Tag Archives: view

Taking Apart and Putting Back Together in a Repeatable Process

The greatest thing about relational databases is they store everything loose in some kind of homogeneous level playing field. It is only be establishing relationships between data that anyone is able to see anything in context. Without context, they are just data. In context they are messages, thoughts, ideas, studies, results, and work products.

If an idea is very complex sometimes it helps to break it down into component parts. Systematically taking it apart to understand what makes this idea tick.

DesignIT Studios

Starship ModelerWikicommons Watch Movement

Taking an idea apart can be very informative. Especially when various parts need to be updated and optimized, continually changing like software releases. If the watch above was wordpress, the Swift theme, and the internet each gear changes sooner or later but the whole watch still needs to work together if it is to continue functioning.  Putting things back together offers it’s own set of challenges.  There is an opportunity to purge elements that are no longer useful during this process. Like a hoarder moving everything out of their house onto the curb then back into the house, maybe some of those items are not worth saving after all. Or fixing a car engine, or someones medical condition, when it is unclear exactly what the problem is but simply by taking it apart and putting it back together, whatever was not working gets repaired.

IDSA Materials and Processes Section

Instructions are needed, parts need to be labeled. A sequence of reassembly is needed to ensure the reassembled whole still is the same. It can be difficult to see how the parts fit together when viewed too close.

Carol Padburg

Because everyone’s perception and experience is different, the exact same elements, in almost exactly the same combination may be understood a different way from different points of view. The receiving end may be “reading something into” what the sender intended. It may not be possible for two different people to consistently see the same things the same ways.

Put Back Together Pictures

However, this is not true for machines like computers or networks like the internet because machines have no prejudices, emotions, or previous experiences.  They simply process the information, break up whole ideas into packets, send them somewhere, another machine puts them back together. For this to be reliable everything on both ends needs to be a repeatable process. It would be so helpful to have a mold with the end result packed in with every packet to ensure consistency. MIT has just started a project to map controversies that may be useful to understand multiple interpretations of the same information.


MIT Mapping Controversies Project

This project is important today because we are surrounded by so many controversies, and so much data, it’s difficult to sort out which parts are actually valid, worth processing, keeping in the information houses where we store things. For example the Washington Post had an article today about the disconnect between science and the general public entitled “Not Blinded by Science, but Ideology” where global warming is a perfect example.

To avoid using information the wrong way, or putting together messages, thoughts, and ideas that may be different than original authors intended, especially while processing the data in emotionless machines – repeatable processes are needed.

BZen Consulting

Info-Sight Partners Actionability Index

Global Wonderware

Today the primary representation of how pieces of information are to be put back together need to work with SQL. Looking at the relationships is usually just miles and miles of code. However, there is a company at http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca who makes Schemaball, a Schema Viewer for SQL Databases where the relationships themselves can be put under a microscope and examined across the whole database in one glance.

It’s curious why geometry proper is not used more often to direct the arc, layouts and relationships. Something like a mold could be useful to ensure the reassembly is 100 percent correct on the receiving end, to match exactly, what the sender intended.

Smooth-On.com

But how would you store and encode that geometry?

Share

Emergent versus Imposed Boundaries

When organizing large quantities of resources and information in the digital world… putting things into groups, determining what goes where and assigning boundaries, it can be helpful to look at the real world for lessons learned.  Imposing boundaries in unnatural locations is bound to fail sooner or later, the results can be disastrous taking generations to overcome.

Take for example Southern Africa. Oceans, mountains, deserts, vegetation and other natural features determined where people lived and worked.

 

Physical Geography and Natural Vegetation
from Exploring Africa at Michigan State University 

Over time, people settled in various areas surrounded by their culture. Learning the best ways to be productive based on the conditions in their area – whether it was a jungle with vast resources or a desert with very few. 

From Africa Expat

Ancient people such as the Shona in modern day Zimbabwe congregated and stuck together in different areas.  Many of these languages and traditions continue today. But these curving, natural, and emergent boundaries don’t match boundaries imposed from outside cultures.

From Wikimedia Commons

Occasionally, an imposed boundary may coincide with a natural boundary such as a river.  More often though, imposed boundaries are designed to work within larger more global schemes, without paying enough attention to the local impact.

From Wikimedia Commons

Anyone can see where arbitrarily drawing lines has gotten us today.  What can be learned from history to avoid similar situations in the fresh, clean, brand new digital world where ideas and information are still patterning out and have no where in particular to belong except where they are emerging as “next to something else” or arranged for convenient, all encompassing, upper level views

Linked Open Data, Colored, as of March 2009

What about situations where digital terrain and intellectual data boundaries are being purposefully laid out. For example Master Web of Science, mapofscience.com and Places & Spaces where navigating the data is like exploring uncharted territory, and Katy Borner and collaborators seek to enable the discovery of new worlds while also marking territories inhabited by unknown monsters.


The difference in the semantic world versus the physical world should be that the digital world has no constraints like rivers or mountains. Eventually all of the layout can be determined.  Attention does need to be paid to where cultures are emerging, and how this can benefit everyone both globally and locally.

 Not only watch how the semantic web is emerging, but to direct it’s flow in productive ways, geared for people in different areas that may vary widely in their density and resources, rather than as one empire. Because that only causes trouble in the long run.

Layout Algorithm, NYU

Data Mining at Information and Visualization

Random Layout Algorithm at Cell System Markup Language (CSML) an XML format for modeling, visualizing and simulating biopathways.

The advantage of paying attention to this is, reaching an appropriate balance between random emergence and directed flow will ultimately serve end users and programmers better than any other option, and the solutions will last for a long time.


Communities of Practice at NASA

Share

I Love Typography

On 10 July 2009 Steve Kehlet said: For a while I’ve been reading I Love Typography, which describes itself as a means of bringing the subject of Typography to the masses. I am definitely part of the masses, I know I don’t have the critical eye and patience needed for good page design, as made evident by my site with its uninspired look, horrible colors, blocky layout, and general failure to render properly in any browser but Safari. But as I Love Typography says, it is truly inspiring at times to see these beautiful fonts and what people have done with them. Each article showcases numerous typefaces and sometimes works of art created with them. It’s a fascinating read on a beautiful topic I now realize I know so little about.” So he starts to look at it:

For the full story, see 1 <3 Typography and the I Love Typography site.

Share

Discrete Continuity

sticker

Sticker Shock by SPEEDtv

See the sticker on the tire. It is a discrete rectangle. A fixed piece of information, it is not continuous.

tire

Tire by Mayarishi

However, once the wheel goes in motion, the sticker can no longer be seen – the discrete shape appears to be a continuous blur.

Therefore, discrete elements put into dynamic motion only appear to be continuous. How can this be useful to take discrete instances of knowledge and make them continuous?
Continuity, even if only simulated, can benefit the digital age in many ways. For example, look at all the discrete papers published every day. Each one is a set of information like the sticker but what would happen if groups of paper were set in motion, to force continuity between them? What shape would serve this purpose best? A circle like the tire? Some shared, continuous knowledge would require far more complex geometry.

NotreDame

Notre Dame by Chi King

Please refer to this video Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Photosynth Demo wherein Flickr images are assembled to construct the Notre Dame Cathedral. The only way to do this is to know the geometry of the cathedral.

What is the geometry of knowledge? How can continuity be implied using shared geometry and many points of view more productively?

PerfectGeometry

Perfect Geometry by Dancing Fishes

There is no way to address the topic without also thinking about slightly different versions of the same thing. Examples using music are below. The same notes and words are used but the songs and performances, even the performance requirements, are different. Each piece of music is discrete, the continuity is the fact they are the same song by different artists ~ in different times and places.

LedZepstringquartet

Going to California by Led Zeppelin and the String Quartet

JimiStevie

Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix and Steve Ray Vaughn

gloria?cake

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor and Cake

 

Share

Perception and Crisis

In the book A Million Little Pieces, James Frey calls himself an Alcoholic, a Drug Addict and a Criminal. His limited perception of himself and the world around him is compellingly described. Forget the accuracy of this story, the aesthetics are more important.MillionLittlePieces
The author capitalizes unusual words for the chunks of information he perceives: Office, Woods, Bar, People, Daughter. It is extremely rare for him to see a bigger picture. He simply is not able or willing to process this kind of information. One time where it clicks into focus for him is copied without authorization below (pg 230). Background information is at the bottom of this post wherein readers are permitted direct access into the authors head for a full spectrum of human emotion from violent rage to a moment of clarity. After that happens, he states:
I sit and I stare at the World. I see it and hear it and I touch it and I feel it. It is what it is, dirt and rock and water and Sun and air and waves of light and waves of sound made up of definable elements. It can be created or reproduced by man at will. Science has given us that power.

BlueSky

Figure 14: Shown in light blue is the saddle-node periodic orbit that makes the spiking phase of bursting infinite. Andrey Shilnikov Professor of Mathematics at Georgia State University.

Now, what useful scientific and humanitarian goals can be accomplished with “light and waves of sound made up of definable elements” that “can be created or reproduced by man at will”? How can we manage all the information available to be presented in useful, empowering formats?
YouAreNotHereChronicPoverty

You Are Not Here: A World Poverty Map by the Chronic Poverty Center.
What benefit can regular people and people in need get from creating and seeing a bigger picture? What kind of information is it made from? Where does it originate? Can it be made from light and waves of sound we can experience? What prevents people in need from processing this kind of information? Reality? Fear? Lack of Control? Are people in Darfur ever able to have the luxury of spending time thinking deeply or is it a constant state of rush and confusion?

Darfur

Map of Confirmed Damaged and Destroyed Villages by the Humanitarian Information Unit at the US Department of State.
The violent rage of society needs to go for a walk in the woods.

LagosBoat

Photos courtesy of Chris and Tim Gerhardson in Lagos, Nigeria.
What if the problem of being unable to perceive a bigger picture was scaled up from an individual in need to a rapidly changing mega-city in need. For example Lagos, Nigeria? Or the whole continent of Africa?

LagosMarket

Nobody is really sure how many people live in Lagos, let alone all of Africa. A recent house to house census in Lagos set the population at 9 million. The UN Population Fund disagrees and says 16 million. The Lagos state government insists the figure is 17 million. The UN has predicted by 2015, Lagos will be the third most populous city in the world with an estimated 23 million people.

t foo (growing)

saakee, d saakee (change, there is change)

LagosMarket

How can a bigger picture be made for huge numbers of people in a buzzing metropolis like Lagos? What types of information need to be understood to help them the most?

waayar – d (progress, make with)

ma’aadinii (resources)

Do people in Lagos have time to be able to see where they stand and where they are heading? Not only in terms of geography, buildings, and number of people but in terms of their history, future, ideas, information and limited resources.

LagosKidsDad
A current Accuracy&Aesthetics project is to gather and make a series of maps to help the people of Lagos understand where they are so they can participate in shaping their future, pursue happiness, and think big.

The digital age can help people in need by giving them new ways to see where they are and express their hopes and dreams. Hopefully, people everywhere in all living conditions can eventually show us who they are, and let us know what’s on their minds so we can help achieve their goals in both the short and long term. Maybe we will all learn something.

nak’ltaa (learn)

j nk’ai (having understanding)

gwaal (open one’s eyes widely)

k’oof, mashigii (opening)

dmkrd’iyy (democracy)

mur.y, saut (voice)

na’m (expression of agreement, interest)

dbaar, ra’yii (idea)

d’uur.iy, lbaar, r.hoot, saadrwaa, sanrwaa (information)

walaw (personal freedom)

500isis

Share

Make Your View

Steinberg3
Saul Steinberg Untitled 1980 above, 1983 middle, 1964 below.
Steinberg1

Davis

____________

RedBlueAmerica

Red and Blue America by Sara Fabrikant

____________
Distored View

From Science News

HEADLINE NEWS. The geographical distribution of news stories isn’t uniform, Newman and Gastner show. Even allowing for population, a few cities?New York and Washington, in particular?get a surprisingly large fraction of the attention. The researchers extracted the dateline from about 72,000 wire-service news stories from 1994 to 1998 and changed a standard map (top) into a cartogram (bottom) in which the sizes of states are proportional to the frequency of their appearance in datelines. SOURCE: Newman and Gastner/PNAS

___________

From Geography 222 and the power of maps by John Krygier Ohio Wesleyan University Department of Geology and Geography.

mercatorwisglobeorangepeel

Share