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Re: A plea for peace. was: RE: DAML+OIL (March 2001) released: a correction

From: Aaron Swartz <aswartz@swartzfam.com>
Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2001 22:31:29 -0500
To: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
CC: RDF Logic <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B6F6973F.8AC9%aswartz@swartzfam.com>
pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu> wrote:

>> No, of course not. As you say this is unlikely. While I sense that you are
>> trolling, I feel it is worthwhile to respond. No one ever said things would
>> have a One True Name. Instead, we merely have a system for giving all
>> objects names
> All objects? There are objects which have no name in any human
> language.

That doesn't prevent you from giving them one.

Do not confuse a system *for* giving all objects names, (as in a naming
system with the ability (that *can*) name all objects) with a system that
*does* provide these names.

>> in a relatively distributed and at times decentralized manner.
>> URIs allow people to give things names,
> No; NAMES allow people to give things names. Do you seriously think
> that people didn't give things names before the Web came along?

Of course, but often these names were meant multiple things or slightly
different things to different people. There is no authority to define the
"meaning" of a word. However, it is clear who defines the meaning of a URI
-- its "owner".

>> and often provide ways to find out what they mean.
> URL's provide a way to find out where some bytes are located. After
> that, as far as I can see we are all on our own. None of this
> provides a way to find out what anything MEANS, nor indeed could it
> possibly do so.

Well, since in many cases those bytes are authoritative for the definition,
I believe that this can define the meaning (or at least as close as we can
get without getting into deep philosophical arguments on the nature of
meaning). This may not be a rigorously mathematical system, I admit, but it
has worked well enough for the millions of users of the Web.

-- 
[ Aaron Swartz | me@aaronsw.com | http://www.aaronsw.com ]
Received on Monday, 9 April 2001 08:46:10 GMT

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