Re: political farce

Richard Fikes <Fikes@HPP.Stanford.EDU>
Full-Name: Richard Fikes
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 93 21:45:50 -0800
From: Richard Fikes <Fikes@HPP.Stanford.EDU>
To: Matthew L. Ginsberg <>
Subject: Re: political farce
Cc: interlingua@ISI.EDU
Message-id: <>
In-reply-to: Your message <> of Sun, 19 Dec
 93 18:17:13 PST
Content-Type: TEXT/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>   Let's say that there were charges that the House Ways
>   and Means Committee were corrupt.  The House committee
>   decides that the proper way to investigate these charges
>   is to form a subcommittee to do so.
>   This would be laughable.  Every columnist in the country
>   would have a field day with it.
>   Now let's say that there were charges that the KIF
>   committee had no academic credibility.  The KIF co-chair
>   decides ...
>   It's still laughable.

Well, Matt, you have been critical of most everything the Interlingua Working
Group has done since it began its work.  So, I don't expect we will be able to
please you.

Your comments above are hardly worth responding to, but I will make the
following observations.

First, it is incredulous to me that you view the "academic credibility" of the
"KIF committee" as being at issue here.  May I remind you that the Interlingua
Working Group includes Dan Bobrow, Ron Brachman, Pat Hayes, Vladimir Lifschitz,
John McCarthy, and Len Schubert, in addition to Mike Genesereth and myself.
Surely, you don't mean to be charging that that group "has no academic

Second, your message implies that my establishing a working group to review the
relevant portion of the KIF specification is somehow analogous to a
Congressional Committee appointing a subcommittee to review corruption charges.
Well, I fail to see the analogy.  We aren't dealing with corruption here (or do
you think that also is an issue?), and I explicitly said in my message that the
working group would not be restricted to members of the Interlingua Working
Group, so it is not a subcommittee.  I think it would be just as unreasonable to
exclude members of the Interlingua Working Group from this review group as it
would be to require that all members of the review group be working group
members.  My intention is to have top quality people do the work, irrespective
of their previous affiliations with the effort.

Finally, I would remind us all that the KIF Language Specification is a work in
progress.  So, I was interested in forming a group to look at the issues being
raised about the logical foundations of KIF that would not just critique what is
currently in the KIF specification, but would also do the work of proposing any
needed revisions to that specification.  So, the group Pat will chair is a
"working" group and the objective is to make progress in specifying a viable
interlingua.  As I said before, I'm sure they welcome all constructive
contributions to their work.