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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2012 13:35:20 -0700
Message-id: <97107C0A8C8841FCAD923882183BC846@Gateway>
Dear Self Interested Ontologists,    (01)

I found a terrific video interview with biologist
Matt Ridley (one of my favorite pop biology
authors) which explains some of the phenomenon in
self interested activities.  Basically, his idea
is that progress depends far more on the NUMBER of
individuals in a group exchanging ideas than it
does on any one GENIUS, or other appellation you
might want to use to describe individuals who
provide outlier services.  The video and article
are at:    (02)

-a-conversation-with-joh    (03)

The video is mostly Ridley's ideas and evidence to
support his thesis about interchange being the
driving force for new technologies and sciences.
For example, he indicates that the estimated 4,000
population of an island off the Australian
mainland actually regressed technologically during
the ten thousand years in which it was an island,
while the mainland population invented such new
technologies as the boomerang, among other
Australian innovations.  He gives several other
examples in the video.      (04)

More than ever, this convinces me that each
individual should have the editing capability
mentioned earlier so that s/he can customize any
ontology they get stuck with.  Given editing
capability, individuals could download an ontology
(or just parts thereof - some are huge) and add
value by replacing local symbol definitions with
URIs to specialized, generalized, or more
structured definitions as new insights are
developed.  Perhaps even some of the elements in
the source ontology might prove to be incorrect,
and editable by the individual, with changes
stored in his own site: sort of an indirect
reference.  Ultimately, those corrections could be
merged back into the source ontology (if the
source author agrees), and subsequently made
available to further investigators.      (05)

Recently, there was a post on another list
(public-semweb-lifesci@xxxxxx) about "Reasoning on
Gene Ontology"s web site which offers triples to
search over the gene ontology, but which doesn't
use URIs within the web site that point outside
the site.  Instead, all pointers reference back
into the originating web site.      (06)

Comments on that list indicated that there could
be great value added opportunities to link that
site's triple set to other sites.  That linking
process seems to go along with Ridley's conjecture
that volume of people is more important than any
individual(s) in the generation of such
intellectual interchange.  I.e., the more web
sites, presumably the more individuals that are
involved.  Therefore, deeply externalized web
sites would have the greatest fan outs.  Of
course, each specialized, generalized or just
instantiated web site would be run by one or more
individuals with a purpose -  a self interest.     (07)

However, he gets lots of disagreement, he
explains, from those with an opposite point of
view.  Why would that disagreement be seen, if
self interest were not the most significant
ontology of all?  If Ridley is right, larger
numbers of individuals gives groups access to more
data, larger counts of context samples, and
consequently greater variety in what he calls
sexual interchange, but what seems to me to
actually be purely intellectual interchange
(sensationalized).      (08)

So a Self Interest Ontology, if fully
operationalized, might be the most useful ontology
of all.  QED.     (09)

Anybody care to comment even though this is still
in the holidays, or spring break, or my vacation?    (010)

-Rich    (011)

Rich Cooper
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2    (012)

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