The presentation introduces and summarizes a nearly completed hypertext book project on the co-evolution of and revolutions in tools humans use and human cognition. It explores and combines threads of knowledge including: the archeology and history of technological revolutions, epistemology (the theory of information and knowledge), the emergence and nature of life, the evolution of record-keeping through the automation of information and knowledge processing from ancient Greece to the future. In other words, the evolution of and revolutions in human cognition is traced from our primate ancestors through to the emergence of posthuman cyborgs as cognitive technologies progressively become part of our cognitive processes. There is also a parallel story of the emergence of human social and economic organizations as living systems at a higher level of organization, with their own cognitive processes partially comprised of but different from the cognitions of individual humans belonging to the organizations. Because of the complexity of the story, it recursive develops a few core themes that become increasingly elaborated as new lines of evidence are woven into the picture.
The author, Dr William (Bill) Hall, bases the book on threads in his own personal evolution from a child born in 1939 and immersed in the world of marine biology; through physics, computers, neurophysiology, ecology and zoology, PhD in Evolutionary biology from Harvard, postdoctoral studies of the theory of knowledge and the history of evolutionary biology, personal computer journalism, technical authoring and documentation management for a software house and bank; to the last 17-1/2 years of his career prior to his retirement in mid 2007 as an engineering documentation and knowledge management systems analyst and designer for what was the Australia’s largest defense contractor. Around 2000 he returned to academia part time (full-time after “retirement”) as an honorary fellow to research the material covered in this hypertext book. The research is also represented in a number of publications covering the theories of knowledge and organization and the practice of managing knowledge in large organizations that can be found on Bill’s web site, The Evolutionary Biology of Species and Organizations.
On completion of the writing and editorial work finalize the book, it will be published via Kororoit Institute (http://kororoit.org). Crowd funding will be sought to complete the editorial and publishing work (more on this later).
The book will be a multimedia hypertext in the Web. The text is a fugally structured sequential argument crossing many disciplinary paradigms. Direct Web links from the text mostly define and discuss the linked terms or expand on them. Hyperlinked notes in the document offer more information, explanations, arguments and web links. Text citations link to the extensive bibliography where most items link directly to the complete work being cited.