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2020-12-24 | Subject | Letter to the Future

What is the trick, the idea, the reason? What would I tell somebody fifty years from now? How would that be different than next year? Why is this not simply another form of technological optimism? Why would I spend so much time on something like this? The long version is here, but it is not that distilled and addresses other concerns like epistemology.

Take a slug of bourbon to cut through the oily academic product on the pompadour, and what do I have? What is it down at the root, so to speak?

Let's start with a journal. A paper journal is written in sequence, and does not allow horizontal cuts for keywords. Horizontal cuts connect across any number of conceptual barriers that make sense within domain of knowledge and even outside. Any reader of this should be familiar with the world-wide web. On the world-wide web, the most familiar idea is a "link". Technically, the most common version is "a href". It is a reference, a link to another item on the world-wide web. It is a horizontal cut.

In the case of a web page about a particular football game that completed the previous day, there might be a link for the coach of the opposing team, that when clicked on with a mouse, would retrieve the document associated with the link, perhaps a profile of the coach. By clicking on the link we cut across the clouds of information from the game to the world of the coach. With a journal we have a similar concept, but we are linking to a tag, or, even, another journal page or an outside definition or article on the world-wide web.

In the above football example, the game page had a reference to a coach page. This is called a triple. It just means there are three things, a subject, a relation, and an object of the subject having that relation. 1) Football Game 2)Had a coach 3)Coach profile. For a journal, the triple could show that a written dream journal entry on a particular day, has a relation of some type to another entry.

Let's get specific, and call a journal entry for a particular day "A". Let's say that on another day is an entry from the previous night, "B". The "A" entry is about a purple dress seen in a shop window. "B" relates a dream with a purple pickup truck and an attempt to escape a flooding river. Purple could mean many things. Most likely it is a color, and that is what we mean in the context of journal entries and dreams. We could call "C" the color purple. The act of tagging means that "A" "is tagged with" an object that of a type tag.

C is a tag
C has a label "purple"
C is a type of color
B is tagged with C
B is a dream entry
A is a journal entry
A is tagged with C

This is the start of knowledge about the dream entry, as it captures that seeing the purple dress in the shop window might have played into the color in the dream. More complicated collections of these triples can do things like capture supply chains or water distribution systems:

The people that conceived of the world-wide web, primarily Tim Berners-Lee, originally, are aware of the value of these relations, and have standardized how they are used. This has grown into a powerful set of free tools that can be used to model knowledge. There is an important distinction here, in that this is a map not a flow. I might know that my house is connected to the power grid, but this says nothing about how much electricity is going through my connection at any particular minute. Consider just the simple "a href" link. I can certainly click on a map and zoom in and click on another link that has a current measurement. The map is useful, but it isn't everything, and shouldn't be confused with the territory.

My showcase of the power of this technique is IT Docent. After 30 years in IT, it shows how to apply these ideas to data flow. Data flow, in my experience, is the core of IT. IT is Information Technology, which ultimately takes data routed from sources and sinks, transforms it, and stores it. Even paper flow processes can be modeled as data flow if the the primary purpose of the paper is as documents. Coupled with the wealth of tools used to provide meaning and visualize sets of triples, if data flow is decomposed into this immediately normalized form of relationships, it is extremely powerful.

Quite simply, then, I am bringing this power to any form of analysis, and using free tools to do it, assuming that whatever problem we face as a civilization can be aided with triples analysis. Providing this for free, free from cloud dependencies or corporate operating systems, gives people the choice, the ability to make better decisions, create better maps. As for flows, these tools are available, but this is more like the details of the car engine or pumping gas or Burma Shave sign support strength of materials and other spinning triangle infinitesimals rather than a map. Maps are a great start, though.

computers ouroboros civilization supply_chain mountain_climbing bootstrap ontologies

Articles tagged with computers on Aggie Codrust:

2020-02-29: wx Supply Chain
1993-10-04: Apple 401K

Articles tagged with computers on O.R.N.G.:

2018-12-03: The Cost of Computers
1975-03-02: Microdata

Articles tagged with ouroboros on Aggie Codrust:

2020-04-29: Victory Lap
2020-04-17: MCJ Tomoe
2020-04-04: MCJ wxPython
2020-03-13: DAGs Splendid
2020-02-29: wx Supply Chain
2020-02-28: Will it scale?
2020-01-10: What is the goal?
2020-01-02: Pause If Weird
2019-12-31: 7 o'clock
2019-12-21: What is the problem?
2019-12-09: Bootstrapping
2019-12-09: Core Structure
2019-11-29: What am I Doing?
2019-11-02: Why? Hope?
2019-10-27: Too Complicated?
2019-10-26: Long Slog
2019-10-22: News Fluffer
2019-10-19: Breathing
2019-08-11: Forward and Backward

Articles tagged with ouroboros on Luv Counter XYZ:

2021-09-12: Bus Ride
2020-12-13: Ummm... Why?
2020-11-29: Taking Stock
2020-08-26: Home
2020-08-23: Global Virus Reach

Articles tagged with ouroboros on O.R.N.G.:

2019-08-07: Knowledge
2019-08-03: Bits of Tree
2019-06-27: Straight Down the Line
2019-05-19: Triple Tree
2019-05-18: Honeycomb Start
2019-05-11: Ouroboros Tree
2018-08-12: Data
2018-07-10: Woman Emerging from Manhole
2018-03-07: Braid of Life
2018-01-11: Train Circle
2017-11-05: Wu-Tang Clan
2017-10-23: proust
2017-10-13: Fire and Data
2017-10-11: risk of frameworks
2017-08-06: Finger Divine
2017-06-25: 1279 BC
2014-05-15: Circle
2010-11-02: Do you see?
2006-08-03: Information Markup

Articles tagged with civilization on Aggie Codrust:

2020-05-05: Where Does Stuff Come From?
2020-04-29: Victory Lap
2020-04-26: Matrix Batteries
2020-04-13: Is it Worth it?
2020-03-17: Nesting Doll Disappointment
2020-02-29: Homebrew Paperclips
2020-02-27: 1 over X
2019-10-03: Standing in the Way of Control

Articles tagged with civilization on Luv Counter XYZ:

2020-12-13: Ummm... Why?
2020-11-29: Taking Stock
2020-11-22: The Truth About Planes On Fire
2020-11-09: Armchair Sand
2020-08-26: Home

Articles tagged with mountain_climbing on Luv Counter XYZ:

2020-10-24: Base Camp
2020-09-23: Climbing

Articles tagged with mountain_climbing on O.R.N.G.:

2019-05-18: But an Instant
2018-11-10: Interim Sun
2018-10-15: The Old Mountain Climbing Metaphor
2018-06-24: DataOps
2017-08-31: Wumblebright Wagon
2014-09-22: Divine Web
2013-05-09: The Pursuit of The Good
2010-06-06: MCJ Books
2010-06-05: Interesting Climbing Reference
2010-05-24: Jacob's Ladder and Hacking the Circuitry
2008-05-28: Mountain Climbing Metaphor - May Revisit
1986-09-30: Mountain Climbing Metaphor - Climbing
1986-06-18: World Peace Flier

Articles tagged with bootstrap on Aggie Codrust:

2020-05-05: Where Does Stuff Come From?
2020-04-04: MCJ wxPython
2020-03-15: Limb Pulling
2020-02-29: Homebrew Paperclips