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Re: The Map/Territory Conundrum in Topic Maps vs. RDF

At 12:09 PM 8/19/2001 -0400, W. E. Perry wrote:

>May I respectfully suggest that in the inherent nature of markup the
>map is in fact--in a real and inalienable sense--the territory, and vice
>versa, of course.

I don't think this is true.

In my talk, I showed an example with Rembrandt's "Portrait of the artist at 
his easel". The RDF assertions I used showed that the resource identified 
by http://www.artchive.com/rembrandt/artist_at_his_easel.jpg is has the 
mime type "image/jpeg", and it hangs in the Louvre.

I rather suspect that the "Portrait of the artist at his easel" that hangs 
in the Louvre does not have a mime type, but the "Portrait of the artist at 
his easel" found on http://www.artchive.com/ does. These are two quite 
different things. When we mix up the map and the territory, we wind up 
creating silly worlds in which an oil painting has a mime type.

This is an important issue for distributed authoring of RDF: how do people 
know whether they are making assertions about the same thing?

I wish I hadn't been in such a hurry on Friday, Walter. We could have had a 
long and pleasant breakfast discussing these things.