voice of humanity: Progress Report - Dimensions    
 Progress Report - Dimensions5 comments
picture22 Feb 2004 @ 18:38, by Roger Eaton

A previous article, A New Heaven, has an overview of the voice of humanity concept.

Plans are very nearly complete; the next article, coming soon, will detail the awaited InterMix interface. This article covers "dimensions" -- a final element needed to complete the voh design. (Image can be found in startling full size detail at www.math.toronto.edu/gif/polytope.gif.)

A voh "dimension" is a list of subcategories. Each subcategory is called an "element" of the dimension. For an example, see the two dimensional conceptual map at the Los Angeles Network for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence site. One dimension is geographic, from local community up to global perspective, and the other is "aspects of peace", as historically developed in the 20th century beginning after WWII. The Aspects of Peace dimension has seven elements:

1) Absence of war and physical violence
2) Strong international system
3) No structural violence
4) Feminist peace - no interpersonal violence
5) Intercultural peace
6) Harmony with nature
7) Inner peace

The use of a dimension in the voh database is to help the users subcategorize items. It is meant as a facility. For instance, say we have a category of peace organizations. Then we can easily subcategorize each organization by tagging it from a dropdown list with one or more of the "aspects of peace" elements. By so doing, we are effectively subcategorizing the organizations.

In the example above, the Peace Organizations category is said to "have" the Aspects of Peace dimension as one among any number of dimensions that are "on" the category. The Harmony with Nature subcategory of Peace Organizations is said to "belong to" the Aspects of Peace dimension. It is a requirement that a subcategory or subsubcategory, etc., not have a dimension that any of its supercategories also has, else we could get into a loop. Notice that the names of the elements always correspond exactly to the names of the actual subcategories.

When a dimension is first added, a corresponding category with subcategories are added automatically by InterMix under the high level category InterMix Dimensions to match the dimension and its elements. (The name of the high level category can be changed by the hub owner.) Continuing with our example, when the Aspects of Peace dimension is first added, InterMix will create the InterMix Dimensions >> Aspects of Peace category and the 7 subcategories including InterMix Dimensions >> Aspects of Peace >> Inner Peace.

Then when the dimension is added to a category, subcategories are automatically built if they are not there already. So when we add the Aspects of Peace dimension to the Peace Organizations category, 7 subcategories are automatically built, including Peace Organizations >> Inner Peace

An important feature: in the example, if an item is added to Peace Organizations and tagged with Inner Peace from the dimension, then the new item thereby belongs to both the Peace Organizations >> Inner Peace subcategory and the InterMix Dimensions >> Aspects of Peace >> Inner Peace subcategory. The item can be found in a look up for either subcategory.

A dimension may be shared by more than one category. For instance, Peace Organizations and Peace Events may share the Aspects of Peace dimension. In this case both events and organizations will end up together in the Aspects of Peace >> Inner Peace subcategory. This can be a useful easy way to aggregate items across topics.

My thanks to Darryl Kanouse, who took the time to go over the voh design with me and help me get my thoughts in order.



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5 comments

24 Feb 2004 @ 10:15 by ming : Dimensions
Great! If you can get that to work well, that in itself is a major thing.  


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