Hi Joshua,

At 12:54 PM 12/16/2005 -0800, you wrote:
The argument for ontologies is often that they are a pre-requisite for
meaningful communication

Actually, I believe the usual argument for ontologies is that they are a pre-requisite for meaningful communication between machines.

Current work on the Semantic Web seems unconcerned with how machines will explain what they are doing to (non-programmer) people , and how such people will communicate with the machines.

There's been quite a bit of discussion recently about how to "jump start" the semantic web. Easy communication in both directions between machines and  business and scientific end-users would seem to be necessary, if perhaps not sufficient.

There's more about this in the "e-Government Presentation" at the site below.  There's also an online system at the same site that illustrates how something like this can work in practice.

                                -- Adrian

Online at www.reengineeringllc.com
Shared, community use is FREE.

Adrian Walker
PO Box 1412
CT 06011-1412 USA

Phone: USA 860 583 9677
Cell:    USA  860 830 2085
Fax:    USA  860 314 1029