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

From: Jonathan Borden <jonathan@openhealth.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 10:40:05 -0400
Message-ID: <018a01c2121f$0c980250$0a2e249b@nemc.org>
To: "Peter Crowther" <peter.crowther@networkinference.com>, "'Jim Hendler'" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Cc: <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>

Peter Crowther wrote:

>... 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
> 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
> 5) Shared language between producer and consumer of specification;

Certainly this is important. But what about "shared language" on the
semantic web ... how does one really define what the semantics of a given
URI is, in a formal sense. It seems that unless this is done in an
unambiguous fashion, any formal infrastructure built on top is sort of like
rearranging, err straightening, deck chairs ...

> 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.

I wonder if the semantic web can meaningfully work without some of these
assumptions. An actual example of a working semantic web application that
doesn't make some of these would be helpful in convincing me otherwise.

Received on Wednesday, 12 June 2002 10:45:31 UTC

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