Diane Hillmann and I wrote an article called "Resource Description and Access: Cataloging for the 20th Century." It is a critique of what is being developed as the successor to the current library cataloging rules. I'm posting this here primarily to provide a place for comments... so feel free to comment, criticize, add to, or simply vent. Note that I have to approve comments so there will be some delay, and something of an interruption at times due to my ALA schedule.
Also check out the article in the same issue of D-Lib by Karen Markey. One of her points is similar to what Diane and I say, which is that it may be time to de-emphasize descriptive cataloging (at least for regularly published materials) and put that energy into better subject access. Markey suggests adding tables of contents and index terms to records, and developing ranking algorithms to help get the most appropriate material in front of users. Some of what she suggests I would put under the heading of "context" -- categories like reader level vis-a-vis the topic (beginner, expert), general topic area (science, history).