Looking for solid foundations

Peter Merholz writes an exceptionally good response to Clay Shirky’s Ontology is Overrated.

Clay’s whole argument predicates a black-and-white distinction between evil hierarchy on one side and good tags on the other… And while Clay is right to question hierarchy, and, particularly, Yahoo’s less-than-optimal use of it, he neglects to distinguish truly useful forms of professionally-created classification and categorization, which undermines his argument. (He continues to set tags against folders-and-hierarchies, as if there are no other ways of classifying information. Sigh.)

Excellent secondary commentary based on this essay from Jamie Pitts and Mark Bernstein.

I will no longer respond to a Shirky essay, regardless of the topic. I will, though, highlight those who do, and do such a good job of it.

(Thanks to Dave for the heads up to Mark’s entry.)

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