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Subject: [humanmarkup] RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Request for Opinions:Documenting Discussions

Title: [humanmarkup] RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Request for Op
This is for the world at large as an official record. It would be way too much work to try to condense it down. This is going to be part of the spec in the sense that I will have an appendix which lists the elements and other schema components with a link to the full discussion of each in a single document, whether html or as in this sample so that it is readable off the web. With the email archive, I don't have to produce the html, it is produced for us.

I just want opinions on which format is preferred. You can compare them by looking at HM.Requirements and any of the minutes of meetings in separate browsers to see what I am asking for. It's purely readability from my point of view.

Maybe at some time in the future, it might make a good Master's Thesis for someone to pare down the documentation of the process, to see what points ended up going through the whole process and then tracking how or even if it is used by the web, especially comparing two or three more groups like W3C working groups or ISO or ANSI.

I look forward to hearing from you on all this.


At 11:26 AM -0400 10/15/02, Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga wrote:
I think a short HTML summary would only be useful in any official document, because the entire post might be too much information for those who would be reading this as an official document or submission.  However, if you mean simply gathering all the posts together into one document for our own internal discussion, or even posted on the website, that would make a lot of sense.
I'm in the up-to-the-brim stage right now again myselfŠbut I hope to share some a few more ideas on some of these initial elements.
Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga
-----Original Message-----
From: Rex Brooks [mailto:rexb@starbourne.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 9:20 AM
To: humanmarkup-comment@lists.oasis-open.org; humanmarkup@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [humanmarkup-comment] Request for Opinions: Documenting Discussions

Fellow Humans,
I need some group guidance. Because we are not working from use-cases, which we would be very constrained if we attempted due to the wide variety of uses and purposes which we are aimed at serving, we need to document how we arrived at the decisions about the specification we will be submitting. Some TCs start from clear business scenarios, develop specific use-cases, and drill down to fundamental functionalities to codify for specific business purposes. We don't do that and because of that, selling the utility and advisability of supporting our standard will be more difficult.
So, what I intend to do is to publish our discussions as they occurred to support understanding our process and what we thought each element, attribute, datatype and value was needed to accomplish. That is the reason behind insisting on the process I did, and keeping discussions focused in subject line threads.
My question is whether it is better to simply post them all together in one message per element, attribute, etc, and include a url to that message in the email archive, as I do for our minutes, or if I should compile a short html page for each item? Obviously it is easier to give you the email example now, so here is the discussions we had on Base Schema - Belief. (It was capitalized in the subject, but won't be in the schema--just to clarify that.) It is ordered from last to first chronologically as it was added to the archive of our list at OASIS.
It will look just like any other entry in the archive: http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/
I am hoping no one really wants a sample html, because that is simply more effort, and my time is short, and after all, it is the content of the messages that is important, not how it looks unless how it looks prevents understanding or understanding would be substantially improved by an html treatment.

Please let me know what you think.

Subject: FW: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-Belief

             From: Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga <rkthunga@interposting.com>
             To: humanmarkup-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
             Date: Sat, 07 Sep 2002 02:05:52 -0400

      Rex:  I also think we have enough fodder for our first draft.  A few
      other comments I have however...

      Wanted to clarify whether these are things to consider at this stage or
      not.  Regardless, we can keep these in mind while we move forward
      (pulling from Len's post):

      Name of belief(s)
      Description of belief
      Proof of belief -- in a subjective sense (i.e. internal signs we
              -within our scope
      Proof of belief -- in an objective sense (i.e. external signs as
              -Semantic Web
      Commitment to belief
      Code set for beliefs (Secondary Base Schema considerations)
              Cultural Sets
              Personal Beliefs

      Assertion of fact vs. assertion of belief:
      As for the distinction between assertion of fact vs. assertion of belief
      that you mention Len -- I think that this may fall under "speech
      actions" (i.e. signs) rather than belief.  When someone believes
      something with a very strong commitment, then the line blurs between an
      assertion of a fact vs. an assertion of a belief...for example "God
      commanded me to destroy America" is asserted as a fact, when in fact it
      is a belief...or at least I think it is a belief.  To another, it may be
      as 100% as real as "The sun will shine through my window tomorrow".

      We cannot verify this, as you mention in your last post Rex, but we can
      verify (or at least provide validation rules) that demonstrate "the
      degree to which someone believes something" by evaluating the signs used
      (as Len I believe mentioned earlier.)

      Commitment to belief: 
      Do we want to provide containers for helping people commit to sometimes
      flawed and dangerous beliefs?  Ultimately, I think we do, because our
      mission is simply to best represent current communication
      characteristics--not change or manipulate them.  It is up to software,
      not HumanML, to actually help resolve conflicting, unfounded beliefs.
      As long as we have validation criteria, in addition to commitment
      quantifiers, I think we will sufficiently allow for this (e.g. A HumanML
      application can potentially be built to challenge the belief that
      "America is the Great Satan", by sifting away the untruths involved in
      such an assertion).

      "Belief", more than most of the other elements, is where we would
      possibly interoperate with Semantic Web initiative.  I know that much
      work is underway in the SW effort in this regard, but I don't know to
      what degree the SW takes into "human belief" verses simply "assertions".

      The one area I feel we should keep in mind is the subjective vs.
      objective reality as it may interplay with beliefs and/or fact.  Not
      that we need to address the underlying physical model of the universe
      within HumanML, but we may need to account for the differences in
      subjective/objective models of reality, if we hope to be interoperable
      in the largest sense.  Don't mean to open up a can of leaping
      grasshoppers, but I'd like to hear comments if there are any.

      Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga

Subject: RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-Belief

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>,'Rex Brooks' <rexb@starbourne.com>,'Ranjeeth
             Kumar Thunga' <rkthunga@interposting.com>,humanmarkup-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
             Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 12:08:14 -0700

      I think the rules will emerge from collecting together the beliefs
      that comprise a belief system by asking the people who adhere to the
      belief systems to list the beliefs or the components of the belief
      system, but that is another chunk of work for another time. I think
      we pretty much have enough for the first pass at it when we come back
      to it in assembling the first draft later this month.


Subject: RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-Belief

             From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
             To: 'Rex Brooks' <rexb@starbourne.com>,'Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga'
             Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 13:12:28 -0500

      I'm not being exact, but yes, a belief system could
      be constructed from beliefs, but that requires almost
      something like rules or some way to state that the
      set of beliefs referred to as a belief system have
      some relationships that make them into a system.

      Regardless of what the belief is based on, physical
      facts, mental states, etc., a belief is what the
      holder accepts as "true".  If it is agreed upon,
      it de facto becomes attached to some larger element
      type such as culture.  A belief need not be part
      of a system, but it must have a person or persons
      to assert it.  Beliefs do not exist independent
      of humans.  Facts do.


Subject: RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-Belief

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>,'Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga'
             Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 11:03:40 -0700

      I think that this approach that Len describes is more along the lines
      of Belief System than belief as an atomic element. I think we need to
      be careful about that.

      One can have a belief that the sun will rise tomorrow, regardless of
      what cultural or social belief system one adheres to or whether one

      adheres to any particular belief system. The fact that the sun will
      not rise tomorrow, but the earth will continue to rotate about its
      axis is actually irrelevent to my belief because my belief is not
      necessarily based on the science of physics as we have come to
      understand and accept it.

      Why or how something actually happens is the truth to which Ranjeeth
      refers and which most reasonably rational people, as I understand
      THAT set of concepts, agree is independent of any belief or belief
      system. The idea that the truth might NOT actually be independent of
      our perceptions and beliefs could also be true, but we will probably
      not be able to verify it.

      So what I think we should do is to consider that when we get back
      around to the new elements we need to consider...

      I am in fact going to hold off on sending this until I have posted my
      first entry for the next element. Sigh..

      It is gonna get real busy real quick.


Subject: RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-Belief

             From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
             To: 'Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga'
             Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 10:19:27 -0500

      One approach may be to treat belief in terms of
      commitment by the individual to the belief.  We
      would need an element model that names the belief,
      describes the belief, and points to signs that would
      be expressed as a result of holding the belief.  This
      would include a quantifier for commitment that has
      at least two components:  how strongly the individual
      states that the belief is held, and the sign set the
      observer can look for as proof of commitment.  This is
      not different from the ontological commitment concept.
      The belief itself has to stand alone so that we can
      have a code set for beliefs that can then be members of
      cultural sets (what one can assert and individual may
      hold by being a member of a culture) vs personal beliefs
      (that which the individual asserts they hold.  For
      example, I share certain beliefs with Hindus but I
      am not Hindu by birth or culture.)

      Beliefs would need a discriminator so that holding an
      assertion of a fact (the sun will rise tomorrow) and
      the assertion of a belief (God loves children) can be


Subject: Re: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-Belief

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga
             Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 09:42:37 -0700

      I will chime in with an agreement. If Rob, if he gets this, could
      acknowledge adding belief to the list of new elements, I would
      appreciate it. I don't think we can attempt to capture "truth" per
      se, but belief as a basic element of the human condition, provided
      one is not raised by wolves in the wilderness, is a valid.


Subject: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-Belief

             From: Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga <rkthunga@interposting.com>
             To: humanmarkup-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
             Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 11:09:36 -0400

      After reading Len and Rex's comments from yesterday, I started to think
      that we may want to add 'belief' as a Base Schema element.  It is
      tempting to include this within Secondary Schema within culture perhaps,
      but I realize that belief is an aspect of ourselves that lead us to use
      the signs we communicate with fundamentally, just like emotion, and
      intention (which I would like to continue to explore as well).

      No one argues that there is something fundamentally "True" in the
      highest sense, although different means of getting there and
      perspectives: through scientific method, philosophy, meditation or
      religion.  Belief is our best approximation of the fundamental Truth.

      Some people may equate their 'belief' as being 100% equal to Truth, and
      that is where all the problems we are having come from--i.e.
      fundamentalism.  The big danger, as both Rex and Len alluded to, is this
      fundamentalism.  By strictly defining our 'beliefs', we may hinder our
      ability to let ourselves probe further, and may discourage us from
      casting healthy doubts.

      Thus, in a sense, I feel we are also missing a unifer "ultimateTruth"
      within our definition, but can't think of where it might belong.  After
      all, that is what a belief is ultimately for--to describe an
      'ultimateTruth' that we have yet to form a unified, verifiable,
      complete, and mutually acceptable definition of.  Even though some
      persons in the history of man may have achieved this state of awareness
      through subjective experience, we as a human race have not reached this
      level through objective descriptions.

      I'm starting a new thread to be consistent with our naming scheme,
      although I am cutting and pasting some of the earlier content. 

      If we can describe belief in some way, while also being able to exactly
      and specifically point out where the distinctions may lie, and make it
      clear that beliefs are not absolute within themselves, then we have a
      better shot at helping dissolve the conflicts between beliefs.  Rigidly
      held beliefs can be more dangerous if strictly defined without such an
      allowance.  That may be the function of Secondary Schema definition, but
      just wanted to keep that in mind.

      Ranjeeth Kumar Thunga

Rex Brooks
Starbourne Communications Design
1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA 94702 *510-849-2309
http://www.starbourne.com * rexb@starbourne.com

Rex Brooks
Starbourne Communications Design
1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA 94702 *510-849-2309
http://www.starbourne.com * rexb@starbourne.com

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