Ed - Your argument for 196u in favor of [1060....1969] certainly convinces me that I would rather use an analog than digital thermometer if I am seeking accuracy and repeatability. And that I would rather use a digital thermometer if I don't care so much about accuracy and repeatability but put a premium on readability.
But we're talking about representing a decade, not a temperature, and I'm having a hard time seeing the relevance.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion of the Developing Date/Time Standards
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Edward C. Zimmermann
> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 9:30 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [DATETIME] unknown/questionable/uncertain/approximate
> On Tue, 30 Nov 2010 17:31:45 -0500, Ray Denenberg wrote
> > Anyway, you are suggesting to merge 'unknown' and 'uncertain', on the
> > basis that 'unknown' isn't really "unknown" in the sense that 199u is
> > really "one of [1990, 1991, [UTF-8?]â€¦., 1999]" so it is a case of
> > 'uncertain', and in fact both can be represented by a range (as we
> > define range in the message I
> posted yesterday).
> > I think this is a reasonable suggestion. (I am fairly confident that
> > the
> "odd" cases, like '1u99' are not real requirements.) I am quite willing
> to do this (if nobody objects).
> I, for one, do object. I don't think we should confuse precisions with
> ranges set in a higher precision.
> 196u (aka. the 1950s) is readable (and repeatable) by decade.
> [1950-1959] might refer also to the 1950s but its clearly readable by
> year but only repeatable by decade.
> Using the instrumentation analogy:
> In instrumentation digital devices tend often to provide much higher
> levels of readability than repeatability or accuracy. Analog devices,
> on the other hand, often tend to provide less readability but matching
> Imagine two thermometers. One glass filled with mercury and markings
> - 00, 10, 20, 30, 50, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 each 1mm apart from
> another and the other electronic with a 2-digit display but repeatable
> to only 10 degree increments.
> The first thermometer is readable to only 10 degrees.
> The second thermometer is readable to 1 degree.
> A bath is measured. The glass thermometer returns the readings:
> 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 30 (mercury thermometers offer
> excellent repeatability) Reading the thermometer I see it looks like a
> tick above 30 but not really discernible. Clearly not, however, 40.
> The electronic thermometer returns the readings:
> 33, 39, 31, 35, 38, 32, 30, 37, 39, 34 (electronic devices tend to
> drift and have non-linearity resulting in better readability than
> repeatability) Using ranges it delivered: [30-39]
> While these may seem effectively "the same" I think they are telling
> different stories: the decade of the 1950s and the range [1950-1959].
> Applying now the approximate predicate I can see even different
> conclusions potentially being drawn..
> > As to the suggestion that 'approximate' and 'questionable' might be
> > merged, I am less comfortable. Your interpretation is
> > is more vague than "approximate"', but I see a more qualitative
> > difference. The cataloger has some evidence that the event may have
> > taken place in the year 1150, but no evidence of any other year and
> > it wasn't 1150 it could have been - who knows ? Maybe as late as 1830,
> > or even later. One must not infer an approximation, that it it wasn't
> 1150 then it was sometime close to 1150.
> > That's a case of '1150?' (questionable). Is that not a meaningful
> I wholly agree. We have a number of dates that we assume for things but
> are widely accepted as questionable. I gave, for example, the biblical
> Great Flood. There are also dates that are accepted as disputed--- but
> without any alternative suggestion. Antisa Khvichava, for example, is a
> Georgian woman who claims as her date of birth 8 July 1880 making her
> 130 years old. This date is, however, highly disputed. Its suspected
> that her birth records were either mis-recorded or falsified. Some have
> even suggested that she might be 20 to 30 years younger than her claim.
> 1880-07-08 is the only date we have.
> Its hardly approximate. It might be her date of birth but she might
> have been born in 1900 or that matter her birthday might not have even
> been in July or the 8th--- another source of error is the observation
> that Russia until 1918 used a variant of the Julian calendar.
> Edward C. Zimmermann, NONMONOTONIC LAB
> Basis Systeme netzwerk, Munich Ges. des buergerl. Rechts
> Office Leo (R&D):
> Leopoldstrasse 53-55, D-80802 Munich,
> Federal Republic of Germany
> Umsatz-St-ID: DE130492967