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Re: RDF's curious literals

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 15:59:55 -0400
To: Story Henry <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Cc: Garret Wilson <garret@globalmentor.com>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <2789.1185998395@ubuhebe>

> >> The intuition I pointed out was that if you have things were the  
> >> name of the thing can tell you everything you need to know about  
> >> it, then you have something that is a candidate for being a Literal.
> >
> > You still didn't give me an example of what could *not* be a  
> > literal, even though you stated that "there are in fact limitations  
> > on what can be a Literal."
> George Bush can not be a literal. I think that is clear. Even if he  
> thinks literally, that is without looking at the world.

In case it wasn't clear, I'm with Garret on this one.  Your intuition
seems wrong to me.  I really don't see how it could be true that
everything I "need to know" about a particular integer or a particular
date in human history can be be expressed in a small number of bits.
The bits serve to point to a particular item in the value space, just
because of a common convention.  Maybe we've internalized that
convention and become very used to it, but it's still just a convention.
The idea that it takes 8 bits to represent the numbers 0..255 is based
on assigned conventional meaning to those bits.  We could establish a
similar convention for other kinds of values (such as US Presidents), or
location on earth, or etc.

    -- Sandro
Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 20:01:43 UTC

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