The Great LD 2013 Debate: is Linked Data defined by the WWW?

In the two dozen plus separate and related threads linked to the issue of the relationship between LD and RDF, I have noted that we assume as self-evident that Linked Data presupposes the World Wide Web, and that the Internet as we know it is the ONLY possible platform for linking data.

In theory, that is mathematically speaking, we need to determine how the structure of the Internet narrows down the way we can link data.

We assume that any informational process in which we want to link data will allow itself to be modeled in such a fashion, that it can be (retro)fitted to allow it to be implementable on the Internet.

This may prove to be a fallacy, and the fact that quite a few human activities involve highly complex, often intuitive, oftentimes informal and ambiguous and pragmatically speaking with high levels of entanglement, trying to mold every information process to comply with linked data as defined by the WWW and Linked Data/RDF is already proving at times impossible.

The reason why e.g. in the area of sustainable development models prove so hard to build is because the veracity, intentionality and verification of data are not always self-evident, and when very diverse groups of people each with their own ICT cultures, take on the functioning of the world and formal/informal world models, and most of all personal and group/community agendas, finding ways of linking data becomes very hard and is less defined by formal models than e.g. intentionality and the willingness to collaborate and agree on a common interchange protocol set.

When these common grounds need to be negotiated and finally found models can be defined like e.g. CIDOC-CRM.

Unfortunately most human activities are not easily defined as single well-defined community processes which lend themselves to modelling and creation of applications.

It is known and well documented in social sciences research that communication over the Internet changes human behavior in terms of how we interact, display intentionality and how we allow more or less disclosure of our own thoughts, ideas and our own personal agenda.

The WWW, the current Linked Data model and RDF are a good model but may prove not to be an optimal match for truly linking all categories of data, because of the above.

As things stand now, well defined communities with clear and definable information and data processes allow for formalization and thus Linked Data and use of RDF.

Weaving a global web of widely varying communities with widely diverse informational and intentional needs may proof a really big challenge.

Milton Ponson
GSM: +297 747 8280
PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Project Paradigm: A structured approach to bringing the tools for sustainable development to all stakeholders worldwide by creating ICT tools for NGOs worldwide and: providing online access to web sites and repositories of data and information for sustainable development

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Received on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 05:32:11 UTC