Treesheets: the coolest thing for hierarchical data organization

I decided last night to reclaim some space on my (Linux beta-enabled) Chromebook by uninstalling some never-used packages I grabbed from the Debian repositories.

Oops, I wound up uninstalling most of the software somehow.

So I'm re-installing software I really did not want removed.  Including this little gem:  TreeSheets.

Although I rarely use TreeSheets because I almost exclusively deal with non-linear information that does not fit hierarchical organization, I cannot stand not having TreeSheets readily available to me for any moment I might need it, and I can't help but play with it once in a while because it amazes me how well the product works.

To me, TreeSheets is just one of the coolest things I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.  Hence my plug for the tool via this blog entry.

And, to me, it seems impossible to easily explain.

From the product web site, TreeSheets is:

  • an open source free form data organizer (a hierarchical spreadsheet.) 

  • a great replacement for spreadsheets, mind mappers, outliners, PIMs, text editors and small databases. 

  • suitable for any kind of data organization, such as todo lists, calendars, project management, brainstorming, organizing ideas, planning, requirements gathering, presentation of information, etc. 

  • like a spreadsheet, immediately familiar, but much more suitable for complex data because it's hierarchical. 

  • like a mind mapper, but more organized and compact.

  • like an outliner, but in more than one dimension. 

  • like a text editor, but with structure.

Check out some screenshots here.

Please, you really must give it a spin and experience it for yourself.  TreeSheets, authored by Wouter van Oortmerssen, can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, and Linux from the TreeSheets website.

Intertwingularity at the core of my spirituality

I'm in a spiritual mood, so might as well write about my spiritual perspective.

For as long as I can remember, I always felt like I viewed the world in a way that felt a little different.  For example: when I see a tree "over there", and don't think of me "over here" and the tree "over there"; I see "us" and our interconnection, some intrinsic link between me and that tree.

That feeling, I have with all around me, however near, however far, whether still of this world or crossed over into the next.

Yet I never could quite understand that until I bought a book, seemingly a great one to read with my child, by author Chara M. Curtis :

All I See Is Part of Me

Which made me think of the flip-side:

I am part of all I see

If felt oh-so-good to see words that made absolute sense to me, words that explained a feeling I had for as long as I can remember.

All of that eventually evolved into:

All there is,
all there ever was,
and all there ever will be
is part of me.
And the flip-side:

I am a part of
all there is,
all there ever was,
and all there ever will be.

A number of years later, I would read something along the lines of:

We are spiritual beings here for a human experience.

From my readings of native american spirituality and tribal wisdom, I've come to believe that all living things are spiritual beings here for an experience.  So:

  • A tree is a spiritual being here for the "tree experience."
  • A wolf is a spiritual being here for the "wolf experience."
  • An eagle is a spiritual being here for the "eagle experience."
  • Same for a bear, a blade of grass, and so on and so forth ...

And I wondered, where does that experience go?  And out of left-field, it smacked something silly:

A drop of water exists in a cycle:
  • Every individual drop of water eventually makes its way to the ocean (the source).
  • Once it reaches the ocean, a drop of water cannot be distinguished from the other drops of water.
  • All the drops of water are one with the ocean.
  • Eventually, water in the ocean evaporates.
  • The water turns into rain, water drops that return to land.
  • And so the cycle starts again...

In the same way, our spirits follow a similar cycle:
  • Every individual spirit, along with its experience, eventually makes its way to God (the source).
  • Once it reaches God, a spirit cannot be distinguished from the other spirits.
  • All the spirits are one with God.
  • Eventually, spirits return as spiritual beings here for another experience.
  • And so the cycle starts again...

And I've since had no more questions and no more thoughts.  I suppose we could say that I am spiritually satisfied?

All of that written, not at all to convince anybody else to hop aboard my spiritual train, but rather to make an interesting observation:

I keep thinking that we humans have this nasty habit of ignoring intertwingularity so that we can keep things nice and tidy.

Now I'm thinking, like in my spiritual underpinnings explained here, that intertwingularity can actually make things nice and tidy?

Huh.  I didn't expect that.


The problem with meritocracy: a failure to intertwingulate ?

I've got CNN's Smerconish on the tv, in the background, as I'm trying to put together my part two of "Wikis: The Solution for The Writer's Problem?"


Well: hamster !

Somehow, one of many hamsters in the back o' me sponge (I imagine my subconscious mind as a bunch of hamsters in wheels they are spinning like mad) bursts into my conscious mind screaming out: "hey, they are talking about an intertwingularity problem !"

Since I tend to not fight any of them hamsters, I surrender and figure okay, let me rewind Smerconish's discussion with his current guest, Daniel Markovits, about Markovits' book:

 The Meritocracy Trap:
How America's Foundational Myth
Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class,
and Devours the Elite.

Meh.  Nice back and forth, but not particularly riveting, until Daniel Markovits discusses something that has me sitting up and paying some serious attention.

There's a system, and we are all caught in it.  Everybody is responding to the incentives that they have, trying to do the best for themselves and their families, but the system is one that favours some and harms others, and that's the problem that we need to focus on correcting.
Among those who invest the labour to benefit from meritocracy,there are some who exclude others.

Daniel Markovits gives Uber as an example.  To quote/paraphrase him (I find transcribing a hard thing to do!):
Think about taxi cabs. 
To be a cab driver, you had to know the city.  In fact, to be a cab driver in London, you had to study the streets for about a year and a half to acquire the knowledge.  The job was merit-based.  A cab driver needed the knowledge of the streets to do the job, and was rewarded for that knowledge. 
With Uber, a small number of individuals are rewarded to create algorithms for smart phones, which Uber drivers use to navigate the streets.  Because the many drivers do not need to know the streets, there is no knowledge to reward.  So knowledgeable cab drivers are being pushed out by Uber drivers. 
Instead of the reward (i.e. $$$'s in income) going to many drivers, the reward is now going to fewer people (a smaller elite group of individuals who write the algorithms and apps for smartphones used by Uber drivers,) and there is no opportunity for Uber drivers to work their way up to better jobs in Uber.
As per the bottom caption on Smerconish's show:

Meritocracy, the so-called merit system, feeds inequality.

We could say that's an unintended consequence.  Some might say that was built-in by design (man, I hope not!)

Me, I look at it as a case of we strange critters having yet again dumbed things down (in our "design" of meritocracy), as per our nature, to make things nice and tidy, and so easy to understand and implement.  I.E. :

What we have here is a failure to intertwingulate ???

Intertwingulate: to consider all of the deeply intertwingled things related to the topic/concept/system/whatever at hand?

That's my thought out of left-field for today.  Cheers !