I agree that the naming everything is not feasible nor desirable.
However, in practical terms we do assign dummy names until we know
the given name if one is needed. We use "widget", "gizmo" and
"thingamabob" to refer to non-known names on a temporary basis.
In some countries children are not named until they are one year
old so that demons cannot use their name to find them. (02)
Looking forward I imagine there will be onomastic_servers that
will assign names to things. They will embody the corporation's
or agency's guidelines for naming. These servers will have to
include a name resolution or normalization procedure to make the
process work when things go awry. The server may allow temporary
names as was mentioned by someone earlier (per mode such as
"being_cleaned"). And name translation may be permitted a function
of context, user_ID or facet, depending on how one defines facet. (03)
Magically this all occurs in the ontology!! I'm kidding, it only
looks like magic. The ontology must accommodate the naming,
retrieval and modification by name processes. And, as our discussion
has shown, it is a bit involved, and common business practices will
need to be modified to keep pace with systemic changes. (04)
T: 978-505-9878 (05)
John F. Sowa wrote:
> Dear Matthew, Jack, Godfrey, Sean, et al.,
> MW> A name can be its own identity. More particularly, the string
> > used as a name can be its own identity. Being a name is strictly
> > about a use of that string by some community to refer to something.
> Yes, anything that can be used as a sign can, by some agreed
> convention, be used as a name.
> And to be fair, we should recognize that some names can be derived
> automatically from some structure. For example, our computers
> have very conveniently addressable bits and bytes. That enables
> us to identify any bit uniquely by a simple algorithm. We often
> store those names, but we don't bother to store most of the names.
> JP> I think the "can" part needs way more qualification. I say
> > that as one who gets confused by those who think I'm the
> > Jack Park who writes books about baseball.
> And that is just one among many, many qualifications.
> GR> I routinely work designing systems (as I'm sure many others
> > do) where names need their own identities so that statements
> > can be made about the name (for an example which I am dealing
> > with right now: in which territory is this identifier
> > recognised, where the identifier type has no inherent
> > territorial limitations?), and if a name is its own
> > identifier then that may be ambiguous
> Yes. Godfrey is building structure on top of the uniquely
> named bits and bytes. Most items of interest are not single
> bits, but structures of noncontiguous bits, which are organized
> for a particular purpose in order to be processed by specific
> algorithms. Naming those structures in a systematic way is
> nontrivial -- and finding all the parts can be nontrivial.
> GR> But I made my tongue in cheek remark because the issue that
> > John describes reflects the real world problem of "meta-metadata"
> > being much larger than the metadata it is describing, which I
> > am finding is increasingly a practical concern as the need for
> > identity becomes more and more granular.
> Yes. Even if we have unique names for each bit, the number
> of interesting combinations of bits grows exponentially.
> And I'm using the word 'exponentially' in its literal meaning.
> If we have N bits in RAM, the number of subsets is 2^N .
> And since we're interested in more structure than just a blob,
> we have to add a few more exponents. Consider the number of
> possible ways of defining structure over a blob of M bits.
> SB> However, a component may be installed in a system,
> > then modified, so that it is an exemplar of a different
> > specification...
> > In this case, one may wish to continue to track the history
> > of an individual, even though it is now a different type
> > of thing...
> Yes. That brings in the issues of changes, revisions, history,
> and relationships among different things, processes, and agents.
> Any of them may change the way something is typed, identified,
> and named. That means we have to consider the number of ways
> any item can be related to any combination of other item:
> That adds a lot more exponents to the estimated number of items
> can be named. And we're still talking about bits inside the
> RAM of a digital computer. When you get to the real world
> with continuous variation in position, velocity, energy, and
> interrelationships among everything, we get to the higher
> cardinalities of infinity.
> Summary: If anybody is still dreaming of a unique naming scheme
> for everything, I would quote the immortal words of the mythical
> New Yorker: Fuhgeddaboudit.
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