Friday, February 7, 2014

Infostorms, Epistemology, Theory of Algorithms

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Kenneth Mikkelsen posted about this upcoming book on Google+:
Sat down with Vincent F. Hendricks in the beginning of January to discuss his new book; Infostorms: How to Take Information Punches and Save Democracy.

I highly recommend reading it in order to understand how new information technologies challenge the way we process information and make decisions.

Based on new insights from philosophy, logic, social psychology, behavioral science and economics the book explains how to navigate in the information age and shows how information is used to enlighten but also manipulate people, opinions and markets.
The website for the book offers more information, including the Table of Contents: Infostorms.  It was interesting to note Hendricks is a philosophy professor and also the editor-in-chief of Synthese: An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science.

Interesting, for this particular reason: I just had an exchange of messages on LinkedIn with a old friend from Northwestern University and T'ai Chi classes in Chicago.

Thanks very kindly for watching my videos and sharing your notes! For years, I had heard of physicists' efforts to arrive at Theory of Everything, and thought it was bound to fall terribly short. For it to be true Te, as you saw, it has to account for absolutely all theories. Also, because we simply don't know everything, Te also had to account somehow for theories we have yet to formulate.

Beyond that linear equation, I've come up with another formulation that better accounts for that infinity of infinity and also accounts for a universe that is possibly (or probably) more than three dimensions (rf. String Theory). But that formulation is very crude, for now.

The conceptual aim of Theory of Algorithms is to be a complete epistemology, and its practical purpose, once completed, will be to allow us to solve absolutely any, and all, problems we can ever face... more effectively. The practical applications model is The Core Algorithm, and I've completed three algorithms that are for top leaders and their organizations.

I'm drawing on science, art and religion in this effort, and this comprises my Tripartite Model. Over the next several weeks, I'll resume writing articles for my ToA and TCA blogs and advancing both. This is part of getting back on my feet, and I'm thankful for it.

I had to look up epistemology :-) , as I always get a little fuzzy about meta-knowledge concepts. What helped me understand it is Wikipedia's statement: "In epistemology in general, the kind of knowledge usually discussed is propositional knowledge, also known as 'knowledge that.' This is distinguished from 'knowledge how' and 'acquaintance-knowledge.'" 
Is that a fair description of your work? If so, it might be helpful to clarify this in your next output, as I was thinking that your model was about "knowledge how" because you say that it can be used to help solve problems.
I remember epistemology in philosophy class in our NU days, and I use it to refer to how we come to know what we know. So, yes, in effect, meta-knowledge and Theory of Algorithms is, in part, a theory of knowledge.

In corporate language, it's about methods, process and systems. But more accurately The Core Algorithm is a meta-method. It's a method that doesn't prescribe solutions a priori, but instead offers a way of grasping problems as well and as fully as needed and then determining which methods will actually help solve them. Many consultants have lead off with their database, solutions etc. I am challenging that.

Besides creating a conceptual framework and its practical applications model, every algorithm I devise will be wrapped around a business model. So it's a bit of daunting effort not just to "practicalize" a theory but also to monetize it.

Mikkelsen's post helped me to crystallize the link between epistemology and Big Data and Analytics and the reasons why the latter is pivotal vis-a-vis Theory of Algorithms and The Core Algorithm.  In any event, Infostorms looks to be a very thoughtful book, indeed.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

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