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Re: [ontolog-forum] Levels

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Patrick Durusau <patrick@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 18:55:03 -0500
Message-id: <45DB8A57.9010705@xxxxxxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

John F. Sowa wrote:
<snip>    (02)

>  3. Therefore, it requires great effort for people to write
>     with precision in their native language.  It can be done,
>     but only when a computer is present to bark at them whenever
>     they make the inevitable errors or ambiguities.
>  4. Consequently, training in a less tolerant language, such
>     as symbolic logic or a programming language, is necessary
>     to help people see how much work needs to be done to state
>     everything with the utmost of precision.
Hmmm, but that seems to presume that the limitations of symbolic logic 
or a programming language are the gage for expression with precision.    (03)

Granted if the goal is to reduce the richness of human expression to 
something that can be processed by a less expressive language I suppose 
that is an appropriate measure.    (04)

Is it your contention that "everything" stated in a more expressive 
language can be captured in a less expressive one?    (05)

You seem to accept that ambiguity is a feature of natural languages that 
people process without difficulty. But that is weeded out in the 
translation to a less expressive one. So a less expressive language does 
not appear to express "everything" found in a more expressive one.    (06)

Granted that a lot of progress has been made in processing less 
expressive languages but is that any reason to move the goal posts as it 
were to declare victory because by redefining the problem a solution can 
be produced? Not that those solutions aren't useful but I am troubled 
that natural languages and their richness is viewed as somehow defective 
or less than useful simply because they are not amenable to current 
techniques.    (07)

Hope you are having a great day!    (08)

Patrick    (09)

Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005    (010)

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!     (011)

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