Maybe I don’t listen to the radio often enough, but I just heard an ad on some station promoting a new book by quoting only reviews people left on Amazon.com. Has a study or even just a survey been done to get a feel for how many people actually care where the review comes from? Maybe I should start one…
There’s a Facebook group called “Campaign to Rename Our Moon.” The group’s founder wants to change the name because “the moon” is kind of boring. A friend and I talked about the idea and I was arguing in support of it, really only half seriously, but I was trying to stress the importance of applying consistent naming rules, that are scalable, so that it makes sense to more people than only the people we know or could know (and to computers), and in situations we can’t conceive of. (The conversation ended with parallel universes.) Especially in text, the fact that the moon, a specific thing, shares the same word with what we could call everything else like it (other moons) really bugs me. At first I thought, we might not always have the context necessary to distinguish between “the moon” and the moon (of another planet).
It got me thinking about linked data, and the effort to include library catalogs, and how, in an environment in which things are more precisely identifiable because of its relativity to everything else, rather than in spite of it, we might not have to worry about the confusion our moon’s name might cause in a future we can’t see. On the Internet, linked data can provide that context all the time.
Of course, that future might not involve the Internet at all.
A library in Utah enlisted the arms and spirit of a human chain of 300 volunteers to move 50,000 books from an old building to a new one. Would your supervisors scoff at an idea like this?
I can’t help but think of barrels rolling down the stairs and an irate gorilla at the top level.