my cozy new web home

A couple of days ago, I got the script which produces the front page and the Atom XML feed from individual pages working. It does almost everything I wanted. Having developed the infrastructure, I now find myself with no excuse for not writing, beyond the fact that I have little or nothing to say.

I also find myself feeling that writing under my real name instead of a pseudonym holds me to a higher standard of quality - I need to come up with something more interesting to say than my poo journal. Still, I can blame only myself for being here, since I'm exactly where I asked to end up.

Thinking about this led me to a new idea about arts and sciences. Traditionally the most common definitions have given the difference as a function of methodology. I would like to present a different definition, framed in terms of the accessibility of the result. Let us say that an art is a field of endeavor which produces a result that can be appreciated (even if not fully understood) by an audience with little or no specialized training, and that a science is a field of endeavor which produces a result that can be appreciated only by someone with a level of specialized knowledge approaching that of the person who produced the result.

Let's take an example. Somebody draws a cartoon and posts it on the web, and I read it and enjoy it. I know that I could not produce a similar result myself, but this does not preclude my appreciation and enjoyment of someone else's. Later in the day, I write some code to produce aircraft route statistics. The program and the result are both meaningless and useless to anyone who isn't in the same field, solving similar problems, with a level of knowledge similar to my own.

The most interesting discussion is probably centered on edge cases, which qualify as an art under one defintion and a science under another. However, I shall leave these for another time, since at the moment I have yet to think of any good examples, and in any case the comment posting mechanism for discussion isn't written yet.