Anything can be an interface, as long as it is in between and as everything is in between, everything is an interface. Interfaces create affordances or possibilities for action. They affect our perception and cognition. How can the interfaces with such transformative potential be designed? Moreover, if interface create a set of actions, what if we go beyond the notion of interfaces and think in terms of the protocols? Not the kind of protocols that say to do this and not to do that. The kind of protocols that transcend reality, that lie in the realm of practices, such as meditation, artistic practices, version-control systems, BitCoin, chaotic itinerancy, and other polysingular approaches.
Currently we have many tools that help us retrieve and store knowledge. However, there is a lack of tools that help us connect and make sense of all the disjointed bits of knowledge. Here we propose a certain cognitive framework, which could be used to tackle the problem of fragmentation, put information into the context, making it easier to not only find the right answers (something that software can already do well), but also discover the right questions.
We often hear that the universe is expanding but our own experience is that of the increasing fragmentation. Smaller objects, shorter texts, leaner teams. It’s clearly an important trend that also produces the new challenges. How do we make sense of those bits and pieces of information? How can the smaller teams or device units interact with one another to serve a common purpose?
Polysingularity is a condition where multiple solutions are possible and yet only some are actualized at any moment of time. It’s a study of how affordances (or environmental opportunities) come into contact with the human capacity to believe and make choices. Polysingularity is best described through the framework of networks where the node’s current state and future condition is dynamically determined by its specificity as well as the multiplicities it belongs to.
In this research (supplemented with a concise slide presentation) we are showing how rumours propagate through networks, how to communicate information to a large group of people efficiently, what makes a message viral, and – most importantly – how the framework of network analysis can enhance our understanding of communication in society. This research was presented at betahaus in February 2012.