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That's the golem problem. We discussed it in some
detail here a few years ago, and I published an
article on it in the defunct Markup journal from
MIT. The problem comes down to giving the golem
both power AND authority, and those are a bad
combination for a device unless domains are
sensibly restricted. That is a root fear of
the technologies we are developing.
We can describe our cultures and variations
in semantic web systems, but we must never turn
decisions regarding our cultures over to these
systems. The golem is only a bad thing when
it assumes authority and has power. The same
may be said for human leadership, but that is
the means by which we are governed, so we must
choose wisely among those who choose our choices.
Dark matter probably will change the ontologies
of physics. I doubt a 'passion play' will
change many beliefs. I hope a demonstration
of the facts of human relationships will.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.
From: Michael Champion [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
But seriously folks, if profound assumptions baked deep into most human
cultures can change, and even the laws of physics are in turmoil (I'm
thinking of "dark energy", not that this is likely to affect very many
ontologies or class hierarchies!), what does this say about the utility
of investing in building deep semantic hierarchies, whether they be
enshrined in OWL or Java or whatever?