What do these topics have in common, besides me being interested in them? Actually, quite a bit: tree-like structures, iterative evolution, lexical signification, ancestry and descent, simple rules giving rise to complex systems, etc. I'm sure the same parts of the mind are at work when pondering these topics. (Mathematics is not far off, either.)
A couple of candidates for the title of this blog occurred to me:
- Branch-Based. In the PhyloCode, a "branch-based definition" is used to define a taxon (group of organisms) that includes everything sharing more recent ancestry with one thing than with another thing.
- Nomina Dubia. Latin for "doubtful names", this is a term referring to taxonomic names based on specimens too poor to properly assess.
Finally, I went back and tried to think of the few times in my life I might have approached saying something witty. I remembered one spontaneous observation:
Philosophy is the art of understanding the universe using a three-pound monkey brain.
Maybe that gets to the root of it. Here I am, an anthropoid primate trying to usefully simplify the world around me so I can cram it into 1500 cubic centimeters of grey matter. Systematics, linguistics, and computer science all involve specifying simple rules which can be realized in complex ways.
What to Expect
Readers of this blog can expect to read about:
- The evolution of organisms as well as the evolution of languages, both of which involve heredity, lineages, phylogenies, drift, and reconstruction.
- Reports of new organisms, particularly fossil vertebrates.
- The nomenclature of organisms, as based on their evolution.
- Ideas pertaining to computer programming, particularly object-oriented programming.
- Practical observations on programming (particular with ActionScript, Java, and XML), with actual code examples.
- My occasional forays into translation, particularly of Germanic languages and Ancient Hebrew (the latter stemming from my interest, as a nontheist, in theology).
- Constructed languages, alternate spelling schemes, etc.
- Tales of etymology (some related to taxonomy).
- Web projects of mine that tie some or all of these interests together.
Who would want to read all that? Well, I would. Maybe five other people out there somewhere. But who cares? I'm just gonna write.