Friday, January 19, 2018

The Planning Process Made Visible in the Snow

I went out to look at some tracks, adventurously in my bare feet, and they were deer tracks going uphill from left to right. Later I was noticing my own footprints and how I seemed to weave a pretty sketchy path from here to there and back. 
But looking more closely you can see the whole logic of it. On the way out I went in a straight line out and down the steps and a pace or two further. Then I started to focus on the shortest path over to the deer tracks and headed that way. But in the process the local conditions were a patch of grass that looked like less reliable footing, so I curved around slightly to the right of it. Then I looked at the deer tracks, took a step uphill, then reversed direction. I remember that after a few steps back the way I came, I was having trouble putting my new footprints into the old ones so, after that, I am kind of weaving my way around on my way back onto the deck and in.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Word of Tooth

Wifey is thinking of starting an Instagram account, so I named it preemptively.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

A tree organization principle

If you are trying to organize a subject into a set of topics and subtopics  - to form a VAR tree, consider what the narratives are that you will be forming with the nodes of the tree, and follow the principle that: if two nodes are connected by a narrative, they should be siblings rather than parent-child related. For example:


Here we make 'PATIENT' and 'SCHEDULE' siblings because it is natural to talk about where the patient is in the schedule. At the same time, all the dental details are localized to the children of 'CASE'.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Geometry - more verbal than visual

Exaggerating in order to make a point: We tend to think of Geometry as the science of visual data, and think of geometric objects as things we can see. I believe that is not correct and the Geometry is the description of what is visible.
In my example of a triangle, I acknowledge we can perceive sides, corners, angles, and such. We may also perceive size, a bit like 'area'. These words name things that are visual perceptions but naming their combination as "triangle" is an added step; and so is saying something that relates these named perceptions to each other. We do not perceive the triangle but rather it is the "invisible web of words and phrases" that make up our understanding of it.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Me and my rock piles

(picture by Gail Coolidge)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Visual Chatbots / Visual Conversations / Visual Conversational Agents

With the help of Python's Tkinter I have a program with a main event loop, that iterates each time some text is entered on a form. The program updates a Narwhal class with the text, and then displays a graphic of that class's internal data. So the program sends the text in, which modifies the class, then the program displays the class's contents. It also responds with output text.
For example:
It is a fun little concept to play with - language controlled VI in its cheapest form. It's on GitHub.

Narwhal reader architecture is not great

I admit I spent much of a year refactoring different reading capabilities with a sequence of "reader" objects - NWReader, NWNReader, NWSReader... It does not really matter because the even higher level classes use simple APIs to that layer and deal with their own data and structure. At the same time the lower level Narwhal classes are evolving. But the crappy middle layer isn't changing much.
Also, to be honest the RecordSlotEvents is a replacement for original core reading methods and keeping the event sequence is equivalent to having a vault. But the RecordSlotEvents is stuck looking at NARs of order <= 1 [waiting for a golden algorithm] and the original core reader vaults aren't perfect either.
So we limp along. It would be fun to get a programming language genius like the author of Python to come clean up the API.