In a recent essay, author Clay Shirky challenged the veracity of the Semantic Web. Dave agrees in part, but goes on to defend the concept and its importance to solving our profusion of data and our inability to make use of it. Ever tried to use Google to search for anything written by George W. Bush rather than about him? [Dave's recommended book about the Semantic Web.]
We also discuss the quality of metadata and the challenges of tagging performed by humans. Dave compares the simplicity of the ontology of the species to an ontology for fine art, which virtually requires an idiolect.
And don't we all remember the funny-if-it-weren't-so-sad incident of the Mars Climate Orbiter, which crashed into the surface of the planet because a function written to accept data in English units was passed a metric-system value. Or was it the other way around? It's all about semantics.
This free podcast is from our Behind the Mic series.