My Digital Garden

Meaning Matrix

Meaning Matrix

from Thompson Morrison

In his talk How to Invent the Future Alan Kay talked about oblique thought planes, what he called Pink and Blue planes. This concept integrates with Koestler's metaphor of "matrices of thought" that he explored in his book, The Act of Creation. We can think of these matrices existing on distinct planes - each being a different domain of thought in a moment of time.

A matrix can be multi-dimensional and spatial, more like the complexity of our neural networks. They are also more in line how we might visualized our personal pattern language that provides us meaning and defines our consciousness.

These "matrices of thought" are composed of knowledge sets that are meaning nodes connected together. The connected flow between these nodes create our understanding of how the world works - our meta-meaning. In the language of object-oriented programming (OOP), these nodes are "objects" and the connections are "message passing".

These meaning matrices form our Schema - our plane of consciousness. As long as that schema operates with others that are similar in form (based on shared culture and experiences) it remains relatively stable.

But, when there is an intersecting of alternatively configured schemas, or when there is new learning that doesn't fit the existing schema, there is a disruptive reconfiguration of that meaning matrix of our schema. Something that is called a Paradigm Shift.

see also