Meaning Clouds

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I had a very nice lunch earlier this week with Marty Neumeier. I thoroughly enjoyed our wide-ranging philosophical conversation. Marty was talking about semiotics and symbols. How the way we communicate today, everything has become a symbol for something larger. The topic reminded me of an idea I had a while back—actually the idea came to me while I was waking up in the hospital, recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury. I guess you could take that as a disclaimer :-)

I shared my idea with Marty over lunch and will also share it here. I have come back to this concept a few times over the past year and it still resonates with me. It has to do with meaning and the way that meaning travels. I came up with this term, “meaning clouds,” which I like. My original sketch from the hospital is below. Here’s how I would define them.

Meaning clouds: Groupings of meaning that congregate and move around and through humanity.

I guess I am thinking about these clouds like the way the wind moves about the earth, like on this rad interactive Earth Wind Map.


I don’t know if this is a complete definition, or if there are other phrases out there which conceptually hold a similar space. If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear from you.

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