paulpierce2

Slow-pass Filter

Yo gamma gamma, how can one concentrate with these parameters?

Prior-to and outside-of
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
Recently, I have become concerned with flourishing:  being well, developing skills, doing good work, doing what one might reasonably expect themselves to do, and enjoying the fruits of those labors.  In a worlds with as many communications technologies as ours, it is inevitable that one becomes aware of various events of the day, including those that began prior to and outside of your involvement or activities.  Sometimes merely reacting to these is inevitable, but it's better to encourage your community address these in a way that promotes their, and thus your own flourishing.  This may be more or less than you are immediately comfortable with, but is a far more reasonable and moderate standard than any sense of "should".

Citizens Engaged in Public Works of Fire
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
Recently I have come to think about fireworks, which I watched being set off all across a city, from the ninth floor.  It was quite spectacular.  The laws of the state in which I watched are not the most moderate, but are far from the most stringent.  As a child, I heartily enjoyed fireworks, the colorful nighttime ones, and still do.  I also think it's great that people set them off entirely of their own accord and expense.  It's wonderful to do things only for beauty and patriotism.  One can say that to do so is a direct solute to the guns and explosions of military effort, but I think it's possible to enjoy fireworks patriotically for aesthetics and tradition alone.  Among my family, there is one who complains that they are dangerous wastes of money.  My attitude is that the fact that this is true makes it all the more a virtue, for shared celebration is mankind's most proper indulgence.
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Viewing and Making Art
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
I made some art regarding what I saw from my plane window over Greenland while flying back from Sweden, white folds over sharp mountains with linear stratified patches.  I also saw a book of David Hockney paintings at the library.  He was clearly thinking about what plants look like in a landscape in terms of color and texture, which is something I think about a lot these days.

Keep making art, my friends, whatever that means to you.
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Phenomenology: A Touch-Screen Application for Children and Confused Adults
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
Recently, I have been challenged by that all I might wish to communicate socially would best be described as direct experiences.

This evening, it occurred to me that it would be possible to write a touch screen application that would demonstrate various philosophical ideas:

  • One could be instructed to touch certain dots on the screen, demonstrating G. E. Moore's "This is one hand" with a single hand touching the screen, and then that hand pointing at the other hand, saying "this is another".

  • A button that says "click to proceed when you are convinced that it is impractical to hold that there is no free will"

  • A button that says "please continue to press and hold here" and then as one holds that down, another two buttons appear asking if they are, as best as they can perceive, holding the other button down

I imagine it would be possible to design a number of other activities.  But, it might end with "Hopefully, you have now grown tired of this application and are prepared to return to the events of your life."  For, overall, I have nothing to say recently other than to potentially advise observing your own feeling of being alive, should you generally find that pleasant.

Profits and Profitability
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
Jane Austin as Game Theorist

I'm registered as about medium well
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
I love a good steak but think that political red meat is bad for your soul.

Jesus Christ is risen today; Alleluia!
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
Easter is a day I like to think about Jesus and the change in human history he brought. This change is a change in the ethical fabric of society, from rule following and piety to humility, mercy, and forgiveness, for all and for oneself, so that we can live, contribute, and create unafraid of consequences but understanding that we have the joy of continuing to live life free of our mistakes and open to taking all of the opportunities it offers.

This year has in some ways started very slowly, with the inevitable periodic untangling of tangled systems at work, unexpected snows even into what is nominally spring, travel, and catching a lingering cold I haven't quite shaken yet, leaving me tired. Yet, as I view the year from this Easter I have new opportunities for writing, new opportunities for collaborating, new opportunities for designing, new opportunities for producing, and maybe even new opportunities for making new kinds of differences. Easter comes at a time of year where you are most reminded to come alive again and take advantage of your days unafraid of our human frailties. How great it is to have this reminder!
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Productive morning?
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
Walked to campus, got a haircut, found an article at the engineering library, and walked back. No research progress, though.
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Bibliography
paulpierce2
mapjunkie
It's a bibliography, not kidding hereCollapse )

Current research questions
nina
mapjunkie
The multiple purposes of scenarios: I'm mainly interested in scenarios for the range of things they can accomplish. From a recent abstract: Scenarios are a suitable platform for situation-specific, user-generated annotations of institutional processes. Scenarios achieve this suitability by allowing participants to arbitrate between different value choices in the context of relevant narratives. Scenarios also facilitate change, as they are able to present plausible speculations juxtaposed with the existing narratives, preparing participants for shifts otherwise obscured by past results. As a result of their direct engagement with the situations of participants, scenarios also provide a meta-theoretical criteria for the applicability of various theories of change to the particular context.

Eliciting causal impacts: Right now I'm working on questions of how does even one appropriately elicit scenarios for governing risky situations with multiple stakeholders, when the participants potentially have all kinds of differences in their worldview. (This has stemmed from my research methods projects, and I'm very exited about this, and am writing a paper and software tools now). A related question is how does one represent and visualize the conflicting accounts emerging from the testimony of multiple stakeholders?

Rendering causal impacts, emerging changing behavior: How do you aggregate nearly insignificant small-scale individual choices into long-term, large-scale, high-impact behaviors in a way that's useful for making situational decisions? For example, how to do map a particular purchase as an exemplar of larger-scale trajectories of materials, energy, and waste? As another example, how do you map a given meal choice on to the nutrition and fitness of a region? And how do you render that information in a manner that makes it immediately useful?

Emerging cradle-to-cradle: One interesting special case of this is the emerging cradle-to-cradle problem. What's the minimum amount of information one needs to capture to make emergent cradle-to-cradle behavior feasible? Cradle-to-cradle issues interest me quite a bit, because of the temporal effect on values: no matter the social values a given society might determine is appropriate, using up a resource thermodynamically will affect future societies with different social arrangement. This leads to some frighteningly easy decision-theoretic planning perspective: non-discounted marginal loss spikes to
infinity.

Making causal information "portable": Even beyond representing causal information in the first place, I think there are some challenges in making it "portable". Everyone knows there are active volcanos in Iceland, yet nobody can be practically expected to use that information to assist their business travel planning. How to do you pull in what you already "know"? Also, how does one assemble this common knowledge? Can it be mined from text?

Design from the perspective of statistical processes: How do you know when your understanding of potential causal forces is complete enough? I think that design and ethnography teach us to look further than we otherwise might, and there could be interesting discoveries in how design works from a statistical perspective (similar to recent work in cognitive developmental psychology and the psychology of science). In particular, it may have some interesting things to say about the validation of foresight work.

Making design and diagrams "portable": I think of design as being very project-driven: you try a bunch of things, you finish one of them to completion, and then you take whatever you learn, but the models that you often build end up in the trash. In machine learning, there's a problem called "transfer learning", where you ask given that you know one kind of statistics, what can you infer about a different relationship. There's possibly a design analog, where after you've illustrated one set of relationships, how do you (or somebody else) recover those connections for a different project?

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