Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Due Diligence: Metadata, Semiotics, and the Tower of Babel

Due Diligence: Metadata, Semiotics, and the Tower of Babel: "Now why should we suspect that taking character strings, and wrapping them in XML or RDF is going to change all of this? The syntactic sugar is all wonderful, and indeed a better mousetrap from the POV of systems integration, but the real basis for the blue sky claims that we're approaching Semantic Web nirvana is bound up in the signifiers, the symbols, that are to be wrapped in that sugar. Is there some magic in angle brackets that was not found in LISP parentheses, that will repeal human nature and semiotics? I think not. Call it a taxonomy, a controlled vocabulary, a metadata dictionary, it's all the same thing: yet another language, either small and brittle, or large and ambiguous. Either way, just another layer on the Tower of Babel."
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