Introducing Nextjournal
Martin Kavalar

This is tremendous. I am a bit bitter you beat me too it, but I was not currently working toward it anyway, so more power to you.

When I read Real World Haskell for the first time a couple of years ago, I was struck by the incredible power of being able to see other reader’s comments on the content and the adaptations this caused.

From that moment on an idea grew in my head to apply this same kind of feedback, not just to a single document, but dynamically between documents. This seems to be what you have done, although I have not delved deeply into NextJournal yet.

With the system I envisaged I also considered incorporating logical (premises, propositions, conclusions) scaffholding tags which would make it a simple matter of tagging an assertion with a tag to highlight common fallacies, or, in the context of Science, a misuse of a statistical method.

I also had the idea to make every document very open, but to allow contribution only through PGP keys. A malicious contributor could simply be filtered out, but with individual resolution so that different people could decide for themselves whether a particular contributor was malicious or merely maligned by others with dissenting views. No more edit wars, e.g. contentious Wikipedia pages. Documents could exist in a blockchain hooked into their own sidechain that could guarantee public access for as long as the chain were maintained.

I am considering starting a project to allow feedback from the investors of a principled cooperative investment fund which would include the mechanisms I mentioned above. Tapping into the real world experience of individuals to drive investment decisions.

The areas that I had already considered applying this technology to included:

  • scientific papers and data;
  • direct democracy;
  • RFC documents (as a Haskell enthusiast, I am excited by the possibility of making RFC documents the final human step in library creation, rather than the first);
  • a Wikipedia reboot; and
  • discussion forums (becoming in effect an extension of the meta around scientific papers, bills before parliament, etc.).

The next stage would be to hook this to a blockchain to drive it completely into the P2P arena. Hence all of these become a rich interconnected ecosystem, with scientific research interwining with RFC documents (image and data formats), and percolating on up through discussions and voting decisions surrounding political bills.

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