> I think Jack is absolutely right on this - the original never gets
> changed. I would say we transcode the information into what is called
> 'canonical XML' for use by collaborators. Esstentially this means we
> forget style and just store and map content. A standard or user
> specified style is added back when the information is used.
Actually, Joe, I kindof have a slightly different view from what you say
here. Yup, don't touch original manuscripts. Just start a dialog on some
particular aspect of some particular manuscript (here, I am using
*manuscript* as a proxy for the ever-present *document*). This is where I
think Eric's vision on IBIS is really important (one of the web links to
gIbis now appears to be dead, so perhaps we are on our own doing an Ibis
implementation). As another view of Ibis, do a google on *argumentation*.
For kicks, add *xml* to the search.
What you find is that there exists a contingent of folks out there who
believe that argumentation as a process is worthy of implementation,
particularly, *scholarly* argumentation. I would propose that the DKR fall
in line with that notion. I am thinking here of just one of the many ways
that the middle layer (what you may have been thinking as *canonical xml*)
will grow as the arguments themselves are codified. This process, IMHO, is
just one way, and perhaps a very powerful way to build a knowledge base. In
some sense, Rod's web site, though it is rather one-sided (just one
commentator, not arguing with anyone and not codified in a
machine-inferencable form), moves in that direction. Rod brings to the table
just one of possibly many ways to organize that effort.
No need to transcode manuscripts into some *canonical* form. The effort will
(eventually) be better spent actually *mapping* manuscripts into the
knowledge base (middle layer), using the upper layer (OHS interface) to
view, navigate, and discuss what's there.
What's interesting (at least, for me) in this scenario is that topics emerge
in the knowledge base as user's interest in them grows. The knowledge base
will likely grow in the same manner as this email list bounces around
various *threads*, occasionally jumping from one to another. This
non-linearity in human behavior mirrors, again, IMHO, the nature of
knowledge itself. I would like to think that the DKR will be a kind of
playground in which non-linear behavior is encouraged. What's nifty here is
that you never have to wade into a flood of emails just go play in your
favorite sandbox. You can always surf with the OHS to see what others are
up to (read: what areas of the KB are growing). Indeed, akin to
siliconinvestor.com, there can be statistics on the DKR *home page* that
show what's hot, and so forth. In fact, the system could model each user
such that when one discussion references some user's stuff, and that user is
not part of the discussion, that user could be automatically invited into
the flow. Just imagine how much Bill Clinton would just *love* to hear that
somebody is talking about Monica, or that Bill Gates on Innovation.
Ultimately, I suspect that as some topic area emerges, the work of the
automated mapping will be facilitated since the discussion forms a *context*
in which the mapping engine can begin its work. As the mapping engine adds
fuel to the fire (so to speak), the dialog has the opportunity to become
even more non-linear.
We know that the *neural nets* in our bodies involve, at once, stimulus,
feedback, and decay. If we didn't have decay (forgetting), we'd be in a
helluva mess. If we didn't have feedback, we might never get interested in
anything. The architecture I am proposing involves all of these. We all
remember the loud speakers that holler when somebody turns a microphone on.
That's feedback. The mike and the speaker, acting through the amplifier,
rapidly get very interested in each other. They appear to love to yell
about it. Believe it or not, the DKR should facilitate similar behavior.
IMHO, the DKR is that amplifier.
On rereading this before sending, I am struck by the vast number of
metaphors I have used. I must now point out that, given the idea that we
will be using some form of natural language in the dialogs (argumentation),
in the beginning we will be forced to use a restricted (Lofti Zadeh calls it
a *precisified*) natural language. NLP (natural language processing)
technology is nowhere near up to the task of handling the vast number of
ways in which we presently communicate. There exists on the web a project
www.alicebot.org that attempts to build templates (using a fairly nifty XML
markup language) to capture the essence of some conversation and render a
response. Thus far, they are up to some 21,000 templates, headed for some
200,000. While I am not convinced that this represents the technology we
will ultimately use, it does have the potential for an immediate jump into
an implementation to get things started. I know this to be true given my
experience with The Scholar's Companion, my discovery engine. I built a
pattern-matching parser for it that allowed a high-school kid to *teach* TSC
about a marine ecosystem. A couple of high schools in Dayton have used the
same system as a query engine to study aspects of immunology in their
biology classes. We can, indeed, IMHO, get a start on this process.
Film at 11...
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