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Re: [ontolog-forum] tighter control of ontolog forum

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Christopher Spottiswoode" <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 20:04:33 +0200
Message-id: <6BFB4E10C579417CB018CE7BC7A2DDAE@klaptop>

Ferenc, please pardon me for having in my haste (in my previous reply to you via the list) missed your real point below, which I have at last seen as one concerning the machine understanding or at least analysis of NL texts.
Yes, your observation is extremely relevant and recalls to my mind what I have related on this list before, namely how I would start our brainstorming sessions at Metaset in the early 1990s (when I could validly talk of our team members in the plural) by writing up on the flipchart:  "The meaning of a message is (largely) implicit in its context!"
By now I can happily report that in The Mainstream Architecture for Common Knowledge that slogan is implemented very literally, with appropriately precise technical definitions of "meaning", "message", "largely", "implicit" and "context", all those definitions being of course interdependent.
That is the meta-lesson.  But the same applies to all ordinary or detail messages in an architecture-canonical operational environment.  Everything fits together very tightly.  Yet quite naturally too.  (That will - I hope - help greatly in overcoming what might be seen as my dogmatism in these and many other matters.)
(However, for further detail once again I must ask you to be patient while I prepare the relevant further pages still to go up on http://TheMainstream.info.)
Thanks once again.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 5:51 PM
Subject: [ontolog-forum] tighter control of ontolog forum

I feel guilty for making a lot of noise on this forum. My sincere appologies. On the other hand looking at the deadlock when confronted with the problems to be sorted for further advance I cannot help trying to contribute with ideas that I find relevant. For instance, one of the problems that ontologies cannot solve yet as I see it is compatibility between words used in texts, free-floating or otherwise with reality. All such texts read projections, because we make statements by using phrases (word clusters) that never get properly defined as a whole (and not checked against reality, and parsed by computers as composites of parts) even not even afterwards – for the sake of reflection. Neither are such phrases recorded with sufficient annotation of meaning in terms, for instance, extension and intension.

Random example from a recent posting, no criticism intended:

(Phrases that are ambiguous or left to any voluntary definitions of the audience, or evidenced by a single example as opposed to providing more rigorous and chained definitions)

  1. the more productive lists on the Internet that successfully concentrate on their core themes and objectives
  2. some friendly censorship
  3. too many who are interested in those core themes are voting with their feet by choosing not to take part or even listen further
  4. common ontological background
  5. extreme complexity of our given world that is not always amenable to being captured by sharable concepts. 
  6. the soft issues you like raising, of infinities and and ineffabilities
  7. most members of this list are fully aware of that background, and of many of the myriad alternative and complementary points of view that so easily lead
  8. much fruitless verbosity. 
  9. further brainstorming on Eastern philosophies (for example) might contribute
    to such practice. 
  10. the task of understanding the power of verbalization and its conceptual constructs
  11. frequent distortions of the truth
  12. impotence as complete tools
  13.  symbolic quasi-realities.
  14. The scientific worldview
  15. everyday commonsense in general, of all kinds,
  16. mysticisms and infinities
  17. many problems confronting humanity
  18. the enormous scale of the still unexploited opportunities
  19. only implicit in complex reality,
  20. collaborativeness.
  21.  extremely distributed and varied world of the Internet
  22. conceptual edifices
  23. scalable teamwork and interoperability of social systems,
  24. optimize communication,
  25. maximize humanity's constructive resources.
  26. all the information system challenges
  27. transcended by a total disregarding of their respective strengths.
  28. better theories.
  29. practically-constructive theorizing
  30. already-familiar wistfulnesses with little proven record of socially-enriching achievement above a certain basic and rather obvious level.

 And so on.


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