What we are

This is a continuation of the articles “What needs to be agreed upon”“What can be disagreed upon”, and “What will change and what will remain”. So far we have learnt to build posits and assert these, in order to create an exhaustive transcript of a discussion. Furthermore, the transcript came alive as a stone tablet, onto which we continuously and non-destructively can capture changes of values or opinions, following the three individuals involved. We also started to glimpse the power of #transitional modeling as a formal framework.

The last article ended with the posit P4 as ({(S44, nickname)}, Jen, 1988). We had already seen a similar posit P2 as ({(J42, nickname)}, Jen, 1988). The way the story had been told, we have presumed that J42 is a female human being. Presumptions only lead to headaches. If not now, then somewhere down the road. The transcript is clearly not exhaustive enough, so we need to rectify this, and at the same time solve the mystery of identity S44.

As it turns out, an utterance about an unrelated topic was made in the discussion. Someone said “Haha, but I wonder what Jen (J42) feels about being hit by Jen (S44)? That storm is about to hit shores tomorrow.” Aha, there’s the person J42 and the storm S44, both nicknamed Jen. In order to tell what things are, we again need to reserve some roles. Let’s reserve the strings ‘thing’ and ‘class’. We can now create two new posits ({(J42, thing), (C1, class)}, active, 1980-02-13) and ({(S44, thing), (C2, class)}, active, 2019-08-10). These connect things to classes, but the classes themselves also need to be explained.

The classes C1 and C2 can be dressed up with a lof of their own information, but let us stay with the basics and only introduce two more posits ({(C1, named)}, Female Child, 2019-08-20) and ({(C2, named)}, Storm, 2019-08-20). But wait, Jen is not a child any longer. Let’s also add ({(C3, named)}, Female Adult, 2019-08-20). If we assume that you become an adult at the age of 18, then ({(J42, thing), (C3, class)}, active, 1998-02-13). The same dereferencing set, but with a different value and a later timepoint, in other words a change. Things may change class as time goes by.

The third party reading the transcript is not much for specifics. Generics are much better. Let’s help her out and add ({(C4, named)}, Person, 2019-08-20) along with ({(J42, thing), (C4, class)}, active, 1980-02-13). The third party can assert these, simultaneously as Jennifer herself asserts the other. There is a difference of opinion, leading to concurrent models, both equally valid. Thinking about it some more, it turns out that these particular classes can actually be related ({(C1, subclass), (C4, superclass)}, active, 2019-08-20) and ({(C3, subclass), (C4, superclass)}, active, 2019-08-20). Both female children and female adults are persons.

Now that we’ve seen some of what #transitional modeling can do, it is still only a theoretical framework. What if there was a database built using posits at its core? This is the topic of the next article, entitled “Rethinking the database”.

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Lars Rönnbäck

Co-developer of the Anchor Modeling technique. Programmer of the online modeling tool. Site maintainer. Presenter and trainer.

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