token_word intro

by Jack Seay

June 8, 2003

To see the links, click on the link "-show embedded quotes " at the top or bottom.

To see if there are later versions of this document, click on the link "-documents that quote this document" at the top or bottom.

The purpose of token_word is to give you experience with 2 of Xanadu's important capabilities - transclusions and micro-payment on the Internet.

1. Transclusions: These are used by token_word to simulate links. They are used to build composite documents from permanent segments. When you create a document, it becomes permanent. To create a new version, all the text that will stay the same is seen from the original and only what is new is added. This in turn becomes a new permanent document that includes original text and segments pointed to in the previous version. Links don't break because they refer to a specific unchanging version.

2. Micro-payments on the Internet: Every character of text is bought from the original writer only once. If it is read again in another document, it isn't paid for again. If you read a quotation from author B in an article written by author A, then A gets paid for what A wrote and B gets paid for what B wrote, but A quoted. This encourages complete freedom to quote anyone in as much length as desired, since they get paid for you quoting them and the link to their full document can always be followed.

Features of Xanadu not (yet) in token word: links, formatting, non-text media.

3. Links: user and author definable types. Can be used to designate dimensions and any 3 shown at any point in time.

Advertisers will be required to use links that indicate sponsorship. Readers/viewers/listeners who want to let a business pay for a document may select from a menu of ads to view. This will be completely optional. You will be able to exclude any objectionable, irrelevant or uninteresting ads from future viewing. You, not advertisers, will decide on content. Why should they, not you, decide the viewpoint and substance of your intellectual and emotional life? As long as there are businesses with products and services to sell, there will need to be advertising. But the customers should make the rules on when, where, and how they will see and hear ads. And no business has any right to prevent the truth from being told about them. If the cost of distributing digital media is kept cheap enough, most people will pay their own way most of the time to avoid the distraction of ads, as they do at a movie theatre. They will request ads when they are in the mood, just as they look up Yellow Page ads. The power to blackmail must be taken away from the producers of deceptive ads for fraudulent, dangerous, or worthless products and services. See the Cluetrain Manifesto

Links could even include such types as emotional content (fear, awe, anger, laughter, sorrow, horror, dread, compassion, love, loneliness), priority (hide if priority is less than 5 out of 10, keep reminding me of #10 items), strength of connection (loose, moderate, tight, critical), media type, relationship (proves, disproves, supports, argues against, neutral), even hybrid or combination types. There could be contradictory types of links created between 2 locations due to differing viewpoints of those creating them. Different beginning assumptions logically lead to different conclusions. The logical process leading from assumptions through the current documents to different conclusions can be traced and examined, commented on, modified, and rated. The beginning set of assumptions can come from multiple conclusions arrived at from already studied sets of assumptions, discussion, and reasoning leading to the conclusions. See Xanadu Chat

4. Formatting: This will include the usual text attributes such as font, size, color, italics, bold, etc. It will also include collapsible outlines, visual 3D diagrams showing links to any selected group of dimensions. These can even change through time to indicate states in the past or plans for the future.

Even the entire state of Xanadu can be viewed as it existed at a particular time in the past. (Actually Xanadu is still a work in progress at the time of this writing).

5. Non-text media: pictures, sound, recorded and synthesized speech, animations, video, 3D graphics (animation, CAD, mathematical, scientific, artistic and combinations of these). Hybrids such as graphics produced by music and movies containing all source materials used in producing it. As for how these media can connect people, see

Current DVD special features could be expanded upon. At any point, an actor or actress could be pointed to for name, career info, bio, etc. Credits would include links to pictures and scenes. Audio dialog would be linked to both screenplay and books.

Product catalogs could link to repair manuals with video, definitions, related products, reviews, patent documents, company information, video chat with customer service, VR exploration of the internal structure of gadgets, and much more.

Philosophical writings could be linked to movies that illustrate a world-view, music influenced by it, literature that places it in terms of human lives, diagrams showing interrelationships of science, art, biographies, history, politics, theology, etc. As a person follows the links, sees the interdependencies, reads definitions, writes reviews and summaries, creates art and music to accompany "documents" - a new form of interdisciplinary "self" education becomes possible based on curiosity, tracing cause and effect, and creative expression unhindered by the straight-jackets of current practice. Since anyone can create their own version of everything they read, hear, and view, they can construct a model of their own worldview which anyone else can also examine and incorporate into their own.

There are so many things in life that can't be expressed in words alone. There are a few people in the world who can express a great deal in words, but for most of us, more is needed. This is why we need music and movies also. There will still be many things that can only be expressed by physical presence.

See also:

From token word to Xanadu

When World-views Collide: Freedom and Xanadu

I wish I could

Xanadu Chat

token word

Note on creating versions in token_word: when creating a new version, you can transclude the previous version except where linking to a different document entirely. Use a transclusion to the other document you want a link to, not to the previous version of the current document.

Back to main page