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Re: [ontolog-forum] Offline note

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Richard H. McCullough" <rhm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 04:06:10 -0700
Message-id: <EB770E9087D44851B1168DE93B93E006@rhm8200>
OK, Sean.  You got me hooked.
Please tell us more.    (01)

Dick McCullough
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sean Barker" <sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Ontolog-Forum-Bounces" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 2:45 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Offline note    (02)

> In berating people about thinking they have solved a problem (context) 
> while
> not having done years of work in the subject, one is reminded of Kuhn's 
> book
> of scientific revolutions, in which (as I remember) he notes that often
> someone new to the field is the source of the revolution, not being hide
> bound by existing thinking - citing particularly Watson in the discovery 
> of
> DNA.
> One of the BIG problems with ontologies is that the proponents are really
> bad at explaining the subject. It took me a couple of years to realise 
> that
> ontologies are merely data models with AI gubbins (explaining this, and 
> then
> explaining why the AI gubbins is useful, is how I get funded by 
> engineers).
> Perhaps the biggest problem is the depth of knowledge of some of the
> contributors (John Sowa particularly). There is a huge amount to learn 
> from
> John, and he is brilliant at putting it clearly, but IMHO what is needed 
> is
> not just a clear statement of the theory so far, but a paradigm shift
> The shift I suspect is needed is from thinking about how symbols represent
> knowledge to thinking about how knowledge fans out from symbols. That is,
> how the use of a symbol invokes a set of knowledge processes in the
> recipient - these may be simple, as when we say "the number on the dial is
> six", or complex, such as "Amy Winehouse is the apotheosis and nadir of
> post-modern femininity". Deciding the truth of the former is a very much
> simpler process than deciding the truth of the latter.
> And in both cases we are still using the same definition of symbol as C. 
> S.
> Pearce, which John S. has referred to on more than one occasion.
> Sean Barker
> Bristol
>    (03)

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