[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] Indexes: Main | Date | Thread | Author

RE: [ba-unrev-talk] further research and thinking related to unrev-ii archive

Chris,    (01)

Thanks for this, and explaining the insight.  I didn't catch it when
skimming the paper.    (02)

I find myself conflicted on your main point.    (03)

First, I think you are spot on.  The approach to formal ontologies,
taxonomies, and related classification/nomenclature schemes seem to involve
straight-jacketing into fixed conceptual frameworks.  I think it shows up
dramatically in cross-cultural as well as cross-language matters.  I do not
know how the semantic web will reconcile this.  We get to find out in one of
the grandest information systems experiments going.    (04)

At the same time, based on my experience in computation theory, I am aware
of schemes that do not require this kind of commitment.  And it is not clear
how that can help.  There is something more powerful, but it may not make
sense or be practicable to expect to exercise it at the textual analysis
level.  Especially if markup is required.    (05)

It is as if we are going to make a commitment based on the assumption that
if we identify informational elements properly it will be usable as a kind
of legacy when a more-powerful system for working across nomenclatures and
languages arrives.  Meanwhile, I bet we'll have to revise ontologies sooner
than that.  So even being able to version an ontology is a critical
requirement.  Let alone transcend one!    (06)

So it looks like we will bull along until exhausted or some deeper
understanding arrives.  Whichever comes first.  Maybe the 80-20 rule will
prevail and we get enough for now without trying to solve it all.    (07)

Has your work given you a view on a pro-active approach?  I notice I am
mostly resigned about it.    (08)

-- Dennis    (09)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org
[mailto:owner-ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org]On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 01:41
To: ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org
Subject: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] further research and thinking related to
unrev-ii archive    (010)

[ ... ]    (011)

That's where the archive of the discussion may make some of that
clear. But, in the meantime, if you compare the older version of
the paper with the newer version of the paper, you'll see that we
changed our strategy. The first version simply explains what we
were doing, the second version explains why.    (012)

The why is articulated somewhat in:    (013)

  http://www.bootstrap.org/lists/ba-unrev-talk/0206/msg00097.html    (014)

but really comes down to a fundamental disagreement with the PORT
position that knowledge must be (and can be) represented in
formal structures. We disagree with that. Human discourse is not
formal and the associative connections you can make by having,
talking about and thinking about discourse are, as you point out,
the locus of discovery. The place where learning happens.    (015)

Formal representations, in a sense, are big classification
systems. Classificatory structures model closed worlds. They can
be extremely complex and thus can model an extremely complex
world, but they are, when all is said and done, closed. Thus
_new_ discovery is limited. Rehashing is the mode.    (016)

Human discourse is more like categories: the intension and
extension is flexible. New discoveries can be made because groups
can grow, shrink, or be created.    (017)

> I found it interesting that on a practical basis messages without a MIME
> Content-Type of text/plain content were tossed. Always kind of suspected
> such messages were trouble (and avoid them)... Still, this shows how
> hard it is to try anything that defines a new standard beyond plain text
> (like making links more embedded somehow).    (018)

Indeed.    (019)

> I'm not on line much these days, but thought your great contribution
> deserved further applause.    (020)

Thank you very much. It's very nice to have your comments.    (021)

Chris Dent  <cdent@burningchrome.com>  http://www.burningchrome.com/~cdent/
"If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are
opportunities to change things, that hope is possible, then hope may be
justified, and a better world may be built. That's your choice.'' N.Chomsky    (022)