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Monday, February 23, 2009

Shirky: The Semantic Web, Syllogism, and Worldview

Shirky: The Semantic Web, Syllogism, and Worldview via Sam Ruby: "There is a list of technologies that are actually political philosophy masquerading as code, a list that includes Xanadu, Freenet, and now the Semantic Web. The Semantic Web's philosophical argument -- the world should make more sense than it does -- is hard to argue with. The Semantic Web, with its neat ontologies and its syllogistic logic, is a nice vision. However, like many visions that project future benefits but ignore present costs, it requires too much coordination and too much energy to effect in the real world, where deductive logic is less effective and shared worldview is harder to create than we often want to admit."

Comments:
the issue with this lively debated article at the time of its publication is that Clay Shirky characterizes the Semantic Web with a very precise set of quality to support his critics. A bit like a painter who just painted the wall white and says "Look it is white".

The power of aggregation and distribution given by the network and distribution by URIs is specifically made to enable the power of the crowd. URIs are word, concepts, then like in languages many people use it wrongly, some communities use things in their domain because they need it, etc. The aggregation and the filtering giving to all of that its meaning… oooh it looks like exactly folksonomies, but with a bit more follow your nose structured data.

Bah, not very important in the end. People who need the technology will benefit of it :) and that's just fine.
 
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