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FOAF is one kind of filter. Given some queries, you need multiple
filters. The simple answer is exactly that: given a
domain of untrusted information, how, what and when one sorts.
It depends on the purpose of the querying agent and
the application of the information.
The example of Edd's "len rating" is a good example of someone
creating a personal filter for ranking when something is of
immediate interest vs deferred interest. If Tim Bray writes it,
he reads it immediately. If Len Bullard writes it, he stashes it.
That Edd published the rating prominently on xml.com is FOAF at scale. If
he had wanted to make it more useful, he could have published an
FOAF digest which ranked a week of XML-Dev by articles contributed
and then ranked threads by contributors, links to articles by
contributors, and so on.
But FOAF isn't enough. There are articles written by people with whom
you have no contact and for which you have no personal references.
The problem is FOAF is the Fox Network (if you are conservative) or
CNN (if you are liberal).
The hard one is evidence chains. Go to court and pull out
your FOAF files. M. Jackson is doing that. His friends are
famous and therefore persuasive. This is one reason courts
in the West are purposely adversarial. In fact, it might be
interesting to have bots that can take the results of a query
and break the returns down into adversarial arguments to handle
the non-monotonic aspects devoid of persons who wrote them.
But when a chain of factual evidence is established, it will rely on
verification, traceability, multiple sources, and logical consistency.
Aggregators are just aggregators. A link is not a virus and
a tipping point is not reached through a simple numeric threshold
(that is what is wrong with pure connectionist philosophies based
on simplified notions of power laws).
It is the filters you want to be cognizant of
which can include the aggregating query (see example:
"anyword" + "definition") or the FOAF rankings.
The strength of the vector is important but it has an
application context. FOAF is one that may or may not
For a system such as the one described in the original
article, traceability is far more important because opinions
don't matter. That is why property/evidence systems have
scrupulous chain of custody requirements.
From: Nathan Young [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
When filtering articles you want to be able to say "show me only articles
that have been tagged as accurate by people I trust"
Establishing the reliability of the source is the first part of the