16.211 residue

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Wed Sep 18 2002 - 10:43:56 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 211.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 07:21:42 -0700
             From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: problems, solutions and residue

    Willard and Patrick

    I am very intrigued by Patrick's call for sensitivity to solution/problem
    mapping. I wonder if Mercator projections are analogous to XSLT? I ask
    because by implication Patrick's posting invites us to separate the markup
    (creation of a representation) from its processing:

    > Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 07:43:18 -0700
    > From: Patrick Durusau <pdurusau@emory.edu>
    > >
    > It is in fact unfair to SGML to lump it in with the poverty of structures
    > that are possible to express in XML, where overlapping structures are
    > simply ignored for the sake of the solution. SGML could in fact represent
    > overlapping structures, a feature that was dropped from XML. One strategy
    > to support the XML solution is to marginalize overlap as a "residual"
    > problem and hence "interesting" but trivial in light of major problems
    > being solved. (SGML solves the same problems without the limitations of
    > XML, a fact that is often overlooked.)

    I'm not sure at what point in this discussion the term "overlap" was
    introduced. If I recall correctly, SGML makes room for the representation
    of _concurrent_ structures. Could it not be argued that, likewise the
    namespace mechanism of XML provides for the representation of _concurrent_
    structures. Take for example a scene of wafting scent marked-up for two
    foci and one storyline:


    The musicologists on the list may be in a position to contribute more
    fulsome considerations to the more general question of notation systems
    for the represenation of temporal aspect of artefacts in space --- the
    question of _concurrent_ structures. Indeed, to musicologists on the very
    complex notion of space, I am willing to lend an ear.


    In/between pages 77 and 78 of James Pritchett's _The Music of John Cage_
    There is a wonderful chance operation in the typography where the page
    break [a structure arising out of a process] interlocks nicely with the
    semantics of the passage [a component of other structures]:

    [...] Cage's model of composition: there exists and infinte
    completely non-dual space of unique but interconnected sounds; by means of
    chance techniques, the composer can empty his mindf thoughts about sounds,
    and thus identify wth this infinite space. [...] and the resulting
    musical form is the passage <pb n="78"/> one situation to another.

    As suggested in an earlier post, a finite problem space can have an
    infinite number of "solution" paths cross through it. Part of the
    humanist's lore is a sensitivity to purpose: map projections may serve
    navigation in a physical and actual world but they may also serve to chart
    passages through possible futures: witness the sets of maps that depict
    nation states by per capita ownership digital devices and those maps that
    project access to networks. [the difference between "ownership" and
    "access" is as clear to me as that between "concurrent" and "overlap"
    though I admit to being temporarily befuddled if asked to map the pairs in
    relation to each other -- *smile* concurrent:ownership::access:overlap ]

    In short, would it not be historically more accurate to tell the story of
    the emergence from SGML of XML and XSLT and the namespaces and the

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
    per Interactivity ad Virtuality via Textuality

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