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Re: [ontolog-forum] Re Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 14:12:37 -0500
Message-id: <CE35D34C-800F-490E-8604-FC351607A209@xxxxxxxx>
On Mar 30, 2010, at 1:49 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:
> Chris and John,
> Actually, Nand and Nor logic is no more complex than And and Or logic, in my
> opinion.  I used it extensively in digital circuit design once upon a time
> and never noticed any inconvenience or confusion at all.    (01)

No one claimed that Nand and Nor are confusing or that there couldn't be 
contexts where it would be more convenient to use them.    (02)

> In fact, I consider it actually simpler, because And functions are
> intuitively there to detect conjoint conditions in which, when detected, you
> want to remove from the inputs of the logic function that is inhibited by
> the Nand gate.    (03)

Noted.    (04)

> Using Karnaugh maps, or Yates transforms, or algebraic simplification for
> balancing evidence, is every bit as easy, clear and intuitive in Nand/Nor as
> in And/Or, IMHO.  
> Popper says that a falsifiable theory must have at least one ground case
> that is detected (usually defined as And conditions) to falsify the theory.
> Alternatively, a variable that ranges over a specific set of ground cases
> suffices for the same action.  Whether that is implemented in Nand/Nor or
> And/Or is immaterial.  Note that And/Or gates are electronically more
> complex, with more circuitry actually REQUIRED, than for Nand and Nor gates.    (05)

Sure, but none of this is to the point.  Of course one can come up with 
examples of contexts in which Nand or Nor would be theoretically or practically 
more useful or convenient than using the more common boolean connectives.  The 
issue is the appropriate language for writing most ontologies by most knowledge 
engineers in most contexts.  It is simply a greater conceptual challenge to 
master and work exclusively to work with Nand and Nor than with and, or, and 
not.  It would be, frankly, ridiculous to require ontology writers generally, 
e.g., to have to conceptualize (not A) as (nand A A).    (06)

-chris    (07)

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