From idea to company to ... timecube?
January 12, 2010 2:14 PM   Subscribe

"Pile is a new, radically relationist approach to data, structures and computing" invented by Erez Elul and supported by Peter Krieg (obit, much more in German here) promised much. In 2000, a company was founded (pilesys on, later a book was published ("The paranoid machine", by Peter Krieg.)

Unfortunately, the road was rocky: "Pile Systems had to weather some storms during the last two years, but we have survived and are continuing our voyage with new vigor. Interest in Pile is slowly rising in the IT world, hopefully leading to some industrial and research projects in 2008." (archive link)

Feeling betrayed by his partner, Erez Elul quit the endeavour (the aftermath of which can be read here) and the company closed shop. The technology survives in a sourceforge project, while the inventor goes on to propose "ComComism [a]s the new 3rd way beyond the old Capitalism and any of the known systems of representatives acting for equal members!" and answers the question "for whom is the knowledge making profit".
posted by Glow Bucket (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh, botched the link to the book summary, could a mod please correct this? Thanks
posted by Glow Bucket at 2:15 PM on January 12, 2010

I tried. I really tried. I read through some of the links, I did some research on the algorithm, but I don't know which I understand less... the actual algorithm or the legal dispute surrounding.

If it makes sense to anyone else, please put it in a metaphor involving guitar chord structure, song composition, and Metallica.

Thank you.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 2:28 PM on January 12, 2010

Minus all the hyperbole, this looks like a key store, like this year's big trends (see redis)
Possibly coupled with a tree-based database.
But mostly it's hyperbole, and a slight peppering of C code.
posted by tmcw at 2:42 PM on January 12, 2010

But 'Pile' has to rank among the twenty WORST names for anything tech, ever.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:04 PM on January 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

More recent pilecube here:
posted by 3.2.3 at 4:37 PM on January 12, 2010

It sounds like someone dipped the TIME CUBE in DR. BRONNER'S SOAP.
posted by e.e. coli at 6:30 PM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh crap, missed the title. Which had "time cube" in it. Which makes my comment much less trenchant than it might otherwise have been. Which makes me sad. Now I'll have to go eat that ice cream I've been avoiding. God dammit.
posted by e.e. coli at 6:31 PM on January 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would enjoy reading a non-insane version of this idea.
posted by DU at 6:59 AM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

I have most of the technical papers from the original pilesys website at home. Those written by Ralf Westphal are probably the most accessible. I'll upload them later.
posted by Glow Bucket at 7:29 AM on January 13, 2010

I've uploaded a zip file with all of the files I still had from the pilesys website here (Original Pile Engine Demystified and Ralf Westphal Blog are - in my opinion - the most accessible of those). You can also find the Blog article linked to here. Actually, for the original and confusing articles the zip is good - for a more streamlined, conventional approach, you can find anything you'd need at Ralf's blog itself: link.
posted by Glow Bucket at 11:13 PM on January 13, 2010

Hi to all of you here, hi from erez elul.
Thanks for this attention!!
Please ask for any thing you would like about pile, about comcomism and/or about this: if and until when the material about pile is legally available.

For more please see in Pile Technology group at

The gpl license was given while abusing the power mr peter krieg (which is now dead and of which real name isWILHELM W GLADITZ. Date of birth: 27/08/1947 Schwabisch-Gmund, Germany) used over me, i was in that time homeless in that in German land etc.

After we as a comcomized group would be big enough , we not only develop it on a very secure platform but also will fight for changing the legal state of the material out there. This of course includes the zip file contributed here by Glow Bucket .
I say all this, for that you would know about the problem so that you could inform any one to whom you try to sell your contribution using pile.

having said that we can begin work and have some fun together, here is a starting point as for the howto:
see also more about this story here:

gtgl (Good Time Good Luck)
posted by comcomist at 1:55 PM on January 14, 2010

Hi Erez,

so what is the status of the papers in that zip file? I figured they were still free to give out as they had been on the pilesys page.
posted by Glow Bucket at 2:56 PM on January 14, 2010

How constantly and systematically to force the few, which represent many, to act ONLY for the (benefit of the) many?

Can't be done. The many are multitudinous and dim, and will consistently act against their own best interests if the alternative to doing so involves any kind of tribal realignment.

The few have always understood this principle.
posted by flabdablet at 1:47 AM on January 15, 2010

Glow Bucket ,

"...So what is the status of the papers in that zip file?" this is unknown to me since i could not download that zip file.

But, if this zip file is, as you said here, just a collection of thing being "out there" (including all those thing made by/via ralf-westphal, which could not even respect himself by simply letting his readers to know the source of "his" idea, which was so creatively renamed by him to some intuitive data model at, then the legal state of it as of the things "out there" is this:

In short , ALL which is now out there including all which would be build from that and if you or others could identify pile as a source in it has the UNCERTAIN legal state for any building upon it something to be sold to someone for having any right upon it!!! while it is hard to find who download the source, it is easier to identify pile and the big cooperation using it in large scales.

In addition, the legal state of further development of pile when that would include my contribution will only be license to comcom ( and to their p-holder and c-holders which may also be clients, granting use modification and distribution more or less as in gpl).

flabdablet ,
"Can't be done...."
Could you see yourself once in the position of the few and then once in the position of the many and if so could you also see the characteristic of the system including both type of positions and could you be doing that regardless of your own position?
i ask this because only after you could you can talk about some principles in such system.
and flabdablet , we must be doing something, here is the 6 billions reason for that

posted by comcomist at 11:23 AM on January 15, 2010

I absolutely agree with you that having the few exploit the many to satisfy the needs of the few is a disgusting state of affairs in a world of seven billion people, and I applaud you for attempting to design a way to change that.

I disagree with you that I would need to put myself "in the position of the many" in order to state with confidence that I believe tribal loyalty will, in general, crush rationality.

It seems to me that your underlying premise for comcom is that all people will tend to act in their own best economic interest, and that if the system in which they operate is designed in such a way as to make personal best interest align with the collective good, injustice can be avoided.

What I'm attempting to point out is that most people (i.e. the many) do not act rationally when considering the merits of systemic change. I'm also attempting to point out that the very few who presently hold the levers of power will mobilize the many, using marketing methods that play on tribal loyalties, to crush any new system that looks like it might be a threat to the status quo. They will not engage you in rational debate.

At present, your comcom website looks like something put together by an earnest and well intentioned engineer. It's long on rational argument but it burns the eyes. If you want to get the many on board, you could usefully take some lessons from the few in marketing and presentation.
posted by flabdablet at 2:17 PM on January 15, 2010

By the way, the standard method for crushing innovation is not to argue against it, but to marginalize and discredit it. The harder it is to encapsulate the core principle of a system in a four-word slogan, the easier it will be to marginalize.

Capitalism: every man for himself.

Communism: the state provides all.

Comcom: ? ? ? ?
posted by flabdablet at 2:24 PM on January 15, 2010


see in my updates profile....
Comcom: "we act better as equal owners".

Also let me share with you a story , about "I would need to put myself "in the position of the many" as you put it.

i am in germany now and i had some meeting with a graf, it is one who is part of the nobility here and own really a lot of land. i was introduce to him as i am actually living in his land and i introduce both: pile and comcomism to him.

well he was impressed and invited me to 2nd meeting together with another such graf about comcomism (and not about pile, since i said pile i can do only in a comcomized unit) .

i came and said this.
i am now in this talking going to prove that for your children there is no other way than comcomism. in the end of long talking he concluded that "we gut here very very important information and he will let know about it to his friends ( also from Russia).

i only represented the 6 billion argument and some nice e...g. such as 9/11 etc:

You see -i talks to him - you may imagine me being 2 time more something than you, but you even can not imagine such being when it is about 1 million time more and hence there no possible driver to the car having us, the 6-7 billion, when it is driven by the few (some hundreds families) against the wall again and again.

the funny thing here is this: The graf took himself in the position of the many not of the few. He also saw the power of the arguments upon the many and even agree that if he would not accept my argument or would accept my argument would actually change nothing about the development of this project.

Also, please note that in a comcomized unit both can live together, the p-holders (which nowadays sit in the position of the few) and the c-holders (which now sits in the position of the many).

Also note: try talk this with the kids around:
the power of us the many being equal together with the individual power of each of us to cut out with the return value form the investment of the one and whenever the one would like to do so. check it, they simply love it.

last thing for now, i agree for many kind of cooperation, please find your position in the comcomism project, try the iswith-platfrom.
posted by comcomist at 7:38 PM on January 15, 2010

e.e. coli: "Oh crap, missed the title. Which had "time cube" in it."

see? educated stupid! ;)
posted by mwhybark at 10:43 PM on January 15, 2010

Some of the stuff in the links almost means something, but most of it just seems to be incomprehensible gibberish.

I have a hunch that all this is just some weird art project.
posted by sour cream at 8:38 AM on January 16, 2010

where is your pain and if English is the languish i speak but is not my languish and if the languish i use is problematic for you and you did not yet contact why still are you in the loop of distracting what you call EDUCATION? (please, see my profile)

SEE, education can be in other languages than english, no?
see, it is the system stupid, decentralize it!!
posted by comcomist at 9:21 AM on January 16, 2010

I don't think it's a language problem. It would be gibberish in any language.
posted by sour cream at 9:34 AM on January 16, 2010

comcomist: "SEE, education can be in other languages than english, no?"

concomist, I was not referring to your education or level of discourse.

The referent which your project is being jestingly compared to is Time Cube. Time Cube's proponent, thought to be a native speaker of English, believes that standard means of education and the associated complex of ideas and concepts prevent people from recognizing both the persuasiveness and veracity of his concepts. He summarizes that perception with the phrase 'educated stupid.'

For the record, I'm glad to see you commenting here and happy to see you're a longtime MeFite.
posted by mwhybark at 11:54 AM on January 16, 2010

I've heard the Time Cube author interviewed. He sounds like a native English speaker to me, specifically from the southern US.
posted by contraption at 12:04 AM on January 17, 2010

thank you all and
let me put here one more link

hope to find you in generating a grassroots movement not just a grassroots project,
hope you would like the comcomized mailing list idea, we build it now secure, even more than that of google
hope you could see that you me they we are not alone in any of the problems

please try to put at once all the 3 vid,
isn't it a talking reality, no?
posted by comcomist at 12:23 AM on January 17, 2010

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