About Helium
Why KnownSpace?

KnownSpace is a data manager---something that can help users build, organize, reorganize, annotate, search, mine, visualize, and navigate large, heterogeneous, dynamic data spaces. The aim is to provide a uniform platform for researchers around the world to develop and disseminate software to provide better interfaces, more intelligent applications, and more sophisticated and uniform networking---all for free, with source code easily changeable and available to anyone.

We tried to make KnownSpace easy to understand and to extend, but behind the scenes it is complicated. We expect it to get much more so over the next few years. And it took blood to get it even this far. Why are we bothering to do all this work? We wish to create, or at least help foster, a language that anyone can use to exchange active ideas with everyone. We see KnownSpace Hydrogen not as a finished project, but as a seed.

Different people may choose to take KnownSpace in lots of different directions, but as long as the kernel remains in some form or other then translators can arise between them. Each translator would be like a gateway on the internet: each separate evolving dialect of KnownSpace would be like a sub network, with its own peculiar customs and styles of expression, but the gateways could connect them all, so that code and data can pass from one to the next, thereby cross-fertilizing each sub network.

No one is smart enough to predict what everyone in the world can do. If ten people start working on KnownSpace they may not just generate ten variants but maybe more like 100 variants, since each point of intersection of those ten ideas can lead to new ideas, and of course further variants. Adding more people adds new ideas as the square of the number of people. The result? An explosion of ideas, at least some of which will get implemented and used, which could in turn lead to another explosion, and so on, like a combustion engine with ever increasing stroke cycles and ever more gas per cycle.

Ultimately this could take us as far as a world community of really smart software and a cyberspace. Quit laughing. Imagine if ten years ago some wild-eyed dreamer had said that one day we would have hundreds of millions of people directly communicating with each other. No middleman. No controlling corporation. No monopolistic fees. No artificial constraints. No government. We're betting that people really will want to take charge of their own computers and have things done their way. And we're betting that the results will be astounding.

So, ultimately, we work on KnownSpace because we hope that one day, ten years from now, maybe, there will be a gigantic computational network of towering complexity, mostly working for the betterment of humanity, we hope, and somewhere, deep at the core, is some version of what we originally slaved to produce. A seed.

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