Friday, December 16, 2005

Shirky - Ontology is Overrated

The Semantic Web, Syllogism, and Worldview and Ontology is overrated

Before quoting from these pieces, I should admit to being someone very familiar with knowledge representation and ontology, and of languages such as Ontolingua and KIF. Having got that out of way, I found this diss of ontology one of the most intelligent around the 'net, especially as I know how an interest in products such as Endeca and Stratify. Isn't it ultimately about an argument about top down and bottom up? Shirky says "Today I want to talk about categorization, and I want to convince you that a lot of what we think we know about categorization is wrong. In particular, I want to convince you that many of the ways we're attempting to apply categorization to the electronic world are actually a bad fit, because we've adopted habits of mind that are left over from earlier strategies." Read on and learn.