Friday, June 8, 2012

Re: [RDA-L] "Work manifested" in new RDA examples

Posting to RDA-L

On 07/06/2012 20:42, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
<snip>
You still don't get it.

Everything you're doing is based upon some data element somewhere that a user must act upon. It doesn't have to be traditional bibliographic data for the FRBR user task to apply. You're still looking for things, finding them because the relevant data was somewhere, still having to make discernments and decisions about what you're looking at, and still having to make some decision about suitability. For example, one the data elements for an expression entity that satisfies the "Select" user task is "Award." So if you find something, anything that won an award, and that's important to you, then you are "Selecting".

There's nothing 19th century about doing that.
</snip>

I believe I have demonstrated, as much as anyone has, that I get it. I understand FRBR. It's really not all that complicated. It is just that I don't believe it. It has never been demonstrated that it is what the public wants, not even by Panizzi himself, but the limits of his technology and his environment constrained him to come up with his type of catalog, which we have inherited.

Certainly, we can ascribe some kind of transcendent meanings to find, identify, select, and obtain, along with the entities, and say that these are constants that people have needed and wanted, and will remain so for as long as humans stay human. Therefore, no matter what are the advances in "search" and how those results are presented to humans; no matter how intellectual products are created, how those products are metamorphosed and how we perceive them, someone can always label it all as "variants of FISO WEMI by their ATS". Of course, that is the same as maintaining that astrophysics is actually a subtype of astrology or that biochemistry is really a variation on alchemy. That the periodic table of the elements actually displays various aspects of fire, water, earth and air. Someone could make such statements and probably even make an interesting case for them. Yet, it would be obvious to us that anyone who would maintain such attitudes today would actually be talking about the state of his or her own mind and nothing about the actual materials themselves.

So yes, maintaining the primacy of the FRBR user tasks is evidence of an earlier way of thinking that stems from the 19th century and in many ways from before that. And that's OK but so long as we maintain such an attitude, we voluntarily limit our possibilities when compared to those who are not constrained by such presuppositions.

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