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Re: [ontolog-forum] Data Models v. Ontologies (again)

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 10:50:48 -0400
Message-id: <4836D9C8.8000703@xxxxxxxx>
Len,    (01)

you wrote:    (02)

> EB>... we do know how to get a business's data into a 
> manageable, reliable repository that supports its applications. And 
> doing that takes analysis and design and development and verification 
> and testing. That is why we call ourselves "engineers".
> Yes, that is what I suspected when saying that you don't appreciate
> the intellectual challenge.    (03)

Well, then you are right.  I don't appreciate the sacredness of that 
intellectual challenge.    (04)

As a science, the understanding of how people "organize knowledge" is 
still very much in the "observation stage", after more than 2500 years 
of study.  So yes, there is a huge intellectual challenge there.    (05)

But I do think that calling design of the pyramids "engineering" is 
justified, because it was based on disciplined application of organized 
knowledge based on observation and experiment.  The ability to use a 
theory to predict results that have never been observed is a great leap 
forward, to be sure.  But it is not a necessary property -- it is just a 
significant change in the nature of the organized knowledge on which the 
disciplined practice is built.  And that is the gauntlet I took up.    (06)

If all of software engineering is "carpentry" to you, while you wait for 
the unifying theory of knowledge to base it on, you are welcome to that 
view.  I just don't share it.  But you can give thanks to the masons who 
built your ivory tower.    (07)

-Ed    (08)

"He warn't no saint.  Them engineers
  is pretty much all alike.
  And this was all the religion he had,
  to treat his engine well,
  never be passed on the river,
  and mind the pilot's bell.
  And if ever the Prairie Belle took fire,      
  a thousand times he swore     
  he'd hold her nozzle agin the bank,
  till the last soul got ashore."
   -- John Hay, "Jim Bludso"    (09)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (010)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
  and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (011)

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