JoelNothman.com

22 June, 2008

Wikipedia categories ≠ ontology

Filed under: Wikipedia by Joel @ 2:07 pm, 22 June 2008.

I think I’m probably stating the obvious here. If we take a single trace of an article such as Tom Cruise through the category hierarchy in Wikipedia, we find out that he is merely a theory…

Tom Cruise1962 births1960s births20th century birthsBirths by yearPeopleHumansApesPrimatesMammalsVertebratesChordatesAnimalsEukaryotesOrganismsLifeCore issues in ethicsEthicsBranches of philosophyPhilosophyBeliefSpiritualityHuman behaviourBehaviourBranches of psychologyPsychologyInterdisciplinary fieldsAcademic disciplinesAcademiaEducationPersonal developmentPersonal lifeSelfMetaphysicsRealityPhilosophical conceptsPhilosophical terminologyTerminologyVocabularyLanguageCommunicationSocial psychologySocial philosophyPhilosophical movementsMovementsIdeologiesEpistemologyPhilosophy of scienceAnalytic philosophy20th century philosophy20th century2nd milleniumMilleniaYearsChronologyMeasurementScientific observationData collectionData managementComputer dataComputer storageComputer memoryDigital mediaDigital technologyElectronicsElectromagnetismSpecial relativityRelativityTheoretical physicsTheories → …

And yes, this isn’t completely irrelevant. It relates to my honours research work. It means that the Wikipedia category hierarchy is only useful as a folksonomy, or perhaps only for a very small hierarchical depth beneath each article…

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