Mind Maps

I have a small piece of software called Freemind on my laptop. It’s especially designed for making mind maps. I find it’s very useful these days as I am using it for making lecture notes, meeting notes and also pre-writing materials. Magically all of them fit in the tree-shape mind map very well.

I start to realize the great power of mind maps. But a question appeared at the same time: is there anything in this world which cannot be described by a mind map?

Diet coke can, which can be described by materials, color and shape, will be struck out first. Commercial advertisement pictures on the fashion magazine, which can be described by background, model, products, color, title and all other elements in the picture, will be struck out second. More abstractly, a person’s life, which can be described by a sum of his badness and goodness, a sum of career and love or a sum of childhood, adolescent time, adulthood and agedness, will also be struck out.

Does everything in this world have a tree-shape structure? Is this structuralism?


  1. Tao

    It is an interesting issue. In mathemetics and computer science, graphic theory was developed to describe the relations between objects from a collection, and nodes, vertices and edges are used to construct simple some geographic shapes.
    Also surface of human brain constitutes of dendrite and axon, and some kinds of complex neural network. So both of macro social sytem and micro entity like cell are related to these shape. is that concidence?

  2. mingxian

    How about a web? I think a lots of things and relationships between those things we cannot describe as a tree. The nature world is more complex than put several webs together in multi dimensions. My understanding is that the tree ship hierarchy structure is the easiest way to manage, and the only way we can take control.

    We should talk about something like this next time we play wii or party together! ^_^

  3. thismarty

    I’d be interested in hearing what Jeff, or some other Struturalism Guru, has to say when you wonder “Does everything in this world have a tree-shape structure? Is this structuralism?”.

    I would think that you could coax a tree/map/web out of anything that you can consider. And, I would further think that anything that helps you to see something differently, less subjectively, and more diffusely could only aid in your comprehansion of it.


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