Monday, July 14, 2008

I Think. U?

This fascinates and intrigues. I haven't been able to utilitize open courseware like I'd prefer because of laziness, but this comes to you. I'm not how sure how embarrassed I should feel about first forgoing an all expenses paid, at least to begin with, education and now taking it to a new level of taking things for granted with MITOC, but I'm fairly certain, I'll be burrowing into some stinky approximation of soil. iTunesU? I might be able to hack this, if I find time away from hulu. If you need a good (enough) podcast manager, how about iTunes?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Du duh deh di duh, di deh du duh, di deh du duh

Is it okay that I forgot about the eyepatch, wait for it, and the cello?

I'd like to think that I'm still 100% grade A American, but if I can't remember those things, what else is missing?

Oh and the Hulu is dead. Long live the Hulu.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Miko's Dead

Welcome to the void my friend.


[UPDATE 5/15 7:16] Well, this just sucks. I share Thomas' sentiment. I hope he finds rest. Funeral arrangements will be in tomorrow's paper.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Other Information

Google has been good to me. Gmail is great, but I love Reader. They've updated the shared items feed so that users can now comment on the items they share. You can find my quick updates there, or in the list on the right side of this page.


The John Darnielle Round-up

I've really been enjoying The Mountain Goats new album Heretic Pride. On top of that, there are some promotional illustrations that are a great addition to to songs. There's more:

John has a new book 1n the 33 1/3 series, (announcement)
There's always his gerneral blog
And now? The Mountain Goats via Aesop Rock

I'm pleased.

Progress on Progress

Well, that ended in a rather fantastical manner. All's well that ends in Robin Williams I suppose, but I know that's just not true. Sometimes, I get a little cute with my metaphors. What I was trying to relay was that a single piece of information is often loaded with much more than appears. Sometimes that additional information is structured, and sometimes it's not. For instance, knowing my name, James, you also know that I occasionally babble on this blog. Those of you that know me personally, and I assume that is all of you as this isn't worthy of much anonymous acclaim, also recall much more by just its mention. You know my full name, my job, my other friends, some of you my parentage. My position at my work is part of a hierarchy. As is my lineage. Those structures aren't obsolete, they're just to be used in more specific situations. Overall, all of this information, is a nice sticky conglomerate of data. And that's where it adds value to tagging. Just James gets you all that other information as well, if it can be associated in some form of metatagging. Thus endeth the poor rambling.

CLARIFICATION - I see it kind of like algebraic substitution with a large number of known items. We have an item x. We know x = y + z. We know y = w + 1. We know z = 2 * v. Via substitution our original item x becomes:

x = y + z
x = (w+1) + (2 * v)

Just x has given us a good deal more because we know those other relationships. They're built into it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I read Everything is Miscellaneous last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It generally puts forth that hierarchies are outdated as indexing schemes. They are useful, and please understand that I'm taking a few liberties here, only as long as they are tied to a physical index or item.

As an example, It begins with a study of Office Max and their own study of space. A traditional store, most especially a grocery, is organized hierarchically and with the perishable staples at the back so that you are directed through a majority of the store most of the time. Instead, Office Max puts the most used items, toner and paper, at the front so as to make the average visit the most efficient. Their shelves are no more than 6-ish feet high, so that everyone can see the broad signs that they have identifying each product group. But the big thing is that they store some things in multiple places. Printer cables go next to the the printers, with the cables, and at the quick grabs section up front. That's it, that's where they break the hierarchy.

It's pretty minor, in fact Office Max limits each item’s number of locations to a small amount, but there are multiple locations available and that's a start. You see, a hierarchical structure requires a single location in the tree, but things don't fall that way. My dad's dog is in the genus Canis and the Kingdom Animalia, but it also is some dam's pup and as such has a family tree (another hierarchy this one multideminsional, we all have two parents, as do they, as do...), his name is Buddy (a member of a non-structured, unbounded set; see The Artist Formerly Known as Prince), he is black, brown, and white (all members of a relatively unstructued set), he is happy, rambunctious, and contributes to the happiness (and sometimes bloodiness) of the house. Well you get the idea.

So where do you put him in an Encyclopedia and represent all those things. You could put him in a traditional place and add cross references, but where do you end. Pretty soon the cross referencing becomes a good portion of, and then more than the entry itself. But depending on how you are looking for something about him, 'dog' can be a long way from where you want to get and that ignores the necessity of two-way references to make some of those traversals possible. So do we give up? No, each of those descriptors is adequate, so we use them all, structured and not, bounded and not. We create a multideminsional description of what we know. You'll regognise a simple version of this from tagging available in many e-mail, blogging, social, and wiki software available today. It's also the relationships that we describe in them. Our friends literally describe us. Tags are a large part of the 2 in the despicable term Web 2.0.

To prove these relations, and their power, I must only mention Mork. From that I know we recalled as much as we could. And most importantly, we’re happy.