Over at Dropping Knowledge they say they’ve built the world’s largest table. And also the world’s most technologically advanced table. Indeed it may well be. Go read about the project, which is well worth knowing about. (As I write this, their big get-together in Berlin begins in a few hours…)
What interests me about the table is that they’re recording 112 “Free Voices” who will each be answering 100 questions submitted by project staff and individuals all over the world. The video/audio recordings of the answers (comprising over 600 hours of video – 3 minutes per answer, times 112 participants, times 100 questions) will be stored, translated into a number of languages, and then put back online in a system that will allow us “out here” to research them and catalog them in whatever ways we wish. Under a Creative Commons license we will be able to repurpose these recordings as long as we give proper credit and do our distribution free of charge.
The questions, for the most part, will be about social, economic and other pressing human issues. If the project lives up to its publicity, this will be a storehouse of interesting stuff.
Oh – I asked what this has to do with ethics – didn’t I? Well the answer is that we at the Foundation did a pilot program a couple of years ago where we asked some teen-agers to think about ethical “dilemmas” that they had faced. And how they solved or did not solve them. Then we recorded them on video discussing these dilemmas. Where I intend to go with this is to get dozens, then hundreds, of people from many parts of the world, answering our questions about ethics. And get all of this recorded on video. And catalogued. So that you and I can go thru it looking for similarities – listening and watching as people tell their stories about how they faced problems and solved them. Much like the Dropping Knowledge team will record 112 stories all at the same time – all day long on September 9, 2006 – but our stories will be recorded many different places, at many different times, and contributed to the database over time. I’ll keep you posted on how the project goes.