Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fun thing

Playing tag: electrified with dread anticipation of being "it." To be "tagged," like in the childhood game of "Tag," meant a marking, a possible change of purpose, usually for the worst. Depending on the strain of chase game, getting tagged would result in freezing, melting, or singular villainhood or any other awful states that eroded a child's self esteem. As a child, getting tagged was a bad thing.
On the contrary, data without tags are lonely, floating, inaccessible. At this point, tagging is a dull yet thankful activity. If once chooses to tag their photos or emails, then they are really easier to find. Except that it is super boring and requires personal discipline, a well as the creation of a consistent system. Touted as an alternative to the hierarchal structure of data arrangements, tags allow for access in spite of origin. However, the current system is elementary and unaccessible-- the language of tagging (English for me)-- is a hierarchal system of object denotation. The countless connotations, denotations, semantic, spellings, origins, regionalities saddle these poor markers with meaning that the tagger and the retriever have no control over. Tagging using language, especially for images, is as successful as the crowds' empathy. Certain words imply information, and certain words have multiple meanings. Freeball tagging is both repetitive and misdirected.
Instead, the information each item contains should be linked to other items that are associated, thus tagging things with other things, thus each article is made entirely of associations. Like in your brain, your memories are constructed of images, supported by current smells and visual cues, but you only have so many senses, and every moment is constructed from the same tools of perception, thus, having a similarity of origin. Let us do away with words.
Like every article of data is composed of so many items, let us go in the opposite direction of metadata, and look at the item as the composite, and use the blocks that build it to link them. A picture is a collection of geonic information. Let us get down to the bits, we already know they come in four categories.
I would say the bottom line right now is that data items are not a single item. The metadata constructs the data. Imagine the system in reverse.