[tdwg-humboldt] Events

John Wieczorek tuco at berkeley.edu
Tue Aug 10 23:22:53 UTC 2021

In case it might be helpful, high-level metaphysical semantic models often
distinguish between the real world and our capacity to observe it. Theory
generally espouses that reality is a continuum of interacting changes of
all kinds (continuous processes), while our observations (which are what
end up as data) necessarily subsample reality from particular perspectives
into discrete processes.

Among the discrete processes are those in which a target of observation
undergoes untracked change in a bounded period and those in which
the target of observation remains unchanged for some period. The first
category, discrete periods of change (with respect to a specific target)
are called "events" while the periods without change (with respect to a
specific target) are called "states". In both cases periods can vary in
size, frame of reference, and our capacity to delimit them with precision.
Based on this perspectives, "event" is not confounded by whether it is
"instantaneous" or not. I think the important thing will be to have a
formal definition, and in that respect, it is probably best to refer to an
ontology for the concept you mean when you say "event".

Some references, in case you want to get really metaphysical:
Stanford Philosophy of Events - https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/events/
Overview of Common Core Ontologies -
Classifying Processes and Basic Formal Ontology -
Processes and Causality - http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/causal.htm
GSC Observations and Measurements -

On Tue, Aug 10, 2021 at 5:12 AM Rob Stevenson <rdstevenson10 at gmail.com>

> Dear All
> Based on our conversation today in which we discussed events, Paula
> suggested we reread Guralnick et al 2017.
> I have been rereading it and I agree.  Paper attached.
> Given the various interpretations of "event", I am wondering if we should
> find other terminology because event can be used at multiple scales and is
> usually used as a way to categorize a spatiotemporal happening as a
> spatiotemporal point rathering that capturing the spatiotemporal extent &
> starting and ending points.
> Looking forward to our conversations next week,
> Rob
> --
> Robert D Stevenson
> Associate Professor
> Department of Biology
> UMass Boston
> _______________________________________________
> tdwg-humboldt mailing list
> tdwg-humboldt at lists.tdwg.org
> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-humboldt
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.tdwg.org/pipermail/tdwg-humboldt/attachments/20210810/2af0f497/attachment.html>

More information about the tdwg-humboldt mailing list