Monday, November 1, 2010

How working on a digital project on local history got me thinking about my work with the LHC and digitality

Yes, I am trying to build an epistemological database that will also reveal the ontological. To do that, I have to be able to effect negative information, blank spaces (which does not mean that it is empty, just that it is not visible because there is no 'textual' marker). Which theorists can I turn to for help in that? Gadamer? Foucault? Deleuze? Lacan? Fuller? Kant? Simondon? Merleau-Ponty? Bergson? Heidegger? Whitehead? Any other names I have yet to mention? But one thing that we do know is that, in order to understand epistemology, we have to understand what are categories of knowledge and how to grapple with that. To figure out what categories I would like to work with, these are some of the questions that I will have to ask myself, and I hope that the various work I am currently doing will help me deal with that.


1. How do we set the parameters for what is important knowledge over what is less important? What categories should be the root and from that root, which are the ones that will become the parent, the sibling and the child?
2. When we first look at a particular epistemological project that we are working with, how do we elucidate what are the important categories that we would like to deal with? There is certainly a difference in categorical privilege between a 'canonical' subject and one that is either a subset of a knowledge category, or even a epistemic field that is still being constructed from the ground up. How do we know what these categories would look like?
3. Can we pick arbitrary categories to work from, and if we do that, how would that later affect our chain of categories (I think I should read Steven Fuller's sociology of epistemology for some answers).
4. Does the medium in which we present the categories impact the way in which we decide on what categories we want to work with? In this case, I am going to use digital tools to create visuals of categories of visible and invisible knowledges, and then showcase them on a website. When we discuss digitality, there are different platforms to it. Do we see digitality only as a tool for an 'other' medium but maintaining very much the presence of a static text, or do we see enhanced intra-activity (and interactivity) even with just the minimal intervention provided by the capabilities of these tools? Would there be any difference between a GIS platform and a game engine?
5. If we do not wish to arbitrarily select categories, what can we do in its stead? How do we then generate categories? What kind of algorithm will allow us to generate such categories? How can I even begin to create such an algorithm?
6. How can I create an algorithm that shows 'invisible' information? Can such an information/knowledge even be 'revealed'? What is the ontology of such an information or knowledge?

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