If I had to read a series of books to approximate a good education on [[ontology]], from the ground up (I did two subjects in philosophy and philosophy of science ~18y ago, I remember little), what would that be?

Does the answer change if I'm interested mostly in [[information science]]? I did four years of computer science.

@flancian Actually, that wikipedia article and its "further readings" section isn't a bad place to start. Little bit old, but the basics are there. 👍 What are you planning to do with ontologies?

@chiasm thank you! Yes, I am an avid Wikipedia reader :) I love it and I try to essentially use it as a 'root node' when learning something. But a review of the article by someone more knowledgeable does wonders; I know that article quality can vary wildly (remembering this from when I was studying at university and reviewing Wikipedia articles together with literature).

@chiasm I am trying to develop the [[agora]], a distributed knowledge graph slash nerdy social network :)

For this purpose I want to learn more about what's out there w.r.t. organizing knowledge. I've been reading about RDF and existing projects in this space like Wikidata; but I don't have a holistic view of the discipline.

@flancian I saw you were struggling with Obsidian--my sweetie is doing the same, working with the different "note-taking" software that is out there. He's been complaining that none of it is quite right--either it's proprietary or it makes certain assumptions that don't quite fit what he wants to do. I've gotten an earful about the whole idea of Zettelkasten!! Isn't Obsidian closed-source?

@chiasm indeed it is! I started using it 1-2 months ago after my [[foam]] install ground to a halt; I was also interested in researching "easier to use" options to be able to recommend them to people who don't care as much (for now?) about closed/open source.

It's got many advantages, the biggest of which is its vibrant (open source) extension community. has more details.

@chiasm I'd like to recommend [[foam]] or [[logseq]] instead of [[obsidian]] but both have drawbacks currently.

@flancian That is fun to play with! I'll point him to it.

@flancian But isn't the point of these kinds of networks that you don't have to have an ontology? Ontologies tend to slow everything down, I find--or at least, developing them is an exercise in futility and frustration.

@chiasm indeed, that is my perception at least! But I've been engaging with people that believe otherwise / are more worried about "getting things right", and I'd like to understand their positions better.

Also, even if a design principle of the [[agora]] is to do without rigid abstractions and prefer optionality, I wonder if ontologies/taxonomies will become relevant as we seek to both construct meaning socially and interop with other systems.

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