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Re: Database and Ontologies [was-Re: [ontolog-forum] A problem]

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Jack Park <jack.park@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 10:16:43 -0700
Message-id: <44E352FB.3090101@xxxxxxx>
Sometimes I watch people arguing over definitions of things and I wonder 
where the arguments come from. This just in...Consider reading Cory 
Doctorow's novel _Eastern Standard Tribe_ online at
Longish quote (sorry)
> I once had a Tai Chi instructor who explained the difference between Chinese 
>and Western medicine thus: “Western medicine is based on corpses, things that 
>you discover by cutting up dead bodies and pulling them apart. Chinese 
>medicine is based on living flesh, things observed from vital, moving humans.”
> The explanation, like all good propaganda, is stirring and stilted, and not 
>particularly accurate, and gummy as the hook from a top-40 song, sticky in 
>your mind in the sleep-deprived noontime when the world takes on a 
>hallucinatory hypperreal clarity. Like now as I sit here in my underwear on 
>the roof of a sanatorium in the back woods off Route 128, far enough from the 
>perpetual construction of Boston that it’s merely a cloud of dust like a herd 
>of distant buffalo charging the plains. Like now as I sit here with a pencil 
>up my nose, thinking about homebrew lobotomies and wouldn’t it be nice if I 
>gave myself one.
> Deep breath.
> The difference between Chinese medicine and Western medicine is the 
>dissection versus the observation of the thing in motion. The difference 
>between reading a story and studying a story is the difference between living 
>the story and killing the story and looking at its guts.
> School! We sat in English class and we dissected the stories that I’d escaped 
>into, laid open their abdomens and tagged their organs, covered their genitals 
>with polite sterile drapes, recorded dutiful notes en masse that told us what 
>the story was about, but never what the story was. Stories are propaganda, 
>virii that slide past your critical immune system and insert themselves 
>directly into your emotions. Kill them and cut them open and they’re as naked 
>as a nightclub in daylight.
> The theme. The first step in dissecting a story is euthanizing it: “What is 
>the theme of this story?”
> Let me kill my story before I start it, so that I can dissect it and 
>understand it. The theme of this story is: “Would you rather be smart or 
> This is a work of propaganda. It’s a story about choosing smarts over 
>happiness. Except if I give the pencil a push: then it’s a story about 
>choosing happiness over smarts. It’s a morality play, and the first character 
>is about to take the stage. He’s a foil for the theme, so he’s drawn in simple 
>lines.    (01)

Jack    (02)

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