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Re: [ontolog-forum] ontolog-forum Digest, Vol 99, Issue 16

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: David Collins <collidavid@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:31:24 -0500
Message-id: <AANLkTinWbHqAGo8tFUt6TScX0x1D2B4rsiSr61MHS3rP@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>I would say fanatical people start wars ..
>>I would say Gandhi was puritan.... many puritans are idealists and pacifists too..??

I would suggest that a clash of circumstances causes both fanaticism and war among people whom we would hope could do better on both fronts.

Acknowledging that my most memorable account derives from a popular movie, I recall Ghandi aspired to purity in thought and in practice, yet suffered some second-thoughts about his contribution to violent unrest. So I asked the oracle machine about "Ghandi+felt+responsible+for" (Googled) and it answerd (via an unsourced Wikipedia article) "Gandhi felt responsible for the killings... reproached himself for not emphasizing non-violence more firmly... He went on a fast-unto-death to convince all Indians to stop civil resistance."

The difference between Ghandi's desire and his realization exposes the persistent gap between intent and effect in human endeavor. Like a movie reviewer, an analyst of social constructs does well to consider the effect of a production more so than the intent of a producer.

I suspect this is the reason the best efforts at a universal ontology end up with cultural baggage, regardless the intent of the producers to contrive an ontology that embraces eclectic world views. I also suspect it's the reason high-level language emerged in a species that has evolved a best-guess approach to interpreting its environment even as it aspires to adhere to strict rules that seem to govern that environment.

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