29 December 2006

Meta 101

suppose incoming freshmen
at some big university
got to spend their first week
getting an intensive overview
of all the courses offered
at every level

fleshing out the arid course catalog
into a mini-encyclopedia

illustrated with slideshows depicting
textbooks notebooks blackboards

the graphs they draw
the simulations they code

maybe a few words
from every possible professor

lecturers sharing anecdotes
about the sorts of thing you'll learn
the skills required
the current hot topics
employment opportunities
publications available

boiling down the essence
as accessibly as possible

Meta 101

and then suppose the
a.i. department
offered an advanced grad seminar

Meta-meta 681 (the semantic web)

that looked at possible ontologies
that might someday
precisely describe
the full breadth of Meta 101

(should metameta 681 be discussed
in the first or last lecture
of meta 101?

or every lecture?)