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Comment: Re: We Are Not Even At The Beginning ...

From: Jon Awbrey <jawbrey@oakland.edu>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 10:00:04 -0500
Message-ID: <3A758574.6A733782@oakland.edu>
To: Stand Up Ontology <standard-upper-ontology@ieee.org>, Arisbe <arisbe@stderr.org>, RDF Logic <www-rdf-logic@w3.org>, SemioCom <semiocom@listbot.com>
CC: Dietrich Fischer <fischer@DARMSTADT.GMD.DE>, Mary Keeler <mkeeler@u.washington.edu>, Christopher Spottiswoode <cms@metaset.co.za>

We Who Are About To Commence Salute You!

Since the very idea that KIF
might not be the last word in
language seems to have stunned
everybody into ineffable silence --
save for that Mailer Daemon on
Jim's account! -- I see it as
fit to expand on my remarks.

I try to be polite about other peoples' languages,
especially if I see that they have some dedication
to them, or envestment in them, of a sort that would
render them feeling naked without them.  When it comes
to a natural language, there is no sense criticizing it:
the dead ones are fixed and pinned in the albums of history
and the quick ones will go where they wilt, just as they will.

But when it comes to an artificial language, the expectation
must be that it will change or die -- I have not kept count
of those that I have seen come and go, but, then, I have no
wish to speculate on those that are about to die -- and so
we must be nimble if we are to be quick, and my only wish
is to help with that!

Permit me to interject a self-misquotation:

| What It Bides And What It Bodes That Maintaining Bodies Maintain What They Do:
| The Inertial Momentum Earnestly (TIME) The Original Momentum Evidently (TOME).
| http://ltsc.ieee.org/logs/suo/msg01225.html
| http://ltsc.ieee.org/logs/suo/msg02289.html

Do I have to remind everybody of the billions of dollars
in international enterprizes that have been wasted when
this or that space probe crashed and burned on account
of the minor "circumstance of syntax" (COS) that our
mortal COI's of engineers and physicists happened
to be using different systems of measurement,
and were blithely oblivious to the fact!?

Opportunely, an artificial language, if its "Mantaining Body"
is animated, awake, or aware enough, is able to adapt almost
yarely to the advancing circumstances of time and technology.
Thus, I account it as my bound obligation and my sacred duty
to keep on probing, to keep on probating, to keep on proving
and trying to improve this "artful dodge about fate & nature"
that we augur as the ongoing synthesis of language and logic
and that we plan, one day soon, or not, to take as our craft.

Now, all of this renders it just a little bit difficult to
critically reflect on any of our crafted languages that is
ever a work in progress -- if only it keeps crafty enough! --
and that may be seen as a good thing, in a sense, but only
up to a point, for if it is designed to constitute nothing
more than a shabby trick for escaping its critical testing,
then it can only escape into the condition of an acritical
constitution, and that is really no ultimate escape at all --
such are the trials of our enterprise, for whomsoever aims
at a moving target must navigate these straits of paradox!

Till That Time,

Jon Awbrey

Received on Monday, 29 January 2001 10:13:55 UTC

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