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Re: [ontolog-forum] Laws: physical and social

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2013 21:01:27 -0400
Message-id: <51AE8DE7.9090809@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ed,    (01)

Can you find any examples where what I said was wrong?  A very precise
and detailed specification is always for a specific project.  When you
design a bridge, that design holds for a single bridge for a single
location.  If you design a car, you can manufacture thousands of
identical cars, but that design will not be true of any other model.    (02)

> I just can't agree with the spirit of John's tag line:    (03)

>> Therefore, both the laws of human science and the laws of human social
>> institutions have a narrow range of definiteness and a large area of
>> vagueness, uncertainty, and multiple exceptions.    (04)

> But if that were true on the scale of projects in which we are typically
> engaged, it follows that "knowledge engineering" and "ontology development"
> are pointless exercises -- garbage in, garbage out.    (05)

Not at all.  It means precision for version 1.0, of which you make
thousands of copies.  But you need a different specification for v. 1.1.
On update Tuesdays, millions of copies of Windows get a new version
with a specification that has changed at a large number of points.    (06)

> A lot of us are engineers, and we are too ignorant to know when you
> are only talking philosophy.    (07)

I was talking about engineering.  Can you point to any project about
which anything I said was false?    (08)

John    (09)

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