Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Truth on the Semantic Web?

I ran across this amusing "truth" about the Semantic Web on the W3C Semantic Web email list today:

... there is no objective notion of truth on the semantic web... "usefulness" is a more appropriate measure.

That is probably a correct and relevant statement about the Semantic Web, but it also illustrates the "truth" about the Semantic Abyss between the real world and the Semantic Web.

The really interesting question is whether there can be a fundamentally useful sense of subjective truth on the Semantic Web, a "truth" that can be objective at least relative to its foundational assumptions even if the "truth" of those assumptions cannot be strictly evaluated relative to real-world "truth." Alas, even a subjective truth appears to still be out of reach, except within relatively narrow and constrained domains.

-- Jack Krupansky