Ralph, I am appreciative that you made a communication into
this discussion. (see  )
My position is that a National Project to
establish the knowledge sciences would allow all who might lead us into
something more functional and useful, to lead. My position is that the nation suffers
because of the control of the standard?s process narrow business interests and
because of the legacy where many of the academic issues are confused. John Sowa?s position is similar in many
respects, as is yours, Ralph. We
all make compromises that we would rather not. You once told me that you would have
preferred to work with Topic Maps but that you had to work with RDF in order to
get the work with the web services working group.
Certainly Top Quadrant would be one of the
leaders. You and your group has
been an excellent leader even in the less than optimal development environment
that we have been dealing with for over a decade.
Why not work to change the conditions under which
we work? Is this possible, and
still bring forward those systems that are deployed or which are close to being
deployed. Is there an agreement
that things could be much better in terms of developing the best systems for
The knowledge sharing foundation concept would provide a proving ground for
concepts, and would establish transparency on what does not work, and what has
not been able to demonstrate results that are consistent with expectations. I originally proposed a Manhattan Type
Project related to knowledge management and knowledge representation in
Four additional comments about your thoughtful
One: Regarding our freedom and the concept of
 contained the following:
?An ontology can be merely a set of well defined concepts, without logic.
This may be a true statement, but it is
On the other hand -- which is the hand holding the money that
funds projects like ONTAC -- formal ontology can be applied to the task of
*legislating* how various computer programs are specified to handle the much
narrower, much more specialized, and very much more precise categories that are
implemented in computer systems that are required to
The rest of John?s communication  demonstrates good synthesis over what is possible given the
situation with funding and with the types of very poor peer review that has been
demonstrated over the past decade.
( see case
By poor peer review, I specifically mean specific
individuals who have disallowed diversity, taken a narrow viewpoint, assumed an
king like role of authority (example: Hendler at Univ of MD), and (also
specifically) slowed down the progress on Topic Map type systems. (Again for those who do not follow this
history between the RDF/Tim Berners-Lee?s Layer cake model verses a Topic Map
model; the difference has to do with the role of human?s in making
My response  is out of great personal frustration, awareness of many others
who are in the same state as I am in.
Two: On the
modified Tim Berners-Lee?s Layer Cake Model of the Semantic Web
In your note you make reference to a recent TBL?s talk
Tim Berners-Lee's talk at ISWC2005,
And I find something that is barely comprehensible. There is almost no organization to what
I find at this URL. What is there
can be understood only if you are part of an in-crowd, in my opinion. And, there is no mention of Topic Maps
or any other standard other than the one his group (the W3C) is pushing. There is no description of problems that
are faced by the community that is working on the new technologies.
Ralph, you mentioned that the layer cake was
modified. How? I do not see any changes to this
misfortunate diagram (criticized by John Sowa on many occasions).
Three: On reasoning engines
One of the most forward-looking aspects of our current work is in
pluggable architecture for reasoning engines. The goal is to be able to use
different types of reasoning over a given knowledgebase combining, for example,
probabilistic (Bayesian) reasoning with rule-based reasoning.
Communication this morning from a colleague: ?Similar situation
here. We are all in the same
boat. There are many signs that the
tyranny is beginning to end, despite lots of grandstanding.?
Given that this is an area that I feel that the W3C makes
profound mistakes in, and the Topic Maps conventions do not, I would like to
know why you feel that there is progress.
Four: On my
Many people know me, and my positions. In the meeting at GSA, and other places,
we have seen the continual influence and dominate control by individuals who
admit that their interests are in making money through consulting. We have seen the language at the GSA
meetings become about ?lines of business? as opposed to ?processes?.
This ?lines of business? language occurs in a
larger context, as John pointed on in private correspondence. This context is the failures of our
government to stop War Profiteering.
In Virginia, my state issued drivers license has my
identification as a ?customer? rather than as a ?citizen?. For me this simple use of language tells