That was beautiful. (02)
PS: May I quote you? (04)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mike Bennett
> Sent: Monday, April 27, 2009 7:52 AM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Digital Ontology and digital ontology
> I think you are right. If an ontology is intended to provide a meangful
> record of concepts for some useful purpose, then the underlying nature
> of reality is of less relevance than the reality as seen by the
> system(s) that the ontology applies to.
> I would also suggest that, while it may be interesting to have an
> ontology of concepts as humans see them, this is less important than
> having ontologies of concepts of relevance to business or other
> application domains that computers are involved with. I think we need
> learn to walk before we can fly. As I see it, there is a glaring hole
> many systems application developments, whereby we need a technology
> neutral, business-reviewable model of the terms that systems, data
> models and message models are developed against. In the messaging
> standards world, and in a distressing number of systems developments,
> the design is managed from the logical or even the physical design
> level, resulting in brittle applications and insufficient business
> oversight. For instance you will not find a good business model of a
> credit default swap, but you will find data models of these lurking in
> some technical design, which may or may not accurately reflect the
> business knowledge of what one is. We rely instead on some highly paid
> technical genius to understand and model these. This is very poor from
> technical quality assurance point of view.
> So ontologies have huge potential to plug the gap in technical
> development and quality assurance. This means developing a good
> technology development methodology, based on the Zachman Framework, in
> which the "Semantic model" section is fulfilled by an ontology.
> To do this, the ontology does not need to define the physics underlying
> the different concepts except where it is a physics ontology. Nor in my
> humble opinion, does it need to account for all the concepts that
> to the sensory inputs of a human brain. Rather, we need to look at the
> sensory inputs of a business - legal, accounting, reputation and so on,
> and model the terms that have meaning relative to those.
> There are plenty of advanced and interesting things that can be done
> with ontology beyond this, but I would suggest that ontologies which
> deliver business meaning are more immediately relevant than all those
> cool things. We have the opportunity to plug a very serious gap which
> pretty easy to plug.
> John F. Sowa wrote:
> > Paola, Azamat, Christopher, and Mike,
> > PDM> But some passages in the lecture seem to create the impression
> > > that physical world results from a certain kind of computation...
> > I agree. And that's a metaphor that is helpful to a certain extent,
> > but it also has some connotations that may be more distracting than
> > illuminating.
> > Peirce's semiotics is even more general than computation, since
> > every kind of computation processes signs. But the idea of signs
> > also has connotations that can be distracting. For such reasons,
> > I think it's important to use multiple ways (or paradigms) for
> > describing the same phenomena in order to emphasize what is
> > common beneath all the terminology and metaphors.
> > AA> But there are noted physicists, who could see the things i
> > mentioned... S. Weinberg [24 October 2002, "Is the Universe
> > a Computer?" The New York Review of Books].
> > Thanks for the reference. I found the full article on the web:
> > http://www.nybooks.com/articles/15762
> > I agree that the claim that the universe can be adequately modeled
> > as a cellular automaton is dubious, but I'd like to quote another
> > point from Weinberg's review:
> > SW> The central theme of the book is easily stated. It is that many
> > > simple rules can lead to complex behavior. The example that is
> > > used repeatedly to illustrate this theme is a favorite toy of
> > > complexity theorists known as the cellular automaton...
> > I believe that central theme is important. But I'd also like to
> > add that the traditional continuous mathematics used in physics
> > also leads to enormous complexity. Newton's simple equation F=ma
> > leads to and explains very complex kinds of systems. The carbon
> > atom combined with a dozen or so other kinds of atoms leads to
> > the enormous complexity of organic molecules, DNA, and life.
> > I think that Weinberg makes many important observations, but I
> > strongly disagree with his concluding sentence:
> > SW> In the study of anything outside human affairs, including the
> > > study of complexity, it is only simplicity that can be
> > The only things that people can observe and act upon are extremely
> > complex systems. It took thousands of years of civilization to
> > discover those simple equations of theoretical physics (or those
> > simple cellular automata). But people still see, feel, and think
> > about those complex things and events.
> > AA> The prolix volume mentioned was just a good instigation to view
> > > the similarities and differences of two types of ontology.
> > It's important to recognize those differences, but the issues
> > discussed by Wolfram and Weinberg are very far from the central
> > focus of the ontologies discussed in this forum.
> > All the ontologies we have been considering focus on complex things
> > and events that people see and talk about. They deliberately ignore
> > issues in the foundations of physics and the universe, either from
> > a digital or an analog point of view.
> > CS> I think [Wolfram] does in fact claim that the real world has
> > > a certain underlying simplicity.
> > I agree, but he also talks about the complexity that arises from
> > that simplicity. For the kinds of ontologies we have been
> > the central focus is complex things and events. Any simulations or
> > foundations in either quantum mechanics or cellular automata are
> > very far removed from the focus of those ontologies.
> > CS> But his work is about how apparently real-enough complexity
> > > can be produced by simple automata. And on NKS p469 he does say
> > > this:
> > >
> > > "But it does mean that if one once discovers a rule that
> > > reproduces sufficiently many features of the universe, then
> > > it becomes extremely likely that this rule is indeed the final
> > > and correct one for the whole universe."
> > I agree that any such rule would be very interesting. But it would
> > have almost no effect on the ontologies such as Cyc, SUMO, BFO,
> > Dolce, or any of the others we have been discussing.
> > MB> I thought that the idea that the complexity of the real world
> > > can arise from very simple patterns had been well explored by
> > > Holland and others in the "complexity" world. Surely that's no
> > > longer a contentious point...
> > I agree. But the kind of simplicity that Wolfram and Weinberg
> > are searching will have little or no effect on the ontologies
> > discussed in this forum. Even if they discovered the magic rule
> > that governs the entire universe, the application of that rule
> > would involve an immense amount of computation before it could
> > explain anything that we see every day.
> > But there are some very important lessons we can learn from those
> > discussions:
> > 1. No ontology that has been proposed in this forum adequately
> > addresses the fundamental principles (whether digital or
> > analog) that govern the universe.
> > 2. The central focus of our common ontologies has been the kinds
> > of things and events we experience every day. Those things
> > are immensely more complex than the simple foundations of
> > theoretical physics (whatever they may be).
> > 3. The categories in our ontologies are at best useful descriptions
> > and approximations of commonsense phenomena. They are not and
> > cannot be considered the ultimate foundations of everything.
> > 4. No currently available ontology has proved to be adequate for
> > describing everything that people talk about and write programs
> > to process, but they have been useful for many purposes.
> > 5. Therefore, our standards for ontology should support and relate
> > an open-ended variety of specialized ontologies for different
> > purposes. No single one of them can or should be considered
> > the foundation for everything that we talk about or need to
> > process on our computer systems.
> > John Sowa
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
> > Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-
> > Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
> > Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
> > To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
> > To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Mike Bennett
> Hypercube Ltd.
> 89 Worship Street
> London EC2A 2BF
> Tel: +44 (0) 20 7917 9522
> Mob: +44 (0) 7721 420 730
> Registered in England and Wales No. 2461068
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
> Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
> Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
> To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
> To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (06)