December 3, 2005
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James Fallows on Tinderbox

In the Sunday New York Times, James Fallows looks at Mac Programs That Come With Thinking Caps On.

Next is Tinderbox, which is easily, if incompletely, described as a way to show visual or graphic connections among facts or ideas. You enter basic bits of information - quotes, themes for a presentation, items mentioned at a meeting, characters for a story or screenplay - and create the desired links or hierarchies among them. The programs' powerful "agents" can automatically create such links as well. You can include pictures, diagrams, and other data. Then you can easily switch among varied views of the material: straight text, outline, flow chart and so on.

The program's underlying concept is that even when you are dealing only with words, different spatial arrangements can lead to different thoughts and emphases. . . . Tinderbox seems to offer an even wider range of variations beneath a deceptively simple exterior.