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RE: What is truth anyways? was: [...]

From: Peter Crowther <peter.crowther@networkinference.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:52:29 +0100
Message-ID: <B6F03FDBA149CA41B6E9EB8A329EB12D1AC4DD@vault.melandra.net>
To: "'Jim Hendler'" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, Peter Crowther <peter.crowther@networkinference.com>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org

> From: Jim Hendler [mailto:hendler@cs.umd.edu] 
> >In this case, those 'social agreements' are specs of various banking
> >interchange formats plus places to download exchange rates 
> >and maps of card
> >number prefixes to issuers.  These are all written by 
> >humans, interpreted by
> >humans, and turned into (often buggy) special-purpose code 
> >and text files by humans.
> ahh, so you agree with me, we can make this stuff work more than well 
> enough to trust without having the formal semantics!

No, I diasgree strongly with you.  I believe humans can, with sufficient
effort, make *some* stuff work well enough to trust without having the
formal semantics.  In particular, the following aspects make it easy:

1) Bilateral communications rather than peer-to-peer, allowing effective
communication between producer and consumer of specification;

2) Well-understood problem domains, such as finance, giving a higer base of
common understanding to start with;

3) Restricted problem domains, such as a credit card application, giving a
limited scope for any such communication;

4) Past experience of similar problems, giving a history of known solutions;

5) Shared language between producer and consumer of specification;

6) Limited scope of implementation, for example a single banking system
communicating with a central card issuer system;

7) Limited variation of environment, for example a credit card system that
deploys particular card swipe hardware and software.

All of these simplifying factors were present in your example.  None of
these simplifying factors are present on the semantic web.  I consider the
comparison between the two cases to be specious for that reason.

		- Peter
Received on Wednesday, 12 June 2002 10:34:03 UTC

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