Word of the Week

This week marks a few milestones in the Fall 2009 semester here at GSLIS.  First, it is midterm week.  Second, the LEEPers are coming!  Finally, and in a completely unrelated thread, Champaign County Public Health is happy to announce that H1N1/swine flu/whatever you feel like calling it vaccines are now available (if, of course, you meet the necessary requirements and care).  Being a tech-based office in a world running rampant with H1N1 fright, I thought that it would be nice this week to have a little bit of fun at the expense of the semantic web.  Therefore, this week’s word of the week, “semantic web disease,” comes to us from blogger Tim Converse and is brought to us by Peter Morville’s Book “Ambient Findability.”  Be mindful of the symptoms and have fun.

“It starts with a scratchy throat, and (if not treated promptly) progresses to a full-blown belief that content creators everywhere will work together in harmony, and speak with one (meta-)voice.  In its origins (in particular, the belief that if we understand what a name/symbol/tag means, then programs will too), it may be related to certain disorders of the AI family.   The afflicted are often unaware of its progress, since when applied to small, cohesive communities of technically informed, well-meaning individuals… the beliefs actually make some sense…So do yourself a favor, and ask your doctor about the free (Semantic Web Disease) screen when you get your next mental checkup.” (Morville, Peter. Ambient Findability. Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media Inc., 2005, pp. 123)

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