"Streaming Consciousness" is a metaphorical title with multiple meanings. The first impression is idiomatic: a series of thoughts strung together in the order they occur to me. Some will be triggered by subconscious influences, therefore, the "consciousness" refers to reflective rewriting of the ideas so that the reader’s experience is enlightening rather than bewildering. I hope to be prolific enough to generate a flow of ideas, but fastidious enough to filter it for purity.
"Streaming" also refers to an interest I have in processing and understanding information delivered continuously. The world has become incessant; the Internet delivers ever more information via dynamic social interactions such as Tweet-streams, Facebook graphs, threaded discussions and blog comments; and television has moved to crawling news in addition to visual and verbal delivery. Monitoring the panoply of information around us is now a full time job, which requires the augmentation provided by laptops, cell phones, computerized vehicles and other portable interfaces for real time data interactions.
"Consciousness" can be the awareness of an individual or a community. When streamed information is absorbed, understood and re-expressed, it leads to a social conversation that recognizes or realizes a shared opinion. The splintering of factions during the conversation sets the group boundaries and establishes "settlements" of collective ideas.
My experience and skills are in the realm of designing, architecting and implementing software solutions. Most of the discussions here will be addressing the implementation of tools and ideas to aid the establishment of community awareness. The primary design mechanism I now embrace is REST (REpresentational State Transfer) as described by Roy T. Fielding in his PhD Thesis, Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures. If a REST-based application is considered in its entirety, it is a dynamic system that streams programmatic functionality and data consciousness among users and user agents.
I’m sure that in the course of jotting down random realizations, I will discover other meanings. I only hope that my musings are helpful to at least one reader’s own conscious dreaming.
July 21, 2010