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AW: What if two resources are the same subject?

From: Leo Sauermann <leo@gnowsis.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 17:23:42 +0200
To: "'Charles McCathieNevile'" <charles@w3.org>
Cc: <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c426eb$775f97a0$0b01a8c0@Bundeslade>

> In the long run we can describe different actual uses of "Ireland" (or
> whatever) with newly minted identifiers that will clarify 
> which interpretation we were after. Which will work for a 
> while... This isn't a limitation of technology, but one of 
> the way that large groups of people interact. I suspect that 
> as long as things work more or less peopel will keep using 
> something familiar, and eventually some new terms will take over.
> 
> In natural language, the term obligated is starting to take 
> over from what I mean when I say obliged - this is a slow 
> process, and language, while not mathematically precise, 
> seems to work tolerably well for most communication needs - 
> at least when compared to alternative systems - in part 
> because it does have some ability to change with usage.


At the end, a digital resource does not exist independent from some
"being thing". I think a basic statement in Constructivism is that each
individual has a different view of the world, as it sees the world with
its own eyes and correlates words to thoughts and associations in the
mind.

So when two parties use two different uris 
A) http://www.some.org/countries/canada 
B) http://another.org/public/countries/Canada 
to identify the country canada, this implies some things.

If some people agreed to use URI (A) then this includes communication
processes, Person X sees that Person Y used URI (A) and therefore copies
behaviour of person Y and uses also (A) in his/her documents.
Person Y1 decides to use (B) either because never heard of (A) or
because of wanted distinction from (A). So other people like X1 decide
to follow Y1 in using (B).

So, all these URI picking processes include social processes that WE
(gentlemen&women of RDF-IG) are involved in. And also, WE create this
social process RIGHT NOW, by discussing.

Every individual is allowed to have its own world-view, so everyone can
pick his/her own URIs to identify his/her thoughts and concepts. Some
people may agree to use the uris of others but it is not possible that
all people using uri (A) to identify a concept C(A) will have the same
thinking in their heads about the concept C(A). 

The problem is, that the original example missed a usage scenario of the
uri, why should i want to do 
(A) owl:sameAs (B)

f.e. if i use the URI to identify hotels in Canada, I may have several
web services that use (A) and some that use (B) to show me hotels in the
country canada. I may have to query two different web services to get a
good view of (A) and (B) and the hotels. It then will be social practice
and knowledge to always use both services when searching.
I remind here to the yahoo/alltheweb/google story. You surely learned
about google by a friend or a newspaper article and not by a software
agent. So a social process is included in the task of deciding which
service to use. 

To sum it up:
- It is ok to have two URIS
- you can do owl:sameAs but you don't have to if a social process leads
you to the result you wanted.
- you can't fully digitize minds (and therefore human knowledge)

hth
Leo Sauermann
www.gnowsis.com
Received on Tuesday, 20 April 2004 11:24:03 GMT

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