[PD] Question about object categorizing

PSPunch shima at pspunch.com
Sat Sep 26 06:29:07 CEST 2009

Hi Mathieu,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I fully understand what you find unpleasant with categorization in general.

Perhaps I should have made clear that I was not sure how [print~] and 
[samphold~] would even be considered to go under filters.

Following your example, I figure [print~] may have been heavily used for 
tracking outputs while designing filters which lead it to belong under 
the category.

Is [samphold~] also often used in building filters?

David Shimamoto

>> Hi Mathieu,
>>> I'd also ask what's the logic in not putting all the AUDIO FILTERS 
>>> object classes in the AUDIO MATH section, and/or in not putting all 
>>> the AUDIO MATH classes in the AUDIO FILTERS section. But I don't 
>>> expect an answer at all.
>> May I take it that there really is no relevancy (as far as you are 
>> aware)?
> No, I know exactly what the relevancy is, I just don't enjoy it. First, 
> a person tells himself/herself «it would be better if there were 
> categories». Then the person looks for characteristic features of the 
> elements to be categorised, so that categories can be made. Those 
> features have to be easy to think about. Turns out that one of the 
> easiest features to think about in this case, are things like: where you 
> first learned the basic concept of each object class. It's a kind of 
> microcosm of the whole job-title social structure. Let me give an example.
> [lop~] is not an operation you learn in elementary-school or high-school 
> math, therefore it doesn't fit in MATH. It doubly doesn't fit in math, 
> because it isn't taught in a Math Department. A Math Department is a 
> social structure that concentrates on any math concept that doesn't 
> belong to any other discipline already, because if Electrical Engineers 
> already occupy the [lop~] land, it's not only redundant for Math 
> Departments to claim it, it also would make Mathematicians look like 
> Electrical Engineers. So not only [lop~] is not part of Math Depts, but 
> a bunch of related topics are just on the border, so they get lumped 
> into a course called Applied Math, which is all made of pure theory, 
> it's just a form of discrimination against kinds of Math that are too 
> much in use by other departments. Meanwhile, Electrical Engineers would 
> say that [lop~] is math, except when they get distracted by a category 
> system. But most of all, for music students, [+~] is true math, whereas 
> [lop~] is something magical and not math, because [lop~] is not part of 
> what they learnt in courses labelled as «math» before, so it looks a lot 
> more «audiosome» than +~ does. This is a summary. The actual situation 
> is more complicated.
> So basically the category system has more to do with social factors than 
> with anything else... and those social factors don't help seeing things 
> as they are. For example, something that unites most of AUDIO MATH 
> object classes, is that the effect only involves one instant at a time, 
> no memory, no feedback. This obviously excludes all four [fft~] and 
> [framp~] from that category system, as those are block-oriented object 
> classes (which could be the name of another category). But then, there 
> are a few expatriates that you have to pick from all over to put them in 
> the instant-oriented category. For example, [cos~] from the OSCILLATORS 
> AND TABLES category; but also, the [tabread...] classes are 
> instant-oriented, but they differ from all others so far, because they 
> use data that doesn't come from the signal. Then we could argue about 
> whether [noise~] belongs in or not (because it depends on how you look 
> at it).
> I'm not completely against categories... I'm trying very hard to make 
> good categorisations, because it's hard for me to find a categorisation 
> that I can take seriously, and I'm trying to find one.
>> As there is a chance of it being widely circulated, I guess he may 
>> have to issue it based on pd-help "as is", and refer to Mathieu's 
>> comment if anyone asks the same,
> At this point, I don't expect Pd's category list to change at all, so, 
> depending on what it is that you're doing, it may be better to just go 
> with Pd's categories, if you have any advantage in following Pd's 
> categories.
>> although if it was never brought up here, chances of it being asked 
>> again may be slim.
> Oh, the general topic was brought here in the past. For example, I 
> remember some years ago there was a thread about whether [namecanvas] is 
> OBSOLETE or not. It's not. (As you see, it didn't change Pd's official 
> categorisations).
> But also, for each post to the pd-list, there may be 10 or 100 people 
> asking themselves the same thing, roughly speaking. You don't know. In 
> any case, downloads of pd-extended aren't on the same scale as the 
> member-list of pd-list, and then, not everybody ever writes at all.
>  _ _ __ ___ _____ ________ _____________ _____________________ ...
> | Mathieu Bouchard, Montréal, Québec. téléphone: +1.514.383.3801

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