Mental Shorthand

I think it describes I didn't understand this the first time I read it. More importantly, it's not immediately obvious to me where I would look to find out more, other than plugging in all the words I don't already know into Google. -- MatthewAstley, DeleteWhenCooked

For mental browsing/authoring the author uses mentally produced stenography (shorthand), but with a lot of modifications/extensions:

Mental shorthand can be enriched with extremely short icons and by merging different representations.

The author abstracts from generating it as (black) lines, from one end to another. For example, imagine a wave of sand, being formed by a storm, whose topline becomes the shorthand symbol. You can use a breathing technique to simulate such a symbol-generating event. Or you use your self-invented dynamical 'mudras' to represent your inner shorthand.

Another interesting activity is the multiple reuse of single (shorthand-) symbols whose ambivalent meanings are extremely temporarily bound to context. E.g., use a single point, depending on location and (color-) shading and have it represent up to seven different meanings.

These creativity techniques were inspired by Pratyhara, a standard Yoga unit of 'Hatha-Yoga'.

Who has programmed a VRML-version of it, allowing to code the shorthand symbols as Bezier curves? For VRML I/O it would be practical to include (besides standard I/O) a data-costume and a breath-controller as used by MIDI-musicians. -- FridemarPache

You can't make a problem less complex with a tool that has a more complex interface.

But you could better use the built-in and trainable audio/visual/tactile/.. intelligence in HumanBeings in a shared VrmlWikiForum for solving very complex problems. It goes without saying that non-language objects are intertwined with language-objects. -- fp

[Another view of mental shorthand]: I can't help but think that the view of a sound pattern via FourierTransform (which is a quite complex interface) makes it less complex. After studying a display for a while, I was able to identify the sound pattern of a bird's chirping. This for me is the mental shorthand expression of the longhand oscilloscope pattern of a sound.

I tend to forget things quickly, especially if I only need it for the next few minutes. I learned the SignLanguage alphabet long ago, so I hold my hand in the shape of the first letter of what I should remember, and that way I don't forget it. Admittedly, it doesn't work well when driving. -- ShaeErisson

This reminds me of the medieval technique of using a mental cathedral as a way to catalog memories. Rooms within the cathedral would be populated with items; the item, the room it was in, and its position within the room would remind the user of the associated memory. Thomas Harris describes this technique in the novel Hannibal as used by the title character, Hannibal Lector. I also seem to recall James Burke mentioning it in his Connections series.

I believe the technique you describe dates back to ancient Rome or perhaps even ancient Greece. A Roman orator would "walk through" his house in his mind, successively speaking about ideas he had "left" in each room. This is the basis for the techniques taught by modern memory experts like HarryLorayne?, for example. (See the book he co-authored with JerryLucas?, TheMemoryBook?, for example. I read this in seventh grade, and it was very useful for school work.) I still don't understand the fascinating "mentally produced stenography" talked about above, though. -- ApoorvaMuralidhara

This is ironic, as cathedrals themselves are laid out according to cosmic concepts, the relation of spaces and objects within them are meaningful. Perhaps future GUIs will actually use ThreeDeeGraphics "cathedrals" or other architecture metaphors to organize "icons" and NakedObjects.

UI's are not about recall, they are about manipulation. So far 3D is only useful for manipulating 3D. It might make a useful navigational aid for some type of hierarchical storage like an information portal. Perhaps even a Wiki.


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