First, my model of mind and (therefore) of learning - we are pattern matching creatures by dint of the way out brains work, and look for the similarities and differences between things. We also create models in our minds of what we perceive, which are, by definition, abstractions and simplifications of the 'objective reality'. Our perceptions are, I believe, affected by the internal models.
This is an edited extract from a forthcoming book chapter about the use of Folksonomological Reification to examine and bridge the onto-folksonomical divide. That all makes more sense in the context of the full chapter, though, and I won't go into it further here. The chapter is co-authored with Shirley Williams, Karsten Lundqvist and Edwin Porter-Daniels.
I have just been reading Wellman's Little boxes, Glocalization and Networked Individualism. I particularly like the discussion of specialized roles. In this section, Wellman uses scholarly academics as an example of how some people like to maintain contact through the written word (specifically email in this case) in order to be able to live their lives according to their own rhythm whilst still being able to communicate within a network of individuals.
Ben Goertzel reports on the Workshop on Machine Consciousness at Nokia Research in Helsinki over the last couple of days. Will Browne was also there, so I am hoping to get some more in depth insights into the discussions that went on. I would have loved to have been there myself.
Ben mentions his theory about abstraction – this, and the description of Harri Pirkola's ideas on the topic remind me of the plans I had in 2001/2002 to link a ANN's (A) inputs to the weights of another (B) and train it to produce a compressed version of them (by having a symmetrical network which tapers to a pinch point and back out, and which learns by comparing output directly to input).