Re: A comment

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Posted by Michael Wendorf on January 26, 1999 at 08:35:50:

In Reply to: Re: A comment posted by Tom Cole on January 25, 1999 at 19:46:49:

: : The answer to Tom Cole's inquiry is contained in the
: : material I supplied initially, which was rejected
: : as too far out.

: : Let us consider a computer that judges the quality
: : of a carpet. We have to program certain rules,
: : like the checklist given in this salon; perhaps
: : made to include several times the number of criteria,
: : with the present checklist representing the rough
: : initial judgement, and sublists that establish the
: : fine degree of judgements. If we do our job correctly
: : then we may come up with a list of lists, each acting
: : on a different level of fine judgement, and sublists
: : that expand the fine points of a single criterion.
: : Such a computer will, I think, provide a relatively
: : correct judgment, in the sense of accurately
: : finding the "dancing" quality, or "life" in a good
: : carpet design. If it doesn't, we can certainly
: : refine the program by adding further and finer
: : criteria until its performance is satisfactory.

: : Those among the readers who know some computer
: : science will immediately recognize the definition
: : of a neural network. An artificial neural
: : network can be trained to recognize some desired
: : qualities through the use of programmed rules.

: : My claim is that the human mind acts in precisely
: : the same way. A knowledgeable carpet dealer trains
: : his or her mind over years, building up a list of
: : rules exactly as described above, which are
: : programmed in the human neural system of learning.
: : The response of the computer (mind) is
: : instantaneous. It is still, however, dependent
: : on some set of rules, and that's what we are
: : discussing now.

: : Nikos Salingaros

: "The answer to Tom Cole's inquiry is contained in the
: material I supplied initially, which was rejected
: as too far out."

: Mr. Salingaros- I am not sure which inquiry I posed to which an answer is contained in the material supplied intially. And for me, (and I stress FOR ME), computers, clinical analysis and too much verbiage (such as is contained in the material supplied, and the responses) mean absolutely NOTHING. The physical feeling, the tingling in my fingertips, the palpitations of my heartbeat, the near swoon that I feel upon seeing for the first time a rug which speaks to me, touches me, thrills me, none of these emotions can be measured in words or by computers. Just my take on things though, not gospel or etched in stone.

Dear Tom and all:
It sounds to me like what you are describing is infatuation. Those reactions are real and part of the romance of collecting. But don't you also get another kind of of thrill and perhaps a deeper and more lasting satisfaction when you live with the rug and learn to understand it and confirm why you swooned over it to begin with? Or come to be disappointed when upon further reflection you determine that perhaps it wasn't as wonderful as you initially thought? Perhaps the exercise here is troublesome to you because it might take some of the romance out of your reactions, but ultimately perhaps we can learn more about these things that make us swoon, and even honor them, by understanding the basis of our evaluation and our reaction. The fact that we can't adequately express our reactions or quantify them has not stopped mankind from trying, nor should it I think.
Regards, Michael

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