I’m confident we can solve all the hard technology problems we currently face. I’ve recently heard words like “never” and “too hard” rolling off tongues a bit too readily and it’s just not the kind of optimism I expect in this industry. Of categorization software I’ve heard, ‘we’ll never be able to automatically sense the author of a document,‘ or of topic maps ‘they’re too hard for the average person‘ and these just don’t jive with our track record. We’ve split the atom, we’ve put astronauts on the moon, and we’ve replaced unhealthy hearts in the living with healthy hearts from the dead, I think we can teach a computer to figure out how to detect the author of a document the same way we do. Sure it’s hard, but so is machine language or programming computers by flipping hardware switches, but we don’t even think about these things anymore; we don’t have to.
Technology advances and, amazingly, becomes less expensive. We figure out new ways to use it. We adapt to it and it to us as a matter of habit. If there’s a reason we don’t want to use it, fine, then we won’t. But if we want to, we’ll find a way to make it workable. Being too hard isn’t a reason to dismiss it.
Invent! Refine! Design!