Massively parallel wetware (was Re: Lotus Notes...)

Nick Arnett (
Thu, 8 Sep 1994 13:18:09 -0800

At 9:29 PM 9/8/94 +0200, Daniel W. Connolly wrote:

>With the advent of a few tools, the web should once again take on
>the collaborative nature that it was meant to from day one.

I'll second that, with another "that's what customers want" tossed in. The
non participative consumer model is bound to fail in most applications;
it's misplaced faith in the kinds of tools that our company builds.
Software alone isn't good enough to be a useful filter/prioritizer for most
kinds of information, I'd argue.

There's a fundamental truth about people here. For most subjects, we
decide what's interesting and valuable in the context of a community, not
as individuals. There may be evolutionary reasons for this, based on the
philosophical notion that the more people who know something, the more
likely it is to be true. (Studies have rather conclusively demonstrated
that the more people who know something, the faster it can be taught to

I have no doubt that the most interesting, successful and (dare I say)
profitable broad-based information services on the net will include
"massively parallel wetware" (participation by a community) as one of the
filtering components. Tools like ours will extend their reach, but I don't
think anyone is even near building software that will eliminate the need
for human opinion leaders.

Mendicant sysops don't have to worry about becoming redundant, I suspect.


Nick Arnett "We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunity."
Verity Inc. -- Pogo (Walt Kelly)