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[ontolog-forum] Inventor of the Web Gets Backing to Build Web of Data

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 07:29:07 -0500
Message-id: <4BAA0593.6080002@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Following is an article with the above title:    (01)

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/inventor_of_the_web_gets_backing_to_build_web_of_d.php    (02)

But I have more sympathy with the article with the title below.    (03)

As I have commented in various notes, I had misgivings about the
proposal by Pat C to build a foundation ontology with $30 million.
I have more misgivings about flushing 30 million down a toilet
that has already received more than its fair share of funding.    (04)

For comparison, note that Google was founded by a few graduate
students around the same time that Tim B-L published his book
on the Semantic Web.  But Google has generated multi-billions
in revenue, while governments are still pouring millions into
attempts to get the SW off the ground.    (05)

Re ontologies:  I believe that they are important.  But as I said
many times, the current SW technology is mostly a rehash of ideas
from the 1970s and '80s.  If it's not yet strong enough to compete
on its own, it's time to look for better alternatives.    (06)

John Sowa
________________________________________________________________________    (07)

Greatest Living Briton gets 30m for 'web science'    (08)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/22/semantic_web_tbl/    (09)

As an alliance of the desperate, this one takes some beating. The 
Greatest Living Briton (Sir Timothy Berners Lee) has been thrown 30m of 
taxpayers' money for a new institute to research "web science"...    (010)

It's really a confluence of two groups of people with a shared interest 
in bureaucracy. Computer Science is no longer about creating graduates 
who can solve engineering challenges, but about generating work for the 
academics themselves. The core expertise of a CompSci department today 
is writing funding applications. And the Holy Grail for these paper 
chasers is a blank cheque for work which can be conducted without 
scrutiny for years to come. With its endless committees defining 
standards (eg, "ontologies", "folksonomies") that no one will ever use, 
the "Semantic Web" fits the bill perfectly...    (011)

The beauty of the "semantic web" - unworkable in anything other than a 
small, tightly controlled context - is that it will be years before 
anyone notices. By which time "Web Science" departments will have 
flourished all over the land, and billions more will have been spent 
trying to make Big Government small...    (012)

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