Saturday, October 08, 2005

Shirky on Ontology

Shirky: Ontology is Overrated -- Categories, Links, and Tags:
I also want to convince you that what we're seeing when we see the Web is actually a radical break with previous categorization strategies, rather than an extension of them. The second part of the talk is more speculative, because it is often the case that old systems get broken before people know what's going to take their place. (Anyone watching the music industry can see this at work today.) That's what I think is happening with categorization.
Clay Shirky is the most radical voice with regards to tagging. He is convinced that formal classification as we know it is a doomed system, given its basis in a model of centralized authority. This is a good introduction to his thinking on the subject, though he has also written extensively elsewhere.

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