Are you a “meta-meta” or a “pseudo-pseudo” kind of person?

We IT management geeks are pretty familiar with data at different “meta” levels. For example:

  • The content of a configuration record: data
  • Who can access that content: metadata
  • Who can set access permissions on that content: meta-metadata
  • etc…

Trying to keep the layers separated (good luck Savas) is tempting for performance reasons but it’s like trying to shore up an ever-leaking levee in the face of a major storm. Semantic technologies get a lot of power out of the fact that they don’t even try.

I was prompted to write this because I recently learned that it also happens in medicine:

  • Hypoparathyroidism: low parathyroid hormone
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism: normal parathyroid hormone levels, but a problem with the parathyroid receptor such that the symptoms are the same as those of hypoparathyroidism
  • Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism: normal parathyroid hormone levels and a normal parathyroid receptor, but presents with the same symptoms as pseudohypoparathyroidism (but without the consequences)

Good luck getting your health insurance to cover a pseudo-disease. Don’t even bother calling them about a pseudo-pseudo-disease.

[UPDATED 2009/5/1: For some reason this entry is attracting a lot of comment spam, so I am disabling comments. Contact me if you’d like to comment.]

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Are you a “meta-meta” or a “pseudo-pseudo” kind of person?

  1. Brian Tkatch

    That’s the problem with nomenclature. Give something a name, and *poof* it becomes a thing unto itself.

  2. Pingback: William Vambenepe’s blog » Blog Archive » What you’ve been spared (aka blog drafts boneyard #1)