07 June 2006

Documented emotion on the Tree of Life

for each story
in our radial ontology

and for each player in those stories

and for each emotion
experienced by those players

assign a distinct emotion-color

with similar emotions
getting similar colors

we assume that most human branches
will have experienced some shades
of every flavor of emotion

but we have almost no evidence
of who what where and when

so if an artifact survives
that 'documents' a past emotion

let us light
an appropriately colored star
at that time and place

(a dimmed cloud
if these are
as usual

with unambiguous documents
shining in pure colors
and ambiguous

and first let's map
the innovators of documentation

who purified an emotion-color
in a surviving artifact-document
for the first time

these stars will cluster strongly
around individual artistic geniuses

and cluster more weakly
across eras of more general genius

and the palette of colors
will gradually fill out
as overlooked
or taboo emotions are added

but even as more and more artifacts
documenting more emotions
more clearly

we still have to doubt
the authenticity
of each particular depiction
that claims to pertain
to a specific branch
at a specific point

for publication usually
assumes a public

the advent of photography
meant that occasional
true faces
were captured at specific
times and places

and the advent of flickr
means that dozens of these are now published
every second

04 June 2006

Search-engines on the Tree of Life

one class of stories
all web-surfers partake of

is searching for info

and the usual startingpoint
is google or another search-engine

and one or more typed-in query-strings

which should eventually lead to
the info sought

many searchers may pursue the same info
perhaps by different routes

or related info

which could all be aggregated into a FAQ

with the best search-engine
then being defined
as the one that leads you quickest
to the proper FAQ

is filling the FAQ-role
for ever-increasing numbers of queries

but their policy unfortunately
still eschews
extensive linking of
available web resources

which to my way of thinking
is the natural successor to
google-style page-hit-lists

for example

i held off researching
snapshot indexing-schemes
while i was formulating my
heraldic barcode approach

because past experience suggested
the available web resources
would be more frustrating and confusing
than enlightening

but this morning
i felt i'd progressed enough
to dip a toe into google

trying various combos of
snapshot photographs
ontology classifying metadata etc

and sorely regretting that wikipedia
doesn't yet have
an annotated history on this topic

because what i got was all dead ends

not a single proposal that overlapped mine

which doesn't remotely imply
that these don't exist

only that keyword search is inefficient
for tracking them down

one especially frustrating thing
is that google still doesn't
give any hint of the document types
of the page-hits

article or abstract
project proposal or specific ontology

and this topic is especially messy
because academics are busy poisoning the well
generating clouds of ink
meant to create an illusion of expertise

instead of humbly acknowledging
that the hardest question, as always
involves indexing human behavior...

03 June 2006

Joycean autobiographicizing

make a list of traits
that define your individuality

search for childhood incidents
where those traits
were first manifested

make a list of illusions
the world tried to foist upon you

search for incidents
where you escaped those illusions

list the people
who influenced you most
growing up

picture their defining gestures
and put them into words

and list their mannerisms of speech

explore recombinations of incidents
that condense clusters of these themes

Heraldic barcodes for flickrpix

Here's a first try at a 'heraldic-barcode-style' icon for pix on flickr-etc:

The blue-green-grey stripes in the background mean the background of the photo consists of approximately that mix of sky-vegetable-mineral. Other colors would be chosen to mean water, exterior-wall, interior-wall, furniture, etc.

The concentric inner squares represent two people in the foreground. The notches in the ne and se corners show their ages and genders-- the single square notch means the inner square represents a young boy, the double diagonal notch means the outer square represents a young woman.

Three notches mean middle-aged, four mean elderly, and babies with no notches are undistinguished for gender.

The central icon shows the main activity-relationship-- here just affection.

The coloring of the inner squares could represent their state of dress/nudity, among other things.

An outer frame could be colorised to symbolise if the pic has been photoshopped, hdr'd, lomo'd, b&w'd, or if it's all cgi, or acted out by (eg) dolls. (Dots in the outer frame might indicate rough latitude and longitude.)

02 June 2006

Hoaxtop update

you should know
that negroponte is peddling snakeoil
because we've heard comparable promises
a million times before

of products coming real soon now
that will set the world on fire

and when they arrive
a day late and a dollar short
they always disappoint
(especially if they come out of academia)

poorly engineered
awkward interfaces

not at all like it looked
in the glossy magazines

you simply don't engineer
good products this way

starting with hype about low cost
and super features

there are hundreds of comparable
hardware platforms
in the $500 range
and none of them shows any promise
of setting anything on fire

if the $500 model isn't fun
the $100-$200 model won't be, either

i love the dream
of a cheap device that kids love
where they can learn to hack

and it will happen someday

but it will start
from one of those $500 models
like the nokia 770
that hits a sweet spot for hackers
and over a period of a few years
evolves, via the programmers' 'bazaar'
a useful and fun software feature set
that can be ported
to incrementally cheaper platforms
inevitably eventually hitting the $100 mark

but not this way

how can they skip the phase
where they put 100 working prototypes
in the hands of their target audience
and painstakingly gather feedback
thru multiple cycles of finetuning???