Re: Semantic Layers (Was Interpretation of RDF reification)


As much as I like logic, I admit that the most important
questions of life (and of engineering, which is what we're
talking about in this round of notes) have never been and
probably never will be formalized.

 > There is, as far as I can tell, no good theories of pragmatics
 > that are capable of being formalized. "Pragmatics", at least
 > in linguistics where I come from, is usually a sort of fuzzy
 > "hand-waving" solution to any hard problem, much as the terms
 > "world-knowledge" and "common-sense" knowledge are. Whenever
 > I hear the word pragmatics I want to reach for my axe  :)

Fuzzy hand-waving is generally bad, but it can be used to support
any topic whatever.  Just because something is covered with a
veneer of formalism doesn't mean it's good.  And just because
some people have used a term while waving their hands doesn't
mean its bad.  (By that criterion, the SemWeb would be bad.)

For an example of what good common sense and an intuitive feeling
for pragmatics can do, I suggest you compare the sales of Apple's
iPod to anything comparable that has come from Sony.

For an example of good pragmatics, I recommend John McCarthy's
Elephant paper, which I believe should have been required reading
for anybody working on the SemWeb:

That paper was one of the inspirations for a paper I published in 2002:
    Architectures for Intelligent Systems

The Flexible Modular Framework (FMF), which is described in that paper
has become the primary platform for developing and deploying everything
we're doing in our VivoMind company.  Compared to that, everything
I've seen from the SemWeb is legacy stuff that's trivial to deal with
by importing it and converting it to usable formats.

I'm perfectly happy to let the rest of the world suffer with RDF and OWL
because they just kill off any competition we might encounter.


Received on Wednesday, 29 March 2006 17:38:49 UTC