Special states

Gregor Hagedorn G.Hagedorn at BBA.DE
Fri Mar 21 15:06:00 CET 2003

> Steve Shattuck's response to Gregor's Special States document raises
> some important points. There is a clear divergence of opinion as to
> the role and scope of SDD. It seems to me that the difference is that
> Steve wants SDD to record pure descriptive facts, while Gregor wants
> it to capture a scientific work-in-progress, including the judgements
> and process decisions of the scientist.

I fully agree.

> It seems to me that if the "explanation" is encoded, then this
> suggestion is not a long way from Gregor's. If the "explanation" is
> text-based, then it will be a mere comment that may be useful to the
> original author but will be impossible to process by any other
> application. I agree that processing issues need to be kept firmly
> under control in SDD but I don't think they have no role - after all,
> we're capturing these data in order to process them, not just archive
> them.

Same here.

> Under Gregor's model and Steve's "encoded explanation" model, we would
> need to be quite sure that it is possible to capture the entire
> universe of statements describing the uncertainty. This seems to me to
> be possible. For instance, the following list of possibilities for an
> unencoded datum seem to be exhaustive:
> It's logically possible to code and I intend to code it but haven't
> gotten around to it yet (unfinished business) It's logically possible
> to code and I intend not to do it (character scoped out) It's
> logically impossible to code (inapplicable)

Right. This may be a better base hierachy than the one in the first
version of my paper.

> Surely there's no space between the logically possible and logically
> impossible, or between the intend to do it and intend not to do it.
> (There may of course be subcategories of these that we may choose to
> capture. And there will of course be a role for free-form text)

Yes. Whether special states can bear comment or not has not yet been

> I agree with Steve (and Gregor) that Gregor's document is messy and we
> need to clean up and tease out the concepts.

I agree again. The first version was really sitting between the
chairs, in being minutes of a lengthy discussion in Brazil, and
starting to reorganize and add to the thoughts.

I am grateful for the criticism and the thoughts you guys put into

Gregor Hagedorn (G.Hagedorn at bba.de)
Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology, and Biosafety
Federal Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA)
Koenigin-Luise-Str. 19          Tel: +49-30-8304-2220
14195 Berlin, Germany           Fax: +49-30-8304-2203

Often wrong but never in doubt!

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