[ by Charles Cameron — Breivik, network analysis, graphical presentation, morale and materiel, hard problem in consciousness ]
If I might wax over-the-top lyrical for just a moment…
Like an early morning bouquet of wildflowers appearing out of the mists —
or like some translucent sea creature perhaps, with galaxies in its veins and tendrils — the mind of Anders Breivik is imaged here by Britain’s Guardian datablog in a graphical mapping of the hyperlinks found in his 1500 page manifesto, and the links between the sites he links to.
Beautiful, no? Like an early morning bouquet?
- mapping Breivik’s online links for us is a valuable service.
- the glamour of high-tech graphical interfaces can be deceptive.
- there’s no map of the link between concept and act.
That last one, if you ask me, is the real bouquet.
We can know quite a bit about what Breivik read, and even figure out some of how he “connected the dots” – but the move from thinking about to taking action is the one that matters most – and we don’t have much of a handle on it.
It’s not on the map.
Such lacunae bother me.
A lot of our maps and models move between one quantity and another, and a lot of our thinking, correspondingly, has to do with materiel rather than morale — but nowhere is there a map or model of how quantity and quality affect each other, or how morale “force multiplies” materiel — even though “real life” moves seamlessly between (subjective, qualitative) mind and (objective, quantifiable) brain.
We have no map to walk us through the hard problem in consciousness — except our own insight.
And x-rays do not an insight make.