Saturday, December 09, 2006


Today I attended a conference on digital media at the Cleveland Institute of Art -- affectionately called "CIA" on the North Shore. A great group of people showed up.

But I could not "get" the title of the conference -- defrag??? It is something I used to do to my Windows computers when they would slow down after several months of use. So I looked up "defrag" on the web...

A process whereby parts of data files on all segments of a computer hard disk are taken from their fragmented state (with parts of files spread all over the disk), and grouped together in complete-file segments. This makes it quicker for applications to find the files they need and frees up disk space, making the computer run more efficiently.

Key phrases: "parts spread all over", "grouped together", "make it quicker to find", "run more efficiently"

Oh, I get it now... "defrag" is the geek's way of saying "networkweaving". Defragging and networkweaving accomplish the same goal -- they take a complex distribution of information and knowledge and re-organize it for more efficient processing. Of course in defragging human systems we are not just looking for efficiency alone, but also discovery, innovation and growth.

Maybe our new elevator spiel should be: "We defrag organizations and communities". What do you think?


Tim Ferris said...

thanks for the explication--I had a little trouble with instant cognition there, myself--the naming of the series compels searching for the meanings, and I guess it's accomplishing its purpose

Anonymous said...

Defrag (from de-fragment) brings all of the fragments of a file together in one contiguous physical location on disk. This enables sequential reads of a file, minimizing the disk head travel or seek time.

I would suggest defragment instead:

"we defragment organizations and communities"

since it will have wider meaning than the geek community. But you lose the sense of people staying spread out (in geography or social space) but becoming more connected
that network weaving offers.