The house that Jack built

Dan Brickley danbri at w...
Fri Oct 4 15:27:40 UTC 2002



<Farmer>
<sowed>
<Corn>
<kept>
<Cock>
<woke>
<Priest>
<married>
<Man>
<kissed>
<Maiden>
<milked>
<Cow>
<tossed>
<Dog>
<worried>
<Cat>
<killed>
<Rat>
<ate>
<Malt>
<lay>
<House>
<builtBy>
<Person foaf:name="Jack" />
</builtBy>
</House>
</lay>
</Malt>
</ate>
</Rat>
</killed>
</Cat>
</worried>
</Dog>
</tossed>
</Cow>
</milked>
</Maiden>
</kissed>
</Man>
</married>
</Priest>
</woke>
</Cock>
</kept>
</Corn>
</sowed>
</Farmer>


...from daydreaming on an aeroplane yesterday, from
http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/daedljak.html and rather indirectly
inspired by John Pilger's "The New Rulers of the World"[1], FOAFCorp and
http://www.theyrule.net/.

Tech scribbles: transcribing that narrative into RDF is an interesting
exercise. Reading the above, "there exists a Farmer that sowed a (some?)
Corn that kept..." etc throws up modelling issues: the need to depend on
external knowledge, ontologies/schemas to get a notion of 'the' instead of
'a'; the relationship between verbs and nouns, events, state changes; the
representation of mass nouns, causality etc etc.

I like the Jack story as its about connections, and is very visual. I'm no
good at verse though. "This is the man, all tattered and torn, that kissed
the maiden all forlorn that was paid $0.05/hour to make the shirts that ***
sold...". I'm mostly serious, there are a lot of real world causal chains
that could be illustrated in this fashion...

danbri


[1] http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/185984393X/qid=1033743374/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/103-0118594-8569453?v=glance&n=507846






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