Have dementia? So do I. You and I and others can use Twitter responsibly to provide information and observations and comments to millions of others, any one of whom might use that information to make a difference in treatment systems, the development of pharmaceuticals, priorities for the use of tax dollars, or the care of a family member.
Pssstttt… these techniques are for anyone advocating for just about any social issue. Pick a good topic you know something about and become a One Person Advocacy Organization.
[Context: After hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed publications over four decades, I think this is one of the more important ideas I have ever written about.]
I have been learning (and hopefully making creative developments to) the language “Mind Map.”
No, not how to draw mind maps. Rather, how to express myself through developing (which is more than drawing) a mind map in a computer program.
Expressing. Communicating content, knowledge, creative ideas. Summarizing huge amounts of knowledge in pictorial form. Even trying to be humorous with images and juxtapositions of words and pictures.
Why? Not everyone writes equally well irrespective of quality of education. Much knowledge is nonlinear in a world of linear languages. Even my writing style has been shifting to the kind of snappy short words found on Buzan-style mind maps and in length-limited languages like Twitter and Klingon. The language “Mind Map” might be especially useful for those who are not strong writers, those who want to be stronger writers by combining a spoken language and the language “Mind Map,” those who age normally, those who age atypically, those who suffer from a head injury or brain disease, those who have various language problems, those who think visually, those who get distracted and cannot focus attention while writing in spoken languages. [Research is needed to support or reject these speculations.]
The language “Mind Map” is, for many, potentially “so easy a caveman can do it.” Whoops ….. they did.
Now shifting back to writing in “Mind Map.” Please click to expand.
I believe the syntax for writing “Mind Map” by Tony Buzan and the translation program iMindMap by ThinkBuzan are the most effective to date.
Probably the best “native writer” in “Mind Map” is Hans Buskes (@hansbuskes). Philippe Packu is also excellent. I think I am pretty good at it too and the theorist in the stadium.
I have been writing (and mind mapping) a lot recently about the need to make sure that mind maps purported to contain “expert” information are valid, reliable, important, and data-driven. I have noted that I also think these mind maps are better communication devices if they are “organic” (in the sense of Tony Buzan) and “artistic” and creative. And I am fairly sure that valid and memorable organic mind maps can be much better for encoding information into memory.
The best example I have found of a profesional who consistently produces valid, reliable, important, data-driven, organic, artistic mind maps is Hans Buskes who posts his work frequently on his blog mastermindmaps and tweets as @hansbuskes. Dr Buskes’ maps have well-researched information that meets current standards of excellence, are easy to understand, and data-driven. Look at his two English-language e-books on mind mapping. The book available on iTunes is offered for free.
I view the work of Dr Buskes as the standard I hope to achieve.
The examples are partial screen clips of two of Hans Buskes’ maps. See the mastermindmaps blog site for the full maps and explanatory materials.
For many years, I was a heavy consumer of cable network news. I had (and still have) a TV in my home office that used to run all day on one or more cable news networks. As I started to participate in social networks and blogs and following the links for news suggested by others, I found social networks a much better delivery system for high quality news, comment, discussion than cable news. “Twitter killed the Cable Network News Star.” My observations about social media and cable network news are shown in the mind map below.
topics and subtopics: Cable News Versus Social Media My Conclusions Social Media (Twitter) consensus better less acrimony more cooperative participatory more interesting Traditional Cable News not participatory not multidisciplinary contentious more dogmatic boring talking points Discussed Here cable news Fox NBC CNN CNBC others content knowledge current facts debates learning process issues debates learning acrimony vs harmony consensus cooperation vs competition social media Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Facebook Social Media multiple views citizens professionals politicians students stakeholders repeats short time amplification repetition greater audience greater involvement emotionality controversy no $s most participants no fame illusory illusory in social media factual preferred fosters democratization stakeholder consensus process minimal polarization learning 360 degree knowledge views emotional reactions biases desired outcomes functional reasonably polite positions stated 140 characters news link blog link see many views short time disciplinary stakeholders potential further process steps resolutions solutions in selected networks Cable News divisive competing politicians talking heads financial incentive abrasiveness disagreement politicians attorneys repeats same video clip arguments arguments new video clip interview controversy = profits ratings business plan future fosters competition acrimony polarization selfishness silo thinking dysfunctional group consensus information source not balanced fair valid
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.
The Research by Google Era (rivaling such earlier eras as the Babylonian Empire, the Empire of Alexander, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages Papacy, the Incan Era, the British Commonwealth, the American Experiment in Democracy, and the forthcoming Intergalactic Federation) is here.
I think the Research by Google Era is the most “important” one yet.
Go ahead, Google it. How many minorities voted for Obama in 2008? How many times was Bill Clinton sued for “inappropriate” behavior toward female subordinates? How much money did Ghaddafi and family steal from the people of Libya? How many books are contained in the New York Public Library? What is the net worth of Bill and Melinda Gates? Their Foundation? What do they pay the Executive Director of their Foundation? Who should be credited for the “discovery” of the structure of DNA (this one is very complicated; not the DNA model but the politics about who would be credited)? How much did Mitt Romney pay in taxes? Has Mitt ever been audited by the IRS?
Think you know how many Christians, Muslims, and others are in the population of the world? Google it. Now compare the ESTIMATES from the top sources that come out of the search engine. Hhmmm. Kind of hard to tell what percentage of the world’s population is Christian, Muslim, or some other religion isn’t? [I do not hold anyone accountable for knowing the “correct” number of Jews in the world as Jews, to this very minute, are still trying to figure out who is a Jew and who gets a free pass to Israeli citizenship. Nobody has any idea how to count Russians forced to abandon Judaism during the era of the Soviet Union or Jewish dads who married a woman who is not Jewish. It goes on and on. Somehow, I suspect that if I knew as much about Islam and “Chinese traditional religion” (under the Chinese communists) as I do about Judaism and its politics, I’d be just as sure there is little consensus on basic number counts.]
Think counting religions is hard? Try getting data on the prevalence and incidence of health issues-problems.
It makes my head spin every night when I see 99% of the TV reporters struggling to explain the error of a survey. (They use several different erroneous explanations and once in a while somebody gets it correct.) What if we were to also hold them accountable for knowing whether the information they cite is valid, reliable, biased, consistent. Wow. And I haven’t started to spout equations yet. I watch them Google for data while they are on TV and the results are often so ludicrous that they should cut power at the broadcasting tower. Wait until the lawyers figure out that they can sue for incorrect data as the result of a search and win large judgments. Maybe they will even stop suing medical doctors.
Recently a college student was in the news because he plagiarized a post on a blog and copy and pasted it onto his class-assignment blog. Along the way he changed a numbered list to a text list (presumably by pushing one key in Microsoft Word or Pages). Did he plagiarize from a world expert, someone famous, his professor? Nope. He plagiarized from an 11-year-old boy. Presumably Google helped him identify the 11-year-old as the source of the definitive information on poultry farming.
OK boys and girls. Google does not tell you a number or a conclusion or an interpretation or whether a calculation is correct or incorrect. All it tells you is that the publisher of the information on the Internet knows how to get the search engine(s) to go to that site for information on various topics. If all you do is take the data from Google and cut and paste and reformat it the term “research” does not fit. Google itself states that as their lawyers have instructed them to tell you not to trust the data uncovered by Google.
These days, if I were to believe the bio statements in Twitter and Facebook and Linked profiles, I think that it is reasonable to conclude that there are now more people working to trick Google into citing them and their advertising-laden web sites (these are the practitioners of search engine optimization, an arcane field that seems to involve a boiling pot, wand, broom, and common spices available at Walmart) as a definitive source of information than there are people working on creating valid, reliable, and original information and other data.
The Google Era for research. Don’t get too used to it. The empire will soon fall down.
And yes, apparently an 11-year-old can trick Google (and a college student) into thinking he is more of an authority on poultry farming than the US Department of Agriculture or any university agricultural professor or any science writer at a major newspaper. And yes, both the sixth-grader and the college student failed to mention anything about inhumane poultry production practices, genetically engineered turkeys and chickens, and the use of antibiotics in over crowded production areas. Guess Google did not tell them to write that. Or think that such problems are ones worth thinking about. That’s OK if you are in sixth grade, although it is kind of sloppy. College? Lucky for him that pro football does not care about chickens.
I’ve voted in presidential elections since 1972 (when as a weird looking hippie I wore a few Nixon buttons on my jacket and would tell inquirers that I was going to vote for Nixon because he was going to legalize marijuana). Images of various campaigns over the years … Dukakis in a tank, Reagan with a Cowboy hat, Bill Clinton playing saxophone, Dan Quayle looking clueless, Bush I read my lips, Bush II my wife wants you to learn to read, Jimmie Carter (nuclear engineer) in the peanut field with the boots and el cheapo jeans. The streak of Yale-educated Presidents (Ford, Bush 1, Bush 2, Clinton) proved that an Ivy League education does not necessarily provide the skills to be a good president.
This year, I signed up for the campaign emails from Obama, Romney, their staff, a few super PACs, and some assorted hangers-on. Amazing the number of emails saying outrageous things about the other candidates you will get for a $3 donation.
The current email political campaigns have a degree of viciousness and lack of truth that greatly exceeds what you can say on TV or radio. Remember all of the ranting emails folks would send a decade ago? The folks who wrote those and honed their skills at being assholes now seem to be running the political campaigns.
A hippie wearing a Nixon button. That was nothing …
I find the email, Twitter campaign materials to be somewhat disturbing. All of the candidates are using strategies learned from porn operators, Ambassadors from Africa or South America with money to move to the USA, and offshore lottery sites. Given that the pols have let the US educational system erode to the point where college graduates can only write 140 character quasi-sentences or post pictures on Facebook from their smartphones, it all gets weirder and weirder.
This country needs a real Twitter, email candidate with a brain and a good heart. When she is 35, Lady Gaga is a cinch to win. Somebody should find out how much each party would have to pay so she will run for them. Green hair at the inauguration. Now THAT would be something.
Addendum March 2016.
Well, Lady Gaga is still too young to run for US President so the Republicans settled for another “celebrity” (in his own mind). I am 99.9% sure that Lady Gaga would be a much better President than Donald Trump. She does not use Twitter to send out hate messages. She appears to be less self-promoting than Donald Trump. By all observations, she is smarter. She has a real charitable foundation that makes significant donations for youth programs. She knows how to run a rally; compare her Super Bowl appearance with Donald Trump’s appearance spewing hate in a red baseball hat all over America. And wow, can she belt out the National Anthem and other patriotic songs. Gaga for President 2020.