I think we've both made our respective points and have talked this out. We'll have to agree to disagree. My only addition here is where you point out:
On Fri, 5 Nov 2010 Kevin M. Randall wrote:
<snip>This document is about implementing RDA, and they are emphasizing that in order to implement RDA in your catalog, you don't have to implement the model as laid out in FRBR, as they clearly say and display in scenario 1: "In the first scenario, RDA data are stored in a relational or object-oriented database structure that mirrors the FRBR and FRAD conceptual models. Descriptive data elements are stored in records that parallel the primary entities in the FRBR model: work records, expression records, manifestation records, and item records," which eliminates the unit record. I believe the document is silent about implementing the FRBR model using separate unit records, but it does say that you can implement RDA within unit records.
What FRBR describes can definitely be done with the unit record. This is explicitly shown in RDA database implementation scenario 3 (http://www.rda-jsc.org/images/pdf.gif) [Actually at www.rda-jsc.org/docs/5editor2rev.pdf JW]. All that FRBR has done is study what we've already been doing for a very, very, very long time, and essentially say, "This is what we've been doing, or trying to do; here are the things we have to include in the records to make sure we keep doing it successfully, and hopefully do it even better." Please note, FRBR is only telling us WHAT needs to be done (identify and relate the entities) and WHY. It isn't even attempting to tell us HOW to do it--that's up to other endeavors (e.g., RDA is trying to do that for content alone).
At least we do seem to be in agreement that FRBR does not do anything essentially new, but continues what catalogers have been doing for a very, very long time. My stance is: that's exactly the problem. I don't think this is insulting or anything of the sort: I'm a cataloger too and have been for quite awhile! But FRBR looks backward, in fact: quite a long way back, and this is when we need to find some new ways forward.