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Re: <SemanticHallucinations>XML Fever </SemanticHallucinations>

From: Mike Norton <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2010 20:00:18 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <250839.82111.qm@web82408.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
To: Erik Wilde <dret@berkeley.edu>
Cc: public-egov-ig@w3.org, Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@propylon.com>
Very well--semantics hallucinations it is.  I hallucinated that the semantic 
web--renegade XML trees blowing in the wind--impacted Hurricane Katrina in a 
force-expansive way; I hallucinated that info systems on 9/11 went haywire due 
to the same renegade XML trees.   I hallucinated that a bounced email inside a 
hospital's network caused a quanta-connected earthquake halfway across the 
States a couple years back.   I think the only cure for me is to surrender my 
life to writing science fiction, if I can muster that.  Thanks for your 
Michael A. Norton

From: Erik Wilde <dret@berkeley.edu>
To: Mike Norton <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>
Cc: public-egov-ig@w3.org; Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@propylon.com>
Sent: Thu, September 2, 2010 6:49:17 PM
Subject: Re: XML Fever

adding to sean's response, maybe what you have is "semantics hallucinations", 
caused by somebody infecting you with the simple statement that "XML is 
self-describing." this should be interpreted to mean that an XML document simply 
is a representation both of structure and content (in contrast to SQL, where 
structures only live in databases and all you can get is content), but many 
people seem to think this means "self-explanatory", which is pretty far from 
what XML is. XML is much less than most people think it is or want it to be: it 
is a syntax for ordered trees, and that's it. end of story. period. all other 
claims of magically achieving interoperability by using markup and vaguely 
descriptive names probably only help to make XML's dip after the hype cycle 
maximum even worse... i hope you will recover soon and completely! cheers, dret.

On 2010-08-31 20:11, Mike Norton wrote:
> Alas, after reading your insightful article, Erik, I am afraid my
> diagnosis remains a mystery. My condition falls into none of your writ
> ailments (although I have been known to catch the Ontology Overkill [see
> Patent Office, archives--search: Abandoned, US11/333,642]). So I will
> try to explain my condition to you, and hopefully you can produce a name
> for it. Somewhere along the way, I mashed up the properties of electrons
> and XML datasets in my head. What I saw blended were orders of atoms,
> associated with electrons adjacent them, behaving in peculiar union with
> entire ontologies. Datastreams became rivers of power, and power became
> the force which broke the straw over the camel's back. I saw--much like
> life itself--electronic bits intertwined with the internet taking on
> behaviors, a life of its own, until--BLAM!--the bit hit the fan. Perhaps
> I am betrothed with Delusions of Granularity? How appropriate is XML as
> a segue way to pure Artificial Intelligence, in that its responses to
> online activities are directly proportional to the physical environment?
> Michael A. Norton
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Erik Wilde <dret@berkeley.edu>
> *To:* public-egov-ig@w3.org
> *Cc:* Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@propylon.com>
> *Sent:* Tue, August 31, 2010 8:27:38 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Honest question
> looks like people out there are still suffering from XML fever...
> http://dret.net/netdret/docs/wilde-cacm2008-xml-fever.html
> i think sean is correct in saying that the problem may not be XML
> itself, but the expectation that it solves all the hard problems which
> are inherent to distribution and decentralization... cheers, dret.
> Sean McGrath wrote:
>  > Mike Norton wrote:
>  >> Am I the only one in the world who's been driven mad by XML? Links
> appreciated....
>  > Mike,
>  >
>  > No, you are not alone:-) The biggest problem is not related to details
>  > of syntax etc. in my opinion. The biggest problem is the unrealistic
>  > expectations placed on XML to solve the worlds interoperability and
>>  semantic encoding problems. See http://xml.sys-con.com/node/40310.
>  >
>  > regards,
>  > Sean
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
> -- erik wilde tel:+1-510-6432253 - fax:+1-510-6425814
> dret@berkeley.edu <mailto:dret@berkeley.edu> - http://dret.net/netdret
> UC Berkeley - School of Information (ISchool)

-- erik wilde   tel:+1-510-6432253 - fax:+1-510-6425814
      dret@berkeley.edu  -  http://dret.net/netdret
       UC Berkeley - School of Information (ISchool)

Received on Friday, 3 September 2010 03:00:52 UTC

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