07 April 2006

Human factors on the Tree of Life

by substituting radial
concentric circles
for a triangular hierarchy
in imagining my universal ontology

i gain the significant dimension of
distance from the center

which i mapped first
onto how common, in the real world
a given story-concept was

and second onto how
simple or complex

but now i want to re-map
that significant dimension

onto how much cost
or how much benefit

the realization of a story
would cost or benefit
the story-realizer

so in the 'benefits view'
stories with small benefit
will lie closer to the center
and stories with great benefit
farther out

and in the costs-view
small costs are close
and great costs farther out

and planning
means finding cost-stories
that lead to greater-benefit stories

now when a designer refines a tool

the goal is to maximize benefits
and minimize costs

and in software tools
the costs are mostly linear
sequences of keyclicks and mouseclicks

and when good design
makes a benefit cheaply accessible
for the first time
via a series of cost-clicks
below some unknown threshold

you have a killer app

a visicalc
a mosaic
an itunes