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RE: [ontolog-forum] Research Illusion

From: Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>
Date: Sun, 10 May 2009 13:13:48 -0700
To: "'Azamat'" <abdoul@cytanet.com.cy>, "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@ontolog.cim3.net>, "'SW-forum'" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Cc: 'Sören Auer' <auer@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>, "'Pieter De Leenheer'" <pdeleenh@vub.ac.be>, "'Mustafa Jarrar'" <mjarrar@cs.ucy.ac.cy>
Message-ID: <006201c9d1ab$d4981800$7dc84800$@com>
> Even granted that all the teams composed of brilliant individual minds,
> do you really believe that any of these high tasks could be obtained
> without having solid ontological and semantic foundations, for which a common
> ontology of meanings is designed for?  Thanks a lot.

We already have several thousand systems that provide a collaborative framework for sharing knowledge: natural languages.
Each of these has had thousands or millions or more of person year effort put into to their development. 
They work.
If you analyze them they make a variety of basic assumptions concerning the 'ontological and semantic foundations'.
They were not developed in a top-down waterfall fashion.
The development that we have the history for is about modifying one system to get another, and occasional government or technological intervention, for example the creation of national languages during the 19th and 20th centuries, partly through the press, radio and television.

The variety and the dynamic relatively non-authoritarian development mode provide us with one of the underpinnings of freedom of thought - which is so very precious. I find the idea of 'solid ... foundations' quite scary, give me liquid foundations, or even better foundations of gas, or vacuous foundations.

Web technology is reducing our global linguistic diversity, and in the process facilitating global communication - there are dangers with this process of unintended consequences.

Jeremy
Received on Sunday, 10 May 2009 20:14:41 GMT

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