Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

anti anti camper, modified 8 Years ago.

Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

Posts: 23 Join Date: 10/15/12 Recent Posts
It seems clear that the world of contemplative practice and experience is burdened by ambiguities and disagreements that could be addressed by a rigorous phenomenology. Ingram's talk at the Buddhist Geeks conference, "It's a Jungle In There", suggests a research program in this direction.

I was wondering if developing formal languages for both contemplative practices and contemplative experiences, perhaps based on XML or something similar, might lay the foundations for such a rigorous phenomenology? This might also be a first step towards a comprehensive database for subjective experience.

aac
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tom moylan, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
howdy,
seems to be a nice tie-in to this post

cheers
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Rick M, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

Posts: 100 Join Date: 1/1/13 Recent Posts
Finally something I can comment on a bit. You may not be aware that the term "formal language" will have very specific denotations for a computer scientist (where it means something that has a grammar associated with it like a computer language), which I don't think what you had in mind, since you mentioned XML.

XML is only formal to the extent that it has a Schema or a DTD associated with it. To be honest, I heard a lot about DTDs 10 years ago when XMLs were a newer topic, but less so recently, when lighter-weight specifications like YAML or JSON have dominated.

I'm a big Json fan. There are parsers in most programming languages. I use python for most of my work, and json specifications are almost equivalent to python dictionaries.

Sorry for the long digression. Here's the point. Language specifications, parsers, xmls, etc., all distract you from what you want, which is a description of whatever it is you want to exchange or archive. If you can tell me what information is important to you, I might be able to give you an idea how to make a simple json for it.
anti anti camper, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

Posts: 23 Join Date: 10/15/12 Recent Posts
Rick, I completely agree. XML is not truly formal but it is as formal as most folks will get. I'm a mathematician/computer scientist also. Python is great, JSON looks good, and I'm not bound to any implementation details. The key is to capture, in full descriptive accuracy, the domains of contemplative practice and experience. I don't have specifics beyond this and am really just throwing out the idea for comment.

aac
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
XML would just define how to structure some data. JSON likewise is just a way to serialize data. Maybe you're looking for something like Lojban, a language designed to have no syntactical ambiguities? From their main site:

Lojban has a number of features which make it unique:
  • Lojban is designed to be used by people in communication with each other, and possibly in the future with computers.
  • Lojban is designed to be culturally neutral.
  • Lojban has an unambiguous grammar, which is based on the principles of logic.
  • Lojban has phonetic spelling, and unambiguous resolution of sounds into words.
  • Lojban is simple compared to natural languages; it is easy to learn.
  • Lojban's 1300 root words can be easily combined to form a vocabulary of millions of words.
  • Lojban is regular; the rules of the language are without exception.
  • Lojban attempts to remove restrictions on creative and clear thought and communication.
  • Lojban has a variety of uses, ranging from the creative to the scientific, from the theoretical to the practical.
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Isaac Lewis, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

Posts: 15 Join Date: 3/6/13 Recent Posts
(Heh, I just signed up and this is my first post, surprised to find other programmers here).

Yes, XML and JSON are not really helpful here. Lojban would help maybe, but I think you could just as well tackle the same problem in English - the actual challenge is finding *unambiguous* definitions for everything. That would probably involve creating a set of new terms for meditation-related words that currently have multiple meanings.

Actually, as far as I know, Lojban only solves the problem of grammatical ambiguity, not semantic ambiguity. So you'd still have the problem of vaguely-defined terms.
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Nick W (aka Bagpuss), modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
<ArisingAndPassing>
<Wheeeeeee... />
</ArisingAndPassing>
<DarkNight>
<Arrrrrrrrghhhhhhh! />
<Nnnnggggggg! />
</DarkNight>
<Equanimity>
<Eh? />
</Equanimity>
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Martin M, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Formal language (XML?) for practice and experience?

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
haha the beauty of reading xml documents... emoticon
well, I guess at least you could just collapse that dark night tag heh? ;)

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