Jack Park wrote:
Violent agreement, indeed!
And, your comment that, given the fact that we don't know each other, we
might well be thought of as just avatars for somebody else. But, and I have
often wondered this myself, what if I did log in here as, say, Ted Kazinsky?
Would I be treated any differently? (I suspect I would, particularly if my
return address were faked to a penal institution). It's true that people
often defer to those who are articulate, even when the articulate ones are
wrong -- which, I often am )-:
Analogizing to a book is a very good way to state the case. On that, I
agree. But, I must inject that I do not see this list as anything other than
fodder for somebody's book(s), so this list must reflect the collective
stream of consciousness, no matter how chaotic it may be. And, others
should be encouraged to step in and occasionally summarize threads, or write
I think we're on to something here!
For me, however, the problem remains. I am explicitly building an IBIS
system into Nexist now. I remain excited to begin playing with it, though,
now, a bit apprehensive about its power given the things I have learned from
Cheers, and happy holliday.
[Garold L. Johnson] > . . . this list must reflect the collective stream of
consciousness, no matter how chaotic it may be.
I agree. But wouldn’t it be nice if this list, since it is archived and
uneditable, supported purple or plink addressing and transclusion? The
addition of reference links could be done prior to sending out the copies,
and links could then go directly to the archive. Now if I had an editor that
worked with that archive as a knowledge base . . . hmmm, I *like* that!
> I am explicitly building an IBIS system into Nexist now. I remain excited
to begin playing with it, though, now, a bit apprehensive about its power
given the things I have learned from Jeff Conklin.
I think that the categories are too restrictive. I had a martial arts
instructor tell me that all of the world’s major belief systems provided,
among other things, a set of buckets into which life’s experiences could be
categorized, and that the ones that were successful all had a ‘miscellaneous
’ or ‘unknown’ category.
There are several examples of the value of this mechanism:
1) Netscape bookmarks are in an outline. There is a default folder for
saving bookmarks. Periodically I sort through the recent collection and put
them into the ‘right’ folders, creating new folders or categories as
2) EGem Collector Pro, InfoSelect, Ecco, and numerous other systems
for gathering information support as a model dumping everything into the
equivalent of an ‘unfiled’ bin and reorganizing them later.
3) The directories on my hard drives work the same way. I have a
downloads folder that gets fanned out into an evolving organization.
4) My email inbox is another instance. It gets all of the messages
that I don’t have folder allocation rules for, and I have to sort them
later. If I am intent on the topics of the emails I have to extract notes
and organize them in a form more suited to my purpose, whether I put that
organization or summary back on the list. I would love to have a more
versatile tool for processing these message than I do currently.
5) When I use an outline tool for thinking, one of my most effective
strategies is to start listing ideas without any thought to organization
until thoughts slow down or possibly stop, and then organizing some part of
the list into a category structure, leaving behind those that don’t have a
home yet. Then list more thoughts in any area that sounds interesting,
organize them, and so on.
So, as I see it, even if the original chaos needs to be preserved, it must
be possible to put entries in some sort of ‘uncategorized’ pile, which
systems such as IBIS, as currently conceived and implemented, do not
When I looked at IBIS and Jeff Conklin’s experiences it occurred to me that
adding an ‘information’ category that says “here is some relevant data. I
don’t know where it fits, what ideas it supports or opposes or proposes – it
just (possibly) relevant data. A ‘comment’ category would fill a similar
need with regard to personal viewpoints. Much of the material on this forum
is of one of these types. This seems to require that the ‘uncategorized’
information eventually gets ‘categorized’ in some way. In many cases this
can require pulling apart a document that wasn’t intended to fit the IBIS
model, in which there is any conceivable mixture of the IBIS categories, and
putting the pieces in the right spots. For anything sizable such as any of
the reference papers referred to in this forum, this cannot be done on the
fly and probably not by a single individual. Here we do a similar thing – a
reference is put into a message, and that spawns one or several discussions
in which the reference is quoted in support or opposition to various ideas
put forth by the individuals. I don’t see why the pattern would be different
with an IBIS system.
In short, I think that the study of interaction and discussion among
designers that gave rise to the IBIS concept missed a few of the
interactions that take place in a real discussion, and that some of those
lacks are (at least partly) to blame for the problems found in using such a
system. As I see it, IBIS was an attempt to ‘pave the cowpaths’ of actual
practice, but some of the paths that were thought to be unimportant or mere
distractions turned out to be heavily traveled for a reason.
Garold (Gary) L. Johnson
DYNAMIC Alternatives <http://www.dynalt.com/>
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 16:58:04 PDT