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Subject: [humanmarkup] PBS-Doc-culture

Title: PBS-Doc-culture
As with the community element, culture required little change despite the lengthy discussions, though these were somewhat less than community because we did not need to consider more basic semiotic terminology which forms a basis of the "shared" concept.

Please Note: There are numerous links to research which bears on this concept in the scholarly literature.
It will be important to review this in working on the Secondary Schema.

Subject: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-culture

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: humanmarkup-comment@lists.oasis-open.org, humanmarkup@lists.oasis-open.org
             Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 10:02:03 -0700

      Hi Everyone,

      I'm pushing my self to get this new element discussion going this
      week, rather than wait until I have put in the further thought it
      deserves, because it ties into the sequence of humanGroup, community
      and culture. And I want to make sure it stays closely associated in
      our memories rather than letting another weekend  separate it from
      the discussion of community.


      This is ComplexType with the attribute of abstract. I agree with that
      but I do think that it will reference community and humanGroup. That
      does not mean that I think it needs to have a formal derivation
      because it is so widely used to mean so many different aspects of
      social life that we cannot preclude uses to which we might not agree,
      or which do not adhere to our specific definitions. What I do think
      is that, once we have thoroughly chewed on it so that we know what we
      need it to mean for HumanML purposes, is to apply our huml: prefix to
      it in order to have its use in HumanML adhere to the definitions we
      eventually prescribe.

      That is a long way to say that we need to co-opt this term for our
      use in a way that clearly distinguishes it from more common usage,
      and allows us to use the more common definitions without diluting our
      use of the term as an element in our Base Schema. We may decide to do
      this with a number of terms, and we will have to be careful in
      formulating our overall specification so that such terms that have
      dual purpose are clearly understood to have specific meanings when
      prefixed with huml:

      This is, as it is with all our elements, prefigured by belonging to
      the attribute group humlIdentifierAtts.

      We may want to enlarge upon the description of this element as Human
      Culture Cultural characteristics. I think we should enlarge upon that
      description, however, before I get into that, I thought it better to
      discuss this much first.

      What I think is that we want to set the stage for cultural modules,
      moving up the ladder of abstraction from humanGroup to community to
      culture to...

      But that is for later.

      Have an interesting weekend.


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

             From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
             To: 'Rex Brooks' <rexb@starbourne.com>, humanmarkup-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
             Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 12:16:00 -0500

      We may find that culture is another way of saying
      choice of available media.  That is, it includes
      the sign systems in use by some community and the
      media by which they are transported.




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

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>,'Rex Brooks' <rexb@starbourne.com>,
             Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 11:23:22 -0700

      I'm not sure about choice per se, but culture is certainly
      expressed/shared through media and somewhat characterized by the
      manner in which the sign systems are transported, i.e. the use made
      of available media. Few cultures, I think, actually choose among
      available media, though some do, as in preferring an oral tradition,
      or the person-to-person exchange for core cultural sharing, such as
      secret handshakes.

      Thanks for the paper--sheesh. I thought I wished YOU an interesting weekend.

      Ciao ;-)

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

             From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
             To: 'Rex Brooks' <rexb@starbourne.com>, humanmarkup-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
             Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 13:33:54 -0500

      If you go up a level, that is part of the SEED collection
      and there are some really fascinating articles.  The
      one on quantum mind is a hard read but fascinating in
      the notion that consciousness emerges from engagement
      with the environment, a topic that shows up in several
      of the papers.  Consider a set of sign systems that
      to be handled simultaneously, (remember the Gudwin
      model of intelligence), result in the creation or
      emergence of relationships (for us, possibly expressed
      as topic maps) that enable coordination.  It is a
      neat model.  Some of our containers would then
      become the topic map systems perhaps. 

      People do choose among media and that by engagement
      with and reinforcement by the environment.  That is
      why I insist on the choice of choices (choosing who
      chooses the choices) as a prerequisite freedom for
      governance.  If the universe is a sign production
      system (one model but useful), then when you got
      up the morning to dress, what did you choose to
      wear and who chose your available clothes?  And
      even if you had one message in mind for the clothes,
      how would your nearest significant person interpret
      your choices, how would the first person you met
      on the street interpret them, and so on.  As you
      move from locale to locale and therefore the types
      of people you encounter changes, how do the
      interpretations change according to the way each
      of the locales change the perceptions of your choices
      in that medium?  Now, consider that you have chosen
      a route as well.

      Back to reading.  I sure have to read a lot to keep
      up with Sylvia.  Every number has two neighbors.


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

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>,'Rex Brooks' <rexb@starbourne.com>,
             Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 08:24:40 -0700

      Title: RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-culture
      Since the paper Len referred us to specifically states that reproduction is not allowed without permission, I will have to paraphrase, and because I'm short on time, I will add my own comments as I go, but suffice it to say that the element culture appears to require some specific semiotic analysis, and will be, of necessity, included in the semiotic experiment, so, much as with community, which led to a common derivative antecedet in humanGroup, culture is also part and parcel inextricably entwined with semiotic thought. I doubt we could  have planned it better. So I will take advantage of serendipity and synchronicity and tie culture into semiotic analysis.

      Briefly the paper points out that cultural semiotics needs to consider the history of media, largely referred to in the academic literature as the history of technology, as a key component of, and inseparable from, semiotic development--the history of semiotic systems, sign systems if you will--in a mutual system. Thus cultural development is a semiotic process that includes and to a large extent is influenced by the development of media.

      Culture has been described as the sum of information and the means of organizing it. Media is a form, some argue the defining form, of organizing information, and so cultures can be expressed as information communities, or as Len implies, sign systems largely defined by the media through which they are shared, or transmitted. I'll have to say that I agree with this, even though I keep looking for ways to challenge this system of analysis simply because it makes for livelier discussions. Sigh, to be honest, I haven't found any such yet.

      In the article to which Len posted the url, I found one telling definition which I am going to suggest best describes the true state of the boolean for culture which Len has included in the straw man toolkit:

      description: culture is the community of interpreters that shares the same sum of experience.

      Since I added the words, culture is, I significantly changed the meaning of the phrase I lifted from the article, so I doubt I infringed upon the copyright.

      Now, naturally, there will be no two individual members of any community for which this idealized sum is exactly equal, and it will be in determining the limits of congruity which will define membership in any given culture. That will the task of those who draw those lines, not us, although some of us may join in that effort. As usual, I am going to give it more study.


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

             From: "James.Landrum" <James.Landrum@ndsu.nodak.edu>
             To: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 11:51:15 -0500

      A condensed definition of culture, which may perhaps be more easily be transposed into the boolean:

      "Culture is shared knowledge."

      In the above definition of culture, "experience" is implied, as are "behavior" and "actor."

      (Note: "Interpreter", as in Rex's definition (what he calls a description) "culture is the community of
      interpreters that shares the same sum of experience,"  is too restrictive. No 2 people interpret in exactly the
      same way, as their individual sum of experiences are not identical, despite being part of a community; one  can experience cultural manifestations without strictly interpreting them, or can misinterpret the manifestation. Salience is an issue here- e.g., meaningful interpretation of culture, or cultural behavior,  implies insider knowledge. In the above definition, "shared knowledge" implies the ability to communicate meaningfully, that is to say, if one cannot transmit information meaningfully, crucial, or core, cultural knowledge is not shared.  The crux of the latter point is that if there is miscommunication, cultural knowledge is not understood appropriately, if at all, and although there may be misinterpretation or miscommunication in the process of information exchange, sharing does occur- and that is culture in process).

      review the following URLs for discussions on baseline definitions of culture:

      Baseline Definition of Culture (WSU)

      A Definition of Culture (U. Manitoba)

      Definition of Culture (Slippery Rock University)
      "Culture: The learned patterns of thought and behavior characteristic of a population or society."

      Marshall Soules' "Toward a Definition of Culture" (Malaspina CC)

      Culture: Some Definitions (Southern Illinois University)

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

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: "James.Landrum" <James.Landrum@ndsu.nodak.edu>,Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 10:37:38 -0700

      Title: Re: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-culture
      Thanks, James,

      I will review the material in the URLs and I am sure it will be helpful. I must admit that I was so immersed in the semiotics of the article and the resources it led to in turn, that I did not make it clear that the restriction was meant to be the most atomistic definition. I agree with you that it was a definition not description--description is the terminology of xml schema. This illustrates what may be the necessity for distinguishing between a strict huml-prefixed-namespace definition of certain terms and the more broad, and widely used definitions. I'm not saying that we need this, only that we may.

      By "interpreter" I was meaning semiote as defined by Sylvia Candelaria deRam previously, and I'm afraid that even in my own mind I was overlapping the semiotic experiment with the more focused discussion of the element: culture from the straw man schema. Also, and I admit that I was wrong headed in this, I was laying out the foundation for specifying particular cultures along the lines we had noodled out a little more than a year ago which would involve a hierarchy of attributes like geographical location, historical context, etc.

      Since our aim is to reduce miscommunication, here is a good example. I look forward to reviewing the material. I expect we will be at work on this term for a little while. This is one of the most important elements, so we need to get this one pinned down as accurately as we can.

      Thanks, again,

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

             From: "James.Landrum" <James.Landrum@ndsu.nodak.edu>
             To: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 13:05:02 -0500

      Thanks for the clarifications Rex.
      I must admit I have been out of touch with a number of Humanmarkup activities and the comments of late, and am admittedly a newbie in this initiative, and seem to have somehow lost sense of the thread on the issues, and would appreciate some direction. Particularly, I am having difficulty locating the strawman toolkit referred to in previous posts. I will take some time today reviewing that if pointed at it.

      Also, with regard for structured vocabularies and source origins for terminology, the Getty Art and  Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) may be a useful resource for consideration of choice of definitions of terms applied in Humanmarkup, at least insofar as the TC deems appropriate or applicable within constraint of context.
      see http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/
      for example, enter keyword "culture" and then try "artifact",
      Note also, for further example, that the AAT does not have base definition of "community"

      Note also that a number of markup language initiatives, particularly those in the cultural heritage sector, cite
      AAT as an authoritative structured vocabulary (among others).

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

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: "James.Landrum" <James.Landrum@ndsu.nodak.edu>,Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 13:03:29 -0700

      Title: Re: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-culture
      This is the address of the Schema which you can download:

      This is also a link to this url on the OASIS Humanmarkup TC website under the documents section.

      We are striving to ensure that our vocabularies harmonize with the most widely accepted schools of thought for various topic areas.. The Yahoo site remains from our pre-OASIS period, called Phase 0 in the OASIS TC website. We have a fairly extensive webliography there (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/humanmarkup) in the General Info directory in the files section from that period, which included 6 months of discussion and research before we applied to and was accepted by OASIS.

      Thanks for the AAT url, I have looked at it and it appears very useful.

      I think the time has come for me to devote some time to reorganizing our material. Actually, I have had it scheduled for August since April, so it is more a matter of getting down to it. I have just a wee bit more work to do on my generic VRML/X3D Basic Human Models to make them ready to include in our discussions as we proceed onward to finalizing our Base Schema and seeing what develops from the semiotic experiment Len and Sylvia are working on. If you missed my announcement a couple of weeks ago, I have worked out a kind of skeleton for the facial musculature to go along with the ISO standard for Humanoid Animation as part of the VRML97 standard for inclusion in the next version which has already advanced to a single mesh from a collection of body part segments. This will allow us to agree upon kinesic bodily gestures and facial expressions to accompany our work. You can see an animated gif and download an .avi of the same sequence showing how the facial animation works: http://www.starbourne.com/X3D.html

      Then I will have no excuse not to proceed with the reorganization which I have targetted to have done by late August early September.


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

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>,"James.Landrum" <James.Landrum@ndsu.nodak.edu>
             Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 09:30:28 -0700

      Title: Re: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-culture
      Well, Here I am, replying to my own posts again, but be that as it may, I have gone through the resources
      that James recommended, at least to a cursory extent. I usually leave the research to everyone to do on
      their own, but, because culture is such an important concept for HumanML, I'm going to get down into the
      trenches a bit here.

      This is from http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/anthropology/courses/122/module1/culture.html

      Although there is no standard definition of culture, most alternatives incorporate the Boasian postulates as in
      the case of Bates and Plog's offering, which we shall
      accept as a working version:

             Culture: The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviours, and artifacts that the members of
      society use to cope with their world and
             with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning (p7).

      This is a complex definition and points to four important characteristics stressed by cultural relativists:

           1.symbolic composition,
           2.systematic patterning,
           3.learned transmission,
           4.societal grounding,

      I'm including it along with the following because together they are fairly thorough, and I think we may want
      to consider the combined totality, with the links connected to the numbered items above, as a good standard
      for the more widely used meaning for culture.

      The following is from http://www.siu.edu/~ekachai/culture.html


      According to Samovar and Porter (1994), culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies,  religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

      Gudykunst and Kim (1992) see culture as the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people.

      Other definitions:

             Culture is communication, communication is culture. (Edward T. Hall)

             Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior; that is the totality of a person's learned, accumulated experience which is socially transmitted, or more briefly, behavior through social learning.

             A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.

             Culture is symbolic communication. Some of its symbols include a group's skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. The meanings of the  symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions.

             Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other hand, as conditioning influences upon further action. Culture is the sum of total of the learned behavior of a group of people that are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to generation.

      I think that this combination covers the main characteristics of the term culture as widely used today.

      I am hoping to hear more from those on our lists about whether they think, as I do, that we need an atomistic huml:-prefixed description of the element culture that narrowly defines it such that our secondary schemata for various cultural entities/modules can be easily compiled according to an enumeration of characteristics without the necessity for creating a new specific definition for each culture, yet still maintaining the useability of the wider, unprefixed term, culture in other contexts.

      And, of course, I am waiting to hear more from Len and Sylvia about how this fits into the semiotic framework.


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

             From: James Landrum <James.Landrum@ndsu.nodak.edu>
             To: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 13:42:40 -0500

      Title: Re: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-culture
      What Rex proposes is good, useful, and workable.. What follows are several related issues, e.g., whether we should approach this as "element = culture (noun)" or "element = cultural (adjective)" with element qualifiers e.g., that stipulate grammatical (grammarical?) usage/application of terms, and whether (or not) we should address the disicplinary contexts that apply in usage and definition.

      for example:
      element = culture (noun)
      qualifier = shared beliefs
      qualifier = values
      qualifier = customs
      qualifier = behaviors
      qualifier = artifacts
      qualifier = material culture (see below)

      element = cultural (adjective)
      qualifier =  beliefs as in cultural beliefs
      qualifier = values  as in cultural values
      qualifier = customs as in cultural customs
      qualifier = behaviors as in cultural behaviors
      qualifier = artifacts as in cultural artifacts
      qualifier = heritage as in cultural heritage

      element = society (noun)
      element - societal (adjective)
      element = association (noun)
      element = community (noun)
      element = group (noun)

      and so forth...

      This gets deeper (thicker or denser) the further one explores the issues imbued in definitions of culture. I
      address the disciplinary venues (contexts) in application of the terminology, and for now I would limit these to
      3 disciplinary contexts that impinge on humanmarkup language. We have been addressing #1,
      Anthropological context, thus far:

      1.Anthropological context

      element = culture (noun)
      qualifier = shared beliefs
      qualifier = values
      qualifier = customs
      qualifier = behaviors
      qualifier = artifacts
      qualifier - material culture Note also that the term "material culture" refers to culture-specific material culture
      assemblages, e.g., Samoan Material Culture, and in the archaeological  literature this is also presented as
      "material culture remains" in reference to artifacts)

      element = cultural (adjective)
      qualifier =  beliefs as in cultural beliefs
      qualifier = values  as in cultural values
      qualifier = customs as in cultural customs
      qualifier = behaviors as in cultural behaviors
      qualifier = artifacts as in cultural artifacts
      qualifier = heritage as in cultural heritage

      2. Sociological
      element = culture (noun) (similar to anthropological baove)

      3. Biological
      element = culture (noun)  (much different than Anthropological and Sociological above), as in use of auger to cultivate a biological (e.g., bacteriological or virulogical)) culture. now, regarding "artifact" and "artifacts" definitions, disciplinary venue and context are at issue, whether one is referring to what some museologists (museum professionals), librarians, and archivists,and some (few) archaeologists  refer to as:

       "a 3-dimensional (3-d) physical object of human manufacture or modified by humans."   but "artifact" is more generally defined by archaeologists as "an object of human manufacture or an object modified by humans" note also the comment above, repeated here:  (Note 1:  Note also that the term "material culture" refers to culture-specific material culture assemblages of artifacts, e.g., Samoan Material Culture, and in the archaeological  literature this is also presented as "material culture remains" in reference to artifacts .)

      Note 2: In this context I apply "object" rather than 3-d or 3 diomensional because we are now in the digital age and, for example- in the case of our lab, we create 3D (note the missing hyphen and capitalization of letter "D" in "3D") digital models (surrogates) of actual artifacts, and I would prefer that we do not place ourselves in a semantic argument circumstance that will arise if we apply (what is my mind view the incorrect application of the) terms "3-d" or "3-D" term used by museologists, librarians, and archivists [Note: I have had some minor discussions with folk at CIMI, NINCH, SAA, and other organizations trying to resolve this particular issue; it is as yet unresolved.) or what in the behaviorists' context is (loosely) defined as

       "a sign or symbol (linguistic or physical), physical action (e.g., gesture), behavior (e.g., avoidance ritual)" ( etc.- behaviorism is not my field, so definition is "loosely" presented and so working definition should come from that sector)"

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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