Shirky on SemWeb, a Case Study "What bothers me about Shirky's essay is that the building blocks of the Semantic Web are useful even if we never achieve nirvana, whereas Shirky's critique makes it seem like they are an academic exercise of no utility to anyone now or in the future."
XML vs. RDF :: N × M vs. N + M "The RDF model along with the logic and equivalency languages, like OWL (nee DAML+OIL), altogether referred to as "the Semantic Web", is the current W3C effort to address that problem. Factoring those equivalencies into a common layer allows application developers to work with an already-integrated model, and the libraries to do the work of mapping each schema to the integrated model using a shared schema definition: N + M"
shirky touches off a storm of semantic web posts "My inner librarian has a response brewing, as well, but it will have to wait a bit. It’s the last week of the quarter, and I’ve got exams and project to give and grade. Next week is blogging and reading catch-up time."
Clay Shirky Predicts the Demise of The Semantic Web "However, his arguments "syllogisms are not very useful" and "we describe the world in generalities" are extremely bitter pills to accept. (Darn! I haven't thought about these two, he hits a homer!) However, he is correct, we should be digging deeper into probability networks rather than logic inferencing engines. Semantic technology still has its place in the world (maybe the enterprise though), however I agree with him in that it isn't going to scale for the web."