Frequently Asked Questions
(and less frequently asked but important to answer)
What is an IdeaGram ?
In one sense it is a new word for an old idea: creating a visual diagram in the form of what is called a network analysis diagram (or chart) had its roots in the field of project management. It is uniquely evolutionary in that this concept has been applied to non-traditional areas, particularly the use of the technique as a method of outlining written materials and structuring concepts and ideas.
How do you use an IdeaGram ?
I have used the concept for personal study and understanding, for simplifying complex subjects for my own and other people’s understanding, for collaborating and sharing content with other people and as a method for summarizing content for learning or exchanging ideas.
How can I use an IdeaGram ?
You can use an IdeaGram in the same way. If you start to prepare your own IdeaGrams you will find that there is a clarity of thinking that is a direct result of the critical thinking and concentration that are required to analyze a subject and create a diagram that reflects the content of a process or a piece of written material. You also can review some of the content on these pages and see how they might contribute to your understanding about different subjects.
Where can I learn to create a IdeaGram ?
There will be tutorials and templates on this web site. I also hope to develop a methodology that will assist collaboration among users of this web site to share their experiences and methods. You can start immediately by viewing some of the IdeaGrams presented, pick a subject of your own and start to make a chart.
Can you give me a quick lesson ?
It is not old-fashioned to suggest that you just start with a blank piece of paper, a pencil and an eraser. Pick a subject and describe the process (for example making breakfast). Divide the operations so you can see what could take place if you had unlimited resources (i.e. many cooks in the kitchen). List them in order and be sure to show concurrent activities where possible. You can see my chart for “Making Breakfast” that I prepared with a group of 8th graders in the summer of 2016 as an example.
To make an IdeaGram of written material is more difficult but once you have done the previous exercise it will be a little easier. In this case you should read the material once or twice to get a general idea of the content. You will need to decide if the material actually flows correctly (the ideas may not be logically in the order in which the material was written). You will then start to reduce the words to the core ideas and put them into a reasonable order. In this case the “concurrency” occurs when there are ideas that can be grouped together. The example regarding the process called “Unlearning” is a reasonable presentation of how this process works.
What is your motivation for sharing the IdeaGram process and content ?
I’m sincerely interested in sharing the clarity of thinking that develops as a result of applying the techniques of critical analysis and concentration that are required to analyze a subject and create a chart that reflects the content of a process or a piece of written material. There are those, however, who may not be inclined to undertake the effort required to develop the focus needed to create charts on their own. For them, being exposed to the charts (or “IdeaGrams”) alone could be a valuable experience. Enabling this sharing has been an ideal towards which I have been working for many years.
What do you mean by collaboration ?
There are people (perhaps many) who are not interested in a deep dive into the analysis of content in order to create a visual diagram. This web site will include a large number of tools and practices (often in IdeaGram format) that I think are helpful and valuable for life and living. I invite others to contribute their own tools and practices that could be included on the web site. They don’t need to be in the form of a diagram. Over time, such contribution can be converted to an IdeaGram to assist in the distribution of such tools or content. Naturally, those wishing to contribute content in the form of a visual diagram are invited to do so.
How did this effort start and evolve ?
With a creative writing background I entered the field of Project Management as a Scheduling Consultant. The discipline of developing project management schedules by analyzing the steps necessary to plan and implement a project resulted in a natural ability to think about life and analyze things that I was interested in by breaking them into their component parts. Since the late 1970’s there have been in development a number of books, articles, diagrams and narratives that have never been published. There is an extensive portfolio of material that I would like to make available to the general public. It is a never- ending process of chronicling, creating and organizing that may or may not come to fruition in my life time.
Why do this on a website ?
The consolidation of these pages is an effort to reach out to others who might benefit from reading these diagrams. There may also be those who have the capacity of assisting in this effort. It also enables me to show the process to interested parties in a somewhat organized manner.
What is the best short term (immediate) strategy ?
As I started to develop this web site recently I told the web developer that I wanted a place to archive all of my IdeaGram material. I began to organize and correlate the IdeaGrams into related topics that we might draw on and include on the web site. It quickly became evident that including all of the items might be a daunting and time-consuming task. In the short term I have revised my intent to consolidate the over-view, establish the various pages that illustrate the topics but only include some of the detailed items. This will enable us to validate the navigational requirements, develop an effective over-view and begin discussions with others who might be interested in collaborating with the effort.
What are the different aspects of the IdeaGram process ?
The process has two distinct branches:
The beneficial (though initially difficult) process of studying a piece of written material and breaking it into component parts that are legible and readable in a chart like diagram (it requires / enables an intense manner of concentrated understanding .... turning reading from a passive to an active process)
The beneficial (and much simpler) process of reading a chart that somebody else has prepared; I can envision a period in the somewhat distant future wherein there are people who specialize in this process and prepare summary charts in a timely manner that can be made available to the general public
What is the best long term strategy ?
Sharing this process and the charts that have been created to date, in whatever manner becomes possible, will realize the goals. There is no time table. That being said, there is a personal contentment to simply continue to develop these charts at my own pace and for my personal satisfaction. My welcoming access to the public will manifest as may be appropriate. The IdeaGrams simply may be an addition to the sharing economy, over time.
The long term strategy will evolve and manifest subject to the possibility of attracting others to collaborate and contribute to the process.
What do you mean by "infrastructure" ?
There is a need for an “infrastructure” that supports the development and graphic presentation of these charts. The most “elegant” charts of which I have samples were either hand drawn or pasted up with graphic tape and typed lettering. Many of my current charts are hand-drawn or have used a professional scheduling program to emulate a chart .... it works but it is not very elegant. There are “drawing programs” that might be useful but much of my content exists in a digital format that I would rather convert digitally rather than have re-drawn one item at a time.
To this end, there is a need for an application or software development that enables people to develop and share these types of charts (similar to the availability of mind-mapping software). I’m also interested in the possibility
of engaging the public in a Wikipedia type endeavor to develop, organize and categorize analyses of various subjects that contribute to a sharing of core ideas among the population.
What is your personal goal ?
My personal goal, purpose of life and long-term strategy:
Peace of Mind
Contributing to the benefit of all sentient beings
I read the following quotation long ago and have kept it handy as a reference point in thinking about my own life and evolution:
Bertrand Russell at 82 speaking of the fear of death said ...
"The best way to overcome it is... to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life... An individual human existence should be like a river, small at first, narrowly contained within the banks, and rushing past boulders and waterfalls. Gradually it grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly and in the end, without any visible break they become merged with the sea and painlessly lose their individual being."
An additional personal note: I recently saw a program that described how a chef / entrepreneur in New York had developed a facility and restaurant for converting “waste food” into a high-end eating establishment. His most interesting comment (paraphrased): “If your goals can be accomplished in your lifetime then you are not setting them high enough.”
What is the importance to transition and re-purpose these concepts into life / goal-centric chartings and studies for the general public ?
I don’t know how important this is to the general public. Only by pursuing
this process and achieving a more public manifestation can this question be answered.
All people are different, although there are general similarities.
I believe the following chart will be helpful in determining how the various charts and ideas should be reviewed and represented:
Who is the optimum audience, or who might be part of an interested audience ?
I’m not sure there is a limited audience. The difficulty will be to speak to a common denominator if the presentation is to the general public. Specific presentations can be tailored to an individual audience. Enlisting the participation of other like-minded individuals to assist in this process will help determine and develop specific audiences.
What can I do to help ?
Your feedback is sincerely requested .......
Your contributions are encouraged (whether diagrams or suggestions for content) ...
Your use and subsequent input is encouraged ....
Telling your friends would be helpful ....
Coming back to the site as more information is placed is encouraged .... Suggesting ways to communicate future contact would be helpful ....
Enjoying your life would be helpful ....
What is the general content that you are sharing ?
LIST OF EXISTING CONTENT (PARTIAL)
(Note that this list generally represents my own interests and studies. The exciting aspect of this effort would be to begin to engage other people to make contributions as a result of reading the charts that are presented. It would be even more exciting if students in the schools began to develop charts that helped to pass on what they learn to other students )
1st Grade Curriculum Outline
Zed’s First Network (Construction of a bunny house)
2nd Grade Curriculum Outline
2nd Grade Student Response
3rd Grade Curriculum Outline
4th Grade Curriculum Outline
Fifth Grade Science Writing Project
Article from Rolling Stone Magazine “How to Read” (1979)
Ohlone School Code (large format chart)
Planning for Spring Faire (Stanford University Students) (1987)
Shakespeare: Twelfth Night 2012
Hazrat Inayat Khan Education: Before Birth to Maturity
OUTLINES OF WRITTEN MATERIAL <LINK>
Construction Management Process
Steps to Starting a Business
Charles McCabe The Journey is Within 1976
The Superliterates (Omnicon) 1980
Electronics Industry on the Spot 1980
Cable TV: A New Video Age 1981
Fuel Cell Analysis Gas Research Institute 1985
Dr. Suhas G. Kshirsagar Hot Belly Diet 2014
Charles Duhigg Framework for Power of Habits 2014
Jon Carroll and New Media S.F. Chronicle2015
David Brooks Road to Character 2015
PROJECT PLANNING / IMPLEMENTATION
Hospital Equipment Plan (1975)
Non-Profit Incorporation: Start-up Network (1980)
Manufacturing Facility Shanghai China (1992) Generic Design Schedule (2006)
General Use Permit – Baseline Analysis (2002) Interdisciplinary Process Analysis
HEALTH / EXERCISES
1924 Decubitis: Relaxation Exercise
Benson: Relaxation Response
Self-hypnosis by Numbers
Tai Chi Charts (1978)
Mentations ( a physical and mental programming technique )
COLLABORATION / SUPPORT OF OTHER PRACTITIONERS
1996 Digital Photography Learning Tool
2012 ULMER Client Work Process
2013 AMARAL Process to Alleviate Chronic Back Pain
PERSONAL LIFE PLANNING
Life Phases Chart
Life Line Analysis
Mind map of Life (1981)
Periods and cycles (1983)
Life Line Worksheets (Boxes and Ladders)
Cycles of Three (2012)
DS Re-cap of Mind / Body Practices (2015)
MOVIES / SCRIPTS / BOOKS
1989 Movie Production Process
1996 The Golden Karat (Yamashita’s Treasure) Plot Outline
2001 Cortez-Moctezuma Audio Visual Outline
2014 Script for Jacob’s Ladder Redux
YOGA / AYURVEDA
Analysis of Yoga (1980)
Overview of Ayurveda (1981)
Mt Madonna: Development Planning
Dharma and Bodhicitta
Lunar Cycle and Chakras
IDEAS / CONCEPTS
Perennial Philosophy (Aldous Huxley)
Meditating on Death
Physical Existence-Five Aspects (Hazrat Khan)
Interest and Indifference (Hazrat Khan)
Duty and Religion (Hazrat Khan)
Concentration and the Aspects of Life (Hazrat Khan)
Relationship Chart and Relevances
Logic Diagram Exercise with Solution
Nature of Sleep (2014)
Nature of Dreams (2015)
BUDDHIST CONCEPTS AND PHILOSOPHY
Buddhist Philosophy (multiple tracks)
Introduction to Meditation
His Holiness the Dalai Lama: On the Four Noble Truths
Wheel of Life and Causal and Resultant Karma
Khen Rinpoche Teaching (2011)
Khen Rinpoche: Paths to Liberation and Enlightenment (2011)
Thupten Jinpa: Under the Buddhist Umbrella
(Do Science, Secularism and Religion all Fit?) (2011)
Alexander Berzin: Taking the Kalachakra Initiation (2011)
Lama Thubten Yeshe: Introduction to Tantra - The Transformation of Desire
Two Relevances (2012)
Four Standards of Truth (2012)
MY LIFE PATH / STATEMENT OF INTERESTS
Consulting Practice (PERT/CPM Management Consultant)
Quantum Networking (IDEAGRAMS)
Outlines of Written Material
Outlines of Wisdom / Knowledge
Teaching (Enabling) Critical Thinking
Workshops for Life Analysis / Personal Planning
Daily Cycles / Personal Logs
Life Line Analysis
Ayurvedic Practice (Indian Medicine: “Science of Life”)
Sleep / Dream Practice
Audio / Video
Waking up / Daily Practices
Cortez / Moctezuma
"Thank you for taking an interest in this material"
Is there another strategy to implement the public manifestation of these methods of achieving clarity of vision, development, and sharing of the particular skill set and extending the offer of content to a wider range of people of all ages and experience ?
In 2013 I prepared the following proposal (never sent) to a national publication:
"With appropriate assistance, I believe I will be able to develop a transcendent volume of unique material over the next 1-3 years. This material would be developed by myself, members of my team and by others that we will recruit in the future. Much of the initial content already exists. Future development would leverage off the initial titles and method of presenting the material in a newspaper / digital media format.
If the (“national publication”) sees value in my content and proposed material I hope to make an arrangement that utilizes their “publishing house” as a service to determine, design, develop and exhibit a series of charts (think serialized cartoons), books and products on various subjects that utilize a “network analysis” (now “IdeaGram”) format in conjunction with written, audio and video material.
in short, serialized segments in digital format within the context of a digital newspaper. My personal difficulty is sorting through the volume of material, obtaining an objective (editorial) opinion, determining what narrative should accompany the segments and material, I continue to believe in the efficacy of developing a serialized, cartoon-type strip that presents the preparing these for publication. This effort is on-going, and has recently been accelerated as I’ve been developing a website intended to share the material."
I would be encouraged to work with an editor/collaborator that can help develop the presentation of the concept in general and various charts in particular.