W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > May 2009

Re: [ontolog-forum] Research Illusion

From: John F. Sowa <sowa@bestweb.net>
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 12:54:04 -0400
Message-ID: <4A0706AC.5020508@bestweb.net>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>
CC: "'[ontolog-forum]'" <ontolog-forum@ontolog.cim3.net>, 'SW-forum' <semantic-web@w3.org>, 'Mustafa Jarrar' <mjarrar@cs.ucy.ac.cy>, 'Sören Auer' <auer@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>, 'Pieter De Leenheer' <pdeleenh@vub.ac.be>
Jeremy,

Some comments on your comments:

 > It seems that another inescapable fact is that we are social creatures
 > and that research, consensus and truth are social processes.

If you delete the word 'truth' from that sentence, I agree.  But
there are hard, testable criteria for truth:  the ability to generate
correct predictions when tested under a sufficiently large body of
experiment and observation.

 > Web technology is already automating some of those social processes,
 > and making them wider, more inclusive, with larger groups driving
 > the fashions.

I agree that web technology can speed up the social processes by
many orders of magnitude.  It can also facilitate the search for
truth and the testing necessary to determine whether any proposed
hypothesis is indeed true.

Unfortunately, the web technology speeds up the social process by
more orders of magnitude than the testing processes for verifying
whether a proposed hypothesis contains a solid kernel of truth.

That is why I have recommended that we keep our options open.
Instead of adopting a single official standard, I have been
recommending that we adopt a *framework* that supports an open
ended collection of ontologies, and let the market decide.
Let the implementers and users decide which options to build on,
and let the market determine which one(s) prove to be successful.

Picking a bad option before the testing has been done can be
a disaster.  That is the lesson from those examples I cited.
(And there are many more examples that many others have seen
and reported.)

John
Received on Sunday, 10 May 2009 16:54:36 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 26 March 2013 21:45:29 GMT