An Instrumentary Tuple

Every term in Instrumentation will have several pieces of information associated with it. This section defines those pieces of information.

The Instrumentation data store can have many uses. These columns provide the data needed to support those uses. They could also enable periodic statistics showing the growth of the vocabulary in many dimensions.

Ultimately this data would be stored in a central repository where it would be available to any instrumentation appliance (and anyone else). Only the basic and syntactic terms would normally be stored on the users physical device. This combination would provide speed and flexibility without undue squandering of resources.

The data base fields are as follows:

The meaning of the term

Every term has one unique meaning. No other term has this meaning. This term does not have any other meaning. Instrumentation does not have synonyms. Everyone still has a good time.

This field may also contain links to visual or audible resources that help to explain the term.

The function of the term

What this term does. This may be quite lengthy for some Specialized terms. If this term requires data to perform its function, this field should describe the number and data types of its parameters. Not every term will have a function. Here are two examples of functional documentation from the Articulation layer:

'And' only has one function, but that function has multiple names in different domains. Defining the current domain would be a major distinction in some parts of the Specialization Layer.

The "current value" would have to be defined to make this 'and' function text legal. That definition would probably be attached to the articulation term "the value of". This function would require a link to that definition (and any other terms referenced).

The Articulation Layer is the primary source of relationships within instrumentation. Because of that, most of the functional definitions (for mathematical and logical operations) will be covered here. Things such as precedence, associativity and scope should be defined in Articulation.

The rationale for the Types

This can be a concise explanation of the relationship between the associated elements and this term or it can be a story, a poem, a picture, etc. The real requirements are that it must be applicable, useful and memorable. This is what will help people remember the location, meaning and function of this term. I have tried to give examples of the rationales for the terms in the tutorials.

Among Specialized terms and especially within the 'Command' area, the rationale may reference strategies for using this term in combination with other terms. This method would focus on the fingering of the chord rather than the meaning of the Types (and, the fingering of the chord is the location anyway).

Term Classes

This will give individuals the ability to find or to avoid certain terms.

The classes are things such as:    sex, violence, money, politics, religion, etc.

I realize that most people only want to restrict the terms that others can see, but slang, euphemisms and Personal Vocabularies can be used to overcome that tendency and there are times when this could be a useful feature.

I'd like to keep the class list as short and as universal as possible, (NASCAR is not a class, sorry) but I'm sure that it will grow until it becomes a sad joke to future generations. I'm planning on developing other mathematically based ways of selecting related terms, but this will require the existence of mathematically related terms in the Specialization Layer.


This is the ideal result of the "scientific process". In law enforcement it is called "a documented chain of evidence". In history (and 'professional' news to a lesser extent) it is called "a corroborated first person eye-witness account". In scholarship it is called "published refereed citations". This is the one thing that Wikipedia can never achieve (and they are still totally awesome). Sadly, this is also what this otherwise estimable website currently lacks (including this statement, in places).

The procedure for updating this field will include all rules developed for the disciplines above. When Instrumentation is managed by the International Organization for Standardization (which is called ISO, for obvious reasons), this is where they will earn their keep.

This field will contain a link to the 'best reference' (which may even be a 'book' in a 'library') and a keyword that describes the level of truthfulness. The keywords will be things such as 'physical' (for Oxygen and other denizens of the Chemical Rubber Compound handbook), 'eye-witness' (with a named, reliable and verifiable source), 'opinion' (for things such as 'beauty'), 'unknown' (this is where every term starts and it is the most commonly found keyword), etc. The official list of keywords will be kept as small and as self-explanatory as possible.

Truth must be legally protected. Misusing this field is vandalism and endangers public safety. The perpetrators (see 'User ID' and 'revision log' below) will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is my serious face.

OK, I could go on for hours on this one, but here at the Instrumentation Institute of Inference our first priority is global domination and I have other plots to foil-proof.

References from other terms

If this term is needed by another term (like "the value of" is used by 'and' above), the back-reference will be listed here. This may (someday) serve to indicate that a term in the Specialization Layer should actually be in Articulation.

This field and the fields below will be updated mechanically when needed.

Key-worthiness (true/false)

Eventually everyone in the world will have a unique random two-glyph "Galactic Postal Code" (GPC). This can theoretically provide unique codes for over 32 quintillion people. This should be enough to cover the human population of the milky way galaxy for multiple human lifetimes before any keys would need to be re-used. (a billion stellar systems with ten billion people each would require ten quintillion codes)

Using Instrumentation would reduce this code from a twenty digit decimal number (or two signed eight digit hexadecimal numbers) to a unique two-term code. A GPC would normally be something like "Penicillin Brontosaurus". This is easier to remember than a nine digit "Zip-Code", and it is tied to an individual rather than a location so it can be used for electronic as well as physical delivery.

For those worried about security, everyone could also have four-glyph public and private keys. These would be 132 bit keys, but they would be represented by four terms each. A key that can easily be memorized need not be written down or saved in computer memory and is, therefore, much more secure. Larger keys could be used by anyone who has a greater need for secure communication.

The postal code would normally remain connected to a person for life. The cryptography keys could be changed at the whim of the user, or when they were suspected of being compromised. There are a lot of trust protocols that need to be ratified globally and processes that need to be implemented before this can become a secure workable system, but the current hodgepodge of outdated local systems is already inadequate for modern communication needs.

Unfortunately, not every Instrumentation index can be used as a key. Many terms are unfilled and other existing terms probably aren't suitable for use. Any term that is not unique, such as right as in turn or right as in correct, should not be used. All 'official' Instrumentation languages (Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi/Urdu, Arabic, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese to start) would have to be checked for Homonyms. The list below contains several complete areas that would not be used.

True Key-worthiness would mean that the current term is unique and suitable for use as part of a key. This field will simplify the selection of valid terms for key creation.

The Author's User ID

This is the person who suggested this as a candidate term. The actual identity of the Author will be released one hundred years after the last "Creation Date" associated with this ID unless the Author requests perpetual anonymity.

Anonymity would cover all terms submitted by the same ID.

If you want your friends to believe that you actually submitted a term, just use your full name as your ID. (other solutions may be possible)

The Creation Date

Probably the date that the term was suggested or approved (haven't decided yet).

The revision log

This would be a pointer to a list of User IDs, dates, changes and ostensible reasons therefore. These changes would not include the complete replacement of the term (see next field).

The list is separate from the term tuple because they form a 'dependent' relationship (it is a normal form data base thing).

The previous term

This is a pointer to the term that this term replaced. All previous terms will be saved in a "previous terms" data store. As Instrumentation ages it will be possible to maintain a clear and unquestionable trail for future etymologists and social scientists.

When the vocabulary is mature (when all thematic bugs have been harmonized), continuing changes will mirror the evolution of the culture that uses it.

The current prototype vocabulary will not be part of the "previous term" data store because it would skew the results of any analysis of term changes (and frighten small children). I assume that a copy of the prototype vocabulary will be enshrined in the Smithsonian (or the Louvre) for the edification of future generations.

Other Housekeeping

Someone submitting a new term must write the text for the meaning, the function and the rationale and then select applicable term classes. If the term is rejected because of errors in one of those areas, the term may be corrected with a revision log entry. If the term is rejected because it is vandalistic, it can not be resubmitted. Free speech and factual accuracy are separate issues. Only I get to hide Easter eggs amongst the terms, you can put 'goatse' in your personal vocabulary, if you like.

The Meta-Data

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