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Thinking of URLS, use adapted cyberspace theory here ?!

From: Leo Sauermann <leo@gnowsis.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 18:52:11 +0200
To: "Rdf-Interest" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000601c3463a$715ec6b0$0501a8c0@ZION>

Identity of URIS and the Human Factor

this is philosophical stuff, so beware !8-)

but i post it here because much of the "how do i give uris" and "what
protocol to use" discussion can be enlightened by this. btw: I Like
URIQA. and Joseki. And Sesame.

if you are interested in a philosophical concept we can base our RDF
programs on, please read all and comment heavily to me, I am going to
write papers about it.... and i am building a piece of software that
does all I mention here, the www.gnowsis.com

Parmenides of Elea started the problem of things and correlating
thoughts in ~400 BC:
"It needs must be that what can be spoken and thought is; for it is
possible for it to be, and it is not possible for what is nothing to

for short: think only of things that exist.

Since then philosophists like Plato, Aristoteles, and others (like
Norbert Wiener) have been discussing this : what does really exist, what
is existance, what is illusion, blablabla

and now we as rdf community have the technical solution for that (at
least, that is my theory):

A company is an abstract term. you can't touch it. same with a process.
you can't see it. 
but when we use RDF on uris, we suddenly have a "physical" beeing that
represents the idea of the process or customer or company or whatever.
The place where these concepts reside is not physical world but usually
referenced as the "cyberspace"
A process is an abstract thing and if i can define a process in
cyberspace, it is not abstract anymore, it is in cyberspace. 


A subpart of your company now instantiates a process, it does this by
MS-Project on their exchange (or biztalk or whatever) server so the
process gets a URL:


(this is an example, i don't know how microsoft did it but I KNOW that
MS-Project has a distributed mode where it creates uris)

This IS the process. This IS the URL. I can touch it. I can browse there
(with my ms-project client). With RDF, I can connect people, products,
anything to it.

When I want to tell somebody about this special process instance, I do
I write an email and say:

http://myEmailXYZ123 http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/subject

In english: My Email is about the Process Instance 123123.

That is my thinking behind my approach to RDF.

Another example are companies that define themselves as beeing web
companies, 12sold.at, update.com, amazon.com. These companies define
their address and company location as being in the web. The company name
is the domain name.

What is new
What is different in cyberspace/semantic web thinking than to whow we
think today ?

The science of philosphy, communication, user interface desing all talk
about ideas or models that are communicated from one entity A to entity
B using a channel C. The main media today is the written or spoken word,
combined with images. High tech medium are movies and multimedia
presentations. Person A has an idea and he uses media M and channel C to
communicate to B. The channel may be paper, a sign (emergency exit
sign), architecture, or the Internet.

In cyberspace, the ideas are still communicated with words and pictures
and so on, but - the position of the ideas is unique. It is in
cyberspace. An idea or piece of information only exists if it is in
cyberspace. If you want to know about an idea, you go there and look at
it. If the idea is based on other ideas and concepts, it leads you to
the other ideas to have you look at them to understand the connections. 
Security is shifted from accessing material to "being" there.
Total immersion in the information space.

An example are W3C discussions: a paper does not exist if it is not in
the WWW, it does not exist (this is, I think, somewhere in TimBl's
"Weaving the Web").

If we manage to build enough applications so that we shifth enough data
into the semantic web, you will have cyberspace, a uniform world of
normalised data that is highly interconnected. 
And you have one place to look when you think about some idea, that is
the URL related to the idea. If you think about "U2- One" (a music
song), go find the url and see if you have a copy on your local

A way to get there for you private

Give everything a URL. don't give it only a URI, use a URL. start with
your table, chair, pet, neighbour, car, your appointments
(actually I make an application that does exactly that, you may use it
freely at the end of this year)

Communicate the urls.

try to communicate only the url and let people find out what they find
there (f.e. if you communicate an appointment, just email a url to a
weblog entry of yours)

use RDF to describe the metadata of the urls. Use rdf to interlink them.

Use ontologies in your daily life.

think in urls.

A way there for you company
1. search for highly communicating intranet applications

2. Adapt this software so that is uses URLs. 

3. Then let some semantic web gurus like us programm tools that do
something with this fact.

-> I have already written much about this, and if you are interested, I
will publish the paper on my website.

alas, this is also long
Leo Sauermann
Received on Wednesday, 9 July 2003 12:50:27 UTC

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