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RE: How will the semantic web emerge

From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 12:54:04 -0800
Message-ID: <0E36FD96D96FCA4AA8E8F2D199320E52075A2F68@RED-MSG-43.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Frank Manola" <fmanola@acm.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>

> >     there must be de facto standards of classifing
> >     information or else the very cause of classification
> >     is useless.
> >
> > People point at a mountain and utter a sign.  That's how language
> > starts.  People fall into habits of signing and people learn those
> > habits.  No "de facto standards" are necessary, just habits ...
> > usages ... people repeating things that work for them.
> >
> Yep.  Then someone decides to record descriptions of all those
> usages in a document of some kind (often called a "dictionary" in
> non-computer circles).  And people start referring to that document

Dictionaries are simply snapshot of current usage at a particular point
in time [0].  The disease of attributing any more authority than that is
thankfully constrained to the priesthood; the "vulgate" or "putonghua"
simply ignore the dictionary and talk to each other.

The argument for ontologies is often that they are a pre-requisite for
meaningful communication.  Imagine how ridiculous on the face it would
be to claim that mother could not converse with child without first
reading a dictionary.  Therefore, ontologies and dictionaries are not at
all alike.

[0] http://www.netcrucible.com/blog/Whos+The+Master.aspx
Received on Friday, 16 December 2005 20:55:22 UTC

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