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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology-based database integration

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 08:41:03 -0400
Message-id: <4ADF015F.1020400@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rick,    (01)

JFS>> A course on ontology might be a better home [for broader
 >> issues of semantics], but most such courses have now degenerated
 >> into OWL-hacking...    (02)

RM> Ouch, sorry to hear that's become so prevalent.    (03)

That development is inevitable.  Look at the books in the O'Reilly
series (which is the best of its kind).  They're all about the
details of the tools, not about theoretical issues in computer
science.  Books like Knuth's from the 1970s are just as relevant
today, but the books on specific tools become obsolete in a year.    (04)

Even in universities, where they still teach the more general
theory, the students all want to learn the details of the most
popular languages so that they can get a job.  Those details
are important in order to do some practical work, and students
should certainly get that experience.  But they also need a
broader foundation that won't be obsolete the year after they
graduate.  (Unfortunately, in the current climate, they're
often out of work a year after they graduate.)    (05)

RM> Anyway, my plan is to spend some time over the next few months
 > with Haskell and Isabelle/HOL representing some patterns and
 > idioms that would make use of the triangle's edges.
 > And of course this could be developed much further based on the
 > material in "Sundry Logical Conceptions" and "Nomenclature and
 > Divisions of Triadic Relations."    (06)

That would be very interesting.  But it's hard to get that into
the O'Reilly books.  The important goal is to demonstrate how
the theoretical principles affect the details of how to implement
practical systems.  Peirce was never able to explain that even to
his best buddy, William James.    (07)

What is needed is a clear demonstration of how the general
principles (both Peirce's and many others in cognitive science)
affect the design and implementation of practical systems.
The use of concrete examples made the book on patterns by
the Gang of Four very popular.    (08)

RM> The standards processes defined by various standards bodies
 > would seem to provide well known situations and interactions
 > among agents that implement these standards could compete or
 > cooperate as players in a game.    (09)

A lot of things we do in life can be viewed as games.  I like
Wittgenstein's later philosophy because he develops the game
metaphor quite effectively as an explanation of how language
works.  But as most students and commentators have remarked,
a lot more detailed examples are necessary to show how the
general ideas can be applied.    (010)

John    (011)

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