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Subject: [huml] RE: [huml-comment] PC-33 -Section 4.4.6-race

I still need a formal motion from a voting member to remove race from 
the attributeGroup physicalDescriptors in the Primary Base 
Schema/Specification in order to call a vote on the mailing list.

I think that importing the namespace of an appropriate public safety 
or law enforcement standard, if one exists, would suffice to cover 
our need to support currently accepted usages. I haven't researched 
it yet, so I am not citing one now.

There is no problem that I can see with having the term race in the 
Secondary Base Schema/Specification in the two places I mentioned 
earlier, as an enumeration of belief or belief system and in the 
Physical Characteristics Description ML where it could be derived as 
an incomplete but widely used term for ethnic and genetic 
information, more related to phenotype than genotype.


At 2:15 PM -0600 12/2/02, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
>I agree with that in the socio-cultural experiential
>sense.  It is an abusable term that has historically
>been abused.  However, I sense in the reply, a cultural
>emotionalism.   ANY term is subject to certain cultural
>contexts, so that is not enough to remove it.  (I favor
>removing it but not for the reasons given so far.)
>First:  I suggest that one of the means by which one
>detects the presence of cultural amplifiers are the emotions
>demonstrated in the presence of a term.   Terms such
>as "nigger" are famous for this kind of reaction; it
>can be used by members of the ???? race in certain
>contexts, but if members of multiple ??? races are
>present, its use will provoke emotional responses.
>See the problem here?   Are there communications
>for which the context of "race" will determine
>interpretation or usage for a reasonably large
>set of instances?
>Second:  the problem some people have with the
>term is that it does not have a genetic truth,
>or better, nothing genetic is concretely denoted
>by the term 'race'.   So the second test.  Given
>the code list I provided earlier, would an observer
>be able to correctly identify (select into a
>coded membership) a representative set of candidates?
>Does it matter that geneticists
>and anthropologists do not find use in their theories
>for the term 'race' if a large population identifies
>with a label in the codelist and that identification
>is the source of contextual rules for its use? 
>Careful here.  We can quite quickly make our own
>emotionally laden prejudice the values by which
>we choose.
>Human communication is not exclusively about proven facts. 
>That is a core challenge that HumanML has to meet.
>Even Peirce and Sowa admit to logical reasoning
>over probabilistic facts.
>It does not belong in the primary if we cannot state
>a rule by which a designer can determine if any 
>member of a codelist of that type is a proper member
>of the enumerated set.  That's the Knowledge Test. 
>-----Original Message-----
>From: cognite@zianet.com [mailto:cognite@zianet.com]
>At 01:00 PM 02-12-2002 -0600, you wrote:
>>From: Dennis E. Hamilton [mailto:dennis.hamilton@acm.org]
>>>That's a big step from a measurable physical characteristic.  Is this going
>>>to be added to the specification?
>Len replied:
>>It would depend on the codelist.  And that is application dependent.  It's
>>a good point though; race is probably not a physical characteristic until
>>it is enumerated further or measurable.  On the other hand, it can be a
>Even a " standard codelist one finds in many public safety
>applications " is local to certain cultural contexts.  Preferable to
>in effect teaching application of divisive criteria, is the huml work
>toward a framework for using commonalities to bridge across contexts.
>Relegating the term to  secondary, user-developed extensions rather
>than leaving it in the huml primary seems merited, on grounds of
>objectivity as discussed, and in view of the huml goal of ameliorating
>  misunderstandings  in increasingly global communication.
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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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