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    Is Space Collective too big?
    In response to schmuck's post about the openness of SC, I thought I'd bring up another issue the community is facing—the problem of scale.

    Not the amount on members, no, but the size of the library, the amount of contributions from members without a simpler way to organize and find the information therein. Space Collective, if it were a hive mind (and some might argue it is), would be a scatterbrained one—shifting attention from one topic to another quickly, sometimes repeating information and sometimes burying novel ideas (i.e. forgetting).

    it's a stoner, basically.

    The synapse system is great to find new articles, but to create synapses requires you to go out and search for related articles, which can overwhelm the average user. There are multiple languages evolving on this network, people are creating terms that overlap with each other's and these new ideas are getting trickier to search for beyond the original creator's former posts (looking at you wildcat). I'm not proposing a dictionary (though that might be nice). I'm proposing a new way for space collective users to interact with it as if you really were travelling within a super brain's network, since we already seem to have reached a scale of information that goes far beyond what a single human is capable of reading in a reasonable amount of time (i.e. sleeping).

    My proposal is this: the synapse system be semi-automated. It's time for an update. There is software out there now that can analyze documents and generate word clouds that give some relatively accurate renderings of what words are important within the text. Using these, the Space Collective synapse system will automatically generate one for each post before publishing and use those clouds to map on to others that share the most similarity, and present them to the Space Collective user as possible synapses. The draft will be saved and the user can peruse the possible synapses she/he wishes to create by checking all that apply and hitting publish.

    I think this would do wonders for searching for info within the spacecollective infoverse or whatever. From there you can map the networks and let users navigate it through that style of interface by selecting hub node articles and then further researching the branches, similar to the way a brain is constructed, which i'm sure was along the lines of the original intention of organizing the site, but lacked a healthy level of synapses between posts. I believe this would be much more effective at providing information to those that seek it and actually getting an overall view of what spacecollective is doing spontaneously. AND with that knowledge, users can choose to focus on relatively neglected topics or avoid redundant information, instead of this sampling from the top of the ever-piling Mt. Space Collective. other features could map out what has been read and what hasn't, showing users how much of the network they've actually explored and what destinations they frequent most.

    ease of creation —> more synapses —> easier access —> more informed users —> more insightful contributions (not that they aren't already ;)

    Wed, Dec 15, 2010  Permanent link

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    sjef     Thu, Dec 16, 2010  Permanent link
    it's a stoner, basically.

    lol. I think this is my favorite SC analogy ever.
    Schmuck     Thu, Dec 16, 2010  Permanent link
    Interesting points, but your post has gave me an idea.

    What about a "Space Collective Enhancement" Project? A centre of discussion where any user can post feedback and suggestions, and have them open to discussion and refinement from any other user.

    After all, many of the posts here concern the enhancement of our species, why not have the same approach to the site?
         Fri, Dec 17, 2010  Permanent link
    Who coded this place?
    nom the puppet     Fri, Dec 17, 2010  Permanent link
    Folkert Gorter was the designer.
    "System architecture and technology created by Josh Pangell."

    -the bottom of the home page
    BenRayfield     Sat, Dec 18, 2010  Permanent link
    I like the "Space Collective Enhancement" project idea. I have some artificial intelligence related proposals that could reorganize the way threads are displayed differently for each user. Some of these are very simple and could be created with only a few lines of code.

    Example: Threads and users are connected to threads and users. Synapses are thread to thread. Associates are user to user. Posts are between thread and user. This algorithm would think of threads and users as the same kind of thing. Add a new way to view threads beside "new posts". Call it "clusters of posts" or "web of posts". Like a neural network, everything has an electricity amount (neural activation) which spreads through the network. It starts the same as "new posts", but each time you click a thread, some of its electric charge moves to the threads/users connected to it, and the list of threads is sorted again by the updated electric charges. There could also be a button on each thread to do the opposite, to make connected threads/users lose electric charge and not appear near the top. Theres around 5000 threads and 3000 users, so there will be no problems with cpu time or memory. Its simply a way to navigate threads (indirectly by what users posted in them, associations of users, and synapses to threads) by clicking which threads you want more or less of. Its similar to  which navigates Wikipedia page names by the links between them, but this would be done slower and with more thought put into each click of less/more like the clicked thread.

    I'm trying to get into research on collective intelligence and better ways to organize people through artificial intelligence and intuitive user-interfaces. I'd like to write some code to create such things for SpaceCollective, and maybe write a research paper about it depending on if interesting things happen. I could do it separately from the main code so theres no risk to SpaceCollective.
    meika     Mon, Mar 12, 2012  Permanent link as an archive for

    It is a curatorial issue, algorithms can provide some support for this, but some sort of dedicated effort (human or AI) to edit it something beyond an FAQ or forum wiki would be required.

    The wetware equivalents of this are publishing editors who put journals, books, magazines together and curators who put exhibitions together.

    pagerank is one thing, decision-making selections another
    meika     Mon, Mar 12, 2012  Permanent link
    also if we're talking synapses and neurones and making analogies to brain growth, maturation and learning is a process of both making connections and pruning connections, patterning them...