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RE: Slides on the SemWeb's failure (!)

From: Wilson, MD \(Michael\) <m.d.wilson@rl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 17:50:13 -0000
Message-ID: <677CE4DD24B12C4B9FA138534E29FB1D02A3848C@exchange11.fed.cclrc.ac.uk>
To: "Danny Ayers" <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, "W3C SWEO IG" <public-sweo-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "Story Henry" <henry.story@bblfish.net>


The authors make a fairly common, and cheap, academic argument that a
theory or technology is inadequate because it does not address some
issue that it was not intended to - it's like criticizing Darwin's
theory of biological evolution for not providing a moral basis on which
human's can make life choices, or Microsoft Word for not being an
adequate systems programming environment, although it contains a macro

Another cheap academic argument is to try to apply any theory of
language or knowledge being proposed to the issue or paper in question.
It would have been nice if the authors had gone this stage further since
the Semantic Web exactly provides the technology to make explicit the
fallacies in their argument. For example, they argue:

The Semantic Web


Technology to represent the semantics of controlled vocabularies used on
the web sufficiently to support their interoperability


theory of semantics


General theory of meaning


To have academic merit, the proposal of a general theory of meaning must
explain what has been explained by previous theories, and make testable
advances on them in scope or detail


The semantic web does not have merit

One can make a Brachmanesque critique that the ISAs in this argument
conflate a train of category inferences about class and role, and that
it is exactly these inferences which the semantic web technologies make
explicit so that such inferences will not be drawn falaciously as they
are in the paper.

Unfortunately the authors did not go this extra step - but it is an
example which can be used in this way if anybody wants to.

Michael Wilson

-----Original Message-----
From: public-sweo-ig-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-sweo-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Danny Ayers
Sent: 06 November 2007 13:34
Cc: Story Henry
Subject: Slides on the SemWeb's failure (!)


I responded in comments there - a little hastily, should have looked
at the slides & his CV first:


Received on Wednesday, 7 November 2007 17:50:31 UTC

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