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#117106 - 12/04/03 04:19 PM Data vs Lore?
sjmaxq Offline
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Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
In another thread, Dr. Bill used the word lore (which, here in Zild is phonetically indistinguishable from "law"), and it got me thinking about the android "twins" in Star Trek:TNG. One, without emotion, basically a walking CPU, was called Data, his brother, with emotions, unstable and psychotic, was called Lore. I would be interested in hearing views on the relationship between these words. In your opnion, are they, as their use in ST:TNG suggests, antonymic? Is one or the other really worthy of being used, at least implicitly, as a pejorative?

noho ora mai

#117107 - 12/04/03 04:24 PM Re: Data vs Lore?
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I think of data as things given, numbers or facts. Lore is received wisdom, often mythical.

#117108 - 12/04/03 04:30 PM Re: Data vs Lore?
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
I think it was definitely a slam at "lore" and emotionally based life systems, and more-so, a holding up of data as "knowledge" or "science" being the way that the future should take. (I'm not saying that I dis-agree... though I might be...) Data was a very likable character, while Lore was less so. However, it was Data's quest to become more "human", that was so critical to his story lines. as was true for Spock...


formerly known as etaoin...

#117109 - 12/04/03 05:20 PM Re: Data vs Lore?
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I was interested learn that "lore" is cognate with German "lehren" to teach, and now that I think of it probably to "learn". So lore is what your grandparents tell you they have learned, and data are bits information given you help you solve new problems.

#117110 - 12/04/03 06:18 PM Re: Data vs Lore?
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
I would say that lore is Truth unencumbered by fact and data is Fact unencumbered by truth.

#117111 - 12/04/03 09:53 PM Re: Data vs Lore?
maahey Offline

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
Faldage,....deep bow

#117112 - 12/05/03 06:42 AM Re: Data vs Lore?
Alex Williams Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
"Lore" reminds me of the thread a while back concerning connotation vs denotation, as it has acquired a connotation of ancient wisdom or at least ancient tales. The Mabinogion, for example, contains Welsh lore.

#117113 - 12/05/03 08:34 AM Re: Data vs Lore?
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Hi, Alex . What's the Mabinogion, please?

I admit that it had not occurred to me to consider these two characters' names as being oppositional to one another. Here's what Gurunet has about each:
da·ta (dā'tə, dăt'ə, dä'tə)
pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)

1. Factual information, especially information organized for analysis or used to reason or make decisions.
2. Computer Science. Numerical or other information represented in a form suitable for processing by computer.
3. Values derived from scientific experiments.
4. Plural of datum (sense 1).
[Latin, pl. of datum. See datum.]

USAGE NOTE The word data is the plural of Latin datum, “something given,” but it is not always treated as a plural noun in English. The plural usage is still common, as this headline from the New York Times attests: “Data Are Elusive on the Homeless.” Sometimes scientists think of data as plural, as in These data do not support the conclusions. But more often scientists and researchers think of data as a singular mass entity like information, and most people now follow this in general usage. Sixty percent of the Usage Panel accepts the use of data with a singular verb and pronoun in the sentence Once the data is in, we can begin to analyze it. A still larger number, 77 percent, accepts the sentence We have very little data on the efficacy of such programs, where the quantifier very little, which is not used with similar plural nouns such as facts and results, implies that data here is indeed singular.

lore1 (lôr, lōr)

1. Accumulated facts, traditions, or beliefs about a particular subject. See synonyms at knowledge.
2. Knowledge acquired through education or experience.
3. Archaic. Material taught or learned.
[Middle English, from Old English lār.]

lore2 (lôr, lōr)
The space between the eye and the base of the bill of a bird or between the eye and nostril of a snake.

[Latin lōrum, thong.]

This def. of lore would seem to give as much credibility as data. The concept of lore as accumulated knowledge would have been particularly apt, for a machine that was designed to contain everything about all known cultures. The term folklore has come to carry the almost-automatic baggage of disbelief; but I don't think that applies to Lore.

#117114 - 12/05/03 10:28 AM Re: Data vs Lore?
Alex Williams Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
The Mabinogion is a work containing medieval Welsh stories. There are four particular stories that are the core of it, but they are generally grouped with several other Welsh stories such a few Arthurian tales. There are several translations (some with variant spellings of the title) available; my copy is the most "user-friendly" translation by Patrick K. Ford (see http://makeashorterlink.com/?R2A052AB6).

As an aside, Fleetwood mac fans may be interested to note that "Rhiannon" is the name of one of the characters in these stories, a woman falsely accused of murdering her son.

#117115 - 12/05/03 11:23 AM Re: Data vs Lore?
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Here is a URL to an online collection of Welsh tales:

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