December 18th, 2004


[ L ] IA as Memetic Engineer


A useful article published in the Journal of Memetics that applies basic meme theories to Architecture is in the current issue of the Journal of Memetics [1]. The uninitiated may find it a useful primer on the topic.

But irrespective of whether you accept the formative meme theories or not, IAs are clearly trying to improve the way information is copied from source to recipient. This process is also clearly influenced by the forces of variation and selection, making it Darwinian/evolutionary in nature.

Based on this perspective the fathers of IA, Wurman, Tufte, Norman, Rosenfeld & Morville etc can be re-read in an entirely new light. Their aim of presenting information and interfaces that are easier to understand and easier to use can be re-stated as "adapting symbolic models to improve their replication within a given environment". While that doesn't sound as sexy as their original messages it has some quite profound implications for IA and all design related fields.

This positions IAs/designers as running simulations in their head in order to predict what will be a successful design or symbolic model. The recent drive within design towards "user centered" methodologies extends this position even further with the sample group of users representing the simulated system.

But instead of using these simulation equivalents of divining rods, we can use this new framework. When certain thresholds are breached certain symbolic models diffuse at amazing rates. In dynamical systems terms this is a bifurcation. Based on this knowledge commercial design can restate its primary objective as "adapting symbolic models to create a new bifurcation that can be exploited for profit".


Молодцы, хорошо свели разные фрагменты в общую идею. Пока сыро, но как путь для прорыва — интересно. И близко к моим ощущениям, которые часто противоречат классической практике ИА, которая обычно сводится к классификации, организации, и структурированию данных.

Из-за этого непонимания и неумения объяснить свою мысль, нам не хватает диалога. Очень сильно не хватает. Пойду, вырежу себе Понимающего Картонного Болвана... Всегда ведь интересно поговорить с умным человеком. Или это будет овца? У меня есть такая раздолбайская овца, подаренная Олесей, качается на пружинном цветке и радуется жизни. Почему бы и не?