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[ontac-forum] discussion about censorship

To: "ONTAC-WG General Discussion" <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Robert O'Harrow <oharrowr@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "psp" <psp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 17:29:14 -0700
Message-id: <CBEELNOPAHIKDGBGICBGEECHGOAA.psp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

Please do not misrepresent to others what I am trying to do.  I have not
suggested that anyone in this working group throw out everything and start
over.    (02)

The issue I raise is that controlled vocabularies are sets of words or
phrases, and these can be represented as RDF statements or as graphs of the
form < a, r, b > corresponding to two nodes and a link.  BFO has several of
these that are about the SPAN and SNAP taxonomy.  They can be output to a
text file and manipulated with computer programs.  Seems that a lot has been
accomplished.    (03)

The other ontology talked about here is an very excellent ontology that was
developed by a major effort by gas and oil industry (ISO 15926 ).  This
ontology is organized as a set of concepts arranged in a taxonomy.  It seems
very complete and Part 1 is general in nature and could be used as a module
in an ontology hub.    (04)

The problem that holds the semantic web community back is "inference".    (05)

Having good controlled vocabularies is not a problem.  Managing
reconciliation issues between controlled vocabularies is what a COTS product
SchemaLogic does and does very well.  So again, there seems to be many
things already solved.    (06)

We have good sets of controlled vocabularies.    (07)

This problem of inference can be fixed by separating the inference work from
the representation of sets of concepts.  This is a simple suggestion and can
be debated.  But to let the deductive reasoning stuff go would simply mean
that the communities of practice that need ontology for query and ontology
to assist in communication can start using a controlled vocabulary
repository (managed by Schemalogic of something similar).  Breanna Anderson
is the brains behind the reconciliation technology, but the technique is so
simple that almost no work is required to set up system controlled
vocabulary management in the federal government.  Her product has been doing
this for years in the pharmaceutical industry.  It is inexpensive.    (08)

I feel that you are being defensive when it is not necessary.  I do not
remember saying that people do not have the right to work on what they want
to work on, and I subscribe to the list and I pay my salary.    (09)

I have not suggested that anyone abandon any project.  What I have suggested
is that semantic extraction is useful in developing meaning to taxonomy that
is used by communities.    (010)

I have not suggested that my viewpoint is better than all others, except to
take issue with Pat's position that a common ontology be developed and then
enforced (by whom and over whom?).  You take the same position as I do
sometimes.  But in your remarks at:    (011)

http://www.ontologystream.com/beads/nationalDebate/217.htm    (012)

you surprised me.    (013)

I do not know what specific pressures are being placed on this working
group.  But I am a member of this community and I have paid my dues - I know
what my positions are and why and I know many of the position of the others,
I do listen and I do change my position when there is an intellectual or
technical reason.    (014)

But I am also concerned by unseen pressures because many of us have felt
that there are things wrong with how decisions are made and funds allocated.    (015)

Most of the other members who are posting take the position that the
elements of any common ontology should reflect community of practice
interests.    (016)

-----Original Message-----
From: John F. Sowa [mailto:sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 4:39 PM
To: psp
Cc: Werbos, Dr. Paul J.
Subject: Re: not for the group    (017)

Paul,    (018)

People have a right to work on anything they want
to work on.    (019)

 > Who is determining this focus?    (020)

The people who subscribe to that list and the people
who pay their salaries.    (021)

 > The work of this working group, may not as important
 > as it might seem.    (022)

That is totally irrelevant.  They have made a decision
about the scope of their project, and your suggestions
that they should abandon their project and adopt yours
are not welcome.    (023)

 > I fail to see why there is so much resistance to principled
 > discussion - unless this resistant is due to some need to
 > not have viewpoints expressed that are out side this "very
 > narrow and short term focus".    (024)

To be blunt, you talk too much, and you listen too little.
You are claiming that your point of view is better than
theirs.  Nobody is going to take your views seriously
unless you are willing go halfway toward making constructive
comments on how they can solve the problems they now have
-- and those comments have to be something other than "throw
it all out and start over."    (025)

As I have said, I have some sympathy with many of your ideas,
but I also realize that the people in the ONTAC group have a
job to do, and that your ideas are not going to help them
do it in the short term.  Perhaps in the long term, ideas
similar to yours may prove fruitful, but these people have
a job to do today, and you're not helping them.    (026)

They are not going to stop you from listening, but unless you
keep your comments to a minimum and make constructive comments
about *their* choice of problems, not yours, they will drop
you from their email list altogether.    (027)

John    (028)

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