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Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantics of Natural Languages

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 19:44:52 -0700
Message-id: <A5F0EB836D2749E7956326482D9C056D@Gateway>
Dear John,    (01)

I am certainly willing to openly listen to a
proposal if you would like to make one.  While its
true that small examples can only help us exercise
our one microtheory, it seems too soon to go on to
a fully realistic example, but I am willing to go
along with considering one if you have something
in mind.      (02)

I do agree that small examples are only good for
isolated theories, not for the kinds of problems
people pay money (big time money) to solve.  But
what do you have in mind that would be big enough
to justify funding for a startup in which we could
take risks and get appropriate rewards for the
effort and successful achievement of a goal?      (03)

This is getting interesting.      (04)

-Rich    (05)

Rich Cooper
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2    (06)

-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of John F. Sowa
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2011 7:30 PM
To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantics of Natural
Languages    (07)

On 8/29/2011 2:29 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:
> But I also have trouble with the VivoMind
example because
> it is closed - you have code and methods that
have not been
> well defined and described for public
consumption.    (08)

I was not mentioning any of those examples as
subjects for developing
an ontology.  I was using them to illustrate the
kinds of technology that
I have been talking about for years:    (09)

 1. Sparsely axiomatized lexical resources.    (010)

 2. Microtheories with detailed axioms for
low-level problem-oriented
ontologies.    (011)

 3. A hierarchy for organizing and relating any or
all theories.    (012)

 4. Guidelines for developing technologies that
support #1, #2, and #3.    (013)

That is what I have been discussing in talks such
     http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/iss.pdf    (014)

and in published articles such as
     http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/rolelog.pdf    (015)

These slides present the ideas in terms of which I
discussed the
VivoMind examples.  I was addressing a way of
solving problems,
not specific technology.    (016)

> We need a SMALL example, a SIMPLE example, and a
> WELL DOCUMENTED world, IMHO, to make progress on
> Doug's already well developed nucleus of
> microtheory, which is a great starting point.    (017)

A starting point for what?    (018)

All small examples are toys.  The only kinds of
examples that are not
toys are problems that somebody is willing to pay
somebody to solve.    (019)

Is there any problem that anybody would be willing
to pay somebody
to solve for which Doug's ontology would be
useful?    (020)

> What can we choose that will be acceptable to
all of us,
> small enough to make progress with, and yet able
to clear
> up our early diversity of viewpoints?     (021)

I doubt that any such problems exist.  Any problem
that can be
described simply won't illustrate the difficulties
that exist in real
problems that people who build real applications
need to solve.    (022)

Just look at the 50 years of research on toy
problems in linguistics.
Chomsky started with "Colorless green ideas sleep
and Montague chose "John seeks a unicorn."  They
very impressive theories that are useless for NLP.    (023)

Hans Kamp was a student of Montague's, who got a
summer job at
the Rand Corp. to translate an article from the
_Scientific American_
into logic.  That job forced him to address
serious problems that
neither Chomsky nor Montague considered.  Kamp's
representation structures are more useful than any
developed by Chomsky or Montague -- but more is
needed.    (024)

> At one point, you wanted to use biosemiotics and
apply Peirce's
> thoughts to the problem.  So I tried to respond
with Use Case 1,    (025)

Biosemiotics is a metalevel framework for
organizing how to think
about problems.  It establishes criteria for
organizing categories,
not a specific set of categories.    (026)

> We could map Use Case 2 onto Use Case 1 and
> deal with the self-interest versus interest
issue.    (027)

The kinds of problems that can be clarified by
semiotics or
biosemiotics arise in the development of a
complete framework.
They don't show up in little examples.    (028)

In my previous note, I cited the debate between
Barry Smith and
John Searle on issues related to Searle's book
_Social Reality_.
That is the level at which such issues become
critical.    (029)

Another area where such issues become critical is
in the choice
of the upper level ontology.  Lenat said that the
upper levels
weren't critical for solving most problems, but I
believe that
a more satisfactory upper level could provide
better guidance
about how to address the more detailed low-level
tasks.    (030)

John    (031)

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