How to Think About Our Networked World
On this Memorial Day weekend, Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton recommends you mix up your relaxation hours with some videos of smart people saying smart things.
We second that suggestion, and offer you (the above): a brilliant animated video by Manuel Lima, Senior UX Design Lead at Microsoft Bing, and founder of VisualComplexity.com, based on a talk he gave at RSA.
He visits the RSA to explore a critical paradigm shift in various areas of knowledge, as we stop relying on hierarchical tree structures and turn instead to networks in order to properly map the inherent complexities of our modern world. The talk will showcase a variety of captivating examples of visualization and also introduce the network topology as a new cultural meme.
Even more than the idea of repping these complex systems is the need for a new way of thinking. And this new way of thinking is about this pluralistic way of thinking that everything is interconnected, everything is interdependent. We are almost going back to the polymath, the Renaissance man mentality that it’s not just about being a specialist in one area, you need to know a little bit of everything. Or at least create outbound ties that you are able to learn from other disparate areas. And I think this is the most beautiful aspect of knowledge that we can take into consideration by looking at this networked thinking. It’s more important even that we make that mental shift because I think there is immense benefit that can come from this network outlook of the world itself.
FJP: GigaOm/paidContent 2012 had a lot to do with this same way of thinking—the theme this year was focused on convergence. (See our Storify of the event here.) I think Lima’s perspective on interconnectedness is useful not only to creators, professionals, and journalists, but to all of us, as citizens, siblings, parents, friends, listeners, speakers, and thinkers. See his talk here, and Twitter feedback here.