Tagging Is A Better Memory Substitute Than Hyperlinking

About: Tim Berners-Lee (in Time Magazine)

source: Tim-Berners Lee in Time
That was when he created  his personal memory substitute, a program called Enquire. It allowed him to fill a document with words that, when clicked, would lead to other documents for elaboration.

This is "hypertext," and it was hardly new. The idea was outlined by Vannevar Bush in 1945 and  envisioned as an appendage to the brain. Berners-Lee explains the brainlike structure of hypertext by reference to his cup of coffee. "If instead of coffee I'd brought in lilac," he says, sitting in a  conference room in M.I.T.'s computer-science lab, "you'd have a strong association between the laboratory for computer science and lilac. You could walk by a lilac bush and be brought back to the laboratory." My brain would do this transporting via interlinked neurons, and hypertext does it via interlinked documents. A single click from lilacs to lab.
I think it is time to recognize that folksonomy goes beyond the hyperlink to create a more powerful memory substitute.

A hyperlink is an association between a phrase in a document with another  document.  Mathmatically:

  phraseIn (doc1,"author") =associatedTo=> doc2

When we tag a document using folksonomy the math looks a bit different:

taggedBy(tag,agent) =associatedTo=> doc1, doc2, ...

From this we observe that a hyperline is a one to one association, whereas a tagging is a one to many where the agent is a variable and not always the author of the document. 

Tagging is more useful as a memory substitute than hyperlinking.

Tags

  1. folksonomy
  2. tim berners lee
  3. tagging
  4. memory
  5. associations
  6. hyperlinks
  7. dmarks
  8. bozo sayings
  9. remembering
  10. behavior

Comments


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-01-21 08:30:14 2575
Mark 2006-01-21 08:02:49 2575
Sorry, Seth - for those of us who know where self-consciousness is it's NOT pixi dust! 
Shades of the old spiritual disagreement ... perhpas time to .
You brought it up. Self-consciousness is a fact (not pixi dust).  Just because you value it as such does not make it disappear. Your dislike of the idea of spiritual things or the perception of things other than thru the 5 senses doesn't make them go away - except perhaps for you ! Understanding such things could be focused on & probably made fruitful only by scientists who are NOT narrow-minded.

Seth says
Mark 2006-01-21 07:27:51 2575
P.S. the self-consciousness won't happen in a computer
I agree .   That is what makes tagging so powerful.  It is just human behaviro.  The computer system is designed to makes the human behavior easier to do and uses that behavior as the hooks into the database. 

Seth says
Mark 2006-01-21 07:26:23 2575
We have a chicken & egg thing going on here OR the cart before the horse (supply your own analogy). I say consciousness preceeds remembering. When I make a special effort to be conscious while I am putting my keys somewhere or laying my glasses aside somewhere, then I remember where they are when I want them. Maybe that act is what you like to call tagging in the most general sense, but I say there has to be that extra tweek of self-consiousness, which is unusual in most daily life, to make it work! 

Thing is this "extra tweek of self-consciousness" sounds a bit like pixie dust to me.  For me there needs to be a special behavior instead.  Take another example:  when i park my car in a busy shopping area.  If i just try to squinch my "consciousness muscel" that does not help, but i look around and notice things in the environment that does help.  If i am distracted and do not notice things in the enviornment of where i left my car, then i will certainly forget where i left it.  That looking around and noticing things in my environmen, is tagging.  We don't need no stinking pixi dust .

Seth says
Mark 2006-01-21 06:38:44 2575
seth 2006-01-20 10:47:56 2575
Mark 2006-01-20 10:25:04 2575
There is no substitute for consciousness when trying to put something in local memory. 
Well said, and tagging is one way to be conscious of putting something in local memory.
Only if you are conscious while making the tag - ever forget what tag you used ?
Well the act of tagging may be part of the act of being conscious.   And, yes, even i have forgotten what tag i used.  But, then, that is why i keep fixing my tags ... and gardening them .... google tag gardening.  At fbi we have one of the best mechinisms for changing tags ... when you have problems finding something, go back and look at the tags and fix them so that next time you won't have the same problem.  Also habits helps here.  The more frequently you and your community use the same tag for the same thing, the more it becomes habitual, and the more reliable the tag becomes.  After a while it works just like a nlp word ... .  And remember ...
source: Bozo Faust (c) 2006
"Not to tag, is not to remember!"


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