It’s a se[Man]tic ’s World

I’ve wanted to offer something of interest about the semantic web for a while now, and since I’ve finally found an appropriate bracketed pun to crown my content, I feel comfortable proceeding. In the interest of sparing you the introduction, let’s just say that semantics is about meaning, and the semantic web is about a rhizomatic meaning-machine of networked intelligence, of mapped and linked data, so let’s have a one-sided conversation about some exciting <warning – neologism> semantification </warning> of late? Glad you agree.

Partly inspired by conversations and readings I’ve been lily-pad looping through, the following mostly stems from recent realization that my technology interests revolve around applications and ideas that are as yet unsupported on a majority of platforms. Web GL and HTML5, check. RDA and RDF, check. Linked data and Crowdsourcing/funding, checkcheck. Which of these things is like the other?
[hint: I bet the semantic web knows! ]
In the interest of space saving and simplicity, I’ll distill this discussion to the basics of why semantics and structured linking speaks to our world now (and hereafter). This will partially justify my interests as relevant given some strategic link drops and (potentially) disasterous puns. As is my way, this post will be illustrated by some awesome CC google search results for semantic web acronyms, which, as of yet, are not mapped to specify my intended meaning…and instead turn back a delightful assortment of [inappropriate] but awesome.
Let’s begin with some library metadata for the semantic web: RDyAy!
To say a lot of librarians wish that RDA would go away, come again another day, is perhaps an understatement; while doing research on RDA’s status a few months ago, I had a hard (read: impossible) time finding people to support it. For background, Resource Description and Access (RDA) models as a metadata schema for the new millennium; it allows for multimedia cataloging and web compatibility. Controversy comes from its dependence on the semantic web, modified MARC and on better ILS, all of which are arguably in various states of undone. I constructed a simple but punchy ppt to discuss the pros/con[troversy] of RDA and  noted that that the following is upcoming:

NEW EVENT ANNOUNCED – CILIP’s RDA: Resource Description and Access Executive Briefing

Thursday 28 June 2012, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE

Following the announcement from The British Library that from 1st June 2012 MARC bibliographic files distributed by the BL will include records catalogued in accordance with RDA: Resource Description and Access, CILIP will be holding an exclusive Executive Briefing on RDA,  focusing on the issues surrounding the implementation of RDA.   

Register your interest and be the first to be notified when registration opens.

JUSTIFICATION 1: I am not the only one.

Google adding semantic relationships to search algorithm, improving its SERP and SEO capabilities through semantics.

JUSTIFICATION 2: Google is doing it, so why can’t we?

Semantic Web Challenge 2012 – Call for Participation

Boston – USA

November 13-15, 2012

JUSTIFICATION 3: This (above) is happening, so obviously other people are into it and making projects that use it regardless of support system #notmakingthisup

Outside the riveting world of library metadata schemas, postings about our approaches to language (both traditional and digital semantics) are also populating my feeds. This brings me to a recent announcement about the life and death of our expanding lexicon, charted in the linguistic statistics of a few physicists’ research.

Aside from some of the more concrete information about our how stats and physics can process the ebb and flow of our anglophone development, perhaps the most fascinating part of the study involves its own semantic articulations: in particular the way words are considered living entities with timelines and growth potential concomitant with its human population. We give physical and human credence to expressions and this suits new application developments for a variety of interfaces.

With the semantic web, I think we are tempted to conflate the space of human and computer languages and give them a comparable organic modality as perhaps never before. In the name of optimal integration, we forget that our distinction between the natural languages of our physical world and the artificial languages of the virtual world at one point maintained exclusivity based on structure and syntax. While spoken and written languages have splintered into dialects and evolved organically depending on geographic and situational circumstance, the artificial constructs of our machine languages (here’s looking at you SQL, Java, Perl) provided for a more prescriptive structure, defined and premeditated to execute or implement a constrained set of tasks. That’s not to say that abbreves, additions and edits have not been incorporated, but there isn’t really a subtly slanged Java <aside> or for that matter a subjective C </aside> there are spinoffs and additional languages that soften or modify its structure. With the semantic web, we’re migrating toward a new territory of spectacular in meaning-making across linguistic divisions and operator/interface limitations. Describing entities and relationships semantically, we can map them and mash them in graphically innovative ways and modify them with the words that express meanings with purpose and precision.

So, what does this mean? That languages are fusing and our digital platform is melding to our analog one…that the syntax and selective meaning-making of posterity will be defined by a naturalized machine-readable language that will posture the subject-object-predicate of our triples with attention to our natural linguistic constructs as humans. With the mashup methodology in mind, I’ll point to a Radiolab video from a few months ago…related to our semantics and appropriately enunciated in wedded images:

And this sort of meaning-making will matter to everyone (not just the nerdy librarian chick demographic). Stay tuned friends, the semantic web is (and will be) integral to our wordy world.

do this:

Semantic Web Challenge 2012 – Call for Participation – USA

November 13-15, 2012

check these:

RDB2RDF Working Group

RDF Working Group

SPARQL Working Group

follow this:

Tagged , ,
%d bloggers like this: