I had a thought: apply the fanciest idea I ever read in a book; glasperlenspiel from Herman Hesse's "Glass Bead Game" (also known as "Magister Ludi" meaning game master. The "trick" is to hook those many many details and ideas together. A sort of network ... something like a social graph ... just the stuff we're good at!

In his book, Hesse is spot on the problem we're working on:
"Each country's Commission possesses its Archive of the Game, that is the register of all hitherto examined and accepted symbols and decipherments, whose number long ago by far exceeded the number of the ancient Chinese ideographs."

He really does nail it; think of how many different conversations can be had on the face of the planet!
"Theoretically this instrument is capable of reproducing in the Game the entire intellectual content of the universe. ...On the other hand, within this fixed structure, or to abide by our image, within the complicated mechanism of this giant organ, a whole universe of possibilities and combinations is available to the individual player. For even two out of a thousand stringently played games to resemble each other more than superficially is hardly possible. Even if it should so happen that two players by chance were to choose precisely the same small assortment of themes for the content of their Game, those two Games could present an entirely different appearance and run an entirely different course, depending on the qualities of mind, character, mood, and virtuosity of the players."

What he ends up with ... what we end up with ... it's a way of handling all our knowledge.
"The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture; it plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colors on his palette. All the insights, noble thoughts, and works of art that the human race has produced in its creative eras, all that subsequent periods of scholarly study have reduced to concepts and converted into intellectual values -- on all this immense body of intellectual values the Glass Bead Game player plays like the organist on an organ. And this organ has attained an almost unimaginable perfection; its manuals and pedals range over the entire intellectual cosmos; its stops are almost beyond number."
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