Category Archives: Design

Knowledge Sharing and Accessibility

Imagine an open plane littered with three-dimensional objects. A user can scroll through various planes derived from a list of various other users (on that server). Each user’s knowledge base is systematically sorted and stacked such that other users can carefully collate what orders of knowledge each other user has amassed and attained. Imagine this visual:

On the onset of augmented and virtual reality, I foresee an evolution in classroom instruction ranging from secondary to graduate school. It can be possible for us to need abstractions less in favor of digital depictions of concepts and ideas.

Imagine a world where individuals can quantify the strengths and weaknesses associated with intellectual constructions ranging from software programming to legal argumentation or even investment acumen.

Barometer of Societal Interest

I had the opportunity to spend part of the weekend with my family, and a major concept involved reiterating to my younger brother the importance of knowing what’s going on in the world. For the most part, this encapsulated having a solid foundation of both history and relevant macro trends / drivers in society; but taken literally, I’d asked myself the same question: what are * most people * interested in at any given time?

While not a project top of mind, currently, it will be interesting to assess, over time, the most popular trends on the following platforms:

  • Wikipedia
  • Google
  • Twitter

More to come in the future.

Design Principles

Principle 1
Organizing information in a single, (visually accessible) flat plane

The normal human mind operates largely on a high level of conceptual thinking, rather than concerning itself with myriad, low-level details…We are conscious of the whole and not the parts that make it up…It seems plausible that evolution could have honed our brains to work in this manner. For example, rather than obsessing over every little detail of a lion’s face, like the tint of each hair, our brain quickly surmises that –boom! – this is a predator and we need to react, fast.

Principle 2
Establishing a single system of record including:

1. Temporal navigation (how ideas grew over time)
2. Spatial organization (breadth, depth and relation of ideas)

Principle 3
Findability. Ideas embedded in images are not searchable, therefore are sub-optimal.


forrest from the trees

Ochams razor

The new economy is a marketplace of ideas and knowledge. The plane represents the sphere of information to be harvested. The blocks represent an organized system of organization. The tall “building” represents a finished good that is structurally sound and aesthetically appealing which can be sold in the marketplace.

Information Mining

To construct an analogy for mining information and displaying it on digital mediums, I’ve used diamond excavation as an example.



  • Exploration: Diamond Prospectors explore the possibility of diamond existence deep below the Earth
  • Mining: Once kimberlite or diamonds are discovered after the process of exploration then mining operations are used, to extract these minerals
  • Sorting: Once the rough diamonds have been mined and processed, the next step is to sort, classify and value them. In this process of sorting, these rough diamonds are grouped, according to their size, shape, quality and color, in to thousands of categories
  • Cutting & Polishing: The next step for the rough diamonds are cutting and polishing. This is a great skill, with meticulous techniques that have been practiced for ages
  • Jewelry Manufacturing:  At this point, the polished diamonds are ready to be set into finished pieces of jewelry, which is the manufacturer’s job
  • Retailing: USA represents the largest market share (55%), followed by Japan (15%), Europe (10%), Asia Pacific (5%), Asia Arabic (5%) and other countries (10%)

Source: Swiss Gemological Laboratory

Human Conceptualization & Blog Organization

I often spend time thinking about how best to recall information. In an era where time is limited and the demand for knowledge sharing is high, optimizing information retrieval systems enable people to gain credibility and more concisely arrive at salient points in an argument.

When reviewing large swaths of information, I’d noticed that its best for me to boil down key points of various subjects on one page. Like many others, I find it difficult to memorize notes / concepts across multiple pages of work. I find what works best for me is drawing out a visualization of what I am trying to get across and constantly referring to that page when constructing / synthesizing arguments or presentations. I’d come across a very relevant piece of work by Allen Snyder on human memory.

The normal human mind operates largely on a high level of conceptual thinking, rather than concerning itself with myriad, low-level details…We are conscious of the whole and not the parts that make it up…It seems plausible that evolution could have honed our brains to work in this manner. For example, rather than obsessing over every little detail of a lion’s face, like the tint of each hair, our brain quickly surmises that –boom! – this is a predator and we need to react, fast. [1]

Humans excel in conceptual thinking deriving evolutionary advantages from quickly assessing reacting to new information rather than focusing on a myriad of detail. In our modern society quickly evolving from a capital intensive to knowledge intensive society, it becomes necessary for us to recall a high volume of information in a limited span of time. I’ve recently worked to optimizing all information I’ve collected, mined, and synthesized.

The Drawbacks of Blogs and Timelines

Most blogs are generally two-dimensional systems, and fail to capitalize upon a systems-based approach to connecting ideas; that is, fully capturing the relationship between and across various concepts.

Optimizing Information Retrieval

In developing connections between various concepts and ideas, I like to envision a three-dimensional field. This method reduces focus on a chronology based approach to information sharing and greater captures the relationship between breadth and depth in terms of time expenditure. It becomes easier to start off where one left off, and more easily visualize what where one has been and what else he / she needs to mine in research moving forward.


I’d recently come across a quote by Ray Dalio.

I believe that the biggest problem that humanity faces is an ego sensitivity to finding out whether one is right or wrong and identifying what one’s strengths and weaknesses are.

When I put together my first resume (in college), I was surprised by how difficult it was to fill out a full page of responsibilities and achievements I’d accrued over the last two years. I came across a similar sentiment when engaging in a similar exercise a few years later (when I’d entered the working world): I sat down, and sought to draft out a key tidbit of everything I knew. The next step, in the spirit of the Feynman method [2], was quickly jotting out the key points associated with each idea in an effort to teach a “layman” all that I knew. The exercise was surprisingly difficult, and I quickly recognized that despite having learned alot, it did not amount to much if I’d be unable to explain it to others.

At that point, I recognized the value in digitizing human knowledge – not all human knowledge, but rather, my human knowledge. I’d begun thinking of how best to sythesize and organize systems such that I could quickly visualize / map where I’d been, and to share with others what I do know, in an effort to better be able to connect with others in research inquiries moving forward.



Text As the Optimal Medium for Transfer

A block of words may look similarly to another on a surface-level basis. I’m intrigued by how a body of text can store such a high degree of structure, information, and beauty. Where writing prevails is where other mediums fail: access to creation. TV and digital media require costly internet connections and production equipment. Audio recordings require knowledge of pre and post production processes. Design, graphic or tangible requires knowledge of a craft, whether it be photoshop or sculpture. Text enables individuals to deliver the greatest amount of information at the lowest cost.

To-Do: June 29, 2016

Site structure progress moving steadily forward. Outstanding items:

  • Add time structure to “Micro / Macro Structures” category (and rename category, perhaps: systems)
  • Continue to log and index sidebar / migrate images to imgur
  • Continue research on Norwegian Cruise Lines, Priceline, Skechers, VIP Shop
  • Reference: Credit Suisse, Operating Leverage
  • Also, consider synthesizing notes from McKinsey Valuation, Security Analysis, One Up on Wall Street
    • Develop integrated investing framework
  • Leisure: Meditations, Marcus Aurelius


Organizing Data Structures

I’ve been thinking of how to organize information to synthesize a logical relationship between space / time (of discovery) and depth of understanding. Forgive the rather crude approximation:

The main parts are as follows:

  • Index (left side): a table of contents laying out what topic is currently being viewed (temporal organization). Ideally, a user will read through topics from start to finish to get a better understanding for context surrounding various themes
  • Spatial graphing (see below): view ideas with respect to a spatial graph to understand 1. how many units of knowledge each body comprises 2. where in relation to other bodies of knowledge each topic branches from 3. identify logical next “known unknown” to discover
  • Display area: detail on specific subject matter

Digital Exploration

Notes I’ve meant to log:

  • How do I develop an immersive experience for a user in the quest for sharing information (linear: powerpoint; network exploration: graphs); eg, a user’s visit to my blog
  • When organizing information, it is important to be able to sort by temporality (to underscore what I’ve been up to lately), spatially (to see how / why ideas connect with one another; ie, why I’m exploring different topics), and voluminously (to understand what I know in depth, and where I need to further invest my time)