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Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 10:40:26 -0500
Message-id: <34493A25-73FD-4BDC-953A-CA2E9271C388@xxxxxxxx>
On Oct 1, 2008, at 1:41 AM, Rob Freeman wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 1, 2008 at 12:33 AM, Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>> This all sounds very, you know, intriguing, like the blurb on the  
>> dustjacket of a fantasy novel. But you never actually tell us what  
>> you are talking about, Rob. You just keep making indirect allusions  
>> to deep "problems" and hidden "pitfalls" and your preferences for a  
>> more "geometric" approach to... well, to something, though Im still  
>> not sure what exactly. And when we challenge you to come out and  
>> actually say something, as Chris did, you instantly retreat into a  
>> huffy "lets not argue about trifles" stance.  One is inevitably led  
>> to guess that you don't actually have anything substantive to say.  
>> All you do is stand at the edge of the work site and make sniffy  
>> noises about how the foundations are in the wrong place. As one of  
>> the workers, I herby invite you to put on a hard hat and actually  
>> try doing something. Then we might be willing to take some notice.  
>> But until you do, your suggestions to 'consider a more fundamental  
>> topology' will fall on - well, not deaf, but closed - ears. Pat,
> I know your ears are closed Pat. It is only natural. If you regard  
> yourself principally as an engineer working with logic, then none of  
> it will make any sense to you. It is pointless to try.    (01)

Condescension aside, you miss Pat's point.  You are (mis)reading his  
"closed ears" metaphor to (mis)characterize him as unable/unwilling to  
hear.  To the contrary, as is transparently clear to everyone who read  
Pat's message, he in fact has read your posts quite carefully and has  
reached a point where it seems clear to him that you have nothing  
substantive to say.  Hence, until you "actually try doing something"  
-- e.g., build a reasoner or a natural language processor based on  
your ideas, or develop a systematic thesis that fleshes out your  
evocative slogans -- no one who is actually doing real work in AI or  
ontological engineering is going to pay you any mind.    (02)

> I'm not posting for you, but for others who might glimpse problems  
> in the formalism they are working with.
> As I said, if you don't see the problems, my solutions certainly  
> won't interest you.    (03)

You have yet to identify a single problem.  Can you articulate one?    (04)

> I referenced once before here Giuseppe Vitiello's lecture on a basis  
> for concepts in the dynamics of many-body systems. Perhaps it bears  
> repeating:
> http://www.archive.org/details/Redwood_Center_2007_01_23_Giuseppe_Vitiello    (05)

That you think this work has any direct bearing on AI/OE suggests to  
me that perhaps you are under a misimpression of the subject matter of  
these disciplines.    (06)

> Remember how holograms came up also in our Ontolog discussion. It's  
> a wonderfully close parallel. It turns out a guy named Tony Plate  
> has a formalism he calls HRR, or Holographic Reduced Representation.  
> That was what inspired VSA's (due to Ross Gayler.)
> VSA's are especially good. They seem to present (compositional)  
> representation as a vector product in much the way I've been  
> advocating.    (07)

You do recognize that VSAs are a move in the connectionist AI  
paradigm, which of course has many problems and challenges of its own,  
right?  And that connectionism itself, while a promising approach,  
hasn't exactly delivered the goods either, right?  And that it's not  
clearly even a competitor to the logicist paradigm?  You might find  
the paper "Is the connectionist-logicist clash one of AI's wonderful  
red herrings?" by Selmer Bringsjord worth reading in this regard:    (08)

   http://kryten.mm.rpi.edu/connectionist_logicist_clash.pdf    (09)

> From my point of view all we need to do is mix the idea of a vector  
> product giving a compositional character (VSA's), with example/usage- 
> based ideas already current in linguistics.    (010)

Sounds good.  Care to sketch how that might be done?  Just a hint?    (011)

-chris    (012)

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