I'm glad our UK math guy in residence, Sociality's Ian Benson, is
planning to attend Pycon, just got his booking.

We've been looking at interconnected computer science concepts and
their applications in early mathematics education, namely:
disambiguation (per Wikipedia, but a general concept), name
collisions, namespaces.  The first two are quasi-synonymous while the
latter is our solution, a honkin' great feature of Python, while also
the purpose of addressing more generally, URIs in particular.

The Java world took the URI for the code's residence or source and
turned that around ala net.4dsolutions.ocn.mathobjects, a kind of
package name.  That's actually harder to parse than simple "dot
notation" though, where we just go:

Apple.Safari
Jungle.Safari
OReilly.Safari

Here students understand, from their own experience, how we
disambiguate three meanings of Safari using "dot notation", with the
prefix, like in Java, like in Python, having to do with "the source"
(we hope open) or, more philosophically, "context" or "namespace").

I think a barrier to using dot notation in philosophical literature is
authors have worried about all those periods interrupting the flow,
i.e. how will our prose be uglified if we start going like Coxeter.4D
to disambiguate from Fuller.4D, a name collision it's important to
resolve, if you're going to anywhere with your Princeton philosophy
courses.

However, philosophy has the precedent of embedding lots of logic,
going back to Bertrand Russell, Whitehead and before, continuing
forward, attempting, some might surmise, to realize the Leibniz dream
of machine executable codes.  But no, those have already occurred, in
computer science, but apparently workaday operational logic like
Python, in charge of baggage carousels, air traffic control (small
Siberian airport, nothing major), isn't "good enough" to merit much
Ivory Tower attention.  Leibniz can go blow, seems to be the
prevailing attitude.

However, the Wittgensteinians, with their blah blah about "language
games", had the namespace idea already going.  And a namespace is not
just a dictionary, even though it's possible to treat one that way, as
in O.__dict__.  On the contrary, a namespace is more an ecology,
something intricate.

You may wonder how all this figures in to 'Python for Teachers', and
you're right to wonder.  There's a specific slide where I go:

Fuller.4D
Coxeter.4D
Einstein.4D

and then explain how the last two are disambiguated on page 119 of
'Regular Polytopes' (by Coxeter), whereas the first is presaged in the
writings of Karl Menger, dimension theorist, and carries forward into
our own time through a small bevy or writers.  We have disambiguation
problems galore, given popular ignorance of the whole idea of
namespace.  They give lip service to "context" but don't get its nuts
and bolts importance in the Leibniz logics of our day.

For example, the Wikipedia entry for Synergetics is mostly about some
Springer-Verlag thing, not our American Transcendentalist writings.
That's not really a problem, given how Wikipedia deals with this
problem, is more just another good example, something to use in the
classroom, when explaining the basics to philosophy students.

Anyway, Ian keeps a lot of mathematicians in the loop besides just
himself, isn't called Mr. Sociality for nothing.

Kirby


PS:  I jumped in on Chipy on some Pyro vs. XML-RPC thread, mentioning
my friend Patrick, a possible TA at our workshop (works for Synovate,
Chicago-based).
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