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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontologiesassocialmediators(was:Ontologydevelopment

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 15:13:28 -0800
Message-id: <20091203231335.C3A3F138D2B@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>



You must have me confused with some other good looking young guy.  A lot of the attributions to "Rich" below weren't actually from me.  However, in the spirit of debate, I'll try to select the ones that were, and prune this humongous list of messages down to something fungible.  







Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com


-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Christopher Spottiswoode
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 5:40 AM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum]Ontologiesassocialmediators(was:Ontologydevelopment method)


Rich, you're such an incorrible generalizer that I'll gratefully

respond in kind:


Sure, it is a wielding of institutional or at least rhetorical

power to bring down the gavel on further debate.  (And even the

effective wielding of rhetoric takes place in a way which tends to be institutionally guaranteed these days.)  As Bill Burkett

commented earlier in this thread, Rousseau's concept of social

contract comes to mind.  That further reminds us moderns of such

words as consensus, operationalism, and EDI Agreements.  All

clichés from present mainstreams, of course.


And they remind me of that classically reassuring but too often

frustrating Charbydian fig tree syndrome as I introduced it most

recently in this paragraph:

http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/2009-10/msg00269.html#nid013 .


My first web page on this whole subject,

http://jeffsutherland.com/oopsla96/spottisw.html (which I am

continually recalling to this list), had this paragraph on it:


> In the domain of Business Objects here are some interpretations

> of those who are stuck on the Charbydian figtree:  suppliers of

> working but monolithic packages, guardians of legacy

> applications, enforcers of unduly elaborate standards. (Pin the

> label on the one you love to hate!)


And that is a lead-in to my insistence, notwithstanding your

dismissal of the term, that architecture has a clear role to play when it comes to designing application system components and composing products reusing them.


Certainly, I do insist that the whole WWW does have an

architecture, and for all the spectacular success it has had, as

an application architecture its replacement is long overdue.  But how might that be done?


Maybe together, we will put a market bootstrap product out there.

(That, by the way, is the "tightly circumscribed project"

introduced at the outset of http://TheMainstream.info.)  Then,

surely together, because this is what the architecture was

designed for, the market will start booting itself up, in due

course to universal coverage, thanks to the philosophically

(ontologically, epistemologically, ...) sound and general

conceptual base.  Both boot and bootstrapping will be 100%

according to "The Mainstream Architecture for Common Knowledge" as the market will progressively evolve it from its simple boot



That seems incredibly glib.   In that 1996 web page I've cited

above I put it this way (which, even though it then most

explicitly targetted the OMG's OMA or Object Management

Architecture, now applies equally to that more truly mythical or

at least shambolically concocted Web application architecture):


> Difficult indeed! And reminded once more by Medawar's Dictum

> (Theories are not displaced by facts, they are replaced by

> better theories) I do not expect you to be convinced of the

> technology until you can really see the alternative in action.

> But maybe, somewhere, based on the broader picture presented

> here, there will be some *readiness to take what at this stage

> must seem to a newcomer like a gamble* [bold in the original],

> together, we - and especially our users of all kinds - would get

> safely to port sooner, in conclusion of this commonly-agreed

> knowledge-modelling standards Odyssey.


I will leave for another time the many further parallels between

the Homeric allegory, with its particular content and structure,

and the "Ride The Mainstream!" project's strategy.  I'll just note here that it's somewhat to be expected that a strategy claiming to be based on "The Mainstream" should have had an antecedent into which was distilled the pre-Philosophy wisdom of nearly three millenia ago, the late Bronze Age.


But could Homer really have had in mind such an apparently modern idea as an institutionally-structured society?  In support of that bold notion let me introduce a 2005 book, The Rise of Bronze Age Society, by Kristiansen and Larssen, two of the world authorities on the subject.  The book is built around the thesis that Bronze Age society cannot be understood except from an institutional point of view.  (It is interesting also to note that their heading on p.1 is "Prologue:  between Scylla and Charybdis", referring to the formation of their decision to pursue that thesis!  In its first paragraph the authors relate that they "insisted stubbornly upon trying out an interdisciplinary, interpretive journey based on the identification of social institutions in the archeological

record, and their transmission and transformation to different

cultural and social environments.  More precisely:  in the Bronze Age.")


So, Rich, there I've generalized between some phenomena from the

Bronze Age and your "homeostatically weighted vectors"!


Thanks for the stimulus...





----- Original Message -----

From: Rich Cooper

To: '[ontolog-forum] '

Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 11:24 AM

Subject: Re:





Hi Christopher,


My comments are interspersed below,




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com


Rich, good point, but I'd prefer to take the users' word for it,

at least provisionally, rather than that of compilers of thesauri.


However "sophisticated" (scare quotes intended) thesauri have become, they remain of merely heuristic value.  Of Course. Compilers and thesauri are figments of some group's collective imagination based on their perceptions of the terminal concepts.  But everyone votes who can concept now.  Those shared concepts are terminal nodes.  Everything else is conjecture and refutation a la Popper.  Only the election winners are the selected ones for this transaction, however complex.


Either way, architecture must involve systematic recognition of

the openness of such questions, and offer a maximally informed and democratic approach to discover, negotiate and resolve any such context-dependent issues.


Actually, "architecture" is a mythological beast (like the

unicorn) which balances the homeostatically weighted vector of health (good) against the perceived homeostatic correction vector of the unique interests of the maximally defensive controllers of the architecture (bad).  With none (all are bad), the balance is 0.  With all (all are good), the balance is 1.


Sure, that fine ideal is less applicable to more batch-mode

requirements such as MT or other NL corpus analyses.  But I think we are talking in this thread rather of the design of ontologies, and cultivating commitment to them.




Personally, I consider any commitments to be temporary and

mereological in time and sequence from the context in which they

are expressed.  So casting conception types to this list (or any

other destination) is mereological if legitimate in its

subdivision methods.






----- Original Message -----

From: Rich Cooper

To: '[ontolog-forum] '

Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 10:17 AM

Subject: Re:




Christopher Spottiswoode wrote:

I might add that I have always valued appropriateness of

concept over any kind of merely statistical connection.


If even concepts (per se) are unique (like synsets) then isn't the

statistical spectrum of conceptional distribution (like WordNet

synsets) also ordered and unique in terms of some conceptional

identifier over a vocabulary (of said conceptions and synsets)?





Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com


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