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

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Gary Berg-Cross" <gary.berg-cross@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 16:18:19 -0400
Message-id: <330E3C69AFABAE45BD91B28F80BE32C9019BDD9A@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On the paper by Veitman, or at least the summary there are enough vagaries to inspire a debate equal to that of the John Cage silence/hole.


Taking “A semantic web in the cultural domain must enable us 

to trace how meaning and knowledge organisation have evolved historically in different 

cultures.  “seems like an a vague requirement, for example especially when casting aside the challenges to define meaning as previously discussed.



Gary Berg-Cross, Ph.D.
Spatial Ontology Community of Practice (SOCoP)
Executive Secretariat
Semantic Technology
Suite 350  455 Spring park Place
Herndon VA  20170

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mills Davis
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 10:20 PM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer pizza (was ckae)


Here is a link to a paper by Kim Veltman: 



This paper argues that the computing community (and semantic web crowd in particular) has been overly fixated on first order logic and has failed thus far to produce a semantic web that is suitable for culture. The abstract reads:


Today’s semantic web deals with meaning in a very restricted sense and offers static 

solutions. This is adequate for many scientific, technical purposes and for business 

transactions requiring machine-to-machine communication, but does not answer the 

needs of culture. Science, technology and business are concerned primarily with the latest 

findings, the state of the art, i.e. the paradigm or dominant world-view of the day. In this 

context, history is considered non-essential because it deals with things that are out of 



By contrast, culture faces a much larger challenge, namely, to re-present changes in ways 

of knowing; changing meanings in different places at a given time (synchronically) and 

over time (diachronically). Culture is about both objects and the commentaries on them; 

about a cumulative body of knowledge; about collective memory and heritage. Here, 

history plays a central role and older does not mean less important or less relevant. 

Hence, a Leonardo painting that is 400 years old, or a Greek statue that is 2500 years old, 

typically have richer commentaries and are often more valuable than their contemporary 

equivalents. In this context, the science of meaning (semantics) is necessarily much more 

complex than semantic primitives. A semantic web in the cultural domain must enable us 

to trace how meaning and knowledge organisation have evolved historically in different 



This paper examines five issues to address this challenge: 1) different world-views (i.e. a 

shift from substance to function and from ontology to multiple ontologies); 2) develop- 

ments in definitions and meaning; 3) distinctions between words and concepts; 4) new 

classes of relations; and 5) dynamic models of knowledge organisation. These issues 

reveal that historical dimensions of cultural diversity in knowledge organisation are also 

central to classification of biological diversity.    


New ways are proposed of visualizing knowledge using a time/space horizon to 

distinguish between universals and particulars. It is suggested that new visualization 

methods make possible a history of questions as well as of answers, thus enabling 

dynamic access to cultural and historical dimensions of knowledge. Unlike earlier media, 

which were limited to recording factual dimensions of collective memory, digital media 

enable us to explore theories, ways of perceiving, ways of knowing; to enter into other 

mindsets and world-views and thus to attain novel insights aSome practical consequences are outlined.        



On Sep 9, 2007, at 9:06 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:

Might I remind people that this thread started with a discussion

of how the pieces of the SemWeb are related to ontology.


John Cage's compositions are worth some discussion, but perhaps

the amount spent so far has strayed a bit off topic.






Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 




Mills Davis

Managing Director



202-255-6655 cel

1-800-713-8049 fax



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