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- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: "W. E. Perry" <email@example.com>, XML DEV <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 09:29:23 -0600
1. Henry Ford was reinventing the production
assembly line techniques of Olds(?) although
he is often mistakenly credited as the inventor
(index of citation noise). He improved them
and poured money into them and was said to
be crazy because of the size of the plants he
built to support it. Turned out, crazy like a
fox. But remember, he also was the one who
by dint of the success and investment, had a
tough time understanding the need to retool
and change the model. GM handed him his head
for that failure.
2. Sarnoff invested heavily in AM radio and
as a result of his manipulations, it took a
long time (about fifty years) for the superior
FM format to dominate the broadcast industry.
Many of you are perhaps too young to remember
that FM was the broadcast ghetto almost into
the 1980s in America.
"Worse is better" isn't how things work.
Simpler does better until knowledge in
light of implementation becomes understanding
and gets a sufficiently large community that
other alternatives become uneconomical
where an economy is not only money, but
whatever currency of exchange is recognized
at the interfaces. HTML is giving way to
XML. Despite Connolly's failure to "grok"
HyTime, HyTime techniques and concepts
have emerged and been put to serious use.
CSS is easier to learn but FOs are gaining
in currency. None of these disappeared;
they awaited a community of users.
It's really an issue of how much how
many can understand at one time, IOW, a
thresholding model for a cascade.
Ontologies, although expensive to build,
are already used in knowledge base systems
(GE used these to make soup) and will become a document
type required for some kinds of deep
transactions. They aren't that easy to
build and as we have discussed, for widespread
usage, a document type needs serious authoritative
credentials and even then, in degree. An OED
is needed for some defintions, and Webster
works for the majority of users.
Them that needs 'em will build 'em.
Question is, will they share them? Maybe but
first the means to share is required and that
brings us back to Topic Maps and RDF. Steve
deRose as I recall noted that xlink databases
could be a business with a tidy profit margin.
I think the golem of universality is put
away easily by serious implementors. We
just have to be sure the markets understand
that in terms they can communicate to avoid
past mistakes and losses due to overhyped
Another day at the byteMines really...
Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h
From: W. E. Perry [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, December 22, 2000 1:23 AM
To: XML DEV
Subject: Re: local, global (was various ontology, RDF, topic maps)
Uche Ogbuji wrote:
> Hmm. I disagree. I think Henry Ford effectively scatched the idea that
> there is value in reinventing the wheel, within the scope of his
> operation. Since then there have been many all-american examples of
> effective, capitalist commerce without wheel re-invention.
Rather than request those examples, let me ask you (and this web-published
you would feel the same satisfaction with the finality of Bill Paley's or
Sarnoff's 'wheel' as you apparently do with Henry Ford's. Surely the
commercial broadcasting conglomerates would find little value in reinventing
wheel which they have perfected. Yet our daily choice of this forum for what
our best or most thoughtful work indicates that we believe there is a place
very distinct alternative. There are also, of course, electric car
mass transit zealots and other stripes of opinion which would take equally
exception to blithely accepting Henry Ford's product (and the ontological
and epistemological viewpoint it embodies) as the final word in its own
Recall that Martin Bryan said:
Here in Europe we are trying to create a Single Market. The problem is that
single market is multilingual and multi-industry. CEN/ISSS has groups
ontologies for engineering, medical supplies, furniture manufacture, shoes,
are significant amounts of overlap in these ontologies, but no knowledge of
other has done or is doing. Trying to get them to stop reinventing the wheel
Personally, I can think of no method more likely to produce a new and
insight--and out of it, some new best practice--than that multiple
reinvention of the wheel (nor any more certain to suppress a potential
than blind service to the first principle of a Single Market, or of any
True Way). Indeed Martin Bryan's formulation, above, would be difficult to
as a statement of the totalitarian pole in the spectrum of opinion regarding
proper organization of complex systems. I prefer the foederal approach, and
heart of the foederal approach are statements of the process by which the
nodes execute specific tasks: which does what, and in what order. The
effecting each step is realized at the individual node, and there is
latitude for the idiosyncratic accomplishment of it. The fundamental
adaptability and growth for the system as a whole is that the nodes, without
externally mandated changes at any of them, may be recombined in new
with new order of process to accomplish utterly different ends.
So yes, Uche, I unquestionably prefer choice one over choice two. Choice one
to each new problem (indeed, where necessary each new instance of each new
with the advantages of adaptation at the level of each node as well as at
of the overall order of process, which defines the system as a whole. Choice
relies on the authoritative fiat of a canonical solution. Whence derives
authority? I dunno. In the case of choice one, the authority is qui fit--it
from the adaptable node within the adaptable system responding successfully
new and unexpected problem as it is encountered.