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Showing posts from August, 2007

New Paper: Using RDF to Model the Structure and Process of Systems

Rodriguez, M.A., Watkins, J.H., Bollen, J., Gershenson, C., “Using RDF to Model the Structure and Process of Systems”, International Conference on Complex Systems, Boston, MA, LA-UR-07-5720, October 2007

Abstract
Many systems can be described in terms of networks of discrete elements and their various relationships to one another. A semantic network, or multi-relational network, is a directed labeled graph consisting of a heterogeneous set of entities connected by a heterogeneous set of relationships. Semantic networks serve as a promising general-purpose modeling substrate for complex systems. Various standardized formats and tools are now available to support practical, large-scale semantic network models. First, the Resource Description Framework (RDF) offers a standardized semantic network data model that can be further formalized by ontology modeling languages such as RDF Schema (RDFS) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL). Second, the recent introduction of highly pe…

Devices of the Soul

My friend Arturo Frappé recommended me to read Devices of the Soul: Battling for Our Selves in an Age of Machines, by Steve Talbott, so I ordered it from Amazon.com. It poses important questions about our open embrace of technology. Since I am an Internet addict, my opinions are certainly biased. Nevertheless, the book motivated me to write some thoughts down, even when I'm half way through it.

Talbott warns about the self-forgetfulness that technology causes: we trust technology so we are not conscious on how much we depend on it. I agree, but when was society more conscious??? When there was slavery? When the majority of population was working most of the day in fields or factories? It is indeed a problem that should be addressed, but rejecting technology will not solve it (not that Talbott suggests this). In my opinion, technology offers more opportunities than dangers. But to harvest a conscious humanity we need a specific education and culture that we have always lacked.

Yes, w…