What's a NOOMA?


- How much would such a project cost?
- Oh, I'd say about 25K but that's just a NOOMA.

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.

The missing link

Mutation is often cited as the main driver of evolution's diversification (last paragraph). But as a problem-solving tool, mutation is extremely inefficient, being equivalent to random guesses about every problem, regardless of experience.

There is a missing link between the evolution of the species and its adaptation to the environment. For the DNA of a species to evolve to have certain characteristics that are adapted to its current environment, there has to be a change that is introduced to the DNA.

The living text

A living text is one that attracts and becomes surrounded with living activity. Societies of humans annotate them, discuss them, even live by their ideas. The Qur'an, the Bible, etc. are living texts par excellence. Some would say they're too alive.

The web provides collaborative tools that can create the structure upon which a living text can thrive, thereby "leveling the field" for more numerous and diverse texts to come alive.

Content management systems can be specialized into collaborative, or social, book annotation systems.

Some serious blasphemy

According to this translation of the Quran:


Without (belief in) God, life is torment within torment, intellect is pure retribution, ambitions are pure pain, attainments are losses, union is separation, love is suffering, pleasure is distress, and knowledge is whim. He is the cure for the afflicted, and the remedy for wounded hearts. Hearts attain peace and come to rest by remembering and mentioning Him.

Self-replicating Linux


I often wonder whether computers will one day be alive... is this a serious condition Doctor? This of course begs the question of what life is, something that we don't have a simple answer for. We can certainly talk about the features of being alive, as far as we can see.

One of them is self-replication. The ability of living cells (of any size) to expand geographically by creating copies of themselves that colonize the neighbourhood. Scary, but true.

Well, what if Linux could self-replicate?

Business -1: Linux flavours

The power of Linux comes from its adaptability (to the will of the system administrator). That's what Windows and MacOS X cannot offer. Instead, they offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Linux, on the other hand, offers a multitude of distros (cf DistroWatch http://distrowatch.com/)

The problem is that it takes a long time and/or a lot of experience to achieve the customization of Linux needed for one's evolving needs, let alone a whole society's. If we want the Linux userbase to grow, all users shouldn't be required to be system administrators.

Mental model = active process

Top of mind: the active model currently being processed. Consider the following experiment:

  • You give the subject a sequence of arithmetic additions to process, which he's supposed to answer as fast as you ask them. The speed is measured as with the beats of notes.
  • You only give the subject additions of identical numbers: 7 + 7, 8 + 8, 9 + 9, etc. that are extremely easy to perform. While dictating the problems, maintain a steady rhythm of enunciation (again, like a musical riff being repeated) and progressively increase your speed.

Emotions in water

Masaru Emoto has photographed water crystals that result when persons focus their emotions on the water. The result is evocative. There is a lot of art in these photographs, so bear in mind this is not a scientific experiment.