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Re: philosophy of SWBPD (was Re: [OPEN] and/or [PORT] : a practical question)

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 08:31:39 +0100
Message-ID: <406A73DB.1060803@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
To: "Uschold, Michael F" <michael.f.uschold@boeing.com>
Cc: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>, SWBPD <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

>>3. perspecuity: it should be easy to look at and understand a model. 
>>Some 'correct' approaches may be very convoluted, but this make them 
>>less desirable.
> 
> 
> well, this one I guess I agree with, but of course Ian has lots of 
> examples of things that would be easy to say in OWL Full (like the 
> metamodeling itself) that require much less perspicuous 
> representation in DL - in fact, the OWL Guide is full of them -- 
> however, other people argued to me that making the representation 
> easier for machines to reason over was more important than having the 
> model be human understandable..

I am one of the latter (people who argue that it must be easy for machines).


> p.s. Someone offered me a great analogy the other day - he showed me 
> some papers from early 90s hypertext conference than basically 
> recommended that you don't link to things off your own web site, as 
> this could lead to 404 and other unanticipated errors (and showed 
> empiricially that this was the case).  Of course, in a certain sense 
> that is a good hypertext best practice, but it turned out to be a 
> laughably foolish one for the Web -- let's try to avoid having people 
> laugh at us ten years from now...


I think that people's height or people's age might fall into this category.

Many people, particularly important people, will spread disinformation on 
these basic issues.
Thus in the virtual world it perhaps is simply not the case that people 
have a unique height or a unique date-of-birth; virtual people are more 
ambiguous than real people.

My seven year old son has worked that out: he now has three or four 
different identities at lego.com; he's still shying from making one of them 
female but, he will get there soon.

(You may note that my view of the Semantic Web is a virtual world, not 
dependent on an underlying physical world in which Osama bin Laden does 
have a unique height and my son does have a unique gender: I should 
probably try and articulate that within the work of Baudrillard or Derrrida 
but ...)

Even if Jim's funders could find the man and took TV pictures of him 
standing upright with a ruler (showing *the* correct height), many people 
(outside the US) would still be suspicious and suggest that the pictures 
were faked. I don't think it is possible to successfully and convincingly 
validate the virtual world against a real one.


Jeremy
Received on Wednesday, 31 March 2004 02:36:57 EST

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