Re: [unrev-II] Visual stimuli & IBIS methodology

From: Peter Jones (
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 14:05:10 PST

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II] Visual stimuli & IBIS methodology"

    Actually, reading what you've just written Eric, I wonder whether the D3E
    environment actually comes much closer to something that might be an easier
    paradigm for untutored folks to get to grips with easily, possibly with a
    Traction categorising interface applied.
    If you could then drag and drop bits of discussion up and down the hierarchy
    visually, and add comment to anything (or many things together) either as a
    step in the hierarchy or hyperlinked with any relationship you felt
    appropriate, you could record the arguments (in plain text) and have a
    record that would approach a more finished, crafted state as it was written.
    Add nesting one discussion in a node within another too, and the capacity to
    cut and paste (transclude?) from one discussion into another one.
    Sounds like groves.
    Sounds like OHS/DKR.

    Most folks know the basics of editing too.
    Point them at the first chapter of Robert C. Solomon's excellent
    'Introducing Philosophy' so they know the basics of sound argumentation
    should they need it (two hours read, plus an hour's practice, at most), and
    away they go.

    Any literature on the effectiveness of an approach like this out there?


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Eric Armstrong" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2001 8:44 PM
    Subject: Re: [unrev-II] Visual stimuli & IBIS methodology

    > wrote:
    > > ...Watch nearly anyone trying to learn to construct, or for that
    > matter,
    > > read this type of representation. They will get thrown by the "double
    > work"
    > > of not only trying to chop up discourse into nodes and give those
    > nodes types,
    > > but also trying to determine what types the links should be; where do
    > the
    > > semantics go? Too many choices need to be made. ...
    > > Eric wrote:
    > >
    > > >I have to agree that this a weakness of the system. In effect, it
    > > asks people to learn algebra in order to do what they normally do, but
    > > do it better...
    > > >
    > >
    > > I agree with much of this, but not that the difficulty of
    > > learning/practicing IBIS in any of its variants implies a 'weakness of
    > > the system'.
    > Hmm. Several points in response.
    > The first is that we've lost a bit of the original context of my
    > remarks. As I recall,.
    > we were talking about something with more complexity than IBIS, which
    > would
    > raise the bar a bit more on the complexity side.
    > The second is that we continue to work on the problem of individual
    > users sitting
    > at individual terminals, collaborating remotely. Even the IBIS technique
    > turns out
    > to be sufficiently complex that moderation is a requirement for success.
    > Third, I basically agree with your underlying point. In fact, I had
    > started out to say
    > something along those lines, but distracted as I followed other threads.
    > I have
    > something of a "commitment to excellence" that is tantamount to a
    > character flaw.
    > I get into new things all the time, gather the best equipment, and work
    > hard at
    > learning and practicing the best techniques. I've played tournament
    > chess, won
    > volleyball tournaments, coached at the State level, spent time as an
    > Irish dancer,
    > played fiddle, engaged in martial arts, and taken up old-time
    > woodworking.
    > Each of those endeavors has specialized techniques. Learning them makes
    > you
    > more proficient. Practicing them makes you effective. Mastering them
    > makes
    > you an expert. I see no reason why applying logic to solve problems
    > should be
    > any different.
    > Oner of the things we should begin seeing in the next 10 years, in fact,
    > will be
    > different techniques for collaboratively solving problems. As Doug has
    > intimated,
    > the human systems will co-evolve with the technology, and we will begin
    > devising
    > those logical frameworks -- IBIS-based, question-based, or
    > implication-based,
    > as with logic.
    > As those methodologies are developed, they will begin competing for
    > mindshare,
    > winning converts they go. Those that are successful (and adequately
    > hyped) will
    > survive. Those which are unsuccessful and overhyped will die rapidly.
    > Those that
    > are successful but underhyped will linger a long time, and eventually
    > either succumb
    > or emerge, depending on the environment.
    > At the moment, we don't have a system that we all understand and use. In
    > this
    > country, most kids played baseball growing up. So we can collaborate in
    > a game
    > of baseball. In England, they played cricket. So we can't very well
    > collaborate on
    > a game between our countries, but we can within them.
    > When it comes to discussion and design, we are all from separate
    > countries, and have
    > only a small common understanding on which to base our efforts. I
    > understand that
    > IBIS is potentially part of the solution. But as you pointed out, people
    > have a hard time
    > with the "double work" of creating arguments and categorizing them at
    > the same time.
    > That is one reason I favor systems that let you add categories and tags
    > later in the process. That way, you can stream out your thoughts, and
    > then go back later to tag
    > them, or someone else can do so.
    > As you say, people typically find it hard to maintain a logical thread
    > of reasoning
    > while at the same time endeavoring to:
    > * chop up discourse into nodes
    > * give those nodes types
    > * determine what types the links should be
    > * determine where the semantics go
    > Each of those areas constitutes a "weakness of the system" to precicesly
    > the degree
    > that people find it hard to do. I think there are answers to many of
    > them:
    > 1) Education.
    > People find many things hard to do that they eventually learn to
    > do with ease.
    > Human adaptability being what it is, we can get used to most
    > anything. But we
    > need a standard playing field for that to happen.
    > 2) Software Technology
    > In an outliner for example, "chopping into nodes" is automatic.
    > You don't
    > even think about it. So that hurdle can be minimized with the
    > right
    > software.
    > 3) Retractive Cateorizing
    > Applying types to nodes and to links in a later step makes it
    > possible for
    > a moderator to have a significant impact on the proceedings. Once
    > you
    > know the system, you can apply types proactively. But that choice
    > should
    > not be forced on you at the outset. (That is the kind of system
    > that was
    > under discussion. The requirement to choose types at the outset
    > constitues
    > a true "weakness" of the system.)
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