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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology, Information Models and the 'Real World': C

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Steve Newcomb <srn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 19 Apr 2007 17:20:46 -0400
Message-id: <87647sm575.fsf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
"Deborah L. MacPherson" wrote:    (01)

> Preserving cross-context truths cannot only be specified, the
> construction also has to also be shown. A formal manner for drawing
> and documenting the architecture of context is missing.    (02)

"Conklin, Don" <don.conklin@xxxxxxxx> writes:    (03)

> Couldn't agree more, especially since multiple contexts may be in play
> simoltumultously (not a spelling error, my term [simultaneously +
> tumultuously) concerning the same event or issue in play, even as it
> morphs over time     (04)

That's why it is interesting and useful to conserve and leverage the
impact of an insight that context1:X is the same as context2:Y.      (05)

* It is not necessary to prove an insight mathematically before it can
  be stated or used.    (06)

* It is not necessary that a context be logical or internally
  consistent for it to provide interpretive guidance, or to be
  meaningful, or to be useful.    (07)

* It is not necessary that a human being be a world-class
  philosopher, or an expert in any ontology, before he or she can
  contribute to knowledge.    (08)

* Moreover, the progress of Science is incompatible with the idea that
  we can know in advance whether we will have the tools to say what
  will need to be said.    (09)

My Ph.D. is in Music Theory.  A close friend of mine is a composer.
He once said to me something that put me in my place:     (010)

  "You Music Theory guys are the *undertakers* of music.  When you've
   understood it, it's dead.  Fortunately, there's always new music
   being written, and it works even though -- and perhaps *because* --
   nobody, not even the composer, knows why."    (011)

He was right.  Sure, we theorists can program computers so they will
write music that exploits our insights (now there's a top-down
scenario for you!)  But that's not where the action is.  Not at all.    (012)

-- Steve    (013)

Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant
Coolheads Consulting    (014)

Co-editor, Topic Maps International Standard (ISO/IEC 13250)
Co-editor, draft Topic Maps -- Reference Model (ISO/IEC 13250-5)    (015)

http://www.coolheads.com    (016)

direct: +1 540 951 9773
main:   +1 540 951 9774
fax:    +1 540 951 9775    (017)

208 Highview Drive
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060 USA    (018)

(Confidential to all US government personnel to whom this private
letter is not addressed and who are reading it in the absence of a
specific search warrant: In keeping with the publicly-confessed
criminal conduct of the Bush administration, and with the
irresponsible actions of the pusillanimous and corrupt 109th Congress,
you are co-conspiring to subvert the Constitution that you are sworn
to defend.  You can either refuse to commit this crime, or you can
expect to suffer criminal sanctions in the future, when the Executive
Branch of the government of the United States of America once again
demonstrates respect for the rule of law.  I do not envy you for
having to make this difficult choice, but I urge you to make it
wisely.)    (019)

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