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Re: [ontolog-forum] Quote for the day

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 09:13:55 -0500
Message-id: <4D21D9A3.7030509@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 1/3/2011 4:11 AM, Anders Tell wrote:
> Drawing from my inter-industry standardization experiences
> then it seems unlikely that there will be a common ontology
> in the domain of international commerce.
> One simple reason is that different legal systems require
> different conformance for enterprise within their jurisdiction.    (01)

Yes, indeed.    (02)

Commercial systems are designed to be easy to change whenever
the government regulations for their locality change.  A fixed,
unchanging universal ontology for interoperable computer systems
would presuppose a fixed and unchanging universal set of laws
and regulations for all governments in the entire world.    (03)

> Managing Variability is IMHO a useful modeling practice. As well
> as managing conflicts and disagreements.    (04)

It's not just useful -- it's a *prerequisite* for any useful ontology.    (05)

> Neutrality is often ascribed to the caretaker of an ontology, and
> interoperability includes a process of agreeing in order to reduce
> risk and costs for involved parties.    (06)

Certainly.    (07)

The most important requirements for a general-purpose ontology
are *flexibility* and *adaptability* to changing circumstances.    (08)

Those circumstances include changes and developments in science,
technology, businesses, environments, cultures, and all the laws
and regulations of every government that has jurisdiction over
any system that uses the ontology.    (09)

Those circumstances, by the way, are the reason why natural languages
change, adapt, and grow.  If they didn't change, we would all be
speaking the same language as Adam and Eve.    (010)

John    (011)

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