What problem does Thortspace solve ?

Andrew Bindon
Feb 23, 2017 · 7 min read

“Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through the galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind
Not a thing, and yet it appears before me:
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha-nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere.”

-Han-Shan, Translated by Gary Snyder

Michael Rosen reminds us in this newspaper article linked below, that play “isn’t just a means to an end: it’s fundamental to children’s development and wellbeing.”

Adults too. Adults need play to grow and develop. Play enables experimentation. Experimentation enables growth and development, ie. skills. Skills are embodied — so to a large extent can ONLY be acquired through play (in it’s broadest sense). Adult play doesn’t have to be silly or frivolous. It can be deadly serious too.

Thortspace was designed for this exact purpose … to enable people to play with their thoughts.

(1) Why Thortspace?

(1) Being able to resolve intractable debates and problems was one of the driving intentions behind the development of Thortspace.

One thing I try to do is be accommodating to the perspectives of others, as least as far as I am able. Thortspace helps me with this. It can take hours of talking to understand how a person has constructed a perspective, so one of the guidelines, I think, is to give people as much benefit of the doubt as we can muster.

Antagonisms tend to get diffused in Thortspace because at the sphere level, at least, every thort can be connected to every other thort. And use of arrangements means you can organise that same set of thorts in multiple alternative ways — not just one way.

What matters is not only what we know or what we stand for, but whether we are thinking and growing.

(2) #Eureka moments don’t “just happen”. They are a consequence of previous activity in the world. As a thinker you research and experiment and write and organise and discuss and collaborate and sleep. Then one day you wake up in the morning and Ah-ha!

Thortspace is about accelerating the speed with which you arrive at the Ah-ha!

Typically the Ah-ha may not happen while you are using Thortspace. Rather Thortspace tills the fertile soil of your mind, so that breakthroughs subsequently pop out. You use Thortspace and two days later you have a breakthrough.

(3) Transformational thinking is a #social activity. When thinkers have dialogues with each other, the ideas of each cross-fertilise the ideas of the others.

Thinking is basically having arguments that bear fruit. It is hard to have arguments with yourself in your own head. It is easier if you do it out in the world — perhaps on paper when writing an essay, or in discussion with others, or perhaps in some kind of computer software designed for the purpose.

(4) Large proportions of a typical human brain is devoted to #visual#processing. Could it be possible to harness that brain power in ways that haven’t been done before and apply it to solving problems? If so, how many problems could be solved this way? Could it be possible to generate a breakthrough in the capacity of humans to think, by providing people with a tool that allows them to think more effectively than they have previously been able to do. The invention of the bicycle is a good analogy. You can go a lot further and a lot faster with the same pair of legs. One of the intentions behind Thortspace is to go a lot further and a lot faster with the same bunch of brains.

(5) Could it be possible to integrate large parts, possibly all, of our thinking into a #single visually expressive, consistently presented and #visually#connected #web ? A web that has no top or bottom, no sides, no beginning and no end. A web that encompasses all perspectives and allows the consideration of any perspective from the viewpoint of every other perspective… Everything from the perspective of everything else presented visually.

(2) The problem with thinking

"The problem with thinking is that:
A) You're a narrow channel;
B) You're not very good at it; and
C) You're incredibly biased. And there’s not very much you can do about that, except listen and talk to other people."
~ Dr. J. Peterson, University of Toronto,

As the developers of a startup, we regularly get challenged with questions like this one: I can see that it’s cool, but so what? What problem does Thortspace solve?

Over the last few weeks I have written a number of articles on medium that attempted to answer this question.

In what follows I am going to highlight three of these articles and summarise for each of them the way in which the article answers the question:

(3) One possible source of effective action is “thinking-in-the-world”

This article highlights the 3-slot human working-memory problem, and uses this as a springboard to suggest the importance of doing our thinking in places other than “in our heads”.

The point is that human brains only have about 3 slots in their working memory, which makes it hard for us to resolve problems with multiple aspects, multiple dimensions and multiple conflicting interests.

At the bottom of the article is a list of academic references in this area that were kindly provided by Professor Steve Fiore of University of Central Florida in response to my article. (This is not meant to suggest that Prof. Fiore endorses the article or my view on this matter.)

(4) Crowd-thinking in Thortspace

Thortspace aggregates the thinking of crowds, to produce wholes that are greater than the sum of their parts.

This recent article suggests that Thortspace enables users to “integrate” their thinking with each other by adding all their thoughts on given subjects to spheres in Thortspace, and then exploring and experimenting with how the whole collection of those thoughts can be made to fit together.

The thinking of each participant can thereby be made to fit together with each of the other participants, and each contributor’s additions shed light on the total contributions made by all the other contributors.

(5) Thortspace: mind map or concept map, or something else entirely?

This article goes into a more detailed exposition of how particular features of Thortspace enable users to go through thinking processes that enable generation of actionable insights.

This last article has had more attention than any of my others so far, although possibly only because of the places where it has been promoted.

The homepage for Thortspace on medium is here: https://medium.com/thortspace

The homepage provides links to all three of the articles above, and a few others.

Research suggests that there is not much evidence that it is possible to increase people’s IQs, but what if it was possible to achieve more insight even with the IQs we already have? … we could call it the Insight per IQ quotient ( I I Q Q )

Also although maybe we can’t increase IQ, but when we have a group of people together, they have a group intelligence as well as individual intelligences… it may turn out that for any given group of people it is possible to have higher or lower GIQs depending on the nature and/or structure of the environments inside which the group interact and think collaboratively.

“groups where a few people dominated the conversation were less collectively intelligent than those with a more equal distribution of conversational turn-taking”

Thortspace - Collaborative 3D Mind Mapping Software

#3D #collaborative #thought_mapping #app. See it #MoreThatOneWay!

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store