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So, umm..., what is this app actually for? (Read 40163 times)
Richard Pfeiffer
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #15 - Jun 25th, 2011, 2:40am
 
Here's what I like about Tinderbox: It helps me think. And plan. And remember.

Because it lets me see how things fit together.

Spread the word.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #16 - Jun 26th, 2011, 3:25pm
 
Lest my last sounded glass-half-empty, not long after I posted an email arrived from a forum member with some of his own data. I'm now figuring how to make worked example - or rather what example to work from it, but the key thing is it's real data and I'm truly appreciative of the gift.
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Roger C. Eddy
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #17 - Jun 27th, 2011, 1:13pm
 
Sample “Project” - “A Remedy for Errors”

I am cautiously volunteering the examples here as Mark A. seems frustrated in that it is tough to get real life samples to work with. Please do NOT distribute these beyond the Tinderbox community and treat them with respect as you would wish to be treated if you were the doctor, nurse or patient described. I have included a sample from retail business as well. Any comments about tinderbox in action or the project itself are welcome, if you want to send a private message <nitelogger@me.com>t

The sample files can be downloaded from my Dropbox account public folder:      <
The outline from CT lab summarizes data about medical error.
https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Public/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/BriefLookAt...

There are two tinderbox files:
https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Public/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/Narrative%2...

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Public/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/Novice%20to...

A .jpeg of a tinderbox map of “user experience”:
User experience v2 part1.jpg 783×650 pixels

A keynote presentation used with medical residents that shows how the material is introduced to health care professionals.


http://dl.dropbox.com/u/251672/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/residents.key


A Field Guide to Human Error with light hearted tone to soften up resistance to thinking about human error.

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Public/FINAL2011Field%20Guide.pdf?w=72ac9446

About myself - I am a 76 year old psychiatrist/psychoanalyst/medical educator retiring this year after about fifty years of practice including government and community consultation. Over the past ten years I have been part of a four person group working as a scientific hobby on the problem of medical error and patient safety. This has been a part time, uncompensated (to say the least) effort and independent of our professional and academic positions and obligations.

About the problem -

The problems are complex, overdetermined, interdisciplinary and extremely resistant to change and correction due to many deeply embedded “resistances” at all levels of activity, politics, professional egos, disagreements within and between professional and other groups and on and on.

The medical error situation  briefly summarized would be a death rate equal to two jet crashes per day, or a 6% probability of a problem causing significant disability per day of hospitalization. Over the past ten years millions of dollars in studies and grants have been spent on research and attempted correction. Improvements have been moderate at best. Studies have been replicated in other countries and using both retrospective and prospective studies. However the results are only reluctantly accepted and progress is slow.



***

In working in this area we found there were two main questions that came up repeatedly.

Why do people keep repeating actions that do not achieve the desired result and resist suggestions for change?

Why do organizations hire consultants and engage in extensive efforts at self-observation only to ignore or defeat the recommendations they obtain?

Then there is the problem of how do we put what we learn into our knowledge base(TBX helpful here) and into useful, practical action items for the user or the organization seeking consultation.

***

Our group has developed three “tools” that have been used in training and teaching various groups. I am the only physician the other colleagues having backgrounds in political science, administration and writing. We have been effective in working with small groups of colleagues or students. Difficulties almost immediately arise about trust, confidentiality and legal and malpractice issues. These are not easily addressed. Our deliberate focus has been on what could the individual, patient, practitioner, do to reduce the probability of being a victim of a medical error. What can be done practically “in the trenches” to improve quality of care or practice? (There are many other very well funded efforts at the organizational, systemic level, some of which work.)

Our tools have been designed to be used at different levels of cooperation and sophistication, from the novice to the expert:

OOOPSADAISY - write a brief description on a file card, like “Hipster” and reflect on it.

Narrative reports - select significant incidents and append a discussion. At a more advanced level be prepared to share the incident with a buddy.

Complex Context Critical Incident Report (CCCIR) a narrative, a discussion, some key words, three points of view, organizational, interpersonal-communicative, and individual, a report of feelings, action items, references to “the literature” or any other media that help understand the experience.

Users who have applied the tools have generally found them useful.

Description of TBX documents continued in following post due to character limit.



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« Last Edit: Jun 27th, 2011, 2:20pm by Mark Anderson »  
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Roger C. Eddy
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #18 - Jun 27th, 2011, 1:16pm
 
The  TBX documents/maps are:

Uses of narrative. This map is an attempt to show new users that the tools are derived from a background of humanities, the clinical world, and science (on the right of the map) and from examples in the day to day work world (on the left of the map). Many other inputs on the right could be added these are just samples. Many more incident narratives and CCCIR’s could be added on the left. THEN searches with agents, and development of categories could be derived as emerging data. In other words this is preliminary definitely not final.

Question One
Could something like this serve as a framework for a naive internet user who downloads a trial version of Tinderbox and uses this as a suggestive outline for their own personal data base of clinical practice. E.g. who would they put on the right as their intellectual sample inputs? What would they develop as their own narratives of experience, excellence, mistakes, exemplars?

Question Two
Suggestions of other ways of organizing or explaining would be welcome either here or e-mail me at nitelogger@me.com with ARFE in the subject line.

User Experience This is a .jpeg from Skitch as a copy of a TBX map. It is an attempt to get my mind around a “user experience” with these tools, what they could or would be used for. Again the attempt is to develop something that can be localized rather than one size fits all. (Conceptually this seems parallel to the approach of Eastgate, there is exactly the same problem that if you say exactly how to use it you are probably overlooking local conditions in application). The results will be better if the user is stimulated to reflectively think about what they are trying to accomplish, our tools can only facilitate but not direct the solutions.

Novice to expert theory. This is just an attempt to outline the points of the theory for users who have never heard of it. This theory has been widely applied in nursing in the pioneering work of Patricia Benner.


My apologies for the length of introduction but this is a complex, multidisciplinary, subject explain.



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russ lipton
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #19 - Jun 27th, 2011, 1:54pm
 
@Roger Eddy: so generous; thank you from this user.

At the risk of seeming obvious (trivial), TbX could be described with a high degree of precision as a single-user content management system (CMS). It misses some check-off boxes (primarily greater hospitality towards data types like image, video, etc), but fills some boxes not even envisioned yet by other CMS tools (views).

For starters, TbX does a near-ideal job of providing an agnostic storage system (XML) and clean separation between content (notes) and presentation (templates). This is the architectural base for any CMS, yet many are surprisingly proprietary in actual implementation. I could go on ... and on.

Eastgate might do worse than complement their current product presentation with a flat-out CMS story. Not only would this tend to further justify the price tag, but it offers an authentic point-of-contact for many prospective users to 'get their mind' around TbX.

Bonus: CMS tools want to enable cross-domain applications, so no need to explain TbX on that score ... the image below is supplied strictly for fun.

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« Last Edit: Jun 27th, 2011, 1:55pm by russ lipton »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #20 - Jun 27th, 2011, 2:24pm
 
Thanks everyone. Roger, I tried fixing the above links for you but most don't work. Based in the one that did (the Keynote), I as able to retrieve all bar the last PDf you mention via these URLs:

http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/251672/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/BriefLookAtThe...
http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/251672/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/Narrative%20ma...
http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/251672/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/Novice%20to%20...
http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/251672/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/User%20experie...
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/251672/Tinderbox%20stuff%20%28ARFE%29/residents.key

I figured this should work but it doesn't seem to:
http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/251672/FINAL2011/Field%20Guide.pdf

Requests re circumspection re further circulation noted. I appreciate all this. No, really!
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Roger C. Eddy
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #21 - Jun 27th, 2011, 2:51pm
 
doe frustration.
I first tried to use my iDisk for file transfer but it seems to have been diddled in advance of the CLOUD.
tI then thought I folllowed the sharing instructions on Dropbox but it does not seem to have worked.

I tried to look up Mark A.'s e-mail but don't find it.  If Mark A. will send me a message at nitelogger@me.com I will mail him the attachments and let him put them up on the board. Sorry folks this makes it look like an extended tease or over concealment on my part but it is just unfamiliarity with how to hook up attachments on the BB and brain spasms.

Coming soon. The real stuff.

Roger
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Mark Anderson
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #22 - Jun 27th, 2011, 3:00pm
 
Roger, email sent.
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Lew Friedland
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #23 - Jul 23rd, 2011, 12:36pm
 
Can't help jumping in here, a bit late.
I've used TBX since version 1.0 (actually used both StorySpace and the Squirrel before that).  I'm one of those people who almost instantly recognized the potential of TBX in my work, but, even though I am not a newbie, I still occupy that liminal category between newbie and intermediate user.  Actually, that's a long time to have been sitting in that space.

Like others, I want to make clear from the start that I've never used any program (or much else for that matter) that has as responsive a developer as Mark B, and as helpful community leader as Mark A. Have never, that I remember, waited a single day for help with an issue. So the question for me, like most, is not getting help with technical specifics.

I am a professor, writer of books and articles. Just in the interest of building real life cases, I am in sociology and communication. I work on a number of topics, probably 7 at any give time. Some of these become articles, others parts of books (or both) and others simply fade over time.  Partly as a result of this method, I have (just counted) 71 separate TBX files. Probably 15-20 have started with an idea that then faded (maybe 50 notes).  Some of those overlap with other later ideas (so I have multiple files related to "civic" something (communication, life, etc.).  In retrospect, I wish I had started with one big substantive file (i.e. all stuff about civic life, democracy, public sphere, etc.)  and just dropped notes into them. Others are from conferences, but the notes (not surprisingly) belong in a larger topical file.  Still others are on specific workflow issues (e.g. an early GTD file, too unwieldy for me; workflow mapping). So, having used TBX since the beginning I have a proliferation problem.

I think this problem relates to that of the thread. I keep coming back to the "what am I using this for?" question.  Clearly for notes, but not only.  This thread helped clarify that my various TBX files are themselves emergent: a reflection of topics pursued over at least 10 years now (how old is it anyway?) that are similar and changing. So, really, it might be time to go through all of the related substantive files and consolidate them into one larger working file, as I get ready for one or two larger books before I head for retirement.

One problem is consistency (others may have it too). I start a file, start taking notes, use it for one or two pieces, then move on to something else.  This is, of course, my problem, not Tinderbox's. But I think there is an elective affinity between Tinderbox and two types of people (at least) that are somewhat bifurcated.  People like myself who are not programmers (wish I was, but just can't get very competent; have tried over the years just to learn more about TBX functionality), don't really want to be programmers, but also don't want to just put lots of notes in a giant container and drag them around.  We are a bit ADD, maybe, and are attracted to the almost-infinite open endedness of the program. For those of us who are writers, this is one of those blessings that is actually a curse (look I can mess around in TBX for hours! take more notes, but never quite get to the level of organization that redeems all this note taking. So the notetaking ends up becoming lost and randomized, I drift away from the program, start working in a more traditional mode.  Then always drift back into it.  The point here is that there is an inflection point between random note taking and organized complexity.  It's hard to find. There are a set of procedures (organizing notes, using agents etc.) that can help you move up the curve from random note taking to organization, but they really aren't all that obvious from either following the functional/technical threads, or the intro use cases.  Many of us are stuck at this point, I bet: I have lots of notes, they are semi-organized, in groups within files or across different files: now what?

The power users have moved way beyond this point (they are the other group).  They fall into two groups. Those who are either programmers or have medium-high levels of programing skills but who are writers and creators of some sort (I think of Johnny Squid here, but there are many others).  And those technical folks who care about various levels of automation.  The questions and threads of both groups are often beyond me.

I want to start a thread for those of use who are writers, primarily nonfiction and academic, who have lots of notes, but are stuck at this next stage: how to realize the higher level of organization that would make this pay off. This is not a matter of any kind of technical capacities, but of thinking of best forms of organizing complex projects (e.g. the one big file vs. smaller files question that is often revisited).  How to take notes on books most efficiently when most of us (academics anyway) are also using  Bookends or Zotero, Scrivener (another of the great programs) and need a bibliographic database but don't want to duplicate our work. How to take notes on PDFs most efficiently using TBX.  Etc. Lots of small-medium sized questions that revolve more around working methods than TBX technique.

Sorry for this long post. Guess it touched a nerve.  If anyone wants to start a thread for working non-fiction/academic writers (including dissertators, etc.) let me know (Mark or Mark, if that's ok, let me know the best place to start it).
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #24 - Jul 23rd, 2011, 5:52pm
 
Why not start it in "Tinderbox applications"?
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linn
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #25 - Jul 24th, 2011, 11:14am
 
@Lew:
As a novice (as of last December), I really appreciated your post, but it did send a cold chill up my spine: I am at about the same "stuck place" that you describe (and equivalent academic background). I have been starting to wonder when and how people move on (up to the point of finding an online tutorial for regex and wondering if that would help!).  

I have been attributing my being stuck to still having a lot to learn. It's a substantial challenge just pulling TBX resources together, trying to figure out the language usage (see the Scrivener discussion on the word "deprecate"), and connect the outlines and maps to the sequence and production of prototypes, agents, rules, and actions. I do have the Tutorial CD and share some of the frustration with it that others have expressed.

It's also occurred to me to just "be happy"--moving those little boxes around in map view helps to think about relationships and missing parts of arguments in a mind-map way, but allowing more in the way of bits of wording and making notes on notes that mind map apps don't offer.  This is the emergent property that you mention.

Also, finally! Thanks so much for sharing your "retrospective wish" about starting one big substantive file. This question has haunted me from the start. So I'm up to following a thread on nonfiction/academic writing. It's a super idea, and there are likely to be others who would like it, too.
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #26 - Jul 24th, 2011, 12:39pm
 
@Lew, a good thing for you thread might be to post a TBX with a some sample data that contributors can use as a frame of reference. Regular readers here will have seen that where people can post examples of their problem/solutions insights tens to come faster. I just figure that with a common reference TBX, it might give users an easier way to explain their  frustrations/triumphs. "I can't make container X show Y denials..." or "Here's how I mapped the Z relationships"....etc.
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Jean Goodwin
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #27 - Jul 24th, 2011, 3:12pm
 
Hi, Lew!  I'd read that thread--it's often very enlightening how other people solve problems, plus it's fun occasionally to feel competent enough to give advice.

I'm wondering though whether the specific problem you identify is a problem any software (even Tinderbox) can solve.  You're talking (it seems to me) about the point where a large amount of more or less undigested evidence (things in the world plus initial reactions to them) is on the verge of becoming an argument for a thesis that someone else might be interested in.  Outside of disciplines where methodologies are pretty much given, this is precisely the point where personal expertise/perspective comes into play.  Five different experts might legitimately proceed in five different ways.

Once we decide which way to proceed the problem becomes well-formed and software can help. Of course,  it can take some jimmying and good advice from the forum to get Tinderbox to do what's wanted.  But Tinderbox's sometimes frustrating excellence is that it doesn't make us decide.
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #28 - Jul 25th, 2011, 1:52pm
 
By the way: I'm not sure that the equation of "power Tinderbox user" with a strong computer science or software engineering background is justified by experience.

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russ lipton
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Re: So, umm..., what is this app actually for?
Reply #29 - Jul 25th, 2011, 2:49pm
 
@Jean: spot-on.

Carrying on, I feel we must master the action syntax/semantics enough that TbX-powered solution pathways present themselves at that conceptual point where we would organize our improvisational research towards more systematic insights that may yield useful conclusions.

To wit, from aTbRef: "An action is an automatic way of setting a certain attribute to a certain value."

This is a masterfully concise window into the main game. The domain-unique knowledge we seek by our note-taking is set-or-computed (actions!) in TbX from the contents contained in attributes - since, ahem, everything becomes, ontologically, an evaluated attribute in TbX-world. This might be today's date, the coordinates of a note in a map or the brainstorm we dropped into one of our own user-created attributes from a hastily scribbled conference observation.

Thus, we will use actions constantly for proactive search-and-destroy-retrieve when we know what must be filtered, or to query-scan our existing content to elicit unexpected insights. Not coincidentally, these suggest coherent reasons for adding fresh notes/content, enriching our TbX landscape. Of course, since notes are 'just' more assemblages of evaluated attributes, we must repeat/evolve our action cycle, no? So it goes ...

Absent the mastery of action codes, our TbX world cannot but remain static. Forgive the analogy, but this would be a bit like building a Sims-world where its characters couldn't do anything, but just stood around in the midst of our artfully constructed Sims-landscape. Where is the fun in that?

The rhythm between learning syntax abstractly and pushing for mastery by the pressures/motivation of 'real' problems remains constant. But I must do enough of the former so wrestling with a TbX feature at the desperate point-of-desire, if time-consuming, doesn't derail me fatally from my own project. Too many derailments make us all (I suspect) shrink from advancing our mastery of TbX just when we most need its aid.

As a point-of-contrast with other dimensions of TbX, though I use export codes intensively, I gather many of us may never need them at all. And I still cannot understand why Nakokojisushibooshi views might help me, though I will surely use them when light dawns.

Similarly, I may distract myself by rudimentary TbX mapping without advancing the idea of need-and-interest which lead me to the map view. Here, though, may lie a converging observation to this post: mastering action codes gives me the cross-over point for mapping productively.

If some of us can identify, despite domain variances, the specific action codes/skills/lore where mastery affords the greatest return, would this not itself be a help to inquirers and point to cases to explore for the proposed discussion thread?

(A digressive point of encouragement to conclude: I think Mark B. has noted how TbX leads non-programmers into programming, for instance, managing objects elegantly, without realizing, thankfully, they have fallen into geek-ness. I agree. Therefore, let the non-programmers among us refuse to feel intimidated by queries, actions, rules, regexes and the like. Personally, I am intimidated by subjects like sociology ....).
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