Friday, May 20, 2005

Pin The Tail On the Folksonomy!!

What do you get when you combine the word
'folk' to the word ‘taxonomy?’ Wow!!! You are such a genius. Yes, that’s right you’d get the word folksonomy. There has been recent talk of the nature of folksonomy, what is it? And whatever it is, will it work to benefit me, my aunt or even my pet hamster? (I was joking about the hamster). Or, is it just some ridiculous word constructed by a bow-tie wearing Harvard graduate who tends to make shit up in order to sound smart? Ok. Enough on the bashing, let’s get down to business. What exactly is folksonomy?
Folksonomy is actually derived from the anthropological study of “folk taxonomies” that became popular in the 60’s. Dr. Alfred Rosenberger defines folk taxonomy as “not only the historical root of modern biological classification, it is also crucially important to modern research scientists, who often rely on traditional knowledge when investigating native species.” In other words, folk taxonomy is a method that’s used to classify species. Get that? So, a couple years ago a blogger named Thomas Vander Wal (I shall call him T-Wal) decided to steal this classification concept and apply it to the tagging and classification systems that are used by many social networking systems on the internet.
Side Note- Just to clear things up, I have no idea if T-Wal is really a Harvard alum. I don’t know if the guy has ever been to Massachusetts. However, by the sound of his name I have a hunch that he does wear clip on bow-ties.

Anyway, getting back to folksonomy. Folksonomy therefore represents a certain social classification of data. Because there is so much information streaming through the Web, it is vital for this information to be categorized systematically. A systemized plan in organizing this data cuts significant time in the research process. In this method of info classification, people obtain the freedom to express language in the manner they want making certain words of the language entirely unique to them. I really enjoyed my friend Danielle’s example of the “muumuu” to describe a word that classifies a particular looking shirt. With out Danielle telling me (mainly because I see her wearing a muumuu all the time), I can already associate her definition of a “muumuu” and can therefore use it to categorize similar info into a group or context.

To be honest, I don’t really know what the future of folksonomy will bring. There is a possibility that it could disorganize the already disorganized information that we receive through the Web. This would suck. I hope there is a thriving future for folksonomies. I wish people knew more about them so we can see where it could all head. Mainly, I hope it cuts out at least five minutes to the obsessive hours I spend researching ridiculous topics on the Web.

Monday, April 11, 2005


My ipod broke randomly. With out it I am a lunatic. It has become a huge part of my life I need someone to help me find my sanity again!!! I can't afford another one so if anyone is willing to join a promotion in honor of my loss I will take you out for drinks!



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Them Good Ol' Days

Before I get into the content of the Intro and first chapter of The Cluetrain Manifesto, I must take a bit of time to hype up the author. The writer behind this interesting piece is a man named Christopher Locke and one, I believe of impeccable genius. Sure his ideas are shared by many, but the man delivers his argument differently than most. I call him a genius because he actually inspires me to read every word and cuts the ridiculously pretentious vocabulary and mumbo-jumbo bullshit that is presented in most works by high-end scholars. To that alone I sing “Halleluiah!” at the top of my lungs.

In almost everything that Locke says, I think he has great points!! I applaud Locke’s writing skills though I really think he should step into the field of comic commentary. In addition, I agree with my good friend Danielle, who acknowledges that Locke’s intelligent sense of humor and sarcasm contribute significantly to the success of his argument. This is why I have to jump the gun on Julia who believes that Locke’s over-zealous use of language did not parallel his technical ideas. Sorry girl, but I think that the author wrote in this way to even make a further point: that anything, no matter what topic, and of whatever nature can be presented with humor. Locke’s toy with life and death is tended to be taken more figuratively and he is definitely over-dramatizing his ideas for a very clear and specific reason: One, to not bore us and two, to do exactly what you did Julie, that is make us question how we live our lives. He is over-dramatic and needs to be because people don’t get it otherwise. I'm not trying to be a bitch you did have some really good points.

Locke is right. Even though we are not living under a totalitarian government we are living under totalitarian business. Locke’s critique against big businesses and their obsession to maintain control by rejecting change and preserving traditional custom is not a new one. George Orwell even brushes up on this sort of idea in his novel 1984. Both works propose that we have become mindless, dependent and robotic forms of society whose belittled purpose is to only serve and produce more funds for our Big Brother- the deep-voiced fat cats in the designer suits. With the ultimate success of command and control (I am laughing as I write this) we have become these pathetic puppets and the ones controlling our strings are the ones draped in Versace. Command and control has created a world with in the workplace much how I envision purgatory to be- that actually might even be a bit optimistic, more like how I envision hell to be. Anyway, I must not get beside myself. I have a mission to elucidate my response to Locke’s argument:

The future business of businesses that have a future will be about subtle differences, not wholesale conformity; about diversity, not homogeneity; about breaking rules, not enforcing them; about pushing the envelope, not punching the clock; about invitation, not protection; about doing it first, not doing it "right"; about making it better, not making it perfect; about telling the truth, not spinning bigger lies; about turning people on, not "packaging" them; and perhaps above all, about building convivial communities and knowledge ecologies, not leveraging demographic sectors.

Locke emphasizes in his introduction that since the beginning of civilization we (man that is) have been obsessed with storytelling. He goes on to describe how the marketplace has been replaced by the factory and as a result our storytelling skills now suck and the essence of community has been lost. It is true, since the “factory” took over, and I use the word factory to represent all corporate business, a lot has become lost in the need to establish control and make money. The workplace has made life become utterly tedious, utterly boring and utterly restricting. I would rather be burned at the stake than become an anonymous grey blazer wearing employee who hides in a cubby hole and whose highlight of the day is drinking cheap coffee. I promise myself that I will not die with out my voice being heard! And, I will not by any means die bored and wishing that I would have given the fat-cat the finger! I thought we live in the home of the free? That Francis Key guy who wrote the Star Spangled Banner was a real idiot! Today, no one is free unless you are the corporate head-honcho, the president or God. It has gotten to be totally ridiculous that in being different one will lose their job. You might as well JUST SHOOT ME !!!

In his novel, Locke stresses that we, the common-folk, have become the product of business. I definitely agree. Though if this is true, what do we do? How do we hold onto the little humanity we have left? Locke suggests that we turn our faith towards the internet. I hesitate at first, though I think Locke has a great idea that in embracing the internet and using it to connect with other people again, maybe we can save ourselves. The internet, for one, is the one place where we have “complete” freedom. We can voice whatever opinion and express it with such vigor and crass language as we desire. Locke says that not only does the internet allow us to speak freely, start telling stories again like in the good ol' days, voicing our opinions and beliefs for all to hear. Locke presents this obscure irony that the internet will one day help us to become human again. It might be too soon to tell though I really hope this man will turn out to be right, for it has been such a long time since I heard a really good story.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


In the essay “Unmade in America- the True Cost of the Global Assembly Line,” I can not help but discern that the root of many of the manufacturing problems and corporation flux is due to American idealism. Since our nation was founded, Americans have prided themselves as competitive innovators. When Americans get an idea, they take the steps towards fulfilling it, even if it means immediately putting all the apples in one barrel instead of strategizing. Recently, many American based corporations have created strategizing modules to monitor the organizational patterns. The idea to “exercise authority and direction over assigned forces in the accomplishment of a mission” is the Command and Control Theory. The essay goes on to explain how in order to integrate more organization into the core of American manufacturing and production is by integrating the Command and Control Theory with in the companies themselves.

The vast progression in mass media has also provided several opportunities that broaden the use of the communication system with in American based companies. With the emergence of new technology, corporations have used it to better control business productivity. In addition, the content of mass media has begun to influence the consumer directly. With out taking into consideration the effects of globalization can Americans comprehend the effects of outsourcing. The more developed and industrial nations thrive on the globalization spread, while others are cataclysmically sinking from it. Outsourcing provides employment, tourism, and to some extent economic and social security.

I believe that at this point, the spread of globalization is vital in the process of cultural creation amongst the most developed nations and outsourcing is vital in the process of economic and social reform for the less developed nations. As technology changes with in the developed nations, the essence of culture changes along with it. For example, when we think what defines American culture today McDonald’s, MTV, and Bruce Springsteen come to mind. Danielle addresses the issue that Americans do not know what is good and bad for them. Because of our indecisive nature, we can not come to determine how beneficial or detrimental outsourcing is to America’s economy. Lyndsey, also brings up an interesting topic of modern publications that are in print for Americans to follow the specific patterns of corporate off shoring and outsourcing.

For some, outsourcing is merely a facet of the globalization process. Some believe it is a great thing while other’s believe it is Americanizing the nations we are employing to manufacture our products. It is true that America is defined by its products. It is also true that the certain norms of individualism and consumerism saturate the export of Western media products which in turn, conflict with traditional values of other nations resulting in the slow destruction of other cultures and values. However, in order to remain head and head with our competitors (specifically China), outsourcing appears to be the most logical solution. During this time it is the cheapest, most beneficial and most convenient form of production and manufacturing known to man.

Monday, February 28, 2005


Before I retire for the day, I must discuss with whom ever is interested the topic of HYPOCHONDRIASIS. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines hypochondria or rather hypochondriasis as "morbid concern about one's health especially when accompanied by delusions of physical disease". Due to the dreadful, bitter and frozen winter months people all over are coming down with some sort of bug. Some people are battling the sniffles and are convinced that they are battling an intense case of sinusitis. Other's like my dear friend Danielle believes that her slight whooping cough is surely chronic bronchitis. Being a frequent client of this sort of diagnosis, I immediately advise her to stop her life and seek professional aid. Quit school, quit work, quit late night drinking and deciding you are too drunk that you have to go home early. Who knows the slight whoop might turn into something more dramatic like tuberculosis or even a modern strand of the bubonic plague!! Quarantine yourself. Invest in the albuterol inhaler. Research a high strength steroid likeprednisone. I really hope that you have none of the above. Despite my deep empathy towards your condition, however, I ask you to please not call me under any circumstances to run to your apartment with Gracie's chicken noodle soup and a mango.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Students far and wide

I'm watching the Adventures of Pippi Longstocking right now. I have discovered that she is definately my idol. She doesn't care about what other people think of her. She does what she wants when she wants to do it and always has fun. Totally unrealistic suggestion, but I think everyone's life should be a life much like that of Pippi Longstocking.
I'm so hungry right now. I had raisen bran but that doesn't fill me up. What I would do to a turtle cheesecake right now? Ummmmmmmmmm.......Oh, ya that's right I can't have cheesecake because I can't even afford to live right now. Yesterday, I had to borrow two dollars from a friend to take the bus. That's so pathetic! Speaking of ADD, Lindsey , I clearly have it as well. Except Northwestern University does tests on me because it is so bad. My sister and I were once paid $250 dollars an hour so they could follow our crazy brainwaves. I know I sound psychiotic, nope not me just severely distracted in everything I do.
Danielle, I thank you so much for helping me with my post. You are such a rock star!

whats with it?

I consider myself a warm, open and adventurous person. I believe in my heart that I am caring and considerate. I am ambitious, dedicated, and funny. So why do men consistantly feel the need to !#%$ me over? I don't get it. I am not trying to make this some Sex in the City clip. How cliche. Right? But this has been on my mind. Why is it so hard to find someone you like who is just NORMAL but not at the same time? It has gotten so bad recently that after coming home late one night drunk and lonely, that I charged $50 on my credit card to sign up to an online dating service known as
e-harmony. I can't believe I have stooped so low. I know that there are thousands of people who use these services in hopes of finding true love, though I never thought I would be one of them. I know I will be dealing with utter humiliation exploiting myself in this ridiculous fashion. Though it feels good to talk. Even though I am only talking to a computer.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I tripped and fell down the stairs today and my patellas are extremely bruised.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

First Post

I like to shop on ebay.