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

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Smith, Barry" <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Pierre Grenon <pierre.grenon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 06:55:50 -0400
Message-id: <p0611043bc29426214413@[]>
Barry and Pat,    (01)

>  >>>  I just choose (like driving on the left). I choose to distinguish
>>>>between continuants and occurrents.
>>>Fine. But then the question arises as to whether your ontological
>>>framework, which requires this distinction, is of more use than a
>>>similar one which does not.
>>I think we need to test this empirically. So far we are winning --
>  >the GO is, by several measures,the world's most successful ontology.
>Ah, that is more like it. I agree you are winning. And it is
>refreshing to see philosophical arguments replaced by straightforward
>appeals to power and funding. As I have no funds to compete with, you
>will no doubt go on winning :-)    (02)

I hope you boys have fun slugging it out on the playground.  :-)  In 
the meantime, people are going to build ontologies, and they are 
going to look to us for leadership on how to do it.  Barry's legions 
are busy building them with continuants and occurants.  Pat doesn't 
have any funding, he says.  So he can't amass legions who will build 
ontologies with spatiotemporal processes.  Alas.  But no doubt 
someone will read his posts, and with dreams of matching Barry's 
glory, start amassing armies to build them with spatiotemporal 
processes.  Then, some day, somebody is going to have an urgently 
important problem that requires these ontologies to interoperate. 
Maybe a spatiotemporal ontology for an adoption registry is going to 
have to interoperate with the gene ontology in order to establish 
genetic lineage of adopted persons.  Perhaps the life of someone with 
a rare genetic disease will depend on this working.  Or perhaps we 
will need the gene ontology to interact with the spatiotemporal 
ontology of a counterterrorism system in order to link up forensic 
DNA evidence with terrorist social networks. The lives of tens of 
thousands of people threatened by a dirty bomb in a major city may 
depend on getting the interoperation to work.    (03)

Science has always worked this way.  The boys on the playground slug 
it out, and it looks as if first one and then the other is winning, 
and eventually history decides, often on something neither of them 
anticipated.  Until history renders its verdict, we need to allow a 
plurality of formalisms.  That means we have to be able to make them 
interoperate.  That means we need to understand how to translate 
between the formalisms.  Which is what Pat has volunteered to do with 
a continuant-occurrent ontology.    (04)

Kathy    (05)

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