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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE: Why most classifications are fu

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 21:20:42 -0700
Message-id: <C9E4AF8EBCD24384808A3AB71D8DF99A@Gateway>
Dear John,    (01)

Well, you have certainly been a prolific, patient
and helpful source of knowledge on these lists for
many years, and I have learned a great deal from
your posts.  But it looks like we simply can't and
won't reach agreement on this issue of
subjectivity in interpretation, and I have reached
a conclusion that I am wasting both our time with
further posts on the subject, so I will cease
raising it here.  I will still follow the list,
but I doubt if I can contribute much more, since I
have a very strong conviction that subjective
construction is the missing ingredient in
ontology.  Nevertheless, thanks for generously
providing so much knowledge, and thanks for your
efforts to enlighten me.      (02)

In particular, I valued your discussions of how
deeply things can be equivalently reexpressed in
plain old FOL, plus modal formulations of it.  I
still think Peirce did not go far enough in
formulating multiple observers, i.e., multiple
viewers of the same sign, each seeing it in
distinct ways, and reaching distinct conclusions,
as we have in this disagreement.  But I certainly
respect the strength of your conviction otherwise.    (03)

-Rich    (04)

Rich Cooper
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2    (05)

-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of John F. Sowa
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2011 6:53 PM
To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE:
Why most classifications are fuzzy)    (06)

Rich,    (07)

> There are some interesting and major differences
in our world views,
> which show up in this latest difference in our
convictions.    (08)

If you stated precise technical definitions of
your terms, I don't
believe there would be any distinguishable
difference between a model
and a possible world.    (09)

>> The word 'fantasy' is a value judgment.  A more
neutral term
>> is 'specification'.  The term 'abstraction of
reality' is
>> another term for 'specification'.    (010)

> Here we disagree on nomenclature based on world
> An abstraction of reality is not usually a
> though a specification is often an abstraction
of reality.    (011)

By "specification", I mean a sequence of
statements in some version
of logic or mathematics or some very precise
natural language that
could be translated directly to some version of
logic.    (012)

By "abstraction from reality", I mean exactly the
same kind of
specification.  Please show me any kind of
"abstraction from
reality" that cannot be expressed in logic,
mathematics, or
some precise NL that could be translated to math
or logic.    (013)

> A model is based on past history – the reality
comes first, not last.    (014)

Models can come from anywhere.  The chemist
Friedrich August Kekulé
was trying to imagine how 6 carbon atoms and 6
hydrogen atoms could
be connected to form a benzene molecule.  But he
had a dream:    (015)

> ...I was sitting writing on my textbook, but the
work did not
> progress; my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned
my chair to the fire
> and dozed. Again the atoms were gamboling before
my eyes. This time
> the smaller groups kept modestly in the
background. My mental eye,
> rendered more acute by the repeated visions of
the kind, could now
> distinguish larger structures of manifold
conformation; long rows
> sometimes more closely fitted together all
twining and twisting
> in snake-like motion. But look! What was that?
One of the snakes
> had seized hold of its own tail, and the form
whirled mockingly
> before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning I
awoke; and this
> time also I spent the rest of the night in
working out the
> consequences of the hypothesis.    (016)

That was the fantasy that led him to formulate his
model of the
benzene molecule.  He had a great deal of
knowledge of chemistry
as a prerequisite, but the image of a snake
seizing its own
tail is just as fantastic as anybody's possible
world.    (017)

If you want more examples, look at Einstein's
fantasy about
a train moving at the speed of light as
inspiration for his
theory of relativity.  Einstein had a PhD in
physics, but he
derived his model from a fantasy that was
impossible to
implement in reality.    (018)

Buckminster Fuller was an engineer with a "quirky
genius" and
a fantastic imagination for creating highly
innovative designs.
Examples include his geodesic domes, dymaxion car,
and many
other marvelous inventions of varying degrees of
practicality.    (019)

> while design, if properly performed and
validated, takes about
> 30% and testing takes about 50%.  The other 12%
is chewed up
> in document production for the various
developmental stages.    (020)

Talk about fantasy -- that characterization of
engineering is
based on numbers pulled out of thin air.
Different engineers,
scientists, and poets have different mixes of
discipline and
fantasy in their ways of thinking and working.
Some poets are
a lot more down to earth than some engineers and
scientists.    (021)

> I think a lot of our disagreements are based on
these differences
> in world view, which acknowledges the
subjectivity of our separate
> world views.    (022)

I spent 30 years working at IBM, where I had to
justify my paycheck
with something that had some relevance to IBM's
bottom line.  I also
had to provide business cases that would sound
reasonable to hard-
nosed accountants.  And I am now a partner in a
business where we
are not taking any research funds.  Instead, we
are developing our
technology by working on contracts for customers
whose primary
criterion is whether we solve their problems
within a given budget
and deadline.    (023)

So I am very familiar with what an engineer has to
do.  I also
know something about what a scientist or a
philosopher does.
And there is no sharp boundary line.  Models and
possible worlds
are specified in exactly the same way, and there
is a continuum
in range of practicality and closeness to
hard-edged reality.    (024)

John    (025)

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