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.



This page most recently modified on: Friday, 25-Jan-2008 00:57:21 EST

the w3c sucks, but this page is still valid
Copyright 2008 by Terran Melconian. You may mirror this page for personal use. All other rights reserved.
Contact, unfortunately now obfuscated due to ongoing spammer harvesting, is [myfirstname] at consistent.org.