Argument for Open Data (or Confinement)

The official Cyc project was and is closed. Substantial sums are required for facile access. There are many fringe ideas that could be easily tested if complete read access to that corpus were freely available. The Cyc investors hope for commercial application to repay their investment. This is a problem. The Cyc enterprise might reply that they test ideas and indeed I am sure that they do in order to further their economic goals. They test only those ideas, however, that they understand and in which they see a plausible profit.

It is perhaps ironic to accuse a purely capitalist scheme of having the disadvantages of central panning, but if the few Cyc officers with fiduciary responsibilities cannot understand a new idea that requires access to their data, the idea is now unlikely to be tested when those with the idea must pay commercial rates. Sometimes breakthroughs come from unexpected directions and from groups without the money to buy that access.

Market segmentation solves this in theory but only if you have viable segmentation scheme. Perhaps confinement as in the Derwent solution may allow this. The researcher’s program has unrestricted access to the data but there is a narrow hole thru which the researcher communicates with his program. Think gdb output which has not changed much since it was via the 10 cps Teletype.