Folksologies: de-idealizing ontologies: Great short piece from MIT's Stefano Mazzocchi on folksonomies, ontologies, and how the semantic web can work to bridge the two. The philosophical intro is super. "categories are embodied, espression of humanity, not abstract metaphysical entities (Plato's ideas) that we aim to obtain. .. [Ontologies] are just contracts, a (more or less explicit) agreement between different parties. Language is a contract as well. So are categories. So is metadata. So are APIs, protocols, plug shapes and their voltage, meters.... you name it! Many make the mistake of associating an 'ontology' with Plato's metaphysical ideas..
The semantic web is a bad name for an attempt to make data interoperability scale at a web level. Ontology are a bad name to describe relationships between symbols. That's all there is, really.
Now, you use tags to categorize things for yourself, but instead of using a 'controlled vocabulary', taxonomy or ontology (depending on what field you come from, you will like to call them differently... which also is a metaproof of the point, but let's move on), you invent your own." He demonstrates how semantic web markup can distinguish terms that are identical with different meanings, and combine terms that are different with the same meaning. [Thanks for the tip, John] 11:05:12 PM