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March 27, 2008


Great presentation, Richard. I'm still pondering your "New Laws" for library science ("Produce information in formats that machines can easily understand, in parallel, with formats that are human readable" and "Have a limited number of formats, keep them simple, and enable easy interchange of information"). While some structure will certainly help the machine process the content, it is also true that machine capacity is increasing faster than human intelligence. At some point I'm not sure if we will need to make it easier for machines. Would we quibble about the amount of time between now and then?

I guess I'm a bit of a cynic as machines that are better with natural language have been "just around the corner" for something like 20 years. So far, assuming the machine will be fast, but dumb, is a winning approach. That's what drives my advocacy of microformats as the way to break through this impasse in the short term.

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