- Oct 2023
Envisioning the next wave of emergent AI
Are we stretching too far by saying that AI are currently emergent? Isn't this like saying that card indexes of the early 20th century are computers. In reality they were data storage and the "computing" took place when humans did the actual data processing/thinking to come up with new results.
Emergence would seem to actually be the point which comes about when the AI takes its own output and continues processing (successfully) on it.
This coinage goes back to Ursula Klein and describes writing media that have anepistemic impact. See her essay “Paper Tools in Experimental Cultures: TheCase of Berzelian Formulas,” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 32( 2001 ): 265–312.
differences in paper tools vs. paper machines?
- Aug 2023
Thanks Sascha for an excellent primer on the internal machinations of our favorite machines beyond the usual focus on the storage/memory and indexing portions of the process.
Said another way, a zettelkasten is part of a formal logic machine/process. Or alternately, as Markus Krajewski aptly demonstrates in Paper Machines (MIT Press, 2011), they are early analog storage devices in which the thinking and logic operations are done cerebrally (by way of direct analogy to brain and hand:manually) and subsequently noted down which thereby makes them computers.
Just as mathematicians try to break down and define discrete primitives or building blocks upon which they can then perform operations to come up with new results, one tries to find and develop the most interesting "atomic notes" from various sources which they can place into their zettelkasten in hopes of operating on them (usually by juxtaposition, negation, union, etc.) to derive, find, and prove new insights. If done well, these newly discovered ideas can be put back into the machine as inputs to create additional newer and more complex outputs continuously. While the complexity of Lie Algebras is glorious and seems magical, it obviously helps to first understand the base level logic before one builds up to it. The same holds true of zettelkasten.
Now if I could only get the
printfportion to work the way I want...
- Aug 2022
Every book I read is also broken up and digested on these cards, which are all loosely by themed.
Holiday analogizes his reading and note taking practice as a means of digesting books into his note card collection.
Link to: - https://hypothes.is/a/OZ2r9rOfEeu9oFPzd3bMlw - Reader's Digest as a popular example
How do the ideas of "digesting books" and "ruminant machines" relate to the psychology phenomenon of diffuse thinking over time?
- Jun 2022
The correlation between the antinet and programming languages. They bought have an output of some sort. For the antinet it could be a book and an app for the other. When building up your antinet you are literally writing you’re output. Each main card eventually will flow into a larger text. Reformulated or not. When programming you make code-blocks. Small chunks of code to use in other parts of the program. Those small chunks were made previously or taken from an other program and re formulated to work in that new program you are working on. From all those small pieces of code you make a big program your output. In bought cases most of the work is done before hand. Building it up is the easy part because you don’t begin with an empty screen or paper.
You're sure to love Markus Krajewski's book Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929 (History and Foundations of Information Science) which covers this very idea from a historical perspective.
- Apr 2022
Wilken, Rowan. “The Card Index as Creativity Machine.” Culture Machine 11 (2010): 7–30.
In a remarkable essay on precursors to hypertext, Peter Krapp(2006) provides a useful overview of the development of the indexcard and its use by various thinkers, including Locke, Leibniz, Hegel,and Wittgenstein, as well as by those known to Barthes and part of asimilar intellectual milieu, including Michel Leiris, Georges Perec,and Claude Lévi-Strauss (Krapp, 2006: 360-362; Sieburth, 2005).1
Peter Krapp created a list of thinkers including Locke, Leibniz, Hegel, Wittgenstein, Barthes, Michel Leiris, Georges Perec, and Lévi-Strauss who used index cards in his essay Hypertext Avant La Lettre on the precursors of hypertext.
see also: Krapp, P. (2006) ‘Hypertext Avant La Lettre’, in W. H. K. Chun & T. Keenan (eds), New Media, Old Theory: A History and Theory Reader. New York: Routledge: 359-373.
Notice that Krapp was the translator of Paper Machines About Cards & Catalogs, 1548 – 1929 (MIT Press, 2011) by Marcus Krajewski. Which was writing about hypertext and index cards first? Or did they simply influence each other?
- paper machines
- Georges Perec
- Roland Barthes
- Michel Leiris
- Claude Lévi-Strauss
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
- Georg Hegel
- index cards
- Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz
- Rowan Wilken
- Marcus Krajewski
- index card files
- Peter Krapp
- Dec 2021
One more thing ought to be explained in advance: why the card index is indeed a paper machine. As we will see, card indexes not only possess all the basic logical elements of the universal discrete machine — they also fi t a strict understanding of theoretical kinematics . The possibility of rear-ranging its elements makes the card index a machine: if changing the position of a slip of paper and subsequently introducing it in another place means shifting other index cards, this process can be described as a chained mechanism. This “ starts moving when force is exerted on one of its movable parts, thus changing its position. What follows is mechanical work taking place under particular conditions. This is what we call a machine . ” 11 The force taking effect is the user ’ s hand. A book lacks this property of free motion, and owing to its rigid form it is not a paper machine.
The mechanical work of moving an index card from one position to another (and potentially changing or modifying links to it in the process) allows us to call card catalogues paper machines. This property is not shared by information stored in codices or scrolls and thus we do not call books paper machines.
This comparison is not to claim that the index catalog is already a Turing machine. Comparisons, transfers, and analogies are not that simple. If the elements of a universal discrete machine are present, they still lack the computational logic of an operating system, the development of which constitutes Turing ’ s foundational achievement. What is described here is merely the fact that the card catalog is liter-ally a paper machine, similar to a nontrivial Turing machine only in having similar components — no more, no less.
I felt some of this missing piece and so included the idea of human interaction as part of the process to make up the balance.