Friday, December 28, 2012

Yay! I made a drawing. Actually, I copied Jean Cocteau.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Future of the Book ~ an Update

I met a nice person at a party the other day and we talked of the future of the book. So I updated some of the work I had started in 2008, sent it him and include it here.

Anybody else interested in the future of the book?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Festivus Day ~ a holiday I can celebrate

Today I learned about Festivus day through the kind auspices of Matt Cutts.

https://plus.google.com/+MattCutts/posts/1p3CBpHvNJw

In acknowledgement I have added a reference to the Festivus pole to the Wikipedia page for Google hoaxes and Easter eggs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google%27s_hoaxes_and_easter_eggs#Search

And also to the Wikipedia entry for Festivus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus#In_popular_culture

At last I have a festive season holiday that I can celebrate. Yay!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

PhiSci Icon

If I am to write about Incomplete Nature (see previous post) then I need a category or label for the topic. My current name seems to be PhiSci for philosophy and science - and it's a play on Si Fi as well.

Well, what would an icon for this topic look like? How about electrons swirling around a brain?

Back into Incomplete Nature

I am reading again Terrence Deacon's Incomplete Nature. This time I am starting with the epilogue and am reading a chapter at a time in reverse order. I'm now at Chapter 15.

It's a hard book to read. It's a fun book to read. The process is like trying to solve a puzzle - where the obstacle you are trying to overcome is the slowness of your own brain.

It's also a scary process.

I think the reason I am reading this book is because I feel that it may be a shortcut. Instead of spending thousands of hours trying to formulate an education based on Kant, Kierkegaard, Kuhn et al, one could jump onto a more modern, scientifically verifiable foundation and use this new, unified structure as the basis for building a personal cosmology faster miles an hour.

Well, we all know about the "10,000 Hour Rule" - that it takes 10,000 hours of work or effort to master a particular skill or discipline. So, shortcut or no shortcut, if I get into this science/philosophy thing then it will take years to get out to the other side.

And even if I did - then what? Scary thing #2 then pops up.

You run into the conundrum posed by that very smart lad, Paul Graham, in his essay "How to Do Philosophy"

Here are some quotes from Paul's essay:

The proof of how useless some of their answers turned out to be is how little effect they have. No one after reading Aristotle's Metaphysics does anything differently as a result.
...
If I say this, some will say it's a ridiculously overbroad and uncharitable generalization, and others will say it's old news, but here goes: judging from their works, most philosophers up to the present have been wasting their time.
Fortunately Paul leaves a bit of wiggle room. There may be, after all, some utility to philosophy:
These seem to me what philosophy should look like: quite general observations that would cause someone who understood them to do something differently.
And this is what I hope for. It would be a fun and fine thing to be able to apply what I learn from Deacon and others to the other topics I am interested in - including follow-ups to Christopher' Alexanders A Pattern Language and my own investigations into the visual display of huge amounts of data.

I have started the process by beginning to write a summary or synopsis of each chapter - which I plan to publish here and elsewhere as soon as some of it begins to look as if it might look like something. And given my extremely low standards of quality, I will probably publish way too early. If it's worth doing then it's worth doing badly. Right?


Friday, November 30, 2012

A Boat ~ Drawing in the Modern Way

It is a nice to draw something on a digital device and then have the drawing 'appear' on the web 'just like that'.

The 'A Boat' drawing is an approximation of such a process.

The boat was dawn on a Nexus 7 using Skitch.

Skitch is a very nice drawing tool produced and maintained by the Evernote team.

The underlying data is saved by Evernote.

From Evernote you can obtain a URL to a Skitch drawing.

Add that URL as the source to an HTML IFRAME tag which in turn is embedded into a Blogger post while editing in HTML mode and - presto - the drawing is publicly available.

Here's the code for the boat drawing.

<iframe height="100%" src="http://www.evernote.com/shard/s1/sh/94c80bfc-ffad-4e55-b4dd-20683860d484/8e68333b1d0f82fea10d41ef3e0701e2" style="border: medium solid #000;" width="100%">
<p>
Your browser does not support iframes.</p>
</iframe>

There is a significant side effect: any edit to the original Skitch drawing automatically updates Blogger and appears in the post with the next refresh. Whether this is a good thing or bad thing could be debated. The modern tradition is that once a blog post is posted it should not require further editing. Perhaps this is the precursor to post-modern blogging.


Thursday, May 31, 2012