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comment-2002-03-02-6Visualize Context (requires Java Plug-in)
CREATED BY David Ness • LAST EDITED BY David Ness 7635 days AGO
I think Moreville's piece should be taken with the same `grain of salt' that I used for the SixDegrees stuff (perhaps I should go out and buy some fresh salt, I have been using it a lot lately). Moreville's web documents seem to suggest few ideas in addition to that which my friend and colleague from MIT, Tom Allen, used to write about 30 or 40 years ago. There seems to be little new added to Allen's notion of `Gatekeepers'. In all the organizations I have worked in and for, everyone knew who all the gatekeepers were, and drawing it all up wouldn't show anything that wasn't already obvious to anyone who cared.

Indeed, I find all of stuff about `visualization of ideas' to be, at least for me, hype. When I have tried to apply the BrainStorm or MindModel technology to my collections of `ideas', I end up either with a thinly connected desert or with a jungle so dense that I couldn't see a new relationship in the forest
because there are too many trees. In any case, while I sort of enjoy `playing' with the diagrams, I have yet to learn _anything_ from any of them. But then, perhaps that's just the way my mind works.

It strikes me that this is probably a consequence of some aspects of Chaos Theory that I share with my friend Stuart Kauffman ("At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity"). Most interesting behavior occurs along a rather thin `border' between the `too simple' and the `too complex'. The `thought diagramming' technology doesn't help us much with this. It either presents us with way too few `connections' or way too many.


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