David Weinberger of Everything is Miscellaneous fame writes about a talk by Steve Pepper on Topic Maps in his blog. He seems to endorse the claim that there is something wrong with the "document-centric" approach that characterizes much of the thinking and praxis of knowledge management. We should become more "subject-centric" because "documents are about subjects. Subjects exist as concepts in our brains. They’re connected by a network of associations. Docs are how we happen to capture and communicate ideas. “Hypertext has been barking up the wrong tree” ever since the memex. ... We should be organizing information around topics/subjects, not around documents."
Topic maps are also said to "reflect the way we think."
I am not sure that this is true. Perhaps topic maps reflect one of the ways we think, perhaps they reflect some of the implicit presuppositions of the way we think, but perhaps they do nothing of the sort and simply reflect what some people have thought. But I will have to think about it.