User:Jon Awbrey/INQUIRY 2002

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Accordion Notes & Opportune PORT Tunes

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15 Mar 2002

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15 Mar 2002 (09:02)

Digital Imaging -- Hyper-Descartes

BM = Bernard Morand
MA = Murray Altheim
MK = Mary Keeler
MT = Minamoto no Tsunenobu

In order to reconstruct ontology along pragmatic principles
one would have to reconstruct the whole of metaphysics,
propadeutically or coevally in time, along pragmatic
principles.  After 30 years of preparation, a mere
couple of years in the SUO-Slash-Ontology Forum --
"I told him, "Julie, don't go!" -- have impressed
on me the brutoid fact that this is not as easy
as it sounds.

Not as easy as it sounds -- ha! --
I thought you would like that.

Jon Awbrey

P.S.  Nostalgic Deja Vu.  Thirty odd years ago I read this very note of Peirce's
      and promptly starting writing incidental pieces of my Journal on the backs
      of unused computer cards, of which I had access to an ample and utterly
      free supply in my student job as "prep room supervisor".  Still have
      boxes of 'em.  Murray be advised, or warned ...

BM: While it is not directly related to Digital imaging in itself, but to the
    purpose of note's gathering, I thought that the following quote from Peirce
    could be useful.  As a matter of fact, it further gives a pragmatic argument
    in favor of local, individual "ontologies". It shows that the imaging
    process would have to take care of the problem of "classification,
    arrangement and rearrangement" of the postcards (see § III).

| I hope and trust, Reader, that you will not take my word for this.
| If fifty years spent chiefly with books makes my counsel about
| reading of any value, I would submit for your approbation the
| following maxims:
| 
| I. There are more books that are really worth reading than you
|    will ever be able to read.  Confine yourself, therefore, to
|    books worth reading and re-reading; and as far as you can,
|    own the good books that are valuable to you.
| 
| II. Always read every book critically.  A book may have three kinds of value.
|     First, it may enrich your ideas with the mere possibilities, the mere ideas,
|     that it suggests.  Secondly, it may inform you of facts.  Thirdly, it may submit,
|     for your approbation, lines of thought and evidences of the reasonable connection
|     of possibilities and facts.  Consider carefully the attractiveness of the ideas,
|     the credibility of the assertions, and the strengths of the arguments, and set
|     down your well-matured objections in the margins of your own books.
| 
| III.  Moreover, procure, in lots of twenty thousand or more, slips
|       of stiff paper of the size of postcards, made up into pads of
|       fifty or so.  Have a pad always about you, and note upon one
|       of them anything worthy of note, the subject being stated at
|       the top and reference being made below to available books or
|       to your own note books.  If your mind is active, a day will
|       seldom pass when you do not find a dozen items worth such
|       recording;  and at the end of twenty years, the slips having
|       been classified and arranged and rearranged, from time to time,
|       you will find yourself in possession of an encyclopaedia adapted
|       to your own special wants.  It is especially the small points that
|       are thus to be noted; for the large ideas you will carry in your head.
|
|       (Charles S. Peirce, 'Collected Papers', 4.597)

MK: This all reminds me to mention what I was just telling Jack Park (here for
    a visit) that Peirce called philosophy the "science of everyday experience",
    for the study of which he collected thousands of 3-by-5 cards of data (minute
    observations of experience that most of us take for granted or hardly notice,
    but certainly not remember very long).  I have no idea what has become of that
    "recorded data", but it would be interesting to see some.  He certainly benefited
    from its collection in his analytical writings and philosophical discussions.

MA: If some of this comes available, I'd very much like to see samples as I'm keen
    to understand how Peirce might have organized such material.  I may have some
    tools to assist the proess of organizing those cards in the end, as it seems
    related to my research.  Dunno.

MT: | In the evening
    | The rice leaves in the garden
    | Rustle in the autumn wind
    | That blows through my reed hut.
    |
    | -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu

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15 Mar 2002 (10:40)

Presti-Digital Re-Imaging -- Hyper-Descartes

BM = Bernard Morand
JA = Jon Awbrey
MA = Murray Altheim
MK = Mary Keeler
MT = Minamoto no Tsunenobu

JA: In order to reconstruct ontology along pragmatic principles
    one would have to reconstruct the whole of metaphysics,
    propadeutically or coevally in time, along pragmatic
    principles.  After 30 years of preparation, a mere
    couple of years in the SUO-Slash-Ontology Forum --
    I told him, "Julie, don't go!" -- have impressed
    on me the brutoid fact that this is not as easy
    as it sounds.

JA: Not as easy as it sounds -- ha! --
    I thought you would like that.

MA: Hahaha!  [maniacal laughter in the wings]

MA: But I'm not concerned with reconstructing the universe, ...

I said "to reconstruct ontology" (la carte),
not "to reconstruct the universe" (la terre).
This is precisely one of those confusions
that so recalcitrates my pragmatic heels
in the SUO/Ontology Forum.

By "ontologies" I mean "stories of what are" (SOWA's?),
and these narratives, like politics, are always loco,
spoken from points of departure that spin on the rim,
not the hub of that eternally self-reinventing wheel.

And so I've been asking recurssedly:

What are the possible geometries of
those spaces whose points are views?

One of the things that "reconstructing ontology along pragmatic principles"
would mean, and against this there is nigh unto an infinite resistance,
is putting the interpreter back into the story of being, and we all
know where that leads, but please don't tell too many people yet --
it scares their cartesian egos to ergo-death.

In my next note to SUO, I am already proposing that
we change the name to "logontos" or "logontology"
as a way of stressing the prag.maxim.attic turn.

MA: ... nor do I imagine my audience (ie., authors) are either,
    we're interested in models of the universe of very limited
    scope, sometimes not even matching the real, known universe
    (imagine that).

And how would that be different?
>From the story that we tell now?

MA: In fact, we (and I speak for the King and/or Queen now that I'm in merry England) ...

The People Are We, Too.
Try not to forget that.

MA: ... are really more interested in constructing our models in order to support our
    writing projects.  Our readers are interested in the way our models play with the
    reality in their heads, not in how accurate some bit of text matches with what
    really might have happened, witness the mythologization process that happened
    with the world's religions over the past few millennia.  My point here is that
    I think it's perfectly fine for myself or any author to create an ontology
    that *doesn't* mesh with reality, insofar as that ontology is useful in
    organizing my research, keeping track of my copious notes, et cetera.

I see that you are unfamiliar with my character.
But I hope that you will not soon try to impress
me with some kind of super-Rorty complex, for I
know you know that "In a story where anything
can happen, who the hell cares what does!?".
And a "story where anything can happen" is
just a name for an inconsistent theory --
its names like its theorems are legion.

JA: Nostalgic Deja Vu.  Thirty odd years ago I read this very note of Peirce's
    and promptly starting writing incidental pieces of my Journal on the backs
    of unused computer cards, of which I had access to an ample and utterly
    free supply in my student job as "prep room supervisor".  Still have
    boxes of 'em.  Murray be advised, or warned ...

Sheesh, and I thought I was the only one with a shrink-wrapped pallet
of computer cards under my bed ....

BM: While it is not directly related to Digital imaging in itself, but to the
    purpose of note's gathering, I thought that the following quote from Peirce
    could be useful.  As a matter of fact, it further gives a pragmatic argument
    in favor of local, individual "ontologies". It shows that the imaging
    process would have to take care of the problem of "classification,
    arrangement and rearrangement" of the postcards (see § III).

MA: Jon, what Bernard mentions here (ie., local,
    individual "ontologies") is what I imagine is
    created within the head of an author creating a
    work say, of historical fiction.  Does Umberto Eco
    use a computer database, note cards, or the backs of
    unused computer cards?  No matter the means, the method
    seems to be some sort of in-the-head ontology made
    explicit in-the-notecards (hmmm, I accidentally
    typed the word "nodecards" which I think I'll
    now trademark and use as a term in my Ceryle
    application).  You heard it here first.

Okay, but I got dibs on "paranode".

The problem that I am constantly up against up late is that
the very word "ontology" appears to have a very intoxicating
and even toxic effect on people's brains -- toxonomy? -- for
no sooner does someone start us frame his or her vision with
the all-purpose ever-contentless operator "Ontology Of" (OO),
than he or she, and soon to be it, develops a kind of tunnel
vision against all the diversity that does not fit within it.

I have only recently succeeded in being able to gnomenclate the syndrome:

| The illusion that one begins with some unmediated intuition of objects
| is one of the most insidious of all the systematic errors in ontology,
| tantamount to the "ontological worker's occupational disease" (OWOD).
|
| http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg08069.html

But I think that OWOD is just another variant strain of the condition
that Mary Keeler diagnosed a couple of years ago, epidemic to nomimal
thinkers, under the toxon of the "veil of transparent election" (VOTE).

Shades or Welt-Weit-Weber!

http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03856.html

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15 Mar 2002 (14:34)

Pixelation -- Hyper-Descartes

BM = Bernard Morand
JA = Jon Awbrey
MA = Murray Altheim
MK = Mary Keeler
MT = Minamoto no Tsunenobu

More leisure this afternoon, so let me shift over
to the third hemisphere of my brain and see if I
can sort this out before I take off.

JA: In order to reconstruct ontology along pragmatic principles
    one would have to reconstruct the whole of metaphysics,
    propadeutically or coevally in time, along pragmatic
    principles.  After 30 years of preparation, a mere
    couple of years in the SUO-Slash-Ontology Forum --
    I told him, "Julie, don't go!" -- have impressed
    on me the brutoid fact that this is not as easy
    as it sounds.

MA: But I'm not concerned with reconstructing the universe, ...

JA: I said "to reconstruct ontology" (la carte),
    not "to reconstruct the universe" (la terre).
    This is precisely one of those confusions
    that so recalcitrates my pragmatic heels
    in the SUO/Ontology Forum.

MA: You're misconstruing a deliberate point I was
    making (i.e., that I'm distinctly *not* trying
    to construct the universe but a small, limited
    model of one small part of it).  I am talking
    about la carte too.

Okay, then we're on the same page.
It's just that from what you said
I thought you were j'accusing me.

Incidentally, and this is yet another one of those points that I am
still trying to figure how to impress on the SUO-world, what you say
about (what some math folk call) "modest models" is really the only
way that progress is made in math and science, too, although many
so-called logicians and philosphers of science have not yet been
able to comprehend this.  Relevant refs to Polanyi, Rawls, ...

http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07942.html

JA: By "ontologies" I mean "stories of what are" (SOWA's?),
    and these narratives, like politics, are always loco,
    spoken from points of departure that spin on the rim,
    not the hub of that eternally self-reinventing wheel.

JA: And so I've been asking recurssedly:

JA: What are the possible geometries of
    those spaces whose points are views?

JA: One of the things that "reconstructing ontology along pragmatic principles"
    would mean, and against this there is nigh unto an infinite resistance,
    is putting the interpreter back into the story of being, and we all
    know where that leads, but please don't tell too many people yet --
    it scares their cartesian egos to ergo-death.

MA: Neigh, my good man (or is it "naaay"?).  One of the goals of my research
    is to investigate the means by which authors (particularly of historical
    fiction) organize their research materials, as such the "interpreter" is
    in this case the author, and I expect the author is in the middle of the
    ontology-creation process whether they realize it or not.

Oh, I forgot to say "present company excepted".  Thought it was understood.

JA: In my next note to SUO, I am already proposing that
    we change the name to "logontos" or "logontology"
    as a way of stressing the prag.maxim.attic turn.

MA: ... nor do I imagine my audience (ie., authors) are either,
    we're interested in models of the universe of very limited
    scope, sometimes not even matching the real, known universe
    (imagine that).

JA: And how would that be different?

MA: Different from ...? I don't think it is.  Perhaps the means
    of communicating is hindering us from communicating here.

JA: From the story that we tell now?

I'm just trying make a rather cliche point sound a bit more schlocking,
namely, that there's more analogy between imaginative recipation and
realistic hypothecary than many would like to pretend.  Except that
the business of objective reference invites another character into
the play, she who must be obeyed, Nature.

MA: In fact, we (and I speak for the King and/or Queen now that I'm in merry England) ...

JA: The People Are We, Too.
    Try not to forget that.

MA: I'm going to have to put on my Ironic Gloves more firmly.

And I can lend you the Mask to match 'em.

MA: ... are really more interested in constructing our models in order to support our
    writing projects.  Our readers are interested in the way our models play with the
    reality in their heads, not in how accurate some bit of text matches with what
    really might have happened, witness the mythologization process that happened
    with the world's religions over the past few millennia.  My point here is that
    I think it's perfectly fine for myself or any author to create an ontology
    that *doesn't* mesh with reality, insofar as that ontology is useful in
    organizing my research, keeping track of my copious notes, et cetera.

JA: I see that you are unfamiliar with my character.
    But I hope that you will not soon try to impress
    me with some kind of super-Rorty complex, for I
    know you know that "In a story where anything
    can happen, who the hell cares what does!?".
    And a "story where anything can happen" is
    just a name for an inconsistent theory --
    its names like its theorems are legion.

MA: I'm not really interested in impressing anyone, just talking frankly
    and as honestly as my whirring neurons allow.  If you ask those who
    know me (since you are also unfamiliar with my character) you'll find
    that I'm not likely to be accused of Not Caring.  But I'm also all for
    allowing for the existence of opinions on world theories that are not
    necessarily consistent. I know John is not fond of fuzzy logic, but
    it seems to me that to some degree, all theory is fuzzy, otherwise
    it would be a considered an axiom.  Newton before Einstein and Bohr
    must have seemed pretty solid.

The "impress" of a "character" on a ceratin tablet -- get it?
I know, I know, pretty pathematic.  But its my favorite --
though I know that others soon tire of it, I never do.

MA: My understanding of Pragmatism and Pragmaticism is assuredly
    incomplete, but what I've sometimes called an "operational
    theory" is merely what we all do when we step out of the bed
    in the morning and go downstairs for a cup of tea or coffee.
    One has to start somewhere, eh?  The beginning of understanding,
    whether human or machine, makes some tacit assumptions about
    la terre in the formation of an operational la carte.  These
    assumptions are altered (and hopefully improved) as we progress,
    assuming also that we progress [in this regard I'm not certain,
    especially watching the current world stage].

maxim = coffee?  sounds like my brand.  okay, folgers.
see, i'm capable of fiction.  i feel tiredness return.

JA: The problem that I am constantly up against up late is that
    the very word "ontology" appears to have a very intoxicating
    and even toxic effect on people's brains -- toxonomy? -- for
    no sooner does someone start us frame his or her vision with
    the all-purpose ever-contentless operator "Ontology Of" (OO),
    than he or she, and soon to be it, develops a kind of tunnel
    vision against all the diversity that does not fit within it.

MA: I agree. Yet there is a pragmatic need to organize research
    materials, and developing even a flawed ontology (given that
    all ontological models are to some degree flawed) is better
    than having no organizing principle.  Don't you think this
    is an iterative process?

I'm just telling you what two years under the influence of this word
has taught me.  It's not something that I would've guessed going in.

So watch out for that ...

Ontology = Theory Of What Is -- that's pretty settled.
???????? = Theory Of What Might Have Been
!!!!!!!! = Theory Of What Must Be
~~~~~~~~ = Theory What Never Was

Like I always used to say:  Modology?  Nodology!  Bodology ...
But I was a physicist then ...

I have also been experimentaing with this Bit & Brace:

It Came From Towanda!  (Theory Of What Are Noted Down As (...)).

MA: But I completely see the danger in categorizing nature within
    some fixed system, and looking back in history, we're rife with
    examples.

Not to mention looking froward ...

JA: I have only recently succeeded in being able to gnomenclate the syndrome:

JA: | The illusion that one begins with some unmediated intuition of objects
    | is one of the most insidious of all the systematic errors in ontology,
    | tantamount to the "ontological worker's occupational disease" (OWOD).
    |
    | http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg08069.html

MA: Heh.  I like that one.

JA: But I think that OWOD is just another variant strain of the condition
    that Mary Keeler diagnosed a couple of years ago, epidemic to nomimal
    thinkers, under the toxon of the "veil of transparent election" (VOTE).

JA: Shades of Welt-Weit-Weber!

gotta dash -- catcha later ...

Jon Awbrey

MA: I hope during our discussions that you don't feel me too confident
    of my opinion. I throw it out at will like a fishing line with the
    idea that it might come back with a nice, juicy fish.  I don't
    consider this callous, rather a means of learning.  I am still
    too young to consider myself anything but a disciple of knowledge,
    and as such my thoughts are still fluid and unformed to a great
    degree.  My joy is in the learning, though more the journey itself.

MA: Having studied many schools of thought over the years I have found
    myself both benefitting from the variety and falling prey to the
    pitfalls of each school. Taoism for example brings relativism, Hegel
    a similar Dialectic, yet both also bring that certain, pleasant
    fuzziness. There's also within my blood floating a love of the
    pragmatic, the "realistic", the down-to-earth, yet to some degree
    this can be numbing of imagination.

MA: My understanding and the dictionary definition of the word "nominal"
    don't help me understand the use of the word within this community,
    at least to my satisfaction.  I wonder how guilty I am of nominalism
    within the definition accepted here?

MT: | In the evening
    | The rice leaves in the garden
    | Rustle in the autumn wind
    | That blows through my reed hut.
    |
    |  -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu

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18 Mar 2002

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18 Mar 2002 (11:00)

Aveiled PORT Tools

graphical existentialismi,

some years ago i figured out that the biggest remaining obstacle
to actually using existential graphs -- nota bene:  contingent on
the sort of math apps that i was then and still am interested in --
is precisely the residue of cartesian thinking that keeps them yet
embedded in 2-space -- peirce, of course, higher genus that he was,
had already spoken of "multiple sheets" as in riemannian geom, and
of pasting little paper bridges over flatland barriers, so it's not
like we'd be 1-upping him in this rearguard, not by a long shot.

anyway, "nodes within nodes" is most poignantly how i came to cactus graphs ...
and i did not begin to make progress in this arena until the day -- somewhere
in 1985 or so, when i realized that the dynamic data structures in memory *are*
the diagram.

said it all before, but hope springs eternal, etc.


Mary Keeler wrote:
> 
> [A repost from the CG list]
> 
> I am forwarding this for those on the PORT list (and not also on the CG
> list) who would like to follow the discussion Jack began on "playing
> around with open source Java browsers," which continues on the CG list.
> --MK
> 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 09:12:50 -0800
> From: Jack Park <jackpark@thinkalong.com>
> Reply-To: cg@cs.uah.edu
> To: cg@cs.uah.edu
> Subject: Re: CG: [Fwd: [PORT-L] Available PORT tools]
> 
> I am thinking that it should be possible to build a CG representation using
> SVG and JavaScript.  My knowledge of SVG is pretty weak, and I don't know
> if it would be possible to nest nodes inside of nodes as would be required
> for some Existential Graph representations.  Any readers know if that's
> possible?
> 
> As another thought, take a look at TouchGraph
> http://touchgraph.sourceforge.net.  It's a dynamic graph presentation
> engine (similar one is http://jgraph.sourceforge.net) that may yet become a
> deliverer of SVG nodes.  To see TouchGraph in action, visit
> http://www.memes.net and click on the TouchGraph button.  That applet
> requires Java 2 (1.3) to be installed and available to your browser.
> 
> TIA
> Jack
> 
> At 12:06 AM 3/17/2002 -0800, you wrote:
> > Following is a note that was sent to the PORT list.  I'm
> > circulating it to CG list, since many people have been using
> > Java to support CG graphics.  Having a complete Java browser
> > available as open source may make it easier to customize it
> > to support CG features more directly.
> >
> > John Sowa
> >
> > -------- Original Message --------
> > Subject: [PORT-L] Available PORT tools
> > Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 18:24:00 -0800
> > From: Jack Park <jackpark@THINKALONG.COM>
> > Reply-To: INTERNATIONAL DISCUSSION GROUP <PORT-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU>
> > To: PORT-L@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU
> >
> > I've been playing around with two different open source Java browsers.
> > X-Smiles at http://www.xsmiles.org  (Apache license)
> > and
> > Multivalent at http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~phelps/Multivalent/ (BSD license).
> >
> > X-Smiles is a rather complete XML-based browser: handles JavaScript, SMIL,
> > SVG, Applets, and XSL-FO.  Fairly bug free as well.
> > Nifty demos with it: an SVG analog clock with sweep second hand, painted
> > with SVG and run by JavaScript in the SVG code.
> > A "skins" demo makes it look like a PDA and other things.
> > A Personal Information Manager demo paints a calendar, menus for ToDo, etc.
> > A forms demo does calculations while you enter data into the form.
> > There's supposed to be a video conferencing capability (haven't tried that yet).
> >
> > Multivalent is an amazing project.  It doesn't do all the things X-Smiles
> > does, but it does other things quite nicely.  It can read all sorts of file
> > types, including TEX, PDF, ZIP, and so forth.  While it's doing that, it
> > has a lens that will let you zoom nearly down to the mean free path of
> > phosphors on your screen <hehehe>, and it allows annotation of pages. It
> > also opens scanned images (imagine that with the lens!). There's also
> > collaboration features that I have yet to figure out in Multivalent.
> >
> > I suspect that there is an opportunity to combine features of both projects
> > (licenses are compatible, if nothing else) and arrive at a tool that will
> > serve as a useful widget for online study of the images of Peirce documents.
> >
> > My couple of pesos for the day!
> > Cheers,
> > Jack

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18 Mar 2002 (13:00)

Aveiled PORT Tools

JA = Jon Awbrey
MA = Murray Altheim

JA: graphical existentialismi,

JA: some years ago i figured out that the biggest remaining obstacle
    to actually using existential graphs -- nota bene:  contingent on
    the sort of math apps that i was then and still am interested in --
    is precisely the residue of cartesian thinking that keeps them yet
    embedded in 2-space -- peirce, of course, higher genus that he was,
    had already spoken of "multiple sheets" as in riemannian geom, and
    of pasting little paper bridges over flatland barriers, so it's not
    like we'd be 1-upping him in this regard, not by a long shot.

MA: Sort of like a complicated ant farm.  Hmm.

JA: anyway, "nodes within nodes" is most poignantly how i came to cactus graphs ...
    and i did not begin to make progress in this arena until the day -- somewhere
    in 1985 or so, when i realized that the dynamic data structures in memory *are*
    the diagram.

MA: This seems to mirror the same things said repeatedly by Steve Newcomb regarding
    the topic map paradigm, (and I'm perhaps taking some liberties here though I don't
    think Steve would disagree) is that it isn't the representation of a topic map in
    any syntax (which is effectively two dimensional) but the multidimensionality of
    the topic map graph in memory.  The principle of topic map merging is based upon
    identity of subject, and in a moderately complex topic map this would be difficult
    to represent in syntax except as a web of interconnected links between the various
    "dimensions" of the map.  Steve and Michel Biezunski have published a DTD for this
    resultant markup language, which in a nutshell is just a bunch of typed nodes and
    arcs, something that could easily be represented in GXL or another graph syntax.

i grok the high connectivity, topologicaly speaking --
i still lurk on topic maps waiting for somebody to
say something interesting -- but what they are
missing is the very core of logical ability --
how to say it for the (umpteen+1)^th time?

consider the following thematic analogy:

aristotle:  'topics'   /  'analytics'
logic:      and, or    /  nand, nnor
20th cent:  positivism /  existentialism

peirce spoke of "paradisaical logic" versus -- I dunno what --
felix culpa logic?  logic after the fall?  anyway, the point
is that the more generative operators in logic are to be found
among the negative connectives, not the positive connectives.

so the "amphecks" (nand, nnor) and others of that ilk
are critical to the ability of graphs to be logical
and hence intelligent.

in my researches, i have noted whole families and
entire series of such "reflective connectives" that
are crucial for conceptual and computational success.

MA: The rather similar approach that I've been taking in my designs is to have
    links to other graphs appear within a graph as a specialized ikon, such that
    selecting it would open the embedded graph within the current flat plane.
    Obviously if I had a military budget and a team of programmers we could
    implement this in VRML, but I'm not sure if this would really do the trick.
    It seems that the process of visualization needs a landscape upon which to
    view that has at least as many dimensions as the territory being mapped,
    perhaps minus one.  Absent that last dimension we must simulate the
    missing dimension(s) in some way.

MA: [I read over this now and am not sure there's anything of any relevance to the
     conversation at hand, except as a comment on the similarity to ideas floating
     around right now that are  being implemented to some  degree in topic map-based
     software.  And my caffeine is finally wearing off ...]

"and they will lean that way forever ..."

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19 Mar 2002

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19 Mar 2002 (17:46)

Opportune PORT Tunes

JA = Jon Awbrey
MA = Murray Altheim

MA: This seems to mirror the same things said repeatedly by Steve Newcomb regarding
    the topic map paradigm, (and I'm perhaps taking some liberties here though I don't
    think Steve would disagree) is that it isn't the representation of a topic map in
    any syntax (which is effectively two dimensional) but the multidimensionality of
    the topic map graph in memory.  The principle of topic map merging is based upon
    identity of subject, and in a moderately complex topic map this would be difficult
    to represent in syntax except as a web of interconnected links between the various
    "dimensions" of the map.  Steve and Michel Biezunski have published a DTD for this
    resultant markup language, which in a nutshell is just a bunch of typed nodes and
    arcs, something that could easily be represented in GXL or another graph syntax.

JA: i grok the high connectivity, topologically speaking --
    i still lurk on topic maps waiting for somebody to
    say something interesting -- but what they are
    missing is the very core of logical ability --
    how to say it for the (umpteen+1)^th time?

MA: Interesting you should say this.  I'm not sure if you were aware,
    but fairly "early" on, I think still in 2000 I began working on a
    transformation of some of the Cyc ontology into topic maps because
    I saw the need for exactly what you say, a logical ability.  I was
    and still am somewhat of a babe-in-the-woods when it comes to how
    this might all fit together, but I found Cyc an attractive notion,
    that taking the logical core of it to heart I might be able to
    incorporate its semantics into the topic map world.

note to self, ask him what he means by "semantics",
maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon >...<

MA: There are many camps in the KR/KM/KE world and I've found that while Cyc may have
    a mixed reputation (as do many of these systems), the underlying logic was what
    I found appealing.  I can remember asking Mary Keeler if there was some sort
    of logical core of CG that could be similarly abstracted.  It seems nobody
    has ever went to the trouble to extricate the logic, though on reading
    John Sowa's books I certainly see his emphasis of same.

i see that you are unfamiliar with my character ...

my first brush with peirce, 1967-1980 -- also influenzaed by spencer-brown's
excavation and extension of logical graphs, mostly alpha, and emphasizing the
entitative interpretation -- somewhere in the middle of this period (1976?)
i discovered what i called the "boundary operator", due to some analogy
with algebraic topology that i dimly perceived at the time.  this came
about when i applied a particular type of "reflective heuristic" that
i had been studying in one part of peirce's work (CP 4.306) to the
problems that i kept running into developing efficient algorithms
for munching logical graphs, still on paper at this time.

and that has made all the differential ...

i have deliberately avoided tracking this groove too heavily so far,
because i think that it would be a major advance just to get folks
grooving on CG's/EnG's/ExG's right now -- and pragmaticians have
a bad history of shooting themselves in the foot or higher parts
of their pragmatic anatomy fighting over picayune piccadillies
before the maximatic brush strokes are made clear to the world --
but maybe it will be okay to say this stuff among friends and
philosophical family.

MA: I'm convinced that topic maps need logic, and have a number of
    prototypes in the works that I'll be using in my own system.

re-commendation:  save yourself 30 years warp and look into mine ...

JA: consider the following thematic analogy:

    aristotle:  'topics'     /  'analytics'
    logic:       and, or     /   nand, nnor
    20th cent:   positivism  /   existentialism

JA: peirce spoke of "paradisaical logic" versus -- I dunno what --
    felix culpa logic?  logic after the fall?  anyway, the point
    is that the more generative operators in logic are to be found
    among the negative connectives, not the positive connectives.

MA: This is certainly well known within EEE circles, as one can build
    any electronic logic using a series of NOR gates.  And my reading
    so far has turned up the idea that Negation is a Really Big Issue.
    I think you have hit upon something very important, but beyond my
    current understanding (in the sense of exactly why this is so).

sure, hardware folks know allah bout this, and software folks
have heard of it without quite knowing what it means to them,
but -- and this is a really big but -- i have seen at least
one "authority" who ought to know better dismiss it in print
as a "purely technical curiosity".  toggles the mind!

JA: so the "amphecks" (nand, nnor) and others of that ilk
    are critical to the ability of graphs to be logical
    and hence intelligent.

JA: in my researches, i have noted whole families and
    entire series of such "reflective connectives" that
    are crucial for conceptual and computational success.

MA: I sometimes think I should have become a philosopher, as this always
    appeals to me to a great degree.  Problem is, it doesn't pay very well.
    Anyone ever hear of a philosopher-gardener, philosopher-plumber, etc.?
    Something to pay the bills?

just a philosophical stone-carver myself ...

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20 Mar 2002

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20 Mar 2002 (08:36)

Prolegomena To All Future Reckonings

SP = Simon Polovina

SP: I been following this discussion with interest (well as much from what
    very little I can understand of it) as I have with many discussions
    about AI, the Semantic Web, etc. etc. & I keep being painfully
    reminded (as I never like to be) of the (overwhelmingly?)
    great difficulties of the task that faces us in this
    regard, from when I completed my PhD work back in 1993.
    The hypothesis of my doctoral research was that "conceptual
    graphs are a suitable knowledge-based decision support tool
    for use by management accountants in strategic planning".
    Let me explain:

SP: In approximately six years of being an accountant in industry previously,
    I became increasingly aware of the large part that the computer was going
    to play in the accounting profession.  Whilst in the profession, I had seen
    the electronic spreadsheet transform one of the accountant's longest and most
    tedious tasks, namely adding rows and columns of figures with no more than
    a calculator, into an elementary exercise.  Furthermore, the accountant's
    use of the powerful computer spreadsheet had opened up a new, and much
    more meaningful, range of financial information for the organisation
    in which that accountant was employed.  I was so interested in the
    significance of the computer for the accountant, that I undertook
    the one year MSc Information Technology course at Loughborough
    University of Technology.

SP: During that course I became aware of the artificial intelligence field.  From the
    work in this area, I felt that the computer could benefit the accountant in more
    ways than allowed by numeric and data-based analysis.  Potentially, artificial
    intelligence could enable the accountant in tackling the qualitative dimensions
    of business too.  Thereby the accountant's soundly developed techniques could
    be extended into the top-level area of strategic business knowledge, whose
    qualitatively-based nature had essentially caused this problem domain to
    remain outside the scope of the already mentioned numeric and data-based
    computational methods.  In pursuit of the above, I conducted my doctoral
    research.  In abstract, that thesis is described as follows:

SP: Knowledge-based approaches can help accountants apply their skills in
    the direction of strategic management problems.  Such problem domains
    cannot be modelled effectively by computer alone, hence we are only
    interested in those advanced knowledge-based methodologies that can
    be adequately reviewed by strategic management accountants in the
    light of their own continually changing tacit and implicit knowledge.

SP: Structured diagram techniques, such as flowcharting, are well known
    by accountants and are a clearly understandable yet important aid in
    problem review.  Apart from being founded on a logically complete
    reasoning system, the knowledge-based methodology of conceptual
    graphs was formulated to be an enhancement of these other methods.
    Furthermore the graphical form of conceptual graphs enjoy an apparent
    similarity to the 'negating' brackets in the accountant's traditional
    bookkeeping model.

SP: After conducting a comparative study with two similar methodologies
    in current use showing the technical advantages of conceptual graphs,
    the Conceptual Analysis and Review Environment computer software was
    devised and implemented.  CARE was used to test the accepted graphical
    form of conceptual graphs through a series of user evaluation sessions.
    The evaluations started out with subjects from the conceptual graphs
    community itself, then key business school staff, and culminated in
    a session with senior practising accountants.  In addition, CARE
    was enhanced iteratively in accordance with the results of each
    evaluation session.

SP: Despite their strong prima facie attractiveness and positive response
    from the conceptual graphs community session, as the user evaluations
    progressed it became increasingly evident that the inherent logical
    complexities that conceptual graphs so beautifully highlighted
    fundamentally undermined them as a viable tool, other than for
    very trivial problems well below the level needed to be viable
    for strategic management accountancy.  Therefore the original
    contribution of this research is, sadly, that its hypothesis
    turns out to be false.

SP: At the time of my research there appeared to be no other
    available representation that can manipulate strategic
    decisions on computer whilst retaining human usability.
    Should they arise, the design and investigation of new
    representations for such problems would be valuable
    future work.

SP: If you are so inclined you can read the full account at:

    http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~comqsmp/PhD/
 
SP: Aside from the fact that I was awarded my PhD on the strength of this
    research (and that award won't change in the light of any subsequent
    events!), and I'd be the first to accept the work was nowhere near
    perfect, no-one would be happier than me if that research was
    eventually to be proved misguided (I like CGs!!), yet I wonder
    when I read these interesting, absorbing discussions ...

Let me tell you of the cynosure that I have long chased,
as beaconed by this fateful, guiding, if twinkling star:

The reprise of Quine on a theme of Leibniz,
which I break up into an octave of notes
for the sake of my future recomposition:

| [a]  Where number is irrelevant, regimented
|      mathematical technique has hitherto
|      tended to be lacking.
|
| [b]  Thus it is that the progress of natural science
|      has depended so largely upon the discernment of
|      measurable quantity of one sort or another.
|
| [c]  Measurement consists in correlating our subject matter with the
|      series of real numbers;  and such correlations are desirable
|      because, once they are set up, all the well-worked theory
|      of numerical mathematics lies ready at hand as a tool
|      for our further reasoning.
|
| [d]  But no science can rest entirely on measurement,
|      and many scientific investigations are quite out
|      of reach of that device.
|
| [e]  To the scientist longing for non-quantitative
|      techniques, then, mathematical logic brings hope.
|
| [f]  It provides explicit techniques for manipulating
|      the most basic ingredients of discourse.
|
| [g]  Its yield for science may be expected to consist
|      also in a contribution of rigor and clarity --
|      a sharpening of the concepts of science.
|
| [h]  Such sharpening of concepts should serve both
|      to disclose hitherto hidden consequences of
|      given scientific hypotheses, and to obviate
|      subtle errors which may stand in the way
|      of scientific progress.
|
| Quine, 'Mathematical Logic', pages 7-8.
|
| Willard Van Orman Quine,
|'Mathematical Logic', Revised Edition,
| Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
| 1940, 1951, 1981.
|
| http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07256.html

I may betimes cite this with bemusèd irony, but true believers
and disappointed lovers know that irony is a defence mechanism.

I have, then, looked into the reasons why -- sufficiently rational
fool that I am, I still believe that nothing from nothing is borne --
and I can't sum up here & now what lessons my peering has provided
me, provisionally speaking, for I can't say if my lessons are done,
but here is a taste of that bitter pill, for your random sampling:

Critique Of Non-Functional Reason

001.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07248.html
002.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07256.html
003.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07259.html
004.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07261.html
005.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07272.html
006.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07273.html
007.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07274.html
008.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07275.html
009.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07277.html
010.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07291.html
011.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07294.html
012.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07305.html
013.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07310.html
014.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07312.html
015.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07313.html
016.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07315.html
017.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07321.html
018.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07323.html
019.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07325.html
020.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07326.html
021.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07330.html
022.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07332.html
023.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07333.html
024.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07337.html
025.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07339.html
026.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07344.html
027.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07347.html
028.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07351.html
029.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07354.html
030.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07357.html
031.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07360.html
032.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07361.html
033.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07363.html
034.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07364.html
035.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07366.html
036.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07369.html
037.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07373.html
038.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07377.html
039.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07382.html
040.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07387.html
041.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07390.html
042.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07393.html
043.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07398.html
044.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07409.html
045.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07416.html
046.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07435.html
047.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07443.html
048.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07444.html
049.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07449.html
050.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07454.html
051.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07455.html
052.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07457.html
053.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07459.html
054.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07461.html
055.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07466.html
056.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07467.html
057.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07469.html
058.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07470.html
059.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07484.html
060.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07494.html
061.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07497.html
062.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07499.html
063.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07503.html
064.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07505.html
065.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07514.html
066.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07515.html
067.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07520.html
068.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07524.html
069.  http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg07530.html

070.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03473.html
071.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03479.html
072.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03483.html
073.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03484.html
074.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03485.html
075.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03490.html
076.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03496.html
077.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03497.html
078.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03499.html
079.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03500.html
080.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03509.html
081.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03510.html
082.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03511.html
083.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03512.html
084.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03513.html
085.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03514.html
086.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03517.html
087.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03518.html
088.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03520.html
089.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03523.html
090.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03524.html
091.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03525.html
092.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03526.html
093.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03527.html
094.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03528.html
095.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03529.html
096.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03538.html
097.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03539.html
098.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03541.html
099.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03542.html
100.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03543.html
101.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03544.html
102.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03545.html
103.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03546.html
104.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03547.html
105.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03548.html
106.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03549.html
107.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03550.html
108.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03551.html
109.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03552.html
110.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03553.html
111.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03554.html
112.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03555.html
113.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03556.html
114.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03557.html
115.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03560.html
116.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03561.html
117.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03562.html
118.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03563.html
119.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03567.html
120.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03569.html
121.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03570.html
122.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03571.html
123.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03572.html
124.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03573.html
125.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03576.html
126.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03577.html
127.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03578.html
128.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03579.html
129.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03580.html
130.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03581.html
131.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03582.html
132.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03583.html
133.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03584.html
134.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03585.html
135.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03586.html
136.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03587.html
137.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03588.html
138.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03591.html
139.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03593.html
140.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03595.html
141.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03596.html
142.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03599.html

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20 Mar 2002 (13:16)

Graphical/Graph-Theoretical & Effectiveness/Efficiency

SP = Simon Polovina
UP = Uta Priss

SP: It became increasingly evident that the inherent logical complexities that
    conceptual graphs so beautifully highlighted fundamentally undermined them
    as a viable tool, other than for very trivial problems well below the level
    needed to be viable for strategic management accountancy.

UP: I am not sure if you attended the PORT workshop in Stanford.
    One of the things that became clear to me at the workshop is that
    current programming techniques are still so limited (especially with
    respect to dynamically manipulating graphics) that it is very difficult
    to design really good interfaces for CGs or similar knowledge representation
    systems.  Just as an anecdote:  as far as I know the WordNet database with
    > 100,000 concepts and relationships has been designed without the use of
    graphical representations.  Why?  Probably because there was no graphical
    tool easily available.

just by way of being sure that we're all off the same page and/or topic here --
we need to mark the distinction between "graphical" and "graph-theoretical".
compare the contemporary situation of cg's with the early history of the
4-color theorem.  people would draw topographical maps in the plane and
quickly become hopelessly entangled in a confusion of gerrymandering.
only when you convert to the dual picture of points for regions and
lines for crossing adjacent borders do you have a prayer of staying
on top of the analytic situs.  just among friends i think that
i can fairly well assure you that trying to do cg's in bitmap
is a fool's paradise that'll never touch the ground of reason
or reality.

UP: Other software tools (such as word processors) have undergone
    numerous iterations before reaching their current status.  It is
    thus not surprising to me but expected that first tools for CGs may
    turn out to be utterly useless.  But that doesn't say anything about
    CGs.  CGs are equivalent to forms of logic.  Thus if they were useless
    then logic would be useless.  This equivalence also implies that a system
    that uses CGs need not represent them graphically to a user.  Based on
    these arguments usability testing of a CG tool probably does not produce
    any significant evidence about the nature of CGs.  Such tests only produce
    results about the specific implementation of CGs in that tool.

here, the distinction that we need to mark is that between "in principle equivalence"
and "in practice equivalence" (=> computational complexity and efficiency factors).
peirce's logical graphs are in terms of their practical efficiency potentially
far better than the usual sordid syntax for logic, but a lot is riding on
whether we can avail ourselves of that potential or not.

¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤

20 Mar 2002 (15:56)

Welt Weit Weber

JA = Jon Awbrey
JP = Jack Park

JA: anyway, "nodes within nodes" is most
    poignantly how i came to cactus graphs ...
    and i did not begin to make progress in
    this arena until the day -- somewhere in
    1985 or so -- when i realized that the
    dynamic data structures in memory *are*
    the diagram.

JP: Dynamic data structures *in memory*.

JP: What do you do when those structures
    are far too large to be contained,
    at once, in memory?

JP: Curious minds ...

what memory do you have in mind?
i meant the whole wide world --
not this silly-icon cage
that i "voluntarily"
locke myself in ...

the point is just that the right sort
of graph-theoretic structure *is* logic,
is intelligence, in or out of the box.

jon awbrey,
vue sans vue,
chateau d'if.

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21 Mar 2002

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21 Mar 2002 (01:23)

Digital Imagination

JA = Jon Awbrey
MA = Murray Altheim
MK = Mary Keeler

JA: The problem that I am constantly up against up late is that
    the very word "ontology" appears to have a very intoxicating
    and even toxic effect on people's brains -- toxonomy? -- for
    no sooner does someone start us frame his or her vision with
    the all-purpose ever-contentless operator "Ontology Of" (OO),
    than he or she, and soon to be it, develops a kind of tunnel
    vision against all the diversity that does not fit within it.

MA: I agree.  Yet there is a pragmatic need to organize research
    materials, and developing even a flawed ontology (given that
    all ontological models are to some degree flawed) is better
    than having no organizing principle.  Don't you think this
    is an iterative process?

MK: As soon as ICCS program preparations are complete,
    I will have time to summarize and suggest along
    these lines.

JA: I'm just telling you what two years under the influence of this word
    has taught me.  It's not something that I would've guessed going in.

Here's the thing:  Why does an organizing principle have to
be absolutized and reified and sedimented into an ontology?
Yes, I know that one is "supposed" to be able to generate
ontologies of process and relation and shape and flow,
but from what I've observed of the folks under the
influence of this ontologism, there is something
akin to a gravitational furce here that pulls
them down to thinking in monadic absolutes.
If you are really a hermenaut of writing,
what is wrong with organizing principles
like theme, image, motif, genre, POV, etc?

I did some genreic thinking about this in my dissertation,
developing notions of "objective frameworks, genres, motifs"
as a way of formalizing an interpreter's point of view and the
logical structure of its placement in a dynamic community of
tradition and interpretation.  Very initial hints, but that
was the general idea.

1.3.4.12  Objective Plans & Levels

In accounting for the special characters of icons and indices
that arose in previous discussions, it was necessary to open
the domain of objects coming under formal consideration to
include unspecified numbers of properties and instances of
whatever objects were initially set down.  This is a general
phenomenon, affecting every motion toward explanation whether
pursued by analytic or by synthetic means.  What it calls for
in practice is a way of organizing growing domains of objects,
without having to specify in advance all the objects there are.

This Subsection presents the "objective project" (OP) that I plan to
take up for investigating the forms of sign relations, and it outlines
three "objective levels" (OL's) of formulation that guide the analytic
and the synthetic studies of interpretive structure and that regulate
the prospective stages of implementing this plan in particular cases.
The main purpose of these schematic conceptions is organizational,
to provide a conceptual architecture for the burgeoning hierarchies
of objects that arise in the generative processes of inquiry.

In the immediate context the objective project and the three levels of
objective description are presented in broad terms.  In the process of
surveying a variety of problems that serve to instigate efforts in this
general direction, I explore the prospects of a particular "organon", or
"instrumental scheme for the analysis and synthesis of objects", that is
intended to address these issues, and I give an overview of its design.
In interpreting the sense of the word "objective" as it is used in this
application, it may help to regard this objective project in the light
of a telescopic analogy, with an "objective" being "a lens or a system
of lenses that forms an image of an object" (Webster's).

In the next three Subsections after this one the focus returns to the
separate levels of object structure, starting with the highest level of
specification and treating the supporting levels in order of increasing
detail.  At each stage, the developing tools are applied to the analysis
of concrete problems that arise in trying to clarify the structure and
function of sign relations.  For the present task, elaborations of this
perspective are kept within the bounds of what is essential to deal with
the example of A and B.

At this point, I need to apologize in advance for a introducing
a certain difficulty of terminology, but the underlying issue it
raises can no longer be avoided.  To wit, I am forced to use the
word "objective" in a way that conflicts with several traditions
of interpretation, going so seriously against the grain of a few
prevailing connotations that it will probably sound like a joke
to many readers.  It is a definite "motive of consistency" (MOC)
that requires me to do this, as I will try to justify in the end.

As always, my use of the word "object" derives from the stock of the
Greek root "pragma", which captures all of the senses needed to suggest
the stability of concern and the dedication to purpose that are forever
bound up in the constitution of objects and the institution of objectives.
What it implies is that every object, objective, or objectivity is always
somebody's object, objective, or objectivity.

In other words, objectivity is always a matter of interpretation.
It is concerned with and quantified by the magnitude of the consensus
that a matter is bound to have at the end of inquiry, but in no way does
this diminish or dismiss the fact that the fated determination is something
on which any particular collection of current opinions are granted to differ.
In principle, there begins to be a degree of objectivity as soon as something
becomes an object to somebody, and the issue of whether this objective waxes
or wanes in time is bound up with the number of observers that are destined
to concur on it.

The critical question is not whether a thing is an object of thought and
discussion, but what sort of thought and discussion it is an object of.
How does one determine the character of this thought and discussion?
And should this query be construed as a task of finding or of making?
Whether it appeals to arts of acquisition, production, or discernment,
and however one expects to decide or decode the conduct it requires,
the character of the thought and discussion in view is sized up and
riddled out in turn by looking at the whole domain of objects and
the pattern of relations among them that it actively charts and
encompasses.  This makes what is usually called "subjectivity"
a special case of what I must call "objectivity", since the
interpretive and the perspectival elements are 'ab initio'
operative and cannot be eliminated from any conceivable
form of discernment, including their own.

Consequently, analyses of objects and syntheses of objects are always
analyses and syntheses to somebody.  Both of these modes of approaching
the constitutions of objects lead to the sorts of approximation that are
appropriate to particular agents and that are able to be appropriated by
whole communities of interpretation.  By way of relief, on occasions when
this motive of consistency hobbles discussion too severely, I will resort
to using chimeras like "object-analytic" and "object-synthetic", paying the
price of biasing the constitution of objects in one direction or the other.

In this project I would like to treat the distinction of direction between
construction and deconstruction as being more or less synonymous with the
contrast between synthesis and analysis.  However, doing this without the
introduction of too much distortion requires the intervention of a further
distinction.  Therefore, let it be recognized that all orientations to the
constitutions of objects can be pursued in both "regimented" and "radical"
fashions.

In the weaker senses of the terms, analysis and synthesis work within
a preset and limited regime of objects, construing each object as being
composed from a fixed inventory of stock constituents.  In the stronger
senses, contracting for the application of these terms places a more
strenuous demand on the would-be construer.

1.  A radical form of analysis, in order to discern the contrasting
    intentions in everything construed as an object, obliges agents
    to leave or at least to re-place objects within the contexts of
    their live acquaintance, to reflect on their prevailing motives
    or their underlying motifs for construing and employing objects
    in the ways that they do, and to deconstruct how their own aims
    and biases enter into the form and the use of objects.

2.  A radical form of synthesis, in order to integrate ideas and information
    devolving from entirely different "frameworks of interpretation" (FOI's),
    requires interpreters to reconstruct isolated concepts and descriptions
    on a mutually compatible basis and to use means of composition that can
    constitute a medium for common sensibilities.

Thus, the radical project in all of these directions demands
forms of interpretation, analysis, synthesis that can reflect
a measure of light on the initially unstated assumptions of
their prospective agents.

The foregoing considerations lead up to the organizing conception of
an "objective framework" (OF), in which objects can be analyzed into
sets of constituent objects, perhaps proceeding recursively to some
limiting level where the fundamental objects of thought are thought
to rest -- or not.  If an OF is felt to be completely unique and
uniquely complete, then people tend to regard it as constituting
a veritable "ontology", but I will not be able to go that far.
The recognition of plural and fallible perspectives that goes
with pragmatic forms of thinking does not see itself falling
into line any time soon with any one or only one ontology.

On the opposite score, there is no reason to deny the possibility
that a unique and complete OF exists.  Indeed, the hope that such
a "place to stand" does exist, somehow, somewhere, somewhen, often
serves to provide inquiry with a beneficial regulative principle or
a heuristic hypothesis to work on.  But it just so happens, for the
run of "finitely informed creatures" (FIC's) at any rate, that the
existence of an ideal framework is a contingency to be established
after the fact, at least, somewhat nearer toward the ultimate end
of inquiry than the present time is apt to mark.

In this project, an OF embodies one or more "objective genres" (OG's), also
called "forms of analysis" (FOA's) or "forms of synthesis" (FOS's), each of
which delivers its own rendition of a "great chain of being" for all of the
objects under its purview.  In effect, each OG develops its own version of
an "ontological hierarchy" (OH), designed independently of the conceivable
others to capture an aspect of structure in its objective domain.

For now, the level of an OF operates as a catch-all, giving the projected
discussion the elbow room it needs to range over an unspecified variety
of different OG's and to place the particular OG's of active interest in
a running context of comparative evaluations and developmental options.

Any given OG can appear under the alias of a "form of analysis" (FOA)
or a "form of synthesis" (FOS), depending on the direction of prevailing
interest.  A notion that is frequently invoked for the same purpose is that
of an "ontological hierarchy" (OH), but I will use this only provisionally,
and only so long as it is clear that alternative ontologies can always be
proposed for the same space of objects.

An OG embodies many "objective motives" or "objective motifs" (OM's).
If an OG constitutes a genus, or a generic pattern of object structure,
then the OM's amount to its specific and individual exemplars.  Thus, an
OM can appear in the guise of a particular instance, trial, or "run" of
the general form of analytic or synthetic procedure that accords with
the protocols of a given OG.

In order to provide a way of talking about various objective points of view
in general without having to specify a particular level, I will use the term
"objective concern" (OC) to cover any individual OF, OG, or OM.

An OG, in its general way, or an OM, in its individual way, begins by
relating each object in its purview to a unique set of further objects,
called the "components", "constituents", "effects", "ingredients", or
"instances" of that object with respect to that "objective concern" (OC).
As long as a discussion remains fixed to what is visible within the scope
of a particular OC, the collected effects of each object in view constitute
its "active ingredients", supplying it with a unique decomposition that fixes
it to a degree sufficient for all purposes conceivable within that discussion.

Contemplated from an outside perspective, however, the status of these effects
as the "defining unique determinants" (DUD's) of each object under examination
is something to be questioned.  The supposed constituents of an object that are
obvious with respect to one OC can be regarded with suspicion from the points of
view of alternative OC's, and their apparent status as rock-bottom substantives
can find itself reconstituted in the guise of provisional placeholders (placebos
or excipients) that precipitately index the potential operation of more subtly
active ingredients.

If a single OG could be unique and the realization of every object
in it could be complete, then there might be some basis for saying
that the elements of objects and the extensions of objects are known,
and thus that the very "objects of objects" (OOO's) are determined by
its plan.  In practice, however, it takes a diversity of overlapping
and not entirely systematic OG's to make up a moderately useful OF.

What gives an OG a definite constitution is the naming of a space
of objects that falls under its purview and the setting down of
a system of axioms that affects its generating relations.

What gives an OM a determinate character from moment to moment
is the particular selection of objects and relational linkages
from its governing OG that it can say it has appropriated,
apprehended, or actualized, that is to say, the portion
of its OG that it can say actually belongs to it, and
whether they make up a lot or a little, the roles
that it can say it has made its own.

In setting out the preceding characterization, I have reiterated what is
likely to seem like an anthropomorphism, prefacing each requirement of the
candidate OM with the qualification "it can say".  This is done in order to
emphasize that an OM's command of a share of its OG is partly a function of
the interpretive effability that it brings to bear on the object domain and
partly a matter of the expressive power that it is able to dictate over its
own development.

1.3.4.13  Formalization of OF:  Objective Levels

The three levels of objective detail to be discussed are referred to as
the objective "framework", "genre", and "motive" that one finds actively
involved in organizing, guiding, and regulating a particular inquiry.

1.  An "objective framework" (OF) consists of one or several
    "objective genres" (OG's), each of which may also be known
    as a "form of analysis" (FOA), a "form of synthesis" (FOS),
    or an "ontological hierarchy (OH).  Typically, these span
    a diverse spectrum of formal characteristics and intended
    interpretations.

2.  An OG is made up of one or more "objective motives"
    or "objective motifs" (OM's), each of which may also
    be regarded as a particular "instance of analysis" (IOA)
    or a particular "instance of synthesis" (IOS).  All of the
    OM's that are governed by a particular OG exhibit a kinship
    of structures and intentions, and each OM roughly fits the
    pattern or "follows in the footsteps" of its guiding OG.

3.  An OM can be identified with a certain moment of interpretation,
    one in which a particular 2-adic relation appears to govern all of
    the objects in its purview.  Initially presented as an abstraction,
    an individual OM is commonly fleshed out by identifying it with its
    interpretive agent.  As this practice amounts to a very loose form
    of personification, it is subject to all of the dangers of its type
    and is bound eventually to engender a multitude of misunderstandings.
    In contexts where more precision is needed it is best to acknowledge
    that the application of an OM is restricted to special instants and
    to limited intervals of time.  This means that an individual OM must
    look to the "interpretive moment" (IM) of its immediate activity to
    find the materials available for both its concrete instantiation and
    its real implementation.  Finally, having come round to the picture
    of an objective motive that is realized in an interpretive moment,
    this discussion has achieved a discrete advance toward the desired
    forms of dynamically realistic models, providing itself with what
    begins to look like the elemental states and dispositions that
    are needed to build fully actualized systems of interpretation.

A major theoretical task that remains outstanding for this project is to
discover a minimally adequate basis for defining the state of uncertainty
that an interpretive system has with respect to the questions it is able to
formulate about the state of an object system.  Achieving this would permit
a measure of definiteness to be brought to the question of inquiry's nature,
since it can already be grasped intuitively that the gist of inquiry is to
reduce an agent's level of uncertainty about its object, its objective,
or its objectivity through appropriate changes of state.

Accordingly, one of the roles intended for this OF is to provide
a set of standard formulations for describing the moment to moment
uncertainty of interpretive systems.  The formally definable concepts
of the MOI (the objective case of a SOI) and the IM (the momentary state
of a SOI) are intended to formalize the intuitive notions of a generic
mental constitution and a specific mental disposition that usually
serve in discussing states and directions of mind.

The structures present at each objective level are formulated by means
of converse pairs of "staging relations", prototypically symbolized by
the signs "-<-" and "->-".  At the more generic levels of OF's and OG's
the "staging operations" associated with the generators "-<-" and "->-"
involve the application of 2-adic relations analogous to those of class
membership "element of" and its converse, but the increasing amounts of
parametric information that are needed to determine specific motives and
detailed motifs give OM's the full power of triadic relations.  Using the
same pair of symbols to denote staging relations at all objective levels
helps to prevent an excessive proliferation of symbols, but it means that
the meaning of these symbols is always heavily dependent on the context.
In particular, even fundamental properties like the effective "arity"
or "valence" of the relations signified can vary from level to level.

The staging relations divide into two orientations, "-<-" versus "->-",
indicating opposing senses of direction with respect to the distinction
between analytic and synthetic projects:

1.  The "standing relations", indicated by "-<-", are analogous to
    the "element of", "belongs to", or the membership relation "in".
    Another interpretation of "-<-" is the "instance of" relation.
    At least with respect to the more generic levels of analysis,
    any distinction between these readings is largely immaterial
    to the formal interests and the structural objectives of
    this discussion.

2.  The "propping relations", indicated by "->-", are analogous to
    the "class of" relation or converse of the membership relation.
    An alternative meaning for "->-" is the "property of" relation.
    Although it is possible to maintain a distinction in this regard,
    the present discussion is mainly concerned with a level of purely
    formal structure to which this difference is largely irrelevant.

Although it is strictly speaking logically redundant to do so,
it turns out to be extremely useful in practice to introduce
efficient symbolic devices for both directions of the staging
relations, "-<-" and "->-", and to maintain a formal calculus
that treats analogous pairs of relations on an equal footing.
Extra measures of convenience come into play if the relations
are used as assignment operations or as "field promotions",
that is, to create titles, to define terms, and to establish
the offices of objects in active contexts of given relations.
Accordingly, I regard these dual relationships as symmetric
primitives and employ them as the "generating relations"
of all three objective levels.

http://members.door.net/arisbe/menu/library/aboutcsp/awbrey/inquiry.htm

Inquiry Driven Systems

01.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03604.html
02.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03605.html
03.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03607.html
04.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03608.html
05.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03609.html
06.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03610.html
07.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03611.html
08.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03613.html
09.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03614.html
10.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03615.html
11.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03616.html
12.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03617.html
13.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03618.html
14.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03619.html
15.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03620.html
16.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03621.html
17.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03622.html
18.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03623.html
19.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03624.html
20.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03627.html
21.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03630.html
22.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03640.html
23.  http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03642.html

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21 Mar 2002 (09:02)

Accordion Notes

102 Characters In Search Of A Subject Line ...

| Every mind which passes from doubt to belief
| must have ideas which follow after one another
| in time.
|
| Charles Sanders Peirce, [On Time and Thought},
| MS 215, CE 3, page 68.  Dated March 8, 1873.

The quest continues ...

JA = Jon Awbrey
MA = Murray Altheim
MT = Minamoto no Tsunenobu

JA: I'm just telling you what two years under the influence of
    this word ["ontology"] has taught me.  It is not something
    that I would've guessed going in.

JA: Here's the thing:  Why does an organizing principle have to
    be absolutized and reified and sedimented into an ontology?
    Yes, I know that one is "supposed" to be able to generate
    ontologies of process and relation and shape and flow,
    but from what I've observed of the folks under the
    influence of this ontologism, there is something
    akin to a gravitational furce here that pulls
    them down to thinking in monadic absolutes.
    If you are really a hermenaut of writing,
    what is wrong with organizing principles
    like theme, image, motif, genre, POV, etc?

MA: Oh, I agree entirely.  Part of my research will assuredly be in finding out
    what writers (well, a subset of research-driven writers anyway) *want* in an
    organizational tool.  I expect the list you provided, plus a more extensive
    ontology, will be necessary.  I began this project on paper, mapping out
    the organizataion of my own historical fiction research (which is what
    got me onto this trip in the first place), and realized how much like
    an "ontology" it looked.  I found myself categorizing plants, animals,
    territories, timelines, lifelines, etc. and saw that formalizing
    this *to some extent* would be valuable.

Yes, but essentialism can be such a trap if you don't keep a tight rein on it.
It's a one-trick pony that won't cut the herd when that damned ol' rodeo finally
comes round to the sign domain, not to mention the mind's d'oh-minions, especially
not to mention their live interfarcings.  That AdamAnt obsession to achieve dominion
by naming everything in site according to its substance quickly degenerates into the
constant category confusion of treating the whole supporting cast of the tetraktys
as if they could all be chewed up by the top dogma of transubstantiation.

| Essence
| Quantity Quality
| Relation Place Time
| Disposition Possession Action Passion

Is that what Freud meant by "sublimation"?

MA: I'm very curious as to how a writer like Umberto Eco or
    Michael Ondaatje organizes their research, and if anyone
    knows either of these people I'd love to be put in touch.
    I'm considering contacting successful authors of historical
    fiction or literary nonfiction (!) to find out their specific
    techniques, and offer to provide them with a tool to assist.
    Of course, any tool would have to be an improvement over what
    they currently use.  I was this morning reading in a UK paper
    that people are beginning to dump their PDAs because in the
    end the little monsters have turned out to be more trouble
    than they're worth.  I lost over two years of personal data
    on mine, no backup because it failed when the laptop it
    was stored on failed.  I was changing the batteries and
    got one in backwards, and in those few seconds lost all
    of my phone numbers etc.

I'll tell you what one writer wants.  I want my word processor
to listen to me, to learn my language, to get to know my style,
that is to say, passim, without my having to keep telling it:
no, your default just ai'nt my default!  That is the sort of
thing that I meant by an "adaptive repertory memory" (ARM).

MA: The reason I mention this is that any tool that leaves one
    open for this type of problem itself becomes a problem.  I'd
    not want Ondaatje or Eco to lose years of research because of
    a system crash.  This reminds me of recent news that the laser
    disk version of the Domesday Project had become inaccessable,
    whereas the original (11th century?) version was still readable.
    Technology is often not what it's cracked up to be, but when it's
    good it can be very good.  I'm hoping mine will be good (but then
    again, so did Oppenheimer).

Well, hang onto to that pallette of punchcards under the bed.
Mine are still readable when stuff I wrote 10 yrs ago is not.

JA: I did some genreic thinking about this in my dissertation,
    developing notions of "objective frameworks, genres, motifs"
    as a way of formalizing an interpreter's point of view and the
    logical structure of its placement in a dynamic community of
    tradition and interpretation.  Very initial hints, but that
    was the general idea.

JA: 1.3.4.12.  Objective Plans & Levels [manifesto deleted ...]

MA: Thanks very much for this selection!  I'm going to print it out
    and get out the yellow highlighter, as with much of your posts
    they take some serious concentration ...

A lot of this is now in the SUO/Ontology Archives.
Current draft of dissertation is now 800 pages.

MT: | In the evening
    | The rice leaves in the garden
    | Rustle in the autumn wind
    | That blows through my reed hut.
    |
    | -- Minamoto no Tsunenobu

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23 Mar 2002

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23 Mar 2002 (00:01)

Peirce-To-Peers Diapragmatic Diorthesis

Thought for the Day

| I cannot explain the deep emotion with which I open this book again.
| Here I write but never after read what I have written for what
| I write is done in the process of forming a conception.
| Yet I cannot forget that here are the germs of the
| theory of the categories which is (if anything is)
| the gift I make to the world.  That is my child.
| In it I shall live when oblivion has me --
| my body.
|
| Charles Sanders Peirce -- "Logic Notebook" -- 1867 March 23
|
| http://www.iupui.edu/%7Epeirce/web/writings/v2/w2/w2_01/v2_1.htm

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Peirce-To-Peers Diapragmatic Diorthesis

Now that every body suddenly appears to be digging up,
as if from their own skulls, the elemental grounds of
pragmatic hermeneutics, a corpus as long pre-composed
as C.S. Peirce or Kant or -- all along the watchtower --
perchants a relict trio of Bonnie Old Saint Augustine,
well, the First Clown cannot help but to observe that
maybe there will be some bodies who'll now comprehend
the conventional observation that Peirce here indited:

| The second kind of representations are such as are set up
| by a convention of men or a decree of God.  Such are 'tallies',
| 'proper names', &c.  The peculiarity of these 'conventional signs'
| is that they represent no character of their objects.  Likenesses
| denote nothing in particular;  'conventional signs' connote nothing
| in particular.  (Peirce, CE 1, pages 467-468).
|
| Now those who are not accustomed to the homologies of the conceptions of
| men and words, will think it very fanciful if I say that this concurrence
| of four terms to determine the sphere of a disjunctive term resembles the
| arbitrary convention by which men agree that a certain sign shall stand
| for a certain thing.  And yet how is such a convention made?  The men
| all look upon or think of the thing and each gets a certain conception
| and then they agree that whatever calls up or becomes an object of that
| conception in either of them shall be denoted by the sign.  In the one
| case, then, we have several different words and the disjunctive term
| denotes whatever is the object of either of them.  In the other case,
| we have several different conceptions -- the conceptions of different
| men -- and the conventional sign stands for whatever is an object of
| either of them.  It is plain the two cases are essentially the same,
| and that a disjunctive term is to be regarded as a conventional sign
| or index.  And we find both agree in having a determinate extension
| but an inadequate comprehension.  (Peirce, CE 1, page 469).
|
| Charles Sanders Peirce,
|"The Logic of Science, or, Induction and Hypothesis",
| Lowell Institute Lectures of 1866, pages 357-504 in:
|
|'Writings of Charles S. Peirce:  A Chronological Edition',
|'Volume 1, 1857-1866', Peirce Edition Project,
| Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1982.
|
| http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03749.html
| http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03752.html
| http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03767.html

And, of course, I must append this self-quotation:

http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg00792.html

| post*crypt
|
| their omniobjective reconsilience
| makes diapragmatic our diorthesis,
| swear latin lovers in their place.
|
|'but none do there I think embrace' ...
|
| while a hermenaut's gyre on the horizon
| fastens one wheel I will welcome seeing
| quicken the patent reinventure of being.
|
|'and that would be the first human race' ---

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23 Mar 2002 (08:06).  Peirce-To-Peers Diapragmatic Diorthesis

GR = Gary Richmond
MK = Mary Keeler

GR: I guess you missed my point, for I fully agree with Mary that PORT
    should not "become another SUO [-like] list, or a [place for] purely
    philosophical discussion".  Yet this most recent message of yours is
    cross-posted to SUO and PORT.

GR: Mary seems to me eminently reasonable in requesting that:  "Please"

MK: ... for the sake of the many on this list who are not
    philosophers, technologists, or "ontologists", let's
    hold the discussion to the "gists" that mere mortals
    can handle?

GR: There is SUO, and Peirce-L, and Arisbe (et cetera), each
    of them much more suitable vehicles for the kind of inquiry
    that you are engaged in.  Why insist upon bringing it to PORT?
    There's so much else you could contribute here.

for me the zotgist is just this:

*what does peirce mean in practice?*

for some odd reason -- whose critique i omit --
it has been impossible to address that topic,
neither in the peirce telé-community nor at
the arisbe development site, and that is
gist something that i still wonder at,
in the not so good sense of wonder,
but if not there, and not here,
then where, i ask?  gist where?

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23 Mar 2002 (12:26)

Peirce-To-Peers Diapragmatic Diorthesis

JA = Jon Awbrey
JD = Jean-Luc Delatre

JA: for me the zotgist is just this:

JA: *what does peirce mean in practice?*

JD: Oh! Jon, what do you mean by "mean"?

JD: (you know I cannot resist that kind of teasing ...)

JD: | Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
    | Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
    | -- Groucho Marx

and you know i cannot resist this kind of answering:

http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg00645.html

| Subj:  Pragmatic Maxim
| Date:  Tue, 29 Aug 2000 09:09:02 -0400
| From:  Jon Awbrey <jawbrey@oakland.edu>
|   To:  Stand Up Ontology <standard-upper-ontology@ieee.org>
|
| #%%THIS%%%#%%%IS%%%%#%%%NOT%%%#%%%%A%%%%#%%FRAME%%#
|
| John F. Sowa wrote (Fri, 28 Jul 2000 10:41:45 EST):
|
| | Again, I repeat a dictum by one of my favorite philosophers,
| | C.S. Peirce, that the total meaning of any concept consists
| | of all the implications that the concept has on our possible
| | observations and actions.
|
| Just for the record, what Peirce actually said, in one of his
| more comprehensible versions of the "Pragmatic Maxim" was:
|
| | Consider what effects that might conceivably
| | have practical bearings you conceive the
| | objects of your conception to have.  Then,
| | your conception of those effects is the
| | whole of your conception of the object.
|
| ~~ Charles Sanders Peirce, 'The Maxim of Pragmatism', CP 5.438
|
| It is common to miss the indexical character of the pronouns
| in this statement, and to think that he said something about
| "the conception" rather than something about "thy conception".
| There is another version that speaks of "we" and "us", but it
| changes only the poignancy, and not the point of this address.
|
| Whether this currently most popular misreading arises from the
| horror of relativism that most of us learned in the Academy --
| a force apparently so overpowering that it leads us to deny,
| formally speaking, the role of interpretive communities in the
| very pictures of "what is" that they themselves will formulate --
| and whether or not that was actually the lesson that any of us
| was supposed to derive from obeying the dictum to "know thyself" --
| I just hope that it will not be the ultimately persistent message.
|
| The world did not go away when relativity came to physics,
| and I do not believe we need to have fears about ontology.
|
| I bring this up now, not just because it is a recurrent issue, anyway,
| but because it is relevant to the nature of the interpreter that makes
| judgments about category assignments in formulating and implementing
| an ontology, and also to the quality of the inquiry that ensues when
| there emerges a lack of consensus about them.
|
| Jon
|
| P.S.  For this audience, it can be noted that the pragmatic maxim
|       is basically a "principle of representation", logically akin
|       to the "regular representations" and the "term models" of all
|       sorts of algebraic structures, from groups to lambda calculi.
|       My memory is dim, but I believe that theorems on the subject
|       of "Peirce Representations" are some of the few for which
|       the Peirces, B. or C., still retain credit in mathematics.
| J.A.
|
| #%%%%%%%%%#%%%%%%%%%#%%%%%%%%%#%%%%%%Jon#Awbrey%%%#

JA: | Outside of a dogma, a book is man's best friend.
    | Inside of a dogma, it's too dark to read.
    | -- Oscar the Grouch

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24 Mar 2002

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24 Mar 2002 (14:19)

Prolegomena To All Future Reckonings

now, mary, you should know by now that a person
coming back from travel should read their mail
in reverse chronological order.  the whole
thing is blown over by now, but aren't
you glad you missed all the fun!?

i was able to analyze later that day the bit of displacemnt that caused me
to react that way, and though i cannot tell you all the maudlin details,
i can fairly say that the relationship to your request was purely what
both peirce and freud, in their different ways, would call "symbolic".
sorry about the grief.

best reagrds,

jon

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Mary Keeler wrote:
> 
> On Fri, 22 Mar 2002, Jon Awbrey wrote:
> 
> > ¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤~~~~~~~~~¤
> >
> > that is the 3rd time that you have acted to suppress
> > an ongoing discussion while i have been on this list.
> >
> > please de-port me as of now.
> 
> Jon, I only count two times, now, when you even _might_ think that!
> And I did not even attempt to "suppress an ongoing discussion," this
> time, but did not want the new member (Jean-Luc) to misunderstand our
> culture and purpose.  I am sorry to see you react so strongly, giving me
> no benefit-of-doubt, and I am very sorry if you leave (especially under
> these misunderstood conditions).  Let me know if you have second thoughts
> (or third).  We (PORTers) simply must be more generous, tolerant, and
> considerate than what we can now imagine, if PORT is going to work.
> I am going to begin to speak to that need, soon.  I hope we all
> can learn to modify our behavior, with good humor.   --Mary

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26 Mar 2002

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26 Mar 2002 (21:38)

Prolegomena To All Future Reckonings (or Pragmata)

that title was gist a bit over-determined
by simon's mention of accounting, the motto
of leibniz "laß uns rechnen" -- which i always
confound with "laß uns rechen" (leave us rake),
and by max weber's idea that our bureaucratic
systems of accounting form culture-internal
icons of the world for us that we are ever
in danger of converting into idle idols
through the routinization of charisma.

my favorite way of explaining "pragmatitude" --

http://suo.ieee.org/email/msg02089.html

interspeirceals below:

Mary Keeler wrote:
> 
> I do like Jon's title, and think we should continue to make use of it!
> Please see constructive comments offered, below Jon's welcome remarks.
> 
> On Sun, 24 Mar 2002, Jon Awbrey wrote:
> >
> > now, mary, you should know by now that a person
> > coming back from travel should read their mail
> > in reverse chronological order.  the whole
> > thing is blown over by now, but aren't
> > you glad you missed all the fun!?
> >
> > sorry about the grief.
> 
> Yes, Jon, many emails later I might not have responded, but I am glad
> you gave me the opportunity to introduce my *major concern for PORT*:
> our self-critical conduct.  I, too, would love to explore many points
> I find curious in Peirce's work, but we have preliminary work to do in
> developing better means of doing so:  a mechanism for PORT's *continuous
> improvement*.  That process of development will require all of us to learn
> *to be more pragmatic* (in the sense that Peirce specified that *conduct*).

what i asked was just this:  *what does peirce mean in practice?*
to me, the pragmatic maxim has consequences for how we do things.
i am curious why so many peirceans find that a curious notion.

> Especially in approaching our workshop on "The Pragmatic Web",
> we must try to make our ideas clear about what pragmatic conduct
> entails and how we might learn to practice it.  I have been preparing
> to promote that clarification for some time, and will now begin with
> remarks from J.F. Delannoy (PORT member and computer scientist,
> currently working in Paris), who has given me permission to
> post his words:
> 
> "'Pragmatic' may be a misleading name for many people:
> taking pragmatic in the linguistic sense.

in the sense of morris?  or austin?  having to do with context?
those were all epigone derivatives of peirce's actual meanings.

question:    what was wrong with "semiotic web"?
hypothesis:  geertz used the phrase so long ago
that there's no intellectual capital in it now?

time for my nap ...

jon awbrey

> I work on pragmatics, not especially in the philosophical-pragmatic framework."
> 
> In my pursuit of philosophic understanding, I keep going back to Peirce's
> definitions of pragmatism, for reference.  Quoting the following definition,
> I separate the first part of it from the second, in order to emphasize the
> second (without losing the context of the first, which introduces the
> conditions that Peirce identifies as requiring some strategy).
> 
> First Part:  "What is [pragmatism] expected to accomplish?
> It is expected to bring to an end those prolonged disputes
> of philosophers [read: "any group who need to communicate"
> (or collaborate in learning)] which no observations of facts
> could settle, and yet in which each side claims to prove that
> the other side is in the wrong."
> 
> [We will never get beyond the stage of suggesting hypotheses,
> if we cannot (tentatively but explicitly) agree on definitions.
> In technology development, those "definitions" are requirements
> specifying the 'versions' of the augmentation devices we propose
> to achieve, which must be tested and criticized in detail.
> Hypothetical solutions cannot be formulated into testable
> and critiqueable versions, without some concurrence on what
> they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it.
> No amount of observing the conditions of a problem will
> realize an innovative solution.]
> 
> Second Part: "Pragmatism maintains that in those cases the disputants
> must be at cross-purposes.  They either attach different meanings to
> words, or else one side or the other (or both) uses a word without
> any definite meaning.  What is wanted, therefore, is a method for
> ascertaining the real meaning of any concept, doctrine, proposition,
> word, or other sign.  The object of a sign is one thing;  its meaning
> is another.  Its object is the thing or occasion, however indefinite,
> to which it is to be applied.  Its meaning is the idea which it attaches
> to that object, whether by way of mere supposition, or as a command, or
> as an assertion" [CP, 5.6].
> 
> [Notice how this account of pragmatism implicates semeotic (or "semiotic":
> sign theory) as its theoretical motivation.  No version is ever perfect
> or complete with regard to its purpose, and its limited virtues can be
> appreciated and improved only if we can clearly understand how it fails,
> in terms of the 'ideas' (expressed as suppositions, commands, or assertions)
> we have about how it might/does/should work, in actual operation.  We cannot
> entirely foresee its effect in application;  its real effect is in its continue
> improvement, or evolution.]
> 
> I think of these two "things" (object and meaning) as "Evidence and Inference",
> for the purpose of treating them in the context of Inquiry, which Peirce identifies
> in the stages of Abduction (hypothesis formulation--or design conception), Deduction
> (clarification of that formulation and its implications for testing), and Induction
> (testing and re-testing those implications).
> 
> As Gary has explained, one time or another, these "stages" need not actually
> succeed one another as I present them here, in analytical steps, but in that
> form we can understand their 'logical' relationships.  The tracking of how
> definitions (designs) come about and how they perform and evolve is
> pragmatically crucial to collaboration (and to any responsible
> manufacturing, marketing, or government for that matter).
> 
> As Aldo has said, what we might hope to do with Peirce's pragmatism to
> "combine philosophy and computer science at a much deeper level than is
> normally the case", and keep some balance between "what can be done (now)
> and what should be done (later)".
> 
> Pragmatic Conduct has much to do with balancing,
> as I hope I can make clearer, subsequently.
> 
> Mary

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26 Mar 2002 (23:44)

Prolegomena To All Future Reckonings (or Pragmata)

Gary Richmond wrote:
> 
> preface: Jon, I decided not to send this to
> PORT-L, though I thought you might be humored.
> 
> Jon,
> 
> You are too clever

JA: that title was gist a bit over-determined
    by simon's mention of accounting, the motto
    of leibniz "laß uns rechnen"

> translation "let us calculate" for we mere mortals
> who are less erudite or haven't learned much
> German or famous Leibnizean phrases.

i wish that people would cut the crap about about mere mortals,
all that echos the giggle of e-mortals is hardly one among 'em.
i'll bet i've done more te deums than they who e-potheosize me.

JA: -- which i always confound with "laß uns rechen" (leave us rake),

> yet another example of the tendency of erotic philosophy to confuse the young

actually, another recollection of my father,
who told me once one afternoon to go rake the
gravel in the yards of the trailer court that
we managed, and "not come in till he called me" --
sometime after midnight, long after he'd fallen
asleep, i was still out there -- prodigal son? --
no, i just got chewed out for being an idiot ...
well, maybe it is the same story, after all.

JA: and by max weber's idea that our bureaucratic
    systems of accounting form culture-internal
    icons of the world for us that we are ever
    in danger of converting into idle idols
    through the routinization of charisma.

> please explain: "the routinization of charisma"

= teachable virtue

> That is, please do explicate your meaning if in your wit and ...
> poetry you also mean to be quite "seriously helpful," that is in
> the social and collaborative sense.  (I won't here get into the
> problematic that there is also the danger of being "just a poet".
> Nietzsche -- who was and so led many astray).

but showed max weber the way ... not to go ---

JA: my favorite way of explaining "pragmatitude" --

JA: When I am confused by all the ways that "object" is abused,
    I turn from the Latin and return to the Greek, weighing the
    anchor of my Liddell & Scott, unfurling the sail that I see
    blazoned with the emblem !pragma!, or "pragma" trans-writ,
    and there I retrace my bracing, hearty, and regaling chant:

       Object, Objective, Purpose, Concern,
       Objection, Obstacle, Obstruction, Too,
       Trouble, Treatise, and a Thing or Two,
       What's Done, What's Doing, What's To Do,
       Act & Affair, Deed & Fact, Matter & Work,
       Business, Career, Duty, Expedience, Opus,
       Circumstantial Consequential Contingency,
       Annoyance, Engagement, Irritation, Peril,
       Powers That Be, Government, Undertaking,
       This is the meat in our pragmatic stew!

    OK, so I spiced it up, just a pinch or two,
    But I brewed it and cooked it just for you,
    As I learned it from Our Chef You-Know-Who!

> I think -- hope? -- there may be profound wisdom underlying your wit (which no
> other man or woman that I know of personally or by reputation even approaches --
> and you can imagine that I know some pretty sharp cookies, that is if you prove
> not to be a pessimist (though, following you on many a list I see just how strong
> and resilient you are (though I do wonder whether this "pick myself up, dust myself
> off, etc." isn't tinged with a bit of cynicism and egoism (maybe those are the wrong
> expressions).  Well, the question is, can anyone be so witty and so wise?

too witty to shake?

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27 Mar 2002

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27 Mar 2002 (08:34)

Prolegomena To All Future Reckonings (or Pragmata)

http://suo.ieee.org/ontology/msg03913.html

fresh from the calming effects of my morning exercise --
and by way of heading off at the pas the crankiness
that so often sets in at the end of the day --
let me see if i can explain why i get so
intense about all of this stuff.

i gist reckon that there is a whole lot riding on our being able to corral
an "effectively objective humanely integral practical philosophy" (eohipp)
someday, hopefully soon, and i spect that we have already tried all of the
alternatives already, so i'm in no mood to appease the dominating cult nor
to compromise the principles that i keep being compelled by one bad effect
after another to recur to.

well, i see i am still dreaming, so i will try again later, but not too late ...

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