Re: [unrev-II] "As We May Think", The Exploratories Project & a Tour of Mindmapping Links

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Mon Jul 09 2001 - 05:01:35 PDT

  • Next message: Peter Jones: "Re: [unrev-II] "As We May Think", The Exploratories Project & a Tour of Mindmapping Links"

    Re the info overload part of John's post, about four decades ago serious
    thought was given to the trend toward the immense amount of leasure time
    people would soon have on their hands. That thinking came about through
    labor contracts being negotiated and won that specified ever shorter
    work weeks and greater social benefits, especially by Reuter for the
    auto workers.

    It was envisaged that eventually working would become a privilege. There
    were also murmurings about the balance between the huge amount of
    education/training needed for top professional insights/skills and the
    limited number of hours a professional would be "allowed" to devote to
    his profession.

    And much later, with computers and robots, again came visions of la vita
    dolce. But somehow all of this did not come to pass. Looking at my very
    personal corner of the world of work, here I am picking my way through
    heaps of expensive-yet-tiresome verbal trash about mark-up languages to
    find in it those few nourishing items of coherent, useful info that may
    get me off to do a better job for the Bootstrap Institute. And while
    using my Netscape browser online, I am continually harassed by little
    advertising windows that suddenly come up on my monitor. Then I imagine
    corporations paying for people's surgery by projecting on their bare
    bellies advertising about sportscars and golf courses and tampax
    directed at those performing the operations.

    And within this chaos of thoughts, I realize that every two items of
    knowledge that stimulate us to try and create a connection between them
    place us "at the beginning of an interminable waterway with in the
    offing the sea and the sky welded together without a joint" (Joseph
    Conrad, "Heart of Darkness"). From two thoughts and their connection
    come three bits of knowledge that offer three attempts at connection.
    From the ensuing six thoughts may come 15 thoughts, and so on. Granted
    that many attempts bear fruit neither benign nor malign, the explosion
    of mental work open to further pursuit is still exponential, without a
    joint separating good from bad, nor purpose from happenstance.

    And from all of this it seems to me that the real, but unstated
    objective of Bush's "How we may think" and of Doug's augmenting the
    collective IQ is for the benign fruits to outpace and subdue the malign
    fruits born from our knowledge explosion. And then I realize that we
    need to better cultivate a way for people to pursue the potentially
    benign mental connections and discourage the potentially malign mental

    In other words, our affect ought to do a better job of directing our


    "John J. Deneen" wrote:

    > "As We May Think" by Vannevar Bush - J U L Y 1 9 4 5
    > <>
    > James Burke, writer and host of BBC’s “Connections 3” series also says
    > this:
    > “The Internet may bring destabilizing effects of information overload
    > that will operate on a scale and at a rate well beyond anything that
    > has happened before. Information abundance will stress society in ways
    > for which it has not been prepared and damage centralized social
    > systems designed to function in a nineteenth-century world.” - The
    > Knowledge Web, p 22.
    > etc., etc.

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