Re: Ontology part 2 ???

Subject: Re: Ontology part 2 ???
From: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 09:54:12 -0800

Ok ok...

A fruit tree, with fruit.

Something that says "binary", like a circle that
is half black, half white.

A spiral galaxy. Or more to the point, a
constellation, like the Alaska state flag.

If these mental images don't strike an intuitive
chord, maybe my comments will help sell you:

Fruit tree w/fruit -- tree is a pretty standard
metaphor for a self-contained set of
relationships. Fruit, branches, trunk, need I say
more about objects, concepts, entities,
relationships, in no particluar order?

Binary design -- all discrimination among separate
things is ultimate binary. An ontology, as a
representation of a set of related objects,
abstractions, etc, is fundamentally saying "it is
this, not that." Example of binary discernment:
a dichotomous key
) such as used in taxonomic science. Another
example: the process of elimination.

Spiral galalaxy -- a mandala symbolizing the unity
underlying diversity. I have never gotten
comfortable with the inexplicable eclectic mixed
metaphor of domains and universes, but I always
found "constellation" to be a thinkable
stand-alone thing. It is like an ontology in some
respects, with objects in specific relationships
under a dominant concept (bright objects connected
by some lines but not others in order to depict a
concept like "Cassiopeia").

Hey, here's one: the moon. Reflected light on a
thing that has no intrinsic illumination, not at
all unlike an ontology as something that must be
defined in order to have meaning.

Or a frame. Like the way a director uses hands,
palms out with thumbs extended, to frame a shot.
That's what ya got with an ontology, a framework
for discussing an area of interest.

Oops, here's another! A gem stone. Found in
nature, revealed with great artisanal skill, like
an ontology.

Oh wow, my favorite: a hammer and chisel. You've
heard sculptors declare that they work a piece of
raw material by removing everything that is not
what they see in . Heaven knows, that describes
the work of defining an ontology, nyet?

Enough free samples, Yaacov. Thanks for the fun,
but it's time to dicker over acceptance criteria,
price per idea, illustration costs, and who pays
for dinner if we work late.

Did you intend the ironic twist in your last
email? See below 8^)

Ned Bedinger
doc at edwordsmith dot com
Edwordsmith Technical Communications Co.
http://www dot edwordsmith dot com
tel: 360-434-7197
fax: 360-769-7059

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yaacov Garber" <yaacovg -at- post -dot- com>

> I am still in need of an idea. Again any help
would be appreciated.
> Yaacov Garber
> Anyone who has begun to think places some
portion of the world in jeopardy.
> -- John Dewey
> --


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Ontology part 2 ???: From: Yaacov Garber

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