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Re: When does a document acquire (web) semantics?

From: Jim McCusker <mccusker@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2010 08:15:28 -0500
Message-ID: <68084f3e1002020515o6c43cc39j8c554de81a483b58@mail.gmail.com>
To: Oliver Ruebenacker <curoli@gmail.com>
Cc: John Madden <john.madden@duke.edu>, w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 7:50 AM, Oliver Ruebenacker <curoli@gmail.com> wrote:
>     Hello,
>  When asking for a practical example, I was more concerned about the
> consumer rather than the producer of data. It is easy to claim some
> data has meaning, but the question is to what extend that meaning can
> be appreciated by others.
>  Why don't we build a little meaning detector. Some device that takes
> a document and makes beep if it finds meaning in it. With such a
> device, it would be easy to find out, when exactly the document
> acquired the meaning. Or at least, design an experiment where the
> outcome is predicted by a theory based on the meaning of the document.
>  If it turns out that such a device can not be build, or such an
> experiment can not be designed, then I would assume that the document
> alone has no meaning, and that instead, meaning resides in a system
> larger than the document. That system than needs to be identified.

I like this. For me, computable formal semantics (what we would encode
the document in) isn't exactly the same as "meaning". As in, when I
read a document and gain information from it, I don't gain the same
kind of state that would be encoded in the graph of the document. I'm
still convinced that there are semantics embedded in sub-symbolic
representations (by sub-symbolic, I simply mean a 1:1 connection
between entity/concept/whatever and the symbol/URI/triple for it) that
are lost using direct symbolic encodings.

Jim McCusker
Programmer Analyst
Krauthammer Lab, Pathology Informatics
Yale School of Medicine
james.mccusker@yale.edu | (203) 785-6330

PhD Student
Tetherless World Constellation
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Received on Tuesday, 2 February 2010 13:16:20 UTC

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