Are lifestreams coming soon?

I Find Karma (
Fri, 14 Aug 1998 09:01:03 -0700

[Andrew, we met at WWW7 -- and this is a post to the mailing list FoRK

in case you were interested... Thanks for recommending Moog Cookbook, by
the way. I'm really enjoying their albums. Okay, now for our
lifestream discussion, already in progress...]

Michael and I have been talking a little about offlist lifestreams.

I wrote:
> > > > And your comment on the lifestreams is dead on. Memory is cheap,
> > > > so why shouldn't we be able to save everything from herein...

Michael wrote:
> > > glad there are others who are into this. a realtime lifestream
> > > system is what i want more than anything...

I wrote:
> > Same here. Same for Rohit. Hopefully we'll see this in our
> > lifetimes... 5-15 years, you think?

Michael wrote:
> 5 years for sure. *if* someone is working on it. it could happen even
> much sooner. i mean, the lifestreams project itself produced a working
> prototype 3 or so years ago -- it's kind of a sore subject for me
> because they do not share research info, will not release their source
> or even binaries, and do not respond to research queries -- but
> gelernter's group has been working on a commercial version for some
> time now. <>.

Right. Actually, Mirror Worlds' CTO Eric Freeman is on FoRK, but we
haven't heard from him in a while (ping!). Presumably they keep him
pretty busy...

I do wonder what the current status of Lifestreams and/or Cyberglue is.

Also, it is too bad that they don't share research, but I guess they're
incorporated now and must pay homage to the almighty dollar.

> what excites me much more is the casbah project,
> <>. the project leader was talking to me
> about this maybe a month ago, and he said that casbah (which they only
> describe as "an open source application framework/content management
> system") could be used to implement lifestreams-like functionality.

This is the first I've heard of it, but the concept of an openly
available groupware version of Lifestreams sounds great.

But 5 years? Hmmm. I guess I still want the *full* lifestream
capturing all audio and video too, that I could wear as a hat so it gets
everything in my life.

Of course, that starts to sound kind of Big Brothery. Want to know what
O.J. really did that night in June 1994? Check his lifestream. Want to
know how many times Clinton did it with Monica? Rewind and replay, baby!
Coming soon from Real Entertainment, Inc... Bill Clinton: Too Hot for TV...

> i still want to go further, save every keystroke in realtime...

This sounds like one of the projects in Xanadu...

...or at least the demo we saw at WWW7. A single unified world of data
to which everyone will have point-and-click access from whatever
computer, videogame or multimedia player they want to use. Real-time
saves of every version of everything ever written...

> Xanadu is an overall paradigm - an ideal and general model for all
> computer use, based on sideways connections among documents and files.
> This paradigm is especially concerned with electronic publishing, but
> also extends to all forms of storing, presenting and working with
> information. It is a unifying system of order for all information,
> non-hierarchical and side-linking, including electronic publishing,
> personal work, organisation of files, corporate work and groupware.
> All data (for instance, paragraphs of a text document) may be connected
> sideways and out of sequence to other data (for instance, paragraphs of
> another text document). This requires new forms of storage, and invites
> new forms of presentation to show these connections.
> On a small scale, the paradigm means a model of word processing where
> comments, outlines and other notes may be stored conceptually adjacent
> to a document, linked to it sideways. On a large scale, the paradigm
> means a model of publishing where anyone may quote from and publish
> links to any already-published document, and any reader may follow these
> links to and from the document.
> Xanadu is an ideal of open electronic publishing based on the paradigm
> mentioned above. It is intended to be especially free and fair, where
> all authors and readers are considered equal. It is a complete business
> system for electronic publishing based on this ideal with a win-win set
> of arrangements, contracts and software for the sale of copyrighted
> material in large and small amounts. It is a planned world-wide
> publishing network based on this business system. It is optimised for a
> point-and-click universe, where users jump from document to document,
> following links and buying small pieces as they go.

So, I guess realtime keystroke saves -- no need to hit the "save"
button, no data lost ever again! -- is just a matter of time.

I wonder if WebDAV's versioning plan is going to this fine a grain?
Jim or Yaron, any comments?


One begins to suspect that people are a bad influence on TV rather than
the other way around. Television's role is merely to assemble the
private bad taste of millions of individuals so it achieves critical
mass in the public square. The people who might once have gone to local
bearbaitings now cohere into a national audience, so the alarms go off.
-- Mark Dolliver, Adweek 4/20/98