Saturday, March 12, 2011

Daily Thoughts 3/12/2011 (the secret of kells, the information, the accidental taxonomist)

Detail from Folio 124 recto of the Book of Kells

Daily Thoughts 3/12/2011

This morning, I watched some of The Secret of Kells.  It is an animated fantasy movie loosely based on the creation of The Book of Kells.  The movie is beautiful to watch.  The animation has an otherworldly quality to it.  The style seems to pull a little bit from the style of medieval illuminated manuscripts which is quite refreshing.  The colors are vibrant, and the sense of magic and mysticism are quite beautiful.
There is the magic of the enchanted forest with its Celtic mythology,  the sense of wonder of the monastery, its saints, and priests, and the fearsome presence of the raiding North men.  This makes for a complete story filled with dread and wonder.  The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It is worth watching.

I finished watching it this evening.  There is a lot of symbolism in the movie; represented by celtic knotwork and illuminated writing. 

I read some more of The Accidental Taxonomist. The author is describing how taxonomies are about the relationships between words; broader terms, narrower terms, and related terms are some of the ways to think of relationships between words.  The author describes semantic terms as terms which have more complex relationships like father to son, or corporation to product. This is surprisingly useful as a way to think of how to search for things on the internet.  The more you understand taxonomies and indexes the easier it is to find things in search engines or site maps.

Right now, I am reading The Information.  James Gleick is writng about the famous Turing Test.  The proper way to describe it is The Turing Imitation Game.  This is an entry on it from The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  I have found that there are a lot of references to this both in philosophy and science fiction.  It really is where philosophy and sciecne fiction meet.  However, it is becoming less and less science fictional.

I decided it was time to renew my American Library Association membership and my Westchester Library Association membership.  I am hoping they have something to offer this year that will stand out.

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