[ by Charles Cameron — immigration, Brexit, and the killing of MP Jo Cox ]
Two parties that don’t like immigration, and say so with similar propaganda images — but when the two images are juxtaposed, does the similarity between their two curving lines of unwanted immigrants, East German Jews in the aftermath of the first World War, largely Muslim Middle Eastern immigrants into Europe in the wake of the wars of our own time, make for fair comparison — or distorted propaganda?
The curves are indeed similar but that’s a graphical similarity, and there’s similarity in the dislike of immigrants too, in the meanings given to the two curves — but is the implicit comparison of Farrage with Hitler a fair one, or excessive?
How do we read juxtapositions of this sort? How do we critique them? Is interpretation at the mercy of the “eye of the beholder”? What can this specific example teach us about DoubleQuotes in general, and their potential for use in revelation and / or deception?
With the Brexit referendum about a week away, and with the widely admired British Labour MP Jo Cox murdered today by a killer with Neo-Nazi affiliation, the UK has its own terrorism, fury, divisions and grief to come to grips with.
That video is almost exactly a month old, and it’s pitched at “the universe of things” with a marked tilt towards e-commerce. Fair enough.
It’s instructive to compare it with Wolfram Language, although here I’ve had to go with a video that’s a couple of years old:
Stephen Wolfram, the creator of both Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha, is focused on the world of numbers — and incidentally, that includes graphs of the sort I’ve been discussing in my series here On the felicities of graph-based game-board design, as you can see in the video above.
It will be interesting to see how the two of them — Viv and Wolfram — interact over time. After all, one of the purposes of these lines of development is to dissolve the “walled gardens” which serve as procrustean beds for current thinking about the nature and possibilities of the web. Do these two gardens open to each other? If so, why? If not, why not?
I’ve talked enough for my purposes about AlphaGo and it’s narrowly focused though impressive recent triumph, and the wider picture behind it, as expressed by Monica Anderson — and tying the two together, we have this video from Monica’s timeline, Bob Hearn: AlphaGo and the New Era of Artificial Intelligence:
Monica’s Syntience, it seems to be, is a remarkable probing of the possibilities before us.
But I’m left asking — because Hermann Hesse in his Nobel-winning novel The Glass Bead Game prompts me to ask — what about the universe of concepts — and in particular for my personal tastes, the universe of musical, philosophical, religious and poetic concepts. What of the computational mapping of the imagination?
My question might well have large financial implications, but I’m asking it in a non-commercially and not only quantitative way. I believe it stands in relationship to these other endeavors, in fact, as pure mathematics stands in relation to physics, and hence also to chemistry, biology and more. And perhaps music stands in that relationship to mathematics? — but I digress.
If I’m right about the universe of concepts / Glass Bead Game project, it will be the most intellectually demanding, the least commercially obvious, and finally the most revelatory of these grand-sweep ideas..
From my POV, it’s also the one that can give the most value-add to human thinking in human minds, and to CT analysts, strategists, journos, educators, therapists, bright and playful kids — you name them all!
Seeing it in terms of counterpoint, as Hesse did — it’s the virtual music of ideas.
[ by Charles Cameron — omega worms in science and scripture ]
As regular readers know, I am interested in Omega — the End, in “alpha and omega” terms — so I was naturally intrigued by this tweet, with Adam Elkus kindly put in my twitter feed and those of others who follow him:
If you are a worm scientist and know what a "omega turn" is, please help fill out our survey! https://t.co/a0JggSHEiH
Now please don’t imagine I know what that means to a worm scientist — I was expecting something more like the worm in the lowest section of thIs Beatus Apocalypse:
or maybe this:
from a different Beatus manuscript, where it appears the worm has turned quite a few times.
In the unlikely event that I should attempt a translation of St John‘s revelatory vision on the Isle of Patmos into science fiction, be assured that I shall include a reference to that image among my illustrations, with a footnote perhaps, pointing to Mark 9.48:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Today, however, my appreciation for all things apocalyptic must give way to another interest of mine, that of the pervasive use of [node and edge] graphs in our contemporary world. Here again is the central column of that image:
It interests me here as yet another illustration of the degree to which graphs serve as a fundamental substrate of our understanding of the world — and hence my continuing interest in their use in game board design — both of which I’ve been exploring in other posts in this series:
After the glamour of Beatus manuscripts and PLOS worm diagrams, it may seem almost a let down to turn to irregular polyhedra — but the move from two-dimensional graphs to their three-dimensional cousins is a short one, and since we live in what at least appears to be a (spatially) three-dimensional world, one which should also be considered in terms of game board and concept-modelling design.
[ by Charles Cameron — a quick note about putting the mind through hoops, aka connecting dots ]
For the record, the mind is not a phalanx but a swarm — IOW it gets creative when the links are leaps, not serried ranks.
So when your evidence board, memory jolt, graphical display looks like this (and it’s not the unavoidable dimness of the screen-grab I’m talking about):
the mind won’t see as many possibilities as when it’s more like this:
Randomize. Create uneven spaces between items. Shift items around. The idea here is to create fresh possibilities, not to look tidy.
I had a friend once who was an artist. His studio and his life were both disasters — and in his studio, in the middle of that life, he created dazzling, gorgeously colored and delicately graduated geometric patterns — as though he was a disorder organizer, and the more disorderly his input, the greater the precision of his output.
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.