Forgotten Forefather: Paul Otlet

I enjoyed reading Alex Wrights article, Forgotten Forefather: Paul Otlet. The fact that Otlet coined the term “links” to describe the relationship between related pieces of information really drove home for me the importance of his web of human knowledge and his innovative thinking. I also found it interesting that Wright brought up Borges’ Library of Babel in relation to Otlet’s Universal Book. As I was reading the article on Otelt the Library of Babel also came into my mind. This story paints the idea of having a “book” that contains all of the information known to people as so impossible that it drives men mad. However, Otlet had the foresight to envision a kind of database that serves the same purpose. Although I suppose the world wide web does not contain all of human knowledge, it come pretty close. The problem we have today is in organizing this information.


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