This is an overview of the elements of computer augmented thought. It is important to develop a language of what the different elements should be called and what attributes they should have, while keeping in mind that this is an evolutionary process, not a think-once, write-forever issue.
If we were building a new system with no legacy this would be a very different thing, but we need to develop within the current technical and cultural landscape, while trying to move to a more flexible and powerful open environment.
The items listed below can exist alone in a document or as a part of a document with others:
• Thoughts : Notes, Writings
Our thoughts are simply notes° created by us without primarily referencing something else in the world.
• Something in the World : Citations
Something in the world which can be addressed and cited somehow. This can be a clipping/cutting or a URL or just the data itself which a system can search for and locate in an origin document/location. Includes text, Pictures, Video, Audio and Graphs.
• Thoughts about Something in the World : Annotations
Something which exists in the world, such as an article and we add a note to it, we annotate° it with our thoughts. This can be through adding meta-information in a digital environment with explicit ‘tags’ but it can also mean simple highlights, strokes and shapes around text or other information.
• Thoughts about Something in Our Work : Comments
We make ‘notes’ of our thoughts and information we come across. We add notes – we ‘annotate’ – documents others have created, for our own use while we comment° on documents others have created for their use and attach notes on our own for further information for the reader.
Knowledge Container/Frame : Document
Any self-contained portable framing of any of the components listed above, including composite and single items.
A presentation of the components which may or may not be stored in the view generator itself.
A key criteria for a powerfully interactive knowledge environment that comes out of this is the ability for any element to move from any Document and any View to any other, while retaining context and meta-information.
Connections & Concept Maps
All of these represent meaning for the user and all of them can be organised and connected in a myriad of views.
Dimensions & Interactivity
For the notes to be actionable by the system and therefore richly interactive – not just through the users mind – the notes need to share as many dimensions as possible.