[Taxacom] Propagation of bad sameAs statements

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Thu Sep 9 23:49:10 CDT 2010

>The only way around this is to define everything, for every context in which it 
>is likely to occur

So, we define everything in terms of everything else, and end up with a huge 
circularity in which it is hard to see that we are any the wiser!

Actually, I'm all for pedantry in its place, but I hate to see rather bad 
attempts at defining "invasive species" when there is so much other more serious 
things out there to be pedantic about, like getting the species name right ...

From: Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
Cc: joel sachs <jsachs at csee.umbc.edu>; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Fri, 10 September, 2010 4:43:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Propagation of bad sameAs statements

> Is this pedantry really necessary??? Surely some terms can have definitions 
> are intuitive and vague just like English (and other) languages?

Yep...  because this is this is Taxacom... :)

With systems that depend on vocabularies, ontologies and linked data,
we can not afford to assume that we know what an object or term is
about based on an inferred understanding of what its name or label
might mean in another common or even a related context.

The only way around this is to define everything, for every context in
which it is likely to occur.  As they say, the problem with common
sense, it is neither common, nor always sensible. Pedantry rules, I'm

And with invasive species, legislation and lawyers get involved... go
'intuitive and vague' at your peril...


Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~
'A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point
of doubtful sanity.'
 - Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)


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