Welcome to WisdomMaps!
What awaits you within is a new way of learning, and a new way of knowing and understanding, that offers direction, relevance, and context for information: a visual way of learning premised on the inter-relatedness of all information and the unity of knowledge.
WisdomMaps® associate information with other information in terms of causes, means, and effects, and in terms of shared and analogous concepts and meaning. Information is “empowered” and given meaning by its relationship to other information. Much as an economy builds value through trade, information builds meaning and value when considered in terms of its relationship to other information.
The potential benefits of WisdomMaps for learning are astounding… most especially the prospect of allowing the mind to learn as it naturally works, by association. As Vannevar Bush (National Science Foundation’s prime mover) noted, “The human mind… operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain.” That’s the intellectual clockwork that informs our design of WisdomMaps, a design that wraps itself around the natural contours of human thought.
WisdomMaps provides a way to organize information into a new knowledge universe based on the premise that all information is inter-related (however subtle the relationship). If the connection between the beating of a butterfly’s wings somewhere over North Africa and the birth of a hurricane in the Caribbean is not readily discernible, it isn’t chaos at work here. It’s just that the learner has not yet been sufficiently informed of to the nuances of the relationship between these two events–nuances that inevitably reveal themselves with more information, insight, and perspective–there’s no end to the information and insight brought to bear on those connections.
WisdomMaps offers a completely new approach that we’re convinced is hugely more effective and efficient than traditional education. The maps show what fits where, and how any one thing relates to other things in terms of shared meaning, and provide direction, relevance, and context for information. They abound with multimedia resources that make learning vibrant and enjoyable (people learn best what they enjoy the most), and are richly embedded with links to image galleries, videos, websites, articles and books, primary sources, museum exhibits, interactive maps, lectures, conferences, music, and much more. There’s also a large human factor in the rendition of our maps, since we believe that until artificial intelligence can improve on the wisdom of its human creator, the relationships and relevancies that bind information together must continue to be formed and continuously improved upon by well-informed and discerning human minds.
We seek to present a holistic and organic understanding of all knowledge, rather than presenting information as autonomous and disconnected from everything else. Understanding knowledge as a unitary whole enables us to better understand how any one thing affects and is affected by everything. (Could this pass as an acceptable definition of wisdom?) WisdomMaps adds the all-important dimension of meaning to knowledge, and enable knowledge to grow into understanding. Might this not make for better decisions, for example, in affairs of state that could involve tremendous outlays of blood and treasure?
The Chinese say that in order to understand a man, you must know his memories. We would affirm that in order to understand anything, you must know its memories (where it comes from, that is) in order to understand where it may lead. It is in this way that WisdomMaps can build a “bridge to wisdom.”
We believe that WisdomMaps can help provide the solution to an increasingly urgent imperative—one driven home to us with each failing of traditional education to effectively teach. The imperative is to make education effective, available, and affordable to learners everywhere, and to sow the seeds of learning that will someday supplant poverty and its million miseries with the vibrant landscape of the global knowledge economy.