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Re: Issue-57

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 01:18:48 -0400
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Cc: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1308115128.2165.44005.camel@dbooth-laptop>
On Wed, 2011-06-15 at 04:25 +0100, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 3:39 AM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
[ skipping some points that are not worth debating ]
> > But AFAICT, that disjointness assertion is *not*
> > expressed in the formal FOAF ontology.  So I do not think it is fair to
> > claim that *Richard's* data is contradictory or does not support
> > inference just because it fails to assume an additional assertion that
> > the FOAF ontology did *not* make, but *you* think it should have made or
> > meant to make.
> You are like the billionaire who, on being called out for not paying
> taxes, says that no laws were broken because every tax loophole was a
> legitimate loophole. Yet they have violated the social contract
> nonetheless. And the reaction is not to say, "no, the social contract
> is not to pay your share, it is to listen to exactly what the lawyers
> say".  The reaction is to close the loopholes.

Great rhetoric!  But there's a key difference: semantic web technology
is about enabling *machine* processing -- not human -- and machines
cannot be expected to understand intent.

> > There are two reasons why I do not think that such informal comments
> > should be used in assessing whether a dataset is formally consistent.
> >
> > 1. They cannot be machine processed, and thus any requirement that they
> > be considered would not scale well.
> >
> > 2. Different users will interpret them differently, and this would lead
> > to confusion and interoperability problems.
> They aren't being used to assess whether the dataset is formally
> consistent. They are being used to assess whether the dataset is
> consistent. We try to make the former match the latter, not say the
> latter is irrelevant.

But as I've pointed out, whether the dataset is consistent with the real
world is *irrelevant* if it is useful to applications.  See myth #4:

[ . . . ]
> You continue to insist that the axioms trump the intent. 

Correct!  For machine processing, the axioms trump the intent!  Yes!  We
have communicated successfully! 

> It's as if
> you were having a conversation but insisting on not understanding what
> anybody says because you happen to only have an abridged dictionary on
> hand.

No, it's as if my *machine* were having a conversation but only happens
to understand an abridged dictionary.  Semantic web technology is to
enable *machine* processing.

David Booth, Ph.D.

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of his employer.
Received on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:19:16 UTC

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