This week, the Spirit moved me to dig through the boxes of books still unpacked from our move down here from Bloomington, and so I’ve been reading Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies again — since I’ve just started, I’ve been thinking about Seek-Whence and its domain.

Naturally, my mind turned to the representation of the concepts involved. My last burst of creative energy with Copycopycat’s Slipnet and definitional language got bogged down when I started thinking more seriously about the conceptual structure of the Copycat domain, because the conceptual structure is, of course, the Hard Part. And while reading about Seek-Whence I realized that part of the reason it’s the Hard Part is that it’s not done yet — that is to say, when putting together Copycopycat, I’m trying to do two things at once. First, I’m trying to build a FARGitecture based on my notion of conceptual structure. But secondly, I’m trying to do so in a perceptual context.

Well, perception is hard. Maybe, I realized, it would be easier if I already had some of the mechanics of the whole conceptual structure thing done.

So. In writing about Seek-Whence, Doug (as is his wont) demonstrates a whole list of sequences which are part of the domain. And he mentions in passing (as is his wont) that representing the template for a sequence is kind of tricky.

Well, yeah. It’s tricky because it’s fundamental to cognition, this breaking down of the world into semantic units we can manipulate. Along the way, we use powerful perceptual and analogy-making tools, and those are cognition per se, but without that basic set of mechanisms, it’s all too big a chunk to bite off. Or so I posit.

This morning, though, I had an interesting notion: what if, instead of trying to do everything at once in the creation of a new conceptually-based FARGitectural variant, I were simply to try to come up with some semantic units which could be used to model — to think about — sequences in the Seek-Whence domain? Not to worry about how they get there (yet), just … build them by hand and try to do something with them.

But if that’s the task, the “do something with them” just leaps out, doesn’t it? Well, two somethings: the “easy” one — which is to take a semantic sequence structure and generate terms in the sequence using whatever arithmetic tools seem appropriate — and the “good” one. Which is to do variants on a theme.

The name of this project is equally obvious: Plot-Whither.

Now if I can only get the Muse interested …

Explore posts in the same categories: Architecture, Author: Michael Roberts

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