[Geowanking] Web 3.0 may be here
webb.sprague at gmail.com
Mon May 4 10:28:06 PDT 2009
> Whether Wolfram Alpa ends up being vaporware or real it is at least driving innovation.
Just as an aside on the topic of ontology in general -- we science
types seem to take for granted the idea that there might be an
"ontology of everything" somewhere "out there".
However, there might be structural barriers to such an ontology:
Godel proved that the fully knowing even the integers is impossible
precisely because the integers can be used to describe themselves (and
thus introduce true facts that can't be proven). Similarly, in a
weird sort of way, Heidegger and Giddens argue that to fully know
human behavior is impossible because humans know themselves explicitly
thus are always "escaping" or negating or gaming their own
self-ontologies. (All this plus the fact that a Platonic "out there"
probably is a -- very productive -- illusion.)
So... Wolfram is a damn smart guy, and I bet his product will tell us
a lot about some concrete things on the planet, but it probably isn't
the singularity we are all waiting for, because that perfect self
knowledge is inherently beyond our grasp
Sorry if that is ridiculously abstract and crazy. I am going back to
graphing Portland traffic time series now.... we all agree about
"vehicle miles traveled" and its place in a traffic theory
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