by Gail Taylor - January 3, 2004
@ Elsewhere kitchen table
have kept notebooks - on and off - since 1961. Unfortunately,
I lost all of my notebooks and drawings in an unexpected
and rushed move in 1971 [future link].
Since 1974, I have practiced extensive journaling
in a variety of formats and virtually all of this
material is still available. In total, this makes
up an extensive
record - several thousand pages covering the last
30 plus years. These notebooks document the roots
of my present activities and the context out of which
my future work will evolve.
in 2003, I decided that this web site’s electronic
Notebook could not be complete without the inclusion
of these hand written notes and drawings. There is
a caveat to their use [link] in
that they are, in some cases, highly personal. However,
without them, would make an unwarranted distortion
by default. Since the purpose of this part of my
web site is the exploration of what it means to attempt
creative, serious and examined life in our times, an omission
kind and scope will not do.
|The scanning, entry and annotation
process takes a few minutes a page.
This means, given the time that I can devote
to it, it will take about two to three years to complete
of putting the entirety of my existing Notebooks
on the web. Because of this, I am started this task
post 9/11 Series Notebooks, 1 through 7 in reverse order,
which document the key transition period of MG Taylor
life as related to our society, itself, in transition.
And, in parallel to this, older notebooks (1974
to 2001) on a page by page basis as they are used
by me for a communication or for some project.
new series of Notebooks are underway now that Notebook
#7 of the post 9/11 Series is complete.
These (as of the beginning of 2005) are all active
posting will be done realtime. The focus
of these Notebooks is more “outward” than those than
come before. One, iteration6, will document
(in part) the transition of MG Taylor from a company
to a true
ValueWeb. The second, FutureViews, will
support my process of publishing and speaking on
to our global society and its transition (hopefully)
to a sustainable culture-economy-ecology. The third,
will focus on Architecture: ideas and projects
(past, present and future) as I devote more of my
time to this aspect of my work and
Since February, two more Notebooks have been added to the series: The Remaking of Matt Taylor, this will focus on personal changes I have to make in order to better respond to the conditions and opportunities ahead; and Decision Protocols and Actions which focuses on specific operational practices within MG Taylor to make it more fit to succeed at its mission.
|The Xanadu Series has been added. These Notebooks focus on the “Road to Xanadu” and the implications of this Project. Xanadu - as a mature functioning system - is my present “end-state” model; it “contains” all aspects of what I have set out to accomplish. This is an effort which will require, at minimum, two more decades of focus. It may be possible to see a virtual Xanadu in late 08, early 09 and the beginning of the material Xanadu a decade later.
|Added the Tipping Point Notebook series. These notebooks will document Tipping Point experiences on three levels of recursion: my personal life, The MG taylor enterprise and the cusp point of the ongoing transformation of our global society which I call THE HUMAN ENTERPIRSE.
to the INDEX of Notebooks prior to
the post 9/11 Series (as they are scanned
and posted) can be found at the bottom of this page as can the INDEX to the series starting in 2005.
two best book I know on personal journal making is At
a Journal Workshop by Ira Progoff and Writing
the Mind Alive by Linda Trichter Metcalf and
Tobin Simon. I read Progoff in the mid 1970s and
he inspired me to
documentation again; his book has been on all 500
book lists ever since [rbtfBook].
I just recently [October
2004] discovered Metcalf’s
and Simon’s work and this book has been added
to the 500 list [rbtfBook writing the mind alive].
Their focus is in finding you own authentic voice
and their method has application far beyond doing
a journal and writing. I believe it describes a habit
[link: creative habits] useful
for all creative endeavors (including architecture),
as well as, discovering how to live a life of value.
Heinlein said that “if it ain’t documented
is ain’t science.” Creating a life is
certainly a broader challenge than science alone
can address, and, there are many processes
from science that can be directly transferred
to business, the arts and personal arenas. This is
of the basic premises of our entire System and Method [futuer link].
There is great value in the process of keeping a
journal in itself; however, life is greatly augmented [future link] if
the journal is used in an active way and is used
for feedback [future link] from
the past to the present, as well as, the present
back to the “past.”
consider all of my Notebooks, since 1974, to be active;
I keep them on a shelf by my writing desk, carry
many of them with me when I travel, and continue
to write in all of them in present
Generally, I use the right hand page, progressively
as I move forward in time, and go back to the left
to insert comments from the “now” I happen
to be “in” at any moment. Often,
I will copy sections from old and new pages and insert
as is appropriate, to make a connection - a physical
hyper-link - across time [link: see example]; also, I insert pictures
and drawings of completed products, processes and
events connecting them to when the idea first emerged.
often years, even decades, between the birth of an
idea and the first realization of it, this is very
useful in holding the context of the idea,
and the circumstances from which it sprang. This
documents the implementation curve of of these ideas,
their times and the effort necessary to bring them
into being [link: see example].
All of this represents aspects of their story and
the world of which they are a part. This
is a key technique of Weak
Signal research [link: weak signal research].
Design Science as Bucky
defined and practiced it [rbtfBook: your private sky - fuller].
know of no better way, than personal journaling,
to hold context, over a long period of time, and
of one’s own work and being. What
you and I know of ourselves, no matter how introspective
is but a fraction of our true complexity. Keeping
a journal is a major tool for building the ability
to be The Observer of one’s own life
and times. Life and life-like things cannot
be understood, controlled nor directed; they are
emergent [link: zone of emergence engine] phenomena.
Jaynes believed that consciousness, as we now experience
it, emerged with writing; the feedback from thinking,
writing it down - creating an “outside” artifact
- and then reading it and realizing the self in this
process, was to him, the means by which our species
If this be true or not, it can be observed that the
disciple does cause one to reflect upon one’s
own processes and motives, accomplishments and failures,
in a powerful and unique way. The act itself becomes
a major means of what Lilly calls Meta-Programming
is one final aspect of how I use my Notebooks that
I wish to note: I have always used them in real time,
as a work-product, to go directly to production.
My notebook pages have become pages in Taylor Manuals,
AI products, DesignShop designs, Patent applications
and attachments to e-mails to supplement ideas and
their promotion [link for
examples of this]. This technique promotes
rapid work iterations, real-time collaboration and
supports the entire prototyping process. It also exemplifies
a major aspect of the Taylor Process which is to
show an idea or design in the the visual
for its true developmental status per the Design
Formation Model [link: design formation].
Publishing these Notebooks, on my web site, in conjunction
with my electronic Notebook is merely the next logical
step in a practice that I have used for over
30 years. This is particularly important when you
consider the time it takes for an idea to come to
the fact that for every idea that does there are
many “failures” that may have future
value; and, perhaps most importantly, the reality
that long after people
die, nations decline and buildings and things crumble,
the IDEA lives in the form of the written
work and drawing. Think of Leonardo. Ideas can and
do lay fallow for years - and centuries - and then
brought to life and transformed by a bright mind
new potential in the old. This is the gift of civilization
and holding this material and making it accessible
is the great task of the Library.
These Notebooks are, therefore, a product in themselves
and may hold more long term value
executed works that flow from them [link: 20,000 steps to a planetary culture].
this brief introduction, the INDEX to the
post 9/11 Notebooks follows. It is organized
in reverse chronological order #7 to #1. Other Notebooks
(prior to and after this series) each has an unique
numbering system. The completion of a master numbering
InfoLog system is still in the future. The beginning
of an InfoLog listing of the materials put on this
site will be in place by the end of the second quarter
of 2006 [future link].
series was started
just following September 11, 2001 as I was
sitting in a hotel room in Holland watching
CNN’s unfolding description
of the event. Gail and I had just finished
a wonderful week long event at the World Economic
Form Headquarters with their Future Leaders group
and had gone
to Amsterdam, afterward, where we found the
Moleskin® notebooks [link: moleskin us web site] which
have become my standard. All
My Notebooks, in this series, are Moleskin
except for one when I ran out and could not
find one. It just so happened that we
discovered them, for the first time, the week
of 9/11 - they were new on the market at this
of a classic that was used for two centuries.
I highly recommend them. Gail went back to
US and I stayed in Holland
Dip session for European members of the
Cap/EY ASEs. The news of the attack came during
the last hour of the session and I returned
to the hotel where I stayed, nearly a week,
I could get a flight home. I spent the time
watching CNN, thinking and writing. My response [link: what if] to
the sickening events of 9/11 are, because of
prior experiences [link: queens die proudly 1947],
somewhat different than the typical American
- however, there is no question that 9/11 will
turn out to be a watershed event in the history
civilization [future link] -
it just may be that history will view the cause
and effects from a somewhat different vantage
point than we typically do today - I certainly
hope so. That this event,
and many unrelated to it, triggered a
the MG Taylor Enterprise and, thus, in my life
is also without question. This series of
Notebooks, which was completed on February 16, 2005 in Washington D.C. - along with these web pages that
follow on and remarkably coherent story. When
the announcement was made, there were about
75 of us together having our final
a shocked silence, the first thing said was
“Matt, this is what you have been
talking about for three days.” This
is true as I had in Chicago (where I specifically
mentioned Osama bin Laden, the World Trade
Center) and in New York in the weeks proceeding
the trip to Switzerland. This came up in the
context of explaining why Gail and I created
NavCenters and their role is solving global
scale, systemic problems [link: mg taylor mission].
I had mentioned that, in our mid 70s research
into future threats, that the only question
(of hundreds of them) we could not find multiple
credible alternatives to was “how
do you maintain a
free and open
society under the threat of terrorism?”
Terrorism, and particularly religiously motivated
is unique in the problems it poses and the
responses that are likely in response to it [rbtfBook to be linked].
All this is another story and documented elsewhere;
it is relevant, here, in the context of the
DNA Dips, where I was focusing on the WHY of
work, the time with over a 100 young leaders
from more than 70 nations in Geneva, to the
events of 9/11 that have radically altered
the course of US history. This was convergence
of great poignancy.
of the first posting of these Notebooks (January
3, 2004), I was on
focus of my notes is on the goals for 2004
[link: page 464 post 9/11 series].
These goals are aimed at reaching a take-off
point for our
Enterprise and thus the reality of being able
to do the work we set out a
quarter of a century ago to do.
We are at the convergence of technology, capability,
network critical mass, social acceptance and
historical need - remarkably, as we anticipated
long ago [future link].
The question is if we will be able to rise
to this occasion and become the agent of
change and resolution that we have
spent so long in training for [ future link].
The answer to this question
will become clear over the next several years.
9/11 Series 2001 - 2005
# 7 pp 503 to 552
I am going to retreat - and think. There
is the next 25 years to design - and
# 6 pp 452 to 501 ---[12-05-03 to 7-24-04]
answer is the sucessful creation of the
ValueWeb. All else follows from this
#5 pp 402 to 451 ---[9-05-03
is not easy - it is also not always enjoyable.
Taken as a whole, this may have been the
most creative three months of my life.”
#4 pp 351 to 401 ---[01-21-03
#3 pp 242 to 350 ---[04-04-02
#2 pp 122 to 241 ---[12-31-01
“In retrospect, this probably was the low point in the history of the Enterprise in terms of prospect..”
#1 pp 1 to 121 ---[09-13-01
“It also marks my return to hand notebooks as a serious and consistent effort.”
of March 5, 2005, Notebook # 7 of
the “post 9/11 Series” is completed,
scanned and posted. This Notebook is the last of
this series. It is the bridge to the iteration6 [link: my personal view on iteration 6] process
which will mark the closure of the 1979 to 2004 “start-up”
period of MG Taylor and the finish of this autobiographical
section of my web site - 1938 through 2004.
of professional and personal aspects of my life are
resolution [link: page 534 post 9/11 notebook].
On a personal level, I expect that my work associate
with MG Taylor will radically shift
from founder and principal to a participant and emeritus
role. I expect MG Taylor will give way from a focus
on itself as an organization to becoming the Systems
Integrator of a viable ValueWeb [future link].
This means that I will be free to pursue my interests
philosopher and architect. It means that MG Taylor
- most likely called something else and given a new
name - will be acting on a global scale and more
directly directly serving its mission.
Notebook #7 documents the
staging work necessary to these transitions.
I have noted elsewhere, 9/11 will prove to be significant
both to the the history of western civilization,
although in ways not apparent today, and to my own
work. It is my belief that the end result of 9/11
will be a radical reassessment of our present paradigm
and the policies by which we engage with the rest
of the world. This means that 9/11 may be the catalyst -
or one of a few - that will open the door for the
kind of engagements that MG Taylor was created
to facilitate. It is not without relevance that the
RDS was employed at the 2005 WEF
Annual Meeting [link: rds index].
This is on sign of many that the transformation is
beginning. What remains in question is if we have
started soon enough to avid the many negative consequences
on our horizon.
Notebooks #1 through #7 of the post 9/11 Series cover
a little over three years of my nearly 49 years of
working life (as of 2005). They constitute 552 pages of the nearly
pages of written material, hand-drawn and electronic
notebooks that are available documenting my work
and personal journey, as well as, the history of
MG Taylor Corporation and its affiliate enterprises.
As I have noted, I forecast in 1983 (page 511 of
Boulder Notebooks Series) that it would
take about 20,000 pages of documentation to cover
the history of this work to the point of significant
social transformation [link: page 448 post 9/11 notebook].
If this turns out to be true or not will be answered
in the future. These Notebooks make up about 5% of
this effort to date and about two and a half percent
of the projected effort. I think, however, they may
turn out to be significant beyond their numerical
think we are at a social tipping point [rbtfBook to be linked] and
there is no question in my mind that this is a significant
transition period in my working life. The purpose
of this biography in the form of a real time electronic
web-based Notebook is to document those factors that
compelled me to take the path I did and the lessons
I have learned along the way. The purpose is to understand
what it means to live a life that is significantly
out of step with the present times while remaining
committed to the ideal of contributing to these times
with the minimum of notoriety, controversy and
conflict. It is to document the consequences of seriously
proposing projects of an enormous scale and “ambition,”
even by modern standards, without attempting to make
use of traditional organizational structures and
uses of influence, wealth and power.
soft approach has characterized my life ever since
1971 when I learned directly the consequences of
entrenched power [future link].
And, it has formed the basis of the low profile approach
taken by MG Taylor since
its formation in 1979. While
we have had our successes and failures - ups and
downs - organizationally and financially, for an
change who has promoted and facilitated transformation
at the scope that we have - in the sensitive areas
that we have - we have managed to avoid both controversy
and retaliation to a remarkable degree.
have has moments when we played at a large
scale with issues of great weight. Enough to know
that the method we have created can deal
with both the
inherent complexities and “politics” involved in
issues of importance. I consider this history to
be “proof of concept” but not sufficient
our mission. In order to accomplish our mission,
we will have to be far more organizationally effective
and socially transparent than we are today. To me,
this is what iteration 6 is about [link page 493 post 9/11 notebook].
We must transform ourselves from an organization
to a ValueWeb [link: page 500 post 9/11 notebook].
task is without doubt upon us now. Notebook #7 will
document our “final”steps toward this goal. The work
coming our way is of far greater significance than
the majority of the opportunities of our past. If
we fail to transform our own Enterprise, I believe
failure in accomplishing our mission, as well as,
great negative organizational, social and economic
times make organizations and leaders. There are many
who have great talent and much to offer. It takes
more than this. One has to step up to the specific challenges of the time and act in a way consistent
nature of these challenges. This is not the time
for a traditional
“leader” nor is the time for a traditional organization.
This is the time for emergent, self-organizing ValueWebs
and a new form of “servant leadership” [rbtfBook to be linked].
Those that miss the real challenge of their times
are relegated to the dust bins of history no matter
their apparent success or failure by contemporary
set out to be an architect. I desired to build beautiful
buildings. Along the way, I discovered issues of
far greater scope than my personal ambition. I developed
a case with my ReBuilding the Future seminars in
1975 [future link] and
confounded an organization to carry out an agenda
to deal with what I had discovered. The scope of
this agenda [link: worthy problems] is
far beyond reason. It is sensible to judge it the
ranting of a fool or megalomaniac.
I have wanted to turn away from this “insanity” almost
every month of the last 360 months of this journey.
The growing evidence, however, is compelling. Surprisingly,
disappointingly, I see no better alternative being
offered in the market place of ideas, services and goods. A global network of NavCenters able to facilitate
GroupGenius to dissolve the growing conflicts and
complexities that stand in the way of a healthy
world seems to me to be the tool needed as people
up to the true situation that humanity faces. This
has to be the result of an emergent bottom-up process.
This system of NavCenter with Xanadu as a hub has to be a truly neutral facility. It
has to be free of traditional forms of power and
control. It cannot be the expression of organization
It has to be the expression of potential HUMANITY.
to New Series of Notebooks started in 2005
click on me to go to 05, 06 & 07 Notebooks INDEX following 9/11 series
|To: this Series in chronological Order
|To: Future Views Notebook #1
|To: iteration6 Notebook #1
|To: ARCHITECTURE Notebook #1
|To: Decision Protocols Actions NB #1
|To: ARCHITECTURE Notebook #2
|To: Tipping Point Notebook
to Notebooks 1974 to September 11, 2001
click on p 568 graphic to go to pre 9/11 Notebook INDEX
Renascence Era Notebooks
1974 to1979 - iteration1
Boulder Notebooks Era
1980 to1983 - iteration2
Acacia Notebooks Era
1984 to 1985 - iteration3
St. Augustine - Hilton Head Era Notebooks 1986 to 1995 - iteration4
EY Era Notebooks
1996 to 1998 - iteration5
Palo Alto Era Notebooks
1999 to 2001 - iteration6
Post 9/11 Era Notebooks
2005 through 2008 - iteration6
January 3, 2004
voice of this document:
INSIGHT POLICY PROGRAM
January 3, 2004
April 19, 2008
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• 20051231.123409.mt • 20071225.878788.mt •
this document is about 99% finished)
Taylor 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008