W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > May 2001

Re: deliverables?

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 10:32:29 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: "RDF-Interest" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
At 10:29 PM 5/1/01 +0600, Danny Ayers wrote:
>What are the (clearly identified) goals?

The clearly identified goals of the power grid had more to do with electric 
lighting than the fact that we wouldn't be using our muscles to carry water 
up the hill or milk cows. The telegraph (interesting that the first 
widespread use of electricity was to transmit information rather than 
energy) as a precursor to affecting penmanship or the telephone as forcing 
all deaf people into their own community or...

One thing pretty much for sure is that a semantic web (lower case) will be 
able to encourage ambient information - as ubiquitous as air and if 
information is approximately equal to knowledge and knowledge is power then 
there will be some transformations that are well beyond our ability to 

Norbert Wiener didn't project that these tools would be so widely available 
but he knew they'd change things. He also said "nor are the best 
administrators of large projects likely to be the most fertile originators 
of new ideas" and sort of laid out the groundwork for "The Cathedral and 
the Bazaar".

Talking about what it (the SW) might do, what problems it might solve, etc. 
is less fruitful than realizing that when we create 
languages/documents/interactions/+ we must "export the semantics" as in 
"write what we mean rather than what we want done with it". When we look 
back we might notice that the main obstacle to the Semantic Web has been 
the Pedantic Web whose entanglements (especially on lists devoted to it) 
sapped the talents of those most able to implement it.

We are all part of a really huge "barnraising" effort and we might as well 
get on with it. http://www.barnraising.org is still just a placeholder but 
the list barnraising@yahoogroups.com could sure use all the help it can 
get. In fact my "barn" is to perfect the tools that are to be used by those 
who would raise their barns and connect them with those willing to help in 
the cooperative undertaking. I know that most of the people on this 
(RDF-IG) list could help and most are willing to, so come on.

Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2001 13:31:26 UTC

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