SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] Web of Meaning
[Sigia-l] Web of Meaning
> > I think this - as a general critque - has some merit though:
> > http://www.shirky.com/writings/semantic_syllogism.html
> Yes, it has merit. However, Semantic Web does not have to be perfect
> in all situations in order to be successfully used in the real world.
> Google is far from perfect, but very useful.
I'll repeat what I just sent to Jonathan off-list, my on-list reply
yesterday was rather short because it's hard to see what relevance the
hypothetical system Shirky is critiquing has to the Semantic Web, and hence
the temptation to dismiss it in one line is strong.
[Snip a couple of mails where Jonathan asks me to expand on dismissing
Shirky's article as a strawman argument and I promise to look up some
refutations from the time it was written that do a better job than I could]
> Thanks - I much appreciate it. Actually, it turns out that one of my
> colleagues has written a chapter in a book about the semantic web. I
> mentioned the idea that Shirky thinks it's all about syllogism, and he
> said "Whoever thinks that is an idiot"
Yes, that was the general reaction, and I suspect that it was at least
subconsciously written as a troll since blogging anything along the lines of
"Semantic Web sucks" almost guarantees lots of linkbacks with the
googlerific advantages that entails (and it really does entail it, see
syllogism in action!).
Actually syllogism is very useful indeed - as a low level tool to get as
much knowledge out of stated facts as you can by deductive reasoning before
applying inductive reasoning or other uses of the data - it's only if you
rely on deductive reasoning alone that it is nearly pointless (the
comparison with Sherlock Holmes is telling in itself, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle
put great faith in deductive reasoning and initially wrote the Sherlock
Holmes stories to encourage the deductive approach amongst real detectives,
but he was also a great believer in the paranormal - clearly outside of the
realm of deductive reasoning - and one of the greatest apologists for the
Cottingly Fairies claim).
Anyway, the following refutations are worth looking at:
Dan Brickley's open reply:
Danny Ayers' first shot across the bow:
Danny gets into more detail:
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: Fri Jun 03 2005 - 03:48:42 EDT