gusl: (Default)
I think that one of the roles of (a certain type of) friends is to extend your mind (in Engelbart's sense, i.e. roughly the same sense that a computer does). For example: argumentative interactions, in which mental labor is naturally and profitably divided between the For and Against side, or Creative and Skeptic.1

Why does cultural background matter? Because a set of basic concepts and dogmas is required for two people to understand each other's ideas. My dogmas are rather positivistic, and include: "mathematics never lies", "there is no problem that humans can solve and computers inherently can't", "informal reasoning can always be formalized (digitized+parsed) losslessly, with the right knowledge representations". Scientists, and AI folks in particular, will usually share these.

I'm just beginning to talk to biologists, and it is... effortful. Although books like William Cohen's "A Computer Scientist's Guide to Cell Biology" help bridge this gap.

Knowledge of popular culture seems to be very important among geeks in North America. I haven't seen people enthusiastically spout movie quotes anywhere else. Europeans, for example, have to deal with a Tower of Babel among themselves, and generally don't seem to expect anyone to have read the same books. It's just not a thing they do there.

Another lazy man's view of like-minded intellectual friends is that they infect you with their best memes, already filtered and interpreted and critiqued into your conceptual system, so you don't have to. Also, they probably have (or have had) some of the same questions as you, and made some progress (or solved them), so you can share notes.

1 - if you're sufficiently detached and flexible of mind, you can always have the argument with yourself, by switching sides, but this comes with a certain overhead. As an example of this, Paul Graham talks about writing as a tool for thinking, and I couldn't agree more. Paul Graham is precisely the kind of geek with whom I'd enjoy a speculative, discovery-oriented conversation of the kind I have with my geek friends. Persuade XOR Discover

smart text

May. 10th, 2006 06:59 pm
gusl: (Default)
Wouldn't it be great if everything you wrote automatically came with a (dynamic) comprehension test? ...if the author didn't even have to (explicitly) write the test, but it got automatically generated by "AI", with the help of semantic tags, with pieces of text being linked to logical statements?

This way, I would never need to read past a section that I didn't understand.
gusl: (Default)
Kowalski, Toni (1996) - Abstract Argumentation

We outline an abstract approach to defeasible reasoning and argumentation which
includes many existing formalisms, including default logic, extended logic programming,
non-monotonic modal logic and auto-epistemic logic, as special cases. We show, in particular,
that the admissibility" semantics for all these formalisms has a natural argumentation theoretic
interpretation and proof procedure, which seem to correspond well with informal

Dung, Kowalski, Toni (2005) - Dialectic proof procedures for assumption-based, admissible argumentation
We present a family of dialectic proof procedures for the admissibility semantics
of assumption-based argumentation. These proof procedures are defined for any
conventional logic formulated as a collection of inference rules and show how any
such logic can be extended to a dialectic argumentation system.
The proof procedures find a set of assumptions, to defend a given belief, by starting
from an initial set of assumptions that supports an argument for the belief
and adding defending assumptions incrementally to counter-attack all attacks.
The novelty of our
approach lies mainly in its use of backward reasoning to construct arguments
and potential arguments, and the fact that the proponent and opponent can
attack one another before an argument is completed. The definition of winning
strategy can be implemented directly as a non-deterministic program, whose
search strategy implements the search for defences.

In conventional logic, beliefs are derived from axioms, which are held to be beyond
dispute. In everyday argumentation, however, beliefs are based on assumptions, which
can be questioned and disputed...

The purpose of this paper is to study the fundamental mechanism, humans use in
argumentation, and to explore ways to implement this mechanism on computers.
Roughly, the idea of argumentational reasoning is that a statement is believable if it can be
argued successfully against attacking arguments.

Panzarasa, Jennings, Norman - Formalizing Collaborative Decision-Making and Practical Reasoning in Multi-agent Systems

Kenneth Forbus - Exploring analogy in the large
Read more... )
gusl: (Default)
message I left for Danenberg at Wikisophia:

Rich Text and Argument Maps


I think WikiTeX is a brilliant idea... and I would be happy to make contributions in my areas of interest.

I would like to define a language for semantically-rich text, including |Argument Maps ( and finer formalizations. This formal structure would be reminescent of XML and could have many ways of being displayed, all of which I think could be encoded in graphviz.

AFAIK, LaTeX is meant for static documents only (DVI, PS, PDF), so I imagine that it doesn't support such dynamic structures. Or does it?

Is the language used to render a WikiTeX object always the same as the one used in the corresponding LaTeX package? If so, does that mean that the first step is for me to create a LaTeX package?

Gustavo 10:36, 16 Nov 2005 (CST);
gusl: (Default)
Paul Monk and Tim van Gelder - Enhancing our Grasp of Complex Arguments

This would already be a big step in intelligence amplification. And it's very feasible already! We just need to develop expressive and convenient formalisms, and teach ourselves to use them.

Eventually, text will be obsolete... and no one will want to have a serious argument without an argument-board. Having an argument without a argument maps will be considered as bad as performing huge multiplications without a calculator or doing math without computers.


Zeilberger seems to have a blog.

and I'm blogging the following just for the record; since I am interested in what it means to "understand" mathematical concept / argument.
Opinion 37: Guess What? Programming is Even More Fun Than Proving, and, More Importantly It Gives As Much, If Not More, Insight and Understanding
gusl: (Default)

1st International Conference on Computational Models of Argument (COMMA06)
Liverpool, 11th-12th September 2006 seems to focus on arguments about software development

ASPIC is focused on knowledge-based services for the Information Society, based on semantically rich logic formalisms called Argumentation Systems. Over the last ten years, interest in argumentation has expanded dramatically, driven in part by theo-retical advances but also by successful demonstrations of a wide range of practical applications.

Initially, ASPIC will develop a common framework to underpin the services that are emerging as core functions of the argumentation paradigm. These include reasoning, decision-making, learning and communication. The end goal is a suite of software components based on this framework and a development platform for integrating these components with knowledge (e.g. semantic web) resources and legacy systems. ASPIC will provide a sound basis for discussions of technical standards. ASPIC stresses the need to establish a formal foundation to support the creation, deployment and validation of practical argumentation systems and the core components will be developed using rigorous software engineering techniques.
gusl: (Default)
The Logic of Real Arguments by Alec Fisher

review by Jaap Kamps: "Bridging Logical and Real Arguments"

The book starts with a beautiful argument from Galileo's Two New Sciences (refuting Aristotelian belief on the influence of gravity on bodies of different weight). This is what makes this book far beyond the ordinary: it contains a wealth of instructive examples about the natural world, about society, about policy, about philosophy, and so on. These are not the usual made-up examples, but REAL ARGUMENTS: ranging from numerous samples of scientific argumentation to some more mundane arguments from newspapers. The author further introduces an informal method for analyzing (extracting and evaluating) arguments as they occur in ordinary language texts. The book not only offers an accessible introduction to critical analysis of theoretical argumentation occurring in informal texts. It is also of interest for logicians who want to have a better understanding of the considerations involved in analyzing unformalized arguments. This amounts, in my opinion, to a successful marriage between the insights from logic and the demands from reasoning patterns as they occur in substantive texts.


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