Wikis: The Solution for The Writer's Problem? (part 1)

GREAT! QUOTABLE! The Writer's Problem!
Ted Nelson at Trinity U., Texas, ca 1989

In this talk about writing, I believe I'm hearing the perfect explanation for why I so appreciate wikis as the simplest no-nonsense solution for documenting deeply intertwingled information.

At about the 7 minutes and 45 seconds mark, Ted Nelson begins to talk about the interconnectedness of ideas, and the challenge of lining up these ideas in one linear structure: one path for those ideas with one starting idea and one finishing idea.

So creating one structural view for those ideas, while disregarding all other structural views.

I must listen to Ted Nelson's talk a few times more, so that I can coherently paraphrase him in my explanation of how wikis:

  • help me to never get "stuck" trying to figure out "structure" when I haven't yet figured out all of the information and all of the interconnections
    • i.e. just get started writing without concern for "structure"; let structure happen organically (iteratively and incrementally) as you start seeing the information and discovering the interconnections!
  • help me fragment information so that any useful fragment of information exists only once, yet can be included in any useful structure that represents one valuable view, one valuable structural connection between a bunch of fragments.
Something like that.

The rest of this story will have to wait until free time on some weekend.  For now, bedtime for bonzo.

Cheers !

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