Developing large scale discussion structure: When is an oath not an oath? When it's an oath about nothing.

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had enough
Developing large scale discussion structure: When is an oath not an oath? When it's an oath about nothing.
had enough

When is an oath not an oath?  When it's an oath about nothing.

Oaths (and affirmations, which are functionally equivalent) are just words, but they do serve a purpose. Many public employees must take oaths for their job, but some aren't adequate, being too vague or remnants of the monarchy, etc., and are functionally nothing.

I was hoping to use the "oaths issue" to help progress standardization of the process of large scale discussion. In that context, I'd like to build my version of that detail network, and then ultimately evaluate the 3 oaths taken by the PM, individually and as a unit, as an example.

A gateway (page) manager puts up info discovery pages, either original or submitted. I'll create this one, and probably the usual format will be one or more claims or statements, subordinate to which are details to expand the information, such as questions. It could be just a list of points without a title. The following are a few first thoughts I think are generally relevant for oaths.

Claim 1:
(C1) Some public oaths might need modernizing.
    (BK1) Details that are relevant for "oath" discussions.
        (Qu1) What's an oath.
        (Qu2) What's an oath for.
        (Qu3) What elements need to be reflected in the wording of the oath.
        (Qu4) Is technical clarity important, or can it be vaguely worded because it's symbolic.
        (Qu5) Who has to take what oath.
        (Qu6) Who gives the oath.
        (Qu7) What's the procedure(s) to change the oath.
        (Qu8) How can it be determined when the oath is being broken.
        (Qu9) What consequences, if any, should there be for breaking the oath.
        (Qu10) Do laws reflect the oath.
        (Qu11) What's the history of the oath.
        (Qu12) How have oaths been changed generally.

On a web-site, each detail would be a link to it's own page. Clicking Background(BK1) would take you to the page for adding another question or other info related to that itself, and clicking one of the (Qu) would go to that page for adding Answers(A), Comments(CMT) and/or other info about that question.
How well I construct my information network is going to determine how many want to interact through my pages. The more people who interact, potentially the more complete the info grid. The more complete the info grid, the more people will want to interact. I guess that's an example of a good cycle, wish there were more of those.

As a gateway manager, my approach to most things is to determine how much can be done before differences of opinion even become relevant. There's background info for all issues, and for the "oaths issue," since we're going to look at many oaths, a standard checklist of points to consider while looking at each oath is a natural. In order to make that checklist, we first have to consider general things about oaths.

To that end, I've created the above list. I don't have any experience in discussing oaths, but, like everyone else, when someone says something to me, like many public oaths are no good and should be changed, I have my own thoughts. And I jotted those down. Then I thought about it and added a few more. Then I put up the list and ask whether others are thinking the same things, and if anyone wants to help improve the information. Here's a proper role for "experts," to help ensure good information sets.

3 initial considerations for all lists, regardless of content, are:
1) is the list complete
2) is each list detail relevant
3) is each list detail valid

Those are the focus for the first request for input. Is it a good list.
(cont'd next)


had enough

(cont'd from previous)
I want to highlight the role of gateway manager, but through action. To do that I need at least one person, and preferably several, to play the role of innocent, trusting, but demanding user providing input, while I play the role of over-bearing gateway manager. If anyone chooses to provide input, I'll take that and classify it, and incorporate it in to the detail grid. Then ask for your opinion about how it was done.

As gateway manager I have absolute control over how the info is incorporated. But, while that may seem a negative, it's a great positive, because mine isn't the only gateway page. There are potentially many gateway pages, with the only fundamental requirement that all input has to be accessible.

The idea is that at the "top" pages, where all other gateway pages are accumulated, all the details will be there, with the only differences being in classification. That means a great deal, but right now I want to focus on the first steps.

With a dedicated (2d) web-page I could take different input at once, but the linearity of comment threads makes it easier to sequentialize (if I can make up a verb) the input. So all I want at this stage is to make the above list the best it can be without answering any of the questions yet, and so want to focus on the 3 questions relevant for all lists.

All I want to do right now is collect info so when people talk about oaths there's a common set of details we can all use as reference. It doesn't matter if you agree or not whether oaths have to be changed, but when people talk, what are the points you hope they consider in making decisions about any oath, including whether they should be changed at all. Others will also put in what they think you should think about.

Building info goes step-wise, and the first step is to make a good initial list(s). Once a good, relevant list is made, the next step is to flesh it out as much as possible, which here is answering the different questions. Notice that answering most of the questions in the list don't require opinion, just research.

Once a decent set of initial details is available, application to the 3 oaths the PM takes should provide more useful common details. From that, a standard checklist should be possible, so others coming in to the conversation late won't have to start from nothing. Success will be in the creation of a standard set of background info, a reference sheet, not in the decision whether or not to change a specific oath. So one actionable objective is to create a standard reference sheet for oath discussions.

If no one wants to interact, I won't continue with it here, and just thank you for the opportunity to try.

If one or a few do want to interact on this, then perhaps some may also be interested in discussing, for the purpose of development in another thread, the 6 pt text highlight system. That system is meant to address one of the most difficult aspects of large scale discussion, getting feedback from very large numbers of people. And, while I think it will provide a suitable means to communicate for large numbers, it will likely also be useful for groups of any smaller size that need to co-operate to produce common elements, like proposals in the name of groups, details for feedback, etc.


progressive17 progressive17's picture

I'll be happy to help you do your homework for $30 an hour.




had enough wrote:

When is an oath not an oath?

Um... when it's porridge?



TLDR stuff aside, it actually is an interesting question.

I  mean nobody really reads the stuff before clicking the box, most people could care less about that queen or that god...

And being able to tell these lies by the time you are age two or three is actually a mark of maturity, and we get told all the time to just sign the damn thing because it doesn't mean what it says.

But reducing it to a formula? Good luck, because some people take them very seriously, or not seriously at all depending on what is at stake, and who is taking the oath.

And yeah... marriages.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm feeling like some of this is "organization porn".

And a good example of "premature optimization".  Like when you've only just applied for the loan to buy the lot to build your new home, haven't filled out the paperwork for a building permit and don't have a contractor yet but the important thing to do now is to spend your time and energy creating a 3-D matrix evaluating all the possible doorknobs according to price, availability and size.

had enough

Thank you all for your interest.

Mr. Magoo:
Building a process and running through it using an example is not "premature optimization," it's evaluation. It's a bit deceptive putting those 2 words together. "Optimization" is true, since evaluation implies optimization in this context, but "premature" to what, a web-page? computer program? Those only facilitate, they don't define.

I'm the creator, I've built something from scratch and want others to use it so you can see how you like it, and if there are problems I haven't seen yet. "Premature optimization" isn't just not proper, it's misleading since it strongly implies folly. What folly is there in presenting an example and running through the process to see how it works out. It's one of the most important steps in idea development.

"Formula" is a charged word in this context. If you want to look at it in that way then all discussion is based on a formula of some kind. "Process" is a far more accurate characterization I think. So the difference is looking at it as a formula for discussing oaths vs a process of discussion where oaths is the current subject. Both are technically correct but I much prefer the latter connotatively. Political parties use formulas, a public information system has to use a process.

I'm working on a Wordpress site, and getting used to Drupal to build a custom site for this, but that's going to take longer than I thought. In the meantime, I was hoping to impose once more in order to gather opinions on a few points mainly related to process.

The "oaths issue" is like any other with respect to process. The over-riding desire for this project is to build an information process and structure so millions of people are able to discuss issues to the point of being able to make decisions, regardless what the issue is. There's no process or formula that's going to make every person agree on specific details, and personal opinion about a specific issue is irrelevant to the ability to build a suitable info grid for that issue.

Someone said once that they didn't like arguing with me because I always put things in a way that you couldn't disagree. They didn't see that I was trying to break things down to find where and how we agreed, in order to understand where and how we disagreed. Incorporating that in to large scale discussion structure means information has to be separated to single point details. That's one thing I was hoping to practice with the oaths issue.

The goal is to build a list hierarchy for reference details so disagreement/agreement about changing an oath can be pinpointed to a specific point. This helps address one of the most pernicious elements for discussion of any size, the difference between disagreeing/agreeing with something vs not even being able (or willing) to see/understand it.

Also, information can be corrupted in 2 basic ways, omission and inaccuracy. I was hoping to see how those aspects are addressed with this process.

I'm not asking anyone to do any research of any kind, just give initial opinions. In fact it's better, even when a person wants to research static details, to provide initial personal impressions before doing it. When someone first mentions the issue, what comes to mind, and if you knew you were going to discuss something, what info would you want, and what do you want the others to have.

Some of the points listed wouldn't be part of the discussion about a specific oath, such as a list of all the oaths currently used in our country, which would be part of a standard reference sheet. And, some details aren't included yet, such as the specific elements that should be reflected in the wording of an oath (ie. (C1)(BK1)(Qu3)), eg. upholding laws, secrecy, etc.

There are no decision points at this point except the 3 relevant for all lists. That means all sides would be able to contribute to this kind of thing before any brawls even break out. I could go on and on, but this is specifically about the few steps I've already mentioned.

I have nothing but gratitude to pay, and thank you for humoring me.