Notational engineering
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October 25, 1997: "Notational Engineering: A Proposed New Discipline for Semiotics".

October 25, 1997: "Notational Engineering: A Proposed New Discipline for Semiotics".
Presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America.

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Notational engineering Notational engineering Document Transcript

  • Cover Page   Notation Engineering:  A Proposed New Discipline  in Semiotics Author: Jeffrey G. Long (jefflong@aol.com) Date: October 25, 1997 Forum: Talk presented at the at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America.   Contents Pages 1‐15: Slides (but no text) for presentation   License This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by‐nc/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.  Uploaded June 22, 2011 
  • Notational Engineering:A Proposed New Discipline in Semiotics Jeffrey G. Long GWU Notational Engineering Laboratory Copyright 1997 © Jeffrey G. Long
  • Objectives Obj ti Discuss the evolving scope of semiotic studies Describe the distinctive features of notational systems Propose a ‘notational turn’ in semiotics Describe the goals of notational engineering
  • The E l i STh Evolving Scope of Semiotic Studies f S i ti St di 1880’s: modern origins in Peirce and Saussure 1940’s: applications in other social sciences – anthropology (Levi-Strauss) – literary criticism (Barthes) – psychoanalysis (Lacan) h l i (L ) 1960’s: any patterned communication systems – not only human or animal but cellular also – synchronic rather than evolutionary focus – unit rather than comparative focus
  • Four GF General Ki d of Si S t l Kinds f Sign System
  • Examples of Notational SystemsE l f N t ti l S t
  • We Have Many Mistaken Assumptions y p About Notational Systems NS are sets of written marks, e.g. , , , ,  a, , b, c, 1, 2, 3...NNotation is merely abbreviation, a minor i i l bb i i i communication convenience N t ti is i id t l t perception Notation i incidental to ti “H2O” is a simple notation, as is “$3.50” or “hello” hello
  • Notational Engineering g gInvolves Four Main Areas
  • Notational S tN t ti l Systems Have Five Levels H Fi L l
  • Notational S t N t ti l Systems Map A-Spaces M AS Each NS maps a different abstraction space – Possible Identity, Group, Relation, Form , Quantity, State, etc State etc. A revolutionary NS arises from the discovery or substantial extension of an abstraction space A useful notational system says something about the nature of reality and the nature of cognition New media are critical to the degree they permit new or improved tokenization p
  • We Have So Far Settled Maybe y 12 of 20 Major A-Spaces
  • Like Any Tool, Every Notation Has y , y Both Strengths and Limitations We don’t go sailing in automobiles; we shouldn’t (e.g.) use English for complex rules U i the wrong, or too-limited, a NS is Using h li i d i inescapably self-defeatingCComplexity is a euphemism for perplexity l it i h i f l it – Many if not most problems today are fundamentally representational in character – They cannot be solved by working harder or using faster computers – We need fundamentally new abstractions (e.g. for rules)
  • But There is No Systematic Approach y pp to Notational Development We take what we have for granted; it is the cognitive sea we swim inNNew NS are hihistorically treated with derision i ll d ihd i i NS are ad hoc, often developed over hundreds of years There is no underlying theory of NS-as-maps Th There is no test bed, approval process, or standards i b d l d d body for abstractions
  • Proposed ‘N t ti l Turn’ in SemioticsP d ‘Notational T ’ i S i tiExistence Communications
  • We Need A New Discipline of p Notational Engineering Cross-notational Cross-cultural Longitudinal, i.e. “historically” based Seeking explanatory hypotheses subject to experimental verification Philosophically well-grounded and defensible Revolutionary new NS could be better constructed, tested and utilized
  • Next Steps N t St Clearinghouse for people, facts, theories, references, methodologies F di for both basic and applied research Funding f b h b i d li d h – government – foundations – businesses Demonstration projects that make a real difference