codejak
Hi!

In my first weeks of using TheBrain I have come across a particular problem with regard to structuring my thoughts. To give you a concrete example to follow:

I started collecting names of restaurants in my home town. Amongst other criteria, I classified them by the cuisine they offer, based on nationalities. I did this by creating a thought "Countries and Regions" with such thoughts as "Italian", "French", etc. as childs. Any restaurant I entered as a thought became child to one of those "Countries and Regions"-children.

Recently, I transferred the Brain I collected these thoughts in into my new, comprehensive, "monolithic" Brain. Shortly after I found out, that I might now have the need to add other thoughts as children to the "country-thoughts" ("Italian", "French", etc.).

There are (at least) two problems I encounter as a consequence:

  • The "country-thoughts" could become very cluttered over time, given that I extend my restaurant collection to a couple of cities and that - to stay true to the ontology as I define it as this instant - various other thoughts could be linked to them (music, travel destinations, recipes, ...).
  • How should I properly handle thoughts that I merely use for classification, but throughout the Brain. For now (still at the very beginning of building my Brain), I set up a parentless thought "META" which is supposed to have classification criteria such as the above as children that will then be linked to all relevant thoughts to be found somewhere within the hierarchy below my home thought. Does this make sense to anyone? Or am I simply too focused on a home thought-based hierarchy still to even consider this doubtful?

I could make the distinction using tags. However

  • in that case I would not be able to look at the ensemble of, say, Greek restaurants in the plex with all the links around the selection visible and the flexibility it offers but would have to rely on the search results. Is there a way of filtering the plex by tags or would that make for a nice future feature?
  • I see no way of "batch tagging" a large number of items to implement calssifications that way. Am I missing something or would that be an additional future feature?

I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

Cheers!

Matthias

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Spacenexus
Hi Matthias

There are (at least!) two solutions to the issues you raise and to be honest there's no correct answer, just what fits your preferences best.

  1. Simply don't worry about having multiple instances of 'French' or whatever as a category thought. You might have that thought name under 'Restaurants' and also under 'Music'.
  2. Use Types and Supertypes for Restaurants, Music etc. You can generate reports by type.
  3. Create double-barreled names in thoughts 'Restaurants - French'
  4. Use labels to store further category information or expand on thought name.

I tend to use a blend of these myself depending on context and requirements. It's good to have a preferred approach but not to worry if sometimes you feel a different pattern is warranted for specific sets of thoughts.

Now you got the Worried Frog Cafe in Hong Kong for example. The parents are 'French Restaurant' and 'Hong Kong' and the wider context is 'China', 'Restaurants' and 'France'. Geographically you have location and you have culture whereas topically you have restaurants. To avoid confusion, this example lends itself best I think to having a combination of approaches that occur naturally as per the attached brain example of how i might go about it. From this approach you can see that the contextual environment becomes self reinforcing, logically pointing you in the right direction (that best fits you) on how to setup thought structures and how to retrieve information subsequently by logical association.

The other issue is non contextual information retrieval. Look carefully at this thread covering some of the ideas, existing and upcoming capabilities of wildcard and Boolean searches.

http://forums.thebrain.com/tool/post/thebrain/vpost?id=1743375

A neat trick if you have a lot of French Restaurants and you have a lot of child thoughts of Hong Kong and you just want to swiftly locate French Restaurants in Hong Kong is to make French Restaurants the active thought, control+left mouse the child gate. Now all the child thoughts of French Restaurants will be highlighted. Now make Hong Kong the active thought and you'll clearly see the highlighted French Restaurants visible amongs the child thoughts of Hong Kong.

In the posting pointed to above, I made a request for a more formal approach to combined searches like this.

I think there is much that can be discussed here and i've only scratched the surface. Any other thoughts from the gang?

cheers and happy braining

Jim



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codejak
Hi Jim,

thanks for your ideas ... and the beautiful sample brain which I was too lazy to extract/build.

Spacenexus wrote:

1. Simply don't worry about having multiple instances of 'French' or whatever as a category thought. You might have that thought name under 'Restaurants' and also under 'Music'.


I was reasoning based on the wish/assumption that this could be avoided. Even though I admit that it probably won't hurt to do just that. May have been a bit too far on the theoretical side there.

Spacenexus wrote:

2. Use Types and Supertypes for Restaurants, Music etc. You can generate reports by type.


If I understand your suggestion correctly this would aim at the same logical structure as in 1., simply implemented by using types. In my opinion this would be a worse option as compared to 1., since the type list could easily become cluttered with a load of variations. Until the more advanced management of types that has been announced elsewhere in the forum becomes reality, I will probably tend to avoid this approach.

Thanks for the pointer to the thread on information retrieval, very interesting. I did not know about most of the options mentioned there, yet.

Anybody know about the handling of tags, as it relates to my earlier questions? Looking forward to further replies!

Matthias
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Adathome
Matthias and Jim

I have made a few changes in the brainzipfile restaurants example, i change some child relations in jump relations.

- most of the time i try to work with hierarchical trees, in this case
  Geography and restaurants with jumps i go from one tree to the other so i   don't put more than once a name of a country in my brain.


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Regards, Ad Divide knowledge = multiply knowledge (Windows 10 -  TB8 / TB9)
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Spacenexus
That's a neat approach Ad, and the consistent use of icons and types creates more of a dashboard feel. I like it 

Jim


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agnor
My approach is very similar to Ad's.  I want to minimize the duplicate thoughts in my brain.

I have a group of thoughts called "groups", or "pluralisms", if you will.  These are things like, "restaurants, schools, countries, teachers, authors," and so on.  For example, under Countries, I have countries listed, such as "Peru", where I went on vacation, and under Schools, "University of Florida", where I go to school.  All of these actual places have a thought type of "place".

Then, in your case, I would have a second group of "Restaurants", with every restaurant listed under it and assigned the type "restauarant" (as Ad's example did).

I would also have a third "group" of "Nationalities", since this seems to both work for your purpose and allow you to make use of it in other contexts later.  I would put "Italian" asa thought under "Nationalities".

Thus, your "Worried Frog Cafe" has parent thoughts of, "Hong Kong", "Restaurants", and "Italian".

Hope it helps.  I'm still trying to work things out myself, but this seems to be working for me so far.  I don't know if there need to be intervening thoughts amongst those, i.e., if I want to see "Worried Frog Cafe" when I click on "Italian", or if I want to see "Italian Food" when I click on it.  That's up to you, but hopefully my post above will help either way.

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Adathome

agnor wrote:
Thus, your "Worried Frog Cafe" has parent thoughts of, "Hong Kong", "Restaurants", and "Italian".

In my approach; "worried Frog cafe" is in the hierarchical tree "restaurants" and has two jump relations with two other hierarchical trees "geography" and "nationalities"

Regards, Ad Divide knowledge = multiply knowledge (Windows 10 -  TB8 / TB9)
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agnor
Interesting difference.  I've been trying to work out when I'm going to use parent thoughts and when I'm going to use jump thoughts.  I may yet switch to doing it your way.
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