The Knowledge of all things is possible.
– Leonardo da Vinci
I am a scientist, and I believe this is a hypothesis worth testing. So I began my search. I earned my doctorate in the field of pharmacy, because I wanted to understand the interactions between biology and chemistry, matter and energy.
Providing Critical Care at a Children’s Hospital, I have found Time to be the most valuable resource we have. We trade time for money, time for knowledge, and time for experience.
My mission is to help us all get more value for that trade.
The average life expectancy in the United States is less than 80 years.
Today far too many of us spend the first third of our life primarily trading time for knowledge, betting that knowledge will make us valuable enough to trade our second third of our life for money. If we succeed, we will be able to trade our final third of our life for self-directed, uninhibited experience.
That would be a great plan, if physiology and time had a different relationship with respect to our health and bodies.
There are inefficiencies in the way we traditionally acquire knowledge:
Lacking Requisite Knowledge for Understanding
When we learn, we find relationships between what we already know, and what we experience.
The connections to what we know, allow us to remember learned information within a context that we are able to access on demand.
Because of the way we traditionally distribute knowledge, many students spend years learning from their teacher’s perspective instead of from their own. Today that is changing.
Open Source tools provide a mechanism to map the connections between all shared knowledge. Leaders such as the Khan Academy have made public APIs that track the progress of learning.
We are integrating this functionality and taking it up a notch by allowing the option to search the wealth of human knowledge through your own lens of understanding. It then becomes possible to share maps with teachers, colleagues, mentors, experts, and pretty much anyone you can imagine. If we know the starting point, the end point, and all of the connections in between, we will always get where we want to go. We can stop getting lost along the way.
The visual cortex is particularly good at understanding and adapting to new environments rapidly.
There are 2 primary pathways information is transmitted in the visual cortex:
1. The “What pathway” is associated with form recognition, object representation, and the storage of long term memory.
2. The “Where Pathway” or the “How Pathway” is associated with motion, representation of object locations, and control of the eyes and arms when visual information is used to guide reading,
Most forms of knowledge acquisition practically eliminate motion. In the years of our lives when we learn most rapidly, our bodies allow us to move most easily. Motor control is directly connected to visual information and the understanding of context and cause, the “Where” and “How“.
Our visual systems have evolved to learn in a 4-D environment. It is far more efficient to structure the distribution of knowledge in the same form as we most effectively learn from.
We are building a system to match, a 3-D visual map of all open source knowledge, with the ability to choose not only what you learn, but the direction you want to take while you are learning, so you can learn in whatever way feels best for you.
We remember best when we learn while we do.
You can’t forget how to ride a bike, no matter how hard you might try. In the absence of major structural damage, our bodies and minds are connected, and work together to learn.
How much would you know today if you could understand and integrate any concept in the time it takes a child to learn to ride a bike?
We are linking crowd-sourced challenges and projects with the knowledge base required to solve them. Because we use open source material, the solution generated becomes incorporated into the knowledge base. The new set of connections draws closer seemingly unrelated topics: new projects, waiting to be solved.
Shouldn’t Homework Pay?
If time is worth money in the second third of our lives, shouldn’t we get the same deal in the first third of our lives? Starting the second third of life in debt sucks. Having limited financial resources in the first third sucks too. What if we incentivized learning, by using real world challenges as leverage. Why do we do homework problems? To practice the skills so they will be useful in life.
Real world problems have real world price tags. Grants exist to acquire the solutions to those problems at reduced social and economic cost.
What if we substituted real world problems for regular homework?
If we did that, the solutions would generate funds in the form of grants and donations. These funds can be paid to problem solvers as a scholarship or grant. We could also match donations to 501(c)3 organizations of the problem solver(s) choice. Imagine how much you would learn about the world we live in if your paycheck came with a matching donation to a charity of your choice? What if we gave this gift to our children in the form of scholarships, and allowed them to allocate matching resources to the areas they believe will help the most?
How much more research could universities accomplish if they could award scholarships for crowd-sourced solutions? What could our recent graduates share with us, if they had the resources to act today.
We all know knowledge is power.
In the second third of our lives we trade money for time. We spend so much time educating ourselves because we know that knowledge gives us more money for our time. What if you could save just an hour a day on whatever you spend time learning about now? What would you be free to do if you could save years?
How many times, while we are learning something new, do we have a flash of inspiration, a what if moment? Then we think to ourselves, maybe it’s too impractical, maybe it wouldn’t work, maybe I’ll look into it when I have some more time, I really need to focus on _____. Or worse, maybe we develop the idea, and realize we don’t have the time or resources to pursue it, and lock it away as a dream for another day.
What if we took the time investment out of the equation?
Our map will allow you to search multiple concepts, and map all of the connections in between, so you can quickly see what you need to make your idea work.
If we can come together and make this happen, I believe we can spend much more than a third of our lives enjoying the beauty of self-directed, uninhibited experience, which as it turns out, is an optimal condition for new learnings to occur naturally.
What We Need & What You Get
We are a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning every donation is tax deductible.
We are looking to raise $100,000 in our first round of funding.
All donations up to the first $70,000 will go directly to development costs.
$31,000 – Back-end Programming (Connecting all information)
$39,000 – 3-D visualization and information integration
The remaining $28,800* will go towards initial server and hardware costs as well as fulfilling all perks to all of our amazing contributors.
*(30,000 – 4% Indiegogo fee)
In the event that you are even more generous than we hoped:
Additional funds will go towards developing a collaborative intern program designed to teach college students nationwide how to develop and utilize a map of all of human knowledge, and use that information to tackle the biggest challenges facing our world today.
Technology is converging at an ever increasing pace. Open source resources are expanding to leverage this technology. Our goal is to integrate with high impact technologies as we continue to develop.
Once launched, we will have a platform for open source 3D printing CAD files to be freely searched, shared, integrated, and easy to use. What this means is that as you explore concepts, you can bring those concepts into reality without resistance. Anyone anywhere could rapidly prototype a solution to any problem paying only the cost of materials.
While we are developing our web based application, we will also be developing for virtual reality using Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, and Emotiv.
Our board of Directors comes from the health-care community. One of our central missions is to improve healthcare outcomes across the board. In order for this to be accomplished, we all must be aware of issues impacting our health. Our first proof of concept of Unify Everything was conducted on the PubMed Database. We successfully mapped the articles based on connections found through citations. The average person however, does not have access to the articles themselves. We found that we could apply the same concept with open source, peer reviewed, scientific and medical journals. Because we can do this we can, as patients and practitioners, better understand the landscape of medicine and health. We will achieve a higher standard of health.
Risks & Challenges
Licensing of content:
There are many forms of knowledge which are legally protected.
We work with open source knowledge sources so only the people that want to share end up sharing.
Visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ for information about the types of licenses we integrate.
That’s a lot of Information, can you handle it?
What makes this project doable, is that we don’t actually store the information, at least not at first. We work synergistically with organizations who are already storing the information we display. We store URLs & Lists of connections in order to create our maps.
We are using a flash based system for our first iteration, and will expand to platform independent software soon afterwards.
We will create programming challenges for the open source community to address any unanticipated technical issues.
Other Ways You Can Help
Enough people coming together will make Unify Everything a certainty!
If you want to see this dream become a reality now, please share our campaign!
We need all the help we can get, and I’d love to hear from you.
If you have another way you’d like to contribute, or have any questions please email me directly, and I will respond to you personally.
Thank you all so much for being so amazing, we couldn’t be more excited to get Unify in the hands of everyone!
Dr. John Roehm