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Extensibility, indeed

From: <mitchgould@mindspring.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000 16:51:16 -0500
To: www-rdf-comments@w3.org
Cc: lambda1@generalpicture.com
Message-ID: <Springmail.105.952033876.0.52005900@www.springmail.com>
Dear Dan,

    This is not a technical suggestion that can lead to an improvement in RDF, but it is an editorial suggestion that can perhaps lead in the tinest way to a more humane society. You may be quite surprised by this comment, but I hope you will try to consider it with an open mind. In your new RDF paper (and probably also in previous papers as well), you give an example:

"A Person's marital status is one of {Married, Divorced, Single, Widowed}."

   Not so. I have on my hand a gold wedding ring, and so does my camerado. We've been together in a loving, committed relationship for three years, but find a lot of people devoting a great deal of energy to preventing us from getting inheritance rights, medical visitation rights, insurance benefits, tax breaks, commerical couple discounts, the right to keep or gain custody of children, and innumerable other perks that your naive 4-state model implicitly endorses. 

   You (and W3C) spend a lot of time thinking about extensibility. Now I'm challenging you to apply a little bit of that extensibility to your universe of good and decent things. I realize that in the best case, if you understand this, you're expecting me to supply you with a recommended fifth term to extend the example so that it does not implicitly reinforce the discriminatory state of affairs. I don't know whether I can. How can state-sanctioned hate that disqualifies a faithful couple from 1000+ legal "perks" but does not diminish the sanctity of their commitment be reduced into a single word?

Mitch Gould,
founder, the lambda theology organization
Received on Thursday, 2 March 2000 16:51:19 UTC

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