Søren Pold on Wed, 19 Dec 2007 17:59:12 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Critique of the "Semantic Web"

Good essay with a lot of good points. Let me add, that the semantic web 
implies that it is possible to create a metalanguage where you explain 
what you /actually/ mean. That is a metalanguage that disambigues what 
you're saying - a virtual straight forward language without tropes and 
figures. Furthermore, it follows that this metalanguage will not develop 
in use through various strategies of the users of the metalanguage but 
stay true to its 'ontologies' (hence the spamming Florian points at - 
and what about irony, humour, the poetic function, rhetoric etc.?). The 
semantic web is truly a naive concept of language and semantics with a 
lot of things in comon with the ideas about getting rid of the 
interface, creating true transparency, natural intuitive interaction, 
etc., that we know from VR and HCI.

But sometimes computer science develops something else one the way 
towards the naive utopias - after all they're pragmatics, experimenters 
more than philosophers. So what do we get? Web 2.0, Google and semantic 

/Soeren Pold

Florian Cramer skrev:

> It sheds a dubious light on computer linguists involved in the project if
> they don't even seem to have done their homework on Saussure and the
> arbitrariness, i.e. cultural dynamics, of the signifier in relation to the
> signified. The Semantic Web, and any search engine or database built upon it,
> rests on the illusion that an unambiguous assessment of the world would be
> even theoretically possible. Beyond cosmology falsely named ontology, it is
> metaphysics disguised as physics.

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