Saturday, March 30, 2013

By way of explanation

“Readers who are familiar with conventional logical semantics may find it useful to think of RDF as a version of existential binary relational logic in which relations are first-class entities in the universe of quantification. Such a logic can be obtained by encoding the relational atom R(a,b) into a conventional logical syntax, using a notional three-place relation Triple(a,R,b); the basic semantics described here can be reconstructed from this intuition by defining the extension of y as the set { : Triple(x,y,z)} and noting that this would be precisely the denotation of R in the conventional Tarskian model theory of the original form R(a,b) of the relational atom. This construction can also be traced in the semantics of the Lbase axiomatic description.”
        From the RDF Semantics document

"Doubts about the ability to know the order of the world catalyzed a crucial change, away from taxonomic forms of information storage based on natural language and toward new ones based on a symbolic language of analytical abstraction. Mathematics promised a new vision of order for both the natural and the moral worlds, where confusion was resolved by jettisoning whatever could not be known with certainty."
     Hobart, Michael E. Information Ages: Literacy, Numeracy, and the Computer Revolution. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. p. 90

“We could try to feed it algorithms for everything. There are only slightly more of them than there are particles in the universe. It would be like building a heart muscle molecule by molecule. And we’d still have a hell of an indexing and retrieval problem at the end. Even then, talking to such a decision tree would be like talking to a shopping list. It’d never get any smarter than a low-ranking government bureaucrat.”
     Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2, 1st Perenniel Ed., 1996. p. 78

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