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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ockham

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 2009 09:25:26 -0400
Message-id: <49DCA5C6.3040601@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dick,    (01)

Now we are getting to the fundamental misunderstanding.    (02)

RHM> From day one, I designed mKR as a philosopher.    (03)

You are missing the crucial distinction between the
word 'design' and the word 'define'.    (04)

To design anything, it is good to think in very general
terms, as a philosopher or other generalist.    (05)

But a computer is not a philosopher.  It is not a human being
that has feelings.  It is just a very fast, but very stupid
machine.  It cannot appreciate your philosophy, your
intentions, or whatever you mean by context.    (06)

When I designed conceptual graphs, I was thinking like a
philosopher, and a linguist, and a computer scientist,
and a programmer.  I wanted to make sure that they were
suitable for applications by all those kinds of people.    (07)

But -- and here is an enormous ***BUT*** -- when I defined
the conceptual graphs and the operations on them, I specified
them at the lowest possible level of detail.  Those specs
are designed to be carried out by a very low-level, very
fast, but very stupid computer that doesn't have a clue
about the intentions or the context or the world outside.    (08)

Remember that Chris Menzel is a professional philosopher.
But he understands the difference between the verbs 'design'
and 'define'.    (09)

RHM> I created mKR in a form that is consistent
 > with all of the above theories.    (010)

That is an excellent approach for you to think about, but
your computer understands less about those theories than
my cat.    (011)

RHM> I like mKR.  I think in mKR.    (012)

Good for you.  But the partisans of LISP, APL, Prolog,
C, Java, and many other programming languages make
exactly the same statements about their favorite
languages.  All those languages were *designed* by people
who also had grand theoretical ideas and they designed
their languages to be consistent with their theories.    (013)

But they *defined* those languages at a very low level
that could be processed by a very stupid computer that
did not understand anything about those theories.    (014)

If you want your language to be used and implemented
on the kinds of computers we have today, I suggest
that you do the same.    (015)

John    (016)

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