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Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge (was: Style Q: Instance variables defined outside of __init__)


Neil Cerutti <neilc at norwich.edu> writes:

> The Introduction to Computer Science class I'm taking divided program
> design into two categories: Top Down Design, and Object Oriented
> Design. It's good, because it reminded me of the wisdom of dividing
> memory into Random Access and Read Only.
>
> My automotive course will probaly divide cars into Automatic
> Transmission, and Front Wheel Drive.

Look to the classics. Jorge Luis Borges, 1942:

    Let us consider the eighth category [of those proposed by John
    Wilkins for a universal language], the category of stones. Wilkins
    divides them into common (silica, gravel, schist), modics (marble,
    amber, coral), precious (pearl, opal), transparent (amethyst,
    sapphire) and insolubles (chalk, arsenic). Almost as surprising as
    the eighth, is the ninth category. This one reveals to us that
    metals can be imperfect (cinnabar, mercury), artificial (bronze,
    brass), recremental (filings, rust) and natural (gold, tin, copper).
    Beauty belongs to the sixteenth category; it is a living brood fish,
    an oblong one.

    These ambiguities, redundancies and deficiencies remind us of those
    which doctor Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese
    encyclopaedia entitled 'Celestial Empire of Benevolent Knowledge'.
    In its remote pages it is written that the animals are divided into:
    (a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking
    pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the
    present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn
    with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just
    broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like
    flies.

    <URL:http://www.alamut.com/subj/artiface/language/johnWilkins.html>

Those who want the source material for the Celestial Emporium of
Benevolent Knowledge are recommended to first read the Wikipedia article
<URL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_Emporium_of_Benevolent_Knowledge>.

A relevant 2003 work gives an illustration of a similar system
<URL:http://collection.spencerart.ku.edu/eMuseumPlus?module=collection&objectId=42380>.

-- 
 \         ?I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why |
  `\      should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to |
_o__)                                            Hell?? ?Homer Simpson |
Ben Finney