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Re: KIT releases 14 billion triples to the Linked Open Data cloud

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 18:58:22 +0200
Message-ID: <y2meb19f3361004010958q8487abe7obc003be8df627926@mail.gmail.com>
To: martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org
Cc: Denny Vrandecic <denny.vrandecic@kit.edu>, public-lod@w3.org
On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 6:25 PM, Martin Hepp (UniBW)
<martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org> wrote:
> Hi Denny:
> Without spooling your All Fools' Day joke: I think it is a dangerous one,
> because there is obviously a true core in the expected criticism.
>
> I think that without any need, you give outsiders additional ammunition to
> confirm other outsiders' prejudices against the value of linked data. I bet
> you will find lots of triples in the current LOD cloud that have information
> value close to the triples in your "experiment".
>
> And many people communicating over the potential of the Web of Linked Data,
> and maybe deciding about business investments, will not see the joke in your
> page.

On the contrary, I think it was both funny and healthy for the semweb community.

My thought process when I carelessly saw the original blurb go past
was as follows:

* oh dear, more overblown hype for some semweb thing, that's not good
* oh, it's quite stupid in fact
* ah it's Denny, and I like everything he makes ... and ah yeah 2010-04-01, phew

The fact that I was even for a second prepared to entertain the idea
that this was serious, worries me. And clearly a few others on the
list went further before realising. Which is why I say this was a
healthy exercise. If we as a community are so used to over-hyped folly
that we could consider that this might have been a serious offering,
then we ought to take more care of our habits during the other 364
days of the year. If I hadn't seen Denny's name against the project or
actually read the paper, I'd probably have been taken in too...

If we can't laugh at ourselves, we'll be ill prepared to deal with
criticism. And criticism is healthy for any technology community, but
especially one whose ambitions are as large as ours. We are trying to
build a global, integrated system for planet-wide sharing of
descriptions of all things and their interconnections. Described like
that, it sounds like drug-addled idiocy, but that's what we're doing.
And the only way we'll manage it is if we do it in good humour. This
means acting gracefully when fans of other technologies offer
criticism, whether or not they are gentle in their words. And it means
taking care to balance enthusiasm for the potential of this technology
with a realisation that there's still a long way to go in making these
tools and techniques a joy for non-enthusiasts to use...

cheers,

Dan
Received on Thursday, 1 April 2010 16:58:55 UTC

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