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Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer Cake

From: John F. Sowa <sowa@bestweb.net>
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 21:30:40 -0400
Message-ID: <46B133C0.8020303@bestweb.net>
To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@ontolog.cim3.net>
CC: SW-forum <semantic-web@w3.org>

Kathy and Chris,

I think we are all in violent agreement.

KBL> Some of the very same equations could, under different
 > circumstances, be used to model airplanes or electrical
 > circuits or pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.  That is the
 > beauty of mathematics.  There are common mathematical
 > structures that are generally useful across a wide variety
 > of problem domains.  It is also the bane of students who
 > are interested in nursing or robotics or baseball, but have
 > to sit through a generic mathematics course that either uses
 > almost no examples or requires them to do problems about
 > applications about which they don't care a hoot....

CM> When such an intended model for an ontology exists, it is
 > important that it be conveyed along with the axioms to give
 > users a clear intuitive picture of the subject matter the
 > ontology is designed to characterize.  In my view, a bare
 > collection of axioms with no description of an intended model
 > runs a great risk of being "way too abstract".

But I would like to add the following:

Richard Feynman was very good at explaining physics to a very
wide range of audiences.  He made the point that there is no
subject, no matter how abstruse, that cannot be explained
honestly and accurately to any intelligent person at any age
who is interested in hearing about it.  He not only made that
point, he demonstrated it many times by answering any question
about physics anyone might ask at a level appropriate to the
questioner.

Of course, Feynman had a rare talent for that.  But I firmly
believe that there is no reason why a college-educated person
with a specialty in subject X cannot answer a question about X
to the satisfaction of a college-educated person with a
specialty in any other subject Y.

John
Received on Thursday, 2 August 2007 01:30:52 GMT

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