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Re: [ontolog-forum] brainwaves (WAS: to concept or not to concept, is th

To: "Pat Hayes" <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Deborah MacPherson" <debmacp@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 16:01:41 -0500
Message-id: <48f213f30712181301v3e9b3d7dqbefa2e1a0d5375d1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hi Pat,

Topology of knowledge? Thats sounds interesting,
but why would you expect knowledge to have a
topology? What would continuity mean when talking
about knowledge?

Its not that I expect knowledge to have a topology unaided, the topologies would have to be made.

Say a topology was assigned to the fluid, continuous flow of knowledge over time - each instance of understanding is a discrete set of elements, also a topology but fixed at various points in time and current level of understanding.  Continuity would be the most important and elusive to look for when comparing each step along the way as knowledge advances. For example, a paper is written with references to related work. There is a context and the knowledge holds together - even if parts may be incorrect or incomplete.  An architectural package is similar. Bits and pieces are worked out on their own tracks but to issue a set of documents, the aim is for the separate tracks to slow down and catch up with each other to be a consistent set.

Say an instance of knowledge, like a journal publication, has two errors and seven omissions. The next paper on this subject may correct one error and fill in three of the blanks, but the next author may omit key components of the first. More authors, more questions are answered, new questions are prompted, more errors corrected, more useful ideas could be forgotten but either way - by comparing what various instances of understanding and publication share - that is where the consensus and continuity is. The results may not be suitable for experts on the cutting edge - but what a service to K-12 teachers or someone just being introduced to a new subject matter.

I have some drawings I could send you if you are interested.


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Deborah L. MacPherson
Projects Director, Accuracy&Aesthetics
Specifier, WDG Architecture PLLC


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