March 26, 2007

Data, data everywhere

Filed under: ajax, data, praxis, semanticweb — bentrem @ 3:03 pm

In Dojo’s blog, “Planet Dojo” (see their “Summer of Code / Data Projects”) I came across Daniela Florescu’s “Managing Semi-Structured Data” … a new one for me.

And reading up on Leo Sauermann’s thinking about “Gnowsis” I found Dynamic Data Web Page, by Frederick Giasson.

Also of interest, google hacks: (more…)

Getting down to brass tacks

Filed under: praxis, semanticweb, theory — bentrem @ 2:44 pm

Yesterday I read through William Clancy‘s “Notes on Epistemology of a Rule-based Expert System“, the sort of thing I was working on in the late 80s. In the section that’s showing he writes, “I knew what all the words meant, but I couldn’t understand why the rule was correct. … More than a decade would pass before I realized that to have a representation in your pocket is not to be intelligent.” You see, I’ve come to an understanding of how that implicates itself into society’s deliberations concerning public policy, of how it ramifies itself down into the lived experience of the citizen.

Relating to Gnowis, a project of DKFI Knowledge Management Lab, Leo Saurman wrote me with what he called “my motivation for gnowsis:”

* I want to write down information. I want to write down what I know. But language, even hypertext, is not information. Because when writing sentences like “I am writing to Ben about gnowsis” involves concepts about you and gnowsis, resources, ideas, that are connected. By writing down information, we want to express facts about ideas and concepts in your own, subjective world. The gnowsis is a personal semantic web, a personal “digital Weltbild”.

Now the fact is that I’ve forever been a fan of PIMs and writing tools like outliners (“ThinkingCap” for the C=64 was easily the best I’ve ever found … go figure.) But I think there are bigger fish to fry. Or, to put it another way, we have real alligators to fight as we try to keep the swamp from flooding us out of house and home.

What I’m thinking of isn’t just a new sort of forum. (more…)

March 25, 2007

Beginning with foundations

Filed under: theory — bentrem @ 5:59 am

What does it come down to? You know … “it“.

As individuals we are story tellers. (If what you are doesn’t matter to you then you should adjust your tin-foil helmet and until you do just find a quiet place and try not to cause trouble.) That means our “internal narrative” is what runs society. (Like the little voice in your head right now that’s telling you this is hippie bullshit … or wondering what I’m going on about.)

“History” is the story that historians agree on. Made up of facts, most of the time but not always, and strung together in a way that makes some sort of sense to most people most of the time. Usually in a way that’s useful to those with the sort of clout that lets them have historians hired and fired. (“The nail that sticks up gets hammered” … the sort of thing we learn, yes? What side our bread is buttered on? Keep that in mind … it’s going to come up again.) But my point is: it’s a story. How does that matter? Well, because the sort of story that’s used to describe history (“A country we cannot travel to”) is the same sort of story that’s used as current events unfold. (more…)

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