Monday, March 17, 2008

Shirky on Ontology

(A.k.a. labels or tags.) Clay Shirky on ontology, a bit old but an interesting and thoughtful piece.

In particular, I want to convince you that many of the ways we're attempting to apply categorization to the electronic world are actually a bad fit, because we've adopted habits of mind that are left over from earlier strategies.
True of pretty much everything (the iron horse, the horseless carriage, the horse-a-phone... no wait, not that last one) including the legal regimes we apply to new communication tech. It takes time for the paradigm to shift (this is a horseless carriage, it is still a carriage, versus, this is an auto-mobile).