Tuesday, September 11, 2007

one-man's-food dept.

Begin Rant.

I confess. My favorite hobby when I have nothing better to do is to desultorily surf random articles on Wikipedia.

But there is something deeply unsatisfying about wikipedia to me these days. It is the flat nature of the material, the lack of dimensionality. Dimensionality which is ubiquitous, so pervasive in real life. If I ask three students at my university about which courses to take, I get three different responses, all sometimes orthogonal, all equally rich and useful at the same time. One gets the feeling this is how information really is -- a dynamic, shifty, multi-colored and shape-shifting animal.

Wikipedia does not model information about the real world accurately enough, I feel, because the underlying assumption is that we all see the world in the same way. That's not true at all, the human model of the world is also highly modulated by experience -- subjective, in plain English.

Wikipedia has no room for subjectivity, in fact it marks it to be a bad thing. That's simply ridiculous because that means it consciously chooses to leave out a lot of useful information that could add more dimensionality about the data.

This is true of all information repositories -- they leave no room for annotations by people, showing the subjective dimension of that information.

I would like documents to evolve in the future to encapsulate subjectivity somehow, retain it, possess the ability to have annotations and notes, and the ability to still present a navigable interface to the reader.

In that sense sites like slashdot provide a much richer information view with comments on articles etc. But there's no site that allows a wiki-like model to the recording of subjective information.

End Rant.

1 comment:

P said...

ok what do you think about this website: