[-empyre-] FW: from Jim Andrews in reply to Greg Ulmer on propositional logic

Anna Munster a.munster at unsw.edu.au
Thu Oct 29 10:32:43 EST 2009

i expect that you don't mean 'propositional logic', which is more or less
synonymous with 'logic', the entire field of logic. perhaps it is sql
(standard query language) that you are thinking of? sql is the language we
typically use to query databases. like when we do a google search. we can
use 'and', 'or', 'not', and perhaps other binary and unary operators to form
queries that fetch records with the properties specified in the query. a
query can be viewed as a proposition that evaluates to a record-set from the
queried relational database. so it is indeed a propositional logic. "a" is
the key, as in 'a particular one' (sql, that is). it's interesting to try to
think of expanded query languages that do useful things that sql can't
accomplish. sitting here thinking about it for a few minutes, i find that my
ideas are still doable within sql if only the records have the proper
structure (i.e., the relevant fields) to form the right sql proposition and
thereby the correct record-set returned. but some sort of similar structure
would have had to have been there to get the same results even were a
different query language used, i.e., the info has to be in the records if
the database is going to be capable of returning the desired record
set--regardless of what query language is used. so it may be that sql is not
the issue, i.e., propositional logic is not the key to breakthrough but,
instead, the manner in which the records are structured and, therefore,

the subject of ontologies in computer science looks very interesting. how do
you structure a world view so that interesting, programmatic thinking can be
done with it? tasty. i imagine it's pretty much up for grabs at the mo.
there isn't likely going to be significant standardization on this sort of
issue but, instead, multiplication of structures designed for particular
purposes, ie, ontologies *of* this or that. though, no doubt, things such as
category theory, which would plainly be useful in structuring *any*
ontology, will inform the deeper efforts.

i'm creating a project at the mo that uses datamining, to some extent. it's
at http://vispo.com/dbcinema . i'm writing a graphic synthesizer and
langu(im)age processor. it's a langu(im)age processor in that you create
brushes and assign each brush a concept. a string you type in. the brush
then does a google image search and retrieves images somehow related to the
concept. dbcinema then uses those images as 'paint'. one of the problems in
this sort of work is basically the matter of collage. like, ok, you get a
bizillion related images, very cool, now what r yu goin to do--make a
same-old out of em? more trash piled higher deeper? so the main pressing
issues here are not really network-related because that's happnin big time
ao friggin k. the questions concern what you can do with the record-set
(sets of images, in this case) once you got em. i mean something that really
flips the lid. at this point, you look to generative art to see what can be
done with pixels on the fly. and the answer to that is fill yer boots with
knowledge of masking, opacity, dynamic motion, exotic curves, color sets,
dynamic gradients, graphical transformations, and the whole reportoire of
abstract generative visual art. this provides plenty of gaaaaaaaaaa and lid
flipping dynamite that just hasn't been seen before, or can, if you really
go to town on it. that's a mix of tech issues but also artistic issues. the
artistic issues are not only 'how do you make it look good' but also, just
as importantly, what sort of narrativity can emerge in this situation that
could easily degenerate into mindless remix? that's a subtle issue which is
extrordinarily tasty and part of the deeper artistic achievement that


>> Also, how is propositional logic "doing for contemporary datamining
>> efforts
>> what Aristotle's animism did for physics leading up to the scientific
>> revolution (preventing the breakthrough)".
> I would love for there to be a wiki devoted to this question (perhaps
> sponsored by Turbulence.org?).  I worked this past year with some
> computer scientists of various specializations on a textmining project,
> which motivated me to look further into Semantic Web Ontologies, with
> "ontology" being a boundary object (we were using the term, but with
> somewhat different meanings and referents).  I read up on RDF (Resource
> Description Framework) triples, and recognized them immediately as right
> out of Aristotle's topical logic:  subject predicate object.  Of course
> this structure is native to Indo-European language, and as Nietzsche
> said, God (or metaphysics) is in the Grammar. Maybe this can be fixed at
> the software level? (hardware switches, like truth tables, are on/off,
> but Wittgenstein abandoned truth tables for good reason). The textmining
> project responded to a grant opportunity calling for new departures in
> datamining.  The motivation is that current approaches, as powerful as
> they are, are not adequate to the scale of information overload
> confronting us. We have the cyberspace problem as Gibson dramatized it
> for us:  If our databases could give us total information in an instant,
> we would not be able to receive it (hence Gibson's metaphor:  Tell My
> Horse). The point of apparatus theory is that the solution to this
> problem will have been not only technical, but also philosophical,
> aesthetic and so forth.  There are multiple invention streams pouring
> into the vortex of our mobile moment.

More information about the empyre mailing list