Weekly Response Alana Mohamed

Weekly Response Alana MohamedWright’s description of Paul Otlet’s system paints him as an innovative mind who intuited the power of linked data in a social space. Rayward’s article provides even more context of his system by discussing the implicit biases and problems with the often utilized Dewey Decimal System. The first idea of Otlet’s that was impressive to me was his idea of creating a social space for information. While Dewey’s system places information in hierarchies, Otlet’s UCD system outlines multiple horizontal relationships between information. I was surprised at how easily I understood the UCD system, though I certainly can imagine there would be some conflict deciding if something what a “philosophy” or a “science.” I suppose that’s the point of these articles, to point to the ways knowledge is constantly in flux. Organizing knowledge seems to mean constantly changing, or at the very least, operating within a classification system that allows for change. Wright’s description of Paul Otlet’s system paints him as an innovative mind who intuited the power of linked data in a social space. Rayward’s article provides even more context of his system by discussing the implicit biases and problems with the often utilized Dewey Decimal System. The first idea of Otlet’s that was impressive to me was his idea of creating a social space for information. While Dewey’s system places information in hierarchies, Otlet’s UCD system outlines multiple horizontal relationships between information. I was surprised at how easily I understood the UCD system, though I certainly can imagine there would be some conflict deciding if something what a “philosophy” or a “science.” I suppose that’s the point of these articles, to point to the ways knowledge is constantly in flux. Organizing knowledge seems to mean constantly changing, or at the very least, operating within a classification system that allows for change.

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