Garden vs Stream

Reflections from reading The Garden and the Stream.

Excerpts

The Garden

The Garden is the web as topology. The web as space. It’s the integrative web, the iterative web, the web as an arrangement and rearrangement of things to one another.

Every walk through the garden creates new paths, new meanings, and when we add things to the garden we add them in a way that allows many future, unpredicted relationships

The Stream

In the stream metaphor … you jump in and let it flow past. You feel the force of it hit you as things float by.

It’s not that you are passive in the Stream. You can be active. But your actions in there — your blog posts, @ mentions, forum comments — exist in a context that is collapsed down to a simple timeline of events that together form a narrative.

the Stream replaces topology with serialization. Rather than imagine a timeless world of connection and multiple paths, the Stream presents us with a single, time ordered path with our experience (and only our experience) at the center.

Random thoughts

  • Slack sits squarely in the Stream category.

  • Blogs made online publishing easier because one wasn't forced to come up with title, category or concept. The format supplied a robust structure in the form of a timeline.

  • Wikis don't really give you that, so there's more friction involved in getting "started".

  • This leads me to think about Oral traditions. It would be interesting to contrast with societies that adopted a writing system.