[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Top-down / bottom-up - taxonomy/folksonomy - ontolog

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Jack Park <jackpark@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2014 17:52:01 -0700
Message-id: <CACeHAVDwkxO2oz9XP-7hOJYmAmhwF9EzeQvj82T_5JCi5z3Kxg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
A few brief comments.
NetworkNation is a very interesting site, a great platform to study.

It is noteworthy that Helene Finidori is mentioned on the linked page by way of her slides.
She is running this graph:
which is about pattern languages for regenerative commons, something I suspect we seek.
She also author of these valuable slides:

A short comment below.

On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 12:03 PM, Bruce Schuman <bruceschuman@xxxxxxx> wrote:

Very interesting and constructive comments, thanks to all.


I’ve been working in broadly holistic areas for a long time, mostly concerned with “integrating the sectors” of human thinking – and tending to see it all from a “community organizing” or “political/governance” point of view.  I am a web database programmer (ColdFusion, SQLServer) who has been building networks for many years, and I can make some of this happen.


Right now, I am starting to build a participant-driven ontology of tags that are a way of gathering up and categorizing just about anything anybody with a concern for political or governance issues might want to place on the map.


This project has been active for a few days, and we now have about 400 tags from 16 participants, organized in 12 major sectors – plus one meta-sector, “Pattern of the Whole”.


So, my question is – what might be a good/reasonable/simple procedure for raking these tag elements into neat piles that might take a hierarchical/cascading form – something could be addressed a la Dewey Decimal System?



I am expecting to more or less “feel my way” into this – and start expanding some of this into various kinds of “drill-down” approaches.


My instincts tend to be pretty linear.  I want to see a flat list of individual tags defined within these basic sectors, but I think we need clean cascades that extend from broadly inclusive categories into very specific particulars (“the bridge from holism to reductionism”).  Deciding what those should be can immediately become complex and controversial.  Does “the community” somehow “vote” on every decision?


I can do a lot of this myself, and I might end up having to do it – but it would be interesting to see some flow-charts or designs for ways “the community” could push these decisions – maybe as prompted through database-driven emails that present sectors of the bigger picture that some participant finds interesting (“here’s what you say you are interested in, here’s where you can add stuff, how would you categorize and sub-categorize these things?”)


Any thoughts on this most appreciated.  I just looked at these resources from Jack Park, and they all seem pertinent and illuminating.  Maybe I don’t really understand “stigmergy” very well – I just think we got to make a lot of interconnected decisions based on a sound logic, while keeping the big picture in mind.


I hope that not "understanding stigmergy very well" doesn't mean that it's being ignored.  I say that because that passage is followed by the emergence of "interconnected decisions based on sound logic", and I ask this: what decisions? and most importantly, why?

I tend to think in terms of Theory U
where deliberations such as this begin at the upper left side of the U, navigate to the bottom -- possibly the most important place on the U, because it is the place where each participant has a better understanding of what each other, and self, holds as a world view, and, perhaps, understands well how and why those holdings exist; it is the place where many, on that journey, have learned from others and have adjusted their holdings, all before beginning the decision-laden journey up the right hand side.  In a sense, the left-hand side is akin to a Bohmian Dialogue.

My emerging tag list is here:  http://networknation.net/fp/tags.cfm


And here’s what the input form looks like, on the theme of “governance”



And here’s a previous iteration, that does work through a 7-level taxonomy:




Thanks for any thoughts or pointers.


PS – my whole project does look a lot like this: https://okfn.org/    I’ll have to get on that mailing list, and thanks.


Bruce Schuman

NETWORK NATION: http://networknation.net

SHARED PURPOSE: http://sharedpurpose.net

INTERSPIRIT: http://interspirit.net

(805) 966-9515, PO Box 23346, Santa Barbara CA 93101


From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jack Park
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 8:57 AM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] How should we design a good wiki? [Hit SEND too soon]


A few comments below, but first, a short story.

Svetlana Belkin, a biology major, decided it was time to put up PlanetOpenScience. She is talking on the okfn.org list (open knowledge foundation). The conversation started in the direction of arguments over which whatever to use, all without even stating a purpose for the site and following that with use cases or something with which to identify which needs to satisfy.

I suggested that she open a conversation at debategraph; before I could point her to one of my many graphs there where she could start a PlanetOpenScience node and build on what is already there, she started one herself: http://debategraph.org/PlanetOpenScience

I think it is instructive to think about what she is doing in the context of this conversation. I say that because it's not unreasonable to think that a "wiki" is only part of the solution sought, and it is the nature of that "solution" which is not yet well understood.

This list, any social sensemaking (epistemic) community is, by most lights, a complex adaptive ecosystem. That means, at least to me, that there are well-studied notions on what to think about when seeking tools to support the community. Douglas Engelbart spoke in terms of Dynamic Knowledge Repositories (brief aside: when I spoke in Seoul about Engelbart's work, Ted Kahn suggested I use the term Dynamic Knowledge Garden, and that term, sans "dynamic" stuck, so most of my slides talk about knowledge gardens), which are specifically defined as people, their tools, and their knowledge; his primary point is that the DKR must co-evolve; needs change as people's knowledge increases.

Stigmergy turns out to be a powerful tool (think: ant pheromone trails, and the feedback and decay associated with that). We have such things as tags, lists, hyperlinks, bookmarks, and more available to us, so already, a wiki is only part of the story.

I talk about that in these slides:

Please note that those slides talk about topic maps, and I am saying that in the face of persons of the Ontology persuasion. Before you jump to conclusions, please take a look at a paper that Adam Cheyer and I co-authored:



On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 12:23 AM, John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Dear Matthew, Jack, Pat, and Mike,

> One of the possibilities is that this becomes the topic for the
> Ontology Summit. I am thinking that we might develop a framework
> of topics that we might then go on to fill in pieces over time.

That's a good idea.  The option of exploring how ontology could be
used to develop a good wiki for discussing ontology is sufficiently
general that it could have much broader applications -- for example,
how to use and/or develop ontologies for

  1. Wikis, help facilities, and FAQ pages about any topic of any kind.

  2. How to be more helpful in searching for anything.  For example,
     supporting a dialog that helps a user collaborate with the
     system in navigating a network of indexed and cross-linked
     documents on any topic.

  3. Developing more helpful annotations and linking strategies
     for web pages on any web site anywhere.

> I think there are ready partial solutions to the specific, short-term
> needs of this conversation...
> it should be possible to make use of a structured conversation
> platform such as http://debategraph.org/ ...
> There are now beginning to exist open source "Watson-like" platforms

Yes to all those points.

> I would favor a format with, in addition to a FAQ-like Q&A section,
> a section where, for issues not generally agreed on, there are two
> columns... [for]  alternative views side-by-side on a single page.

Yes. We should look for software that can be adopted/adapted/extended
to support a wide range of options.

> Perhaps we should focus on improving relevant Wikipedia pages
> (and adding any that we find missing...

Wikipedia explicitly *excludes* ongoing research, and it prohibits
people from contributing novel ideas.  Any wiki we develop should
link to outside resources from anywhere, including Wikipedia.  But
we should also explore new technologies that go beyond the kinds
of links Wikipedia supports.

Our goal is to develop new ideas, not prohibit them.  If we reach
a consensus that is sufficiently stable for Wikipedia, we could
contribute the finished product to Wikipedia.

Wikipedia seeks "neutral point of view" and that works spectacularly well for matters that don't matter. For matters that do matter, the system exhibits profound difficulties, forcing them to lock down those topics to outside editing, and that's precisely the place where group thinking counts most.

My solution to that is to consider *conversation* before curation. For that purpose, I talk about structured conversations (debategraph, truthmapping, etc); a serious portal should include the ability to write "blog" posts where positions are stated and well justified, then wire those into a conversation tree, eventually to curate them as a kind of "omnipartisan" wiki page.

> I would also favor that it be a closed wiki, requiring either
> membership in the Ontolog forum or specific authorization from
> a moderator to add or change items.

Moderation at Wikipedia holds carries a long history with problems, but also interesting solutions. Allowing anyone to edit a page is profoundly problematic in my view. I consider individual world views as sacred, where they offer glimpses into minds. Kurzweil wrote a book "How To Create A Mind" in which he suggests that creativity stems from seeking metaphors around the neocortex, so the game is to bring together as many neocortexes as possible.  An Ontolog portal (PlanetOntology?) would be doing that. I call that a knowledge garden.

> One thing I am certain of is that it will only have value if it is
> organized and managed... So we will need gardeners and librarians

I agree with both.  The wiki should be available for anyone to browse,
but we will need some conventions about membership.  And there may be
different gardeners and associate gardeners for different topics.



We can also continue Ontolog Forum -- but with enhancements, such as
an automatic search engine that makes suggestions before posting any
note.  For example,

  1. Automatically search the wiki for related topics and ask how
     the current note is related to one or more previous notes.

  2. In some cases, the new note may be irrelevant.  Sometimes, the
     new note may add something new, but it may have some parts
     that overlap previous notes.

  3. As a result, the new notes would be semi-automatically cross
     linked with archived notes.  They could still be searched in
     chronological order, if desired, but they could be linked
     in many other ways as well.

  4. And for people who hit SEND too soon, the system could notice
     that the signature is not included and ask why.

There's a lot more to discuss, to explore, and to implement.


Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J


Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J    (01)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>