squid_cake.JPGI’ve been enjoying the Creative Generalist blog for a few months now. He recently reviewed the book Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder, by David Weinberger.

I think Weinberger asserts that the relational database and our use of it in this digital age has brought people closer to using vision-logic – to seeing a wide picture of inter-related yet cohesive meanings.

“People keep pretending they can make things deeply hierarchical, categorizable, and sequential when they can’t. Everything is deeply intertwingled.” So said Ted Nelson, the eccentric visionary who coined the term hypertext in the mid-1960s. In the third order of order, information not only becomes intertwingled, intertwingularity enables knowledge. And unique identifiers enable intertwingularity – although there can be so many unique identifiers for the same thing and at various levels of abstraction that the identifiers are all a-twingle also. (p.125)”

Compare with Ken Wilber talking about vision-logic:

Vision-logicNumerous psychologists (e.g. Bruner, Flavell, Arieti) have pointed out that there is much evidence for a cognitive structure beyond or higher than Piaget’s “formal operational.” It has been called “dialectical,” “integrative,” “creative synthetic,” “integral-aperspectival,” and so forth. I prefer the term “vision-logic.” In any case, it appears that whereas the formal mind establishes relationships, vision-logic establishes networks of those relationships (i.e. just as formop “operates on” conop, so vision-logic “operates on” formop). Such vision or panoramic logic apprehends a mass network of ideas, how they influence each other and interrelate. It is thus the beginning of truly higher-order synthesizing capacity, of making connections, relating truths, coordinating ideas, integrating concepts. Interestingly, this is almost exactly what Aurobindo called “the higher mind,” which “can freely express itself in single ideas, but its most characteristic movement is a mass ideation, a system or totality of truth-seeing at a single view; the relations of idea with idea, of truth with truth, self-seen in the integral whole.” This, obviously, is a highly integrative structure; indeed, in my opinion it is the highest integrative structure in the personal realm; beyond it lie transpersonal developments. (Ken Wilber, p. 86, CW4)

Update: xsplat, thanks for the pointer to vision-logic. New to me. In my book, I talk about a different approach to what may be the same phenomenon, namely, Elizabeth Rosch’s prototype theory.

(Also, a nit: The book doesn’t point to the effect of relational databases, but to the effect of online linking in all its many forms.)