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1561[humanmarkup] Re: Martians & Venusians

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  • Rex Brooks
    Aug 27, 2001
      How soon can we phase the yahoo list out? This bouncing around and
      keepng track, or trying to remember to keep track when all I want to
      do is organize my thoughts for a reply is driving me crazy!

      It also tells me I'm doing one or two dozen things too many! sheesh!
      Such are the benefits of getting home a bit early. I already sent one
      reply to the wrong list, but at least I caught this one.

      Okay, back on track:

      At 5:45 PM +0000 8/27/01, Michael Lacy wrote:
      >This got me thinking about some of the limitations of HumanML and I
      >thought I'd share with you all:
      >1.) HumanML will be nothing more than another "language" for humans
      >to use in order to communicate with each other. Some people
      >communicate in English, others through music...the point is that
      >groups of people communicate with one another through a common
      >understanding of a universally accepted language within the group of
      >people the person chooses to communicate with.

      Uh, did anyone suggest it was meant to be more?

      >2.) Using this new language, people will still be able to express
      >irony, simile, and metaphor in their interactions with others, the
      >true meaning of their statements manifesting themselves indirectly
      >into a human understandable format, obscuring the truth of their
      >feelings behind a safe allusion to a story outside of themselves.

      Yup. It won't change that.

      >3.) The more universal the language, the more powerful it will be. On
      >one level, HumanML is just another communication medium for people to
      >learn to express themselves through. On another level, it attempts
      >to capture the true feelings of a person and express them with the
      >subtlety and directness that face-to-face interaction brings. Think
      >about having a conversation with someone else. There are so many
      >perceptual clues as to how that person feels, a rolling of the eyes,
      >a crossing of the arms across the chest, a heavy sigh. The big
      >challenges I see are:

      HumanML is not a medium. The Internet is a medium. TV and radio and
      newspapers are media. HumanML is a markup language. Don't conflate
      it. It does not attempt anything. People do that stuff.

      >(a) how to come up with a set of semantics and syntax to capture
      >these non-verbal gestures in their full detail without trying to
      >elaborate every possible variation of every possible feeling; and

      These are objectives for applications not languages.

      >(b) how to get people to feel safety in expressing their true
      >emotions and feelings to other human beings, something we have been
      >notoriously bad at for several thousand years.

      This is a very instructive post. It allows a lot of clarification for
      newcomers. HumanML can't get people to feel safer in expressing their
      vulnerabilities, it can allow them to do that by intrinsically giving
      tacit permission--saying, in essence, HERE'S A LANGUAGE. YOU CAN
      EXPRESS FEELINGS IN THIS LANGUAGE (among other things), and the
      unspoken inference is that it's okay to do that. Or, to be more
      accurate, it allows application builders to do that.

      >I think the challenge we face here is less of a technical problem as
      >it is a human, cultural, societal dilemma...and that's how to get
      >people to communicate authentically, with an understanding for other
      >people's point of view, and actually care about what they are
      >communicating instead of resorting to their unconscious defenses and
      >spewing their isolated, judgmental views of the world.

      Absolutely. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it take
      a bath. What we can do is make a language that explicitly improves
      fidelity of human communication in digital information systems if
      used. That's not spewing, per se, although it can be used for
      spewing, and if that's what someone wants or needs to express a
      little more explicitly, so be it.

      It's up to people to use it and demonstrate that fidelity in all its
      senses just makes more common sense, is more cost effective, more
      beneficial, and easier than the current state of affairs.

      <snip--loved the planetary gender analysis>
      Rex Brooks
      GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA, 94702 USA, Earth
      W3Address: http://www.starbourne.com
      Email: rexb@...
      Tel: 510-849-2309
      Fax: By Request
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