This "mind map" idea, to use the various map views of Tinderbox to depict many of the things that I've learned, has been an interesting exercise. I'm reminded of what I think was something attributed to Poul Anderson, "There is no problem, no matter how complicated, that when looked at exactly the right way, does not become a thousand times more complicated."

Last time I mentioned this, I was thinking about how to orient the various ideas on the canvas. So I was moving things around, somewhat in the general vein of what I described, "self" in the center, "others" toward the outer edge, the "field of time" in between.

As I was doing this, I noticed that the notes really depicted different kinds of ideas, and so I looked for a way to depict each kind. I settled on shapes, using the default rectangle, a lozenge shape, and an oval. There are probably more kinds of ideas, but for now, three has been helpful.

Then I thought about perhaps using color to depict some aspect of an idea. This led to a bit of a rabbit hole on the psychological role of color. I haven't made any firm choices in that regard yet.

Yesterday was a bit of a loss as I spent a couple of hours running to the airport and back, and I get fairly unproductive in the afternoon. I watched some YouTube videos on using Tinderbox maps, and got some useful information but nothing that felt particularly inspiring.

I figured I'd spend some time on it this morning, when I'm generally more productive, less self-conscious about what I'm doing. So on my walk this morning, I thought about the map and got a little uncomfortable, not to say "discouraged."

Maps are problematic in many ways, because they can be misleading. World maps have problems with projection, which leads to relative depictions of size wildly out of proportion to reality. And we associate various unrelated values with size. There's the matter of "privilege," in which "up" seems to be a privileged dimension over "down," what's on "top" versus what's on the "bottom."

Then it occurred to me that putting ideas related to the "self" (subjective) in the center, reinforced the unconscious bias that each of us is the "center" of our personal universe, which is exactly the sort of unhelpful notion from which the "map' is supposed to lead the user away. It biases how we perceive the words and actions of others, in ways that can be erroneous or misleading. ("That guy cut me off!" No he didn't, he just changed lanes. He wasn't thinking about you at all. We could go into a long digression on this, suffice to say, players in the huddle at a football game aren't all talking about you.)


I thought I could flip that orientation, and place ideas about the self on the outer portions of the map, which suggests that our subjective perceptions are contained within our conscious awareness. That felt good, seemed to make more sense and might be more helpful or useful, assuming this thing has any utility whatsoever, apart from a thought exercise for me.

Then I thought about whether the "field of time" still made sense as an in-between zone. All "action" ideas belong in the field of time, because time is an essential element of action. I think the idea still works; but it did make my mind wander off (the map?) into how to depict attention, that faculty of consciousness that apprehends our "reality."

Attention can move through space and time, can get "stuck," and is always inherently related to self (subjective). The undisciplined use of attention, unconscious, habituated or hijacked, can be problematic. I started wondering how I could depict that graphically. Which made me think that animation might be helpful in that circumstance, that kind of animation isn't within the otherwise enormous set of tools Tinderbox offers.

But each note (idea) has an associated text field that can be put to good use. The question is how to depict the idea of attention on the map. Belongs to "self," but is intrinsically linked to time and can perform a convincing illusion of time-travel through memory and imagination. (Memory and imagination can elicit feelings, which gives them some aspects of present reality, although they have no genuine existence.)

So maybe include an "arrow of time" in the "time zone" ("Twilight Zone?")? Clockwise or anti-clockwise? Clockwise, of course! So memory resides in the anti-clockwise field, while imagination resides in the clockwise field.

Anyway, the walk ended about that time. It's muggy again in Florida, so I'm sitting here in the office drying out under the ceiling fan. I'll go make my breakfast and try to let my subconscious ponder this some more, then see if I can do anything useful. I thought I could put something together in a few days that I could show off at the meetup, but that seems unlikely now.

Which suggests some thoughts on motivation and sustained attention, and the power of intention.

Well, I'm hungry. We'll see how it goes.

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 07:38 Wednesday, 14 June 2023