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Storage and Retrieval, and Meaning

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Jul. 14th, 2004 | 12:49 am
mood: confusedconfused
music: They Might Be Giants - Wearing a Raincoat

I need a self-documenting ontology. I can't just classify things with a label or a heirarchy, because 1) I use different labels depending on my mood and frame of reference and 2) I don't remember what the labels signify. There are just too many to remember -- any classification system I build quickly outgrows my ability to remember how it works

I need this for storage and retrieval of information across almost every aspect and area of my life.

I've thought about addressing this using one layer of meta-classification: a way to classify the classification systems so I can find them/remember what they're for. To avoid absurdity it would be best if this idea could be collapsed back into a single classification ("filing") system as an added feature. Perhaps an interface to the classification system that exposes such metadata about each label or category as one is applying it.

PersonalBrain from thebrain.com does this pretty well, but it's still hard to publish from, and somewhat hard to integrate with other systems.

Any ideas, readers? What kind of filing systems do you use? How do you remember things? How do you remember why you remembered those things?

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Comments {8}

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from: avice
date: Jul. 13th, 2004 11:04 pm (UTC)
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Maybe if you wind up teaching me datbase processing that will be one of my projects - heh, databasing the Matthew.

Honestly I think if you spend too much time documenting and cross refferencing you wind up interrupting your life. But then I forget a lot too, so maybe I should log more.

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Triple Entendre

(no subject)

from: triple_entendre
date: Jul. 14th, 2004 05:48 am (UTC)
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I would agree with you in general, but even if I ended up getting meta enough to 'interrupt' my life, it would look pretty much the same as it does now.

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(no subject)

from: marconiplein
date: Jul. 14th, 2004 12:39 am (UTC)
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sometimes i try to use a ragged, slacker version of the art of memory, or memory houses. i have a good memory, a knack for faces and trifling details. but the art of memory requires a militant, a genius memory even. and i couldn't go quite that far.

... the greatest practitioners of the old art discovered some odd things about their memory houses the longer they lived in them … It was discovered, for instance, that the symbolic figures with vivid expressions, once installed in their proper places, are subject to subtle change as they stand waiting to be called forth. That ravished nun who meant Sacrilege might, when one passes her again, have acquired a depraved air about the mouth and eyes one hadn’t thought he had bestowed on her, and something wanton about her deshabille that looks Somehow purposeful rather than forced: and Sacrilege changes to Hypocrisy, or at least borrows some of its aspects ... thus the memory she symbolizes alters perhaps in instructive ways.57

By rendering ideas as speaking, moving, and acting scenes, with faces and moods, noises and smells, and all the other ephemera of a specific and concrete moment as if it were being experienced while one looked on, the art of memory uses episodic memory to anchor semantic knowledge. It also evades the illusion of stability that other more static metaphors imply; memory is not a photo album, but a palace of vigorous and impressive moments. Because these images are eikons – “sort-of copies,” in Carruthers’ terms – their mimetic properties enable meaning rather than impeding it. “What defines a mental image is not its pictorial qualities,” that is its static and precise visual representation of an image, “but whether its user understands it to represent a certain thing,” that is its organic evocation of a thought or moment by means of an emotionally charged experience;

heuristic fluidity rather than hermeneutic constancy. One does not expect these images to stand still, any more than one would expect a memory to be a perfect copy of an event. Transforming events in Augustinian thought becomes a kind of purification of material data into divine truths.

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Triple Entendre

slacker memory house

from: triple_entendre
date: Jul. 14th, 2004 04:49 am (UTC)
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Oh man, now there's an image. It would be a co-op, of course.

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(Deleted comment)

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(no subject)

from: marconiplein
date: Jul. 14th, 2004 08:15 am (UTC)
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" it's the act of putting myself in the same frame of mind I was when I last thought about the thing."

i employ this method too, which is why, even though i am, really good at losing things (unintentionally, of course) i am also good at finding things again. if you are in the right mood you can do a perfect rewind of events. if you're stressed it's more difficult.

trip, hey remember when i went to the h-e-b with you late one night and i lost my hat? (probably not, but that's okay :-)) and i asked you to drive back to the parking lot because i *knew* exactly where i lost it? yeah. like that.

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"brain longevity" is a whole book devoted to this subject

from: witchety
date: Jul. 14th, 2004 09:49 am (UTC)
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I too have an uncanny, excellent memory usually, except for times of stress or hunger induced. But even then my memory is better than average. If I write something down, I usually remember it well enough to not need the paper memory jog.

Also, vitamins and lots of watern help: 5-HTP and some other things recommended in "Brain Longevity" by Dharma Singh Khalsa (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0446673730/qid=1089823630/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/002-4234960-3725620?v=glance&s=books&n=507846).

It's a great book, and I have a copy I can mail you if you're interested.

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valkyriie

This is your Virgo Rising coming out.

from: valkyriie
date: Jul. 14th, 2004 05:26 pm (UTC)
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I remember information by writing it, something in the process.

Also when filing remember dinsosaurs would still be with us if they had insurance.

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(no subject)

from: webnesto
date: Jul. 15th, 2004 10:15 am (UTC)
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I haven't read it yet, but I came accross this link in someone elses LJ... a review of ontology tools... thought it might prove useful?

http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2004/07/14/onto.html

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