humo(u)r #2: Owl Bury Tales (circa late Sept 02)

In Sept '02 I had some minor health problems that left me with too 
much time on my hands, this is how I killed some of it.  For those 
who've forgotten, between the California and Bristol meetings, we had 
several false starts on compromises that eventually led to the 
Bristol Semantic Compromise - this was written about the time it 
looked like we sort of might kinda maybe have reached a compromise.
p.s. My motivation for going medieval was reading the biography of a 
famous alchemist, and realizing that if he was alive today, he'd 
probably be a web hacker...

OWL-Bury Tale:

For those not familiar with medieval "science" - here's some things 
that may help
"Natural Philosopher" was the term used for a mathematician or theoretician.
Alchemists, although often maligned, were the medieval equivalent of 
computer hackers in the best sense of the word.
Isaac Newton was one of the only people of his time who was both a 
college trained natural philosopher and a practicing alchemist - a 
formidable combination!

Still quite rough, but enjoy...  any resemblance to people living or 
dead is, err, oh hell - I just insult everyone - live with it!

An OWL-bury Tale  (translated from the Olde Englifh)

<Narrators> For a thousand years a great debate has ranged among the 
people of ye olde town of OWLville.   Great battles have raged 
between the natural philosophers, the alchemists, and the established 
church.  The resulting bedlam has caused great confusion to the 
inhabitants of OWL and have driven the ruler of the local duchy to 
distraction.   But now, a momentous moment is about to unfold.

Action opens in the Auditorium of the extremely famous, but very 
small, OWLville University

<Natural Philosopher 3> ... and thus the realization that the 
richness of the Earth is embedded in the firmament of the sky makes 
it clear that  OWLville revolves around the Sun of the Web, not the 
other way around.   In short, dear colleagues, it is now clear, 
OWLville is not the center of the universe!

<audience> Gasp (long pause, then) BRAVO, BRAVO (background of champagne corks)

<Natural Philosopher 1>  (to himself) Hmm, this changes everything. 
(Out loud to the townsfolk) This is what I have been saying all along!

<Natural Philosopher 2> (to himself)  hmm, if OWL is embedded on the 
Earth, and knowing the Earth is a finite system, then I could count 
everything and determine anything I want.  WOW.  (Out loud to the 
townsfolk)  See, we told you so.

<audience> YAY, they are mighty natural philosophers indeed.

<Churchman> But, but, but -- that's blasphemy!

<audience>  and your point is?

<Churchman> buhh, buhh, buhh (stumbles off stage in confusion)

<Alchemist 1>  (To himself) Took them long enough!  (outloud) 
Masterful, Bravo!   Now we can get down to some real work...

All exit to the town square of OWLville and being to celebrate 
raucously.  The Grand Duke of SW, clearly  a nobleman, rides into 
town on his horse, the Duke's Courser)

<> (Dismounting from DC) Why all this noise?

<Townspeople>  The natural philosophers and the alchemists have 
ceased feuding (at least for now) and are no longer threatening to 
burn down the town!

<> That is good news indeed.  (turning to the alchemists) 
but you are still on my shytte list - for you  said you could turn 
lead into gold when I charted the alchemists guild of OWL.

<alchemist 2> Ahh, but we can!

<townspeople>  Incredulous gasp!

<alchemist 1>  It's simple really.   Come to the School of Alchemy 
and we will show you.

(All move to the Alchemists School)

<alchemist 3>  In this classroom we have all things made of lead.  In 
this classroom all those of gold.

<>  Hmm,  this sounds like what I heard while back in my 
castle in the Remote Distant Forest.

<alchemist 1>  No, this is not the Remote Distant Forest Scheme. 
Because we can restrict what is in the classroom to be uniquely lead 
or gold.

<> ... hmmm, go on.

<alchemist 2> We then move this here, link this to this, move this 
here, add this to this, put this in this place, and you now see the 
classroom of gold is just a subclassroom of the one of lead!

<> but, but, you've turned Gold into Lead!

<alchemist 1>  (with a flourish) Yes, but don't forget the Damn-Old 
InverseOf property!

<>  You've done it, you've done it!! I can't wait to tell the King!

<townspeople> (chortling) Oh frabjous day, calloo, callay.

<young Isaac Newton> Something is wrong here.  I'm going to sit under 
ye olde apple tree yonder and ponder...

<Narrators> And thus the town of OWLville was at peace, at least 
until the next town meeting -- but that's a story to be told another 

Professor James Hendler
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-731-3822 (Cell)

Received on Thursday, 27 March 2003 14:52:42 UTC