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Barmaley
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Hello Everybody,

I need your help in a project which I am trying to do on the web. Part of the project is what I call a Tree of Knowledge. We would like to let our users to get to any subject of general knowledge by dividing global knowledge into sections. It is easier to explain in example. If we have a starting subject as Math, then we can make sub-subjects like Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Statistics etc. At the same time sub-subject Geometry can be in its turn to be divided to lower level sub-subjects like Axioms, Definitions, Nonlinear Geometry etc. To make the tree manageable we decided to limit to 8 number of children each parent subject my have. 

Now the challenge: how to start. We think that the very top it easy: we call it Everything and it is a starting Subject. Now we need to divide it into first 8 sub-subjects on the most rational way. Obviously, we can start with Science, Art, and Humanity. Some people suggest to add Religion as a top sub-subject. What does philosophy prescribe as the top level of knowledge division?

Sorry for this unusual request but we hope to be forgiven considering the fact that our technical university in the former Soviet Union taught us Communist's philosophy instead of real thing, so you help will be highly appreciated!

 

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If you want to create the tree of knowledge it has to based upon reality, so you can not determine, that the Set can have just x subset, when it has y. 

For example, I have a veterinary software development project where we structure medical knowledge as well. If Internal medicine has 17 sub-subjects(subsets) I can not comprise them to 8.

Why would you want an unnatural limit on reality?

38 minutes ago, Barmaley said:

What does philosophy prescribe as the top level of knowledge division?

Science.

Religion is important since almost every human being believes in something. 

Religion on the other hand supposed to be: Logical Philosophy.

Edited by Conscious Energy
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39 minutes ago, Barmaley said:

Obviously, we can start with Science, Art, and Humanity. Some people suggest to add Religion as a top sub-subject. What does philosophy prescribe as the top level of knowledge division?

I'm not sure Humanity is one subject - or even that it should be a top level subject: too ambiguous. 

What were the other five top-level subjects being considered?  Religion can go under Philosophy or Anthropology  - both of which should probably be top headings. Or Psychology, which is a branch of Medical Science, but you'd get some flak about it. 

You'll need a good cross-reference system.

(Helluvan ambitious project!! Wait till you have to figure out what myths and legends and superstitious rituals should be placed under.  )

39 minutes ago, Barmaley said:

What does philosophy prescribe as the top level of knowledge division?

Philosophy! Ask any discipline whether it belongs in the top level and it will volunteer. You have to decide how to section this pie.  Don't worry too much about where you start, as long as it makes intuitive sense, because everything is related to everything else at some level.

Edited by Peterkin
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45 minutes ago, Conscious Energy said:

For example, I have a veterinary software development project where we structure medical knowledge as well. If Internal medicine has 17 sub-subjects(subsets) I can not comprise them to 8.

Why would you want an unnatural limit on reality?

This is the only based on usability of the website screen site which has to contain all the subjects on one page for better users experience. We thought that it was always possible to combine sub-subject into a group to which we can provide descriptive title. For instance if you use "cats" as a parent the do not have to list all the cats in the next level as children but divide them first into Large Cats, Medium Cats, Small cats and Cats without stripes to kind of evenly divide the children into groups.

The benefit of this approach is efficiency for a user to get to his subject quickly since if are you looking for a tiger you do not need to review a list of 300 types of cats but first select large cats and then look for tigers.

@Peterkin, since you have experience of working with a child/parent classification list we would appreciate any advice you may give us in the knowledge tree construction.

20 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I'm not sure Humanity is one subject. What were the other five top-level subjects being considered?  Religion can go under Philosophy or Anthropology  - both of which should be top headings - or Sociology, which is a sub-heading under Humanities, or Medical Science, which comes somewhere down a couple of steps from Science. 

It is important to note that we are not only focus on science subjects but all real word thing. For instance we need a chapter for "News" since in the portal which we are trying to do we need to foresee all possible area of human interest which people many be willing to discuss.

20 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

You'll need a good cross-reference system.

(Helluvan ambitious project!!)

This is what does not let us sleep at night! LOL.

In our case we have to give an option to users to be able to contribute to the tree development (which obviously will be heavily moderated). He hope that after initial push the tree will grow itself.

Edited by Barmaley
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5 hours ago, Barmaley said:

For instance if you use "cats" as a parent the do not have to list all the cats in the next level as children but divide them first into Large Cats, Medium Cats, Small cats and Cats without stripes to kind of evenly divide the children into groups.

The benefit of this approach is efficiency for a user to get to his subject quickly since if are you looking for a tiger you do not need to review a list of 300 types of cats but first select large cats and then look for tigers.

What about taxonomy?

You can not just start a new subjective organisation of species, because you think the others will not understand it as it is today. 

The current Taxonomy started ca 300 years ago by Carolus Linnaeus in 1735 in the Systema Naturae.  

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2 hours ago, Conscious Energy said:

What about taxonomy?

If you pick a subject like Cats, you can follow that branch down, as Barmaley showed in the example, or follow it upward, to -- Carnivorous mammals -- Mammals -- Vertebrates -- Animals -- Taxonomy -- Biology -- Science. 

8 hours ago, Barmaley said:

For instance we need a chapter for "News"

That would probably be Current Events, from which you could go to Sport, Politics, Weather, Persons of Note, Demographics (statistics) Economics, Jurisprudence (civil rights?), News ... Problem there: how long does any item stay new? So maybe you could have, as one of the 8 branches : Today's News, with a function to push it down to the next level (news of the past week, month, year, Europe, Asia, Africa, Americas) every 24 hours.

8 hours ago, Barmaley said:

since you have experience of working with a child/parent classification list we would appreciate any advice you may give us in the knowledge tree construction.

I don't really have that kind of experience. We designed web sites for small business 20 years ago (all obsolete knowledge), and I did help work out the logic from the user's perspective, and the aesthetic. From that limited standpoint, I'll help if I can.

Have you worked out the top levels? (My tentative suggestion: Science, Earth & Space, Maths, Current Events, Language, Anthropology, Art, Philosophy. Just a first run at it, not sure.) As I said, you can just make a long list of topics you feel should be included and trace them by association, up to their parent subject. 

But, um, why do you want to recreate Wykipedia?

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1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

That would probably be Current Events,... News ... Problem there: how long does any item stay new?

Excellent point! I would even go further and make it Events instead of Current Events following the same logic - for how long events are current?

 

1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

I did help work out the logic from the user's perspective, and the aesthetic. From that limited standpoint, I'll help if I can.

This help could be very essential since we are trying to solve another hurdle: the structure of the site is multi-nested (it means that you may nest elements inside a larger element which can be nested to its parents). In addition we will allow multiple entries (edits) of the same article which makes it a 3D structure which we must show on a flat 2D screen. We have several solutions and and still working on design and aesthetics of layout. Is your site still live and is it available to public to see?

 

1 hour ago, Peterkin said:

But, um, why do you want to recreate Wykipedia?

Not really. We are working on a tool for deliberation of complicated concepts and theories. 

So far I can see only 4 subjects which deserve to be starters for all branches of knowledge: Science, Art, Events and Esotericism (Religions, conspiracy theories and all forms of unknown). Am I missing something here or everything can be squeegeed in one of those categories? 

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15 minutes ago, Barmaley said:

I would even go further and make it Events instead of Current Events following the same logic - for how long events are current?

Except that bleeds into History about two layers down. Which is all right, so long as you then direct the history streams in navigable channels. Which would also mean that History isn't first-layer sub heading of Anthropology...Hm... Could go either way: have history branch off from both events and anthropology, or else divide the humanities in a different way and demote anthropology. 

15 minutes ago, Barmaley said:

This help could be very essential since we are trying to solve another hurdle: the structure of the site is multi-nested (it means that you may nest elements inside a larger element which can be nested to its parents). In addition we will allow multiple entries (edits) of the same article which makes it a 3D structure which we must show on a flat 2D screen.

Aaaarrrggggghhhh ! That's light-years beyond my level of incompetence. I can't even manage these fancy reply boxes very well.

15 minutes ago, Barmaley said:

We have several solutions and and still working on design and aesthetics of layout. Is your site still live and is it available to public to see?

No, That one closed down in 2000. We're writing and selling books now, which takes no computing sophistication at all.

But if you show me pictures, I'll be happy to comment on them.

Edited by Peterkin
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5 hours ago, Peterkin said:

We're writing and selling books now, which takes no computing sophistication at all.

This comment got me thinking of how libraries are organised and current standards for classification of literature and related material. Maybe @Barmaley could start from an existing standard and remove parts that does not apply to the project*?  An example of a standard is UDC:

Quote

The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) is a bibliographic and library classification representing the systematic arrangement of all branches of human knowledge organized as a coherent system in which knowledge fields are related and inter-linked.

(Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Decimal_Classification)

The top classes of UDC are:

0 Science and knowledge. Organization. Computer science. Information. Documentation. Librarianship. Institution. Publications
1 Philosophy. Psychology
2 Religion. Theology
3 Social sciences
4 (Vacant)
5 Mathematics. Natural sciences
6 Applied sciences. Medicine. Technology
7 The arts. Recreation. Entertainment. Sport
8 Language. Linguistics. Literature
9 Geography. Biography. History

 

*) Disclaimer: I have not checked if and how these kind of standards, UDC or other, are licensed.

Edited by Ghideon
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@Peterkin Thank you for wiliness to help! Please, keep in mind that the site is in its infancy and we are working on a beta version to test functionality, so we could define the features for the next version. There are currently two pages which you may suggest changes from aesthetics and them most important, easiness of information retrieval. Obviously, the first is the knowledge page which is currently made without any professional design by developers. Next step would be to decide what is needed to be added to the knowledge tree page. Next step would be how to make it beautiful and easy to navigate.

image.thumb.png.b4902f3ec4657118dc6f649c3ec13ced.png

The second page which is challenging here is the main page where users can communicate their ideas. It is similar to a nested forum but provides more options and controls. The objective is to deliberate a selected topic in depth rather then to briefly discuss many topics which typical for standard forums. It should be possible here to examine every essential element if the topic with a goal to achieve a closure in the discussion (as far as it can be achieved). Obviously not every topic worth such efforts, however, if a topic as an essential to us we need a tool to make it fruitful. The thread here is nester where several users can respond to original post as well as many users can provide a response to any reply to the post. It means that a sidetrack post can not distract from the main topic. In addition it is possible to start a branch topic to focus on a part of a post (for instance, to argue one specific statement which seems to be controversial but is an important part of the subject under consideration). In addition the users can instead of sending a reply can comment inside the post or create an edit of the same post. It was found that editing other people writing is another form of communicating your ideas. This is just a brief overview of the tool and it is hard to describe it in a short paragraph. For users who are not in a position to submit a full format post there is an option to comment to other posts, thus each post has comment thread which is essentially a standard nested forum style thread.  

We created a beta version of the engine and found it to be not too user's friendly. To provide flexibility to review the posts we introduced a mouse drug function of posts so you can re-arrange them on a screen in any possible way but the screen can easily become a mess and we decided to convert it from drug to scroll for easier users experience. Since there are two major types of posts (replies and edits) we have to provide two ways of scroll: vertical and horizontal. It may take several day for me to provide with screen shots of the main page made in the scroll mode. I know that this description was not clear to understand without seeing it in actions but I did the best I can provided that English in not my native language.

  

6 hours ago, Ghideon said:

 Maybe @Barmaley could start from an existing standard and remove parts that does not apply to the project*?  An example of a standard is UDC:

Thank you very much the suggestion! It is really useful, I was actually was looking for already tested solutions like this.

 

6 hours ago, Ghideon said:

The top classes of UDC are:

0 Science and knowledge. Organization. Computer science. Information. Documentation. Librarianship. Institution. Publications
1 Philosophy. Psychology
2 Religion. Theology
3 Social sciences
4 (Vacant)
5 Mathematics. Natural sciences
6 Applied sciences. Medicine. Technology
7 The arts. Recreation. Entertainment. Sport
8 Language. Linguistics. Literature
9 Geography. Biography. History

The next top level subject I can steal to our knowledge tree would be entertainment. For the most part I have problems with this classification and I am sure it is a fruit of my ignorance. 0 is Science and Knowledge. 9 is Geography.... History. I thought that geography are history are science? If 0 is science then 3 3 Social sciences should be a sub-subject of 0 science I guess...

The most fun I had with #4. If this is not patented I am going to steal this idea and use it!

I am still looking for a one word term for human-centric subject which can host a bunch of sub-categories. 

Are there any objections on having on the first level Science, Art, Events, Entertainment and Esotericism?

The goal of the tree is to provide fast and intuitive way to get to any subject on knowledge in the minimum number of steps on the tree.

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Okay, so math looks comprehensive, but nothing else. 

What is Humanity? And why is Art a string of academic credentials and nothing else? Seems you really just have the three main topics... except. of course, that art belongs under Humanities -- Anthropology -- Culture.  I see no reason you have to start with eight - you're just making life more difficult for yourself with that constraint.  

Anyway, this page is nowhere near ready for cosmetics.

26 minutes ago, Barmaley said:

The objective is to deliberate a selected topic in depth rather then to briefly discuss many topics which typical for standard forums.

That could get seriously out of control! Do you have a means of filtering the input for relevance? This looks like a magnet for crackpots and cranks with wild 'theories'. I have no idea how that's supposed to work, but it sounds as if you're complicating your way into a technical nightmare.  

From a lay user's POV: I would prefer a simple response boxes under each article, labelled: "comment" "contribution" "correction", with a minimum of functions. Type what you have to say, hit ENTER and go away. But that's just me; very young users would probably demand emoticons and abbreviations; tech-savvy users might want a lot of connectivity and flexibility - whatever those are.  Anyway, i don't think it matters what they want; I think you should concentrate on what works quickly, efficiently and without any confusion. 

 

51 minutes ago, Barmaley said:

I know that this description was not clear to understand without seeing it in actions but I did the best I can provided that English in not my native language.

You do very well with English. The gap is between me and the science: I can't begin to understand how complicated this will be. Some old-time programmers used to make flow-charts with stick-on notes on a wall. You guys would need an airplane hangar - or five!    

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9 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Okay, so math looks comprehensive, but nothing else.

Well I think there is a great deal fundamental mathematics stuff missing from the OP block diagram.

Perhaps you guys should get together with the author of this thread

 

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2 hours ago, studiot said:

Perhaps you guys should get together with the author of this thread

I'm not one of the guys - just a sympathetic onlooker.

 

13 hours ago, Barmaley said:

Are there any objections on having on the first level Science, Art, Events, Entertainment and Esotericism?

I'm not impressed with the idea of entertainment as a top-level subject. I'd be hard-put even to define entertainment. Does it mean visual and preforming arts? Sports and games? Hobbies and pastimes? Social gatherings? All of those could be under one or more serious top-level subjects. Same problem with Esoterica - What does it include? Is it a primary function of human endeavour?

You need some deep thought on those top-level buttons. Maybe consider what's essential for human society to work; what's essential for a visitor from Alpha Centauri to learn about Earth and earthlings.

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2 hours ago, Peterkin said:

what's essential for a visitor from Alpha Centauri to learn about Earth and earthlings.

The Golden Record

music From Earth

The following music was included on the Voyager record. (REF NASA) 

Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor. 4:40

  • Java, court gamelan, "Kinds of Flowers," recorded by Robert Brown. 4:43
  • Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle. 2:08
  • Zaire, Pygmy girls' initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull. 0:56
  • Australia, Aborigine songs, "Morning Star" and "Devil Bird," recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes. 1:26
  • Mexico, "El Cascabel," performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México. 3:14
  • "Johnny B. Goode," written and performed by Chuck Berry. 2:38
  • New Guinea, men's house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan. 1:20
  • Japan, shakuhachi, "Tsuru No Sugomori" ("Crane's Nest,") performed by Goro Yamaguchi. 4:51
  • Bach, "Gavotte en rondeaux" from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux. 2:55
  • Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor. 2:55
  • Georgian S.S.R., chorus, "Tchakrulo," collected by Radio Moscow. 2:18
  • Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima. 0:52
  • "Melancholy Blues," performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. 3:05
  • Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow. 2:30
  • Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35
  • Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano. 4:48
  • Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor. 7:20
  • Bulgaria, "Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin," sung by Valya Balkanska. 4:59
  • Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes. 0:57
  • Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, "The Fairie Round," performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. 1:17
  • Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service. 1:12
  • Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen. 0:38
  • China, ch'in, "Flowing Streams," performed by Kuan P'ing-hu. 7:37
  • India, raga, "Jaat Kahan Ho," sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. 3:30
  • "Dark Was the Night," written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson. 3:15
  • Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet. 6:37
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On 8/9/2021 at 2:34 PM, Barmaley said:

Hello Everybody,

I need your help in a project which I am trying to do on the web. Part of the project is what I call a Tree of Knowledge. We would like to let our users to get to any subject of general knowledge by dividing global knowledge into sections. It is easier to explain in example. If we have a starting subject as Math, then we can make sub-subjects like Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Statistics etc. At the same time sub-subject Geometry can be in its turn to be divided to lower level sub-subjects like Axioms, Definitions, Nonlinear Geometry etc. To make the tree manageable we decided to limit to 8 number of children each parent subject my have. 

Now the challenge: how to start. We think that the very top it easy: we call it Everything and it is a starting Subject. Now we need to divide it into first 8 sub-subjects on the most rational way. Obviously, we can start with Science, Art, and Humanity. Some people suggest to add Religion as a top sub-subject. What does philosophy prescribe as the top level of knowledge division?

Sorry for this unusual request but we hope to be forgiven considering the fact that our technical university in the former Soviet Union taught us Communist's philosophy instead of real thing, so you help will be highly appreciated!

 

I remember coming across a "pyramid of knowledge" many years ago...not sure how relevant it is, but makes sense to me.....

Complexity | David Ruaune's Blog

Mathematics being the language of physics/science.

or another version if you like...................

Future Crises, William James, John Dewey, Edward Singer, C. West Churchman  | SpringerLink

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That looks like Abraham Maslow's pyramid of human needs, starting from most essential and building on it: once this has been attained, you have the ability to understand this, etc.  The other list goes from most to least objective. Not sure Barmaley needs to rank disciplines, so much as decide what collective word best exemplifies the 8 most most important areas of human interest.

It's too bad that link is broken, because I can't find a recording with that program on it - they all have weird sound effects instead of proper orchestras. WTF?

 

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8 hours ago, Peterkin said:

That looks like Abraham Maslow's pyramid of human needs, starting from most essential and building on it: once this has been attained, you have the ability to understand this, etc.  The other list goes from most to least objective.

I came across it a few years ago, but was unaware it went under the title of "Abraham Maslow's pyramid"

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

On 8/9/2021 at 12:34 AM, Barmaley said:

Hello Everybody,

I need your help in a project which I am trying to do on the web. Part of the project is what I call a Tree of Knowledge. We would like to let our users to get to any subject of general knowledge by dividing global knowledge into sections. It is easier to explain in example. If we have a starting subject as Math, then we can make sub-subjects like Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Statistics etc. At the same time sub-subject Geometry can be in its turn to be divided to lower level sub-subjects like Axioms, Definitions, Nonlinear Geometry etc. To make the tree manageable we decided to limit to 8 number of children each parent subject my have. 

Now the challenge: how to start. We think that the very top it easy: we call it Everything and it is a starting Subject. Now we need to divide it into first 8 sub-subjects on the most rational way. Obviously, we can start with Science, Art, and Humanity. Some people suggest to add Religion as a top sub-subject. What does philosophy prescribe as the top level of knowledge division?

Sorry for this unusual request but we hope to be forgiven considering the fact that our technical university in the former Soviet Union taught us Communist's philosophy instead of real thing, so you help will be highly appreciated!

 

How complex are you wanting to make this? Because if it is just a simple web application for school then you do not really need to be too grandiose with it.

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