Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Management Plan 

Management Plan

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Processing 1.0 (BETA) 

Processing 1.0 (BETA): "Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is developed by artists and designers as an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Triumphal Arch and the Large Triumphal Carriage of Maximilian I 

The Triumphal Arch and the Large Triumphal Carriage of Maximilian I: "The Triumphal Arch of Maximilian I

Maximilian I, known as the 'Last Knight', was enormously proud of his ancestry and personal achievements. The ancestors in his envisioned family-tree included Ceasar, Alexander the Great and even Herakles. He counted among his personal achievements the ability to speak seven languages, the knowledge of artillery and the presentation of a chapel to the Order of St. George. He was actively involved in fields like classical archeology, art criticism, music and poetry, veterinary surgery, mining and fashion designing. An impulsive, generous and patriarchal ruler who was constantly short of money, Maximilian was conscious of the grandeur of his house and urged the imitation of the Roman emperors. Like Ceasar, Titus and Constantine, Maximilian was to have his triumphal procession and triumphal arch.

Concerned with ensuring his lasting fame, he lacked the funds to erect an arch of triumph in stone. However, an arch of triumph in the imperial Roman tradition printed on paper was achievable and had two distinct advantages. Apart from being less costly, it could be assembled simultaneously in many locations. This suited the emperor very well since, in the age the upcoming Reformation, he was full aware of the power of printed word and image. A completed arch and procession on paper was then to be dispatched to all the corners of the empire, where all could learn of and testify to the emperor glory."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

3quarksdaily review of The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, by Steven Pinker 

3quarksdaily: "In 1879 a man in Germany named Gottlob Frege wrote a paper entitled 'Über Sinn und Bedeutung.' (That means 'On Sense and Meaning.') For more than two thousand years before Frege, the Western world had been worrying about all kinds of philosophical questions: What is the nature of justice? What is the nature of beauty? What is the nature of truth? And, of course: What is the meaning of life? After Frege, we (at least Anglo-American analytical philosophy) have spent the last century-and-a-quarter mostly wondering whether it makes sense to even ask such questions, and to answer that, focusing on language itself. From Bertrand Russell's attempts to model natural languages with formal ones such as the predicate calculus, to Wittgenstein's language games, to the verificationism of logical positivism and the Vienna Circle, to Rudolf Carnap's confirmation theory, to Gilbert Ryle and J. L. Austin, to W.V.O. Quine, to, in more recent times, Hilary Putnam, Donald Davidson, and my own Ph.D. adviser (and Davidson's student) Akeel Bilgrami, the struggle to elucidate the workings of language, and therefore the meaning of meaning, has been the primary focus of philosophers, as well, of course, as of linguists. Suppose for a second that we had been struggling with the question 'What is the color of love?' for all that time. Wouldn't that have been silly? Is it not obvious that to ask, "What is the color of love?" is a category mistake? Purple, after all, is not a predicate that applies to the category "love," just as "brittle" is not a predicate that applies to something like the number 17, say. Noam Chomsky famously coined the grammatically perfect but nevertheless meaningless sentence "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" as an illustration (partly) of this point. (And this is also the basis of Douglas Adams' joke that the meaning of life is 42.) What if the basic questions we have been grappling with for millennia are so intractable precisely because they are nonsensical?"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Giant Global Graph | Decentralized Information Group (DIG) Breadcrumbs 

Giant Global Graph | Decentralized Information Group (DIG) Breadcrumbs: "We can use the word Graph, now, to distinguish from Web.

I called this graph the Semantic Web, but maybe it should have been Giant Global Graph! Any worse than WWWW? ;-) Not the 'Semantic Web' term has been established for a long time, I'm not proposing to change it. But let's think about the graph which it is. (Footnote: 'Graph' also happens to be the word the RDF specifications use, but that is by the way. While an XML parser creates a DOM tree, an RDF parser creates an RDF graph in memory.)"

Abstractions in Web architecture - Design Issues 

Abstractions in Web architecture - Design Issues: "The power of the web was still not totally used to its full potential until the semantic web came along. The Semantic Web's realization is: It is isn't the documents which are actually interesting, it is the things they are about!

A person who is interested in a web page on something is usually primarily interested in the thing rather than the document. There are exceptions, of course -- documents are certainly interesting in their own right. However, when it comes to the business and science, the customers, the products, or the proteins and the genes, are the things of interest. A good Semantic Web browser, then, shows a user information about the thing, which may have been merged from many sources. Primarily, the user is aware of the abstract web of connections between the things -- this person is a customer who made this order which includes this item which is manufactured by this facility ... and so on."

Tim O'Reilly on Tallis' Twine Platform 

Web2Summit: Radar Networks Unwinds twine.com: "As part of the Semantic Edge panel tomorrow at the Web 2.0 Summit, Nova Spivack of Radar Networks plans to unveil the first application built on their semantic web platform, twine, a new kind of personal and group information manager. I've only seen a demo, and haven't had a chance to play with it hands-on or load in my own documents, but if it delivers what Nova promises, it could be revolutionary."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Semantic Web begets the Pragmatic Web 

A group working on the problems of context dependence and the social process of building common knowledge of ontologies. There is a web site here: www.pragmaticweb.info with a manifesto: The Pragmatic Web: a Manifesto By Mareike Schoop, Aldo de Moor, and Jan L.G. Dietz (PDF 2006)

"The Web has been extremely successful in enabling information sharing among a seemingly unlimited number of people worldwide. The evergrowing amount of documents on the Web, however, results in information overload and often makes it difficult to discover the information that is relevant. The goal of the Semantic Web is to develop the basis for intelligent applications that enable more efficient information use by not just providing a set of linked documents but a collection of knowledge repositories with meaningful content and additional logic structure.

Data and rules for reasoning about data and information are systematically described, for example by using the Resource Description Framework (RDF), after which they can be more easily shared and used by people as well as by distributed software agents. The main components for implementing the Semantic Web are ontologies. Ontologies represent concepts and relations between the concepts; these can be hierarchical relations, whole-part relations, or any other meaningful type of linkage between the concepts.

Will it work this way? According to Rob McCool, cofounder of the large-scale RDF project TAP, the answer is negative. “Because it’s a complex format and requires users to sacrifice expressivity and pay enormous costs in translation and maintenance, the Semantic Web will never achieve its widespread public adoption.” The most problematic assumption is that context-free facts and logical rules would be sufficient [1]. Internet researcher Munindar Singh, wellknown for his pioneering work on agent communication, writes: “If there is one lesson to be learned from the long history of databases, it is that it is practically impossible to describe data well enough for it to be used in arbitrary applications” [2]."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

An Approach to the Problem of Representation 

Representational Content in Humans and Machines by Mark H. Bickhard (PDF 1993)

This article focuses on the problem of representational content. Accounting for
representational content is the central issue in contemporary naturalism: it is the
major remaining task facing a naturalistic conception of the world.
Representational content is also the central barrier to contemporary cognitive
science and artificial intelligence: it is not possible to understand representation
in animals nor to construct machines with genuine representation given current
(lack of) understanding of what representation is. An elaborated critique is
offered to current approaches to representation, arguing that the basic underlying
approach is, at root, logically incoherent, and, thus, that standard approaches are
doomed to failure. An alternative model of representation — interactivism — is
presented that avoids or solves the problems facing standard approaches.
Interactivism is framed by a version of functionalism, and a naturalization of that
functionalism completes an outline of a naturalization of representation and
representational content."

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