looking at the kicker work i need to do and some of the work i have ahead of me for my "day job" i felt like doing something else. =P so i started working on a pet project that i've been stabbing at for some months now, and quickly ran into a linguistic challenge.
one of the concepts in this project is a base unit of information. specifically, what is "one piece of data" called? we often refer to such things as records, documents, objects, memes or URIs/URLs. but none of these terms really describe the way i'm dealing with information, which is divorced from the concepts of storage (document, URI), structure (record, objects) or transmission (meme). and saying "five pieces of data" or "one set of data" are each three words too long. so what does one call a "unit of information" that has no storage or structure implications?
google was less than helpful. the thesaurus wasn't a help either. i simply couldn't find a word that succinctly described what i am trying to represent. which is odd since you'd think this a basic concept in information science. but it eluded me. there's probably a really great word out there somewhere but i couldn't find it. all of our terms seem to describe information in terms of usage and form rather than in suitably abstract terms.
so i visited The Online Etymology Dictionary and came up with a word of my own: monaform. it's the synthesis of the Latin and Greek words "monas" ("unit") and "forma" (unsurprisingly, "form"). ta-da! one "discrete piece of data" is now, in seigonese, a monaform. i'm using that for now. if you have a better suggestion please email me.=)
i'm also back home from hawaii, and i'm slowly getting back into the swing-o-things. i met a lot of very cool people and had a lot of fun while there. the networking was awesome. i've been tentatively invited to speak in Malaysia , for instance, as one example of that. i also made some great (hopefully life-long) friends, and maybe even stumbled into some romance.
i was also reacquainted with that "inside-out" feeling i sometimes get when dealing with highly dynamic social events ... by which i mean that the things that i identify myself with internally are not the things others first perceive. i find the internal perspective one assumes is often challenged when engaged in sincere interaction with others. we are often blind to the most obvious things about ourselves while those things which we feel are self-evident are anything but. "you never know just how you'll look through someone else's eyes". this presents the opportunity for self examination and, hopefully, greater self understanding. or so i can only hope. =)
unfortunately my 200+ pictures are marooned on my camera, since i left the usb cable for it at my mom's house on Oahu. oops. i'll have to get her to send it out by post and hunt down either a replacement or an sd card reader in the meantime.
the day i arrived home, i had to took peyton to a doctor's appointment as he had developed a troubling cough. turns out he has bronchitis, but he is recovering nicely thanks to some medication from the doctor. he's a trooper. and goddess, did i miss him while away. i got him a wicked aloha shirt with matching shorts which he's been wearing around the house every day since i got back. looks like he's inherited some of my odd fashion tastes. world domination through procreation, baby. ;-)