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«…Furthermore, we also need to avoid the imminent (possible) deterioration of (planetary) Social Ethos into a cliquey horde of interconnected IDIOTS; as it’s been well known and widely demonstrated historically, that IDIOTS have a naturally ENHANCED tendency to form Groups and Networks (e.g. by the Greek satirical writer Lebessis, in his ground-breaking early twentieth century best-seller in Greece, titled “The Enormous Importance of idiots in Public Life”)…»
In the Semantic Web, I can’t hide the fact I am only a novice, to some extent. Although I’ve been experimenting with Triples (in Logic) ever since I got involved with computers, about 25 years ago; although I can write efficient PROLOG (and Assembly Language) code, to achieve almost anything FOR today’s Semantic Web, this is a fact.
In fact, my entire involvement with computers, of more than 2 decades (professionally) was triggered-off by something else, as an unexpected side-effect. Previously, I was almost a luddite, a young man trying to become an Artist (painter and sculptor) while doing occasionally other kinds of work for self-support.
- My eventual trendy nerdyness was an initially insignificant side-effect, arising out of curiosity about Theorem proving, Mechanical deduction, Logic and Artificial Intelligence, in the early eighties. It was also due to the fatal benediction of buying a toy-sized home PC (a «ZX-81«), followed by other pieces of junk (such as the ZX Spectrum, the Amstrad CPC464 and -eventually- the IBM PC! 🙂
Well, becoming incurrably infected by the nerd meme (virus), writing the very first Greek computer game («Kombos 1» – an «artificially intelligent Sophist») and contemplating George Spencer Brown‘s «Laws of Form» were my initial fatal Emo-intrusions into Trendy New Nerd-Territories!
Ah well, a sign of getting old is a tendency to tell old life-stories, but you can keep your Energy young if you ONLY do it occasionally and for a VERY good reason; of sufficient innovativeness to wipe-off the stains of… senescent narcissism. My reason is this (and it is manifold):
- 1) You can’t seriously expect EVERYONE to start churning out ALL their highly precious personal data, out there into the wide-open Public Spaces of the emerging Semantic Big Brotherhood, can you?
I think Mr. Nova Spivack is cool; perhaps the coolest nerd personality in today’s America, and I also think «Twine» is very cool: His system. I am grateful for being granted official permission to test it, joining the trendy Elite of official «TWINE Beta-Testers». However, being cool is NOT enough, I’m afraid:
2) Being (and feeling) SAFE from Unwanted Public Inspection and (increasingly risky) self-revelation, while STILL being able to connect to innumerable others meaningfully (through the Semantic Web) is a much-much cooler (and absolutely necessary) thing today!
I.e. what we must be concerned with is the Semantic Annotation of Data and Knowledge, much more than the voluntary submission of our personal photos, phone-numbers and addresses (as well as friends) into the new Semantic Big Brotherhood, of trendy nerds wanting to become known and accepted as the Socially Networked Elite of Tomorrow!
As regards the human dimension of the Semantic Web, I am personally interested much more e.g. in the Semantic Representation of Ideas, Debates and Ideologies (as RDF structures); apart from the (obviously immense) significance of automatically annotating and connecting together research papers and other important documents, which require -nevertheless- personal authentication to remain valid and provably reliable kinds of knowledge: E.g. it is a totally different thing to connect one research student’s innovative Thesis with another person’s controversial ideas (in order to validate the latter) and a totally different thing to reduce and impoverish the Semantic Presentation of a person into what becomes publicly visible as a «network of friends», with an obvious injustice being done to those among one’s friends who do not agree with becoming publicly visible! (In my case, friends of the second category outnumber the first by a factor of 5 – at least).
If e.g. I am a narcissistic kind of net-junkie wanting everyone to… admire my multiple skills and other admirable personal features, including face-features (possibly), this does NOT mean that it’s fair to put pressure on everyone else, out there, to become a similar kind of trendy narcissistic net-junkie!
Therefore the obvious, simple conclusion is that we need Semantic Validation of CONTENT, without the necessity of personal (or strictly private) information.
3) Furthermore, we also need to avoid the imminent (possible) deterioration of (planetary) Social Ethos into a cliquey horde of interconnected IDIOTS; as it’s been well known and widely demonstrated historically, that IDIOTS have a naturally ENHANCED tendency to form Groups and Networks (e.g. by the Greek satirical writer Lebessis, in his ground-breaking early twentieth century best-seller in Greece, titled «The Enormous Importance of idiots in Public Life»).
Moreover, the flourishing of new ideas and the Renaissance of meaningful debate (e.g. in modern Greece) through blogging, has happened to a very large extent precisely because of ANONYMITY…
- UPDATE: If you are seriously interested in the Technology of Anonymity, check out this site: http://www.torproject.org