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Re: RDF *already* supports literal subjects - a thought experiment

From: Lin Clark <lin.w.clark@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 13:21:47 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTimhv4oHFKDbJbZOWyAJ93HmYEogLrQooQM_jp6-@mail.gmail.com>
To: Henry Story <henry.story@gmail.com>
Cc: paoladimaio10@googlemail.com, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
On Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:20 AM, Henry Story <henry.story@gmail.com> wrote:

> Paola, not everything is amenable to testing, measurement, etc... For
> example, this
> would hardly make any sense for most of mathematics, since that is what
> gives you the tools for doing the measurements in the first place. Logic, to
> which it was thought that most of maths could be reduced to, thefore has the
> same issue. Similarly by the way for asethetic values. Or even for ethical
> ones. How would you go around testing whether "killing is bad"? (Rhethorical
> Question).


I have to chime in and disagree on this point. Much of the discussion hasn't
centered around the logical and mathematical perfection of any solution, but
on what impact solutions have on use and users.

A priori reasoning is particularly *un*suited to this kind of
problem—particularly in the case where the research community is
ethnographically different than the users they are trying to reach, as we
are. In this particular case, we are trying to reach developers, often times
Web developers, who most likely have a very different understanding of the
world than the bulk of the Semantic Web research community. If we look to
other fields, we can see how user science has been applied in the
development of systems, languages, and APIs, by treating developers as
users.

If assertions about human use are part of the argument, then empirical
research about how humans use the tools should be a part of the research and
evaluation. We need to build a scientific literature that actually addresses
these issues instead of assuming that human mind is the best of all possible
(logical) worlds.

-Lin
Received on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 12:22:19 UTC

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