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Re: [ontolog-forum] A different approach to ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 08 May 2008 09:35:06 -0400
Message-id: <4823018A.8090702@xxxxxxxxxxx>
York,    (01)

I looked at that site:    (02)

 > Interesting idea of the three views so of reality. There
 > has been a not too dissimilar discussion at the VPEC-T wiki
 > exploring similar ideas, please see
 > http://vpect.scribblewiki.com/VPEC-T_Concepts_%26_Ontology_Wormholes    (03)

I'm glad that people are thinking about those issues, but I followed
some of the links, and they led to a web site that's hopelessly naive.
Following is an excerpt:    (04)

 > Do you speak "business" or "IT"? Perhaps you speak a little
 > of both. In today's connected world, where business and IT are
 > fused, chances are that if you're a business or IT executive,
 > or someone working to transform a business, you speak a little
 > of both.
 > But what if there was a "third" language? A common language that
 > was natural for both "business" and "IT," straightforward enough
 > to use, yet sophisticated enough to work in today's connected world?
 > What if such a language only comprised a handful of words?    (05)

Source:  http://www.lithandbook.com/
          Lost in Translation | Welcome    (06)

First of all, there are an open-ended, potentially infinite number
of different "languages" or, as Wittgenstein called them, "language
games".  Every business and every aspect of every business has
more language games in everyday use than anybody has ever documented.    (07)

If you take an executive or a programmer out of one company, say
Microsoft, and suddenly put him or her in another company, say Apple,
that person wouldn't be able to function.  The ways of thinking,
behaving, and talking are totally different and incommensurable.
A smart person might be able to adapt, but only by learning a new
set of "language games" and their related behavior patterns.    (08)

The idea of a universal language that only has a handful of words
does exist.  It's called logic.  And the words are:  and, or, not,
if-then, some, every.  But you can't say anything useful with just
those words because you have to add an ontology -- and any ontology
that gets down to the detail necessary for any practical problem
will have thousands of words.    (09)

The Cyc ontology, for example, has 600,000 concept types, and that
is not enough to read a typical first-year college textbook.  The
number of common words in English is much less than 600,000 -- but
each of them has many word senses and they are used in combinations
to express untold numbers of concepts, thousands or perhaps millions
of which are being invented (and often rejected) every day.    (010)

John    (011)

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