Led by such sites as del.icio.us, social bookmarking is common practice now. Users add their bookmarks to del.icio.us, attach comment to them, and add few tags – key words to describe the content of the bookmarked web page.
Then other people can then search by tag, or view “clouds” which show the list of tags in fonts of different sizes, bigger fonts used for the tag-words used for lot of bookmarks, smaller for tags used for smaller number of bookmarks.
The service called Diigo, goes a step further, it makes it possible for users to highlight parts of the texts, add notes and comments to the highlights (or the whole page) and then share those highlights/comments with other people.
This opens very interesting possibility of group analysis of books and papers on the web which are in html form.
The service is still in Beta, and accepts new users just through invitations. From what I’ve seen it is still buggy, though it is intensively developed.
Day before yesterday, I told my daughter, 2 year old, about some happenings when her brother (9 year old) was young. And she asked, “was I very small then?”. I told her that she was not, that she wasn’t born.
Yesterday together with my wife and my kids we were in other city, done some shopping, few coffee stops, got some pizza, and before return, we went to see some friends. My daughter slept through our visit.
Today I was asking her where were we, and at the end told her that we were at my friends place, and that she was sleeping.
She said “I wasn’t born then”, looking at me, waiting for confirmation.
The meaning of abstraction was explained very abstractly, that is… no mechanism was given of how would one ignore some of the things, in order to “be left” with a specific thing.
But seems, that we can actually point to a word that points to specific mechanism through which we can do abstraction – Attention.
Here is the sense of attention, as brought/explained to us through different dictionaries, which refer to such faculty.
- The process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others.
- Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one thing while
ignoring other things. Examples include listening carefully to what someone is saying while ignoring other conversations in the
room (e.g. the cocktail party problem, Cherry, 1953).
Think of it… If there is big red ball in front of you… You may put your attention on its size, and in such way abstract from everything BUT the size. Or the interesting patch on the ball may draw your attention, and in such way it will abstract from everything BUT the patch. You can also focus on the upcoming meeting, or can concentrate your thoughts on the issue of the existence of Santa Claus, and in such way abstract from the ball.
Three points to make there…
The first two is really a note to myself, and question to you.
- Is there a difference of meaning of those different words, “focus on”, “put attention on”, “concentrate on”, and if there is… what does it mean ?
- We use “focus on”, “put your attention on”, etc… for a more complex types of acts. (e.g. “focus on this project now”). Is that the same sense, metaphorical usage, or what?
And the third point is that there is a distinction one can make about attention. It can be:
- Done on purpose. E.g. when someone says to us “look at that clown” we can focus on the clown on purpose.
- Or something can draw our attention. E.g. A clown jumping into our face will probably draw our attention.
And for the end, here is very interesting explanation of the meaning of “attention” (take it as a hint of what is to come, or not):
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms
- the act or state of attending : the application
of the mind to any object of sense or thought