OLIVER MEREDITH COX | Systems Humanist



My blog: olivermeredithcox.com

Twitter: twitter.com/peoplespoet



Founder | HSM (Hyperstructure Hypermedia) | A way for users to communicate ideas that captures the nuance of human thought, while helping them to own and control what they create.

CMO | Green Matters | A company pioneering the use of environmentally sustainable natural dyes.

Lead Digital Strategist | Thunderfoot | A digital marketing agency.




Functional structures that connect and/or organize media, that can be arranged with arbitrary depth, nesting and recursion.


The quality of systems which are both flexible enough to express the complexity and nuance of human thought and which have features that lend themselves to the shape of our cognition. (Ide, as in idea, iso as in equal to, morph as in shape.)


Media that is ideisomorphic.


Dialogue with oneself, auto as in self and logue as in dialogue (from the Greek logos, meaning speech). This is not a true coinage in that it is referenced on Wordnik but I haven't seen it referenced formally. Interestingly, it is in normal usage, but refering to a blood or other transfusion to oneself.

Philosophical Anti-Pattern:

Like an anti-pattern or coode smell as in programming, but for philosophy. philosophical anti-patterns are not bugs/don't break the program; rather, they show design weaknesses that may slow development or increase the risk of bugs in the future.

Postelism or Robustism

Something comfortingly reciprocal/balanced, often but not always in the form: "be convervative in x and liberal in y" e.g. "Be conservative in your breaking, be liberal in your stopping distance." e.g. "Be conservative in your use of language, be liberal in your reading and acceptance of new terms."


The quality of things that are becoming less interoperable. People often bemoan polarization of political groups, when sometimes polarization can be quite interesting; what is really dangerous is the inability of the groups to engage in discourse.

Computer Network of Arbitrary Scale or CNAS

A computer network that can or is intended to work on any scale, as opposed to a local network, for example. This is distinct from the Internet, which is one type of CNAS, i.e. it is not just a network of networks, but one that has a particular configutarion and runs on specific technology (TCP/IP). CNAS is the generalization of such an arbitrarily-scalable network.


My Ideas  

Six Principles for the Technology of Communication (Original Article)

The technology of communication should:

  1. Be free and open source.
  2. Be owned and controlled by the users, and should help the rightful entity, whether an individual, group or the collective, to maintain ownership over their information and their modes of organizing information.
  3. Have open and logical interfaces, and be interoperable where possible.
  4. Help users to understand and master it.
  5. Let users to communicate in any style or format.
  6. Help users to work towards a system that facilitates the storage, transmission and presentation of both the totality of knowledge and of the ways in which it is organized.

Six Principles for Conversational Interoperability (Original Article)

  1. When speaking: be clear.
  2. When listening: be charitable.
  3. When speaking: try not to cause offense.
  4. When listening: do not take offense.
  5. When good-faith errors occur: be charitable.
  6. When bad-faith errors occur: treat them like good-faith errors.

Six Principles for Good Faith Conversations (Original Article)

  1. All fora should publish lists of logical fallacies for people to avoid.
  2. All fora should publish lists philosophical anti-patterns.
  3. Claims of bad faith should be recorded diligently, so as to discourage people from debasing the coin.
  4. All claims of bad faith should be falsifiable.
  5. All claims of bad faith should be reciprocal: if you make an accusation, you should own up to a past infraction of your own.
  6. Where possible, use the Good Faith Bonds system: people join the organization by posting bond, agreeing that they will act in good faith and avoid baseless accusations of bad faith thereafter. Those found acting in bad faith or making bad faith accusations forfeit their bonds.


Email: my first name @ this domain name.