Monday 30 January 2017

Sumi-e. An Introduction To Ink Painting (1966)

This character, pronounced `ei' in Japanese and meaning `long', contains the eight different basic strokes necessary to write all the characters. 

From Sumi-e. An Introduction To Ink Painting by Nanae Momiyama (1924--2002).
Scanned copy HERE.

Saturday 28 January 2017

A horse. (late 1400s)

In Chinese and Japanese visuals arts, the same type of brush and ink are used for both writing and sketching. In Japan, painting in black ink is known as Sumi-e. In common with Japanese calligraphy, the emphasis in sumi-e is to achieve beauty in each of the individual strokes of the brush. 

One of the greatest masters of monochrome sumi-e art was Sesshū Tōyō (1420--1506). Sesshū was born into a samurai family and educated as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist priest. He became a pupil of another sumi-e master, Tenshō Shūbun (1414--1463), and later in life became  widely known for his exquisite art work throughout Japan and China.

The figure shows an ink sketch of a horse on paper by Sesshū. In this media there is no room for hesitation or re-work. Each stroke must be delivered to the paper with confidence and fluidity. The quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making. When executed by a master like Sesshū, a handful of confident brush strokes are sufficient to capture the essence of a horse. 

Image from HERE.

A Ticking Clock (2016)

Ellen Fullman is a San Francisco based sound artist who invented and plays a Long String Instrument (almost a hundred feet long). Here is an interview with Fullman that includes the image above  - one of her scores for the instrument. 

Image Copyright Ellen Fullman.

Friday 27 January 2017

ABTRWY (2017)

Made using the Sino-Roman script of David B Kelley(HERE)

Trout Flies: Naturals and Imitations (1955)

By Charles M. Wetzel (Author & Illustrator)
The Stackpole Company; Harrisburg, PA

Waves and Beaches: The Dynamics of the Ocean Surface (1964)

From HERE.

Thursday 26 January 2017

A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates (1955)

Reanimation Library (2017)

Much more HERE.

Typewriter Art (1975)

From HERE.

Report on the Measurement of Roundness (1966)

From HERE.

More cover ideas

All copyright M.G. Reed 2017

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic (1973)

A very good review of Clarkes book HERE

A Better Way - Cover ideas (2017)

Image Copright M.G. Reed 2017.

A Better Way (2017)

Some blurb notes for a short essay that I am writing and hopefully publishing this year: A Better Way

Innovation is neither an art nor a science. Though it is undoubtedly vital for both. This short essay argues that innovation is simply what human groups naturally do for fun and that very often, the urge to innovate is nothing more noble than the nagging thought that somehow, there must be a better way.

The book is aimed at a non-technical audience and begins:

If you thread a coloured bead onto a cord or string, then an artefact will begin to take shape in your hands. If you add a few more beads onto the string, then a pattern will begin to develop. This pattern could represent an abstract idea, a name, a quality, an emotion, or a memory that is important to you. If you now tie this string of beads into a loose loop around your wrist, then you will have created a unique personal ornament. An object that captures within it's simple material form a few scraps of symbolic meaning.

Below is a typical page. The book design is heavily influenced by Robert Bringhurst's book A Solid Form of Language. The page size is A Format - 178 mm x 110 mm.  The text face is Chapparal Pro from Adobe. 

Monday 23 January 2017

Toward the Discovery of Citation Cartels in Citation Networks (2016)

HERE is a paper that describes a statistical method to unearth potentially misleading and dishonest use of scientific citations - so called Citation Cartels. To a scientist who retains the romantic notion that science is mainly about the discovery of the laws of nature this type of dishonesty is dispiriting to say the least.

Image Copyright M.G. Reed 2017 

Saturday 21 January 2017

Koya Bound (2016)

HERE is a wonderful website by Dan Rubin and Craid Mod based on their recently published book Koya Bound.

The blurb: 
Koya-san - home to esoteric Buddhism - is the name of a sacred basin eight hundred meters high and surrounded by eight mountains. It is roughly one hundred kilometers of trails north from the Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine in Wakayama, Japan. Though the name of the basin is often incorrectly translated as Mt. Koya in English, Mt. Koya is only one of the eight peaks, and is remote from the central cluster of temples.

We walked towards Koya-san, but we did not touch Mt. Koya.

Website Image - Copyright Rubin & Mod. Their work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ear-marks (1943)


Just as there is a heraldry of raddle by which every farm has its blazoning of red, blue, or black on shoulders, back, or rump of the sheep, so each owener has a distinctive mark punched in the ear of his lambs. It may be in the right ear, it may be in the left, it may be in both... One register that I saw showed over a thousand variations from a few simple brands. When we consider that it is possible with only two different marks to get fifteen different badges of owenership we see what an infinity there can be when the motifs are more varied. 
From Coming Down the Wye by Robert Gibbings, a scanned copy is HERE.

Image re-drawn by M.G. Reed 2017, from original. 

Friday 13 January 2017

Hammers (2017)

From a short essay called A Better Way that I am writing on the meaning of innovation.

Image & text Copyright M.G. Reed 2017

Thursday 12 January 2017

A manifesto for reproducible science (2017)

Above is a figure from the latest paper by John Ioannidis and chums, just published by Nature Human Behaviour - A manifesto for reproducible science - the full paper is free to download HERE.

The ABSTRACT reads:
Improving the reliability and efficiency of scientific research will increase the credibility of the published scientific literature and accelerate discovery. Here we argue for the adoption of measures to optimize key elements of the scientific process: methods, reporting and dissemination, reproducibility, evaluation and incentives. There is some evidence from both simulations and empirical studies supporting the likely effectiveness of these measures, but their broad adoption by researchers, institutions, funders and journals will require iterative evaluation and improvement. We discuss the goals of these measures, and how they can be implemented, in the hope that this will facilitate action toward improving the transparency, reproducibility and efficiency of scientific research.
As a tax payer, already supporting millions of pounds worth of research by UK state, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask why all science isn't already done in the way that is described in this paper.

PS. I particularly like the acronym HARKing - meaning hypothesizing after the results are known - which I had not come across before. The original reference is Kerr, N. L. HARKing: hypothesizing after the results are known. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Rev. 2, 196–217 (1998).

PPS. Kerr's original paper from 1998 has the following ditty as an epigraph:

A reader quick, keen, and leery
Did wonder, ponder and query
When results clean and tight
Fit predictions just right
If the data preceded the theory


Tuesday 10 January 2017

The Book of English trades (1827)

Rope making is an ancient and highly skilled trade that in many advanced economies is now based on man-made fibres and is highly automated. The image above shows what rope and cord making was like in the 1800s. Full book HERE

Monday 9 January 2017

What to Do Till the Computer Scientist Comes (1968)

By George Forsythe, born 100 years ago this year  (1917-1972). Full paper HERE.

Image from HERE

A detailed and balanced appraisal of Forsythe's contributions to computer science as a discipline by Donald Knuth HERE

Saturday 7 January 2017

The Concept of a Meta-Font (1982)

By Donald E. Knuth - full paper HERE.

Sunday 1 January 2017

How We See Ourselves and How We See Others (2008)

Perhaps appropriately for New Years day, here is a superb, short, review by Emily Pronin on the psychological literature on how people see others and themselves.

The Abstract reads:
People see themselves differently from how they see others. They are immersed in their own sensations, emotions, and cognitions at the same time that their experience of others is dominated by what can be observed externally. This basic asymmetry has broad consequences. It leads people to judge themselves and their own behavior differently from how they judge others and those others’ behavior. Often, those differences produce disagreement and conflict. Understanding the psychological basis of those differences may help mitigate some of their negative effects.

The full paper is avilable HERE (for a fee).