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- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: Martin Bryan <email@example.com>,Uche Ogbuji <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 08:11:17 -0600
Yes, that is the case. The concept of
authority is based on trust, the consent,
in this instance, of the governed. For
the practical operational issues, that
is all that is necessary in the broad
perspective of global operations. In more
local operations, it isn't enough because
the pockets of non-cooperators can be
large enough to disrupt the system's
efficiency to the degree that the
broad operational result is gridlock.
As put by an Internet pundit on the
subject of bipartisan cooperation,
"Sure, I'll pet your elephant and
you can kiss my a**." Not a pretty
future and perhaps inevitable given the
historical scenario but we need not
debate it here for the example.
When we look at integrating ontologies,
we have to consider that, taking the
Topic Map stance, we are integrating
opinions. As pointed out in earlier
emails, the problems of lots of little
noisy systems which contribute to the
binary decision result in a control
adjudicating the decision when the
votes are unacceptably close.
That control has authority by legitimate
or illegitimate means, and establishing
legitimacy can be a very tough dogfight
on the WWW. The US Supreme Court has it
by proclamation but with one decision
just lost much of its credibility in
the point of view of a large number.
So, the ability of the ontology to
advise credibly becomes a behavioral
issue and that behavior has a statistical
characteristic with regards to the
ontological commitment. We can make
statistical assertions about that and
that is all.
Again, the ontological commitment
is to the authority of the ontology
that the relationships expressed are
credible and useful. Operational
means for creating the ontology are
part of the authoritative credential
of the owner of the ontology.
Intergraph Public Safety
Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h
From: Martin Bryan [mailto:email@example.com]
> 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.