22 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Scent as Data in a Beehive

To shield her antennae from the many bruising signals in the air, she walked with her head low. Air currents and electrical pulses from thousands of bees rippled against her, but Flora ignored them all. The pulsing track alone held her focus, clear and simple across the perilously busy lobby, where she had to slow down because of the tempest of data underfoot. A rush of workers came through in a tumult of scent and Flora lifted her head—then the rhythm of the foot-current drew her on. She ...
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24 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 "Big Data" is Just Repackaging Information

The owners of the biggest computers like to think about them as big artificial brains. But actually they are simply repackaging valuable information gathered from everyone else. This is what “big data” means. For instance, a big remote Google or Microsoft computer can translate this op-ed, more or less, from English to another language, but what is really going on is that real human translators are being made anonymous, invisible, and insecure. Real translations, made by humans, are gath...
Folksonomies: information data big data
Folksonomies: information data big data
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Information provided by other sources.

23 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 We Must Act Without All the Facts

It is not enough to say that we cannot know or judge because all the information is not in. The process of gathering knowledge does not lead to knowing. A child's world spreads only a little beyond his understanding while that of a great scientist thrusts outward immeasurably. An answer is invariably the parent of a great family of new questions. So we draw worlds and fit them like tracings against the world about us, and crumple them when we find they do not fit and draw new ones.
Folksonomies: information data action
Folksonomies: information data action
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Just as children operate without all the data, we cannot use a lack of data to excuse inaction.

20 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Danger of Measurement

Measurement has too often been the leitmotif of many investigations rather than the experimental examination of hypotheses. Mounds of data are collected, which are statistically decorous and methodologically unimpeachable, but conclusions are often trivial and rarely useful in decision making. This results from an overly rigorous control of an insignificant variable and a widespread deficiency in the framing of pertinent questions. Investigators seem to have settled for what is measurable ins...
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Is that it can replace testing hypotheses. We gather data instead of validating exactly what it is we'd like to know.

30 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Facts VS Theories

Facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away while scientists debate rival theories for explaining them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome.
Folksonomies: data theory fact
Folksonomies: data theory fact
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Facts are data, theories are the best truths we have extrapolated from them.

01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Measuring Cultural Information

But there may be more significant ways to characterize civilizations than by the energy they use for communications purposes. An important criterion of a civilization is the total amount of information that it stores. This information can be described in terms of bits, the number of yes-no statements concerning itself and the universe that such a civilization knows. An example of this concept is the popular game of "Twenty Questions," as played on Earth. One player imagines an object or conc...
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The number of bits communicated in our radio broadcasts is quite enormous, conveying a great deal of information about our culture.

15 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Comparing European and American Mammals and Livestock

    Europe. America.   lb. lb.     Mammoth Buffalo. Bison   *1800 White bear. Ours blanc     Caribou. Renne     Bear. Ours 153.7 *410 Elk. Elan. Orignal, palmated     Red deer. Cerf 288.8 *273 Fallow deer. Daim 167.8   Wolf. Loup 69.8   Roe. Chevreuil 56.7   Glutton. Glouton. Carcajou     Wild cat. Chat sauvage   30 Lynx. Loup cervier 25.   Beaver. Castor 18.5 *45 Badger. Blaireau 13.6   Red Fox. Renard 13.5   Grey Fox. Isatis     Otter. Loutre 8.9 12 Monax. Marmotte ...
Folksonomies: nature naturalism data classic
Folksonomies: nature naturalism data classic
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Jefferson cataloges the sizes of animals in the two continents in order to refute the European idea that animals are larger and more advanced in the old world.

17 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Sherlock Holmes on the Need for Data

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Folksonomies: empiricism data
Folksonomies: empiricism data
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Without data, we twist things to suit our preconceived notions.