(2009-11-23) Dent URI Info Philosophy

Chris Dent gives his philosophy of URI-for-ThinkingSpace. Some information systems exist to confirm what we think we already know or for which we can phrase a fairly concrete question (e.g. "Where is London?" or "What is the definition of "information"?"). In these cases, searching or similar interaction models are excellent tools: our inquiry is algorithmically transformed into a query against an index (note an index can take many forms). Think dictionary. Or google. Other information systems are storehouses (real or otherwise) which provide affordances for navigation, browsing and discovery. These allow for that extraordinary thing: learning new stuff. We're wandering along, soaking up new information or new ways of stating old information and BAM, we make a connection (associative), disparate paths are linked and now we know something. We have made a synthesis of A and B et voila new thesis C. Think narrative book. Or the web at large. Intertwingularity.

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