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Re: off-topic on Beijing Re: BOF meeting on Semantic Web Search Engines at WWW 2008

From: Azamat <abdoul@cytanet.com.cy>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 20:58:15 +0300
Message-ID: <001701c8a6fd$efe1f9c0$010aa8c0@homepc>
To: "'SW-forum'" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Cc: "Golda Velez" <gv@btucson.com>



 On Friday, April 25, 2008 12:36 PM, Dan Brickley wrote:
> ''Every day we read stomach-churning news that  can make our technical 
> interests and disagreements here seem trivial and
> petty... but we can't turn this list into a world crisis bulletin-board.
> We really can't.''

 Actually, we can, if we try to see a pertinent meaning of Golda's message. 
As far as the  semantic web is designed as one universal knowledge base 
(integrating heteregenous information sources and web resources), the World 
Crisis Bulletin-Board System (an electronic bbs running software dealing 
with political information of general interest) could be its most critical
 content part.

 Azamat Abdoullaev
 http://www.igi-global.com/books/details.asp?id=7641


> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Dan Brickley" <danbri@danbri.org>
> To: "Golda Velez" <gv@btucson.com>
> Cc: "Semantic Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>
> Sent: Friday, April 25, 2008 12:36 PM
> Subject: Re: off-topic on Beijing Re: BOF meeting on Semantic Web Search 
> Engines at WWW 2008
>
>
>>
>> Golda Velez wrote:
>>
>>> End of digression.  Email me if you want further info.
>>
>> It's a big planet, and many of its (our...) governments do truly hideous 
>> things to people in other parts of it. I appreciate how you feel about 
>> Burma but this is really the wrong vehicle for expressing it. Just as I 
>> wouldn't use semantic-web@w3.org to urge visitors to the UK or US to help 
>> stop the awfulness in Iraq, and so on. As chair of this (very 
>> international) Interest Group I don't want to be in a situation of saying 
>> which situations are urgent, awful or disgusting enough to use this 
>> mailing list for emergency appeals.
>>
>> I'm not complaining about off-topic-ness here: we have enough rambling or 
>> dull discussion here that it is fine to bring everyone's attention back 
>> to the the things that really matter; matters of life and death. In the 
>> context of what's happening out there, an offtopic email is *nothing*.
>>
>> Rather, I'm urging that you find other means to deliver political and 
>> human-rights messages to like-minded conference attendees (eg. 
>> dopplr.com's APIs might help you find friends and friends who are 
>> attending the conference). Every day we read stomach-churning news that 
>> can make our technical interests and disagreements here seem trivial and 
>> petty... but we can't turn this list into a world crisis bulletin-board. 
>> We really can't.
>>
>> There are other, better ways to reach people, persuade people of 
>> evidence, showing people what life elsewhere is like. And figuring out 
>> how to improve those mechanisms is 100% on-topic for this list: the 
>> Semantic Web is a project to improve the Web so that it better reflects 
>> what is happening in the world around us, a world seen through layers 
>> competing, interlinked claims and counter-claims. (Anyone who tells you 
>> otherwise has got lost in the detail.)
>>
>> In that vein, the most interesting thing I read yesterday is the site at 
>> http://www.debategraph.org/ ... a vaguely RDFesque system for making 
>> explicit the structure of debate and disagreement. It breaks emotive, 
>> complex topics down into a Web of themes, claims and other sub-structure. 
>> This perhaps gives a better granularity for attaching information about 
>> the credibility/support for each claim. When people ask, "what is really 
>> happening out there?", and turn to the Web, wondering "what evidence is 
>> there for this claim", the Web doesn't yet do a good job. It doesn't help 
>> them evaluate the claims they hear on TV or in the tabloids ("Saddam has 
>> nukes", "there's ethnic cleansing in Burma", "Obama eats babies", ...). 
>> We do have pagerank, blogs, and so on, but nothing structured in terms of 
>> evidential support for specific claims. I think we can and should do 
>> better, and that the focus of the Semantic Web community would be 
>> profitably spent on this area of work. I firmly believe the Web will 
>> mature to give us a better claim-based, provenance-based infrastructure 
>> for evaluating such claims. But it'll take time, and every year that 
>> passes without it is one in which people will remain dangerously 
>> misinformed about the world around them. For better or worse, this list 
>> has to stay focussed on on making technical progress. Sorry if that 
>> sounds somehow callous...
>>
>> > Ok, this is not RDF-related unless someone has the vocabulary to say it
>>
>> I don't think the technical issue is exactly one of vocabulary here. 
>> Rather it is one of being able to make an overwhelming case "this is 
>> happening" grounded in documentary evidence published in the Web. Partly 
>> a matter of weighing the credibility and authority of sources, of 
>> providing a representation for the claims those sources make about the 
>> world. But also a matter of user interface (something often neglected in 
>> the SemWeb scene): how do we get from giving people access to the raw 
>> facts, ... to getting them to care, and to act?
>>
>> Dan
>>
>> --
>> Semantic Web IG chair
>> http://danbri.org/
>>
>>
> 
Received on Friday, 25 April 2008 17:59:09 UTC

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