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Re: [ontology-summit] who cares about the definition of ontology?

To: "'Ontology Summit 2007 Forum'" <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Tom Gruber" <onto@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 06:29:51 -0800
Message-id: <20070308143004.9ADBB11F749@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John Sowa wrote:
> For the record, the email archives from that effort are
> still on the web:
>     http://www-ksl.stanford.edu/email-archives/srkb.index.html
>     SRKB Mail    (01)

Thanks for that link, John.  It might help people to understand the debate
if they reviewed the existing arguments about the relationship between
formalism, ontology, human language, and so forth.    (02)

> TG> The interesting prospect is what could we do if the folksonomy
>  > data of the world -- what all those people are calling their
>  > experiences, for various reasons -- were exposed in a mildly
>  > consistent way so we could make sense of it.
John Sowa wrote:
> We do have such "folksonomy" data, as accumulated over the past
> many millennia.  It's called the collected dictionaries of all
> the world's recorded languages.    (03)

Yes, but folksonomies are a *new* source of data about how people use
language, in addition to dictionaries, the Rosetta Stone, etc.  Tags are not
used as dictionary entries or as definitions of words.   They are simply
ways that people have labeled things *for their own purposes* - either
information management (like foldering) or to be part of a social group that
uses the tag.  The technique of tagging is old; the abundance of data and
contexts of use are new.    (04)

--tom    (05)

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