7 principles of the Open Web Mind

Mark Jeffery
by Mark Jeffery
founder of the Open Web Mind

When you start work on an ambitious project, you’re forced to make many foundational decisions.

It’s hard to know the consequences of each and every one of those decisions for the project into the future. Will this decision help the project thrive? Will that decision constrain it?

The solution, I think, is to establish the fundamental principles of the project right from the start. That way you can simply ask of any decision: is it consistent with those principles?

Here, then, are 7 principles of the Open Web Mind.

Principle 1 – Open

This one’s so fundamental that it’s right there in the name.

The Open Web Mind is open.

It’s an open protocol: anyone can create a mind that can talk to any other mind.

It’s open source: if you want to host your own mind, you’ll be able do so with free software.

It’s open data: all the facts in all the minds are uncopyrighted.

And it’s open-minded: it’s a place where all thought is allowed, as long as it’s not illegal.

Principle 2 – Basic

The Open Web Mind is a foundation for people to build on.

It includes anything that’s basic: anything essential to sharing human intelligence.

It excludes anything that’s not: anything over-specific; anything over-complicated; anything superfluous.

By focusing on the basics, it allows people to build on it in ways never imagined.

Principle 3 – Boundless

The Open Web Mind is designed to be boundless.

It should impose no limits: on the ideas it can represent, on the thoughts it can support, on the languages in which those thoughts and ideas may be expressed.

Principle 4 – Rough

The Open Web Mind will always be as messy as any human mind.

It will never be perfect and it will never be complete.

If it required perfection or completeness, progress towards perfection and completeness would be stifled.

Instead, it embraces messiness: half-formed ideas, half-baked thoughts, rough approximations.

Principle 5 – Robust

One way to be robust is by owning everything: all search, all social, all commerce. That leads to closed-minded monopolies that try to throttle the competition.

The Open Web Mind seeks to be robust by allowing the people who build on it to own what they build. That leads to an open-minded movement of people who support each other’s efforts.

It seeks to be anti-fragile: the more people build on it – the deeper and the wider the movement – the less vulnerable it will be to those who might want to kill it.

Principle 6 – Human

The Open Web Mind isn’t artificial intelligence, it’s human intelligence.

It doesn’t think, we do.

Machine learning may have peripheral applications in the Open Web Mind, such as identifying abuse; but it’s not what the Open Web Mind is, at its core.

The Open Web Mind is human.

Principle 7 – Free

The Open Web Mind is free-as-in-freedom.

No one tells anyone else what to do.

When you create your own mind, you don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission. You ideate your own ideas and think your own thoughts.

If you don’t like the Open Web Mind hosting, you’re free to host your mind elsewhere.

If you don’t like the Open Web Mind protocol, you’re free to follow your own protocol.

If you want to build a business on Open Web Mind principles, software and data, go right ahead.

As far as is feasible within the limits of the law, the Open Web Mind opts for freedom.

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