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From a new Semantics column on Ambient Findability “Having achieved this network nirvana, the question is inevitable: what’s […]

From a new Semantics column on Ambient Findability

“Having achieved this network nirvana, the question is inevitable: what’s next? For an information architect with library roots, the answer is obvious: ambient findability.

I want to be able to find anything, anywhere, anytime.”

Me too! I want to by lying in my hammock, gazing at the stars and be able to yell out, ‘When were dogs first domesticated?” and have an answer.


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  1. 1
    Eric Scheid

    This would be a tradgedy. Science advances not because of the answers to the questions it raises, but because of the extra questions encountered along the way.

    (c.v. reference interview)

  2. 2

    I dont’ know as I agree– why should we waste our time answering the same questions over and over again. Perhaps we can next build on the wisdom of others to advance to the next level… once we learn what is known.

  3. 3
    Eric Scheid

    My point is that sometimes it’s better to not waste any time answering the question, not even a second. Don’t answer the question. This is not the question you are seeking .

    The conceit I see is thinking that users know what they want, that they are somehow perfectly logical and sensible. Too many easy answers can be a bad thing for learning and thinking. Better to maintain the frame of mind of questioning and doubt.

    I would be more interested in pervasive technology that lets us explore relationships between things, that recognises information not as atomic units to be plugged-and-played but rather as only having meaning within relationships and networks.

    Far better to accumulate a knowledge of the inter-relationships and inter-play, the ecologies of the information, than to simply accumulate facts and datums and opinions.

  4. 4

    Have to agree with Eric. Also take it one step further, what kinds of questions are being asked? Are those questions just symptoms of a bigger problem? Is anyone stepping back to really think of the bigger question? Yes having the tools available for me to make the inter-relationships are great, but at the expense of info overload since you aren’t quite sure if they are the right questions? I hope this makes sense…

  5. 5

    Mmmmmm, and notice how sometimes the framing of a good question can require a lot more imagination and neural horsepower, than it takes to answer it…

  6. 7
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