I know the software indicated in this article isn't open source, but I liked the idea:
colour-coding knowledge threads.
Reminds me of a certain page in the Brand New Monty Python Papperbok where all the words were appropriately coloured. :)
----- Original Message -----
From: Henry van Eyken
Sent: Monday, July 09, 2001 1:01 PM
Subject: 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 connections.
In other words, our affect ought to do a better job of directing our intellect.
"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.
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