Re: [-empyre-] archiving + preservation] forward from Ken Fields

On May 7, 2004, at 11:19 AM, Kenneth Fields wrote:

what are you aiming for at the moment, or in the near future? RSS to your
'new nodes' page? :)

Well, sort of, but it could be much deeper than that, such as personalized RSS streams for each subscriber. We already have a subscription system for nodes, so you can be notified by email if someone edits or comments on nodes you're interested in. So that would be the first to happen. Then you could subscribe to:

- New nodes
- New nodes/edits by your favorite liken users
- New nodes by metatag (you could subscribe to the metatag "emergent systems")
- New links to favorite nodes (be alerted anytime a new link appears to your fav nodes)
- New interviews
- New nodes with a text of 500 words or more

And so on; it's virtually limitless what you could subscribe to.

As I alluded to before - the human
mind is itself a network always in danger of being constrained by an ever
tightening matrix of network bonds. Artists are professionals in jostling
this structure, with the big prize going to the one who causes major
disruption, establishment of new cultural attractors, or pushing some
critical threshold over the top.

Most definitely, and liken was conceived of as a tool for performing exactly these tasks. By forging new connections and acting as a kind of mind of its own, liken encourages people to build new neural pathways and reexamine old ones.

And much like a group of people can often come up with ideas that none of them individually would have, I honestly feel that the distributed network of liken has its own unique creativity. I could be perceived as anthropomorphizing/romanticizing liken, but as it grows, I see it make fascinating decisions.

anyway, your images are great. keep it up. If you want to hear it, go to: .
You can see, the sound goes from older nodes to newest - green is left
speaker, red (not much of it) goes to right speaker. I changed the black
lines (which don't mean anything to the sonogram) to yellow, which means
This in itself doesn't have any significance for me. It just highlights the
fact that the mapping of concepts to image (or 3d space) and to sound needs
some critical attention.

This is really interesting! I've wanted to audibly hear the structure of liken for some time now, so it's gratifying to finally get the chance. But you're right; the larger issue is how to perform lossy conversions such as these gracefully. On the one hand, the concept of receiving data sonically is so attractive that the pure formalism of the sound may not matter. However, at a certain point, perhaps a more critical eye (or ear) is needed once the novelty is gone. The problem then is, where do you go from there? In my experience, sound art is perhaps the most difficult medium to critique and discuss critically in the current context.

In any case, these would be interesting issues to address and discuss with a liken-eating sound app.

The mapping of concepts to space show clusters of related concepts (strong
links) - that seems to work. Or does it? Is conceptual 'space' more than a

I'm glad you brought this up! I've thought about this a lot, and it came up many times while I was developing liken. The issue was that we wanted to have a more [visual/spatial] representation of the node structure. But this complicates matters 100-fold. Think of the example Jaka brought up about the links from a "rock" node. "Rock" may be very close to "Music" in conceptual space, and it may also be very close to "Geology," but "Music" and "Geology" are very far apart in conceptual space. This destroys the idea of "clusters," unless nodes are constantly rearranging themselves into clusters -- at which point the cluster is basically a list, which is our current default.

We can mentally reconcile this problem very easily, because that's the way our mind works. Of course "Rock" can have a million connotations! But when it comes down to displaying these relationships on a grid of pixels in 2D or 3D space, all existing models of representation fall short. The "nodemap" representation of liken is the dumb, brute-force method of describing the pathways as fixed in 2D space. This would be similar to (if it were possible) taking a picture of the brain from the top, with every neuron and connection visible. It's interesting to look at, but ultimately useless in its ability to really tell us anything.

That's why when we talk about "conceptual cartography," we're talking about fundamentally different ways of embodying the neighborhoods and networks of paths and concepts. Hopefully this is interesting enough to inspire others to develop new imaginations of liken; certainly it is to us, and we have many alternate reincarnations in mind...

- ben

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