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Re: Certificate Triplify Challenge

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 10:58:57 +0100
Cc: public-xg-webid@w3.org
Message-Id: <1BD6F272-7C78-4C55-B436-57409AA9E910@bblfish.net>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>

On 12 Jan 2012, at 03:54, Kingsley Idehen wrote:

> On 1/11/12 8:06 PM, Henry Story wrote:
>> Please spend some time READING THIS CAREFULLY. 
>> Wait until tomorrow before answering. Think over it tonight. 
>> There is a lot in here, it is easy, but it would be a pitty if because of attempting to read it too quickly the point ended up being lost.
> I am reading it CAREFULLY. And responding IN KIND.

Not quite carefully enough.

You read through the e-mail and answered while reading. You can do that, but then you need to re-read a few times more and see how your answers play with each other, and with what I am saying further in other parts of my response. When I responded to your e-mail I did as you did, namely answer as I was reading.  But then I read, and re-read my answers, and in fact ended up completely removing what I had written initially as I realised whilst going through the answer what the important points were, and removed as many points as could create antagonism. If we do that we are much more likely to make progress, without flooding the list, as we did a few days ago. 

(It was kind of fun, but we lost a very good member from the BBC, Mo McRoberts. So at the Weekly meeting I did ask that we make a pledge not to continue this way. Perhaps we can get him and others to come back if we reduce the volume and increase the quality)

Here are a few indicators that you were not careful enough in replying, and did not re-read your answer. (As I said I was myself guilty of this, and I am trying to help us move the level of debate up here)

1. First you spend a lot of time criticising my use of object, thinking I was using it as the way it gets to be used in the Subject Predicate Object triple where it can often be thought to refer to the third syntactic element in a triple. In fact I used the word "object" because you in a previous mail started introducing the word to speak in OO terms, and as I understood you there to make the word/object distinction. But you are quite right to point out this can be confusing. So let us stick with "referent".
  Even so, with a bit of care you would have seen that a few lines further down I use the word "referent" myself. In fact I capitalised it "REFERENT". So with a bit of contextual reading there you could see that that was what I meant, and then the whole first parts of your response could have been shortened.

2. This brings us to the second point. Take this exchange: 

>> URIs then REFER to things such as documents or things that are not documents.
> Sorry, but that sentence doesn't really make any kind of sense! A "Document" is a Thing too!

And Indeed a document is a thing too. My sentence above does not deny that. It says that URIs refer to all kinds of things including documents. If you had re-read yourself here, you would have seen that my sentence made sense, and that you were not in fact disagreeing with it. 

This shows that objectively it is not my sentence that fails to makes sense but your interpretation of it, probably given what you believe I believe. So perhaps at that point it is worth thinking: "perhaps what I think henry believes is wrong. Perhaps he is not the Henry I imagine him to be. Perhaps he is arguing something different. Or perhaps we are even agreeing!"

3. Finally you are upset because I take a diagram to illustrate things.

>> So let us add a couple of illustrations to help out.
> I don't need an illustration from you. I didn't learn what Identifiers mean via the WWW or the Semantic Web or Linked Data. If Identifiers, unary operators for de-reference and address-of did not exist, there wouldn't be a WWW and we wouldn't be exchanging email right now.

I was not trying to slight your knowledge by introducing a diagram. I am using a diagram because we are in a space where words are treacherous. (as we saw with the object/reference confusion above) I am not writing up a diagram because I think you are too new to the web and that only a picture would help you understand. You know very well that I know that you have a lot of experience. There are major advanced books in engineering that use diagrams to illustrate simple points, and you find this done especially in advanced philosophy text books too. 

On the other hand I spent a lot of time finding those diagrams and working them into my text. If you then dismiss this work out of hand then you are dismissing part of what I am saying. 

So I did have an argument that I said was a bit subtle. And of course because you read too fast you misunderstand what I am saying and then dismiss it out of hand

>> Well this just shows that your address/name distinction is not a syntactic one, but a concept that shifts between syntax and semantics.
> Nonsense!

So what am I to make of a "nonsense" here, if perfectly readable english sentences such as "URIs then REFER to things such as documents or things that are not documents." is thought by you to be nonsense too.

Given that I know you are a lot smarter than to say that normal english is nonsense, I conclude that you are reading my e-mails too quickly. This is completely understandable given the speed at which we were responding earlier, which ended up being completely counterproductive as we lost a member from the BBC.

So I ask you to do as I am, take your time when responding to the list. Re-read a question a few times, re-read your answer. Re-read both. Let us all breathe a bit together, relax, breathe in, breathe out. 

Let me finish off with a Mea Culpa too. I also was guilty of responding too quickly recently! So please forgive me.

Received on Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:16:52 UTC

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