#GenR Theme: The Decentralized Web – A Gutenberg Threshold! Running: Sept-Oct 2018

A call for contributions!

Image credit: NASA, ESA and the HST Frontier Fields team (STScI), Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt, 2013. https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1610a/ 
NB: A tip to McLuhan’s notion of ‘knowledge galaxies’ (McLuhan, 1962), and J.C.R. Licklider and his memos on ‘Intergalactic Computer Network’. (Licklider, 1963)

#decentralizedweb – A Generation R Open Science theme running from late August to early October 2018

http://genr.eu/wp/decentralized-web/

Intro: A Gutenberg threshold!

The frame of Gutenberg and the spread of book technology with the accompanying acceleration in learning, as an example of earlier information revolutions, has been a long-standing comparison for the growth of the Internet. For example in the book From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg by John Naughton. (Naughton, 2015)

What is of value in the comparison of the creation of the system of ‘movable type’ and systems of the ‘decentralized web’ is the similarity in needing the convergence of many existing technologies to create a new technological pathway for knowledge, such as the book, or the decentralized web. It is then the far reaching impact of these new pathways which in turn create new: knowledge systems, institutions, industries, knowledge regimes, and knowledge galaxies (McLuhan, 1962), etc.

  • With ‘movable type’ the technologies were, as examples: metallurgy, paper, the press, and type matrix, etc.
  • Similarly with the ‘decentralized web’ it is a convergence of technology and also accompanying developments that make it a game changer in opening up a new pathway for knowledge. Example technologies are: the Merkle tree, cryptoIDs, content addressable, LOD, ontologies, DevOps, continuous integration, etc.
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Collaborative Writing for Open SciFi: An Invitation!

Writing project postponed until after the summer!

The hot, hot, summer is effecting all of us in the Northern Hemisphere, so the Open SciFi writing project will be postponed until after the summer. Any questions, comments, please drop a line. Twitter @genr_r_ or email simon@genr.eu

Join in the collaborative SciFi short story writing on the Open Science topic of future tech ecologies: ‘the ideal Software Citation system’.

The aim is to collaboratively write an Open SciFi short story about what an ideal technology scenario would be for citing sources, especially software citation.

The story will be set ten years into the future, in 2028, at the time of a global disaster, an epidemic. What is thought to be the Ebola Virus Disease has broken out globally and scientist are rushing to find a cure or stem the outbreak.

What would be the impact that if since 2024 there had been fully automated knowledge systems where any ‘digital object’ in all Research Information Systems could be retrieved and seamlessly combined in real-time — by anyone, anywhere, and for free.

The finished article will be published 1st August on Gen R

The writing project will be postponed until after the summer.

Writing sprints each weekday 3-5pm CEST, starting Thursday 26 July

Message or DM on Twitter @Gen_R_ #FutureCite

See pad below (over) or link here https://hackmd-ce.herokuapp.com/U8gDNYE7QWmvDOloMaS4-A?both No login required!

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Consultation! Generation R – Platform Plans

Welcome to our first round of consultation for the future development of Generation R.

  • You can ask questions or make suggestion on chat with Gitter.
  • We will collate documentation on GitHub, please feel free to jump in.
  • You will find ongoing posts in this consultation category.

Our key issues in this initial consultation are:

  1. How to build a collaborative Open Research Notebook.
  2. Working on contributing to learning resources with our first theme of Software Citation and the partners Open Science MOOC.
  3. Ideas about what is missing on the Open Science community and how Generation R could lend a hand.

Decentralized Web: Theme Announce

This theme will be publishing from the start of September 2018 and run for six weeks.

This is an invitation to contribute and to help develop the ideas.

Ideas and literature will be collated here on GitHub and as a literature / sources list on a Zotero collaborative library

About

Among the many perspectives and motivations for the interest in the decentralization of the web two areas that seem most compelling for Open Science are:

  • firstly, the ability to verify the provenance of data objects, and
  • secondly, to aid making content independent of platforms and their inevitable lock-in — either from business exploitation or the end of the life cycle of a platform being reached.

The model of decentralization is already firmly instantiated as the Internet, a system that never crashes (fatally), or stops working, and can scale and evolve. The question it would seem we face is how to extend such resilience to research software, platforms, and infrastructures.

Currently the decentralized web has three different technology enabling models in the running.

  • Solid
  • Blockchain
  • DAT

All of these technology options are currently being run in research programmes in academia. We will look to assemble voices from these different communities to look at the motivations and outcomes of this R&D.

For the researcher we will look at how they can get involved in using what is on offer from decentralized systems while keeping their data and time invested in adopting or trialing these technologies somehow safe.