Similar to the PublicRefineryProcess, – the basic idea is:
- There’s a river of incoming piecemeal data.
- That data needs to be collected together, structured.
- That data then needs to be interacted within a top-down way, to create consistency, coherence, to fill in holes, and to make it intelligible.
- While that’s happening, the river of incoming piecemeal data hasn’t ended: There now needs to be a process of creative encounter between the top-down structure that was developed, and the further incoming data.
For example, consider a common case: URL collection.
- River of Data: Links are incoming.
- Links have a title.
- Links have a URL.
- Links may arrive with tags associated with them, too.
- Links may arrive in a context – the page that I pulled this link from, the text that this link was noted in, …
- The links are collected together.
- The information about the links is stored in some kind of a links database.
- Top-down structuring.
- The links may be organized (by a person) into tree-structures, relevant to the time period in which the links were received.
- These tree structures may be linked up graph-like with other tree structures from prior periods.
- These tree structures may be merged into some kind of huge super-tree.
- These tree structures may be picked apart and arranged into some totally different ordering.
- The links may be organized into a graph.
- Or the links may be worked into a text.
- (Anything, really. Just the common element is that human intervention is involved in imposing an order.)
- This human intervention may start from an automatically generated starting place. Perhaps a SpringModel is applied to the data, and that suggests a way of looking at things. Or some semantic network is applied to the data, to supply something for the human to start from, and limit the complexity.
- However somebody arranges the data, there is going to continue to be an incoming feed of links.
- Incoming data can go into a “feeding queue” for the different regions of the structure, to help a human place the most relevant incoming pieces in the right places.
My sense is that we need more “accumulating structures” in the world. I certainly constantly imagine their use.
Accumulating Structures + Visualization are very important to me.
I feel like the lack of accumulating structures + visualizations of them are dramatically limiting my intelligence, and our collective intelligence.
Everything in the world can and should be indexed, and I don’t mean in just an alphabetical listing; I mean on maps of the world, on space-time diagrams of life, on maps of society. News-rooms, educational learning, all manner of things, are windows into living structures, and so the image of the living structure needs to be constantly accumulating (and perhaps also forgetting) on an ongoing basis, in order to reflect the vector that the subject is pursuing, its own evolution, the container of the life impulses that motivate it.