On Tuesday, August 30, 2011 5:30 AM, John wrote: "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."
I'd say a bit more: no top ontology, no fundamental solution for a problem.
The same rule refers to such a complex thing as the self-interest, its
classification and interdependency. The issue is also very convoluted due to
social sciences, hardly applying any good ontology here.
There are a lot of artificial social constructs, as races, needing a careful
ontological cleaning or even purgation, which will be heavily resisted by
social scientists and political interests.
Whatever, just counting on enthusiasm, without support of international
organizations like UN, this order looks too tall. (01)
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 5:30 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantics of Natural Languages (03)
> 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.
> 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:
> 1. Sparsely axiomatized lexical resources.
> 2. Microtheories with detailed axioms for low-level problem-oriented
> 3. A hierarchy for organizing and relating any or all theories.
> 4. Guidelines for developing technologies that support #1, #2, and #3.
> That is what I have been discussing in talks such as
> and in published articles such as
> 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.
>> 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.
> A starting point for what?
> 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.
> Is there any problem that anybody would be willing to pay somebody
> to solve for which Doug's ontology would be useful?
>> 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?
> 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.
> Just look at the 50 years of research on toy problems in linguistics.
> Chomsky started with "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously"
> and Montague chose "John seeks a unicorn." They developed
> very impressive theories that are useless for NLP.
> 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 discourse
> representation structures are more useful than any notation
> developed by Chomsky or Montague -- but more is needed.
>> 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,
> Biosemiotics is a metalevel framework for organizing how to think
> about problems. It establishes criteria for organizing categories,
> not a specific set of categories.
>> We could map Use Case 2 onto Use Case 1 and perhaps
>> deal with the self-interest versus interest issue.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
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