More from Ambient Findability

July 12, 2006 at 8:23 pm Leave a comment

And yet More notes from Ambient Findability by Peter Morville. Maybe the finale?
P.145 the shape of information…“Reproduced and Emergent Genres of Communication on the World Wide Web” Crowston and Williams.

P.146 Discussion of genre and its role in navigation: visually we know we’ve found what we need. Semantics and structure are codependent. Structure contributes to understanding and comprehensions, while meaning helps establish a sense of location.  Digital genre plays a significant role in search and navigation – document findability, sorting by content type; document recognition = understanding document purpose, we know we’ve found what we need; Document navigation,  Consider the shape of a scientific document, “we can review the abstract then skip right to the results.” Oh, and attractive things work better.  “Scrolling Forward” Levy.

P.147 “What is a document?” Buckland. Blogjects and Spimes. Metadata and the blurring at the edge of data and metadata, “…data was the content in the book and metadata was the Dewey Decimal number on its spine. [now], all data is metadata. “The End of Data?” by Weinberger.

P.150 Newsmap, a visual representation of Google News. History-entrenched digital objects, Spimes, can support social navigation…with respect to findability we’re comfortable trusting the wisdom of crowds, popularity metadata.

p.151,2 Findability of information biases it’s perceived quality – manifesto for the reputation society, and popularity is attractive: in real networks linking is never random – Barabasi. What is the role of spatial location in finding and remembering? How do people organize their desktops? Timelines, temporal landmarks, and spatial memory for document management and retrieval.

P.153 “[With an information overload of data and metadata], to manage complexity we must embrace faceted classification, polyhierarchy, pluralistic aboutness, and pace layering….we must collaborate across categories using boundary objects to negotiate translate, and forge shared understanding.”

P.155 “The Mind’s I” and “Godel, Escher, and Bach

P.156 Discussing AI, our partly rational minds adapt well enough to saticfice but don’t generally optimize. Simon’s theory of “Bounded Rationality”

P.157 Human irrationality and decision making traps: Anchoring – we are influenced by what we find first. Confirmation – seek data that supports our view and avoid contradictory information. Memorability – we are influenced by recent or dramatic events, status quo – conservatism bias, we look for reasons to do nothing, sunk cost – we make decisions in a way that justifies past choices.

P.160 Accessibility is the single most important variable governing the use of information…we absorb most of our information passively and rely on who we know for much of what we know. Search can be an integral part of decision making. What we find influences what we do. But the first step is deciding to search, and the smallest of barriers will deter us.

p.162 Regarding the schism of online vs. traditional information resources, Morville paints one extreme as conservatives clinging to traditional views e.g the totalitarian regimes of the Oxford English Dictionary and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Yet the OED, as described in The Meaning of Everything, was very much a people oriented project and involved the collaboration of many ‘readers’ that submitted examples of word usage from all sorts of published works. In fact it was a very wiki-like project. Perhaps it is totalitarian in the sense that they attempted to list every possible use of a word?

“Truth is a virus of many colors,” reminds me of Michael Moore’s “Dude, Where’s my Country:” [it’s not a lie, it’s an] opposite truth.

“…and in the middle [of traditional vs. online resources], the silent majority suffers from Information Anxiety, trying to allocate trust in a maze of memes where networks supplant hierarchies and fact fades into opinion.”

“…we enjoy incredible access to free information. But with freedom comes responsibility, and with free information, finding is not only a right but a duty. In short, access changes the game.” Information Literacy!

p.163 “We must take responsibility for ourselves and our loved ones.” “It’s increasingly in our best interests to find our own answers.” Healing Back Pain, Sarno.

p.164 “To not use the data and expert opinions and collective intelligence at our fingertips reeks of personal malpractice.”

p.165 Mooer’s Law – “people may not want information because having it can be painful and troublesome. Non-use of information systems – Why Indexing Fails the Researcher.  When it comes to information, sometimes less is more.” “Information overload harms concentration more than marijuana” “….Clinging tenaciously to all choices available to us contributes to bad decisions, to anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction – even to clinical depression.” – The Paradox of Choice, Schwartz

p.168 discussion of how information shapes our memories, beliefs, predictions, decisions, and behaviors includes mention of On Intelligence, By Hawkins a very interesting book,”…the neocortex stores hierarchical sequences of patterns in an invariant form, and recalls those patterns auto-associatively. This lets us recall patterns when given only partial or distorted inputs….”Our brains use stored memories to make predictions about everything we see, feel, and hear…Prediction is not just one of the things your brain does. It is the primary function of the neocortex, and the foundation of intelligence.”

p. 171 Information can feed and perpetuate ignorance. “Researching and Shaping Information Literacy Initiatives in Relation to the Web” Buschman and Warner; “Information Literacy, a worldwide priority for the twenty-first century“, Rockman. Looks like both of those are pay-to-play….

p. 172 “…access trumps literacy. Information that’s hard to find will remain information that’s hardly found.”

p.173 “…computers are not about the creation of artificial minds, but the augmentation of real intelligence.”

p.174 “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” Raymond. Quotes Lessig, who quotes Winchester? “…the Oxford English Dictionary was “mankind’s first large-scale collaborative open source text project.”

p.175 “Will we still turn pages” Kelly

p.179 “The Garden of Forking Paths” Borges

This book goes down as one of the most interesting I’ve read.  It ties together a lot of ideas and suggests places to learn more.  It’s well written with a wow-that’s-so-cool voice that is inspirational and insightful.


Entry filed under: Ambient Findability, feed my pet brain.

Notes of intelligence, neobooks, a web of books Raw materials for furniture, personal fab style

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