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Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer pizza (was ckae)

To: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 10:17:56 -0500
Message-id: <p0623090dc30475fdeb5d@[]>
>On 9/4/07 4:49 PM, "Jerry Hobbs" <hobbs@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>>  For example, a red flag with a white
>>  diagonal means there's a scuba diver below.
>Semantics is always contextual.    (01)

Nonsense. Fortunately; because if it were true, semantics would be impossible.
This assertion is like the idea that all 
assertions are contexual. It sounds plausible, 
but that 'all' makes it (literally) incoherent.    (02)

>  To you, who probably have diving or marine
>experience, the statement is true. To me such a sign brings immediate
>memories    (03)

Not to be ad hominem, but your memories are 
irrelevant to this discussion. Evidently, you 
don't know this language (of colored flags). That 
is why you are unable to understand what the 
actual meaning is. If someone were to address me 
in Russian I would probably be reminded of a 
mistuned AM radio, but that is irrelevant to the 
semantics of Russian. In each case, the semantics 
is what it is, regardless of whether or not we 
understand it.    (04)

>of the fifth Van Halen Album (entitled "Diver Down") which sold
>over 4 million copies in the US alone as well as helping me refine my style
>of guitar playing while learning the lead parts of "Where have all the good
>times gone". 
>Semantics cannot exist without including the aspect of context.    (05)

That is simply obviously false, since it does so 
exist and has done for maybe 70 years now.    (06)

>  For that
>reason alone, I am highly suspecting that everything lower than high level
>ontologies needs some form of contextual aspect to modify it.    (07)

This word "context" has been the cause of more 
wasted time in KR than almost any other. It is a 
deep tar-pit, not the least reason being that it 
is itself thoroughly contextual, ie it can be 
used to mean almost anything. There are many, 
many problems with the idea that ontology 
meanings are contextual. There are extremely good 
reasons why any encoding of meaning in a 
formalism *intended to be used and archived on a 
network* should NOT be contextual (see
). Moreover, we have found in the IKRIS work that 
any formalism which incorporates contexts can be 
mapped without loss of meaning into the 
context-free IKL formalism (by treating contexts 
as entities in the ontology itself, if necessary. 
But even that is usually more trouble than it is 
worth.)    (08)

>  We have
>syntax (check), semantic declarations (check), pragmatics (check) but are
>still short of some form of reconciliation of instances to the semantic
>Many attempts at this have failed.  Probably the largest of them is the
>UN/CEFACT CCTS format which is unique in its' inclusion of context as part
>of the core semantics.  It hasn't benefited from completion and wide
>implementation but I suspect there are a lot of good lessons to learn.    (09)

KR work has been grappling with contextuality and 
contextual representations for over a decade now. 
The results are in, IMO, and they are negative.    (010)

Pat    (011)

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