Let me make a couple of assumptions just for the sake of this discussion. Let's assume that my non profit MAGICCorp manages to actually land a sizeable grant, and a contract with VA. This might actually happen for several reasons, only one of which is that the government has some setasides for which I qualify, since I am VA rated as 100% disabled, and service connected. Let's assume that I land a contract to provide vocational rehabilitation to someone who used to be a mechanic, but lost both arms to an IED. He needs a new form of livelihood. Can I get some computer professionals, for example, to come to Miami or Jacksonville or wherever and teach a roomful of these guys how to use Xanadu product so that they can start providing content? Can I find some of these guys who are interested in working on operating systems and other tools for a safer environment, perhaps using Miller's E language? Can I set up the selection of the top three or four, and teach them systems management from within a Xanadu type environment? I don't know if you remember what a HyperCon is, but if I hosted one in a location full of these guys, could I get a substantial number of Xanatics to come help with all that, for a week or a weekend? Could I get some of those attending such an event to take one or two of these guys each on as a mentor and a role model? It might be possible to arrange with Disney or one of the other major facilities in the Orlando area to donate the facilities for a week (or even a couple of days), and maybe arrange a backstage tour of president's hall or something, to demonstrate a use for automation. I think at least some of the xanatics could manage to make something like that, especially if some of the sessions had specifically to do with Xanadu development.
It's interesting to see the context of Xanadu and its application to different types of content.
I have a new non profit corporation that I briefly mentioned to you. It is called "Many Americans Gathered In Care Corporation", and the acronym is "MAGICCorp". If I actually get a reasonable grant, I will (among many other things) be setting up an environment for rehabilitation, training, and so forth a number of veterans who got banged up in various ways while in combat. For whatever reason, they cannot or will not go back to their former employment. A gov't rehabilitation grant would at least imply that I provide for them some rehabilitation. Some might be suited to go sell this to businesses. Some might be suited to be programmers and analysts, and could be taught from the beginning of their computer career to think in this capability style as they develop and write applications. Some might be better suited to be operators. I have a friend about to get his Masters in social work, and I plan to subcontract a lot of the therapy functions to him. I have another friend who wants to focus on things like housing needs. Where there are kids involved, there will be caregivers, to free up that kid's adult or two for working time, programming time and so forth. Some of these folks or some of the people married to them will need jobs, and at half time or so can use a job that has the flexibility that health concerns in one of the family members demands. Some can be hired to deal with the day care. Each of these people can qualify for an SBA loan to set up their own business, and they will not all want to live in the same community. Last week, I discussed the possibility of setting up offices in the vicinity of each of the 186 Vet Centers in the US. If, coincidentally, therapy and some of the job training centers on E and capability environments, suddenly there are a number of people earning their living distributing security based on ideas involving Xanadu, the E language, Scott's "sandbox", and a developmental environment that supports all these concepts. I also know someone looking into the availability of the more than 9,000 trailers FEMA has sitting outdoors rotting somewhere. If a few of those are available to a non profit that is helping vets to reestablish their lives, we have a lot of square feet.
Scott is thinking of an accessible Xanadu framework that permits the loading of data (legal research) and the referencing of this material with commentary for future generations to revisit and review.
My thought is that a fine test of these concepts is the VA system, with its laws, and rules, and procedures, and policies, and so forth. I am thinking of a system whereby a veteran can load a profile, and an application product will go through all this data, and also search through information on three or four hundred non profit corporations, and build a report for the vet of all of the different federal, state, and non profit programs that might apply to his or her situation.
This product will require some AI, a lot of security consciousness in its development, and some massive data massaging to be useful.
My idea is to teach some of these guys that are coming back from Iraq all banged up how to think and how to program, using Xanadu concepts. Then each of them can implement their own ideas of what is important to know about the convoluted Veterans Administration system, so as to help others get reestablished in their own personal lives. In the process, they come up with ways to make a bureaucracy intelligible. Also, they learn enough about how to put systems of data together that they then become useful in the spread of Xanadu. Since it all works better with some means of support, a grant to set up such a training program will allow me to contract with the VA for this activity, giving them a means to support their families while they learn to readapt. On their end, all it calls for is a computer, access to the internet, and a desire to implement something specific. Many of these folks will also qualify for SBA grants to help them establish themselves in a business. A "cookie cutter" business plan will help steer them while their own business grows enough to support them and their families. I also know a few people (for one, a poet who writes about the trauma of war) who might want to produce content that others might want to access.
I am excited about E, and I do see a way that our current interests might coincide (given a couple of underlying assumptions). We will be teaching E to a number of folks who have only a little background in this stuff. We will also teach them to install it, use it, sell it, maintain it, and so forth. An E based developmental environment might make a server a much more reasonable way to build Scott's "sandbox", so we can see what these folks might put together.
Of course, there would be a lot of work involved in actually setting up such a thing. If it flies, there are consulting contracts with fifty or a hundred new startup companies, and whether any of them go anywhere or not may impact our future success (at least a few will do some things) but our current success depends on the grant money, until this snowball develops some momentum.
A graduate of this program will be certified to help a client to a more secure environment. The much larger user base for E and related products cannot hurt. If none of it actually flies, there is almost no downside, as there is no risk exposure. If there are no grants, there is no rehabilitation. Assuming some grants, there will be something here to snowball. Ted and I first met Jobs and Wozniak when they had less than we do right now. This works, if all the pieces fit.
I am very excited about E, and this might be a vehicle to spread the base. Of course, I am pleased that it all has the possibility of rehabilitating a lot of combat vets. But those who don't want to start their own companies will be hired by those who will. They will market products they have developed under the tutelage of some of those reading this note. I do not see a downside.
It also produces a bigger talent pool that can deal with this concept. Maybe what is required is a common backend system upon which multiple applications can test their content, sort of like a sandbox (thank you, Scott). This backend will end up being an operating system that is security aware. With several of these returning vets learning to think about programming and development in such an environment, its development can lead to the next major level in this field. I personally think that finally seeing some of Ted's ideas, along with some of the other folks that we know, putting together such an environment would be very gratifying.
These are a few of the things I have been considering. Upshot is, these guys need to reestablish in a life of some kind, Xanadu needs a group of folks trained in its use and methods, I need to find a way to serve some of those dependent on a VA system that is not properly serving its constituency, all those hundreds of thousands of dollars of unused grant money need to find a way back into the system so someone can spend them all, the entire computing industry needs a more secure platform, you need to find a market for your product. This just puts a lot of those needs together.
How can you help? Do you know any grant writers? Can you write a few paragraphs that expand on any of these ideas, or do some of these ideas bring to your mind ideas that I should have thought of but that have not yet occurred to me? Can you provide server capabilities for this purpose, or websitemaster services? Do you want to help in some of the teaching? Can you write business plans? I appreciate the time you took to read this, and look forward to whatever response you choose to give, if any.
PS What are you doing that I might help? What are you doing that might well fold into all this? What are you doing that could use a startup company willing to focus on your endeavor?