Re: [unrev-II] Architectural Snag

From: Paul Fernhout (
Date: Tue Oct 24 2000 - 12:37:09 PDT

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    Jack Park wrote:
    > And then, there really is the issue you state, that things change with
    > time -- conceptual drift. How does one really handle that? I have been
    > toying with the notion that a *concept*, the whole ontological entity, is
    > not really a fixed point *out there* in concept space, but rather a kind of
    > *attractor basin* that conceptual reasoners (meat and silicon) must orbit
    > around. Within that attractor basin resides a kind of central tendency, one
    > that is a socially constructed description (likely: probabilistic in nature)
    > of the concept and that central tendency is the view of any concept we
    > *typically* gravitate towards. I justify this notion by recalling that most
    > of the learning theories we apply to child development tend to rely on
    > placing conceptual anchors, then reenforcing those anchors; reenforcement
    > learning implies repetitive contact with concepts, and not all contacts are
    > the same. It would seem that learning is a kind of probabilistic process.
    > Given that, one wonders what would happen to the child that attends a church
    > representing a different faith on each sabbath...
    > Do I have any idea how to represent concepts in this way? Just a clue; it
    > may well be that the topological algebra called category theory is worth
    > studying. Do triads belong in this universe? I think so, but perhaps not as
    > triples.

    I don;t have a great answer to this. (As I said in my other post, this
    is some handwaving on my part). I like where you are going with the
    notion of attractors thouhg. I think this issue of how concepts emerge
    is a good one and needs further exploration.

    > How, then, to build a useful representation without knowing its purpose?
    > Start with the stories. Abstract from them the concepts and relations
    > <note>remembering that relations are, themselves, concepts</note>. Build a
    > solid representation of those abstractions. Then begin telling stories
    > (constructing views) with intent.

    I think stories are a very good way to approach this. Use cases are sort
    of stories -- so this is to an extent defining need by use cases. But,
    we are really still defining purpose with stories.

    -Paul Fernhout
    Kurtz-Fernhout Software
    Developers of custom software and educational simulations
    Creators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator

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