Re: [xml-dev] The perils of P18S (was Re: [xml-dev] Why RDF is ha rd )
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In a message dated 19/11/2002 15:54:13 GMT Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Actually, what is measurable is manageable. Whether what one chooses
to measure is important or not isn't the point; measurement
is the vital act of science. That isn't a bias.
I think you missed my point.
What I had in mind was the kind of paradigm shift that the discovery of micro-organisms had with the movement from a paradigm of "humors" to bacterial causation of disease. Or more recently the discovery of DNA and the transformation of the conceptual landscape of biology.
If you have no tools to measure bacteria or DNA you may have a conceptual framework that pragmatically seems to make some measure of sense. But is hugely biased by information derived from what can be measured and the lack of conceptual framework about currently unmeasurable conceptual issues.
By its nature the inability to measure certain things introduce huge biases. It also seems highly probable that there is little prospect of accurately arriving at quantitative estimates of the effects of such biases.
You have a bias but you aren't aware it is there.
Of course CS is a little different. But perhaps in a century or two CS practitioners will look back on our present stumbling efforts and comment similarly about how inadequate our appreciation of the biases in current CS approaches is.
Maybe CS practitioners of the 23rd century will sit and chortle over our debates over RDF, etc etc. finding the limitations of our present paradigms hilariously funny.
It wouldn't surprise me in the least. :)
parts of complexity theory and adaptive systems can be summed
up as the emergence of means of measurement.
From: AndrewWatt2000@aol.com [mailto:AndrewWatt2000@aol.com]
Interestingly the "anything expressible can be expressed" to some degree mirrors biases which have existed in the biological and other sciences for centuries - what is measurable can be measured and (implicitly) what is measurable is what is important.