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November 23, 2007

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Naveed

Nova, you say that Semantic graphs expose their data and the meaning of links through RDF and OWL and then you say other apps can make use of this data. Can you please give a few examples as to how this semantic graph can be of use for other apps?

zeb hodge

Thank you, Nova. This is a great description of how these technologies relate to the web we already know. This is one of the biggest hurdles for us to overcome: explaining what we're so excited about, both to fellow programmers as well as to non-programmers.

Naveed

Hi Nova, very good explanation of the semantic graph. Its always encouraging for me to read ur blog as I too am working on an ambitious semantic web project :)

John Brisbin

G'Day from the Antipodes, Nova.

As usual, your thoughts provoke more thoughts. Is that negentropic?

The part of this post I'm not comfortable with is the presumption that--just because RDF provides us with a well-formed container into which we humans can pour information about the information--suddenly the machines will be able to use each other's information ["App C can immediately begin to use this data correctly and consistently with how App B uses it"] to deliver an improvement in the knowledge state experienced by some other humans...

Surely the mere fact that RDF offers a structure does virtually nothing to improve the chance that most humans will start to think like S.R. Ranganathan and populate their ontologies etc with logical, useful, language.

IOW: the G3 gambit makes it much easier and faster for machines to locate yet another confusing piece of human-generated information that requires some level of disambiguation.

I think my nagging problem is that RDF appears to be used to store information fundamentally mismatched with RDFs level of abstraction.

The semantic web cannot be driven by more human coloratura...there's no end to the amount of clarification that is required for usefully machine-mediated human communication, no matter how neatly the storage containers fit together.

To me it seems more productive to use RDF as a storage grid for a type of metadata that is more native (somehow) to the logics of the machines themselves. There needs to be more of a state change in the qualities of the information held at the first (or surely the second) order of abstraction above the original.

I understand the need to improve people's habits of describing what they're talking about so that people two nodes away can still get the message. But the whole project suffers mightily when you ask those same messy humans to do the job.

Cheers!

JB

Yihong Ding

Nova,

I agree with your analysis. To me, however, I have another interpretation about Tim's GGG claim.

I understand GGG to be equivalent to WWW but from a different angle of view. When we talk about WWW, we take the publisher's point of view; when we talk about GGG, we are trying to take the viewer's point of view. Both views look upon the same Web, but gathering a different structure of the Web. Moreover, I believe that the purpose of Twine is exactly an attempt to convert the web information storage from the original publisher-oriented point of view to the more friendly viewer-oriented point of view.

You may look at the entire analysis of my understanding of GGG at Thinking Space.

-- Yihong

Anne Z.

Hi Nova, I left a response on GigaOM but also wanted to stop by here and say thanks for the comment and the post.

I'm not arguing that you can't represent a unified social graph semantically -- I'm pointing about how a unified social graph doesn't really adequately represent the complexity of human relationships. And I'm also wondering if moving towards a semweb approach for the social graph removes too much of the human, since semantic web technologies are all about machine processing.

Seems to me that many people calling for a unified social graph are those that treat their friends/fans like undifferentiated nodes. Most people, however, don't have so many people they interact with online (or so many services) that they need a unified, machine-processable approach. And a unified machine-processable approach has drawbacks (possibility for spam and privacy abuses, a loss of having multiple ways to say "you are my friend," a loss of multiple identities online).

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. :)

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Nova's Trip to Edge of Space

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    In 1999 I flew to the edge of space with the Russian air force, with Space Adventures. I made it to an altitude of just under 100,000 feet and flew at Mach 3 in a Mig-25 piloted by one of Russia's best test-pilots. These pics were taken by Space Adventures from similar flights to mine. I didn't take digital stills -- I got the whole flight on digital video, which was featured on the Discovery Channel.

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People I Like

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    Peter F. Drucker was my grandfather. He was one of my principal teachers and inspirations all my life. My many talks with him really got me interested in organizations and society. He had one of the most impressive minds I've ever encountered. He died in 2005 at age 95. Here is what I wrote about his death. His foundation is at http://www.pfdf.org/
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    Mayer Spivack is my father; he's a brilliant inventor, cognitive scientist, sculptor, designer and therapist. He also builds carbon fiber trimarans in his spare time, and studies animal intelligence. He is working on several theories related to the origins of violence and ways to prevent it, new treatments for learning disabilities, and new theories of cognition. He doesn't have a Web site yet, but I'm working on him...
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    Marin Spivack is my brother. He is the one of the only western 20th generation lineage holders of the original Chen Family Tai Chi tradition in China. He's been practicing Tai Chi for about 6 to 10 hours a day for the last 10 years and is now one of the best and most qualified Tai Chi teachers in America. He just returned from 3 years in China studying privately with a direct descendant of the original Chen family that created Tai Chi. The styles that he teaches are mainly secret and are not known or taught in the USA. One thing is for sure, this is not your grandmother's Tai Chi: This is serious combat Tai Chi -- the original, authentic Tai Chi, not the "new age" form that is taught in the USA -- it's intense, physically-demanding, fast, powerful and extremely deadly. If you are serious about Tai Chi and want to learn the authentic style and applications, the way it was meant to be, you should study with my brother. He's located in Boston these days but also travels when invited to teach master classes.
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    Kris has been working with me for years on the design of the Radar Networks software, a new platform for the Semantic Web. He has a PhD from the MIT Media Lab. He designs intelligent humanoids and virtual realities. He is from Iceland, which makes him pretty cool.
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    I have been friends with Jerry for many years; he's been advising Radar Networks on social software technology.
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    Bram is an astrophysicist and college pal of mine. We spend hours and hours brainstorming about cellular automata simulations of the universe. He's one of the smartest people I ever met.
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    Adam Cohen is a long-term friend; we were roommates in college. He is a really talented composer and film-scorer. He doesn't have a Web site but I like him anyway! He's in Hollywood living the dream.
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