Thursday, January 05, 2006

Blogs as Our Brains: Can We Escape Chaos?

Blogs are our brains...for good or for ill. The best ones have spontaneity, new ideas, humor, and observations, but become unruly over time, erratic to search, splitting into secondary, tertiary, or more blogs, and victims of TMI or Too Much Information.

The dilemma of the blogosphere as well as our brains is....chaos.

The problem with tagging systems is that many posts or ideas can be tagged with many different words, and sometimes even words are not the most appropriate way to organize.

Learning preferences also affect the organization - with 'word' people having the easiest time (semantic maps, categories), and symbolists, heavy-imagery, metaphoric, and intuitive thinkers having the harder time.

Organization should be a mandatory educational skill in the 21st century. The need for organization increases with the more information we gain. This sort of skill does take time, but there are tremendous pay-offs at the end.

Here's a link to some research papers about organization and chess master expertise. Grandmasters are not just better than novices because of their superior memory for chess board positions. Rather, they knew how to organize and schematize their information (cartoon remembrances) in order to maximize the information filed away into their cognitive space.

Chess Expertise
Chess Memory and Organization
Research Summaries Re: Study Organization Strategies
Organizing Thinking for Reading, Writing, and Thinking


  1. Incidentally, I was just yesterday writing a blog post (including a visualization) about the blog to brain analogy, here. I think the chaos is not too bad.

  2. Nice graphic. Some people may balk at the discrete nodes - though. For some (particularly the nonverbals), the connections may be much more variable and nuanced - so that connectivity exists more like a syncytium - than hard-wired network.