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five weeks to foaf

Today Immuexa agreed to sponsor the First Workshop on FOAF, Social Networking, and the Semantic Web, being held in Galway, Ireland, in early September. We’re making “FOAF Bingo”, a website game that hopefully will get people uploading photos and annotating using FOAF, much in the same spirit as w3photo.org, only in a somewhat more arbitrary and ridiculous way. I’ll write more about it in the next post.

Tonight, my mind’s on Ireland, having never been there myself. I’m roughly half-Irish, given that my father’s mother (King) and my mother’s father (Brady) were Irish. My grandma was born and raised there, which a while back entitled me to Irish citizenship, though someone told me that’s no longer the case. My father’s father (Falconer) was from Edinburgh, Scotland, which I visited a few years back. I’ve also to been to Germany (my mom’s mom was a Steinbauer). Ireland’s the last on my list, and in many ways the most significant.

In most of America, ancestral heritage is as important as eye color. You’re told what you are, but it rarely defines you. Where I grew up, next to New York City, it’s very different, particularly for Irish, Italian, and Jewish descendents. Being Irish isn’t just about wearing Green on Saint Patrick’s Day, particulary for first and second generation Americans.

So I’m staying the week, though the workshop is two days. There’s some threads of my story on that island I’d like to find, some suspicions I’ve found in Joyce or Yeats, or the occassional Irish dance at weddings.

It seems my semweb travels are following the Gulf Stream from island to island … first Sanibel, then Manhattan, then Ireland … my history in reverse. Japan‘s also an island, but in another ocean. We’ll see 🙂

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