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Re: post-structuralistm and (formal) ontologies

From: Kendall Clark <kendall@clarkparsia.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2008 14:02:37 -0500
To: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Cc: Owl Dev <public-owl-dev@w3.org>, Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hpl.hp.com>, Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Message-Id: <1202151757.983.367.camel@k-desktop.int.clarkparsia.com>

On Mon, 2008-02-04 at 19:51 +0100, Danny Ayers wrote:
>  But it's not hard to imagine similar
> prejudices being held in the machine's knowledgebase. Garbage in,
> garbage out applies to T-boxes too. A good case for timbl's "Oh yeah?"
> button I suppose.
> I know it sounds like the "guns don't kill people" argument, but it
> does seem like the application of the technology matters. When we're
> aiming for tech with a broad range of application, that becomes
> significant.

I actually consider this line in some detail in that set of XML.com
posts from early 2001; there are some issues to be worried about here
that distinguish computer systems from other kinds of bias.

That said, I don't believe there's anything in any of the technologies
we usually discuss on this list that are distinctively or unusually bad
in any of these regards.

>  It's a question of the politics of
> > technology or social informatics more broadly construed, and should be
> > approached w/ the tools, methods, and background knowledge of the
> > practitioners of *those* disciplines.
> In general I agree, though do wonder if computer scientists might have
> insights on the kind of obfuscation-by-sophistication mentioned above,
> in that they may be in a better position to compare what's on the
> surface with what's under the hood.

Yes, perhaps so. But it wouldn't be by virtue of their CS training that
they'd be able to draw any interesting conclusions based on this
particular insight. This is, of course, one reason why some of the best
researchers in these other fields often have non-trivial CS or
engineering backgrounds.

Received on Monday, 4 February 2008 19:02:53 UTC

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