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   Re: local, global (was various ontology, RDF, topic maps)

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  • From: "W. E. Perry" <wperry@fiduciary.com>
  • To: XML DEV <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 08:16:51 -0500

Martin Bryan wrote:

> Depends on your view of locally. Here in Europe we are trying to create a
> Single Market. The problem is that this single market is multilingual and
> multi-industry. CEN/ISSS has groups working on ontologies for engineering,
> medical supplies, furniture manufacture, shoes, ... There are significant
> amounts of overlap in these ontologies, but no knowledge of what each other
> has done or is doing. Trying to get them to stop reinventing the wheel is a
> real problem.
> Martin (The Opium Eater) Bryan

At the risk--nay, the certainty--of sounding intractably (18th century?)
American:  re-inventing the wheel is the fundamental mechanism of
entrepreneurship, free markets and, ultimately, self-definition and
self-determination of a polity. The difference between a command economy and an
entrepreneurial one can be swiftly ascertained with this simple test:  are the
producers implementing a pre-agreed common denominator, or have they uniquely
internalized a nominal definition of their output, from which their actual
product and its definition constantly refine and redefine one another. Whatever
one's philosophical sympathies, the difference is inescapable to the honest
observer, as is the answer of which is the more aware and solicitous of, and
responsive to, the circumstances of its actual consumers.


Walter Perry


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