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   Re: Schemata are not just constraints [was: "RDF + Topic Maps" = TheFutu

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  • From: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
  • To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>,Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 08:31:22 +0000

> It seems reasonable to test the existence of
> assertions.   We can look at multiple ontologies
> (contexts of assertions) and discover that multiple
> sources have the same assertion so establish
> evidence by multiple sources.  We can never
> formally prove the assertion unless we both
> agree to a test of fact and commit to behave
> accordingly in a testable way.

And who will test the testers? One man's proven assertion is another man's
obvious mistake, as adherents of any two religions will tell you, volubly.
The real key is "What proportion of a community are willing to identify the
same stated meaning as being valid to their understanding of a term/phrase.
If 75% of Americans agree that "George Bush is the legitimate president of
the US" is or is not that enough to make the phrase "George Bush, US
President" a meaningful one from 20th January 2001, even if it is not true
today, and will not be true on 20th January 2020. Creating a test for the
truth of the statement will not help if the validity of the choice of judges
is challenged, as was the case in the Florida and Supreme Court rulings.

Martin Bryan


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