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Re: CG: XML Conceptual Graphs: an open design?

From: Thomas B. Passin <tpassin@home.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 18:25:31 -0400
Message-ID: <000901c12db4$da680d60$7cac1218@reston1.va.home.com>
To: "RDF-IG" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
[Seth Russell]

> Hi Murray
> Well I should have been clearer.  I meant to say that you cannot
> the identity of a thing by transmitting it's URI or any other syntactic
> construct whatsoever.  So defining these globally unique strings does not
> give us some magical identity matrix in the ether on which we can map our
> things.   I think a lot of semantic web builders are (perhaps
> subconsciously) thinking, or wishing that it will.
> For example:
> [1] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt  starts with the assertion
>      "Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) provide a simple
>       and extensible means for identifying a resource."
> It then goes on to say that:
>      "A resource can be anything that has identity."
> Well I claim that a URI does NOT provide a means for identifying anything
> that has identity.  Such a means of identifying things would need to be a
> method (a process) acted upon by a community of usage.  Without the
> without the process, without the community, these globally unique strings
> will just hang there against a background of static;  and will not even
> constitute information.

Not altogether.  The strings themselves, along with the map (topic map,
conceptual graph, rdf database) constitute an abstract structure  which
encodes a great deal of information.  The thing is to connect that
information to the world, of course.  Ontologies wish to address this, but
of course at some point there is still the same question.  It's just like
arithmetic- five basic axioms (AFAIR) - and somehow they get connected to
the world.

I'm really agreeing with you, but wanted to point out that the uri string
can in fact "constitute information".


Tom P
Received on Saturday, 25 August 2001 18:22:12 UTC

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