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Every Page is Page One by Mark Baker

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5.5. The flattening problem

Any two-dimensional presentation of organizational relationships (on paper or on a screen) will, by necessity, flatten them. After all, the medium is flat. We are also limited in our ability to visualize and express complex multi-dimensional relationships. Whether that limitation is innate or the result of thought patterns developed by our five-thousand-year experience with paper, we flatten as we attempt to understand.

When we flatten, we distort. Things that should be close together are forced apart, things that should be distant are forced together, angles are twisted, three and four dimensions are compressed into two. Even if flattening is necessary for comprehension, it still distorts the thing we seek to comprehend. ...

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