• AMMDI is an open-notebook hypertext writing experiment, authored by Mike Travers aka @mtraven. It's a work in progress and some parts are more polished than others. Comments welcome! More.
Twin Pages

Politics and Pragmatism in Scientific Ontology Construction

16 Mar 2021 10:45 - 06 Feb 2022 06:10

    • In 2011 Carl Hewitt organized a workshop on "Inconsistency Robustness"; I took this as an excuse to indulge my penchant for half-baked philosophical flaming and wrote a paper based on my dissatisfactions with the state of knowledge representation in science. The paper and my slides are available.
    • It was probably my most sustained effort to be a kind of Bruno Latour-ish constructionist and do battle with the naive realism that scientific computation usually assumes.
    • Of course I never bothered to publish this in any place where it would find an audience, and it seems to have been cited exactly once, in a Polish paper:
    • Ten years later and things haven't advanced at all as far as I can tell. I'm still building tooling for class-based ontologies because that is what people understand and know how to work with. The semantic web remains a distant vision; scientific knowledge remains as un-integrated as ever.
    • My own pragmatism has led me to stop pretending to be a philosopher and focus on something I'm actually somewhat qualified to do, that is, building software and bringing what creativity I can muster to the task of bringing people and and the digital realm into a closer working relationship.
    • One sign of hope is that the Roam-led burst of writing tools is starting to merge with semantic-representation. Codex OS is a very interesting project in this space.