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Subject: [humanmarkup] Perception and Peace Part 4

Title: Perception and Peace Part 4
He Everyone,

Part 4 has a great virtue. It is short.

This is the last in this series of articles that answer the dubious achievement award that XML.COM conferred upon us at the end of 2001.

To summarize:

Part 1 said, "Someone is trying to kill you/us;"

Part 2 said, "HumanMarkup will add contextual information to communications which it is hoped will somewhat offset the deficit of communication in Public Perception about the people trying to kill you/us;"

Part 3 said, "The HumanMarkup effort is poised to test its applicability in military languages if efforts to solicit the development of such applications are successful, because this is an issue of survival within the context of people trying to kill you/us, and for various efforts, HumanMarkup needs as many minds working on it as it can attract, especially including the military."

Part 4 will say, "Some of the motivation behind the efforts described in Part 3 for the sake of survival is to demonstrate that HumanMarkup is not an idealistic fantasy but an essential tool, and key among  applications HumanMarkup will serve for the sake of survival are Diplomatic Communications and Cultural Descriptions."

In particular, we want to shed light on what we see as the crux of the many crises that the Human Race must face, Cultural Conflicts.

This is an area as wide as all of Human History, as deep as all of the Philosophies Humankind has produced, as varied as all the languages in which Humanity has communicated, and if we attempted to address the entirety of factors contained within the rubric of culture, we would never be able to produce the work we are attempting.

However, we are considerably more pragmatic than that. As mentioned previously in this series, we want representatives from Humanity's various cultures to create the cultural modules from which they spring.

It is important that they should have been raised within those cultures if at all possible yet to have studied cultural anthropology in a context at least somewhat removed from their cultures. We think it requires that level of understanding to do a competent job of describing one's culture.

That is to say that we need an intimate knowledge of the culture from the inside out tempered by the study of cultural anthropology outside of that culture so as to prevent the inculcation of that culture's values within the study of cultural anthropology itself. This is necessary for the development of methodology for study and description of culture from a viewpoint that is as near as possible unbiased. We think it is from that standpoint turned to a study and description of the individual's culture that the most useful and accurate descriptions and insights will flow. Using knowledge that can only be attained from intimate knowledge gained by living and growing up within the culture, such individuals can provide the information we all need for better understanding.

This may prove to be a larger set of qualifications than we can attract in individuals in the near future, and we recognize that initial work may be necessary from cultural anthropologists who do not meet these criteria. However, because we recognize this, we will do our best to enable the cultural modules that we develop to evolve over time as better resources become available. One of the more promising arenas where we may be able to attract interest is in the academic community, where the field of working on such cultural modules would seem to be ripe for harvesting by graduate students for master's theses and doctoral dissertations.

Far from being a pipe dream, HumanMarkup is aimed at rock-bottom, down-to-earth, pragmatic solutions to problems of life and death. HumanMarkup has no delusions of grandeur even though the scope of its work is worse than merely grandiose, it defies description. Yet, because we realize that those immensely larger issues are simply not approachable, we have no intention of harnessing our best efforts to fruitless pursuits. We break those over large issues into smaller, addressable portions with which we can deal effectively. However, we need more help and we need it now. We are a fledgling effort, literally a yearling, but we believe we have demonstrated an approach that can bite off manageable, achievable tasks that can be accomplished in a fairly mundane, even prosaic, methodology of collecting, refining, and standardizing vocabularies from established realms of human study and providing those voacbularies in a form which can be used to create applications to improve communications.

There is no panacea in any of that. There is a helluva lot of work, and, maybe, just maybe, some hope.

Thanks for your attention.

Rex Brooks
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA, 94702 USA, Earth
W3Address: http://www.starbourne.com
Email: rexb@starbourne.com
Tel: 510-849-2309
Fax: By Request

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