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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2017

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Trying to find as many typos and logical inconsistencies on my blog as possible. Darn things seem to breed like cockroaches.

And now a cockroach story … not too ugh …

Got start in psych research in an animal learning lab studying single ganglion learning in cockroaches. Important because of technology 40 years ago and simplicity of cockroach. Got cockroaches across street at the Bronx Zoo (they lived in the warm, food rich animal houses of the time). I see a natural progression in my career from studying the “psychological” processes of cockroaches to writing about Congress.

Fractal2

 

Update Jan 2 2013: I think I might study snakes next.

MindMapp is a brilliant new iPad app for mind mapping posted on the app store in mid-December. You can see my review of the app there. Break-through: this is an amazing app that changes the game, at least on the iPad (and hopefully iPhone).

To say that I highly recommend MindMapp is an understatement. Students and everyone who takes notes should have this app.

A map created in MindMapp about MindMapp. This was my first “real” map, and I know that I will get faster and better at this fairly rapidly. It took about 30 minutes to work through the instructions in the included self instruction module, practice, and then to draw the map.

photo

Either way, it is extremely easy to produce a video like this from the program iMindMap. By all reports and predictions, similar automated presentations will be in other major mind map programs within a matter of months.

[I was making this type of animated map several years ago, first with Prezi and then my running a screen capture recording program in the back ground which I displayed a mind map. The integrated approach is far easier and quicker to implement.]

Once the professional providers of study materials for medical, legal, and nursing students get into the act (say in about 3 months) you will see these presentations everywhere. It costs almost nothing to produce these clips.

Sample Mind Map Animation: Simplistic and Runs Slowly for Demo

Carry that iPhone everywhere? Then you are carrying a camera everywhere. I use a professional DSLR for my family and hobby photography, but I never hesitate to pull out the iPhone and snaps photos; the current 4S and 5 take extremely good pictures. Lots of pictures by pros on the web and in newspapers were taken with them.

Here are three exceptional apps for photos. The “joke” is a delightful one. As is typical with iPhone photo apps you can either process photos take previously or take new ones directly within the app. Try both options and see which fits your image capturing style better.

3 magic iphone  photo apps  and a joke

It is perfectly clear that Perfectly Clear should be on all iPhones that are used to take pictures.

I love to read end of year lists each December. I love to make them too.

I worked on a PC exclusively for 25 years. Two years ago in retirement I tossed the PCs and bought a Macbook Pro. The consequence of having this cool new machine with an operating system that actually worked was that I had to rethink how to use current creative software to replace all of the (Microsoft) bloat on a PC.

This is my list of my favorite apps. Note that I use my Macbook for “professional” activities like writing and surfing the web and blogging and social media and my digital photographs. I do not do games nor software that looks like it was designed for five-year-olds.

You can zoom by clicking on the image.

I use the paid or pro versions because the extra features are useful to me. You might be able to get by just fine with a free or minimal features version.

Huba Mac Recommendations  2012

Here is a little cost comparison I made last year (numbers were current in 2011). This is definitely a case where a mind map can communicate better than a government spread sheet in Courier typeface.

Click image to zoom.

Save $1,410,000 tomahawk

We have the technology to mine archival text and numeric databases and present the results visually in ways more people can interpret and use.

Collectively the world has spent billions (perhaps trillions) of dollars on basic medical and scientific research in the past decade.

Enough with a small review of a few studies known to a scientific author.

Show me the results.

A proposed paradigm …

Paradigm for  Scientific Literature  Reviews and  Meta-Analyses

Click on the image to zoom.

To my fellow citizens of the USA, here are some options we have to choose among.

  1. Prioritize mental health services higher and make programs designed to prevent and treat mental illness available in all communities.
  2. Put a police officer in front of every school in the USA between 1 hour before opening to 1 hour after closing. Lock schools to permit access only by the police officer and install locks on all other doors as well as windows with street access.
  3. Implement an effective gun control system in the USA permitting guns to be used by only a tiny percentage of the population in dangerous occupations. This includes limiting the use of guns for hunting.
  4. 1 and 3.
  5. All of the above.
  6. Do nothing but watch TV and whine about “them.” The consequence of this choice is watching our children and fellow citizens slaughtered.

This is a choice all Americans need to make using moral values, love for our citizens and especially our children, and commonsense.

I prefer to proceed by implementing effective gun control and effective mental health services. If this does not prove to be sufficient to achieve the goal of removing random shootings of our citizens, we will also need to add armed police stationed at every school and place of worship in the United States.

Don’t let Rush Limbaugh and Fox News decide this issue for you.

No surprise — after saying it 1000 times — that I think that mind maps can, in fact, be the written document. Fiction. Biography. Political arguments. Chemical structures. Astronomy. Record reviews.

Here is a little story. Look at the post right before this one.

As usual, click the image to zoom.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

When you look at the web sites of mind mapping experts, you tend to see the beautiful maps they have drawn… about this thing and that thing and the other thing the expert six web sites away is saying today.

Information visualizations (mind maps, concept maps, Aunt Tildy’s homemade maps) are about presenting CONTENT in a way that makes it easier to understand.

Real information that is believed by content experts? Information that is reliable and valid? Information provided by credible sources (not Cousin Herbert after a frat party) such as well known polls and surveys, peer-reviewed journal articles, official government statistics, the web site of the guy who watchdogs all of the government statistics, and other credible sources speaking on or off the record?

Content is Queen.

Part 1 of many posts on this topic.

IdealMindMappingScenario

Some developers of mind mapping programs or “expert” consultants will tell you that if you do not follow arcane rules, typically never tested empirically, the world will collapse because your map is incorrect in that it is not a map. Actually almost all developers and consultants will tell you this. From where they sit, selling expensive software or being hired to run expensive software is what pays for the next BMW.

Ugly maps work just fine most of the time. You know what this map is about.

visual maps

It doesn’t even really matter that I said “visual maps forces organization” instead of “visual maps force organization.” Not for this purpose.

It’s all about content and understanding that content and using that content to make real decisions. Artistic can be for formal publications or an unreasonable boss

.

Belief systems are fairly complicated things to get a grasp on. Each person’s beliefs contain many assumptions, some (more or less) information from factual sources, some emotional reactions, and some peer pressures to conform to some type of system.

I like mind maps as a tool for studying belief systems. I decided that I would map my beliefs about a number of issues I debate with others weekly on Twitter. Putting a number of beliefs on the same map lets both the map creator and others see how consistent some beliefs are (or are not) with one another. Are data shared between beliefs? Are there core values that underlie many beliefs? What can be predicted about the map creator’s beliefs in related areas.

Without too much further explanation, here is what I think I believe about some relatively contentious issues in American society (abortion, organized religion, health care reform, the US Congress, and others). This is Part 1. Sequels will appear regularly.

Beliefs Part 1  George J Huba

the quick brown fox

I don’t think so. Do you?

[Click the graphics on this page to expand them. The same is true throughout this web site.]

[This is the well known sentence telegraph operators used in the 1800 to test lines since it has all letters of the English alphabet. It was later used with manual typewriters. Yes, I learned to type on one in the seventh grade (required course then and in the eighth grade).  As you can guess, in the early 1960s, all of us male chauvinist pigs (that was every boy in junior high school) were quite vocal that WE did not need to know how to type because we would have secretaries. I now formally apologize for the error of my ways.]

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

[Graphic created in Tagul, a newer alternative to Wordle. In the top example I varied the size of the words randomly. In the bottom example, the size of the word is proportional to its frequency of occurrence in the text.]

On the other hand, this map of the words in the US-edition CNN news site on Dec 5 2012, is better done as a visual. The size of the words is proportional to its relative frequency on the web site. You can immediately see that the site mentions Piers more than Obama. AAaahhh…. cable news. At least “fiscal” and “cliff” are quite prominent as we see if Congress will let the US economy tank further because of their desire to get face time over on the Fox Network. And Dr Gupta has a lot of references which is good, but of course does not exactly make up for Piers.

Cloud 9

I think you can SEE my point.

Uh oh. Some one who defines himself as a content (psychology, social care, health care, public safety net programs) expert is going to go where the experts on mind mapping dare not tread.

My inspiration for this post comes from the application work of Philippe Packu and especially Hans Buskes as well as mathematical models, pragmatism, and the fact that I like to discuss the undiscussed.

Uh oh. Math and mind maps. Scary indeed. What is he thinking?

As I see it, mind mapping has evolved over the past 50 years in a predictable way.

Mind Mapping 1.0 was a discussion of those funny radial diagrams, why they might be important, which types of inquiry (brainstorming, summarizing, presenting, consensus building, information retrieval, memory) might be enhanced by these funny diagrams, feared by many because of the necessity at the time to have at least moderate artistic skills and the willingness to stand up in front of 50 people and display them. The giant in the era of Mind Mapping 1.0 was Tony Buzan who developed a series of core concepts about visual thinking and spread them widely in professional and public circles.

As part of his huge contribution, Buzan developed a series of “laws” of mind mapping. Much discussion of these suggested general principles has ensued. It would not be overstating to say that the degree to which one endorses these laws explains much of a split into different mind mapping “factions.” It is also important to remember that mind map use and training can anchor a very lucrative consulting practice and that factions will almost automatically arise as the consultants seek to differentiate themselves from one another. This is not bad, and the development of factions can drive theoretical development as it has in this case. A second faction of mind mappers – tending to be associated with the computer product family Mindjet – has also arisen. There are other variants lying along a continuum with Buzan and Mindjet defining the end points.

Mind Mapping 2.0 is a glorious era when the whole world can draw mind maps fairly easily using a large group of computer programs (expanding daily) to promote memory, creativity, brainstorming, collaboration, consensus, organization, information encoding, information retrieval, God, country, and Queen. We are right at the peak of that era when creativity has moved us into a period of great growth and enthusiasm. We have at least a dozen good products for expanding the empire, and an audience that is listening. So we need to get an effective, computer-era definition of mind mapping.

Mathematical (and other scientific) models usually go through a series of stages in which specific models are developed and rules of applicability are stated, a period of generalization in which the rules of applicability are stretched to fit more phenomena, and a later stage when the most general model is derived and tested in many different application areas.

The parallel in the mind mapping world was the development of Buzan’s “laws” for successful mind mapping, the “stretching” of Buzan’s model by making his laws more general or even ignoring some of them, and finally a model in which mind maps as we know them are but a subset of a more general model of information visualization (including dozens of similar techniques which go under different names in their parallel development universes). The best taxonomy of related information visualization methods is the Wiki developed by Roy Grubb. A general model can subsume most of the techniques discussed by Mr. Grubb.

My definition: Mind Mapping is a set of information visualization techniques that can be incorporated as a subset within the overall computational equations of a very general computer program iMindMap.

OMG. He’s defining mind mapping in terms of a specific “mind map” program developed by a company partially owned by Tony Buzan. Has he been drinking?

I doubt either Mr. Buzan or the ThinkBuzan company would agree with my definition at this time. They are wrong.

Developing a computer program to implement a information theory model requires a huge amount of effort in concretely defining a number of issues discussed loosely in words. Computers need SPECIFIC instructions. What often happens in (the best) computer program development is that in coding a variety of steps and subprocesses necessary to accomplish a general goal require  that a number of specific decisions be addressed (parameterized). Often rather than making an arbitrary yes/no, big/small, curvy-organic/straight decision, computer programmers implement a parameter whose value can be specified as an option (such as “how much curve do you want in the branch” or “which set of colors do you want to use in a map or “should you allow one-two-hundreds of words on a mind map branch”).

iMindMap is a program parameterized in such a way so that every other mind mapping procedure currently extant can be produced using the program. Hhhmmm. And, various information visualizations not necessarily currently called mind maps (concept maps, timelines, statistical graphics) can be produced in the program. We are seeing a very general information visualization model in the program that permits us to develop different parameterizations that have historically had different names attached.

Yes you can produce maps that look like those prepared from different mind map programs within iMindMap. Yes you can produce concept maps within iMindMap. Yes you can produce timelines within iMindMap. Yes you can produce path diagrams. Yes you can incorporate quantitative data. See the blogs of Hans Buskes and Philippe Pack and others including mine for many examples of generalizing the traditional Buzan model all within the iMindMap parameterization.

iMindMap will probably be rapidly superceded by more general models that relax further traditional assumptions and permit even more parameterizations. ThinkBuzan seems to produce such generalizations annually.

Again note that the general model incorporated in iMindMap can be reduced to specific models or the equivalent of different computer programs depending upon how the general model is parameterized.

I believed that the parameterization based general model should be attributed to Chris Griffiths although many others have undoubtedly also contributed to it as well.

Mind Mapping 3.0 is all about taking the promise of the general information visualization model and incorporating important, valid, reliable, actionable data into the application of the general model. Mind Mapping 3.0 is starting and will become a tsunami in the next five years. I promise.

Note: I often use mind maps in my blog posts. I intentionally did not include a map here because I did not want the style I usually incorporate in my own mind maps to confuse the issues above.

A lot of folks think that if addicts or the mentally ill are offered a free drug abuse or alcoholism treatment episode and then start using drugs or alcohol again that “you had your chance” and “we won’t pay for another try.”

I do not believe that. I studied very effective drug abuse and alcoholism and mental illness programs for three decades and repeatedly found that many people needed as many as a dozen different treatment episodes over many years to finally “get over” the problem. This is true for many clients and it is true for the very best treatment programs in the US. A lifetime of learning to become dependent on drug or a lifetime of feeling helpless and isolated is not going to be solved in 28 days in a hospital-based program or in 90 days in a residential drug abuse treatment program. Yes, it does happen for a few. Most need to try at least a few more times before the treatment works. That is the way it is.

Heck, I’d still be trying after 17 failures to give a person who was willing to try to turn their life around another chance. People are worth that.

Here are some of the chances we need to provide to everyone as many times as needed.

18th Chance

expand 2

Added March 3, 2013

18j 18i 18h 18g 18f 18e 18d 18c 18a

Finally got around to buying an iPhone 5 to update my 4 last week. Genuine lifestyle light saber, star trek communicator and tricorder, and (information) toaster all in one. Works great. Who woulda thought in 1967 (when I watched Star Trek episodes when they FIRST AIRED) that a tricorder-communicator would appear on Earth within one’s lifetime. The voice of Siri reminds me of the computer voice on the Enterprise, although Siri works about as well as a computer on a Klingon bird of prey. Siri even sounds like Yoda. Awesome, it is. Good, life is.