Patterns among objects

Determinate system with random statistics

From a thread on the comp.compression discussion list, 2007 (…):

I think the insight we have been looking for to model AI/NLP is that
the information needed to code different ways of ordering a system
(knowledge) is always greater than the information to code the system
itself (for a random system.)

In the context of AI/NLP it is important to note that random need not
mean indeterminate. I hope I demonstrated this in our earlier thread on

Lamb's "non-linearity" vs. Chomsky's "loss of generality"

Response by Sydney Lamb to a post by me asking about Chomsky's objections to the abstraction of phonemes from language data. Funknet discussion list (

> The particular analysis which interests me is one I found in a historical
> retrospective by Fritz Newmeyer and others "Chomsky's 1962 programme for
> linguistics" (in Newmeyer's "Generative Linguistics -- A Historical
> Perspective", Routledge, 1996, and apparently also published in "Proc. of the
> XVth International Congress of Linguists".)

Grammatical incompleteness

From a thread on the "Corpora" email list (

Personally I think we can clear up a lot of the mess, and get a very
predictive model, by abandoning just one assumption. I believe much of
machine learning to be quite sound for instance. We can use it (right from
the level of sound waves.) We can even keep grammar, in a sense.

The assumption I believe we need to abandon is the one that there is only
one grammar to be found.

Why do we insist on the assumption of global generalizations?

Kuhn on Wittgenstein

"What need we know, Wittgenstein asked, in order that we apply terms
like 'chair', or 'leaf', or 'game' unequivocally and without provoking

That question is very old and has generally been answered by saying
that we must know, consciously or intuitively, what a chair, or a leaf,
or game _is_. We must, that is, grasp some set of attributes that all
games and only games have in common. Wittgenstein, however, concluded
that, given the way we use language and the sort of world to which we
apply it, there need be no such set of characteristics. Though a

Wittgenstein's games

"Consider for example the proceedings that we call `games'. I mean board games, card games, ball games, Olympic games, and so on. What is common to them all? Don't say, "There must be something common, or they would not be called `games' " - but look and see whether there is anything common to all. For if you look at them you will not see something common to all, but similarities, relationships, and a whole series of them at that. To repeat: don't think, but look! Look for example at board games, with their multifarious relationships.