Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My selection for the meme team

I've been tagged by Zeno at Halfway There, with the following blog meme:
The rules are as follows:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) List 5 random/weird things about your favorite historical figure.
3) Tag 5 more people at the end of your blog and link to theirs.
4) Let the person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.
I don't usually buy into this stuff, but why not? So my selection is ...

Charles S. Peirce (1839 — 1914)

I've chosen him even though I don't really believe in the idea of a "favorite historical figure". But he is really interesting. Peirce was an American philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and humanist. He has been extremely influential, yet he remains somewhat obscure.

1. Peirce's name is pronounced "purse". (The family name was originally spelled Pers.)

2. My choice of Peirce was entirely pragmatic.

3. Peirce invented a conformal map projection: the quincuncial projection.
It also turns out the map tessellates the plane, i.e. you can seamlessly tile the plane with rotated copies of the map. (Tessellation is also sometimes used in quilting.)

4. Peirce was one of the founders of the field of semiotics, which is about signs and their interpretation. On that theme (ok, it's a bit indirect), here's a video about signs:

5. Peirce developed a graphical system for representing logic called existential graphs. In 1984, John F. Sowa built on Peirce's ideas and ideas from semantic networks in artificial intelligence to develop conceptual graphs.

The meme made me do it

So now I'm supposed to tag some more folks with this meme. I nonbindingly-respectfully-whattheheckfully tag:

Ray Deonandan at Deonandia
Dr. Free-Ride at Adventures in Ethics and Science
Antonella Pavese at antonellapavese.com
Dr. B at Bitch Ph.D.
Jim Bobby at Jim Bobby Sez

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Blogger Zeno said...

A very nice choice, Nick. Thanks for telling us all a bit about Peirce, a fellow whose name I recognize but whose career was unfamiliar to me. I tend to disdain chain mail and blog memes, but this one has proved to be interesting and educational. The "favorite" part is a trifle arbitrary, but clever folks like you can deal with ambiguity just fine.

By the way, I think you're the first one out of my five to decide to prolong the meme string. The first actual responder was my friend Zrk, who reacted by saying, "Oh, yeah, that reminds me that I was meaning to shut down my blog," which he then promptly did!

8:30 PM, March 21, 2008  
Blogger Ed T. said...

- semiotics - interesting.... I love finding out about obscure philosophers from the past, I never knew about Mr.Peirce. Great info and fascinating read... thanks.

7:03 AM, March 26, 2008  
Blogger Dangerspouse said...

It's amazing that I could plow through an entire page of words that I have about as much chance of decyphering as I do 'Linear A' and still enjoy it. Even the bio seemed just a series of random phonemes after his name.

This all goes back to a resentment of my father no doubt, who forced me to stay indoors for months at a time playing Wff-N-Proof instead of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots.

But that's neither here nor there, I suppose. The important thing (for me, and for whom it's all about) is...I enjoyed the pictures. And even the words surrounding them seemed well written, what few I understood. Congrats and "well desereved" on the noteable award!

8:15 AM, March 26, 2008  
Blogger Sailor Girl said...

Awsome meme reply! I always learn something from it! I loved the alternative version of the Mapa Mundi! Beautiful!

9:56 AM, March 26, 2008  
Blogger JimBobby said...

Whooee! I'm a little slow on the uptake, Nick. I'll look into complying with your demands tomorrow. ;)

8:55 PM, March 26, 2008  
Blogger Melodieann said...

Great idea for a meme. I usually try to avoid them, but this one was different. I actually learned something from it. I was aware of the name Peirce but was unclear as to who he was. Thanks for sharing!

1:52 AM, March 28, 2008  
Blogger An American said...

Yes, Peirce is a good choice. I particularly like his point that the world turns on three things: love, chance and logic. Similar to Weber's "charisma, tradition, and rational-legal."

9:54 AM, March 28, 2008  
Blogger Nick Barrowman said...

Peirce was big on threes. For example he identified three modes of reasoning: deduction, induction, and abduction (which has to do with hypothesis generation).

The point about "love, chance, and logic" is new to me, but very appealing. It has a spirit-body-mind feel.

It is unfortunate that Peirce's life seems to have been so difficult.

11:24 AM, March 28, 2008  
Blogger "word"smith said...

I had to look up the meanings of lots of those words!! :-)
Good learning for me... Will surely look up more about Pierce...Honestly hadn't heard about him before I read your blog.

2:45 AM, April 04, 2008  
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