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Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 447.

Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

<http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/>

<http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>

Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2000 09:31:14 +0000

From: "Osher Doctorow" <osher@ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Metamorphoses algorithm outlined

From: <mailto:osher@ix.netcom.com>osher@ix.netcom.com, Osher Doctorow,

Ph.D., 2-25-00, 4:45PM Pacific USA time

Dear Colleagues:

Here is a slight expansion of the outline of the algorithm which I think

would work for Metamorphoses.

I. Is the event rare?

A. temporally (birth, death, etc., genius, great invention)

B. spatially (black holes, neutron stars, large meteors striking

earth, etc.)

C. conceptually (great compositions including poetry, music,

philosophy, etc.)

II. Does the event occur at the boundary of something

A. temporally (Renaissance, onset of Industrial Revolution, etc.)

B. spatially (surface of a person, planet, physical object, etc.)

C. conceptually (the boundary between psychology and philosophy,

literature and psychology, literature and philosophy, philosophy and

science, philosophy and theology, etc.)

III. Does the event occur at the "center" or "near center" of something

A. temporally (the so-called Middle Ages of European history, the

halfway point of a planet's history, etc.)

B. spatially (center of gravity, center of mass, centroid, center of

magnetism, center of a city, center of a cell, center of an organ in a

human or animal body, etc.)

C. conceptually (the "key part" of a proof in logic or mathematics,

pure or applied, the central point or focus of an argument or play or book,

etc.)

IV. Does the event occur in a clearly distinguished substructure of something

A. temporally (a geologial era, a cosmological era, the Middle Ages,

etc.)

B. spatially (a town, a university in a town, an organ in the human

body, a cell in an organ, a gene in a cell, a geophysical stratum-like

structure such as the core of a planet, etc.)

C. conceptually (a sub-theorem or lemma in science and logic, a

subset, a major subcategory of an argument, a theorem as a substructure of

a whole theory, etc.)

V. Is the event lower-dimensional compared to usually observed events in

the space (generally taken to be 3-dimensional space and 1-dimensional

time, also written 3+1 dimensional)

A. temporally (a point in time, which has dimension 0 since it has no

length, width, or breadth, etc.)

B. spatially (the surface of a physical object (the surface being

2-dimensional), a plane or plane figure or laminae section of a physical

object (also 2-dimensional), a line or line segment or curve (curved line)

- which is 1-dimensional since it only has length, not width or depth

C. conceptually (a concept which can be modeled as lower dimensional

than another concept, a concept which can be ordered in some way relative

to other concepts (high influence, medium influence, low influence; high

entropy, medium entropy, low entropy categories; high priority, medium

priority, low priority, etc.)

VI. Is the event or its associated random variable(s) uniformally

distributed (or, to a discrete approximation, equiprobable) or distributed

with some other finite interval distribution, or is it distributed over the

whole nonnegative real line like the gamma distribution (which includes the

exponential and chi-squared distributions), or is it symmetrically

distributed like the normal/Gaussian distributions.

A. temporally

B. spatially

C. conceptually

VII. What are the parameters of the event and its

probabilistic/statistical summaries, such as LBP expectation (population

mean), LBP variance, LBP probability (which may involve cumulative

distribution functions cdf, probability density functions pdf, etc.),

derivatives or rates of change related to the event, etc.

VIII. What can be predicted and/or experimentallyor quasi-experimentally

tested about the event or events related to it?

There may be other major categories of the summary, but these would

certainly be of major importance. It is recommended that those who are

interested try the outline itself on some passage from the

Metamorphoses. It does not require mechanization at this exploratory

stage, I would think.

Osher Doctorow

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