Flow Charts LO30382

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 07/15/03

Replying to LO30359 --

Dear Organlearners,

Terje Tonsberg <tatonsberg@hotmail.com> wrote:

>At said:
>> I am of a similar opinion that flow charts employ some formalism
>> which makes it difficult to produce them. I have used them
>> extensively to keep track of programming a complex computer
>> application. Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping has much less formalism
>> because it focus only on the basic pattern -- "becoming-being". It
>> concerns liveness, one of the 7Es
>My comment:
>Now you are confusing me!;-) To me a mindmap is about wholeness,
>not liveness. A mindmap is about showing connections between
>concepts, whatever their nature. Some of them have to do with time
>(liveness) but some don't. To me a mindmap is about asking "What
>does this remind you of or connect to?"

Greetings dear Terje,

I am sorry for having confused you and other fellow learners. I forgot to
tell that i have adapted Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping to suite my own

But let me first explain what Buzan's Mind Mapping is about. Long before
him, even in previous centuries, some writers used a numerical scheme to
do mind mapping. It worked like this:
- Main Idea
(After each heading, some text follows)
1 Concept A
1.1 Sub-concept Aa
1.2 Sub-concept Ab
1.3 Sub-concept Ac
2 Concept B
2.1 Sub-concept Ba
2.2 Sub-concept Bb
2.2.1 Sub-sub-concept Bba
2.2.2 Sub-sub-concept Bbb
2.2.3 Sub-sub-concept Bbc
3 Concept C
3.1 Sub-concept Ca
etc., etc.

What Buzan did, was to get rid of this linear presentation of a hirarchy
by numbers. Take a piece of paper and write the main idea with large
letters in the centre. Then arrange concepts A, B, C, ... around it and
connect them with it. Afterwards arrange the sub-concepts Aa, Ab and Ac at
A spreading outwards and connect them with A. Do the same with the
sub-concepts Ba and Bb at B. Should there be sub-subconcepts at say, Bb,
spread them outwards from Bb as Bba, Bbb, Bbc, etc. After having completed
the mind map, it should look like a spider's web -- or the branching roots
connected to the stem of a plant -- or on a road map with tracks connected
to secondary roads and they connected to the mainroads leading to a town
(the main idea).

Terje, you are right again! Buzan tried to reflect the wholeness of a main
idea with these Mind Maps. I should have articulated it as "because it
focus FOR ME on the basic pattern -- "becoming-being". I forgot that i am
a square peg in around hole ;-) I do not perceive knowledge as merely the
whole stucture ("being") of interrelated conceps. I see these concepts
("beings") as having evolved from each other by certain mental actions
("becomings"). This evolution is the reason why knowledge as a whole is
the capacity to act ("become")!

It reminds me how most first year students in chemistry perceive molecular
struture. They see it as a rigid structure, especially when they have been
shown at school a macroscopic model of it consisting of coloured balls and
sticks connecting them. It is almost impossible for them to perceive it as
a wriggling, stretching, vibrating entity capable of changing its
structure momentarily and back again. Even worse, they cannot see the
possible predecessors from which it has been derived and the possible
products it can give rise to. It takes a lot of effort to convince them to
seek liveness in molecular structures.

For new fellow learners to the LO list, liveness ("becoming-being") and
wholeness ("unity-associalivity") are two of the 7Es (seven essentialities
of creativity).

I have been writing an essay on and off since December last year, often
deleting it entirely and starting anew. It has not happened to me before
and I am perplexed by it. It is called "The wholeness of knowledge". One
of the main difficulties which I encounter, is the profound interaction
between "The wholeness of knowledge" and the "knowledge of wholeness". I
now foresee the same difficulty should I write an essay on the "The
liveness of knowledge" since it is heavily influenced by the "knowledge of
liveness". How can I comment on the liveness and wholeness of knowledge if
some knowledge on liveness and wholeness is prerequisite to it? The LRC
(Law of Requisite Complexity) stands in the path of telling it.

Perhaps I can explain my own version of mind mapping as follows. A journey
through deserts seems superficially to be moving from one town to another
getting fuel, water and some food. In other words, the journey can be
structured as a sequence of towns visited, visualised by a road map just
like Buzan's mind maps. Many who try such journeys for the first time in
this manner, get dissappointed, stop prematurely with the journey and rush
back to home where everything is safe and sound. Experiencing any desert
as such a "being" is indeed dreary. I avoid travelling with someone else
not experienced because that person might just want to travel from town to

But knowing that between two towns a number of roads can be followed, each
having its own attraction or lack of it, makes a vast difference. Many
years ago my friend's young son expressed a dull road as follows to his
father who was shocked by the language which he used. He said: "Dad, the
fuck-all grow three feet high here!" It was on the Khomas Hochland in
Nambia where one had to travel over 150 km of shale, kicking up immense
penetrating dust without any life, plant or animal, to be seen.
Unfortunately, this road has to be traveled should one wish to explore the
most beautiful place on earth - the Namgorab desert

I have often advised other new comers to these desert adventures to take
some dirt roads and avoid others when travelling through them. Almost just
as much they threw my advice into the wind, coming back only to exclaim
"never again". I myself, because of lack of experience, had to travel the
same dreary roads to know that I have to avoid them in future. But what
kept me trying again and again an unkown road, is the dream that there
must be some road along which adventure in desert life abounds. Deserts
have a liveness of their own and I want to find it.

It is really incredible how much time can pass when exploring a road with
liveness along it. What would take others part of a day will take me
several days. But it requires a firm commitment that it is not the
destination which matters, but the journey itself. Stop in some desolation
when the sun sets rather than rushing to a town with some marks of
civilisation. Give up the luxury of a guest house (or a hotel if you are
lucky) and rather experience the make-shift accomodation of loneliness.
Wake up with all the desert compasions like rats, snakes and scorpions
rather than seeking comfort and safety in civilisation.

I think it is the same with the liveness of knowledge. Explore the road
from one concept to another. It is far more important to follow your own
road than to adhere to the road of experts. If your own road happend to be
dreary, don't give up. Another road may exist which will afford you much
exitement when travelling it the next time. Do not rush along that road,
but stop whenever you get the "goose flesh" and explore on foot sideways
from it whatever liveness is to be found.

A mind map is for me not merely WHAT concepts are related as a whole to a
main idea. It is also HOW these concepts became related to each other.
Sometimes logic is useful to trace the volution of these concepts. But
often history shows that creative intuition played a greater role in their
evolution. Here i think of creative intuition as the "tacit chemistry" of
the mind.

Dear Terje, thank you for reminding me once again that some of us have
their own interpretation of a methodology. It may create confusion when we
do not explain it as i failed to do. For better or worse, it is such an
unconventional interpretation which may give liveness to the subject.

I have searched the web for other people having a similar viewpoint on the
wholeness as well as the liveness of knowledge and how it can be presented
graphically. Out of some 30 hits i can recommend
< http://www.grove.com/new/new_gfretro.html >
It seems that they have developed their graphical representation of mind
and its processes over many years independently from Buzan.

It suddenly struck me that mind mapping may not be a recent development. I
have visited many rock paintings (rock art) of the San (Bushmen) people.
Some of these paintings are more than a thousand years old. I wish i could
visit them again because i now suspect that some of them are nothing else
than mind maps!

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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