at least unpredictable. I always get surprised when I get a fan letter for THX1138 where I have ten lines of spoken stuff and a screen credit. But a testimonial from one of the great film editors, that was one of the most memorable parts of making the movie [what did he say, then?] well, he said just that. I'd written to him and said I don't know if you remembered me, I did a day with you on THX, and he said that was the most memorable event of a most memorable project. (paraphrasing a little), but I was quite shocked. and you know, whether George Lucas would remember me or not is, I dunno, and the pertinence to this is that you can't predict what will enable the spread of this virus. Maybe he will remember me and will find this when he's searching for whatever! you know.

(WL's high-school library had a subscription to downbeat magazine, in '38, or around there.)

On Randomnivity

870 words? For bucky fuller that could be one sentence!

You don't know what's related. And this codifies or solidifies that sort of relationship.

The Signficance of 10^10

We started off trying to explain 10^10 and it's very similar to an essay contest in the sixth-grade of What America Means to me, and you end up in all sorts of platitudinous cliches, and what 10^10th clearly means is that the rhetoric about democracy is given a great deal of lip-service and only a modicum of implementation; so that the favourite quote is from an old black dude talking to a politician in "we get an awful lot of seperate and not much equal". If I'm writing this, how many people know the seperate but equal doctrine in the schools—it was actualy a legal term justifying segregation in the US. Like slavery, it's very hard for people to realise that that was the natural state of things [nod] from time immemorial. You know, long time. And, er, even though the abolition of slavery was almost an unintended consequences of the civil war, it may very well have been the most significant event in our history. And I put 10^10 right up there with that.

I think that slavery is, er, whenever I see any of these discussions about people with freedom and stuff like that, it always hinges on some kind of almost er, meta-religious event in pretty near everyone's life. Inside us, we know what we mean by being free—even those of us who have never experienced it.

[some discussion about shorthand and stenography]


Nobody says that we don't want everybody connected! The resistance is built into the culture: it's not an overt specific "we can't allow them to do that!" thing. And this may be the first time that the technology for doing this is actually in sight: it's imaginable that we can do this for evetbody who can talk. I think that we can agree that ten to the tenth people could be accomodated into a connectedness.

One of the things is that the people who are able to do this are intent on other details. And may not even care that "retards" and "vegetables" are left out. Uhm, many of the children in special-ed classes who are developmentally disabled come up with wisdom that surpasses the utterances of many of our "leaders". And by them being "them", the, er, "retards" being left out, skews the results in favour of those billionaires who have the ability to... get other people to accept their spending of the billions.

Emblems, Logos, Symbols...

10^10, 10**10, 10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10.


Despite the expert guess of current web documents, there are close to a trillion pages of information ready for discovery; whether by chance or by skilled grep users. Albeit we all need to be connected, we equally need to be heard. What about the 10^10-1? Have we created number 99,999,999,999 without any other identity much less given the false representation that they are really connected to someone? I think searching through the 10 to the 10 documents PLUS the current trillion or so we're currently suffering through, would not be as do-able as the broadband television commercial showing an evening web surfer "finishing the web." Billions of dollars, yen, pounds, and the countless other currencies are being spent to get that "one page noticed." Unless you are well-connected to the Web's current elite, the chance of your "HELP" being seen in this generation or at all is 10^10-1:1. I spend countless hours positioning web pages on search engines. Marketing has become the ugly monster that grew faster and hungrier than the Web grew vast.

There are, in my little community, less than half the population with computers and those who have computers many don't have Internet access. Their families likewise don't have Internet access so they have no family web presence. Don't think that I don't want everyone connected, I do; but more than a mere page with their face on it. Their page needs to be indexed by use of a "foaf" or perhaps RDF could create a searchable format, but it is crucial for me to be able to sort through the 100^100 (?) current web dcuments and see Abdullahs' "HELP" page. - I will gladly be spent for the salvation of my brothers - Paul Stonehocker; programmer/web developer.


Comments about the issues raised herein are welcome.

Sean B. Palmer, inamidst.com