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Sunday, November 9, 2003

Clay Shirky Thinks Semantic Web Will Fail

“The Semantic Web is the representation of data on the World Wide Web. It is a collaborative effort led by W3C with participation from a large number of researchers and industrial partners. It is based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF), which integrates a variety of applications using XML for syntax and URIs for naming.”
– W3C, The Semantic Web

“After 50 years of work, the performance of machines designed to think about the world the way humans do has remained, to put it politely, sub-optimal. The Semantic Web sets out to address this by reversing the problem. Since it’s hard to make machines think about the world, the new goal is to describe the world in ways that are easy for machines to think about. (...)

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.”
– Clay Shirky, The Semantic Web, Syllogism, and Worldview, November 7, 2003

Also see: Tim Berners-Lee Video: Past, Present and Future of the Web; and Linking to Video Segments and the Limitations of Meta-Data.

If Microsoft and Google Would Be Partners

A nice image (in German) illustrates what would happen to Google if they partnered with Microsoft...
[Via Capt. Cornelius]


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