Under The Sun

Monday, November 17, 2003


"The people working on the Semantic Web greatly overestimate the value
of deductive reasoning (a persistent theme in Artificial Intelligence
projects generally). The great popularizer of this error was Arthur
Conan Doyle, whose Sherlock Holmes stories have done more damage to
people's understanding of human intelligence than anyone other than
Rene Descartes. Doyle has convinced generations of readers that what
seriously smart people do when they think is to arrive at inevitable
conclusions by linking antecedent facts. As Holmes famously put it,
'when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however
improbable, must be the truth.'
"This sentiment is attractive precisely because it describes a world
simpler than our own."
--Clay Shirky

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