Transformations vs. the Semantic Web
Always bottom-up, not top-down
Acknowledging and encouraging local control over transformations to and from 'my' vocabularies, owned by organizations and individuals, should encourage tinkering, refinement, and the occasional bad idea. 'More eyes on the problem' doesn't always work, but it often helps if the eyes aren't in the same room.
Giving up on the dream of universal meaning
Trying to fix the meaning of 'tomatoes' by reference to a USDA standard (mentioned a few times at XML 2000) doesn't work so well for those with different ideas from USDA, and they may not all be rabid anti-genetic-modification agitators.
Keeping humans in the loop
While computers are certainly more and more important in business, and they can be enormously efficient, human processes have demonstrated their worth as well. Unless we want to move into AI through the 'controlled vocabularies' route, humans will remain important arbiters and creators of meaning.
Leaving semantics under the control of individuals
Ultimately, what happens to a message is under the control of its recipient, not a repository explaining the message and offering conversion facilities.
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