Reviewed by TomBreeden:
"Knowledge grows by the evolutionary process of replication, variation and selection of ideas, Media affects the evolution of knowledge in society. A hypertext publishing system offers tremendous advantage over any current media in evolving knowledge."
"Broadcast media such as radio and television are "...poorly suited for critical discussion." (Broadcasting section) They do not lend themselves to the exchange of complex ideas. They are politically regulated. Filing, indexing, and retrieval of information is difficult. Misinformation is hard to critic or correct. Paper publishing (books, articles, journals), the medium of choice for expressing complex ideas is relatively open and inexpensive. It suffers, however "...from sluggish distribution and awkward access." (Paper Publishing section) The evaluation or critic of a bad idea, for instance, can take up to a year. A Hypertext publishing system, however, is relatively cheap (the network and many computers are already in place) and can offer instant criticism, evaluation or feedback."
"A hypertext publishing system needs to support full links that follow in both directions. The system needs to be fine-grained, having the ability to comment and critique down to the sentence level of an article. The system should be a public system serving free and open discussion. The system should have a way of charging for use and collecting royalties. The system should contain an automatic filtering system with preference set by the user to choose links that are worth viewing. Such a publishing system would increase knowledge quantitatively."
"A hypertext publishing system would be highly useful to a variety of professional fields. It would help "... to form intellectual communities, to build consensus, and to extend the range and efficiency of intellectual effort." (Abstract section) Many of the complex issues (acid rain, nuclear winter, genetic engineering, and many more) confronting society today require cross-disciplinary (chemistry, physics, economics, political science and so forth) discussions. A hypertext publishing system would help break down the existing communication barriers."
"The system would be more complex than present day web page technology. Unfortunately, to date such a system does not exist. However, Mr. Drexler has proposed an excellent model on which to build and compelling reasons as to why to build such a system."