informatics (23)

The metaphysics of R.

For R., the purpose of each person is to communicate with his neighbours. Establishing communication is the main effort to be done, as opposed to solving practical problems. If we look at the human condition, most problems have been resolved, or are in the process of being resolved, but communication problems are still plaguing our existence and causing pain and misery.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace - Adam Curtis 2011 ⍟⍟⍟⍟⍟

Ayn Rand's demise started when she was unable to uphold her own philosophy, collapsing in front of her lover Nathaniel Branden and accusing him of immorality for leaving her for a younger woman. Wasn't he acting out of "rational" self-interest?

Network obsessions

Graph theory is the study of networks (or is it?)

Networks are the most generic tool to model information (or are they?)

Networks/graphs and databases

SQL is a language to query relational databases (i.e. graphs?) however the relational part is not expressive enough to allow complex multi-relational queries. Graph databases such as neo4j address that problem, but introduce a whole new language of data retrieval that has its own inefficiencies.

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

Referring to the book Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

Networks are graphs

and we agree that a tree is a special type of graph with the topology that we know.

Fig 2 The tree of streets - Ch 2 P 47

Hierarchical by connectivity. Striking visual display by mapping the measure of connectivity to the width of the branch of the given street.

The perfect information

A man [M] was given information by a supreme intelligence [A], via an emissary [J]. This man relayed this information to his peers [P] by oral recitation. Over decades, these oral recitations were collected in a book [Q].

Is the book a perfect replica of the original information?
A -> J -> M -> P -> Q (-> Publishing -> Us)

The law of diminishing information stipulates that the original information diminishes at each step, or at most remains the same.

A model for thought part -1

  • a Thought is the activation of one or more nodes in the disconnected graph of Rational Memory
  • links in this graph constitute logical / semantic relationships among thoughts
  • a Circuit is an activated path in a connected subgraph
  • a circuit is also a thought.

Notes on systems

  • When a system interacts with its environment, it seeks to create a mirror image of its own interface inside the environment. But because the environment is a system as well, it, also, seeks to create a mirror image (and more often than not succeeds) inside the system.
  • Economics is the study of how a system can efficiently use available resources in itself and in the environment to achieve its goals.
  • Systems have goals. Sometimes a system designer implants the goals, but other times systems develop their own goals.

Information staleness

Bookmarks reminders

Take a look at your bookmarks in your web browser. How many of those articles have you actually read? How old are these bookmarks anyway? Do you remember why and when did you bookmark that page so that you can come back to read it later ?

Too many unorganized and outdated bookmarks is a problem we all face. I am thinking of a system where one can set a reminder and/or an expiry date for the bookmark when adding it. i.e.

Moerae: Threads of activity

Humans perform activities. I like to think of activities as made of threads, a potent word referring to continuity in time, causality and intentionality.

As our activities become more automated, it is important to keep their thread-like aspect intact in digital form. Project planning and tracking software is a typical example of this approach. But these systems impose too much rigour when entering data, making their use difficult in many setups including small organizations.

What is proposed is to create an unstructured and easily-accessible system to describe group activities in the past or the future. The data model should be generic enough to allow reporting along several dimensions: personal timesheets, resource utilization, progress reporting, chronology, etc.

Quranic inheritance

The Islamic rules of inheritance are primarily laid down in the Quran 4:11-12 and 4:176. Three verses that compress a great number of inheritance cases - at least 512 as we will see in the following exposition. A fascinating example of algorithmic compression.

First, the sources:

  • The verses in Arabic (GIF images) and Yusuf Ali English translation at Sacred Texts: 4:11-12 and 4:176.

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