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SV: Certainty Factors

From: Greg FitzPatrick <gf@medianet.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 16:35:59 +0100
To: "Danny Ayers" <Danny.Ayers@highpeak.ac.uk>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NCBBJIFAOLHFMAPPOLHCOEDJCLAA.gf@medianet.org>
There is a wider aspect to this than cats and triples. But what the heck a
weekend is coming up.

I sometimes give lectures on the subject of Truth and the Internet and one
of the exemplifications I use is that of Faurisson and the French
revisionists.  These people and their allies like to claim that the
holocaust never took place, in any case not to the extent assumed in the
public knowledge domain.

see
 http://www.codoh.com/thoughtcrimes/PORT4FAU.HTML

or

http://www.codoh.com/zundel/dsmrd/dsmrdtoc.html

Students who are asked to do a paper on the holocaust, when using the
Internet will quite often stumble on Revisionist sites.  Since there exists
a sort of classroom entropial dispersion of opositionalality, a much larger
proportion of students will be intrigued by this line of thinking than would
naturally be expected in relationship to the microscopic minority these
views represent in the real world.

In other words the revisionist pages win an unproportionately large public
amongst youth who are oppositionally inclined.

The question that thereby arises is if somehow the sheer weight of evidence
in the public domain substantiating the existence of the holocaust and all
its grim details constitutes a "truth" and that the semantic web when it
reaches a structural state that would afford the measurement of such
"truths" could serve to validate the same.

Keep in mind that I am not speaking of the measurement of beliefs such as
the life form of Jesus or Budha, but rather empirical recordings.

The counter argument is; In such a semantic web world, what would have
happened to Copernicus?

Have a nice weekend

Greg


> -----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
> Från: www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org
> [mailto:www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org]För Danny Ayers
> Skickat: den 10 december 1999 11:07
> Till: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
> Ämne: Certainty Factors
>
>
> Hi,
> I'm just wondering what angle the proposed RDF spec takes for dealing
> with uncertainty, and the 'truth' of a statement. As an extreme case
> let's have the assertion in one place (abstracting it a bit)
>
> Object : Freddy's cat
> Attribute : Colour
> Value : Red
>
>  and elsewhere we have the assertion
> Object : Freddy's cat
> Attribute : Colour
> Value : Green
>
> As I see it, there are essentially two approaches available - 1. there
> is no need for implicit definition of certainty within RDF; 2. certainty
> can be expressed in a RDF triple.
>
> With 1, it could be left to a reasoning engine to determine which of
> these statements is more likely to be true - following a chain of
> authority perhaps, if the chain leads back to a document with Freddy as
> the author, then we take his word on it.
>
> With 2, we could have additional assertions along the lines of :
>
> Object : The first statement about the colour of Freddy's cat
> Attribute : Certainty
> Value : 0.9
>
> or even
>
> Object : This document
> Attribute : Certainty
> Value : 0.01
>
> Any thoughts on this?
>
> I must confess that my knowledge of RDF is pre-pubescent, and apologies
> if I've missed a relevant thread or document.
>
> Cheers,
> Danny.
>
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>  Having looked at other knowledge representation methods in the past
>
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Received on Friday, 10 December 1999 10:31:03 GMT

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