|glenn mcdonald||Jul 19, 2010 4:30 pm|
|Jason Douglas||Jul 19, 2010 5:55 pm|
|glenn mcdonald||Jul 19, 2010 8:06 pm|
|Tom Morris||Jul 19, 2010 9:52 pm|
|Iain Sproat||Jul 20, 2010 12:30 am|
|Kirrily Robert||Jul 20, 2010 12:44 am|
|Tom Morris||Jul 20, 2010 12:51 am|
|glenn mcdonald||Jul 20, 2010 4:53 am|
|Tom Morris||Jul 20, 2010 5:34 am|
|Philip Kendall||Jul 20, 2010 5:37 am|
|Christopher R. Maden||Jul 20, 2010 5:37 am|
|Iain Sproat||Jul 20, 2010 5:57 am|
|glenn mcdonald||Jul 20, 2010 6:53 am|
|Philip Kendall||Jul 20, 2010 7:01 am|
|Paul Houle||Jul 20, 2010 7:34 am|
|glenn mcdonald||Jul 20, 2010 7:56 am|
|Luke Schubert||Jul 20, 2010 7:58 am|
|Shailesh Kochhar||Jul 21, 2010 12:08 am|
|Paul Houle||Jul 21, 2010 8:03 am|
|Tom Morris||Jul 21, 2010 8:26 am|
|evening0star||Jul 21, 2010 9:07 am|
|Thad Guidry||Jul 21, 2010 10:15 am|
|evening0star||Jul 21, 2010 10:30 am|
|Subject:||Re: [Freebase-discuss] countries, administrative divisions...|
|From:||Paul Houle (pa...@ontology2.com)|
|Date:||Jul 21, 2010 8:03:02 am|
Shailesh Kochhar wrote:
Applying this property to the country type strikes me as a rabbit-hole. Would we go through and fill out every country that recognized PRC and the dates for when that happened? What about other country pairs? I'd conjecture that the information might not even be available. For instance, when did Burkina Faso recognize the United States as a country; and is that information pertinent in any way? It might be more pragmatic to create a type that applies only to countries whose recognition is a contentious subject (or was at some point in time).
However, countries that currently don't exist can still be properties on things that exist, or that are of enduring interest. This is one of the defenses that people have made of types like the "Country" type in Dbpedia.
For instance, there are people alive today who were "born in" in Yugoslavia, which does not currently exist. The boundaries of "Poland" have fluctuated violently over the last 1000 years -- people still argue today over questions like: "Was Copernicus Polish or German?" I have an aunt who was born in Nazi Germany in 1937 who grew up near a city that was then called Danzig (and had been under German control long before Hitler came to power;) at the end of the war her family was forcibly uprooted, and they lost everything they had. The area was resettled with Poles and the city is now called Gdansk. If we put a pushpin on a map to represent where she was born, and then interpret that with today's maps, we could say she was born in "Poland". It's probably better to say that she was born in "Germany", but the "Germany" she was born in was not the "Germany" that we know today. I suppose we could say "Nazi Germany" (and I did), but that's a hell of an association to make for a girl who was just 8 at the downfall. There were times when "Czechoslovakia" was part of "Nazi Germany", but I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that a Czech speaking person born in 1941 was born in "Nazi Germany."
Digging deeper, there's a concept of "nation" that's distinct from that of "state;" For instance, during the partition of Poland, a "Pole" was a restriction type for "a person who speaks Polish", not a person who was a subject of a particular state. Many Kurds who live in Iran, Iraq and Turkey perceive themselves as a "nation." The land of indigenous Americans in the U.S. are "sovereign nations" in the sense that they can avoid cigarette taxes and run casinos, but I don't need a passport or visa to visit them.
And that brings us to one of the great issues of generic databases & commonsense reasoning: different people need different kinds of models that approach the world through various viewpoints and different levels of detail.
A lawyer, politician, or legislator, for instance, could be very concerned about the 18 different forms of municipal government that exist in N.Y. state. Most of us are going to accept that the "City of Ithaca" is a "City" and the "Town of Ithaca" is a "Town", simply because "City" and "Town" are in the name. To an awful lot of people, it's all just "Ithaca" and they might even lump it in with the rest of Tompkins County.
I've got a mental framework for thinking about quantum physics and I've got another for literary criticism. I don't ~need~ a framework that's good for both of those unless I need to think about an area where those concerns overlap. I'll build that framework when I need it, but otherwise I'll be doing something else.
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