Talk:Dominant group

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See w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Dominant group.

Can we classify the field of this study? Linguistics? What? --Abd 00:08, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

moved from User talk:Abd --Abd 01:23, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

I would very much like to. So far it is part Linguistics and part History of Science. But, I am not sure how this is done. Is there some kind of template that is put on this discussion page?

In addition as the exploration progresses I may need to add one more, not sure of this though.

Also, the text on the page is getting lengthy and I would normally split off into separate topics, but I do not know if that is what's done here, or whether some of the text should be put in my user space (assuming I have one) here at wikiversity. Advice definitely welcome. Marshallsumter 01:17, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you have a user space. For example, I have a personal sandbox at User:Abd/Sandbox. You may use user space for just about anything that isn't against policy, you can draft articles there. I have a User:Abd/Playspace that I use for temporary storage of stuff that may not be appropriate for mainspace, but that may have some value for the user who created it, but that isn't spam, copyvio, etc.
Wikiversity, unlike Wikipedia, allows subpages in mainspace. It's like Wikibooks. You can easily shove subtopics into subpages. In fact, please do! You can link to a subpage with a simple link that is relative to the page it's on. That's very useful on Wikibooks, they can rename a whole book, and the subpage links will still work. (Renaming an entire hierarchy of pages is a custodial privilege here, it can be done with a single Move.)
If the page is a study in linguistics, then it might be linked from School:Linguistics or from some related page. It can be placed in a category, so that it will be found by looking at the Category page. See Category:Linguistics. A page may be, of course, placed in more than one category.... --Abd 01:32, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Copyright violations[edit source]

Apart from my ethical concerns with this experiment, it currently violates the copyrights of several English Wikipedia editors. If proper attribution is not provided, per the terms of the CC-BY-SA license, the material will need to be deleted. Kaldari 19:12, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for noticing the incomplete citations/links. The citations have been completed, and I am happy to note their contributions. Marshallsumter 02:11, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Just as an additional point about attribution to wikipedia contributors: "As an author, you agree to be attributed in any of the following fashions: a) through a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to the article or articles you contributed to, b) through a hyperlink (where possible) or URL to an alternative, stable online copy which is freely accessible, which conforms with the license, and which provides credit to the authors in a manner equivalent to the credit given on this website, or c) through a list of all authors. (Any list of authors may be filtered to exclude very small or irrelevant contributions.)" Source: [1]. Marshallsumter 04:33, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Absent specific examples, I do not agree that copyright is being violated. Technically, there is no violation of copyright law, creating liability for the WMF, for anything on Wikipedia or Wikiversity unless the WMF fails to remove material on request, or can be shown to have deliberately encouraged violation of rights (as the WMF, not as independent individuals). In this case, as far as anything I've seen, there is no violation of copyright at all. Short quotations for the purpose of criticism or analysis don't violate copyright, they are de minimus. The core issue: could the editor who posts the material be successfully sued for copyright violation if, say, that editor sells the material elsewhere? Could someone copying the material from Wikiversity sell it according to the WV licensing? In fact, that could be a complex legal question, but my informed understanding is that, for every specific example I've looked at, the answer is, No, such a suit would not only be very unlikely to be filed, it would be very unlikely to succeed. I'm not an attorney, and would defer to a more knowledgeable opinion, but I'm not seeing that here. WMF counsel, I have some reason to think, has been informed about this situation and we are not seeing WMF instruction on this, only generalities.
Unfortunately, Kaldari did not point to a specific example. With a specific example, a more specific opinion would be offered; my comments above are more general, having to do with de minimus quotation. It is common on the internet that entire original works are quoted for purpose of response or criticism, and this is mentioned in resources explaining copyright law; but that's a fair-use exemption. So even if there were copyright violation involved in short quotations, they would still be fair-use, depending on the usage. If Marshall diffs the quotations, attribution is covered. They should, of course, be diffed, it's common courtesy and matches academic practice. --Abd 15:16, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Later comment: scholarly practice requires attribution of sources. It is enough for all material released under a WMF site license, that a link be given to the source, and the source will show attribution. My preference is to link to permanent versions, ideally as edited by the editor who is being quoted or whose action is being cited, but it is sufficient to link to the page. The edit history here will show the date of addition of the material, and this then will indicate the source version visible at that time.
  • What if Wikipedia then deletes the page? We are not responsible for Wikipedia's failures in this respect. This commonly happens with Commons files. I have suggested that instead of fully deleting images, Commons should replace them with thumbnails, and perhaps revision-delete the original image. All the license information and edit history, then, could be intact, all except for showing the full image. But the dominant group is crazy, a quick summary, my dominant impression. That's the dominant thinking, and dominant thinking always believes it is right, because it is dominant. "Hey, we agree. Go away." Notice: the "we" is not inclusive, it is exclusive.
  • This is, of course, not just on the WMF wikis! This is simply how most people think, and that is a clue to the meaning of "dominant" and "dominant group." --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:56, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Dominant group[edit source]

I get a vague idea of what dominant group is. Is it a real definition? I'm just curious. The beginning of the article isn't clear. How do the subjects differ, or what makes this special, from an article that has its own namespace? Thanks Sidelight12 Talk 01:31, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

"I get a vague idea of what dominant group is." You and me both!

"Is it a real definition?" It has numerous definitions. Some of which are field specific.

"The beginning of the article isn't clear." Suggestions are welcome. The beginning of the article is about an original research project to answer some of the concerns you have written about. The first paragraph is a quote from an astrophysics article that uses dominant group implicitly defined as a scientific term meaning the largest group of active regions, yet doesn't directly state this. When you read the article you will realize the definition being implied.

"How do the subjects differ, or what makes this special, from an article that has its own namespace?" It's an original research project in article form as described under the Topic section. The subjects do not differ with respect to the use of the scientific term dominant group.

Hope this helps,

Thank you for commenting and your interest. --Marshallsumter (talk) 02:01, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

I see your Dominant Group sections in articles you have worked on, often empty. You came across the phrase "dominant group" and seem to have treated that as if it were a discriminable entity, and wondered what it is. You might be overthinking the matter. Nevertheless, here I go.

There are some hidden assumptions, not made explicit, perhaps.

The term appears to be used as ordinary language, without specific definitions. A dominant group is a group that is dominant. What's a "group"? When we have elements in a set, any combination of the elements of the set can be a group. We then need to define elements and set! That is, approaching experience, we conclude that there are separate objects, not just some single entity. We have five *fingers.* By naming things, we separate them from other things, and can manipulate the concept and combine it with others.
(While there is certainly object discrimination and separation nonverbally, the human use of language is powerful and tends to dominate our conscious experience. There is that word, "dominate.")
So, given that we have discriminable objects, that are somehow identified with each other, have some common characteristic such that we may treat them as a *set*, then there are subsets that can be formed. Groups. In fact, every set is a group within a larger set. Every subset has a common characteristic. It might only be some arbitrary membership. If I number the cards in my possession, I could then consider the even-numbered cards and the odd-numbered cards, as a quality of history, not intrinsic to the cards themselves.
Now, when we have groups, we many compare them with each other by some standard. If we have a set of coins, we might define the dominant group in that set as the group with the most members. Say it is pennies. Or we might define it as the group with higher monetary face value. The group of pennies may or may not have higher value than the group of nickels.
Or the group with the highest numismatic value. In all these there is a common thread: something is "higher." That is, something is "dominant." This is a reflection of our habit of assigning importance. The "dominant group" is "more important" in some sense.
In my training, these distinctions are recognized as stories or interpretations, not facts. They are invented, not "true or false." (Or we could say that their "truth" is conditional on assumptions, but the point is that other assumptions would produce different "truths.")
So if you are searching for a common meaning for "dominant group," there might not be one, beyond a simple confluence of two steps in an analytical process.
The common thread I see is the assignment, first, of meaning to membership in an identified set, and then an assignment of importance to some subset, which implies that the complimentary set of subsets is not important. "Importance" is a device which we use to blind ourselves to the rest of reality, like a horse's blinders, to keep the horse on track.
Breakthroughs in understanding and achievement often occur when we remove the blinders and just see what's there.
Now, this consideration leads me to a hypothesis:
  • "Dominant group" is used to assign importance, to suggest that a topic that can be divided into groups may be best understood, or more quickly understood, or more efficiently understood, or some goal reached, by considering this group.
The term is then used psychologically to focus attention. --Abd (discusscontribs) 21:44, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
The Importance hypothesis is the ninth one I'll be examining soon from the various sources available. So, I tend to agree with you. The oldest use of something synonymous with dominant group is the Latin "Classicus", or the patrician class of the early Roman republic via Romulus and Remus. A very historically important group according to some classics authors. Dominant group may be something inherent in our nature psychologically, my Primordial hypothesis. I am considering composing a short psychological questionnaire using the resource JTNeil has created for such things. Then, I'll just ask some of the authors to answer the questions and see what I get. What do you think? Until I started this project on wikipedia I'd never used the phrase for anything. It might be a language artifact. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 01:42, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Dominant groups do not exist in "nature," that is, in reality considered as distinct from our reactions to reality.
Dominant groups are an artifact of how we process and analyze data, as mentioned above. They can both illuminate and obscure. The field here is w:Linguistics, w:Semantics, w:Semiotics, w:Epistemology or w:Ontology, I'm not yet prepared to classify it more closely. As the identification of dominant groups can be highly useful pedagogically and educationally, and as long as we understand that we create them, that is, we assign importance based on our history with a topic, this is not harmful, it's a functional device, important or even crucial educationally.
That is, in setting up an educational process, there are two general approaches: first, present the raw data, develop familiarity with that data. In that approach, however, there is an issue of sequence. What data is presented first, and in what detail? A topic develops historically through this approach. This is how we come to know the unknown. There may be a mass of unorganized, uncorrelated data. Then correlations are found. The presentation of correlations is intermediate between the first and second approaches, because correlation requires a level of abstraction, of the distinction of identifying characteristics as being associated with some connection between collections of data.
The second approach presents a developed organizing structure. This is often called "science," but should not be confused with the "scientific method." Science, in this case, refers to what we "know." It is especially shared knowledge, that is, you know "f = ma", and I know "f = ma", and our knowledge very likely matches. However, we each have very different bodies of data from which that knowledge is abstracted, if, indeed, we developed "f = ma" ourselves instead of merely memorizing it as a "scientific fact."
As you know, F = ma is not "truth." It's an approximation, highly useful under some conditions, misleading under others. It's useful under a "dominant group" of conditions, and specifically those of ordinary life and what we encounter, the exceptions, the situations where this breaks down are, for us, rare and unknown until our experience broadened.
These two approaches create a third, a hybrid approach, and this is also standard, pedagogically, where there is study and experiment. In experiment, a student is ideally trained to set aside their accumulated knowledge (accumulated through ordinary experience and belief, or accumulated through study), and return to observation, often with testing, that is, setting up conditions where the effect of controlling some variable can be distinguished.
Now, to the relevance on Wikiversity: at some level, we, as a community, will develop this project more effectively as we understand these two approaches and how they may be fostered and presented.
As you may know, I often study "wiki behavior." This study almost always starts because I see something odd, anomalous, maybe "wrong." However, instead of gathering "proof" of "wrongness," which is a common and even expected approach, I gather *data*. As I do this, then, hypotheses do develop, organizing concepts. They are not necessarily what I started with. I am now, having exposed myself to massive data -- this process can take weeks of study, I may have looked at hundreds of screens of data or more -- more informed about the topic.
Unfortunately, this heightened level of knowledge (the first kind, data) can take me far outside of ordinary experience, and it can then be difficult to communicate. That is the problem I've faced for decades, the problem of how to connect what I find with our collective knowledge.
Back to the topic here, you have placed Dominant group sections in many resources, where the function is obscure, I'd say. You often set up sections which is give definitional information; however, "dominant group" is not established as having meaning for most people. Rather, every resource may eventually identify dominant groups. Some may not. That identification is not fact, it is interpretation or opinion. Linking Dominant group from many resources is dominating the project with a single research project.
However, creating approaches to learning that involve identifying "dominant groups" can be highly useful. But we don't describe the Wikiversity educational approach on every page! Practices like placing a "notation" section in resources, as with [2], would be like having, on every page, a definition of the language used. What is in the notation section is simply common practice. We don't say in a resource, as a reductio ad absurdem, "this page is a design template, a pattern in a binary code, for a collection of displayed pixels that can be interepreted as language, the language consisting of symbols as interpreted by those who know English. Attempting to decode the page in other manners may produce interesting but likely meaningless information."
The point is that our design for each page will advisedly be toward maximum utility in education. We can establish "universals," which can be linked the first time a term is used on the page, by someone intending for the term to be intrepreted as a universal. Probably what is in the Notation section, though, is so normal that it's not necessary at all.
The extra unnecessary content will tend to suppress reading with understanding, it's boring, if understood and confusing if not. When I try to explain stuff like this to my daughter (who will be 13 in a few days and is smart and self-expressed), she says, "Dad, I'm not listening." Most people won't tell you that, but they have stopped listening or reading. Yet they still have their reactions, as you experienced on Wikipedia, where your work was completely misunderstood (and where the work you were doing was, indeed, Original Research and inappropriate for Wikipedia while very appropriate here). --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:47, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree already with at least two points you've made. Dominant group is an educational concept in that readers, students, may need to be aware that culturally these groups do exist and are usually putting glass ceilings in place. It was one of the points the proposal reviewers were getting at. This may not be done too well in those resources separate from the original research effort. Regarding Notations, Universals, Control groups, and Proof of concept sections, I am beginning to remove or replace these unless as in Positron astronomy mention is made within a primary source. These I believe are useful to readers and student. Having these sections in the beginning of the resource may no longer be necessary. Separate resources already exist for Control groups and Proof of concept. I will probably create Notations and Universals.
I tend to agree that dominant groups may not occur in terms of evolution yet the concept exists in most theories about evolution. Whether it is an artifact of our thinking processes or something more sinister or something else entirely remains to be seen. I will probably include some of your notes here as anecdotal evidence with appropriate credit if that's okay.
One of the common forms of dominant groups in nature are breeding pairs. Among meerkats, for example, they do everything they can to make the colony serve them to the point of killing offspring of other less dominant mating pairs.
An example of a dominant group in human society was in place when I worked for the Navy. In my division, if a scientist lost his wife, divorce or death, he was out of job within a year. The married men who ran the division saw to it. No joke and no subjectivity either. Each was replace by a married man, usually much less capable. Many people of all types were leaving because of this behavior.
As I go through resources, if the dominant group section seems less informative I will try to improve it or eliminate it. Its usefulness may no longer be needed. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 18:40, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
In your response, it seems that you have some negative idea about "dominant group." It's very clear to me that the concept has its root in the necessities of efficient processing and analysis of data by the brain. We have a huge flow of information coming in at all times from the senses, and we learn to pay attention to only part of it, survival requires that. In my own training, the development of "story," i.e, interpretation, is sometimes, by newcomers, mistaken for there being something wrong with story. No, the training is to distinguish story from "what happened," because when we are caught in some locked state, where we seem to be unable to make progress, it is quite likely that we have developed a "limiting interpretation." That interpretation is neither right or wrong, it is only useful or not useful, and usefulness depends on context. What was useful yesterday may not be useful today. Or may not be useful in certain contexts, i.e., the context where we are stopped.
The story you told about the Navy, were I in management there, and I heard this story, I'd want to do a study. The dominant group in that story is "married men." Married men also tend to live longer. Married men may be more stable in a number of ways. Cause and effect may not be as simple as your story implies. Yet, if it's true that unmarried men are being replaced by less capable married men, damage is taking place. In my training, when we come across a situation like this, or that appears like this, and if we think it's "wrong," the emotional reaction to the "wrongness" can readily disable our ability to function clearly and in the much larger realm afforded by the cerebral cortex, we start to be run by the more primitive survival responses of the back-brain, to use a modern interpretation of this effect.
This could be one reason why reform is so difficult: it often is motivated by a belief that something is bad or wrong. And the results can be even worse that the starting situation! Examples abound.
Rather, as a manager, I'd be concerned about the effect of losing a spouse on my employees. Do they need additional support or accomodation? If they suffered some illness or disability, we would often provide that. It would all start with understanding what actually is happening, which is not a matter of right or wrong, good or bad.
So what does this have to do with "dominant group"? Dominant group showed up in your *explanation* of a phenomenon observed or suspected by you. That phenomenon may even be the subject of what we call a "conspiracy," i.e, people may agree about it, tsk, tsk, it's a shame! And that can happen if the phenomenon does not exist, i.e., if there is, in fact, no pattern. Humans do this: we simplify the recall and processing of data by forming conclusions and remembering the conclusions instead of the far, far more complex primary data. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:35, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
As to the Navy situation, a number of lawsuits resulted with some voluntary retirements included. All of the managers involved are now gone. As far as I know I wasn't involved in this matter. The sociological, psychological or medical definition of dominant group seems to have applied. The damage apparent or otherwise may never have been fixed. Several sciences have produced theoretical, scientific, or working definitions for dominant group, usually overlapping about the control over resources, glass ceilings, and power (military force, or something similar). But, these may be cultural in origin perhaps related to the concept of hierarchy. If dominant group is only an artifact of our thinking a whole bunch of sociologists may be very upset. More than likely multiple definitions are involved that may be generalized by the metadefinition I created. But, I've been wrong before. --Marshallsumter (discusscontribs) 20:07, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
"Dominant group" can be defined in a particular field such as to refer to an objective reality. However, that's not how it's ordinarily used, and the definition will vary with the field. The most general definition would refer to how the brain assigns importance to phenomena, or, more accurately, to memory of phenomena. So, there is some social situation where some group appears to be dominant and then there is a revolution, and the "dominant group" is isolated, killed, or at least disempowered. Were they a dominant group or not? Obviously, the history would matter. So, at any given time are they dominant? What measures would be used? If some hidden phenomenon can reverse the apparent dominance, was it real or simply an illusion?
Yet it seems you raise the possibility of dismissing "dominant group" as an "only an artifact of our thinking." Yes, I'm asserting that it is an artifact of our thinking. That is ontologically obvious. But I wouldn't say "only." Our entire process of developing analysis and interpretation is an "artifact of our thinking."
It seems that underlying your comment is the question of whether or not "dominant group" is *real*. I.e, if we say that the married managers were a dominant group, is this "true" or not. The answer may depend on the measure; that is, "dominance" will be a function of what definitions and analytical tools we employ and what data we choose to feed it.
Yet the concept of dominance can be *useful.* If I want to get something done, involving a group of people, I may wish to approach the "dominant group." Or should I? In fact, the apparent dominant group is dependent upon supporters; if the supporters decided to withdraw support, the dominance would vanish immediately. One of the signs of an artifact of thinking is that it cannot be cut with a knife. It cannot be touched, weighed, measured. It is dependent on a complex of interpretations and conditions.
And then, when we study how to actually create transformation in the world, one of the approaches is to pull the rug out from under all these "established concepts." Mahatama Gandhi dropped the idea that the English were the dominant group, and stood for something else, and British domination vanished. It was an illusion, but maintained as such for a long time. Since they were not dominant, he did not need to fight them! He actually took charge, first of himself, and then of his people, through new interpretations that he created that were more powerful. A new dominant group, we could say.
Yet is it dominant? It's an endless regression. It is far, far simpler to recognize that "true" and "false" do not apply to these interpretations, they are useful for prediction or they are not. No interpretation predicts everything, they always fall short, so all are in some way false. Any reasonably useful interpretation will predict *something* that happens, at least some of the time, so they are in that way true. In the end, they are what they are, interpretations, in my training, patterns of patterns of neutrons firing.
I assert that there is a reality that is not merely patterns of neurons firing, but I don't expect to ever find a proof for it. Great minds have tried and failed on this one. Or, more accurately, that would be a proof that we can follow and understand and recognize as flawless. I'm suspecting that this ineffability is intrinsic to existence, to finite understanding.
So.... the concept of dominance is equivalent to the concept of importance. If we have an educational resource on a subject that is more than some random effort to explore a topic, that is actually designed for efficient education, we are not just going to dump a disorganized pile of facts on the student. Making fact available is an important part of our mission, but fact <> education. Or else we would all have become geniuses as soon as we had the internet. Google (etc.) made the internet accessible, and has done a lot of work with search engine algorithms that attempt to predict importance. However, we can create hierarchies of knowledge here, organized around topic, that make our resources accessible and approachable and understandable. There are Wikipedia articles that are probably completely accurate, there is one user I have in mind, a mathematician, who was highly contentious, he managed to get other mathematicians banned. He insisted on the articles being "correct," in terms of the language used, but the articles were unintelligible to non-mathematicians. He didn't care. His goal wasn't learning, it was "truth."
When I want to quickly learn about at topic, I go to Wikipedia and *usually* the articles are quite understandable. Sometimes they are practically unintelligible, they are not written for general access. And that's true even when I have some knowledge of a field. If I already knew the field, I might think they were completely accurate, or, very possibly, that there was something wrong with them, something that only an expert would recognize. It can get quite gnarly, because reliable sources can require expert interpretation, that's why primary sources are deprecated.
My point here is that we do want to present what is "important," first. Yet presenting only high-level abstractions first -- that is what important usually means -- leads to pedagogical failure, the reader disappears. So a hybrid approach is used, which presents fact (data) and interpretation (theory) intertwined. In good educational writing, mysteries are created which may or may not be resolved. There were mysteries in the development of every science. How were they resolved?
Of course, my Favorite Topic is a present-day mystery, confirmed experimental evidence with no satisfactory explanation. Underneath that lurks a Nobel Prize for somebody.... not a slam-dunk, Nobelists have already worked on the problem and came up with lousy theories that don't work. Something is missing from our knowledge of the solid state..... and that makes some of the "dominant group" uncomfortable, because they believe that their dominance is based on superior knowledge, and here comes this kid who says the emperor has no clothes.... --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:58, 18 September 2014 (UTC)