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Cyborganize now has video


Paul Keith:
Cyborganize was something I saw in outlinersoftware forum and at the time, even though the person answered my questions - it seems I just couldn't get it. We also didn't quite align on what GTD meant.

The site finally has a full walkthrough-like video and even though I still don't get it, it's actually sharable now because of the more direct video. Even though this may still be vague, I highly recommend this if not only because it is more ambitious than most productivity systems post-GTD.

Page not recommended for AutoFocus/Do It Tomorrow fans though.

Actually the requirement for the system is a bit steeper than normal. Wordpress on your own server, emacs org mode, category and blog post making... all more seamless than it seems but at the same time philosophically very debatable in what it is trying to achieve.

There's also a support forum and the developer is very willing to answer the questions.

Oh and this is a bit narcissistic but here's his reply to me and you could see here where we may disagree with our interpretations of GTD. Normally not a problem but in this case because it's a deep system, there's some wondering on my part whether the person does know GTD or just using the buzz words interpretation. To be fair though, I was the one who stopped replying. Both in that I was too lazy to sign up to the group and also because I feel I get the process but at the same time, I feel the GTD terms were wrong but obviously I'm not an authority on the subject. (Also I feel guilty because the system I was writing had some similarities and yet it seems we're so different in our premise for why we are stating stuff - it just seemed as long as we differ on our perspectives, the discussion would be running on circles, talking over what GTD means and debating the true value of having a blog.)

Edit #2: Might as well add this post anyway.

I'm not sure if the author would consider this a worthy free version of Brainstorm (a paid program necessary for the system) but I feel skwire's Organize Text is much clearer at explaining the beauty of list splitting at the cost of text files but you would have to ask the author directly if my guess is correct.

Thanks for the mention Paul. I've both read the GTD book and implemented the workflow. Cyborganize has a different workflow than GTD because it was not designed with the limitations of paper in mind. I do adapt some of the GTD terminology to reflect the new workflow which may have generated confusion, if I didn't clarify where I meant Cyborganize GTD vs. traditional GTD. The linked program is interesting but I think BrainStormWFO provides a much more fluid experience. If I used that tool I would probably design a different workflow. To replicate BrainStormWFO's functionality one would need double if not triple digit numbers of text files and the overall sorting process would still not be very fast or permit easy manipulation within text files. My second best choice after BrainStormWFO would probably be MaxThink, although I haven't tested it against other options.


Welcome to Donation Coder! It's always great when a program author joins in on a discussion of their own project. :Thmbsup:

My second best choice after BrainStormWFO would probably be MaxThink
-josephbuchignani (September 20, 2011, 03:32 AM)
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I'm a big fan of Maxthink from as far back as its DOS days.

You might want to consider contacting it's creator:

Neil Larson
[email protected]

He might be interested in doing something with you. He had some additional products that were used in conjunction with Maxhhink (i.e. Houdini, TransText, etc) to allow for what he called "information annealing" which was a process of hyperlinked document editing and refinement very similar to what you're doing. Many have called it the precursor to the Wiki. In some respects, it anticipated the core idea behind HTML documents and Web.

There used to be a Wikipedia page on Larson and information annealing, but it doesn't seem to exist any more. There's a minor reference to Larson in an article on browsers (see below), but that seems to be about it.

In 1984, expanding on ideas from futurist Ted Nelson, Neil Larson's commercial DOS Maxthink outline program added angle bracket hypertext jumps (adopted by later web browsers) to and from ASCII, batch, and other Maxthink files up to 32 levels deep.[citation needed] In 1986 he released his DOS Houdini network browser program that supported 2500 topics cross-connected with 7500 links in each file along with hypertext links among unlimited numbers of external ASCII, batch, and other Houdini files.[citation needed]

In 1987, these capabilities were included in his then popular shareware DOS file browser programs HyperRez (memory resident) and PC Hypertext (which also added jumps to programs, editors, graphic files containing hot spots jumps, and cross-linked theraurus/glossary files). These programs introduced many to the browser concept and 20 years later, Google still lists 3,000,000 references to PC Hypertext. In 1989, he created both HyperBBS and HyperLan which both allow multiple users to create/edit both topics and jumps for information and knowledge annealing which, in concept, the columnist John C. Dvorak says pre-dated Wiki by many years.[citation needed]

From 1987 on, he also created TransText (hypertext word processor) and many utilities for rapidly building large scale knowledge systems ... and in 1989 helped produce for one of the big eight accounting firms[citation needed] a comprehensive knowledge system of integrating all accounting laws/regulations into a CDROM containing 50,000 files with 200,000 hypertext jumps. Additionally, the Lynx (a very early web-based browser) development history notes their project origin was based on the browser concepts from Neil Larson and Maxthink.[1] In 1989, he declined joining the MOSAIC browser team with his preference for knowledge/wisdom creation over distributing information ... a problem he says is still not solved by today's internet.
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That last sentence sounds very close to what you're striving for.  :)

Cool post 40hz. I will look into contacting him... first I better give his program the college try. He's one of the pioneers I look up to, along with David Allen, the SuperMemo founder, and a few others.

Info annealing is a good way of putting it. Maybe I'll dive deeper into his philosophy and products to do some compare/constrast for the MaxThink fans. Perhaps I can interview him on what he was trying to accomplish with info annealing and knowledge/wisdom creation, and the strategies he employed.

^Glad it piqued your interest!

Neil Larson deserves to be much better known and acknowledged than he is. IMO he's right up there with Brickland, Herzfeld, and all the other lesser-sung greats who's concepts are found in much of what we use and take for granted today.

If anybody is curious about what info or knowledge "annealing" is (and some of the confusion it creates for people) check out this link.  8)


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