Intelligibility Machine

Thank you for viewing this video:

It presents new techniques that narrow focus, clarify, instruct, and affirm, within complex information environments. This is an important capability in AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) as we confront always the twin burdens: information overload and information omission uncertainty.

But putting one’s finger on what matters (narrowing focus), within what otherwise is an overwhelming environment of information, is more general than that. To pick out what matters, to narrow focus in support of action, is the characteristic function of the brain.

Rodolfo Llinás noticed that every multi-cellular organism that moves, has a brain.!  And he proposes why: organisms that move need to predict (or visualize) the future and their place in it. What happens if I move there as opposed to there, or there? The brain processes a complex information environment (the world), brings to it a coherence sufficient to allow detection of what matters and what doesn’t, and so supplies focused clarified information for reflection and affirmation supporting decision and action (where to move next in the environment). This is sense-making. Without this ability, we’re simply overwhelmed, unable to think or act, dysfunctional. Without this, we’d no longer be; we wouldn’t be beings.


Within a BIM (within any model, any environment), we need to call out and detect what matters. We need to supply narrowing focus in support of specific action to be taken in construction. We need focus and affirmation of what matters and what doesn’t and who says so. The absence of this is precisely the dysfunction of BIM today, and the source of its paralysis. It is striking, too, in contrast to the industry convention of drawing, which is precisely the opposite. Drawing is a technique of focus. Drawing focuses ONLY on what matters, and omits context. BIM is all context and no focus. Please see the video:

By the way, what matters, depends on the situation, and so it varies. And who is authorized to say what matters? This also varies. The point is, whoever has something say, they need to say it, and they need techniques available to say it, to express and articulate it, within complex environments, IN the information environment (not just abstracted outside of it, as drawings in their conventional form) so that others can discover what was said, focus their attention on it, and gain the clarity, instruction, and affirmation that comes from having been shown what matters.

For more on Rodolfo Llinás:

As described in the American Scientist article above, the sea squirt, image below, is a marine creature that is, like a plant, stationary, except during a tadpole stage of its life during which it swims searching for a location for settling. The tadpole, as it moves and searches, has a brain for processing the environment, enabling its movement decisions, affirming (one would imagine, to some extent) its decision on where to settle. Once settled, and developing into its adult (and non-moving) stage, it has no further use for a brain, and so it digests it.

Media will evolve. It has a future 

Various techniques and methods will support the development, expression and articulation of narrowing focus, bringing clarity, instruction, guidance, affirmation, direction, focus and attention into complex multi-media information environments. This new evolution in media will support and help us think, understand, decide, and act. This is an innovation frontier. As these techniques evolve they will contribute not only to human thought and action, but also to artificial thought and action, cognitive systems that parse and comprehend complex information (and propose action).

More thoughts on this here:

The interplay between wide and narrow, world and focus, lies at the root of human cognition, at the root of understanding. 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on dagsljus and commented:


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