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robertogreco : classification   50

Scientists Still Can't Decide How to Define a Tree - The Atlantic
"So far, there is no standout gene or set of genes that confers tree-ness, nor any particular genome feature. Complexity? Nope: Full-on, whole-genome duplication (an often-used proxy for complexity) is prevalent throughout the plant kingdom. Genome size? Nope: Both the largest and smallest plant genomes belong to herbaceous species (Paris japonica and Genlisea tuberosa, respectively—the former a showy little white-flowered herb, the latter a tiny, carnivorous thing that traps and eats protozoans).

A chat with Neale confirms that tree-ness is probably more about what genes are turned on than what genes are present. “From the perspective of the genome, they basically have all the same stuff as herbaceous plants,” he said. “Trees are big, they’re woody, they can get water from the ground to up high. But there does not seem to be some profound unique biology that distinguishes a tree from a herbaceous plant.”

Notwithstanding the difficulty in defining them, being a tree has undeniable advantages—it allows plants to exploit the upper reaches where they can soak up sunlight and disperse pollen and seeds with less interference than their ground-dwelling kin. So maybe it’s time to start thinking of tree as a verb, rather than a noun—tree-ing, or tree-ifying. It’s a strategy, a way of being, like swimming or flying, even though to our eyes it’s happening in very slow motion. Tree-ing with no finish in sight—until an ax, or a pest, or a bolt of Thanksgiving lightning strikes it down."
biology  botany  classification  trees  2018  verbs  rachelehrenberg  plants  science  genetics  multispecies  wood  longevity  andrewgroover  ronaldlanner  evolution  davidneale  genomes  complexity 
april 2018 by robertogreco
ToBoldlyGo | dovewithscales: hyratel: dovewithscales: ...
"Mammals both produce milk and have hair. Ergo, a coconut is a mammal.

I know you’re being facetious, but this is an actual issue with morphology-based phylogeny.

*leans over and whispers to person beside me* what are they talking about

*leans over and whispers back* Human ability to quantify and categorize natural phenomena is sketchy at best and wildly misleading at worst

consider the coconut

this reminds me of that time Plato defined humans as “featherless bipeds” and Diogenes ran in with a plucked chicken screaming “BEHOLD A MAN!”

i love how you say “it reminds me of that time” like you were there.

listen if an immortal feels brave and supported enough to come out we should respect them

This post is a journey

1 Reblog = 1 Respect

I maintain that humans started attempting classify animals, and some god or another made the platypus, and is still laughing.

Zeus: *hits joint* okay so like. It’s gonna have a duck bill right. But an otter body okay? And then a beaver tail. It’s a mammal. But. It lays eggs!

Hades: wait wait dude. Give it. Give it poison. Make it poisonous

Athena: You mean venomous, and make sure the eggs have both reptile and bird traits.

Hermes: *takes the joint* Give it extra senses.

Poseidon: It should be aquatic.

I MEAN where’s the lie

Demeter: … And where exactly do you expect me to put this?

Everyone: Australia."

[via: https://twitter.com/chappelltracker/status/929779247501266944 ]
humor  animals  taxonomy  classification  phylogeny  morphology  tumblr  greekmyths  platypus  coconuts 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Why Are the Scientists Who Classify Life So Mean to Their Dead?
"The open nature of the science of classification virtually guarantees fights."



"Taxonomy, the art and science of classifying life, really should be a civilized pursuit. It encourages solitude, concentration, care. It rewards a meticulous attention to detail. And while it might occasionally receive some good-natured ribbing from the popular culture—think of all those butterfly collectors stumbling around in Far Side cartoons—it continues to play a vital role at the foundations of modern biology.

It can come as a bit of a surprise, then, when that veneer of civilization cracks, and the field reveals itself to be one of the more contentious arenas in science, a place where arguments over names and classifications rage through the literature for decades. This is both a strength, as challenges to current classification keep the field dynamic and relevant, and an expression of its hardwired vulnerabilities."



"More than twenty years too late for his scientific reputation, and after having done an amount of injury to entomology almost inconceivable in its immensity, Francis Walker has passed from among us.”

Walker’s two-page obituary, in the November 1874 issue of the Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine, sits between a short research note (“Emmelesia unifasciata three years in the pupa state”) and some words on the passing of William Lello (“He leaves a considerable collection of Lepidoptera ...”). Written anonymously, it pulled no punches when it came to the late taxonomist’s legacy: The vast majority of the tens of thousands of new species he proposed were “objects of derision for all conscientious entomologists.” More than once, the obituarist referred to Walker’s work simply as the “evil.”

And yet, the man’s career had begun with promise. His first work, a well-regarded study of the tiny wasps known as chalcidids, had “marked an era in the study of its subject.” Despite considerable inherited wealth, he longed for a permanent position at one of Britain’s major collections. When that position failed to materialize, Walker, “in an unlucky moment,” instead took up the first in a long series of contract appointments cataloging insects for the British Museum.

This is where the trouble began. Moving from drawer to drawer through the collection, Walker took it upon himself to describe what he believed to be thousands of new species in virtually all major groups of insects, a task requiring skills far beyond what he, or anyone else, possessed. “The result,” the obituarist wrote, “was what might have been expected. The work was done mechanically: ‘new genera and species’ were erected in the most reckless manner ...” Through a Rafinesquean combination of industry and incompetence, the humble Englishman had begun to single-handedly wreak havoc on the classification of the world’s insects.

As Walker published more and more dubious names, in wider and wider groups, the entomological establishment grew ever louder in its condemnation. By the time he had exhausted most of the major insect orders, his once considerable “entomological reputation [had been] worn to shreds.” Walker, however, “appeared to be utterly indifferent to anything that could be hurled at him ... In his social relations he was amiability itself ...” When he died, at 65, the entomological community mourned the gentle soul who had walked the halls of the British Museum, but also let out a collective sigh of relief. “We earnestly hope,” the obituarist added, “that never again will it fall to us, nor to our successors in entomological journalism, to have to write such an obituary notice as this.”

But Walker’s name wouldn’t be the last to live in taxonomic infamy. In fact, his obituary seems downright tactful beside Claude Morley’s note, from 1913, on the death of Peter Cameron, an infamous describer of Central American insects.

“Peter Cameron is dead, as was announced by most of the halfpenny papers on December 4th. What can we say of his life? Nothing; for it concerns us in no way. What shall we say of his work? Much, for it is entirely ours, and will go down to posterity as probably the most prolific and chaotic output of any individual for many years past.”

Cameron, a Scottish amateur with a penchant for Central American insects, left a legacy that echoed for decades. Fifty years after his death, Richard Bohart, a taxonomist at the University of California Davis, would reiterate that the entomologist’s “work was careless, his descriptions poor, his locality data were often vague or omitted, his generic assignments were characteristically erroneous and contradictory, and he eschewed illustrations.” Despite all that, or perhaps because of it, Bohart wound up with the thankless task of sorting through Cameron’s North American contributions to a small group of wasps known as the Odynerini. Of the hundred or so names Cameron proposed within the group, almost all, Bohart found, were invalid.

Meanwhile, modern taxonomy has its own outliers. In 2006, over 50 scientists signed an open letter to the administration of the University of Utrecht protesting the work of one Dewanand Makhan, an amateur entomologist who frequently listed the university as his institutional affiliation. (Makhan was a contract employee at the university’s herbarium, and not a member of the academic staff; his publications now list a personal address.)

“For many years,” they wrote, “Dr. Makhan has been a growing threat to taxonomy and zoological nomenclature, publishing a large number of new genera and species in groups as wide ranging as beetles, spiders, and gastropods. These publications are uniformly poor in quality and scholarship.” A group of ant experts put it more bluntly: A 2007 publication by Makhan, they wrote, was “one of the most inadequate papers that has ever been produced in ant taxonomy.”

Makhan’s descriptions are notoriously short on detail. In place of clear scientific diagrams, he illustrates much of his work with blurry, out-of-focus photographs. Most frustrating to fellow entomologists, many of Makhan’s “new” species are instantly recognizable, at least to them, as already described insects. Despite numerous articles and blog posts on the so-called “Makhan problem,” new publications continue to appear, most in a small Australian journal without a traditional peer-review process. (As recently as last year, Makhan described a new species of waterbeetle, Desmopachria barackobamai—named, of course, for the 44th president of the United States.)


The story is a familiar one, but with a modern twist. That’s because the growth of so-called “vanity journals”—publications that look to all appearances like mainstream scientific outlets, but lack rigorous peer-review—has produced new avenues for what some have taken to calling “taxonomic vandalism.” As traditional boundaries between experts and amateurs dissolve in the face of digital publishing, more opportunities than ever exist for novel voices in science, journalism, and politics. Unfortunately, these opportunities come at a cost, as a growing tide of information challenges the discriminatory abilities of scientists and lay readers alike.

While discussions underway now could revise the Codes to include stricter controls on which publications count for classificatory changes, many taxonomists are wary of doing anything that might deter amateur contributions. With so many species left to discover, and with existential threats to biodiversity looming, they realize the field needs as much help as it can get.

In the struggle to balance its highest ideals with its unruliest practicioners, taxonomy teaches us an enduring lesson about science as a whole. While we like to think of that enterprise as an antidote to fallibility—a way of seeing that seeks, through meticulous care and relentless examination, to minimize our tendency toward error—it remains fundamentally, inescapably human. Somewhere in between is where real progress happens."
science  taxonomy  anselpayne  biology  2016  biodiversity  franciswalker  entomology  williamlello  claudemorley  petercameron  richardbohart  dewanandmakhan  amateurs  fallability  humans  zoology  constantinerafinesque  asagray  classification  taxonomists  iczn  naming  names  nomenclature  edmerrill 
april 2016 by robertogreco
The Taxonomy of Candy - YouTube
"In our previous video 'What is a Species?,' we talked about the many ways scientists approach classifying organisms. So, I thought it'd be fun to get a few scientists from The Field Museum to apply their taxonomic know-how on something we're all familiar with: candy! How would you have organized these various confections?

This experiment in classification can be used with anything from pasta, to cell phones, beverages, cereals... seriously, start asking your friends and family if they think Pepsi and Coca-Cola are synonymous species, or similar via convergent evolution, and you're sure to have a lively Tuesday night.

Thanks to Drs Olivier Rieppel, Janet Voight, Margaret Thayer, and Larry Heaney for entertaining this very serious topic."
taxonomy  classification  candy  food  2016  science  fieldmuseum  olivierrieppel  janetvoight  margaretthayer  larryheaney 
april 2016 by robertogreco
The Internet Of Things And Things. | MORNING, COMPUTER
"The term “Internet Of Things” is a desperate attempt to make a pointer for a field that barely exists yet.  We do this a lot these days.  We use the word “television” to point at a field of industry that doesn’t particularly use television sets anymore.  We use the word “telephone” for a class of mobile devices that we very rarely use telephonically anymore.  And we act like the term “Internet Of Things” makes sense for the field we’re trying to define.  And, unless the modern internet was originally biological in nature, it was always an internet of things.  I always got my internet out of boxes of various kinds.  Didn’t you?  If you think Internet of Things is a good name, did you previously obtain your connection through whalesong or echolocation?  Did you pour Soylent on your Internet Lobe to get online?  Did you send your packets by raven? It’s always been an internet of things, and those people have never been any good at naming stuff, and that’s how we ended up with “tweets.”"
warrenellis  internetofthings  iot  2015  television  telephones  internet  language  naming  classification 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Knowing is Not Naming by Xiaowei Wang | recaps
"We never spoke about the end of empires, but when it happened, we had not seen each other for years. Somehow it escaped our taxonomy of the world, in between the causally symmetric balances and the notes you kept in the cabinet of a northeast institution, in a town with any latitude and longitude. Like our speech to each other, you defied my intuition, kept order and categories until rationale was exhausted.

It happened first on your end of the world, when you gave a night’s walk and noticed the trees full of luminaries. You said to me over the phone how it began on Mott St., an intersection with waning gingkos and brick clad buildings. You thought they were off season holiday lights; decorations for no one’s party.

You knew no one better to call, so it was the first time I heard your voice in years. I was alone in an apartment without furniture, body pressed against the floor, monitoring tiny earthquakes against the house’s wood frame as you hurriedly conspired with me about the emergence of these little creatures: Lux meridiani.

The aftershock of your voice arrived when I could count time in non-linear cycles again. Measurements and miles, the ratio of one encoded word to another were forgotten. I built systems of knowledge with others, in gardens and warehouses, gallery walls and sheets. The small radio you gifted me playing Brigitte Fontaine no longer held sound or gravity.It was those insects that arrived first in your port. Our classification scheme made during my aftershock became a world itself, a procedure that was defined after it had happened. It was a fidelity of information that could only ascribe the certainty of persistent learning, a final becoming of what one so deeply desired. A difficulty in routine.

I saw you weeks later on the TV screen at the deli, on a show filled with gleaming smiles, taut faces and perpetual ticker. You looked tired, thin, with less hair and more gravitas. The reporter asked your opinion on the plight that was at full rage in all known urban areas of North America. My eyes were ready for the invasion in sunny California, where endless summer and relentless beauty overwhelmed my walks and daily reckonings.

New York was first hit the hardest – a glowing light in all street trees on darkened winter days to evenings: persistent radiance. I imagined you from the confines of a light drenched “day”, tracing cartographic vectors of botanical disease, examining shipping container seals, in entomology departments echoing with rubber soled shoes and wool, practicing progressive devotion at the altar of naming.

I wrote all that I could follow, sending you messy notes on maps, telling you it was the geography of will that could only manifest such an insect plague. An alienation of latitude, a degree of material difference in fate that marked us unable to comprehend emergence any more than the life of the pharoah ant or the dragonfly. We exhausted our reserves of trade, wrote: it would be enough to accept defeat from this false economy into the next period of unnamed exchange.

It was my last letter to you that allowed me to forget our geographies and Linnaean schemes. You had stopped replying and I had found the perpetual light of evenings past, a blanket to sleep in periods of short duration. What did time or hours mean anymore, when I had forgotten dusk as a category and day as a known escape?

We awaited your team’s verdict, exactly where Lux meridiani appeared or evolved from, and which numbered crate from a precise longitude or latitude it arose. My neighbors went on with their hours. There were no more lights inside houses, only black curtains drawn tightly. Pundits and scientists enjoyed showing satellite images of the world at “night”, composited into one gleaming beacon where every pixel of continent was white. Days of rain were welcomed as relief to our thirst for some darkness, some contrast in quiet.

A year later, without any results, conclusions or reports with modest covers, you disappeared with all your notes and books. It was then I recalled clearly the first time you looked at me, lips curled asking if I only tolerated bad news.

It was this bad news that made our fiction: The first time you kissed me next to the sundial, during the autumn when sundials still signified movement. A roccoco frame, gold, 4cm in width and height, shaded behind a velvet cloche. Olfactory dislocation, the ancient image of darkened alleys where mystery might have kept itself, a time when engines of recoding were somewhere between ecology and industry, and the rustle of plastic and tinny coos of zippers. A time when projections of desires still existed in the last coordinate of black. The melancholy of pleasure: placed between lines of parameters, poetry and disaster.

“Knowing is not naming”

This workshop/teach-in will focus on the notion of the Anthropocene and the underpinnings of environmental change as a geographical issue, generated by the tension between classification, remote sensing and ground truthing.

Through specific case studies of “natural disasters”, we will look at the systems of land use classification and how ideology is embedded in these ways of categorizing and ordering nature. Beginning with the earliest botanical gardens as a method to classify novel fauna from imperial conquest to the technologic determinism that continues to imbue indices of urbanization and human extents, we will understand hierarchies created by floristic maps more deeply and develop new ways to reconfigure some of the most embedded categories we have towards land use.

Lux meridiani accompanies this workshop as a cartographic fiction built on existing data. By playing with thresholds in the geographical data and reorienting certain land use classifications, Lux meridiani takes the continuous exchange of invasive insects through global trade to imagine the emergence of a new, unknown species that infests street trees in urban areas with relentless luminescence. In this fable, Lux meridiani explicitly states what has been happening all along; that the recoding of our environment has been an economic rather than ecological engine all along."
xiaoweiwang  art  taxonomy  names  naming  cartography  luxmeridiani  anthropocene  2015  landuse  categorization  classification  nature  geography  insects  environment 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Total Archive.
[See also: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/25660

"The Total Archive: Dreams of Universal Knowledge from the Encyclopaedia to Big Data
19 March 2015 - 20 March 2015



The complete system of knowledge is a standard trope of science fiction, a techno-utopian dream and an aesthetic ideal. It is Solomon’s House, the Encyclopaedia and the Museum. It is also an ideology – of Enlightenment, High Modernism and absolute governance.

Far from ending the dream of a total archive, twentieth-century positivist rationality brought it ever closer. From Paul Otlet’s Mundaneum to Mass-Observation, from the Unity of Science movement to Isaac Asimov’s Encyclopedia Galactica, from the Whole Earth Catalog to Wikipedia, the dream of universal knowledge dies hard. These projects triumphantly burst their own bounds, generating more archival material, more information, than can ever be processed. When it encounters well defined areas – the sportsfield or the model organism – the total archive tracks every movement of every player, of recording every gene and mutation. Increasingly this approach is inverted: databases are linked; quantities are demanded where only qualities existed before. The Human Genome Project is the most famous, but now there are countless databases demanding ever more varied input. Here the question of what is excluded becomes central.

The total archive is a political tool. It encompasses population statistics, GDP, indices of the Standard of Living and the international ideology of UNESCO, the WHO, the free market and, most recently, Big Data. The information-gathering practices of statecraft are the total archive par excellence, carrying the potential to transfer power into the open fields of economics and law – or divest it into the hands of criminals, researchers and activists.

Questions of the total archive engage key issues in the philosophy of classification, the poetics of the universal, the ideology of surveillance and the technologies of information retrieval. What are the social structures and political dynamics required to sustain total archives, and what are the temporalities implied by such projects?

In order to confront the ideology and increasing reality of interconnected data-sets and communication technologies we need a robust conceptual framework – one that does not sacrifice historical nuance for the ability to speculate. This conference brings together scholars from a wide range of fields to discuss the aesthetics and political reality of the total archive."]
tumblr  classification  maps  knowledge  2015  tumblrs  archives  universality  collections  data  politics  bigdata  history  encyclopedias  paulotlet  mundaneum  isaacasimov  encyclopediagalactica  wholeearthcatalog  museums  ideology  highmodernism  sccifi  sciencefiction  humangenomeproject  libraries  wikipedia  universalknowledge 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Blessedly Unnecessary | Books and Culture
"Gregory Blackstock is autistic, and because of his extraordinary gifts he is called a "savant" (a problematic word, I feel). Like many autistic people, Blackstock has a passion for order and precision, which shows up in any number of ways. For instance, the autobiography he hand–wrote for his book, Blackstock's Collections, takes the form of a list—"1. MY DATE OF BIRTH … 2. MY PREVIOUS SCHOOLS OF 1950 TO 1964 … 3. MY USUAL CITY NEWSPAPER ROUTE PERIOD"—and in listing his employment history he notes that he began his job at the Washington Athletic Club on September 9, 1975 and retired on January 12, 2001. Though I said that Blackstock worked there for twenty–five years, he prefers to say that it was twenty–five–and–a–third years.

This precision is central to Blackstock's art as well—though I have no idea whether it affects his accordion playing. The book is called Blackstock's Collections because each drawing is just that, a collection of things belonging to a particular category. I find especially intriguing Blackstock's tendency to give his drawings titles that begin with the definite article: "The Knives", "The Dentist's Tools, "The Memorable Vermont Scenes"—as though he aspires to utter completeness, gathering every member of a given set on a single page."



"Most of the "collections" are perfectly comprehensible, even if we suspect that it's not really possible to get all of "The Knives" on one page (Blackstock manages fifty–one of them, a considerable achievement). But Blackstock's passion for taxonomy gets him into some curious corners. Smack in the middle of "The Bells," among cowbells and bicycle bells and doorbells and the Liberty Bell and the bell of Big Ben, there's a diving bell. Not the same kind of thing, you say? But it's a bell, isn't it? I wonder how Blackstock would respond if someone were to point out to him that in his drawing of "The Drums" he omits the eardrum.

One of the few really heterogeneous collections is "The Noisemakers," a highly colorful and (for Blackstock) rather large drawing, forty–four inches tall, which includes not only whistling skyrockets and M–80 firecrackers and chainsaws, but also "thunder–&–rainstorms" and a scowling face accompanied by a speech balloon containing an unusually symmetrical set of signs indicating unprintable words: "##**@@**##!!!" This noisemaker is labeled as "LOUD FILTHY–MOUTH OFFENDER, THE OVEREMOTIONAL DIRTBAG!""



"As Auden also notes, art has now lost that habit of usefulness and does not seem likely to get it back: when we try to unite the useful and the beautiful, he says, we "fail utterly." Though there are some recent developments in industrial design that give one hope, I think Auden is basically correct. It's difficult to imagine a new Piranesi, or an Audubon for the 21st century. We have turned over the task of documenting the world to the various cameras, and for good reason: they perform the task well. But I hope we may occasionally find more Gregory Blackstocks, artists who—unaware that their labors of documentary love are unnecessary—plunge ahead and do their work, thereby reminding us what it means to look, really to look, at the Creation."

[See also: http://blog.ayjay.org/uncategorized/collections/ ]
gregoryblackstock  alanjacobs  art  whauden  2007  katebingamanburt  cataloging  taxonomy  sorting  classification  drawing  drawings  inventory  inventories 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Level 2 Gallery: Alejandro Cesarco. Present Memory | Tate
"Uruguayan artist Alejandro Cesarco pays special attention to the construction of narratives and the practices of reading and translating. ‘I am interested in cataloguing, classifying, appropriating and reinterpreting texts’, he has said. Through different conceptual strategies and a range of media, including prints, books, videos and installations, he explores the various meanings of words and images in relation to context, experience and subjectivity.

Present Memory, a newly commissioned video, features an intimate portrait of the artist’s father, a doctor recently diagnosed with cancer. Using a 16mm camera, Cesarco filmed him in his medical practice in Montevideo with a series of close-ups and medium shots. He later projected this footage onto the same room and recorded the film screening with a video camera. The resulting video is now being shown at three different sites across the museum. Conceived as a projection of a projection, its repetition creates a visual echo and activates a sense of déjà vu every time the viewer re-encounters it.

The work documents both a constructed and anticipated memory of the father, through which the artist also explores the writing of his personal narrative amidst the museum’s writing of its own history and memory."

[Interview: http://bombsite.com/issues/1000/articles/5057 ]

[Program: http://felipsiswoof.tumblr.com/post/29389136081 ]

[See also: http://www.cesarco.info/ ]
2010  alejandrocesarco  memory  reading  translating  uruguay  artists  nostalgia  narrative  narratives  translation  meaning  words  context  experience  subjectivity  pauldeman  classification  reinterpretation  belatedness  meaningmaking  assemblage  appropriation  art 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Acts of Knowledge — edgar/Endress
"The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge is a Chinese Encyclopedia described by Jose Luis Borges, where an alternative taxonomy is listed:

1. those that belong to the Emperor,
2. embalmed ones,
3. those that are trained,
4. suckling pigs,
5. mermaids,
6. fabulous ones,
7. stray dogs,
8. those included in the present classification,
9. those that tremble as if they were mad,
10. innumerable ones,
11. those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush,
12. others,
13. those that have just broken a flower vase,
14. those that from a long way off look like flies.

This classification explore the arbitrariness (and cultural specificity) of any attempt to categorize the world and  demonstrates an "other" to our system of thought. In Foucault's book the "Order of Things", Foucault explicates an "archaeological" investigation of knowledge acquisition; he also comments on the fragility of our current means of understanding the world. For Foucault reasoning is the ultimate act of control, delivered through the power of representation to confirm an objective order. Acts of Knowledge begins with a text found in an old social studies text used in U.S. classrooms. This educational text delivers a structural form of knowledge and a series of narratives about the similar and the other. Acts of Knowledge uses the primary forms of knowledge -the encyclopedia- to question the structure imposed by the reasoning. In that context, the acts of estrangement and the visual structuring of the dictionary and the encyclopedias through collages questions the categorization, knowledge, and the arbitrariness of otherness. 

Acts of Knowledge is a collaborative project with: John Morgan, Bill Macmillan, Lori Lee, Aschoy Collective"
borges  taxonomy  classification  literature  art  illustration  via:thatstyping  encyclopedias  knowledge  johnmorgan  billmacmillan  lorilee  aschoycollective 
october 2013 by robertogreco
JORINDEVOIGT.COM » -NEWS-
"For the past decade, Jorinde Voigt has been creating large-scale drawings on paper, using traditional materials such as ink, oil stick, pencil, watercolor, and, more recently, collage. In the drawings that she did before incorporating collage, the artist combined line and text to diagram both factual and fictive activities, such as the flight of eagles, geographical directions, wind patterns, rotations, shifting horizon lines, top-ten pop charts, kisses, and electrical currents. Whirling across the paper, the sinuous patterns of lines and arrows—some of which may overlap—mark relentless change as well as convey the potential for chaos and ecstasy that resides within any system. Classification and pandemonium are inseparable. It is on the porous border of this vast abyss—what is called “infinity”—that Voigt investigates the caesuras between perception & knowledge, form and dissolution…"

[Text from PDF: http://jorindevoigt.com/blog/wp-content/wp-content/uploads/J.Yau_J.Voigt_EN2.pdf ]
meteorology  cartography  geography  collage  lines  nature  currents  wind  patterns  taxonomy  classification  johnyau  data  design  illustration  visualization  drawing  artists  art  memory  time  mapping  maps  jorindevoigt  via:selinjessa 
january 2013 by robertogreco
The Interstitial Library
"The Interstitial Library's Circulating Collection is located at no fixed site. Its vast holdings are dispersed throughout private collections, used bookstores, other libraries, thrift stores, garbage dumps, attics, garages, hollow trees, sunken ships, the bottom desk-drawers of writers, the imaginations of non-writers, the pages of other books, the possible future, and the inaccessible past.

In a sense, this library has always existed. However, until now it has had no librarians, no catalog, and no name.

The Interstitial Library does not aspire to completeness. Indeed, we champion the incomplete, temporary, provisional, circulating and, of course, interstitial. Above all, we aim to acquire and catalogue those books that are themselves interstitial: that fall between obvious subject categories; that are notable for qualities seldom recognized by traditional institutions; that no longer exist, do not yet exist, or are entirely imaginary."
temporaryservices  temporary  provisional  unfinished  incomplete  taxonomy  ephemeral  shelleyjackson  christinehill  humor  art  collaboration  library  philosophy  borges  classification  cataloging  2004  libraries  books  interstitiallibrary  ephemerality 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Shirky: Ontology is Overrated -- Categories, Links, and Tags
"This piece is based on two talks I gave in the spring of 2005 -- one at the O'Reilly ETech conference in March, entitled "Ontology Is Overrated", and one at the IMCExpo in April entitled "Folksonomies & Tags: The rise of user-developed classification." The written version is a heavily edited concatenation of those two talks.

PART I: Classification and Its Discontents

Q: What is Ontology? A: It Depends on What the Meaning of "Is" Is.

Cleaving Nature at the Joints

Of Cards and Catalogs

The Parable of the Ontologist, or, "There Is No Shelf"

File Systems and Hierarchy

When Does Ontological Classification Work Well?

Domain to be Organized

Participants

Mind Reading

Fortune Telling

Part II: The Only Group That Can Categorize Everything Is Everybody

"My God. It's full of links!"

Great Minds Don't Think Alike

Tag Distributions on del.icio.us

Organization Goes Organic"
2005  flickr  del.icio.us  web  metadata  classification  categorization  taxonomy  via:caseygollan  tagging  tags  folksonomy  clayshirky  ontology 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Proposal For Phylogenic Classification, Advances Bread Clip Science
"A publication in this month’s BMJ Case Reports, a peer-reviewed publication of the British Medical Journal, offers a “proposal for phylogenic plastic bag clip classification”."

"Presented here is a morphologically based classification of bag clips as a possible guide for determining the most hazardous varieties and to aid further discussions of their impact on health."

[Links to:
http://www.horg.com/horg/intro.html
http://www.horg.com/horg/

"This site contains several years of research in the classification of occlupanids. These small objects are everywhere, dotting supermarket aisles and sidewalks with an impressive array of form and color. The Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group has taken on the mantle of classifying this most common, yet most puzzling, member of phylum Plasticae."]
taxonomy  classification  breadclips  2011  health  research  bagclips  kwiklok  breadtabs 
september 2011 by robertogreco
The Soundsuits of Nick Cave: Contemporary Art or Material Culture? : Bad at Sports
"My own lack of familiarity  with Cave’s work makes me wonder, though: Why is Cave’s show traveling to the Fowler Museum, which is a museum of cultural history, and not an art museum that has an equally strong ability to support and exhibit interdisciplinary art of this nature, like, say, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) or even UCLA’s “other” arts institution, the white-hot Hammer Museum*?"
art  fashion  costumes  design  sound  nickcave  fowlermuseum  ucla  2009  classification  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  glvo  classideas  tcsnmy  wearable  performanceart  performance  sewing  soundsuits  dance  sculpture  fabric  wearables 
may 2011 by robertogreco
[VIVARIA.NET] ["The project asks: Why Look at Artificial Animals? (paying homage to John Berger's essay 'Why look at Animals?' published in 1980)."]
"Animals are both like and unlike humans. If this was partly reinforced by human isolation from the wider world of nature under the culture of capitalism, under late techno-capitalism, animals can be said to be increasingly both like and unlike machines — or to put it another way, machines are increasingly being classified according to the model of the animal. The inter-relationships are enduring ones, reactivated by changes in social and technological production, making the former distinction further complicated by the addition of artificial life-formds and biotechnologies — the merging of biological and computational forms. The task of classifying and differentiating between animals, humans and machines is one performed with increasing amounts of difficulty, born out of complexity, to use an adaptive term. Perhaps, under the conditions of bio-techno-capitalism, humans are both like and unlike artificial animals."
animals  art  literature  science  poetry  vivaria  borges  taxonomy  relationships  humans  complexity  shakespeare  darwin  sulawesicrestedmacaques  johnberger  via:chriswoebken  biotechnology  capitalism  bio-techno-capitalism  machines  classification  sorting  differentiation  hybrids  isolation  nature  techno-capitalism  technology  charlesdarwin 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Galaxy Zoo: Hubble
"Galaxy Zoo: Hubble uses gorgeous imagery of hundreds of thousands of galaxies drawn from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope archive. To understand how these galaxies, and our own, formed we need your help to classify them according to their shapes — a task at which your brain is better than even the most advanced computer. If you're quick, you may even be the first person in history to see each of the galaxies you're asked to classify."
space  astronomy  maps  mapping  physics  crowdsourcing  science  galaxies  classification  collaboration  community  diy  distributed 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Morph-osaurs: How shape-shifting dinosaurs deceived us - life - 28 July 2010 - New Scientist
"DINOSAURS were shape-shifters...skulls underwent extreme changes throughout their lives, growing larger, sprouting horns then reabsorbing them, & changing shape so radically that different stages look to us like different species.
dinosaurs  biology  archaeology  research  science  evolution  classification  nature 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Self-organizing map - Wikipedia
"A self-organizing map (SOM) or self-organizing feature map (SOFM) is a type of artificial neural network that is trained using unsupervised learning to produce a low-dimensional (typically two-dimensional), discretized representation of the input space of the training samples, called a map. Self-organizing maps are different from other artificial neural networks in the sense that they use a neighborhood function to preserve the topological properties of the input space."
maps  mathematics  networks  optimization  datamining  database  clustering  classification  algorithms  ai  learning  programming  research  statistics  visualization  neuralnetworks  mapping  som  self-organizingmaps 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Museum 2.0: What Could Kill an Elegant, High-Value Participatory Project?
"Haarlem Oost is a branch library in the Netherlands that wanted to encourage visitors to add tags (descriptive keywords) to the books they read. These tags would be added to the books in the catalog to build a kind of recommendation system. To do this, the library didn't create a complicated computer system or send people online. Instead, they installed more book drops and return shelves, labeled with different descriptors like "boring," "great for kids," "funny," etc. This brilliant design allowed patrons to create new knowledge about the books in the library while only slightly adjusting their book-returning behavior."

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/4687 ]
books  libraries  library2.0  sorting  tagging  taxonomy  ratings  physicaltagging  classification  keywords 
january 2010 by robertogreco
A Timeline of Information History » AI3:::Adaptive Information
"This timeline presents significant events and developments in the innovation and management of information and documents from cave paintings (ca 30,000 BC) to the present. Only non-electronic innovations and developments are included (that is, digital and electronic communications are excluded)."
information  history  timelines  via:hrheingold  education  technology  semanticweb  visualization  innovation  literacy  infoliteracy  classification  data  historyofinformation 
december 2009 by robertogreco
YouTube - Information R/evolution
"This video explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information. This video was created as a conversation starter, and works especially well when brainstorming with people about the near future and the skills needed in order to harness, evaluate, and create information effectively."
michaelwesch  information  visualization  folksonomy  tagging  libraries  future  internet  taxonomy  collaboration  education  technology  reference  search  culture  organization  digital  web  media  classification 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Nick Sherman > Senior Degree Project > A Modern Day Specimen Book > Introduction
"As an alternative to tools currently in use, I proposed to develop a prototype of a new dynamic tool for navigating the universe of typography, which will inherently connect the user with more appropriate typefaces for their needs."
classification  typography  taxonomy  design  type  process  research 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Cabinet Magazine Online - Cutting the World at Its Joints: An Interview with D. Graham Burnett
"Trying Leviathan centers on a trial that took place in 1818 in Manhattan, where a jury had to determine whether a whale was a fish for the purpose of New York State law. This question had come up under a statute requiring that all fish oil be inspected a
books  law  taxonomy  whales  animals  classification  history 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Carnegie Mellon Libraries:Library Arcade
"The Library Arcade features games designed to help students develop research skills through entertaining and easy-to-repeat activities. At this stage, we are testing each game to work through any technical glitches and prepare the games for a final versi
e-learning  learning  librarians  libraries  online  simulations  gaming  games  tutorials  books  classification  catalog 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly -- The Technium - Lumpers and Splitters
"In every classification scheme...those who tend to find similarities & lump smaller groups into larger...those who find differences...split larger groups into smaller...Sometimes lumpers prevail or splitters...rare moments of revolution mixer-uppers prev
classification  taxonomy  change  biology  technology  singularity  future  predictions  kevinkelly  species 
january 2008 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Tool For Thought
"There's a longstanding assumption that the modern, web-enabled PC is the realization of the Memex, but if you go back and look at Bush's essay, he was describing something more specific -- a personal research tool that would learn as you interacted with
devonthink  applications  mac  osx  research  notetaking  search  study  methodology  informationmanagement  information  data  database  classification  stevenjohnson  memory  productivity 
october 2007 by robertogreco
The Smart Set: Here's To the Death of the "Death of" Article - October 12, 2007
"problem with both Luddites and Technorati ...tend to moralize technology itself, [as] “good” or “bad” by definition, rather than simply representing a number of blank, inert platforms for...human storytelling impulse. It’s the stuff on...pages
books  bookstores  miscellaneous  serendipity  retail  reading  publishing  writing  media  business  classification  taxonomy  internet  catalog  future  storytelling  stories  literature  luddites 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Conversational Reading: Bookstore Obsolescence
"aggravating when I can't find what I want in a bookstore...pretty much impossible not to find a copy...on the web. But therein lies the irony--often when I haven't found what I've wanted in a bookstore, I've continued to browse...found something even bet
books  bookstores  miscellaneous  serendipity  retail  reading  publishing  media  business  classification  taxonomy  internet  catalog  future 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Bookstores Begin Slow Descent Into Obsolescence - Publishing 2.0
""Browsing bookstore shelves used to be one of the best ways to experience the power of the miscellaneous — now it is only a pale shadow of what the Web and digital information makes possible." - but there are other ways they may live on
books  bookstores  miscellaneous  serendipity  retail  reading  publishing  media  business  classification  taxonomy  internet  catalog  future 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Creative Generalist - Everything is Miscellaneous
"perhaps the part of this most relevant to the generalist discussion is how the third-order diminishes experts' exclusivity over defining relevant knowledge"
davidweinberger  generalists  tags  tagging  knowledge  experts  information  specialization  web  internet  taxonomy  classification  folksonomy  socialnetworks  complexity  sorting  libraries  culture  wikipedia  statistics  groups  identity  self  clustering  marketing  specialists 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Tom Hume: PICNIC07: Everything is miscellaneous, David Weinberger
"The expert who is unwilling to engage in conversation is losing relevancy". Knowledge has always been social; in a good conversation, we drive the bugs out of knowledge."
wikipedia  knowledge  davidweinberger  classification  taxonomy  folksonomy  tagging  information  credibility  social 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages by Alex Wright (kottke.org)
"A Belgian chap named Paul Otlet described something called the "radiated library" -- or the "televised book" -- in 1934:...beat Vannevar Bush by 11 years
information  history  internet  computing  media  radiatedlibrary  tv  television  sound  text  paulotlet  computers  technology  tagging  video  web  classification  books  culture  net  televisedbook  belgium  communication  visualization  vannevarbush 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Pew Research Center: Tagging Play
"Forget Dewey and His Decimals, Internet Users Are Revolutionizing the Way We Classify Information - and Make Sense of It"
del.icio.us  flickr  folksonomy  tags  tagging  statistics  standards  socialsoftware  taxonomy  trends  use  classification  community  analysis  libraries  journalism  media  networking  pew  play  research 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Thingology (LibraryThing's ideas blog): Libraries as Conversations: Gorman, Hives and Catalogs
"important learning and knowledge are conversation [that we ascend to over our lives through] *encyclopedias, books of facts *monographs (really "arguments") *academic journals *conferences Conversations work because they know/produce more than their memb
classification  conversation  education  information  knowledge  learning  libraries  reference  dialog  catalogs  folksonomy  communication  academia  dialogue 
june 2007 by robertogreco
What's in a Name? The Future of Life
"The so-called binomial system of genus and species that Linse and thousands of other biologists use today was first proposed by a Swedish biologist born 300 years ago Wednesday, Carolus Linnaeus."
biology  classification  taxonomy  nature  animals  evolution  science  globalization  life  genetics  visualization 
may 2007 by robertogreco
Bokardo » The Del.icio.us Lesson
"The one major idea behind the Del.icio.us Lesson is that personal value precedes network value. What this means is that if we are to build networks of value, then each person on the network needs to find value for themselves before they can contribute value to the network. In the case of Del.icio.us, people find value saving their personal bookmarks first and foremost. All other usage is secondary."
del.icio.us  folksonomy  tagging  tags  taxonomy  search  bookmarks  community  collaboration  networks  systems  user  blogging  blogs  bookmarking  crowdsourcing  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  classification 
may 2007 by robertogreco
The Vanishing Class | Metropolis Magazine
"Middle-income neighborhoods are disappearing from cities, and in New York they’re being squeezed to the very edge."
cities  economics  nyc  urban  urbanism  society  classification  prefab  homes  housing  architecture  design 
november 2006 by robertogreco
Zotero - The Next-Generation Research Tool
"Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself."
academia  annotation  extension  firefox  bibliography  bookmarks  books  citation  classification  information  homework  knowledge  tools  socialsoftware  research  reference  libraries  learning  education  literacy  utilities  online  notetaking  management  opensource  organizations  aggregator  documentation  web  journals  teaching  study 
october 2006 by robertogreco
borges essay the (16 May 2006, Interconnected)
"Borges' essay The Analytical Language of John Wilkins is the source of that mythical animal categorisation from an unknown (or fictional) Chinese encyclopaedia, the one that includes a division of those animals (n) that from a long way off look like flie
language  classification  taxonomy  borges  argentina  mattwebb  2006 
may 2006 by robertogreco

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