Monday, April 16

Patterned Data

Okay, time for some of my infernal wonderings. Get ready for this... deep stuff coming....

If information is data arranged into a recognizable pattern then... then... what are facts? Aren't they a subset of information? I mean there's factual information which I guess we can call truth, and there're un-factual informations. But those are not necessarily lies. I mean, opinion can be un-factual, right? Yet opinion happens in information-land somewhere between factual and un-factual. A theory for example is an opinion until proven. But if theory has internal consistency and predictive capacity, then we can apply theory to create predictable results...even though theory isn't necessarily truth. Okay.. okay... there's a lot here. Now, take a look at today's extension of yesterday's discussion of what may be ancient blocks.

The Lancaster Stock yard had streets paved in what probably was debris recycled from the ballast piles nearby to seaports. Now these same blocks are being carefully mined from the streets and piled for sale. They have more value today then when their only cost was in transporting them from their ballast piles.

What gave them their original value? I look at this pile of data and try to impose a pattern. Half of their value comes from their eventual use in walkways or facades. Another half comes from the meticulous value that quarry-people carved into them. The pattern comes from a sort of handshake between long dead minds and perhaps not yet born designers who will re-cycle them into another life.

Does the value of human creation ever go away? is it like some law of thermodynamics which says we do, therefore some part of our imaginations go on and on? Is this a pile of cobblestone, or a mound of facts - fodder for potential information ready to be fit into the pattern of some not yet introduced intelligence?

Or is it just a cool picture? Wuddever...

1 comment:

Bill said...

Fact, theory, opinion, truth? Yeah, it’s deep stuff alright. The way I see it is, an opinion can be neither proven nor disproven, “Beauty” for example, “is in the eye of the beholder.” Two people can disagree on what’s beautiful and both be right, but neither is wrong. A fact or theory, on the other hand, can be proven as true, yes, but they can also be disproven. How many scientific theories for example have been ‘proven’ only to be disproven later? The geocentric and heliocentric theories of the universe, Newton’s theory of gravity, all were accepted as absolute truths for centuries. A theory, indeed, can never be proven with 100% certainy, only accepted as true until disproven and if history is any indication then chances are it will be disproven some day. And Newton’s theory of gravity still works except at the extremes of the micro and macroscopic so can it be considered to be partially true? Truth, it would appear. is relevent and plastic. Your blocks were ballast, then paving stones and now they sit awaiting to be whatever their purchasers wish them to be. Maybe if I drink a beer it will all become clearer. Think I’ll go give it a shot.