InfraNodus is designed to enhance ecological thinking, which is based on dynamic diversification of ideas.
To put it simply, ecological thought is where no single idea is allowed to take over the rest for too long. For if it takes too much resources (i.e. attention), then we risk getting stuck in a cognitive bias, totalitarian ideologies, or psychotic loops, putting the whole system we are a part of, including ourselves, at a risk. So ecological thinking is a framework that ensures dynamic non-equilibrium stability of ideas.
To draw an analogy with an ecosystem: if one specie takes over the rest or consumes all the resources, the whole ecosystem may cease to exist. So every ecological system has mechanisms in place that ensure dynamic non-equilibrium balance. At some points of time, some species will grow in numbers and consume the resources or other species (e.g. prey-predator dynamics). However, at a certain moment there will be less and less resources (or prey), so the cycle will reverse and there will be a decrease in the number of predators, which will lead to the recover of resources and prey, and, as an effect, eventually to the growth of predators and a new iteration of the cycle.
It is important to note, that ecological thinking is not about finding a static balance and peace. Many ecological systems are not in balance and not in peace. Ecology is a moving system, it is often based on a competition and even conflict. However, it is a special kind of competition where there can be no permanent winners, otherwise the whole system collapses.
In the same way, our thought can be seen as an ecological system where ideas compete for resources (attention). So, depending on our objectives, we may either want to focus on a specific set of concepts and generate a bias (which may be useful in propaganda, advertisement, and ideological texts). Or we may also focus on diversifying ideas, to make our discourse more open, resilient, and adaptive. In this case, we would want a higher level of thematic diversity and distinct clusters of ideas that are different from each other but are connected on the global level of the discourse to make it more coherent.
This approach can be represented using the scheme borrowed from panarchy (an ecological concept describing a typical cyclical development):
Just like in anarchy, we go through the four stages:
1) growth (bias, genesis of an idea)
2) saturation (focus, maturity of an idea)
3) release (diversification, optimisation of an idea)
4) reorganisation (dispersal, elimination of old ideas)
1) zoom in, and new growth (reiterating the cycle)
Each stage is represented with a quadrant that reflects a combination of 2 spectrums: scale and intent. To be more precise: big scale / small scale (zoom in / zoom out) and divergent / convergent thinking (disrupt / connect). To read more about this, please, see our article on cognitive variability.
A truly ecological thinking process will go through all of these stages from the moment of its inception to the moment of its natural decline:
1) We start from a single idea or a few concepts, connecting them into small clusters (from bias to genesis)
2) We zoom out and gradually build a bigger interconnected body of knowledge, but also reach the limit (from growth to saturation)
3) We need to then stop and optimise by disrupting some of the old connections, finding the gaps and bridging them, exploring beyond the periphery (diversification). A discourse at this stage is highly adaptive and resilient: it contains multiple topics that are distinct and yet are connected to each other. InfraNodus will always optimise for this state.
4) If, at some point, we need to reinvent the discourse we can disrupt the ideas further, break more connections, and find some new smaller clusters to focus on. Starting the cycle again. (from disruption to bias)
If you are interested to learn how it works using a practical example of ideating with this approach, please, see the video tutorial below:
To try it out, please, log on https://infranodus.com
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