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XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web by Jack Park, Sam Hunting

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The Ephemeral Nature of Many New Ideas

How many times have you listened to a fascinating lecture and walked away feeling excited about all you learned—only to discover that you couldn't explain the topic in any satisfactory way later that day? Thinking often has this ephemeral quality—here one moment and gone the next. It is not unusual to listen and seemingly understand but then to be unable to retrieve or reproduce the very ideas you thought you understood.

Such events occur in part because humans often form vague associations between ideas rather than clear linkages. Students in biology, for example, can nearly always tell you that DNA, RNA, and genes are related to one another. But if you ask them to describe how they are related, they often ...

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