Weblog van Spruit
Goal in life: Create order, think lateral.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Everybody is an information architect
Like an information architect humans are continuously recognizing and using patterns.
As we age, we learn. A lot of it (maybe all) are patterns. Like how to walk. Or the child that knows that it can get its jacket when dad puts his on. Or the project manager that knows when to raise a storm flag for a project. Or the chess player that knows when to move his queen.
The use is in knowing what is coming: swing your left leg forward once you put your right one down, put your jacket on and go outside when dad puts his jacket on, a deadline that will be missed when all teams are in the red zone, chess mate in 10 moves when he moves queen to D4 now. What is coming you know when you have recognized a (correct!) pattern. You can predict how events will continue outside the boundaries of your sensory input and act accordingly.
As we age, some things seem to change though. A child seems to recognize new patterns all the time. There is still a lot to learn. But this is also because a child does not know a lot of simple patterns yet. They are quick wins. I am convinced that there are virtually endless patterns for us to learn, but they vary in complexity. The more complex patterns come when we get older, also because they are comprised of other patterns.
For babies this has been investigated (See Oei ik groei! for Dutch). There appear to be 9 mental jumps in a baby's development. You can see these as patterns a baby learns to recognize and use: the first rudimentary patterns (a hand), seamless transitions (one tone to another), events (taking something from one hand in the other, relations (a lemon tastes sour), categories (a horse), sequences (pick up a key an stick it in a lock), programs (dusting the living room), principles (meta knowledge about programs) and systems (meta knowlegde about principles).
How many patterns do you know already?!
Labels: baby, child, information architecture
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Article about Paul Lemmens' tactile jacket.