meaningful and dynamic large scale public discussions will require a standardized format: initial discussion of details

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had enough
meaningful and dynamic large scale public discussions will require a standardized format: initial discussion of details

I'd like to ask for opinions about details of large scale public discussions, as well as something I'm working on to greatly facilitate them.

The project is to develop a format for both recording and graphically displaying the relevant "facts" and opinions for any discussion.

When you're talking about millions of people, even billions, the likelihood a single format would suit everyone seems remote. But, as with most things, it depends on how you look at it. I say it can be done.

Rather than spew pages of text, I was hoping to point out several individual details for consideration, starting with the following 2.

C1) Assume you've already went on the web page for a specific discussion and entered your personal opinion and facts. When you look back at your input and the main discussion, which do you think is better;
    a) that you're satisfied your original input of opinion and facts are shown chronologically along with all others in a list (cf. comment sections) or,
    b) that you're satisfied your opinion and facts are properly presented within the main argument/discussion framework, and that your original input stays accessible.

and;

C2) "Trolls" are seen to be a problem in many public discussions and comments, and dealing with them is an important aspect of any public discussion format. Up to now all I've seen are suggestions to ban them somehow, but that would be the death of any universal discussion process. The only viable solution is to create a discussion system where trolls are irrelevant.

These are 2 from a list of details. Naturally each requires further explanation, but these are the core ideas.

Personally, I think C1-b) is the better alternative.

What do you think of the "solution" presented in C2.

I hope you think at least the idea of it worthy to give constructive comments. I don't know if this will go anywhere, but it definitely won't if we don't at least try. By "we", I mean those who want to have a real way for all people to discuss and make reasoned, implementable decisions.

One of the greatest barriers to meaningful large scale public interaction is the lack of a suitable public discussion and decision process, and such a thing has to satisfy many diverse expectations.

The best way to identify those expectations is to ask, and the best way to find out how your expectation would be met is to ask me.

Ibid

had enough

These are a few more concepts that I think can be independently discussed.

The general context is to assume there's already a public discussion page, and when you go to it for whatever, it displays the information and links you think are most relevant, including appropriate ability to vote, and that you're already inclined to interact. What would cause you to stop interacting. What elements would you add, remove, highlight, minimize, etc. How relevant are these points for you.

C3) Organization of the discussion process can be separated in to 2 functionally independent, but intimately related, aspects, 1) the user-independent record of the discussion, and 2) the user controlled graphic re-creation/representation of the discussion.

C4) A major difficulty is the sheer volume of information, both fact and opinion, for even the smallest of discussions. Making it manageable involves, 1) spreading the information out, both logically and graphically, 2) adding user controlled organization and highlights, 3) ensuring logical relationships between points of detail are clearly shown, etc.

C5) "Spreading the information out" partly involves separating the bulk discourse text in to smaller packets. Ultimately, all discussions can be split in to individual, specific points of detail. Showing the proper relationships between those points of detail is essential, though, and is a function of the graphic representation of the discussion. Fortunately, the basic nature of all discussion itself suggests the graphic framework, and the internet provides unprecedented opportunity for the user to personally augment their information display in many, many very useful ways.

C6) A very significant simplification for this kind of information system is that it doesn't matter who or where you are, all discussions you have, in the broadest relevant terms, can be described as distinct expressions of opinion and fact. Usually, it's giving an opinion which is more or less supported by facts, which are more or less supported by other opinions and facts, etc.
"Facts" in this context means points of detail that can generally be independently evaluated as true/false, valid/invalid, etc.; and could be technical facts, opinions, anecdotes, etc.

C7) Another very significant simplification for this kind of thing is that all discussions are composed of the same basic elements (cf. parts of speech) and show consistently definable linearities in reasoning.

C8) Voting could be considered the central pillar of democracy, and if that's true, then the public discussion/decision process would be the bedrock upon which that pillar rests. Currently it's a very thin gelatin at best. The only way we can firm it up is to create something new.

C9) One very significant advantage to separating discussions in to individual points of detail is it allows the reconstitution of the argument according to any style of reasoning.

C10) One significant obstacle is what I believe to be a fact, and that is that many people, dare I say even most, don't actually want some things (like a good public discussion/decision process) that promote democracy, they want things that will promote their point of view above others.

C11) There isn't any such thing as "non-partisan," and even if there was that's not what we want. The ideal is to have a format so the information associated with each partisan viewpoint is presented fairly and properly, and that standard info not specifically listed in any viewpoint is also shown and fully correlated.

C12) "Troll" is unfortunately another of those vague terms where it's easy to manipulate the definition to serve myriad ends. Literally, there are many who decry anyone who opposes thier point of view as a troll.
Any viable public discussion format has to allow totally free input from everyone, but also has to remove the disruptive aspects of trolls, such as repetition, irrelevance, distortion, personal insult, etc.
I believe that can be done by presenting the points of detail for the discussion within the "fact" structure (always keeping the original input totally accessible), rather than within the opinion structure, such as in linear comments.

C13) Public discussions can't be unstructured if we want to make them consistently meaningful. That structure has to be able to, among other things, identify threads of continuity, discord and excellence within all our governing systems.

C14) One info category in the structure of virtually every public discussion has to be the identification of a specific end point, an "actionable objective"., which is a decision of some kind. Another category designed to help focus the discussion to the "real" issue is "Establishment of Principle".

C15) Emotion is a very powerful motivator, and, right or wrong, it's essential that any public discussion system provides for the proper (ie. satisfactory according to the user providing the input) expression of that.

C16) The central goal of this public info and discussion system is to present information effectively, including as much as possible identifying the correlations related to our current gov't systems that are specific for each discussion.

I hope you think it worthy to comment, even though I haven't outlined the technical details of how the information can be effectively presented.

What attributes would a public discussion format have to have in order for you to feel it worthwhile to interact?

Please consider the above points, and I'll add to the list shortly.

Ibid.

lagatta

Could you please give some indication of what you are planning to discuss? I'm really not going to read through all those planning details if I don't know what you're on about, and I suspect that is the case for some other babblers.

White Cat White Cat's picture

I've been thinking about similar things. In order to make activism more effective and powerful, it needs to be organized. Also the individuals involved need to develop their opinions. On the whole, this organization could grow and develop to establish technocratic information and policy the world uses to grow and develop.

I call this whole thing 'The Movement.' (Based on the line from a Rage Against the Machine song: "What does the billboard say? Come and play! Forget about the movement!")

First, The Movement is based on the egalitarian model of society (ironically, humans were all once egalitarian; our hierarchal civilization nothing more than a 10,000 year war.) That is, equality and direct democracy.

To keep direct democracy from being polluted with the same kind of nonsense we call democratic elections, whenever people vote on a policy discussion they have participated in, they must first get an acceptable grade on a multiple-choice test to show they are informed enough on the subject to vote. Campaigning the vote is not allowed.

The model, itself, would be an extension of Wikipedia. All persons involved in a particular discussion are assigned identities which they must keep secret. This is to prevent cliques from forming and hijacking the process. (Representational democracy fails because corrupt interests can capture the representatives; a hierarchical society is also comprised of a hierarchy of networking cliques that control things.)

So the overall organizational structure is tree-like. One subject can contain subjects that contain subjects, etc.

Instead of activists chasing their tails, rehashing the same old arguments, definite knowledge is established, like science. Each established 'fact' or predicate, related to a subject, is listed on a webpage. If someone thinks a predicate is false, there is a discussion group for this particular predicate. But the higher order discussions exclude the debate about the established predicates.

From these predicates, positions are established and from them new positions can be developed. (Like math and physics are developed.) In order to organize them, they are framed in an evidence hierarchy. The evidence hierarchy is a visual way to show how subjects are interrelated and dependent. It also enables the models to be tested (falsifiability.) Show that a node is false, and all others built on it are invalidated.

For example, string theory in physics. At its core is the premise that the fundamental unit of physical existence is a vibrating string, not the point particle. If scientists can disprove this premise, everything built on it is also discarded.

White Cat White Cat's picture

So the organization is decentralized and organic. Nodes growing out from nodes. But each node is built upon a public and informed inquiry which can be updated or overhauled if necessary.

From this, groups and individuals can explain subjects at different levels for different audiences. To keep this process honest, these media presenters can apply for a dynamic seal of approval call The Movement: Public Trust. That is, it links to a server and can be dynamically revoked if some problem arises.

This is based on a process: a media presenter (for blog or YouTube video, etc.) submits a script/article with references to every assertion. If all the references check out, they get the approval. (It's approved by a vote of random activists.)

This process can be expanded to ensure real journalistic integrity in the fourth estate. It would facilitate a more decentralized and informative news media (not in the control of corrupt interests.)

These subject discussion groups are co-moderated. If someone posts something that breaks the rules, it is flagged (by two or more activists.) The author is shown the violations and is asked to resubmit their modified comment. They can appeal if they feel they are being unfairly treated. Activists must also punish other activists who seek to form cliques and abuse the moderation process.

If someone breaks rules, like abusing the moderation process or revealing their identity in a public forum, they can be punished at increasing levels: 1) warning; 2) banishment from a particular vote-discussion group; 3) banishment from all TM discussions for 1 week; 1 month; 3 months; 6 months; 1 year (repeated.) (Individuals have their level of violation reduced over time with no further infractions.)

Each account must be linked to someone in the real world by some identification process.

The Movement has no leaders, but it does elect spokespersons. Their job is to represent policies and agendas TM has voted on. (It is forbidden to voice personal opinions on a subject when representing TM.)

One could think of TM as a giant computer with incredible processing powers. My guess is that every developed civilization in the visible universe has one. ;)

Pondering

We already have all kinds of venues for large public discussions and access to endless amounts of information about topics we want to become educated on. Activists have no trouble getting in touch with each other and sharing ideas.

What is the ultimate purpose of all of this?

lagatta

The World Social Forum is coming up this August here in Montréal. I haven't posted on it yet; will do so when there is more info.

I can't see the point of this discussion because the poster has not revealed its aim or topic(s).

White Cat White Cat's picture

Chomsky gets into the need for Bernie Sander's activist movement to transcend the election cycle.

Noam Chomsky: What Bernie Sanders Should Do Next

This is also a must watch from The Young Turks (real journalists): Interview with Bernie Sanders.

This shows the real problem: a debauched establishment that controls the politicians and media and is destroying the place with corrupt indulgences.

So thinking about how this movement can all come together is a worthwhile initiative, for those who are into thinking about such things.

All movements of the past that brought freedom and rising living standards have ended up petering out. We need to create something permanent that develops in strength and ability to represent human interests and human development around the world.

In short, the people must seize responsibility for their world. Democracy is the best of all worse alternatives. This moderated or captured democracy we have now always fails, because the minority that has power ends up looting more and more until they cause the system to collapse. The people are not going to loot themselves. Democracy is the safest bet because it spreads the risk.

had enough

lagatta: thank you very much for your inquiry.

Generally, the main problem I'm addressing is how large numbers of people, say a million or more, can have a coherent, meaningful discussion which has even a chance of coming to some reasoned, implementable decision.  The subject of the discussion notwithstanding.

Another relevant parameter, besides the large number involved, is the assumption that every opinion possible could be represented in that million.

As you likely imagine, that's a pretty tall order. So now add on that the requirement that relevant relationships to gov't systems are consistently defined, and that the info system can be fully correlated through all dimensions, among other things.

So there are many specific, inter-related details which would be greatly obscured within pages of bulk prose. Instead of going that way, I think it's much better to outline the many independent point details, since each represents distinct relevant concepts that can be considered individually. At first at least, for reference.

C14) for eg., outlines my attempt to counter 2 problems in any discussion, (let alone one with potentially so many people involved) which I think of as falling in to a void.

You likely see the idea, so for brevity I won't expand on that right now.

What I hope is that you'll consider each concept or detail from the perspective of someone judging an information system (regardless which one) for efficacy, but who is initially inclined to interact. That's because I think it's often much easier to understand how something doesn't satisfy an expectation than how it does.

If you see problems associated with any of the points, it could be reflected somehow in a diminished value or capacity in the information system, so I'd like to identify them as soon as possible.

My main concern initially was to understand how people exchange information, including comparing face to face vs computer mediated discussion, and trying to determine how the best of all worlds can be correlated.

The first major question was whether there are any common elements in the general discussion process that can be used to advantage. Are there common factors when someone in Japan vs Africa vs Brazil, etc., etc. discuss. Are there common factors when children vs adults talk, etc., etc.

To make a longer story a bit shorter, I believe one of the key truisms is that all discussions can be dissected in to a list of individual points of detail which have distinct and consistently definable relationships. That provides the required common denominator.

But, once you have that, so what.  With a record of information, even if it's the best that could ever be, you then still have to use that information. It's difficult to learn from history, for eg., if we have no way to bring together details in to a trusted, coherent, consistent and meaningful public discussion system.

Having a discussion necessarily means exchanging information. It could be verbal, but in the case of computer mediated discussions it's graphic, meaning blocks of text displayed on the screen in some spatial relationship, and with whatever secondary graphic elements.

So the first part was how to split discourse in to bits, then the next critical aspect is how to graphically display those bits in a way(s) that's useful, and is satisfactory for everyone.

After responding to some of White Cat's discussion points I was going to start describing the graphic display, and it's about that I was also hoping to gain opinions on how effective it is at presenting the original information, whether it distorts the argument, etc., using examples.

After that, or with it, there's another critical aspect to a viable large scale public discussion system, and that's the graphic and logical augments designed to make it easier for the user to follow and manage the info shown in the spatial display. I've got a fair repertoire there already, but want to find out how useful they are for others, and if not, what other things might help, what else could there be, etc., etc.

All of this is to allow large groups of people to effectively exchange information so everyone is satisfied (referring to the discourse format only) and people continue to use it.

I hope this clarifies what I'm talking about here.

As a final point, please don't think I'm such a fool as to believe our being able to talk and make decisions is going to make any difference right now. We, the people" have absolutely no power now, and any "rights" we may think we have can be covertly and overtly overthrown on a whim, even to serve interests which are fundamental threats to our country.

But, those are separate issues, and the fact we can't apply any decisions doesn't matter. Fortunately, we can address those, and many more aspects, once the discussion format is more firmly established. A solid discussion format is a universal requirement for everything else.

So, lagatta, do you think this a project worthy of your engagement, even given my voluminous and rambling presentation?

Ibid.

 

PS Thank you very much for your comment Pondering, but the fact activists can already share ideas etc. doesn't alter the nature of this work. Also, there's absolutely no need for this kind of thing to replace anything else that's currently happening, or will happen. Rather, this is where the many diverse elements can be correlated, both interally and externally. It's purely an augment.

had enough

White Cat: thank you very much for your input.

We're generally thinking along the same lines with the information system part, hierarchies, etc., but you're veering off in the political application part.

The political application is a separate issue. Votes, for eg., of one type or another have to be an integral part of a public discussion format, but any limitations on that vote are political add-ons, and aren't part of the basic structure.

My personal opinion on the vote thing is I suggest you rethink that. I wouldn't interact if I knew my right to vote was limited in any way. I see why you suggest it, but that's definitely not the way to go.

Your comment moderation part is also a bit sticky. My first approximation is that no comments would be banned, even personal attacks. It's the method of organizing and displaying the info that will mitigate the negative aspects of "bad" comments.

Your assertion that we don't have "leaders" is another problem, as I see it. We can discuss that on another thread if you wish.

Just briefly on my take on the political application. I think the best political system would have the same basic physical structure as there is now. Realistically, we're always going to need people to manage public affairs. And we need individuals to take responsibility for the application of the "public will", which means they can't just be spokesperson's, they have to be decision makers.

I don't think that part is the problem anyway. The problem is we face several intimately related problems, all related to our ability to exert real authority as a "people" (meaning after having some suitable public discussion) between elections.

I don't really want to discuss the political application quite yet. The main desire right now is to explain the nuts and bolts of what I believe could be a very effective way to coherently and consistently display details of large scale discussions, including many augments designed to make the management of the info practical for every user, among other things.

The following discussion is initially about how to graphically represent blocks of text. Any internet based discussion, which is necessary for large scale public discussions, is about exchanging information through a computer screen.  If there's going to be a breakthrough in how to conduct large scale discussions, it's going to be in how to graphically arrange the individual points of detail that can only be represented in text.

One aspect I'd like to clarify as well is in how this relates to discussion processes that are already occurring.  Activist meetings, gov't committee's, etc., etc. Information is already being exchanged in many ways, and there's no need to change that. Each has positives and negatives. Use whatever helps you.

I probably should first list a few of the many very great advantages I see in what I'm doing. That should make it a lot easier to decide if it's worth your time to interact, and clarify more exactly what the point(s) is. I'll need a day or so for that.

Ibid.

had enough

I'm emphasizing the graphic display but that display format of course has to have a solid logical basis.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

"I can't tell you how to build a bridge between here and where you want to be, but the following 98 paragraphs, divided into 10 sections and 18 subsections, and not including appendices A through Q, could help you in organizing your proposal".

had enough

Sorry for the delay.  There are many advantages to having a common public info record format, and then there are also many more in the political application.

For the record format, consistently separating the discourse into (codified) bits will make it much easier to compare and develop the details of the discussion, and will allow diverse groups to bring together their ideas into a common framework. This is an important advantage that will help account for missing data, repetition, deception, potential confusion of details, etc.

The record format is permanent, so we can correlate and learn from history, assuming the info categories are sufficient.

The record format easily incorporates investigative character by judicious choice of info categories, so we'll need far fewer "representatives", although we'll always need some, as well as independent researchers.

The record format provides a permanent standard display while still allowing the user to modify their own organization and display in any way. This is important to allow a user to privately develop ideas however they wish, while retaining the ability for direct comparison to others.

The record format provides both logical and graphic separation of details, which will make it much much easier for users to follow the discourse.

The record format can incorporate very significant simplifications in the management of the info, so large data volumes, complex details and long time frames, for eg., can be managed much more effectively. This very, very great advantage is due primarily to the properties of the internet, so without the internet it would be a lot harder to have this.

The record format readily accommodates any style of vote process(es) anywhere within the structure.

There are many other great advantages in the details, but even if only the above could be true, I think it's worth at least trying to make it happen.

There are disadvantages to this kind of thing too, of course. One being the opinions of many have to be summarized and correlated, so data has to be managed, leading to the possibilities of bias and/or disagreement on how to present the info.

Another is that everyone may not agree how to separate the info generally.

Another is that it's an internet based thing mainly (although not absolutely essential), and so is susceptible to relevant attacks and disruptions.

There are other possible disadvantages, but nothing I've seen so far can't be managed fairly decently, and they'll come out during the discussion.

I want to highlight again that this kind of info system wouldn't replace anything happening now. Ideally it would make them all more valuable.

Just a final note about the "social" application. Ultimately there has to be a website(s), of course, and other things. So it has to be supported financially. Since my vision of this is that it can be trusted to be as honest and complete as is possible, that necessarily means, for eg, the gov't can't control the management, including financial support.

Fortunately, the nature of the thing suggests partial funding could be gained through internet advertising. How much is too much and other details would be determined.

Since ad revenues for the discussion itself may not be enough to make a pot of coffee, that potential could be expanded greatly by using the discussion process as an anchor for a "Canada Gateway" type of website, including independent advertising and promotion agreements. That's a fair while away yet, though.

I only mention the above now because how something is paid for is one of the first questions I ask about most things, especially political.

That's probably enough preamble. I'm sorry that the following few posts may be a bit boring. A central idea in this is that discourse can be separated in to a list of point details that can be graphically arranged according to standard logical relationships.

The subsequent political application should be much more interesting, but the record structure has to be evaluated first.

Ibid.

had enough

Probably the most central idea to the record format is that you can take bulk discourse of virtually any kind and identify distinct points of detail, ie. single pieces of information. These can be separated and displayed as individual text boxes which then can be purposefully arranged according to standard and consistent logical relationships. This will make it much easier in several ways.

Also, there's more than one way to present info. I want to describe the discussion format right now, but the simple listing of info is also a main method for info exchange, as well as verbal. The ideal discussion system co-ordinates the different methods.

The senate "discussion" is a good initial example since it has many individual issues, but each is fairly distinct. Each issue could have a number of discussions, so for brevity I'll assume we've already decided to look at one point, and have agreed on the wording of the topic sentence.

A topic (ie. claim(C), subject, etc.) such as, "How should senators be selected." is shown as a small block of text at the top center and is the initial reference, both logically and graphically. There has to be logical references, as reflected in standardized labelling, because ultimately we want to correlate our discussions, in whole and as parts. Each data block, including the initial statement, would have a unique label that can be shown as an informative acronym, for eg. Disc#-C1-D2-W1. This is where there has to be an underlying formality while maintaining total user flexibility. More on that later.

The graphics is what I wanted to look at first, which is generally an augmented flowchart style. We've got a text box and initial statement at the top of the page already.

If you put that question alone to a million people, what response would you overwhelmingly receive?, likely "what are the options" or something like that. So a list of the possible ways would have to be shown somehow.

Let's say there are 6 in total. The important thing is that these points are in direct "support" of the claim, in that they provide the focal decision/discussion points related specifically to the claim or topic.

Each would have a text box and they'd be aligned vertically, and placed under the Claim box and to the right a bit. From the lower right corner of the Claim box a line would go down, and at each box an arrow over to it. So, again, standard flowchart style.

These are labelled as "Data", so there'd be D1 to D6. The second one for this Disc#, for eg., would be labelled C1-D2.

It's important that for the standard discussion display the Data is shown in the same relative position to the Claim box. Each discussion, regardless of topic, would show the Data as a text box list (when expanded) at the lower right of the Claim box like that.

This discussion topic is straightforward, so there'd be little controversy on what constitutes "Data". That kind of thing is a matter of management, though, so for now I'll just assume the text for all Data input has been agreed upon, and we have a list of 6.

I'm sure you're not impressed yet. The next part should be more interesting since now we have to augment the initial display to both progress the discussion and also make it easier for the user to follow and manage the info.

How can the discussion be progressed? In order to understand that we have to look at the common problems in all discussions. One example is lack of focus, which could lead to large volumes of irrelevant discourse and confusion of details.

There aren't a lot of options regarding how to take care of problems. All text input is from users, so the only way to have an effect is through logical and graphic organization. The logical part is to define standard info categories (text boxes) designed to provide focus (eg. "Qualifier" and "Actionable Objective"), for eg. The graphic part is of course to then place the text boxes effectively in the discussion array.

Naturally the full list of specific category designations would be determined, but you see the idea, so I won't detail the relevant characteristics now.

The consistent relative physical placement of text boxes is an essential element. A great deal of the comfortableness a person has with something is that it's the same every time. For complex things that's more the case.

Qualifier (Q) and Actionable Objective (AO) are intimately related to the meaning of the Claim (C) itself, and would be on the right and left, resp., of the Claim text box.

So, at this point, when a person comes to the discussion page to see what it's about, they can look at the Claim box, directly to the right to see Qualifiers on the Claim (since this question is already about a strictly definable list it doesn't need other qualifiers, so this would likely be empty), and directly to the left to see the proposed Actionable Objective (which would be filled).

While there may not be Q in every discussion, there needs to always be at least one AO. The AO represents a decision to do something based on the info.

For this Claim (C1) (ie. topic) of "how should senators be selected" there's more than one thing we could aim for as an end-point, or AO. For eg., we could say we want to only define a possible list, or we could define the list and actually vote to decide which one.

Logically this top line is meant to more specifically define and limit the number of Data and other points required for discussion.

Also on the page is a vertical list of D1 to D6, aligned under the Q, and connected to the Claim by arrows as described above. These 6 points are the main discussion focal points.

This picture shows the most basic representation of a discussion. All discussions would ideally start with these 4 standard categories of info. Once the discussion is initiated, info is added, which will be the subject of the next post(s).

Ibid.

had enough

The info record seeks technical clarity, not control. Ideally any person could go to the discussion page and be satisfied they trust and understand the info and layout, and are able to provide input to their satisfaction.

Agreement or not with the Claim or other input doesn't change how the info is displayed or input managed.

Once there's an initial display, public input has to be managed, there's no way around it. There are 3 main areas to that, 1) dealing with large volumes and subtle differences, etc., 2) the positioning of new info, and 3) a user controlled highlight system.

Physically taking the input and dealing with large volumes and other issues related to deciding exactly what text is shown is a ubiquitious aspect, and fortunately it can be discussed independently a bit later. For the sake of brevity now, I'm assuming there are only 2 people involved, since the current common requirement is that the display of info related to any opinion has to equally accommodate the display of info for other potentially opposing opinions. Theoretically that's the same if it's two or a million.

Positioning the new info and user controlled highlights are mainly a matter of graphics.

So, a person looks at the initial discussion points and wants to add info of some kind. They can do that in a few different ways, such as ask a question, add an open text box related to the Claim or other detail, and/or comment specifically about one or more of the current point details or generally.

Added info is represented on the screen in 2 different ways, as an open text box or as an icon linked to the reference text. As an open text box the info would be displayed along with the other 9 text boxes already there, and as an icon it would be an acronym (in a small box) attached to the open text box it refers to, or it could be free-standing. The icon I use is a small box with light blue background containing a unique acronym. There could be standard icons always shown for each box as well, such as "Disc", "Vote/Rating", "Notes", etc.

A "Question (Qu)" is a standard info category meant to help progress the discussion by prodding for specific info. If it was a general Qu, not specifically associated with any of the current points but still relevant, it would stand alone near the top left as an icon or expanded as a text list.

If the Qu related specifically to a current point, it's icon would be attached to that text box. The icons of other relevant info would be attached like that as well.

This is how discussions within discussions are separated, and real logical associations more clearly defined.

Athough we want to limit the number of open text boxes, there has to be enough for initial orientation. Most subsequent input to the main grid would be as icons attached to text boxes, but there are a few standard info categories a person might want to show as open boxes on the main page, along with the first 9.

"Establishment of Principle" (EP) and "Counterclaim" (CC) are 2 categories a person might want the text shown along with the original info, since they might affect the perception of the Claim, and hence the details associated with it's discussion. There are others like that but I'm sure you get the picture.

Generally the desire is to show main categories as text that a person directly uses to make a decision about the Claim, with other categories shown as icons to reduce clutter. This is totally user controlled, but there'd be a standard display to start with and ultimately compare to. When a user goes to the page, even if it's been after some time, they see the text they've decided is most relevant for their viewpoint, and whatever other details they wish through standard icons and highlights.

The only way for us to exchange info on a large scale over the internet is with text mixed with graphics. Right now, when a user goes to the discussion page, they see the Claim (C), Q (qualifier), AO (actionable objective) and 6 Data (D) points. If necessary, the open text box shows a shorter description of the data with a link to the full text.

Although all input categories could have independent discussions and info associated with them, likely normally the most discussion and input would be related to the Data points, since it's mainly decisions about those that will lead to a decision about the Claim and ultimately the AO.

For the Claim of "how should senators be selected", most of the discussion would be associated with which one of the 6 is better, or at least which should win the majority vote.

Right now we could theoretically show all the current public input (within 2 clicks) that's relevant for the Claim and needed to make a decision about the AO. Since there could be many text boxes (which could be collapsed) and icons, simply having information available like that is not sufficient for a viable public discussion process.

Since ultimately decisions have to be made, there has to be a vote/rating system and other standard categories, which I'd like to describe next post.

Also, next post I'd like to show a few different ways a user can personalize the display to show what's read/unread, relevant/irrelevant, important/not important, other highlights, etc. in order to greatly facilitate user management of the info.

And, I hope to touch on the political application, which is the primary motivation for this, as well as a few points about discussion/debate in general, and why I believe this kind of approach could be very successful.

Ibid.

had enough

The task ahead is enormous. I must be crazy to think there ever could be a real way to make actual national decisions, or at least to have a realistic way to express "public authority" (beyond a vote once in a blue moon where politicians can lie and bribe to their evil little "hearts" content). Time will tell.

The discussion process has to be structured so it can be applied, it's nowhere near enough to just provide info, since the info itself doesn't allow us to interact and make decisions.

There are 2 ways to provide info, through text and through graphics. So far there are several blocks of relevant text displayed in a specific array. The text provides the point details, and the graphic display reflects the logical relationships between the point details.

But, there could be a good few text blocks and icons, so there also has to be a suitable way for a user to manage the info. That's done with specific categories, highlights and selective placement of text and icons.

Most are likely familiar with one or more kind of "read/unread" highlight. For yahoo e-mail, for eg., the headline is bold when not read yet.

Ideally a user wouldn't have to read a piece of input text more than once. Once read, an icon or highlight, etc. could be attached to help a person remember what they thought of the info. One or more asterisks, for eg., or question marks, etc.

One of the many advantages with using a graphic array like I'm describing is that there's extraordinary potential to convey information through the graphics. Text is essential to understanding the point details, but the personalized consideration of those details can be represented graphically. At least that's what I say.

The text itself is a potential highlight, of course, which could be bold, italic, different background color or font, etc., so it would stand out with respect to the text in other boxes. What exactly that means can be both standardized and personalized.

The box around the text is important because it has a number of definable regions; left/right, top/bottom, inside/outside, corners, edges, attached/detached, etc. Placing a text icon at different locations means different things.

Secondary highlights provide another method of showing personalized details. The main icon is a small box containing an acronym and a light blue background. If the text linked to the acronym was important to my understanding of the point it's attached to, I could change the background color to red or green, or something else I'll recognize readily. I can also change the font type for the acronym, and/or make it bold, italic, etc. I can add asterisks, question marks, plus signs, acronyms, etc. to the outside of the icon box, with one vs two, etc. giving more info.

The main concept is to show enough so even large data volume discussions can be decently managed by most people. It's the simplifications available through the graphics that's going to do that. What kind of info can be added through graphics is an orienting question there.

Right now we're just looking at a single text box. The full discussion page, like the text box, has different geometric regions which can be used to help the user follow the overall discussion. An important region will likely be the area under the Claim box. I put the AO and Q/D boxes to the left and right, resp., in order to keep that area free for user notes.

For brevity I won't go in to those details now, I'm sure you see the thing, ie. use graphics (ie. standard and personalized) to convey as much info as possible, so minimum text has to be open.

Although the above description is a bit sparse, there's now a picture of a full discussion page's general structure. There's a standard grid of open text boxes, with each having any number of icons/highlights attached to them in order to help evaluate that specific text; and there are icons/text/highlights positioned independently on the main page that are most relevant for the overall discussion.

I haven't described the icon acronyms yet, but they're essential to the break up and reconstitution of the bulk text, as well as the advancement of the discussion process.

Acronyms represent all text (info) categories and are of 2 general types, those related to the discussion details (and so are "parts of the discussion", comparable to "parts of speech"), eg. Claim (C), Qualifier (Q), Data (D) etc.; and those related to the management of the information, eg. Discussion (Disc), Notes (N), Vote (V), etc.

(Disc) is meant to be a link to the original input, when relevant. Since on a public grid the bulk info has to be summarized, a ubiquitous concern would be distortion in meaning, context, or whatever. For a private grid that wouldn't be so relevant, but still could be important. It's essential that original input remain fully accessible at the proper points.

Voting (V) is essential to democracy, of course, but there's a question of where and how it should occur. A (V) module link can be attached to any relevant text, so we could theoretically vote on every single detail if it had to come down to that.

Along with the formal vote (which requires special security, etc.) there has to be consistent Rating (RT) systems that can compare, rather than require a specific decision. Five or six stars, 100% scale, 0-10, thumbs up/down, emoticons, etc.

For the simple question of how to choose senators, if there are 6 choices in the Data list, a person would likely want to rate them to put the ones they currently favor nearer the top, in order to ultimately vote for which one. Graphic relationships are an important part of personalization.

The picture of the discussion has been briefly described, but the fundamental meaning of the text icons haven't. The acronyms in the text icons refer to "parts of discussion", and could contain single points or other blocks of distinct text. I'd like to outline those in the next post, and then the political application.

Ibid.

had enough

A central concept for this entire thing is that when discourse is separated and displayed, it's according to a logical and consistently definable system, so it's the same every time, and, ideally, intuitive for most people. (Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it.)

Note that although I haven't put up any references, I've looked at work others have done regarding organizing arguments, discussions, etc., but only over the internet since that's my only resource. If I ever formally write this up they'll be added, but since all can be accommodated, it would add way too much needless volume to discuss them now, except for one, the Toulmin model of argumentation. (http://johnnywalters.weebly.com/uploads/1/3/3/5/13358288/toulmin-the-use...)

In the 50's, British philosopher Stephen Toulmin rejected classical argument (logical) methods because they weren't suitable for "everyday" situations, and sought to create a new format more reflecting how people normally discuss.

Toulmin's ground breaking work, even though initally not received well, dissected arguments in to parts more reflective of normal discussions. His model (including equation style graphics) recognized 6 parts of discussion; 3 main ones: Claim, Grounds/Data, Warrant, and 3 others: Backing, Rebuttal, Qualifier.

I use Toulmin's initial 6 categories because I agree that they're essential, although not sufficient, components of discourse. In my work, several core standard info categories have been introduced, and 4 are what I consider the most desirable minimum group to start a discussion, Claim (C) (required), Qualifier (Q), Actionable Objective (AO) and Data (D).

Cost Analysis (CA) is another standard category that would also often be relevant, I think, as it is for each of the 6 options we have for how to choose senators. There's a list of about 60 different potential categories right now, but that will likely get whittled down to 30 or 40, of which 10 or 15 would be commonly used, with the others for less common types of input.

That may sound like a lot, but I think the vast majority are intuitive for most people, although some labels might have to be tweaked to be more descriptive.

Although Toulmin appeared mainly interested in comparison to classical logic, the important idea is that discussions are made up of separable points that are the essence of "common" logic, and that these are suitable to satisfy the function of the classical syllogism.

Another thing Toulmin recognized was that common logic is context dependent, so validity criteria depends on what's being discussed.

Real life discussions are ultimately about making a decision, which is a matter of personal choice. Personal choice can be dependent on information or totally arbitrary, but is always specific and potentially dependent on the level of info.

Now that there's a picture of the basic structure (a flowchart of text boxes with icons attached to some or all of the boxes and independent) it's still left to be determined exactly what kind of info to make available, both as open text and icons.

Real life public discussions need more background info than would likely be supplied by active participants, and when decisions are made there has to be correlation to the gov't technical process. Those are part of the application.

Before going in to the applications, I want to reiterate that I know it doesn't matter what decision process we have, right now we don't have the laws needed to ensure the public will is respected. Literally every single citizen could want one thing, and the "gov't", meaning one individual, can disregard that in favor of their own arbitrary, even blatantly self-serving, viewpoint.

In order to change that, we have to change the laws, which means we have to discuss how the laws need to be changed. Once we determine how to exert proper public authority through the laws, we can discuss how to change them to that, but that needs a suitable discussion mechanism that also has as much precaution as possible so we don't cause disaster for ourselves.

Political application is about understanding our country and how we want, and need, to interact. Notwithstanding the personalized perversions in our gov't system today, it's fundamentally nothing more or less than a technical beaurocracy, and politicians are hired managers, not royalty.

Although dedicated investigators of some kind will always be needed, the desire is to impart as much investigative character as possible in the discussion system by a judicious choice of info categories.

Authority Hierarchy (AH), Discussion (Disc), Institution Summary (IS), Investigations (IG), and Laws (L) are several standard info categories most relevant for political application. Deception Technique (DT), Civil Rights (CR) and Expert Opinion (EO) are others.

Please note that the information system itself is independent of application except for the definition of specific info categories. So "how" to discuss is formally defined, and the application is in what details to discuss.

In order to understand what details need to be discussed, we have to talk about what needs to be done to exert proper public control. To do that we have to put some thought in to the realities of our gov't system.

Keep in mind that there are 2 ways to graphically list info, with and without public interaction.

Information is hierarchical, and what I've described up to now is an end point discussion format designed to facilitate public interaction and decision-making. This format would be impractical for general large scale public info exchange.

Opinions regarding bias and scope, etc. notwithstanding, current methods of presenting info are ok with respect to format, not sufficient, but ok. News articles, meetings, etc. all show specific lines of reasoning and present info in different ways. Face to face meeting adds the element of raw emotion and spontaneity, which are important aspects of public interaction.

There's a lot more to the political application, but I'm going to have to leave it there for now because I have to go out of town for several weeks without my computer.

At first opportunity I'd like to describe how I believe we can interpret our gov't system in order to facilitate our discussions and make actionable decisions that won't lead us to ruin.

Ibid.

had enough

A central concept for this entire thing is that when discourse is separated and displayed, it's according to a logical and consistently definable system, so it's the same every time, and, ideally, intuitive for most people. (Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it.)

Note that although I haven't put up any references, I've looked at work others have done regarding organizing arguments, discussions, etc., but only over the internet since that's my only resource. If I ever formally write this up they'll be added, but since all can be accommodated, it would add way too much needless volume to discuss them now, except for one, the Toulmin model of argumentation.(http://johnnywalters.weebly.com/uploads/1/3/3/5/13358288/toulmin-the-use...)

In the 50's, British philosopher Stephen Toulmin rejected classical argument (logical) methods because they weren't suitable for "everyday" situations, and sought to create a new format more reflecting how people normally discuss.

Toulmin's ground breaking work, even though initally not received well, dissected arguments in to parts more reflective of normal discussions. His model (including equation style graphics) recognized 6 parts of discussion; 3 main ones: Claim, Grounds/Data, Warrant, and 3 others: Backing, Rebuttal, Qualifier.

I use Toulmin's initial 6 categories because I agree that they're essential, although not sufficient, components of discourse. In my work, several core standard info categories have been introduced, and 4 are what I consider the most desirable minimum group to start a discussion, Claim (C) (required), Qualifier (Q), Actionable Objective (AO) and Data (D).

Cost Analysis (CA) is another standard category that would also often be relevant, I think, as it is for each of the 6 options we have for how to choose senators. There's a list of about 60 different potential categories right now, but that will likely get whittled down to 30 or 40, of which 10 or 15 would be commonly used, with the others for less common types of input. That may sound like a lot, but I think the vast majority are intuitive for most people, although some labels might have to be tweaked to be more descriptive.

Although Toulmin appeared mainly interested in comparison to classical logic, the important idea is that discussions are made up of separable points that are the essence of "common" logic, and that these are suitable to satisfy the function of the classical syllogism.

Another thing Toulmin recognized was that common logic is context dependent, so validity criteria depends on what's being discussed.

Real life discussions are ultimately about making a decision, which is a matter of personal choice. Personal choice can be dependent on information or totally arbitrary, but is always specific and potentially dependent on the level of info.

Now that there's a picture of the basic structure (a flowchart of text boxes with icons attached to some or all of the boxes and independent) it's still left to be determined exactly what kind of info to make available, both as open text and icons.

Real life public discussions need more background info than would likely be supplied by active participants, and when decisions are made there has to be correlation to the gov't technical process. Those are part of the application.

Before going in to the applications, I want to reiterate that I know it doesn't matter what decision process we have, right now we don't have the laws needed to ensure the public will is respected. Literally every single citizen could want one thing, and the "gov't", meaning one individual, can disregard that in favor of their own arbitrary, even blatantly self-serving, viewpoint.

In order to change that, we have to change the laws, which means we have to discuss how the laws need to be changed. Once we determine how to exert proper public authority through the laws, we can discuss how to change them to that, but that needs a suitable discussion mechanism that also has as much precaution as possible so we don't cause disaster for ourselves.

Political application is about understanding our country and how we want, and need, to interact. Notwithstanding the personalized perversions in our gov't system today, it's fundamentally nothing more or less than a technical beaurocracy.

Authority Hierarchy (AH), Discussion (Disc), Institution Summary (IS), Investigations (IG), and Laws (L) are several standard info categories most relevant for political application. Deception Technique (DT), Civil Rights (CR) and Expert Opinion (EO) are others.

In order to understand what details need to be discussed, we have to talk about what needs to be done to exert proper public control. To do that we have to put some thought in to the realities of our gov't system.

Keep in mind that there are 2 ways to graphically list info, with and without public interaction.

Information is hierarchical, and what I've described up to now is an end point discussion format designed to facilitate public interaction and decision-making. This format would be impractical for general large scale public info exchange.

Opinions regarding bias and scope, etc. notwithstanding, current methods of presenting info are ok with respect to format, not sufficient, but ok. News articles, meetings, etc. all show specific lines of reasoning and present info in different ways. Face to face meeting adds the element of raw emotion and spontaneity, which are important aspects of public interaction.

There's a lot more to the political application, but I'm going to have to leave it there for now because I have to go out of town for several weeks without my computer. At first opportunity I'd like to describe how I believe we can interpret our gov't system in order to facilitate our discussions and make actionable decisions that won't lead us to ruin.

Ibid.

had enough

A central concept for this entire thing is that when discourse is separated and displayed, it's according to a logical and consistently definable system, so it's the same every time, and, ideally, intuitive for most people. (Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it.)

Note that although I haven't put up any references, I've looked at work others have done regarding organizing arguments, discussions, etc., but only over the internet since that's my only resource. If I ever formally write this up they'll be added, but since all can be accommodated, it would add way too much needless volume to discuss them now, except for one, the Toulmin model of argumentation.(http://johnnywalters.weebly.com/uploads/1/3/3/5/13358288/toulmin-the-use...)

In the 50's, British philosopher Stephen Toulmin rejected classical argument (logical) methods because they weren't suitable for "everyday" situations, and sought to create a new format more reflecting how people normally discuss.

Toulmin's ground breaking work, even though initally not received well, dissected arguments in to parts more reflective of normal discussions. His model (including equation style graphics) recognized 6 parts of discussion; 3 main ones: Claim, Grounds/Data, Warrant, and 3 others: Backing, Rebuttal, Qualifier.

I use Toulmin's initial 6 categories because I agree that they're essential, although not sufficient, components of discourse. In my work, several core standard info categories have been introduced, and 4 are what I consider the most desirable minimum group to start a discussion, Claim (C) (required), Qualifier (Q), Actionable Objective (AO) and Data (D).

Cost Analysis (CA) is another standard category that would also often be relevant, I think, as it is for each of the 6 options we have for how to choose senators. There's a list of about 60 different potential categories right now, but that will likely get whittled down to 30 or 40, of which 10 or 15 would be commonly used, with the others for less common types of input. That may sound like a lot, but I think the vast majority are intuitive for most people, although some labels might have to be tweaked to be more descriptive.

Although Toulmin appeared mainly interested in comparison to classical logic, the important idea is that discussions are made up of separable points that are the essence of "common" logic, and that these are suitable to satisfy the function of the classical syllogism.

Another thing Toulmin recognized was that common logic is context dependent, so validity criteria depends on what's being discussed.

Real life discussions are ultimately about making a decision, which is a matter of personal choice. Personal choice can be dependent on information or totally arbitrary, but is always specific and potentially dependent on the level of info.

...continued next post...

had enough

Now that there's a picture of the basic structure (a flowchart of text boxes with icons attached to some or all of the boxes and independent) it's still left to be determined exactly what kind of info to make available, both as open text and icons.

Real life public discussions need more background info than would likely be supplied by active participants, and when decisions are made there has to be correlation to the gov't technical process. Those are part of the application.

Before going in to the applications, I want to reiterate that I know it doesn't matter what decision process we have, right now we don't have the laws needed to ensure the public will is respected. Literally every single citizen could want one thing, and the "gov't", meaning one individual, can disregard that in favor of their own arbitrary, even blatantly self-serving, viewpoint.

In order to change that, we have to change the laws, which means we have to discuss how the laws need to be changed. Once we determine how to exert proper public authority through the laws, we can discuss how to change them to that, but that needs a suitable discussion mechanism that also has as much precaution as possible so we don't cause disaster for ourselves.

Political application is about understanding our country and how we want, and need, to interact. Notwithstanding the personalized perversions in our gov't system today, it's fundamentally nothing more or less than a technical beaurocracy.

Authority Hierarchy (AH), Discussion (Disc), Institution Summary (IS), Investigations (IG), and Laws (L) are several standard info categories most relevant for political application. Deception Technique (DT), Civil Rights (CR) and Expert Opinion (EO) are others.

In order to understand what details need to be discussed, we have to talk about what needs to be done to exert proper public control. To do that we have to put some thought in to the realities of our gov't system.

Keep in mind that there are 2 ways to graphically list info, with and without public interaction.

Information is hierarchical, and what I've described up to now is an end point discussion format designed to facilitate public interaction and decision-making. This format would be impractical for general large scale public info exchange.

Opinions regarding bias and scope, etc. notwithstanding, current methods of presenting info are ok with respect to format, not sufficient, but ok. News articles, meetings, etc. all show specific lines of reasoning and present info in different ways. Face to face meeting adds the element of raw emotion and spontaneity, which are important aspects of public interaction.

There's a lot more to the political application, but I'm going to have to leave it there for now because I have to go out of town for several weeks without my computer. At first opportunity I'd like to describe how I believe we can interpret our gov't system in order to facilitate our discussions and make actionable decisions that won't lead us to ruin.

Ibid.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

In the first few sentences of the opening post, some interesting issues are raised, but them I'm kinda lost.

Dmytri Kleiner, author of the Manifesto Telekomunisten, spoke at the SquatConf held in Berlin this weekend.

Mr. Peel Goes to Cyberspace

He talks about how the internet was initially relatively decentralized in the beginning, but now has become totally centralized and under the thumb of big tech.

The client/server nature of the web has more or less replicated the structure of class society under capitalism.

The kind of net we need, ultimately would be a totally decentralized peer to peer net instead of the centralized capitalist net we have now.

had enough

radiorahim, thank you very much for the link and your interest.

I often think of movie scenes to illustrate concepts. The general plot lines are obviously all contrived, and so aren't that interesting, but any good director (I assume) tries to capture the emotion of the reality in each scene, which of course feeds the appreciation of the representation.

I recently saw "The Martian", and one scene particularly reflects my attitude, and other aspects of that movie generally reflect our collective situation as well.

At the end, the Martian emperor, don't remember his name, addressed the Earthling astronaut class on his first teaching day, and talked about looking at a problem and solving it, then solving the next one, and the next...and when you've solved enough problems, you get to come home, or something to that effect. I can't remember the exact words.

He was talking about facing a very stark and bleak, life and death, reality. Since that was all made up, I don't feel bad comparing it to our situation, which is a very stark and bleak political reality.

I've mixed in political elements, but probably shouldn't have yet. The discussion process has to be independent of any application if it's going to be effective for all applications. And that's what I want to do first, create a large scale public discussion process/format.

Good enough to run a country, yes (when necessary, but hopefully as rarely as possible), and respecting the basic requirements of logic, validity, focus, truth, trust, security, scope, breadth, etc., etc....that would be required of any truly meaningful discussion, whether between 2 or millions, and whether talking about the national budget, foreign policy or what to have for dinner.

What's the first problem we have to solve? We have to be able to talk, without the politicians, and without any need for organizations,etc. When it's millions of people, and the discussions could be long and detailed, it's not a simple thing.

Far from impossible, I say. But it will take a lot more clarity than I've shown so far, I know.

So I'd like to reset, and consider intially only the issues related to an entire country of people talking over the internet (or more correctly just over the computer, possibly), regardless of subject.

Once we're sure we can talk effectively that way, it can be determined exactly what to do to save our country (which I also have a good number of ideas about).

As with any complex subject, how you look at it makes a big difference. My first reaction is usually to brainstorm a list of distinct points of information that are relevant. By far the most powerful technique for this kind of idea development is visualization.

By visualizing a process, which here is millions of people sitting at their computers and wanting to have a national discussion, it's possible to simply observe problems and issues, without even the need for a supporting theoretical framework.

One of the first things I realized is that although we're talking about millions of people, it can be simplified by seeing that each person is going to demand equality of interaction, so every person can interact in exactly the same way as everyone else.

That means for the personal interaction part, millions turn in to one, which is a lot easier for development. When you have millions adding information as individuals, though, you then potentially have millions of pieces of information.

So another essential aspect is how to administratively manage very large volumes and types of information, keeping in mind that ultimately that info has to be displayed in the original one (two?) page format that prompted the input.

To cut to the chases, there are 2 other essential aspects, one is how to progress a discussion involving millions, and the other is how an individual can personally manage the potentially very large amount of diverse information, sufficient to make specific decisions.

So the focus is on problems associated with potentially millions of people having discussions over the internet, ideally leading to actionable decisions, with each person feeling they can be properly involved; and there are 4 main parts right now:

1)the information interaction process for the individual, internet oriented
2)the administrative management of large volumes and types of info
3)how to progress large scale public discussions
4)how a person manages their personal display, computer oriented

These are by no means the only aspects, and depending who you talk to (me or my dog) maybe not the most important ones.  But they're potentially significant barriers, and each has to be accounted for somehow, starting in the next post.

Once these are accounted for sufficiently, if large numbers of people want to exchange information, at least there's a greater chance it will have meaning, which will make it more likely people will want to interact.

...and then we can look at the next set of potential problems. Sooner or later, we'll get to come home.

Does this refocus help?

I greatly appreciate your response, radiorahim, and hope you and others will continue to comment. This has to be developed over years.

Ibid.

had enough

Please allow me to add another aid to the refocus, which is  bit of background motivation and then exactly what I hope for out of this discussion. Just asking for "opinions" is a bit thin.

In a bizarro-world kind of way, we should thank the traitor harper. If it weren't for that filthy vermin's (friend's) constant despicable attacks on our country, I may never have started this.

The problem I saw early on was that there was no way to compare and correlate different incidents consistently, in order to decide what to do. And that's when I realized an "incident database" was one thing that was needed.

An incident database (ie. permanent, relevant record of historical events) is essential for public governance, but far from sufficient. With even the best record format, you still have to come together and discuss. I mean really discuss.

So that was the start of it, and after a good bit of initial thought, here I am. This is a situation that desperately needs a solution. Our country is literally at stake.

The main essential issue right now is, how can millions of people actually discuss anything. This isn't the only essential issue, but it's the ubiquitous requirement for everything else. The linearity of comment boards, even with quotes and links, etc., cripples much of the interaction and correlation required for real public discussion, although it still provides extremely important elements.

In the last post I listed 4 of the central concepts regarding whether a person would even want to sit down and interact generally in a public discussion system.

Now I'd like to look at each of those and figure out ways to deal with it. For each point there'll be a short list of details, and there's where I was hoping especially to get feedback as to relevance, sufficiency, etc.

Given the overall context of creating a universal public information and discussion system, each of the details is a piece of the puzzle. Even if you don't see the whole picture yet, each point is relatively independent in the given context.

Next post I'll take the first point, "1)the information interaction process for the individual, internet oriented" and identify 3 potentially important aspects, and how a public discussion system can accommodate them. That will be a general template. If you don't like that style of interaction, you won't like the rest. Suggestions for realistic alternative approaches are appreciated.

Before that, though, since there's a bit left of the 2 1/2 pages per post, I'll add a few more orienting comments.

The overall goal is political application. Ironically perhaps, success will mean I can't impose my own political view. But, neither can others. I bow to none, and none bow to me.

Naturally that requires more explanation, but instead let me put out a few point concepts related to political application, to keep in mind for when that time comes. Some have been mentioned earlier.

1)I'm not going for non-partisan, since that doesn't exist. The goal is to be equally partisan.
2)A universal public information system has to be about showing information, not influencing decision.
3)Public discussion is very far from political control or justice or anything like that, but it's an essential precursor.
4)Public control is primarily about opinion and decision, and how to correlate that with facts.
5)Information exchange, whether between 2 or millions, is either with or without the ability to interact individually.
6)One of the most important aspects of public control is being able to correlate our discussions and decisions with our laws.
7)Our laws have to be considered the most sacred aspect of our country, since it's through our laws we are a country. Attacks on our laws are treason.

As a next to final note here, if you want a very stark illustration, consider the case of the bribery of duffy. Duffy was blatantly bribed to sabotage a judicial process, a crime worth up to 5 years in jail, and not one person was held accountable for it. (Le breton and tachuk also blatantly conspired to sabotage a judicial process, and no consequences, etc., etc....).

We need to know why and how, within our police and judicial, etc. systems, there was corruption, since there blatantly was. If this goes the way I envision, they definitely won't get away with that kind of shit any more.

The "why" is easy, as reflected when even nigel wright wasn't charged with giving the bribe. If wright was charged, since he admitted he was acting as an officer of the "pc party of canada", that foreign entity would also have had to be charged and investigated, and even the emperor itself. Yyyyaa, like that would actually happen in the traitorous perversion of harperland, especially after they required the police to "consult" them on everything.

The "how," of course, is the most important thing we need to know, in order to deal with it, and that's a general requirement for all relevant discussions. Ultimately we want a public investigator to handle it, but we don't need an outside investigator to routinely compile a substantial set of standard details to greatly help us decide whether to even assign an investigator, and that's a main part of the political application. Here, one investigator at least would be assigned to determine exact details of where within the police process there was corruption, again, since there obviously was. Was there "secret influence"?

As a final note, the flowchart style textboxes with icons attached I've described previously have been part of the end point disussion format. That's the one style that's currently missing from public discussion. When an actual decision has to be made, it's a new general framework. But discussion is less often about making actual decisions than just exchanging information.

So consider the second post with the C#) list. If each point had a box around it, with any specific secondary info attached as icons (such as L (law), Disc (discussion), AH (authority hierarchy), etc.) to the box so you could interact more directly and right away, would that be better?

Enhancing current methods of info exchange is also a priority.

This post ends and we're nowhere near to getting home.

Ibid.

had enough

Taking the first of the first set of 4 main issues related to millions of people talking over the internet, as mentioned previously:

1)the information interaction process for the individual, internet oriented
    This refers to when a person sits down at the computer after deciding they want to be in on a public discussion, what are they going to encounter generally.

    1a) A fully user controlled choice between private vs public interaction. This is a ubiquitous, and I believe essential, element for a viable public discussion system. Public discussions would likely be almost all done privately, with potentially only occasional and/or endpoint correlation to the public grid.

By "private" I mean user controlled input and display, but always maintaining the underlying standardized codification.

Standardized codification is possible because although there are theoretically millions of opinions, there are actually not that many ways for us to exchange information, and everyone discusses in basically the same way. Differences arise out of relative highlight, rather than conceptual disagreement.

Users can authorize public input in to their private grid from any number of individuals or groups, after which it can be rearranged and presented in any way for comparison; but when a private page is uploaded to the public grid, the codified bits snap to the standard display, which is based purely on logical association.

This removes organization based personal highlights (such as open text boxes on the private page, which might snap to an attached text icon on the public page), but can easily accomodate other rating style highlights, such as thumbs up/down, 1-10 scale, etc., as cumulative totals for specific points.

    1b) The ability to add information without having to classify is an essential aspect of personal interaction, but volume and detail have to be managed as with all open input aspects, which will be addressed universally later.

The method for a person to add information is very important since it's there a person's going to feel they're actually part of the discussion. Private vs public pages would have the same technical procedure for input, but the vetting procedure of course differs.

For both private and public pages, a user can click on a text icon (or open text box, which is just an expanded text icon), or a general input icon.

With a text icon (such as Question (Qu)) the new page shows any current text, etc. in that box, and a "new data input" icon, among other things. A click on the "new data input" icon brings a fresh data input page, which has an initial codification based on the original text icon, but the code could be changed by the user, subject to vetting in the public page.

If a general input icon is clicked, a fresh data input page comes up right away, and a person can enter text without worrying about how to classify it, although they can.

For brevity, I assume initially that we have a suitable public vetting system that everyone agrees with, and there's no disagreement about what and how info appears on the public grid after being put through it, even when there's millions of input.

    1c) Personal interaction, or how easy it is for a person to generally manage and follow with the info, means either reading, clicking or typing at this point. A person sitting at a computer can only do so many things to be part of a public discussion, but they have to feel they can interact to thier satisfaction. This will be described in detail later.

In summary, when a person sits down to be "part of the discussion," how they're able to interact is going to make a big difference.

1)the information interaction process for the individual, internet oriented
    1a) the choice of private vs public interaction, always with the ability to fully correlate.
    1b) the ability to add info without classifying, but retaining the ability to classify personally, subject to public vetting
    1c) the general interaction with the info system itself has to be so people feel satisfied

So the question is, do you see these 3 points as relevant, I'm not saying sufficient; and do you think they address the main point, in that they'll make it more likely a person would just sit down and want to do it.

Ibid.

had enough

Next point of the initial 4 is:
2)the administrative management of large volumes and types of info

This is the big one. Any useful public discussion system would ideally be swamped with reams of varied text. Whether from trolls, traitor harperites or real doesn't matter, it has to be managed.

Administrative management has 3 main parts at this point, the vetting, classification, and display. The vetting is a distinct issue that will be discussed universally later. The classification and display refer to how to organize large volumes of text input, in a manner so virtually everyone can manage it.

Believe me I know these few initial points aren't going to solve the whole problem. But, does each, in some way, make it so a person has to read less information at a time, while still retaining full relevant access to all the info.

    a)frame opinions in the fact structure, instead of facts in the opinion structure
    If you want to judge my work, this is the place to do it. This is the backbone of the end-point discussion/decision format and supports the underlying reasoning for other aspects.

It's not everything by far, but the fact structure is one of the keys to a viable large scale public discussion system. It attempts to skeletonize the discussion in a standard acceptable way, and that's also one of the most important elements to the general technique of spreading out the information.

Current public info exchange is vastly framed as prose, with much less as fact. By "prose", I mean general conversation style, like articles, comment boards, news stories, verbal, etc., and it's what I've come to generally refer to as an opinion structure. You have to look for the "facts" in the opinion structure.

The fact structure attempts to convey potentially large volumes of complex information succinctly by showing core details (ie. "facts") in a skeleton logical array, and is the format that supports the formal vote system. "Opinions" are correlated to the facts, not vice versa.
   
It's for this part mainly that I previously mentioned Toulmin's front line work on separating real life discussions in to more relevant and effective logical categories.  Any discussion of opinions and facts has to include how those go together, the (proposed) universal logical associations of real life situations.

The only realistic way we can talk in detail is through text. So, if there was nothing else, everyone could be "fully informed" by reading page after endless page of text. Wouldn't that be just so much fun.

In order to not have to do that, there are currently 3 important elements to the fact structure:
    1) graphics
    2) logical array
    3) categorization of input (splitting in to single points of detail)

"Fact structure" may not be the best label, since most likely see a fact as something that's known and true, etc. But, "point of detail structure" just doesn't seem to have the same ring. It can be interpreted as a pure fact structure, but you just have to realize what the fact is.

If I state an opinion, the fact is that I've stated that opinion. If someone uses that as a point of detail in their discussion, they don't have to reference I said it unless they want to, and the fact would be it's being presented as their opinion.

The few words here can't do justice to the importance of this concept. The idea that there's a standard set of "facts" (ie. points of detail) associated with every argument/discussion is a truism, I believe.

Another truism is that these details can be consistently arranged in a realistic logical array. Even if you don't agree with how I've done it, every point of detail has a real life relationship to the other points of detail, and can be outlined in a flowchart style picture.

Consider the very straightforward example of how should we choose senators. What are the core facts associated with that specific question, and how are they related.

The flowchart picture is the first thing you'd see coming to that discussion page. A person knows each box contains a single point of detail., and to look at the center top for the Claim/Topic of the discussion.

To the left is the Actionable Objective, which is the end point, here being an actual vote to decide which alternative to choose. To the right a person sees there aren't current Qualifiers on the Claim/Topic, and just below and to the right is the list of Data points most relevant for the Claim/Topic.

It's the Data points that are central to the subsequent discussion. Here, the Data points are a list of the different ways to choose senators, and we have to choose one.

Information can now be added to any text box and/or independently, but it's decisions about the Data points that are most relevant to the ultimate decision related to the Claim/Topic and focussed to the Actionable Objective.

So now, given the initial points of info, do you see the nature of the discussion? Is it a good start for this very straightforward question.

When new info is added to this flowchart, it's attached to the text box (ie. point of detail) it's relevant for. If a person comments on D2, an icon or text box is attached to D2. This greatly spreads out the info, as you likely see, and as important is the clarity of the logical linearity. You can see exactly what relates to what.

The fact structure has to be designed for discussion. Comments aren't going to be just about the points of detail already presented. For the choosing senators question, since we have to choose from a list of 6, a table of comparison might be useful.

A Table of Comparison (TC) would be added as an independent icon, and could be placed in different areas on the flowchart page, but I left the centre column under the Claim/Topic empty so that kind of thing can be very near the Data points it's relevant for.

 There's much more to the fact structure, including a vote/rating system, but the above is the initial idea. I hope you'll reserve judgment till the next post, where I'll much more briefly outline a couple of other important elements about the fact structure, including why I say it's a universal format.

Ibid.

had enough

Without going in to detail for each right now, here are a few important points about the fact structure.

The fact structure is a universal central format mainly because it's an array of single points of detail. It's much better, storage and analysis-wise especially, to have a correlated list of 10 single details, rather than a block of text that contains the 10 details.

The fact structure aids the discussion in several ways, a main one being that it spreads out the bulk info.

Another way the fact structure aids the discussion is it clarifies the logical linearities, which makes standardized codification possible. Standardized codification facilitates unprecedented social analysis potential.

The fact structure makes it much easier to correlate the info. So for the straightforward question of how should we choose senators, the initial array of C, AO and 6D correlate to provide the context for that specific discussion.

The picture of the standard fact structure, the flowchart, provides a consistent graphic framework that can be augmented in many, many ways in order to aid the user in following and interacting in public and/or private discussions. This is a very powerful aspect.

The fact structure isn't a single type. There's the formal record, which is consistent; and then there's the personalized representation, which is totally user controlled, with the only limitation being that the underlying codification can't be changed without public vetting.

And then there are fact structures associated with general public discourse, such as for an article. Points of detail within the article could be highlighted as a text box with icons attached. I know obviously that articles contain links already.

But how likely are you to click a link that's just blue letters, vs a text box with icons, where you can see the type of info and interaction available. If a boxed statement dealt with a law, for eg., and someone had added it, there'd be an L icon, and a click would give the text of the law, etc.

The fact structure is about showing information as effectively as possible. One essential element associated with public discussion, though, is emotion, which is as important as is the technical system. Emotion is shown by personalization, and isn't represented in the primary display of the formal record, although it can always be correlated to it as well as any number of private grids. So, emotion is shown in the comparison of private grids and to the public one(s).

The fact structure is just one part of public info exchange, but the idea underlies all aspects. Naturally real life public discussions are far more complex and voluminous than the straightforward question of choosing senators. But, all discussions ultimately come down to lists of details that can be dealt with in exactly that individual manner.

Also, the end point discussion has the C, AO, etc., but higher in the hierarchy may usually be simple lists of linked details, not necessarily requiring decision, but continuous with whatever the overall issue is. That's looking at it from the bottom up.

From the top down, a public discussion (fact structure) can be initiated in several ways. Since that will be described in detail later, the initial assumption is that in some way an initial statement, claim, topic, etc. has been presented and put forth for public discussion. That's the peak of one fact structure.

Each discussion of course has it's own hierarchy tree going down to end points. As info is added and decisions are made, end point discussion/vote positions would change. Ultimately, the goal is to come up with decision trees that sufficiently address the primary claim/topic.

But that's a bit down the road. Right now the important thing is to see that we can just have a consistent and sufficient information/decision grid for a very straightforward question, such as how to choose senators.

I almost forgot that the fact structure supports the formal vote system. Where and how there are actual votes is a matter to be decided for each discussion, but any point of detail could be subject to vote, accessed through an attached VOTE icon, which is an independent technical entity.

Another thing I almost forgot was the requirement for a "fact check" system. Anyone following the insanity of the Ukraine conflict online won't have to be convinced of the importance of that. The fact check process is potentially attached to every point of detail, but what's actually needed remains to be seen.

Naturally the fact check process is important probably for most people, but since it's an independent technical entity like the vote process, it can be developed separately and use a lot of what already exists as a starting point.

On a less formal note (I think), ideally the fact structure is meant to provide a consistently referable database format that's as lean and streamlined as possible, and is an attempt to take potentially large volumes and types of information, related to specific concepts, and display the most critical detail hierarchy so virtually every person can follow the discussion, while keeping all information accessible.

I mentioned previously that this is probably the most central and ubiquitous concept for a viable public discussion system. If you don't see that discussions can be broken in to distinct points, or that those points can be arranged as an augmented flowchart so the vast majority of people can follow the discussion, then you might want to stop reading, because it's mainly about using and applying that.

By applying I mean the specific augments required to address individual situations, such as political application (which is the primary motive for this entire thing, so there's a bit there).

Next I'll post a short list of a few other details associated with the management of large volumes and types of info, which the fact structure is a part of, as well as a mock up figure of the base discussion grid for the question of how to choose senators.

Ibid.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture
had enough

Thank you for your post Mr. Magoo.

I'm not ultimately dealing in semantics, but pedantics for sure. If you wanted to be ultra-anal you could say that since I'm defining things it's semantics. But, is it a matter of semantics that something is a subject vs a predicate in a sentence? Once you define the classification system (which is as parts of discussion here), it's pure pedantics.

With respect to pragmatism, I'm looking at this in the only way I can, which I think also happens to be the best way, given the situation. This is basic research conducted over the internet, and is a test in itself.

Right now it's information gathering. Any viable public discussion system will be dependent on many distinct concepts, and I want to examine those as individual points first. The vast majority of people wouldn't read this part, but would likely do what I'd do if I weren't creating it, and listen to someone they trust as to whether it's good enough to try, and other details.

The context is that we, the people, need a way to discuss complex issues without the incompetent, self-centered, perversely corruptable hired managers (politicians), and the main medium is a computer screen. The question of how to choose senators illustrates many of the core details common to virtually all discussions, including the nature of rating and voting. If we can't exchange information and interact sufficiently to deal with that kind of issue, how much chance is there we can deal with anything more complex.

That's pragmatism, since the question of how to choose senators is a real, essential issue that we should be deciding, not the untrustworthy hired managers.

Note that although I declare the question of how to choose senators is "straightforward", that doesn't necessarily mean simple or easy. Straightforward refers to the initial information display only, not the moral and/or conceptual, etc. difficulties associated with the question, or it's final info network.

Also, I've looked at Drupal 7 (web-page program), and think the current software can easily do what's required. So creating a program isn't a worry, it's just that I'm not going to start the process of creating a program until I feel reasonably sure there isn't some major flaw(s) in the reasoning going in to it, which there's a fair bit of.

So far several major concepts have been identified, and I hope for comments about those, as well as anything else of course.

One of the most important is that in order for the "average person" to be able to manage the large volumes and types of information that will be part of the public discussion process, display of information will likely be mostly through graphics rather than text. This is a major concept.

There always has to be some kind of text grid. The only way we can transmit detailed ideas is through text (on a computer screen).

But, our understanding of the text itself is facilitated by the graphic arrangement of the text boxes on the screen, ie. the Claim/Topic box at top center, Actionable Objective box at top left, etc.

And, graphics will be all important in remembering how we've interacted with the information. Ideally we'll have to look at a piece of text once, and then record through graphics whether read/unread, agree/disagree, like/dislike, question, etc., etc.

That's a bit of a simplification, but a great deal of personalization and other info can be shown through graphics. Indeed, the greatest value of the internet here may not be the ability to connect people to talk, but rather the ability to consistently use and share graphics within the same context.

Another aspect of showing information through graphics is the arrangement of the text boxes, icons and other elements on the computer page. A computer page is a grid, and I doubt there's anyone that doesn't (or can't) look at each portion of the screen and give it some kind of personal relevance.

I don't (necessarily) mean a block of text on the left is more evil than one on the right. But, the relative positions of each text box and icon, etc. can be used naturally to convey extra meaning, both in the standard record display and the private, personalized discussion page of a user.

Figure 1, next post, shows the picture of an initial input for a discussion, this one being how should we choose senators. Note this is the initial standard record display. A user can start a discussion through personalized formats, but the common format is this one, without personalization.

There are 2 different kinds of feedback I hope from this. One is about the question itself, how should we choose senators, and whether the info shown is enough, etc.. The other is about the display of the info.

For the question itself, what info would you add now and where do you think it should go. Would you rearrange anything? Is there anything about the info that's either good or bad? Is it easy to understand how the info is layed out?  Etc.

For the display, each text box is a gateway, but the page itself can convey a great deal of meaning. There's a fair bit to that so I won't expand here, except to say that the effective use of the graphic space of the discussion page will be a key to universal acceptance of the discussion process. Do you see how graphics can be used to help understand and manage the information?

Another main point is that although I don't claim to know all discussion styles, I believe a major advancement in large scale public discussions will be using a box to outline single points of detail, and then attaching extra info and discussion about that point itself as icons around the box, illustrated as part of Figure 1 and expanded in Figure 2, below.

This format will greatly clarify logical associations, and is a major part of separating the information, so people don't have to wade through reams of text to find a specific detail, the greatest shortcoming of the linear comment board style.

Comments are appreciated, and next text post I'll comment on each of the Figures (below) in more detail.

Ibid.

had enough

I have 2 figures but can't seem to put them up. Is there a trick to it?

 

They're both .jpg in Corel Paint.

Unionist

had enough wrote:

I have 2 figures but can't seem to put them up. Is there a trick to it?

 

They're both .jpg in Corel Paint.

Go here:

http://tinypic.com/

Upload your images, get the urls, post them here. Easy peasy.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

You'll need to upload them to a web-based image host like tinypic.

That host will then give you a link to that image that you can copy/paste and post here.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Seems that advice was in stereo.

Unionist

Magoo - my kindred spirit! Kiss

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..here's another upload site where you don't have to go through the song and dance like tinypic.

https://postimage.org/

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

..here's another upload site where you don't have to go through the song and dance like tinypic.

https://postimage.org/

Cool! Didn't know that one. Thx!

had enough

Someone told me they liked Figure 1 (post #) because it reminded them of a diagnostic screen. That's what it is I guess, a diagnostic screen for discussions.

Please keep in mind that the main purpose is to convey sufficient information according to consistent logical principles, and it addresses one of the greatest barriers to public discussion, which is the personal management of the potentially large volume of diverse information.

Also, there are 2 general ways we need to talk, the simple listing of information and an actual decision tree. Figure 1 illustrates a decision tree, and Figure 2 illustrates one style of listing information.

Since the format has to accommodate all input, mine is as good as anyone's to use as an example. So Figure 1 is what I'd put forward as a start. The next step is to add information, but before that, since this is still the early development phase, I wanted to look at the picture itself for a minute.

A main assertion as to the viability of a realistic public discussion system is that graphics and text need to be integrated in order to be able to convey enough information so each person can suitably follow and interact in any discussions.

"Enough information" is the elephant in the room. It refers to both volume and type, and needs to be discussed and specific points defined.

Only through text can we communicate sufficiently to be able to run our country.

But it's only through graphics that we'll be able to manage that text.

Representing discussions as linked, single points (as text) is a core requirement for classification and universal comparison, and the entire page(s) is then for framing that text. This is akin to separating sentences in to parts of speech, where each part; adjective, conjunction, subject, etc., is a point detail.

The sentence provides the physical structure (ie. flowchart format) for the point details related to it, but we have to create a structure for a discussion.

You'd likely be surprised, as I was, how many nuances there are in discussion, potentially leading to different open text box arrays, that can be defined as distinct "philosophies", once you really start looking.

Not only that, but there are important differences in face to face vs computer oriented interaction, and individuals vs groups, etc.

I've stated (my opinion) before that any viable public discussion system has to be indendent of any application in order to be effective for every application. That, given the blinding array of potential styles, requires reduction to the fundamentals.

And there it is again. Little words, etc. slipped in to discourse that have a profound effect. "Fundamentals" this time. Gives me the shivers every time, even though I'm doing it. (How many of those kinds of things have been traitorously incorporated in to our laws.)

One main fundamental I use is the reduction to point details, so each can be uniquely classified. What's the right classification system is the question, of course, and that's why I mentioned Toulmin's work regarding how "normals" actually discuss.

Toulmin wished to find the everyday equivalent of the "all A are B; C is A; therefore C is B" classical syllogism. He recognized that people normally present an opinion or Claim, and then provide specific points to support that Claim, which he called "Grounds/Data".

Subsequent information; Qualifier, Rebuttal, Warrant, Backing; is then framed around these 2 core elements.

We have to considerably expand Toulmin's work, including adding a fairly extensive supporting information system for political application, but the idea of the general classification hierarchy and linearity of details (reflecting real discussion) is a common thread.

We also have to incorporate elements meant to progress the discussion (another fundamental). Large scale public discussions could easily (or would normally, given reality) become mired in endless interaction. Besides the nature of the beast itself, potential sabotage is an ever present threat.

The "Actionable Objective (AO)" is a standard information category specifically meant to provide a defined end-point to a discussion; and the position of it in Figure 1, on the same level and to the left of the Claim, also implies it's basic relevance. The AO also provides a better focus as to what Data points have to be discussed, potentially limiting the number required.

The "Qualifier (Q)" is another important standard category that potentially limits the number of Data points needed by limiting the Claim. In Fig.1 the Q arrow is not attached since there isn't one (yet) for this question, and the empty box wouldn't be shown unless desired. There also wouldn't be a Q icon on the Claim box, as there is for the AO.

Figure 1 shows 3 expanded Caveats (CV) linked to D1. These text boxes are expanded because they show potential decision points. If a person votes for D1, the 3CV also would have to be voted on. When you look at these 3 CV, it may strike you that one (or more) is missing.

And, you may have ideas as to required Qualifiers.

Ibid.

had enough

Single point details are the backbone of all discussion. Decisions about single point details come together in the decision about whatever's being decided on. You know, like "a proof is a proof".

So, before continuing with Figure 1, let me comment generally and on Figure 2, which is the gateway for a single point detail. Figure 2 could become an important structure in the analysis of public discussion. It's an integral part of Figure 1, but also independent.

A main orienting concept is that, again, literally all discussions are made up of linked, single point details. Any discussion, anywhere and by anyone, can be taken and dissected, just like a sentence.

We may well not yet agree how every single part should be categorized, but visualize 2 people discussing, and before each is a transparent HUD. Every word they say is written verbatim.

Theoretically we could then push a button and have every word collapsed in to single point details, each represented by a unique label such as W2-D3-C2, etc. So the text changes to a grid (ie. lines) of icons.

There's no more text, just lines of icons (boxed acronym links). Naturally, no one could look at that and make sense of it. We have to read text.

But, now we can expand different sets of text, highlighting their relationships. We could expand the text for all the Claims, leaving everything else as icons. We could expand all the AO's, or all text boxes linked to C3, for eg.

Also, visualize an article ( ie. text block) about anything. Display it on the left on a 3 column page. In the center column reduce the text to lines of icons (let's say we've agreed on how to label each). In the right column extract the icons, as text, you want to evaluate, and build a Figure 2 style representation of that single point.

We can then label the original text as green or red, whether we agree or not, resp., etc., based on the right column evaluation.

When the color is incorporated in to the original text, the result is the main block of text with different words shown in either red, green or plain black (ie. neutral or not yet evaluated).

It's the Figure 2 style representation that allows that kind of graphic augment to have real meaning. Even this very simple thing can make a big difference.

But, this first approximation, using red, green and plain text, isn't quite enough. They can't show the conditions where a single point has been evaluated but there hasn't been a decision or the decision is tentative.

However, adding "bold" to represent that rounds out the picture. That gives 6 potential conditions represented by different text styles, green plain (agree or true), red plain (disagree or false), green bold (tentative agree), red bold (tentative disagree), black bold (examined but no decision), and black plain (not yet evaluated).

A person can do their own evaluations, and label the text themselves, and/or they can access the evaluations done by others.

There's a good deal more to that, and it's an important part, but I want to end this post with a few comments about Figure 2, then go back to Figure 1 next post.

I think most everyone probably has read an article or something and saw a point detail that they strongly approved or dissaproved of. Some people might be moved to interact on that point specifically and only, if they could, for one reason or another. The Figure 2 style provides that framework.

Figure 2 is only one style of information display, but it's the one that links current information exchange methods with the new standardized discussion record format. Such a bland statement belies the profound importance of the idea.

You can see that Figure 1 is an array of Figure 2's. Assuming we have the above mentioned program for analysing articles and other blocks of text, Figure 2, the rightmost column, is the perfect link.

As new formal discussions/decisions are created, there's already a reservoir of easily referenced point details in the proper format. We don't need a current formal discussion to be able to look at an article, or any block of text; and define, extract, store and evaluate individual points like that.

And people don't have to be involved in any discussions to comment on individual points that might be used in those discussions. Of course, that kind of augment has a fair bit of intrinsic value, but it's real power is as the link to the formal discussion/decision format.

The arrangement of icons in Figure 2 is to help with understanding the info, and there are many other kinds of potential augments, like changing text characteristics (bold, italic, size, color, etc.), external text highlights (asterisk, exclamation mark, question mark, etc.), backgrounds, etc. I'll go in to the graphics part during the description of Figure 1.

Ibid.

had enough

Thank you very much for your assistance with uploading the figures.

The discussion format is Figure 1:

 

Figure 1, discussion format

 

And Figure 2 shows a point detail box:

Figure 2, point detail box

 

had enough

Figured it out, I used the wrong URL initially.

mmphosis

New Systems mean new problems.

John Gall (1978). Systemantics. Pocket Books. p. 29. ISBN 0-671-81910-0

had enough

 

mmphosis said:
New Systems mean new problems.

(John Gall (1978). Systemantics. Pocket Books. p. 29. ISBN 0-671-81910-0)


Thank you very much, mmphosis, for the post and reference. I hadn't seen that treatment.

Along with that axiom, in the same book the corollary of Axiom 27 may be very important in our context:
27. "SUCCESS" OR "FUNCTION" IN ANY SYSTEM MAY BE FAILURE IN THE LARGER OR SMALLER SYSTEMS TO WHICH THE SYSTEM IS CONNECTED.
Corollary:
IN SETTING UP A NEW SYSTEM, TREAD SOFTLY, YOU MAY BE DISTURBING ANOTHER SYSTEM THAT IS ACTUALLY WORKING.

After the comments about Figure 1, I'll use Gall's original list to help recognize and evaluate the systems aspect of this work. Rather than list all the points, I'll briefly address 4 of the main concepts (as I see them): 1) complexity, 2) interaction (internal and external), 3) growth, 4) monitoring and evaluation.

Ibid.

PS - The text analysis (red, green, etc.) mentioned previously is an external application, and not part of the core system.

 

 

 

had enough

Figure 1 (post#35) shows the discussion/decision format.

Before describing the structure, to help visualize how it's used, let's say a person wondered if C-51 should be examined to see if there are problems with it, they'd use a Figure 1 to post a Claim/Topic like, "What are the problems with Bill C-51", and an Actionable Objective (AO) like, "vote on starting a full public evaluation". Others add Data (D) points, etc. and ultimately the decision is made to start an evaluation.

To evaluate C-51, we start with the table of contents, each heading (a Figure 2) is a link, or expands, to show each sub-heading (also Figure 2's). Just like is done all the time now, nothing new.

Let's say there's a page big enough to see the whole expanded flowchart of headings only. Now we apply the color augment mentioned previously for blocks of text (red, green, etc.) to indicate current state with respect to discussion. The augmented heading flowchart now shows up to 6 relevant conditions that are very easily discernible. Just visualize that. Click one of the headings shown in plain black text (hasn't been examined yet) and go to the text.

Remember that we always have to get to text. Everything up to that is a function of graphics. Good graphics means easy navigation, which will be a critical aspect for success of the global system. That's something web designers, etc. have known for a very long time, so again, nothing new.

Once at the text, we'd start by identifying the points and put an initial color code to them or look at someone else's. Extracting single points gives a Figure 2, which can then be used as a point in a current discussion as is, or be the basis for a Claim/Topic using Figure 1 style.

For eg., Part 1, section 2, sub-section 2 of Bill C-51 (http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/hoc/Bills/412/Government/C-51/C-51_1/C-51_...) (bold is my highlight, and pretend it's red too) is:

“activity that undermines the security of Canada” means any activity, including any of the following activities, if it undermines the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada
or the lives or the security of the people of Canada:

(a) interference with the capability of the Government of Canada in relation to intelligence, defence, border operations, public safety, the administration of justice, diplomatic or consular relations, or the economic or financial stability of Canada;
(b) changing or unduly influencing a government in Canada by force or unlawful means;
(c) espionage, sabotage or covert foreigninfluenced activities;
(d) terrorism;
(e) proliferation of nuclear, chemical, radiological or biological weapons;
(f) interference with critical infrastructure;
(g) interference with the global information infrastructure, as defined in section 273.61 of the National Defence Act;
(h) an activity that causes serious harm to a person or their property because of that person’s association with Canada; and
(i) an activity that takes place in Canada and undermines the security of another state.
For greater certainty, it does not include lawful advocacy, protest, dissent and artistic  expression.

I don't know even a fraction of the vile perversions the traitor regime of harper slipped in to our laws, but if this section of C-51 isn't the most despicable, I shudder to think what else is out there. But I don't want to debate the content here, rather the structure of our evaluation.

Each letter is a point detail, as is the first and last text blocks, so each is a Figure 2. I'd start by highlighting as bold (tentative) and red (disagree) the text of letters (a) and (i). I use bold because that's an initial opinion. A person can label and personalize in any way they want, but I would always label the first look as bold.

You can see that when I finish highlighting, whether or not I do any more even, or any, I can upload it for direct comparison. What would that give?...a poll.

I think it would be a particularly good and relevant one, but it's nothing that can't be done now. And, once it's put out there, even if popular at the beginning, it's only a matter of time for it to be judged too laborous for little gain, and forgotten.

Without my work, we can improve things a bit, such as when a point is clicked it goes to an information page for that point. That's an improvement, but nowhere near enough.

With my work, when you click on a point detail, you go to a discussion page. The discussion page has information (as Figure 2's and not), so it incorporates what we can already do; but it also now has Figure 1 style discussions/decisions.

With Figure 1 and 2 styles, we can not only organize the static info more easily and better, but also make decisions about different aspects, ultimately deciding if we should change the wording of the point detail, since it's part of a law, or leave it as is.

So there'd be a list of Figure 1's related to whatever is relevant. For laws, etc., one of the Figure 1's would be a decision if the text of the law should be changed. If the decision is to change the text, another Figure 1 would decide what the new text should be.

When you incorporate my work, the end-point isn't just information, but also interaction and decision. By using the actual Table of Contents grid as the gateway, when the color coding system is incorporated it would be a dynamic poll, so as discussions and decisions continue, there'd be a running poll and the effects of the changes would be seen directly as people react.

Note that this is an application, and not part of the core system. I wanted to outline this one particularly, though, because it's a general framework for analysis and it shows how large numbers of people can interact right down to the actual wording of laws. I know our decisions are meaningless right now, but that's another problem. I also wanted to show that I do have an endgame, and there are others. But, from now on please keep in mind an idea articulated at the end of Star Trek VI, that just because we can do a thing, it doesn't mean we must do that thing.

Next post I'll continue with explanation of the structure of the Figure 1 page.

Ibid.

had enough

The purpose of Figure 2 (post#35) is to develop an information grid around a single point detail, without the discussion aspect.

Figure 1 (post#35) provides the discussion aspect. What needs to be discussed is another matter, but no matter what it is, literally, Figure 1 is the framework for it.

Since this whole thing is meant to efficiently present information, it pays to briefly consider first just how information can be presented in this medium (a computer screen).

Text (including audio, which is equivalent to text in this context) and graphics are the only 2 options. If anyone can convey information on a computer screen that isn't through text and/or graphics, please let me know.

The text is the words, of course, and graphics refers to both the thing itself, an icon or color change, etc., as well as absolute and relative positioning. Much of the info relevant during a discussion will be shown, or reflected, through graphics.

Looking now only at Figure 1, not the whole page, there are 3 main issues related to the text itself, the rest is about graphics.

The first issue with the text is the amount of open text for each box. This is the minumum required to define a single point detail. The less text to read the better, as long as the concept is whole.

The next issue is which boxes would be open on the default layout. A person could collapse everything so there's only the Claim (C) box (and so would be a Figure 2), but default would also show an empty box for AO, Q and one D, arranged as shown in Figure 1.

When a person goes to a discussion page for the first time, those 4 categories would allow them to get a decent initial grip on what's going on. After that, they can open and close to taste, except the Claim box always has to be open.

The third issue is deciding what text to have available on the page, in whatever way, and I think that's been mainly explained already, and will be more later, especially for specific applications; except I haven't mentioned there's also text outside the text boxes, such as user notes, etc., which could be anything and placed anywhere, and are only labelled as a Personal Note (PN).

The layout of Figure 1 is meant to help with following the discussion. The Claim box is the initial reference, and the other open text boxes are arranged according to specific horizontal and vertical relationships, as well as proximity.

Adjacent at the same level and to the left and right are details (eg. AO, Q) related to framing the Claim itself, in order to help limit the number of Data (D) points that are relevant. The Claim is the only one absolutely necessary, but ideally the AO and Q would also be there, along with some D.

Below the Claim and to the right is the vertical list of Data (D) boxes, which are the support for the Claim. They're the main things that have to be discussed in order to make a decision about the AO, with respect to the Claim.

For the Claim in Figure 1, "how should we choose senators", the natural set of Data points is the possible ways we can choose them.

Note that this shows how the Qualifier (Q) changes the number of Data points needed. We can have Q as, "only choices that don't require a change in the constitution", "only choices that require a change in the constitution", or as now where there isn't a Q, so D for both Q would be listed.

Here's also a stunning example of how graphics can greatly reduce volume, simplify and improve things. Most people, including myself, would likely consider whether we have to change the constitution as a central point in this decision.

Instead of having 2 Figure 1's with different Q, if we don't have a Q, whether the constitution has to be changed can still be indicated by having the Law (L) icon, which would link (at least) to the relevant laws saying the constitution would have to be changed for this choice, red instead of blue. A Personal Note (PN) in the open space under the Claim would indicate that red meant a constitution change. You probably wouldn't even need a PN.

That would mean one Figure 1, but also incorporating that one extra piece of critical secondary information at a glance. Visualize the Law (L) icons in post#35 having red background for those requiring a constitution change. Would that make it better for the comparison? I think it would.

At the same vertical place but on the left of the D boxes is a space meant for different open text boxes, if necessary. If there was an Establishment of Principle (EP), for eg., linked to the Claim, a person could have that box open on the left, just under the Claim. The EP doesn't technically limit the Claim, but it may help clarify it. Regardless, it's the place for other open text.

That gives 2 vertical lines of boxes, with the area between them open for notes, icons, etc. (none shown on Figure 1). On the outside, the right for Data and left for misc. text blocks, is for expanding text boxes linked to those point details.

Figure 1 not only has the arrangement of text boxes to help understand the info, but there are also lines and arrows that can be modified, and open space for other graphics.

The flowchart of open text frames an independent graphic space. This would be a unit that could be dragged and dropped like Figure 2 (important for comparison). It's home page, though, is another important graphic space for containing supporting information and other interaction.

Ibid.

had enough

Fig1 organizes information, it's not a discussion. Once the Fig1 grid is created, the discussion occurs within the point details. Ultimately it's decisions about the individual points, particularly the Data (D) points, that follow through to a decision about the Actionable Objective (AO).

That's why the static area outside the mobile Fig1 on it's home webpage can't have unique elements essential to it's content. That has to be attached directly somewhere, so it could be drag/dropped as a unit with Fig1.
 
Interaction in public discussion isn't just the Fig1. For eg., if a person was part of a political comment board, quick access would be outside Fig1, most likely on the far right or left, but it could be anywhere outside the space of Fig1.

Notifications of any kind, note boards and specific chat links, etc. would also be there, as would text/info a person has chosen for any reason not to add to Fig1, but still wants in a prominent place. For analysis, only Fig1's would be used, so any info a person wants others to see would have to be attached to it.

Having 2 distinct spaces like that, one publicly uploadable (and so comparable on a large scale) and the other private, reflects (I believe) an important aspect of discussion; that everyone shares some info while keeping other info secret. This provides the structure for that part of it.

I think that's enough about Fig1 and 2 for now. More will come out, but you likely get the general picture. Let me continue with the potential for analysis and the universality aspect, then the systems aspect, using Gall's list (ref. post#39) for orientation.

Just generally, anyone in to social analysis of public discussions, etc. should be drooling over this. I'm not an expert in that area, but I doubt there's anything anywhere near this. Once the standard record format is defined, meaningful user personalizations can be directly and consistently compared. Since those personalizations are based on personal opinion of point details, a single comparison could reveal many subtleties of public opinion.

When a person starts or enters a discussion, information is at the default location (still to be determined exactly what that is). After initial, the person can move and/or highlight anything.

The icons are drag and drop, so if we arbitrarily defined the top of a text box as important, and the bottom as less important, no matter where it is to start, when uploaded to the public page and numbers are tallied, it's a running poll of the importance of that particular icon's text (wrt (with respect to) the relevant "higher" point detail). We can add: a person is indifferent for a detached icon (but near). Let's add the red/green highlight system, etc., etc.

Also, analysis of subtleties of opinion is possible by comparing how different people word Claims for the same issue, etc., and which Data points are used for each, etc., etc.

If those aspects could be effectively developed it would be extraordinary. There are many, many possibilities for that kind of thing. There are other aspects of analysis related to specific applications, but I just wanted to show that the potential for analysis is mind-boggling. I have many ideas to expand on later, when dealing with that part in detail.

I also wanted to comment on why this is a universal format for public discussions (information exchange). There are 2 main reasons.
    1) The truism that all discourse (incl. public discussions, but not only) is composed of linked, single details.
    2) My opinion that all discussions have basically the same information structure.

By now, anyone following this is likely sick of hearing that "single point detail" statement. But, before I stop mentioning it so much, it has to be explained more, since it may not mean exactly what you think.

"Single point detail" can be defined as anything from a single character to the whole block of text, even if it's an entire book...and that's the greatest power of the concept.

Literally, all people speak by linking together single characters. Individual letters for english, more complex characters for other groups (like chinese, etc.). No matter what language, you come down to the smallest units, it doesn't matter if they're equivalent or not.

Then, those smallest units (point details) are linked together to form "higher" point details, and ultimately link to become discourse. Once you see that, the main question (which is now answered) goes from, "what is universal to all discourse" to "how do single details link to produce discourse."

There are 2 parts to the new question. The more fundamental is, "how do the single details go together to produce concept," then there's, "how do those concepts link to produce discourse."

There are mountains of information and discussion about language, etc, but it's not necessary to go in to that great of detail. It's sufficient to see, for English for eg., that the minimum point details, letters (ie. characters), go together in specifically and consistently definable ways to make groups that are "higher" point details. Those details go together in strictly definable ways to make parts of speech and ultimately sentences, paragraphs, etc., each of which are progressively higher point details.

Point details incorporate in to higher associations in order to impart more information, which affects comprehension. Minimum point details for different languages may not be the same, but ultimately concepts have to coincide. Fig1 can't make them coincide, it can only show if they do or don't, and exactly how.

(cont'd next post)

had enough

(cont'd from last post)
If concepts don't coincide (equivalent representations of concept as text), it can't be mutually understood, since there isn't a common way to say it (yet).

If I'm talking to my Martian friend and say, "please go in the other room and bring me the blue flower", and they came back with a red flower, it would appear there wasn't mutual understanding of "blue", since the other details were acted upon correctly, although they could have just guessed right. Observation is sufficient to see there's some kind of misunderstanding there, though.

If my friend doesn't understand "blue", it's because they don't know the reference I'm using. We go in the other room and I point to the blue flower. It could be they just have a different single word for that, so if I used that word instead of blue, they'd understand next time. Or, it could be they represent the concept of "blue" using one or more other concepts, or in some other way.

Say we found out through investigation that they didn't have a word for blue or flower as individual concepts. They knew most of our language and understood our reference for flower, and so to get a flower.

But when I pointed to the one I wanted, they said, "you should have asked for the glarb flower, then". Does glarb mean blue, no, it means "of the emperor". So, blue correlates with a relationship an emperor had to flowers that I don't know. So when I try to get my friend to understand next time, I either have to use their term, which may not fit with how I roll, or express in my terms so they can correlate, which I have to find out how.

Fortunately they know "flower" and "emperor", so all I have to do is say, "please go in the other room and bring me the flower of the emperor," and they'd bring the right one. So I expressed their reference in my terms.

Then I say, "would you go upstairs and bring me the blue shirt." Before going, my friend says they know to get a shirt, but don't understand which one. A bit puzzled, I say, "please go upstairs and bring me the glarb shirt." They smile knowingly, go upstairs and return with a yellow shirt.

Universality follows from my work because everything (can) goes to point details, which can be correlated back to fundamental information units (morphemes; (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morpheme)), which can then be correlated to basic references.

Once we mutually understand the most basic references, each participant can accurately build the other's viewpoint within their own reference system, so at least there can be mutual understanding of the info, notwithstanding any personal opinions/decisions about the info.

The example deals with language, and a translator obviates the need for us to do anything because they've already created a point detail correlation system.

But, what about when we discuss, for eg., whether to approve pipelines. There are no translators. We have to find any correlations ourselves, and it's through Fig1's and 2's it can be done.

Of course, as with all discussions, the details can be understood exactly the same by all parties, but there's still disagreement. So, it's not about misunderstanding the info, it's difference of opinion on the priority of different points. And, there'll always be people on all possible sides for arbitrary reasons, there'll always be some who try to lie, and true opinions may never actually come out; even a perfect system won't change that.

"Discussion" is a system(s) for purposeful information exchange. The static format(s), including info categories, has to reflect how it's actually done, or it won't be used.

Fortunately, all people discuss in basically the same way. Hover above any discussion, and you'll hear 2 general processes, a person lectures or listens part of the time and interacts (responds) part of the time.

When a person lectures, they're providing a list of point details that could be posted verbatim on a board as easily. Any lecture, ipso facto, is linear.

When a person responds, what do they do? They add another list of details on the end of the other's list. When it's two (or a few) people, that can work fine. They know what they're talking about.

But what about millions undertaking potentially extended and complex discussions, coming in at different times and places, with different backgrounds, individually interested in different aspects, etc. It just can't be done that way. The listing is an important part of it, but the interaction has to be better than just adding one list to another.

When not just listing info, you're trying to come to some decision. People believe things for specific reasons. They may never say what the real reasons are, but any point that someone wants others to believe or agree with has to be "supported" by other points.

And that's the basis for the structure in Fig1, I say this(C1) because of this(D1) and this(D2) and this(D3), etc. That doesn't mean the D's are the only possible decision points.

With our example, "how do we choose senators (C)," the natural points of support are the possible choices (D). The Claim isn't a point of decision there, the decisions are with the Data. Within the same structure, though, someone could make the Claim another point of decision, just a different kind.
(cont'd next post)

had enough

(cont'd from last post)
A person might say that the Claim is moot, since the senate should be abolished. That's a Counterclaim(CC), and if you agree with the CC, it's pointless to discuss the current 4 D's because the C would be irrelevant. On Fig1, a CC icon would be attached to the Claim box.

A person coming in at any time, and from anywhere, can see there's a CC, and that it's specifically relevant to the C. They can look at it, and mark it as important or not for themselves, without having to wade through reams of text to find it. As other info is added, it's attached to the point detail box it's referring to, and labelled with a descriptive icon.

So Fig1 shows a grid of point details, where the open boxes and layout reflect how people actually discuss. On the one hand, a point is put out there and then other points are listed to support that point. On the other is the ability to evaluate each individual point detail, both within and out of context (through Fig2).

I don't know if the preceding discourse clarifies anything, but the utility and universality of this approach will ultimately be shown through application.

And, it may not be obvious how this kind of info format will help, since probably the most significant and pervasive problem we have is that it doesn't matter what we say or decide, we have no power to do anything but complain. Right now that is.

But if the time ever does come when we, the people, can exert real authority, especially between elections, there has to be a better way to do it than just trying to create a "better" or "more inclusive" political party, or vainly hoping to hire "honest" managers.

Big decisions are the sum of small ones. When we find a way to make small ones with confidence, it's only a matter of time before we can make the big ones.

Next post I wanted to look at the "system" aspect. Then the NDP's "Leap Manifesto", with respect to the information exchange process only (a bit boring), not decision making about the point details.

Ibid.

had enough

John Gall's work (John Gall (1977). Systemantics. ISBN 0-8129-0674-8; http://wtf.tw/ref/gall.pdf) provides a good general framework to consider the systems aspects. For background: Gall looked at "failures" at institutions and other large systems, and compiled a list of 32 axioms and other sub-statements related to the causes, etc. of those failures, based on what he saw as fundamental properties of systems themselves, independent of the purpose of that system.

The result, termed "systemantics" (from "systems display antics" and a play on "semantics") deals mainly with the potential pitfalls of complexity. Although Gall's treatment may be a bit tongue in cheek, it still identifies some good points. There's no need to address each axiom, etc., but rather to consider 4 of the main concepts they deal with (as I see it): 1) complexity, 2) interaction (internal and external), 3) growth, 4) monitoring and evaluation.

The most important things being introduced are the Fig1 and Fig2 styles of info display, which are basically briefing reports that double as diagnostic screens, and formatted to facilitate detailed record-keeping.

They were created from the most basic principles, literally square 1, and provide the core system. As far as systems go, you can't get much simpler. "Complexity" is added with the ability to take public input and also to have a consistent permanent record.

Taking public input means managing a web-site and creating a process for vetting info to have as open for the public standard display. Note that the process of vetting is only to decide what info to have as open on default, and users can modify their own, and all original input would always be accessible at the point of display. The website would have all the same details as any other website, with special attention being paid to volume and security.

The permanent record is a standard database, and would have similar details to those existing now. The classification and point separation systems are the biggest things there, and I believe using unique, descriptive acronyms for points of discussion will work very well. Even if you don't agree with the exact names, the idea is sound.

Internal interaction is between the Fig1 and Fig2 styles with the public input and database structures. So, complexity is built, as apps, on the most basic concepts. This relates to Gall's observations that it's better when larger systems are built from successful smaller ones. Of course the smaller ones still have to be shown to be successful, but they will.

External interaction is how it relates to current systems, like meetings, tv, lectures, etc. If meetings can benefit from a better info report, more power to them. It doesn't matter if they use them during the meeting, they can be applied after the fact by anyone, from a transcript.

What you get is a series of dynamic briefing reports for point details, which can be updated during use. Is that going to help? That depends. If solutions are created by deciding on appropriate actions related to specific questions and problems, my discussion framework will help a user to see where disagreement exactly lies, and point to what appropriate actions might be relevant, by spreading the discussion details out. But, solutions aren't created by the info display, someone has to input them as text, ideally after considering the current info. Once a suitable series of discussion Claims are determined, leading to decisions about relevant AO's, those results are incorporated in to "higher" decision trees. All decisions are the sum of smaller ones, whether recorded or not.

Better briefing reports should greatly improve public discussions, but it wouldn't change the nature of the essential interactions. Decisions still have to be made, and that's done using personal opinion about each of the "factual" points. All this part of the work provides is an information grid.

It may not make any difference for many, if not most, meetings that go on now, since selective personal bias seems to be the primary motivator. But it will allow others to follow discussions and interact with the info grid with as little time and effort requirement as possible.

So I'm introducing a new system to allow large scale public interaction, and when established we'll have to figure out what needs to be talked about. That introduces "new problems", but if the process isn't started, it will never be finished. Fortunately, we can apply the info system and learn without having it affect anything. When more confident, it can be applied as much or little as desired.

Another aspect of systems is "growth."  Growth means 2 general things, an increase in the number of entries and expansion through application. Once developed fully, the Fig1 and Fig2 styles will be relatively static. So, they'll be applied as is, over and over. With the increase in entries, searching methods for the database would have to evolve to handle it, but that shouldn't be difficult.

Real growth comes from specific applications, and that's where the essential utility will be shown clearly. Political application is my motivation, but it's relevant for any info exchange process.

Monitoring and evaluation are the last main aspects of systems, and I also want to go in to that during the discourse about the applications. It suffices to say right now that those aspects are integral to all parts. Next post I want to have a quick look at the Leap Manifesto, mainly for how the info is presented, but also a bit about the points themselves.

Ibid.

had enough

Many (most) likely won't bother to read the "Leap Manifesto" (LM)(https://leapmanifesto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Manifesto-en.pdf), because they don't like (trust) the NDP.

The information in it is politically motivated, of course, but that makes no difference to the identification of the idea structure. It's like any other block of text, from an analysis point of view, and could as easily be a recipe, "news" article, free trade agreement, or even the constitution.

The LM is a good example for 2 reasons. It's meant for political persuasion and is also a formal document for an organization, so exact wording is important, just like for laws.

Since this is dealing with a real, current document (ie. block of text), and since it's a political "manifesto", I might as well start in to political application as well. Of course, that means there'll be much more explanation. I just want to apologize in advance.

Political application has to deal with a number of specific big issues, but a ubiquitous aspect for all applications is text analysis. Only through text can we communicate sufficiently to be able to run our country.

Two of Gall's axioms(http://wtf.tw/ref/gall.pdf) are particularly relevant here:
"31. The Vector Theory of Systems: Systems run better when designed to run downhill.
Corollary: Systems aligned with human motivational vectors will sometimes work. Systems opposing such vectors work poorly or not at all." and,
"32. Loose systems last longer and work better."

When a person reads a block of text, they're doing it for a reason, there's always an expectation of some kind. That expectation could stem from something like, "I want to see just what kind of wackos the NDP are," "I want to evaluate this with a view to improving it," "there's nothing to read so I'll read this," or anything else.

Fortunately, it doesn't matter why, everyone has to evaluate (ie. make decisions about) text by reading single point details, there's simply no other way. So, differences related to expectation (ie. motivation) can't be in the process itself.

Differences in expectation are reflected in the extent of analysis. (Keep in mind this deals only with how a person interacts, not whether that interaction will ultimately mean anything, which is another issue.)

The possible range is from nothing, meaning reading all or part of it without subsequent interaction; to full analysis, meaning separating, highlighting, labelling and arranging all point details in the appropriate Fig1, Fig2 and list style detail hierarchies, incorporating that in to the common info system (or finding them in it), and looking at the analyses of others.

The entire range would be easy on a computer, but media units with small screens would likely be a bit harder for some aspects. For many (most) people phone apps will be essential to interact, though, so it's necessary to consider that right from the start. Management based on rearranging text blocks wouldn't work well, but what I call the 6 point text highlight system could.

Before continuing, I want to clarify exactly what's going on here.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss details related to large scale public discussions, and how to make them meaningful and dynamic through format.

All I've done so far is define essential missing general structure, Fig 1 and Fig2, which are visualizations of a database. Once we have the missing structure, it still has to be integrated in to the current information system to produce the application, which is the conceptual basis for the discussion/decision (network).

I'm using political (a big one), since it's a pressing issue, but it's the same for any app.

All applications ideally do at least 4 main things, define down to decision points the detail hierarchies that are relevant for the info, highlight the most relevant decisions necessary to express the relevant will, ensure sufficient supporting info, and dynamically correlate current info to the formal decision network.

One of the most important issues for political application is the last one. While we can literally follow a flowchart of single points to any detail/decision, it's not the natural way we exchange and evaluate info, so (large scale) interaction based only on that would surely fail.

The natural thing is to read articles (ie. block text) and listen to speakers (ie. verbal text with extra non-text cues). Serf and owner alike do it that way.
(cont'd next)

had enough

(cont'd from previous)
The following link shows the Leap Manifesto (LM) text with the 6 point text highlight system applied.
http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=06976317526291191142

I absolutely don't want to discuss the substance of the points themselves, but would very, very much appreciate feedback for evaluating and developing the process. The 6 point text highlight system could be a very useful primary public interaction mechanism, but it has to be well discussed first.

To help with development, I ask anyone interested to follow a process. Everyone reading this has probably already read the original document for the LM, and that would always ideally be the first step.

All I've done is copy straight from the pdf and put each sentence on it's own line, regardless how many details it contains, to make it easier to see. You can add any linear spaces, you just can't change linear order or any words, punctuation, etc.

Please look at it from 2 different mindsets, as any person with any possible motivation (including sabotage) vs. as one of a thousand NDP members at a closed conference with a genuine desire to interact honestly.

Please scan my highlights.

Please create your own version, without looking at mine again, and you can change each at any time so don't worry whether it's exactly what you (think you) mean initially. First impression is what I want right now, with as little prior instruction as possible. Any time you change a highlight, just record at the end of the line, in brackets, going from what to what for each change.

Please put your and my versions side by side and compare highlights for each line. What first impression does that give you about similarities and differences in what we think.

Please record (point form preferably) comments but don't post any yet. In a couple of weeks I'll post a few comments before seeing yours, and then ask for before and after comments.

I know it may be difficult to decide which highlight might represent what you mean at first. Remember that this is front-line research, and is very much a trial and error iterative process. The point right now isn't to make decisions about the points, it's only to understand how we can interact in that way, and how that can facilitate realistic "public" gov't.

At this point, don't use more than just these 6 highlights, but jot down any other highlights and (graphic) details you think might enhance interpretation and interaction (these can be incorporated in different ways later, for more specific interaction).

Also, given only these 6 highlights please generally consider:
1)what kind of info do you think that allows us to exchange, how do #'s matter;
2)how does that fit in to the public discussion/decision process;
3)how do you personally frame what thoughts in those highlights;
4)do you believe a person might change how they presented the details/document if they'd known beforehand people would interact using the 6 point highlight system (and so having the system affect/control the input/output-is that good or bad);
5)how would you like others to use those highlights in order to make it easier for you to understand their opinion, given you respect that others may hold any range of opinion and the requirement is to have it represented to their satisfaction as well, not just yours
6)does the same highlight mean different things for different specific details

Here's where I'd really appreciate some feedback, but again please don't comment until after my next post, in a couple of weeks. And remember this is only the first step in creating formats to apply large scale public discussion to political control. It's not a formal decision mechanism, which requires full context and linearity to a vote, but is only meant as a broad indicator that will have different utility in different contexts (applications).

You'll form an initial opinion regarding how you'd highlight, and if you can please jot down (point form) about why you use that highlight, what you're trying to say, etc., then next post I'll give a few of mine and we can compare. If after a while you change your mind about a highlight, please record the change and why you did it (new info, arbitrary change of opinion, etc.).

I don't ask anyone to do the whole document. Just choose 2 or 3 details (or however many matter to you) and do only those. The process is exactly the same whether all or one, and it's only the process I'm interested in now.

Ibid.

had enough

Last post gave a link to the Leap Manifesto text with my 6 point text highlight system applied. I asked anyone interested to hold off commenting because I want individuals to teach the system, rather than vice versa.

It occurs to me I should point out a couple of things about apps in general before going in to that, though, because that goes directly in to political application.

I've mentioned there are different potential apps, but haven't explained exactly what I mean by that yet. For an information system, political application may be the giant in the crowd, but although application to something like recipe development is a great deal easier, it's because of context, not structure.

Say I want an info system to develop and keep recipes. I want people to interact easily, so have posted a list of recipe titles and a click on a title brings up a single interactive page for each.

At the top of the page is the name, "Jello Surprise", or whatever. Below it there's a column of numbers and beside that another column with associated specific ingredients. Below those is cooking instructions as block text across the whole bottom.

I doubt there's a single person that couldn't look at that and understand the meaning and specific relationships for each point detail. The instructions is a single point detail (ie. irreducable in the given context) that contains is own linked single point details, and the others are single point details themselves, but that doesn't ever matter.

Instead of just reading, a person wants to interact in order to create the "best" recipe, and that's what I want too. There are only so many ways a person can interact that are relevant for the concept. All require something specific to be identified first, ie. a specific point detail, and that's the same for all app's.

If a person disagreed with the amount of white sugar, using 2/3 cup instead of 1/2, they could indicate by highlighting the 1/2 in plain red. If the change had significant potential impact on the desired outcome, meaning a "good" dish, they could bold it. I think all 6 text highlights are general enough to be relevant for all apps.

An assumption is that the "1/2" the person highlights red refers to white sugar, and that's based purely on physical relationship of the text on the page. All apps are the same that way.

When I see the red 1/2, I know someone disagrees but not why, and would click on it. If it's bold I know it's important to someone, and are more motivated to check, etc. A click on the red 1/2 brings an interaction screen where you can see the information someone added. All apps are the same that way.

Now there's one subtlety to distinguish different apps, standard prompts for info. Every app has the same technical format for the interaction screen, but the initial open text displays are going to differ. "1/2" (or 1/2 cup) is a number, and when it's highlighted red it means someone disagrees somehow. When you think about how someone could disagree with a number in this context (app), whatever the reason why, it must be associated with a suggested new number, regardless whether they input it at the time.

Also, there has to be a reason for the change, so a comment of some kind. The standard display would show the original number, 1/2, an arrow and an empty open text box with the label "New Measure" or something, and beside that an empty text box with the label "Comments" which would be for how that person thinks that change affects the dish, why they're suggesting it.

There'd always be the 1/2, but none or all of the open boxes could be filled. If a cook clicked on a red 1/2, but saw none of the open input boxes were filled, they'd probably click off right away without a second thought, or add the details themselves. When blank, experience tells them the extra info they need to evaluate the interaction isn't there.

But if someone not so sure checks, they still see that those pieces (categories) of info are particularly relevant, even with no values, and it may help them in further analysis. So application is basically finding good prompts, and every app w(c)ould have a unique default info display in both what's initially open and how they're arranged, but all are just rearrangements of the universal format, and so can be fully correlated anytime, internally and externally. It's all the same market.
(cont'd next)

had enough

(cont'd from previous)
Another aspect of all apps relates to details like, "1/2 cup white sugar." That's a single point detail in the context of recipe, but it's also made up of 4 independent single point details in the context of ingredient, and one of those details is 3 details in the context of fraction. That technically never matters (in a given context a point detail is a point detail regardless of internal structure), but potentially could significantly affect user interaction in at least one way for more complex applications, like political.

For political, putting point details together is virtually certainly going to be the norm, not exception, and they aren't usually going to be single words or characters. For recipes, I can look at each "sub" detail and understand what it means, and especially how changing one would affect the others in the given context.

Say I want to develop the recipe, I have to define why, so I say it's to make it sweeter. To accomplish that I have to look at the details, and decide to look at the cooking instructions first. I look at each and decide none have an effect on sweetness. Then I look at the ingredients.

In order to evaluate, I first have to understand what each ingredient does in that context (ie. it's purpose, why it's there), meaning as an ingredient in this specific recipe (adding sweetness, masking other flavours, etc.), as well as general info, when relevant.

Once I understand the ingredient as subordinate, meaning having a superior reference to give it unique relevance in the global context (as part of this recipe related to sweetness), I can look at the ingredient itself, within it's own technically independent context (as something that affects taste of a recipe, as opposed to as something granular, for eg.), as to what of it's details relate to sweetness, for eg., or calorie count, etc.

When a single user looks at the amount of sugar, they could look at the fact it's sugar, and if the goal is to decrease calories, might suggest using an artificial sweetener instead of sugar. They tell a friend to use sweetener instead of sugar, and they go and use 1/2 cup of white sweetener.

Of course, the vast majority of us would know not to do that, but it's only because of our specific experience. Each detail has a unique relevance, which for that ingredient is dependent on 6 other details. Changing only one of the 6 details has an effect related to it's global context, to add a flavour to a dish, and may or may not affect local context, meaning having an effect on other details in the group.

Changing sugar to sweetener obviates all the 5 other details, but changing 1 to 1.1 has no effect on any others, if the goal is increased sweetness. If the goal is to decrease calories, increasing to 1.1 would require a change in at least one other detail in order to satisfy it. If I changed cup to tbsp, I'd have to change at least one detail in the set of 3 for the number.

Another thing about recipes is that "taste" is always relevant, literally always. Not only that, it's always as a theoretical component of decision, regardless whether it's relevant in the individual info discovery process (whether it matters to a specific person).

Taste (and #calories, texture, etc.) is a universal decision detail for recipes, and even a detail like "Bake" could affect it, so every interaction screen could have a prompt for how it changes taste, and it would always be relevant. The constitution when talking about laws is one like that too.

There are several other things, and recipe development is an excellent example where subtleties in info management are very easily seen, but I'll go in to those when relevant later. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the relationships and interactions between those details are reflected in all apps similarly, regardless whether single numbers or books worth of info for each detail.

Sorry for the mass of text, but when I start in to the political application, I'd rather refer back to this if necessary. It's important to see what differs one app from another, but also how they're similar.

If there's anyone reading this who are with the NDP, and specifically interested in progressing the discussions related to the Leap Manifesto (LM), after the general discussion about the 6 point text highlight system, which was bumped for the apps difference thing earlier, I'm going to look at how they handle the info exchange aspect for the LM. This is purely from the perspective of idea development, not judgement, and is obviously only my opinion, but there's at least a chance it may ultimately help you.

Since it's political application, one thing to get out of the way right away is that this isn't a "non-partisan" discussion process, which isn't possible, desirable, or even relevant. That would be like saying the rules of grammar is a commie.

Next post I'd like to look briefly at the 6 point text highlight system in this context, and then start details related to the application to political.

Ibid.

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