Dublin Core as a “Switching Language”

I, until extremely recently, despised Dublin Core.  Hated it more than tricksy hobbitses.  I felt dumb using it, not in a “boy, I’m not using this properly” way, but in a “boy, this is only allowing me to write dumb stuff” way.  It seemed like an attempt to dumb down data for lazy people, and it didn’t work for that, because there is no way to out-lazy lazy.

If this can't be my librarian uniform, there is no justice
If this can’t be my librarian uniform, there is no justice

But page 234 of the Miller text set me back on track, and I am amazed at my new discovery as two young men from San Dimas introduced to time travel.  Dublin Core works really well as the last resort for metadata transfer.  It has the knack of being a “switching language” or “pidgin.”  These languages get business done in a friendly, “no-worries” fashion.  It understands that everyone here is a bit of a tourist, and if we can all be most excellent to each other, then that would not be heinous.  Simple communication always beats none at all.

Dublin Core as a “Switching Language”

3 thoughts on “Dublin Core as a “Switching Language”

  1. […] This example maps perfectly to knowledge in general. To “natural researchers,” information is simply a waypoint to knowledge, to authority over information. They want to know how things connect, how to examine “information maps” and navigate where they’ve never been, to be able to say where no one’s ever been. And while they have envisioned, and partially made, the system that says, “Oh, here are the best ten papers for your assignment,” or, “this is the tallest building in the world,” or, “here’s your A paper,” and they get the bills paid because other people really WANT that system, they long for the experience of standing in front of a library shelf that whispers, “Oh, this book next to the one you want? It’s kind of related, but not really. You should grab it anyways.” Not to mention the bookshelf on the other side of the room yelling, “I have useless stuff about Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure! Jam it into your paper because you CAN!” […]


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