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semantic structure to parallel legislative process

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

Discussion of Legislative Semantic Structure

The fact that I am almost totally ignorant of the legislative process could make this first attempt either very easy, or very difficult. I wonder if reciting Schoolhouse Rock's I'm Just a Bill would be helpful?

 

Actually, that's probably not a bad start.

 

What's the point?

 

From a very high level, its:

 

  • Getting the ball rolling
  • Keeping the ball rolling
  • Making it easy for people to help

 

To delve in a bit more, its:

 

  • Enabling new folks of any technical background to self-orient and self-inform
  • Incentivizing the extensions of new bridges of understanding across disparate perspectives
  • Providing workable feedback mechanism at the collective level (think of the collective flight simulator example -- also here)

 

More to the point

 

I'm thinking about Jeff Hawkins' On Intelligence, and the way that the structure of the cortex is recapituted in the collective through languange structures.

 

(... It's a start ... But it needs much more thought ...)

 

I have absolutely no idea what this page is trying to propose. --ChrisKennedy

 

A sematic structure is basically a tagging structure that parallels the legislative process.

I think first we create tags for each paragraph or concept that is in the bill and then you tag the bill itself both with searchable keywords and a preset tag that identifies it and what stage it is in the legislative process.

 

The key here is to make discussions on bills searchable by sponsors and bill numbers. So often people are against or opposed to bills without knowing the actually bill number. Another issue is that often bills have already been amended to be a bil they like. This would make this easier to track. This feature was the singularly most important feature that legislators and their staff needed to participate in the LoTV website. - HTH Silona Bonewald

 

Update, September 25, 2006

ChrisKennedy's point is well taken. We have technologists and legislators who need to speak the same language (or an engineered pidgeon language) so that they can coordinate and collaborate on legislative items when warranted. My intro was my own notes from the 500,000 foot perspective, which is too little detail to serve as the proposal that ChrisKennedy is looking for.

 

My concern is that jumping right into the detail of building a tagging structure will fail to have it built in a way that serves this median language function that I mentioned.

 

I'll update the page this evening with more relevant detail. The intro was intended to be a very short-lived intro to the topic, and I'm overdue for updating it. Thanks for the nudge.

 

In the mean-time, check out FACETag.org, faceted tagging structures may be ideal for this purpose. Standard semantic structures are a bit heavy on the emphasis of top-down organization (meaning that they favor a persons native tongue, whether tech or legislative). Bottom-up folksonomies allow for slang and a bit sloppier coordination, but can be frustrating because of their lack of precision. Faceted tags give an additional layer of specification that allows top-down and bottom-up approaches to work more closely together. (My own thought is that the top-down approach is better for objective fact type data, and bottom-up is better for subjective opinion type data). There isn't much on the FACETag.org site yet, but do check out the referenced articles.

 

More later. -- David Swedlow

 

Oct 1 2006

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Kai and I brainstormed a bit more in regards to the input functionality of such a tool.

 

This is what we created. I have also arranged appts with some of the people that watch legislation professionally and would be inputting the data into our system to see if they would like this style of interface.

 

The Bill Alert ID would be used as a TAG for the blogging posts. I want the tag to convey info about the Bill Alert as well (ie TX78s2sb5v2??? for Texas Session 78 Special Session 2 Senate Bill 5 version 2 subsection ???)

 

NEW MODULE: Bill Alerts

- Linkable in blogs (so bloggers can reference bill alerts)

- Entry screen with:

- Bill number

- state

- leg. session

- stage

- ammendment only?

- sponsor

- tags

- link to full text

- text of relevant section

- Submit from entry screen displays list of other references to that bill

- then gives option for:

- another Bill Alert based on this one (prepopulate fields with same data)

- new Bill Alert (start with empty fields)

- return to...

- Fields autocomplete based on database table of responses (like list of sponsors)

- clickbox after field (like "tags") gives window with:

- list of tags

- # of people subscribed to each tag

- "add new tag" button

- clicking on tag drops it into field on form

- similar behavior for other fields

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