Finally listened to:

O'Reilly Emerging Technology 2002
KEYNOTE: Rethinking The Modern Operating System 2002-05-17 (0:43:00) By Richard Rashid

which looks at visualising and sorting/extracting information and points out that we are still at the Dewey (sp?) decimal system stage of network design - and what is needed is a useful mediator between the data and the user depending on context etc...

More great O'Reilly content:
Seeing and Tuning Social Networks [Jun. 04, 2002] by Jon Udell

which quotes
Jonathan Schull's Macroscope Manifesto

"Most natural patterns are not easily perceived, for they do not happen to produce lasting stimuli to which our nervous systems are attuned. But everything we know about biology, epidemiology, social networks, computational algorithms, and data structures tells us that branching patterns are "out there," waiting to be mapped, illuminated, seen anew. In the last few decades, new data sources, new data-analytic tools, and new tracking techniques have become available to scientists and schoolchildren. It is now possible to envision a "macroscope" that presents these invisible but ubiquitous patterns to human perceptual systems so that they would engage our innate ability to perceive millions of leaves as scores of trees ... and a forest."

Udell asks 'How will we apprehend these patterns?'
Says Schull:
"Go back to nature. Consider the perceptual arrays already proven to give us vast amounts of information subliminally. Visual textures, the shapes of trees and bushes, faces.

We're wired to respond to these natural biological stimuli. What's missing are the data, which we're becoming more eager to provide, and the macroscope that will bring the picture into focus."

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