Prospective EcoSocial Ontology

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= Basic concept: create adaptable shared reference structures and symbology for cross-platform semantic linking and pattern reinforcement in non-fiction story-form media


The Prospective Eco-Social Ontology (PESO) is an approach toward interoperable taxonomic systems for navigation and aggregation of diverse content libraries and topical threads in the realm of "common good" environmental and cultural regeneration work. The idea sprouted from designs for the BrowsEarth semantic story-scape platform.

The present objective is to evolve a composable lexicon of visual tags (icons) which represent near-universal qualities of human value expression, as applicable to the What, How, and Why cognitive dimensions of an ontology of experiential narrative. Each of these dimensions will be mapped as taxonomic structures which attempt to intuitively, conveniently, discreetly, and completely arrange the relevant icons to several levels of nested specificity.

The PESO taxonomies are not empirical or definitive, but rather emergent, intentional, and configurable as open source cartographic kits with visual components and design cues creating a stylistic as well as semantic linkage across implementations. The tag icons (to which different verbal and lingual labels can easily be attached) may be selectively restructured for custom uses without affecting the essential cross-platform link between content per each common tag.

The tag assignment metadata is stored and served from the assigning CMS, domain host, or application database, with the possibility for weighted interpolation to achieve tailored collective-intelligence assessments. It should be possible to log usage statistics in custom queries per domain and taxon from a redundantly distributed registry, and also to track emerging folksonomic definitions which may be appended to the reference taxonomies when well established in application.

Extended Early Version

The Prospective Eco-Social Ontology is a graphic key to patterns of healthy civil lifeways, and will be applicable in diverse social environments to forge meaningful connections and coalition, demonstrate coherence and synergy, and enhance efficient flows of information and other currency.

PESO project attempts to ask and provisionally answer fundamental questions about 'what is the common good' in a way and at a time that elicits broad working consensus, without rigidity or subordination of unique personal or cultural qualities and preferences. As an open project in the Creative Commons, all resources are freely available for adoption and modification as desired. Additionally, usage statistics and feedback will contribute to the ongoing development and refinement of the ontology, incorporating of 'folksonomic' wisdom over time.

This work draws on many present and prior efforts to organize, strategize, and proactively engage for better futures. It offers an expressly affirmative approach that points to generative action and common cause. Our aspiration is for an evolving semiotic tree that provides shared cognitive and strategic reference through nomenclature, symbology and semantic relation. An ontology is a system for cognitive elaboration which establishes meaning and relationship amongst objects and ideas in a map-like fashion. It represents an armature for collaboration, learning, classification, community, know-how, documentation, governance, research, and more.

The PESO project is a visual classification and communication system that aims for a visual shorthand to describe and connect activities that transition our society towards healthier relationships internally and amidst the environment. Today the Web is a rich collection of stories, but it is quite poorly organized for discovery and collation. We intend to help ‘connect the dots’ and highlight the patterns of a just, sustainable world, by resolving aspects to a consensus of common eco-social value. Based on this shared conceptual and symbolic framework, collective intelligence within a given community may more readily emerge and resolve toward beneficial applications.

1 - Goals

    • An adaptable common knowledge framework for ecosocial design, evaluation, correlation
    • Reference system for cross-cultural understanding and collaboration
    • Novel visual languaging system for diverse media
    • An outreach, documentation and networking effort

2 - Objectives

    • Ontology v1.0 in print and digital forms, including topic map and theming
    • Tag vocabulary and icon collection with flexible grouping/rules
    • Descriptive glossary and semantic/epistemic contexts
    • Case studies and network/partners
    • A development track and roadmap

3 - Strategy

    • Collect reference taxonomies from across the web and factor key terms
    • Structure for discreetness, usability, apprehension, and style
    • Conduct test application to multimedia content pool
    • Explore versioning system and user input models

4 - Resources

    • Collective experience, wisdom, and intention
    • Flexible part time attentions from at least two dedicated team members
    • Social and intellectual network for review and feedback
    • Free/open source cloud apps/services

5 - Outreach

    • Connect with related efforts
    • Publicize intent and accomplishments
    • Demonstrate utility and potential
    • Offer incentives

6 - Evolution

    • Prepare a dedicated forum for discussion
    • Establish a statistical monitoring system
    • Arrange governance and protocol
    • Explore primary partnerships

7 - Ecosystem

8 - Methodology

    • Collaborative team of project stewards
    • Crowdsource contributions towards major milestones
    • Creative commons licensing

9 - Outputs

    • Secure a web presence for the project, and ensure public access to the core products via download
    • Undertake an outreach effort with introductory materials to encourage adoption and partnership in ongoing development