Jul 212007
 

This is pretty powerful stuff. From the advent of science (well sort of real science but they had magic mixed in *laughs*) in the middle ages, humanity has been cataloguing the world slowly. It’s like we are little bots running around looking for similarities and differences, as a way of understanding how life works.

Then we put our findings in books which, guess what? we catalogue again. All those lists of lists, classifying, numbering, a place for everything and everything in its place. If you don’t understand that Dewey is the numbering system in libraries, wiki it?

Well, Wall Street Journal has an article:

Discord Over Dewey

A New Library in Arizona Fans a Heated Debate
Over What Some Call the ‘Googlization’ of Libraries

But it’s what’s missing from the library that has drawn the most attention: Perry abandoned the Dewey Decimal Classification System for its books, whose spines instead carry labels with plain-English subjects such as “history” and “weddings.” Instead of locating books by the traditional numerical system, patrons use a computerized catalog to find out which subject a book has been filed under, and then follow signs posted throughout the library. Many visitors skip the catalog altogether, and just head for the aisles that interest them.

It’s kinda hard for me to justify to you – instinct I guess. But this sort of change can be a tipping point. Not to imply that taxonomy doesn’t have a place – both are good – however, rigid taxonomy to tagging folksonomy is one way of interpreting this article. We stop rigidly defining the world according to other people’s – or even the collective- agenda and find our own language to assimilate what we are seeing, deciphering and understanding. A physical expression of an inner shift? Too much for a Sunday morning? Ok, I’ll go make us a cup of tea while you read the papers. :)

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