by Stephen Downes
May 25, 2016
This is a video of a machine that picks up randomly organized rocks and places them into very neat rows according to type and geological age. For all kinds of reasons (chief among them being sorting things into very need and organized rows) this machine really appeals to me. "Maus manually trained a machine learning algorithm to recognize features in 30 different types of stones." From the video site Jller – Prokop Bartoníček & Benjamin Maus: "the machine works with a computer vision system that processes the images of the stones and maps each of its location on the platform throughout the ordering process. The information extracted from each stone are dominant color, color composition, and histograms of structural features such as lines, layers, patterns, grain, and surface texture."
Herodotus is a terrific read, so if you haven't yet, you should. It's also an interesting backdrop against which to frame this discussion of George Siemens's recent talk (and mammoth slide deck) on the fragmentation and reassembly of knowledge. "Think about the parallels between ‘historia’ (critical thinking) and... flourishing in a world that welcomes diversity of views woven into new sense-making," writes Keith Lyons. This view resonates with me. My 'histories' consist of some 26,000 individual posts like this one. They can be combined and recombined to create any sort of narrative. Here's the secret: the narrative, and the way of making the narrative, is not sacrosanct. Any of a hundred ways of doing ti will work equally well. And the same applies ro science and enquiry (and, for that matter, literature and art).
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