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Inferring representation type from the fractal dimension of biological communication waveforms

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Digital representation is based on an arbitrary relation between physical signal structure and assigned meanings; analog representation uses a proportionality between changes in meaning and changes in the physical structure of the signal that represents the meaning. For recursive information, the physical structure of the analog signal will also be recursive. Since a digital signal will be physically arbitrary for both recursive and non-recursive information, a measure of physical recursion can provide an index for analog/ digital differences. A simple model for this relation is examined by computational experiment for spectral density, and by analytic expression for Kolmogorov complexity. It is examined by empirical measure of fractal dimension for samples of a capella music, poetry, and prose, in a comparison of rap vs. reggae music, and for cetacean vocalizations. Generalizations of this analysis for other communication systems are discussed.
... Music is not new; it likely arose in our evolutionary past as the right brain's analog complement to the left brain's digital linguistics (Eglash, 1993). In movies, one must work in fractal timing around the main content of the film's narrative. ...
... It was their study that inspired my thoughts on the above framework. In Eglash (1993), I extended their experiment and used the same measure of "how fractal" a waveform is 5 to detect the difference between analog and digital communications. Digital communication will have an arbitrary (statistically random) sequence, so it will tend towards a white noise or flat power spectrum within its main frequency range. ...
... Analog communication will tend towards a 1/F power spectrum, which is a fractal distribution. One of the experiments in Eglash (1993) showed that whale songs are literally songs in the sense that they too have a fractal distribution; this tested a prediction based on prior work from my master's thesis on dolphin and whale communication (Eglash, 1986). 6 The most important set of experiments was on hip hop. Figure 4 shows the results of the experiments in Eglash (1993) measuring the fractal dimension of pitch time series for rap music. ...
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Long before the internet provided us with a networked digital system, music exchanges had created a global networked analog system, built of recordings, radio broadcasts, and live performance. The features that allowed some audio formations to go viral, while others failed, fall at the intersection of three domains: access, culture, and cognition. We know how the explosive growth of the hip hop recording industry addressed the access problem, and how hip hop lyrics addressed cultural needs. But why does hip hop make your ass shake? This essay proposes that hip hop artists were creating an innovation in brain-to-brain connectivity. That is to say, there are deep parts of the limbic system that had not previously been connected to linguistic centers in the combination of neural and social pathways that hip hop facilitated. This research is not an argument for using computational neuroscience to analyze hip hop. Rather, it is asking what hip hop artists accomplished as the street version of computational neuroscientists; and, how they strategically deployed Black music traditions to rewire the world’s global rhythmic nervous system for new cognitive, cultural, and political alignments and sensibilities.
... We simply agree that "cat" refers to a furry animal; that $ represents money; and so on. Analog, on the other hand, is representation by proportion [32]. The more excited I am, the louder I get. ...
... That might seem like a trivial part of communication, until you think about vocal inflections like pitch, wavering, hoarseness, hesitation, and so on-an entire universe of paralinguistic audio expression. And that is precisely what makes music so powerful, because it taps into that part of the brain by using these analog proportionalities [32]. ...
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Students' lives, both in and out of school, are full of different forms of value. Wealthy students enjoy value in the form of financial capital; their fit to hegemonic social practices; excellent health care and so on. Low-income students, especially those from African American, Native American, and Latinx communities, often lack access to those resources. But there are other forms of value that low-income students do possess. Most examples of what we will call Counter-Hegemonic Practice (CHP) in the African American community involve some mixture of Indigenous African heritage, contemporary innovation in the Black community, and other influences. Moving between these value forms and the computing classroom is a non-trivial task, especially if we are to avoid merely using the appearance of culture to attract students. Our objective in this paper is to provide a framework for deeper investigations into the computational potentials for CHP; its potential as a link between education and community development; and a more dignified role for its utilization in the CS classroom. We report on a series of collaborative engagements with CHP, largely focused on African American communities.
... Spanish, the pitch relation is reversed). The alternative to digital representation is analog representation: when we hear emotional intonation, for example, the changes in the physical structure are modeling the changes in the information structure (Eglash 1993). As my excitement rises, the pitch of my voice rises with it. ...
... But if we consider manipulatory feedback in the social environment, acoustic communication could serve this function. However unlike human language, cetacean communication appears to be analog(Eglash 1984(Eglash , 1993. ...
... Lo mismo se aplica a diversas interpretaciones de una misma música. Un experimento importante en este terreno ha sido el del antropólogo Ron Eglash (1993), quien encontró que ciertos repertorios poseen una dimensión fractal característica: toda la música es fractal, pero el rap parece ser la menos fractal de todas. La tabla muestra las dimensiones fractales de varias piezas de rap en contraste con otras de reggae; se sabe que un género intermedio, el raggamuffin, posee valores fractales intermedios. ...
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Esta presentación se analizan diversos métodos y técnicas vinculados a las teorías de la complejidad y el caos y su impacto en la musicología en general (y la antropología de la música en particular). La premisa fundamental establece una concordancia entre "clases de universalidad" que atraviesan las formulaciones del trabajo científico, independien- temente de la materialidad de los objetos disciplinarios. En particular se examinan recur- sos conceptuales y herramientas de trabajo relacionados con la geometría fractal, los sis- temas complejos adaptativos, los algoritmos genéticos y la dinámica no lineal. Los mis- mos involucran principios de independencia de escala, distribución 1/ f, dimensión fractal, auto-organización que permiten comprender la problemática de la música en la cultura desde una óptica inusual.
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Similar shifts can be seen in the use of cybernetic modelling across a wide variety of scientific disciplines. This article will categorize these shifts in terms of three historical phases: (1) modern cybernetics, focused on digital hierarchical systems, which reached its high point in the late 1960s; (2) transitional postmodern cybernetics, focused on analogue decentralized systems, which started in the late 1970s; and (3) stable postmodern cybernetics, based on a synthesis between the analogue/digital and centralized/decentralized oppositions, which started in the late 1980s. While the shifts themselves can be explained by internalist narratives, the ways in which youth subculture closely parallels these changes suggests that there are causal links between cybernetics and popular culture which work in both directions.
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The traditional verbal/nonverbal dichotomy is inadequate for completely describing cerebral lateralization. Musical functions are not necessarily mediated by the right hemisphere; evidence for a specialist left-hemisphere mechanism dedicated to the encoded speech signal is weakening, and the right hemisphere possesses considerable comprehensional powers. Right-hemisphere processing is often said to be characterized by holistic or gestalt apprehension, and face recognition may be mediated by this hemisphere partly because of these powers, partly because of the right hemisphere's involvement in emotional affect, and possibly through the hypothesized existence of a specialist face processor or processors in the right. The latter hypothesis may, however, suffer the same fate as the one relating to a specialist encodedness processor for speech in the left. Verbal processing is largely the province of the left because of this hemisphere's possession of sequential, analytic, time-dependent mechanisms. Other distinctions (e.g., focal/diffuse and serial/parallel) are special cases of an analytic/holistic dichotomy. More fundamentally, however, the left hemisphere is characterized by its mediation of discriminations involving duration, temporal order, sequencing, and rhythm, at the sensory (tactual, visual, and, above all, auditory) level, and especially at the motor level (for fingers, limbs, and, above all, the speech apparatus). Spatial aspects characterize the right, the mapping of exteroceptive body space, and the positions of fingers, limbs, and perhaps articulators, with respect to actual and target positions. Thus there is a continuum of function between the hemispheres, rather than a rigid dichotomy, the differences being quantitative rather than qualitative, of degree rather than of kind.