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The web is poorly organized only if you accept a Top-Down hierarchy - the Relational Data Model being the best known, perhaps - as the paradigm for Knowledge-bases. The web, as Information-Source/Storage, has a high degree of sophistication, nuance and flexibility.  

What is wrong with the web are the inane Information Retrieval (sic) methods, as you point-out.  Google is barely tolerable and only tolerable because everything else is even worse.  Of the vaunted alternatives XML is a joke: a computer-based natural language processing system completely relying on a human to process the natural language input into the system.  How's that again?  And the great Semantic Web? ...  pull-eeze spare me.

Crack the InfoRet problem and the world is gravy.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 26th, 2007 at 07:27:53 PM EST
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What can organization mean if not a means to aid retrieval?

The web is poorly organized because it maintains no distinction between Works and Bullshit. Nor does it have any concept of a Work, only of a "web page" which is a completely artificial construct.

If you put a novel online, there's no way to specify, in its full generality, in a machine-readable manner, that the novel is a single, individual Work. Instead, you must trawl through individual archives to specify this to each one, each in its own unique manner. This is called "posting the novel" and it is tedious.

The inability to search through all, for example, scientific works and ONLY scientific works, is a liability. So is the inability to specify a search through works which you have already read. Nor by their publication dates.

by richardk (richard kulisz gmail) on Sat Jan 27th, 2007 at 04:05:14 AM EST
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