in Knowledge Base-Driven Systems

Semantic Web: Paul Ford responds to Clay Shirky

Usually a fan of Clay Shirky, I heaved a heavy sigh at yet more strawman arguments directed against the Semantic Web efforts. I was pleased to see Paul Ford took the time to respond at length, giving concrete examples as well as demonstrating the techniques on his own site.

The critics of the Semantic Web, methinks, simply lacking patience. If everyone only thought one, three, or five years into the future we’d never solve the very hard problems. The Semantic Web as a practical reality might be 10 or 20 years off, but that’s not really so long. And if the W3C wasn’t doing this work, we’d all be sitting around complaining, “Someone has to think about the future of the web, coming up with the strategic plan for web technology and use. Why isn’t the W3C doing this?!”