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Re: [ontolog-forum] Two ontologies that are inconsistent but both needed

To: "Smith, Barry" <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 09 Jun 2007 09:41:32 -0400
Message-id: <466AAE0C.2040107@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Barry,    (01)

I agree that a lot of good work is being done:    (02)

 > Some of the ontologies in the OBO Foundry, for instance,
 > work, as a very useful, flexible framework for cataloguing
 > the entities about which biologists are collecting data and
 > thereby integrating this data and making it surveyable.
 > By serving this purpose they help research.....    (03)

I just wanted to emphasize the difference between an artifact
and a naturally occurring organism or social structure.    (04)

The formal methodologies that have been successful in the
design of a complex artifact are not easy to apply to
phenomena that are not under the control of the engineer.    (05)

One of the frustrations of robotics, for example, is called
the "bird's nest phenomenon":    (06)

  1. Robots can construct enormously complex structures with
     amazing precision that is far beyond human capabilities.    (07)

  2. But they can't do some seemingly trivial activities, such
     as building a bird's nest from an arbitrary collection of
     twigs and straw.    (08)

John    (09)

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