April 2008


Video to promote Climate Camp Australia.

This video was made with Kdenlive. I have to say, I’d never enjoyed using a program that crashes every 5 minutes (including system crashes) before using Kdenlive. It’s easy to use, and intuitive. Can’t wait for version 1.0.

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The following is a discussion from #swig on irc.freenode.org – the Semantic Web Interest Group. It’s logged here if you don’t believe me: http://chatlogs.planetrdf.com/swig/2008-04-15#T10-32-11. Edited slightly for clarity.

I think the semantic web is an extremely useful tool, but as I mention down the bottom, I probably would have agreed with Francis Bacon that cutting up animals in the name of science was a good thing at the time. For the record, I don’t believe this.

Reading the comment first might help.

naught101: check http://www.semanticfocus.com/blog/entry/title/5-problems-of-the-semantic-web/

naught101: my comment down the bottom, would love feedback from anyone here

bengee: simplification is a feature, not really a problem

bengee: URIs and triples reduce the complexity to a level that computers can do useful things with it

bengee: e.g. <#product> :rating “***”; :rating “****”; :rating “**”. what might seem contradictory to you may be very useful to an app

naught101: na, I wasn’t talking about that kind of information bengee

naught101: Say philosophy for instance… let me find a nice quote

naught101: Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.

naught101: * Cree Indian Proverb

naught101: Obviously a computer could use this sentence, but would it be able to use it a a way useful to humans?

naught101: Obviously it’s not TRUE, as most of us already know we can’t eat money

bengee: <#only1> a :CreeIndianProverb; rdf:value “Only when…” .

bengee: that triple could be useful for programs that list proverbs

naught101: yeah, sure, but that’s triplification ABOUT the proverb, not about the information contained within the proverb

bengee: well, then you have to increase the granularity if your app wants to provide richer functionality

naught101: how do you mean?

bengee: extract more triples from the human-readable text

naught101: but what triples could you extract from a one-sentance text that has no quantitative truth, but which holds more qualitative truth than many many paragraphs of, say, a science text book?

bengee: exactly

naught101: huh?

bengee: you may misunderstand what the semweb is mainly for

naught101: sure, that’s a true sentence 🙂

bengee: it’s not for implementing automated philosophers, or compete with humans with respect to intelligence

bengee: well, OWL folks might disagree with me here 😉

bengee: the more rewarding approach (IMHO) is to think about use cases that semweb tech *can* enable/simplify, not to think hard about things that are near-impossible for computers in general

naught101: I agree. but I’m not talking about what the semantic web should be

naught101: I’m talking about possible problems with what it currently is

naught101: I mean, I don’t want bite-sized chunks of information taking over the world of ideas

naught101: I think the philospohy or the public is degraded enough without chopping it into bits even more

bengee: oh, semweb tech can clearly improve the distribution and discovery of ideas

bengee: just like the web did

naught101: but it could also hide them

naught101: I don’t think the ‘web did, neccesarily

bengee: you just google’d WRT, no?

naught101: correct

naught101: I don’t think finding an accronym compares to finding meaning in life.

naught101: (if I sound like I’m attacking the semantic web, I’m not, I’m just exploring ideas)

bengee: yeah, don’t think I can contribute too much here, sorry.

naught101: no worries 🙂

naught101: I see it something like baconian/descartian science. it’s useful for finding out the little bits of information, but it’s not particularly useful for figuring out the interrelationships, or looking at the information holistically

naught101: I mean, for example, the semantic web can take information from a wikipedia article, but it couldn’t write a wikipedia article

kjetilkWork: right

kjetilkWork: I don’t think it is a very significant goal of the semweb to produce that kind of information

kjetilkWork: we have a billion people out there that can do that much better

bengee: the semweb can be a great aid in helping you write the article, though

naught101: sure, but thinking of the possibility the semantic web a large part of the web should probably include thinking about what it can’t do, and how to not impede that work

kjetilkWork: rather than the AI world of natural language analysis to reason and infere relation, I think the semweb is much more about using the collective intelligence of all its users, i.e. real intelligence

naught101: bengee: yes, it could. it could also be a hinderance (information overload)

naught101: kjetilkWork: good. I like that. I just hope we’re collectively intelligent, and not collectively stupid 🙂

kjetilkWork: well, that’s what it means to me, at least

kjetilkWork: hehe, yeah

kjetilkWork: I think semweb can help us be collectively intelligent rather than stupid, though… 🙂

naught101: I haven’t got that far yet

naught101: 🙂