trajectory of categories

I’m doing a little experiment with Wikipedia. More on that later. In this post, lemme introduce a quick theory on the evolution of our understanding and use of emerging technologies. In the future, I'll superimpose it onto Gartner’s hype cycle, but for now, a brief description:

The manner in which we understand and use emerging technologies undergoes a trajectory of categories, from binary --> spectrum --> typology --> promiscuous pragmatic pluralism. Take hyperlinks for example. Search engines currently look for whether or not a site has links (binary: yes or no). But there's increasing talk of link strength (spectrum: weaker <--> stronger). And a semantic web would require search engines to understand the type of link between pages (typology: different types). Applied to links between people, Facebook, with its “How do you know [insert name]?” feature, is attempting to elaborate a "social graph"* based on the type of link between people. Other examples are hanging out in the comments.

Ultimately, as we climb the slope of enlightenment towards the plateau of productivity in Gartner’s hype cycle, it won’t be that a typological approach is inherently better than a binary one, but a matter of when to use which type of categorization (promiscuous pragmatic pluralism). Humanifesto on ppp to come...

*Fight for the survival of "social graph" on Wikipedia. It automatically re-directs to "social network," which is why I had to create an entry for social graphs in the plural. If you talk and discuss, Wikipedians might let it be. But if you wait too long, it might just be left gathering dust in history. Yes, this is part of my experiment with Wikipedia that I'll someday post about.