Notebook of Sand

• Recent Publications
• Recent Projects
• Conferences & Speaking
"Comparing Spatial Hypertext Collections"
  ACM Hypertext '09
"Archiving and Sharing Your Tinderbox"
  Tinderbox Weekend London '09
"The Electronic Nature of Future Literatures"
  Literary Studies Now, Apr '09
"The World University Project"
  St. John's Col. Cambridge, Feb '09
"Ethical Explanations,"
  The New Knowledge Forge, Jun '08
Lecture, Cambridge University
  Tragedy in E-Lit, Nov '07
Hypertext '07: Tragedy in E-Lit
Host for Tinderbox Cambridge '07
Keynote: Dickinson State Uni Conf
Upper Midwest NCHC'07: Speaker
eNarrative 6: Creative Nonfiction
HT'05: "Philadelphia Fullerine"
  Nelson award winning paper
NCHC '05:
 Nurturing Independent Scholarship
Riddick Practicum:
  Building Meeting Good Will
NCHC '04:
  Philadelphia Fullerine
  Lecture on American Studies
WWW@10: Nonfiction on the Web
NCHC '03: Parliamentary Procedure
ELL '03 -- Gawain Superstar
• (a)Musing (ad)Dictions:

Ideas. Tools. Art. Build --not buy. What works, what doesn't. Enjoy new media and software aesthetics at Tekka.

Theodore Gray (The Magic Black Box)

Faith, Life, Art, Academics. Sermons from my family away from home: Eden Chapel!

My other home: The Cambridge Union Society (in 2007, I designed our [Fresher's Guide])

The Economist daily news analysis

Global Higher Ed blog

• Hypertext/Writing

Writing the Living Web

Chief Scientist of Eastgate Systems, hypertext expert Mark Bernstein. (Electronic) Literature, cooking, art, etc.

Fabulous game reviews at playthisthing.

• Stats

Chapter I: Born. Lived. Died.

There is a Chapter II.

Locale: Lancaster County Pa, USA

Lineage: Guatemala

Religion: My faith is the primary focus of my life, influencing each part of me. I have been forgiven, cleansed, and empowered by Jesus Christ. Without him, I am a very thoughtful, competent idiot. With him, I am all I need to be, all I could ever hope for. I oppose institutional religious stagnation, but getting together with others is a good idea. God is real. Jesus Christ is his Son, and the Bible is true. Faith is not human effort. It's human choice. I try to be the most listening, understanding, and generous person I can.

Interests: Anything I can learn. Training and experience in new media, computer science, anglophone literature, education, parliamentary debate, democratic procedure, sculpture, and trumpet performance. Next: applied & computational linguistics, probably.

Education: Private school K-3. Home educated 4-12. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Elizabethtown College in Jan 2006. As the 2006 Davies-Jackson Scholar, I studied English at St. John's College, Cambridge University from 2006 - 2008.

Memberships: Eden Baptist, Cambridge Union Society, ACM, AIP, GPA.

Alum of the Elizabethtown College Honors Program, sponsored by the Hershey Company.

Models and Metaphors, by Max Black
Wednesday, 28 Sep 2005 :-:

I am finally finishing the post-trip craziness. This means that I will soon be able to actually blog the HT05 conference.

I am also finally digging into my research wholeheartedly. This semester promises to be very instructive. I'm finishing my honors thesis on mid-19th century Philadelphia's ethnic experience. But I'm also conducting a directed study in the philosophy of science.

My first book? Models and Metaphors, by Max Black.

Wow. Anyone intending to do anything on the Semantic Web must read this book. Black was a specialist in the philosophy of mathematics, and this analysis of language/philosophy identifies and begins to address most of the toughest questions facing the Semantic Web today.

Sure, it's a tough read. I wouldn't suggest it for after-dinner lounging in the sofa with a glass of your favorite beverage. But it's worth the effort.

A more thorough analysis should follow in the next week or so. But here's a preview:

** * **

One of the hardest questions faced by Semantic Web architects is very simple: what is a meaning? Here's what black says:

When a philosopher asks, "Are linguistic meanings different from words? If different, are they ideas in Plato's sense or are they in the mind? And if in the mind, are they images or imageless concepts?" he commits an initial mistake that probably dooms his inquiry to futility. For behind the question "What are meanings?" is the supposition that there are such things as meanings to be categorized. It is supposed that the accusatives of meaning formulas designate (refer to, stand for) entities: we are then invited to decide whether the entities in question are linguistic expressions, Platonic ideas, or perhaps something else again. But if the arguments I have outlined are sound, the initial supposition is mistaken. Although words and gestures have meanings, there are no meanings that can be designated, and hence no philosophical problems of assigning such supposedly dfesignated entities to the appropriate categories. But, of course, this does not exempt us from the task of trying to clarify how the word "meaning" and its cognates are used. My remarks about meaning formulas have been intended as a contribution to this task.
Chapter II "Explanations of Meaning"

Here, we see the basic difficulties of designing a system which can automate the handling of ontologies.

This is going to be a very profitable study. I'm really excited. I get to think about fundamental issues, dig into some philosophy/linguistics, and generally poke around lots of interesting topics. I'm going to be writing a series of small papers to help me learn the literature; these papers will probably appear on the blog.

But speaking about something concerned with linguistic philosophy and science, check out this: a new framework which describes trigonometry without sines, cosines, or tangents

(chapter excerpt).