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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2012 12:24:35 -0400
Message-id: <0bdceaa3e6c0d27fe938f48f372d32e3.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Wed, May 30, 2012 22:24, John Bottoms wrote:    (01)

> ... You contrast agents and actions ("The first
> distinction I want to make is between agents and activities"). I
> understand this view as it was one that I once held myself. I tend to
> think of these things more grammatically now.    (02)

Interesting progression.    (03)

> The problem arises with
> the understanding of "actor" or "agent" vs things and activities. Agents
> don't always do things,    (04)

Agents have a capability of doing things.    (05)

> they may not take an action or may be inhibited
> from taking an action. They are in effect "nouns" that do "verb" things.    (06)

Almost every noun can be verbed.  Similarly, almost every verb can
be expressed as a noun action.    (07)

The distinction that you refer to in linguistic terms can in conceptual
terms be separated into "endurants" and "perdurants" -- in a 3D+1
model things that are completely present at any time of their existence
vs. things that are not completely present at any specific time -- with
an exception for "instantaneous" changes of state being classified with
other events.    (08)

Sure, Agent vs. Action leaves out non-agent objects, static situations,
and events that are not actions.    (09)

> This view is confounded by a view of things (nouns) that do things when
> they are not supposed to.    (010)

Nouns are part of language.  What they *do* is passively signify; they
don't act.    (011)

> I first ran into this problem in a linguistic setting;    (012)

Considering a word as the thing it signifies leads to many problems.    (013)

> note that you do not see this in the semantic analysis, but may
> in a linguistic analysis.    (014)

Seems a good reason to me to keep them distinct.    (015)

> Take for example: a rock (clearly an inert
> thingy) sitting on a clay slope.    (016)

(isa Rock012 Rock)
(isa ClaySlope0679 Hillside)
(composition ClaySlope0679 Clay)
(isa Rock012SittingOnClaySlope0679 Configuration)
(thingAttached Rock012SittingOnClaySlope0679 Rock012)
(thingAttachedTo Rock012SittingOnClaySlope0679 ClaySlope0679)
(startsBefore Rock012SittingOnClaySlope0679 <date>)    (017)

> Along comes the rain and it no longer is a thing    (018)

It's no longer a "thing"?!!    (019)

> but becomes an agent but perhaps not quite an actor.    (020)

It takes an agent role in an event.  All that means semantically is that
statements may be made about it.    (021)

(isa RainEvent03248 RainProcess)
(causes-SitProp RainEvent03248
    (endsAfterEndingOf RainEvent03248 Rock012SittingOnClaySlope0679))    (022)

> Anyway,
> it slides down the slope unlodging others of its kind with a few logs.    (023)

(isa Sliding0873470 Sliding-LowFriction)
(startsDuring Sliding0873470 RainEvent03248)
(causes-EventEvent RainEvent03248 Sliding0873470)
(primaryObjectMoving Sliding0873470 Rock012)    (024)

(isa DislogingEventSet79
     (GroupFn CausingAnotherObjectsTranslationalMotion))
(causes-EventEvent RainEvent03248 DislogingEventSet79)
etc.    (025)

> It seems to act on its own and starts to look more and more like an
> avenging angel agent. My suggestion is to stay with verbs and nouns for
> as long as possible. This puts you in the syntactic arena but that is
> safe as long as it can be tolerated.    (026)

It is a good idea to write out (in some form) the assertions that you
want to convert to a semantic form before encoding them all.  One
can get lost in the encoding process and miss some assertions.    (027)

Once you lay out what you wish to express, (in nouns, verbs, pronouns,
adjectives, adverbs, articles, prepositions, and  conjunctions if you are
using English), review what you have written and look for gaps.  After
filling them, convert to a semantic form.  The semantic form may
illuminate additional gaps that should be filled in, as may the inference
engine when the statements are added to a knowledge base.    (028)

-- doug foxvog    (029)

> I understand that at some point you
> may need to move to semantic analysis, but resist until you can't resist
> any further.
> I don't have the expertise to read the patent expediently.
> My other comments are embedded below.
> -John Bottoms
>   FirstStar Systems
>   Concord, MA USA
> [snip]    (030)

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