Category Archives: Processing Posts


In the film The Information Machine, information at its very basic level is shown as an animated person looking at objects around them (starfish, leaf, spider web), and storing them in their “active memory bank” heard as CHA-CHING. CHA-CHING=information (I find the onomatopoeia endearing). Information then, in terms of the film, is the “stuff” you… Read More »

Information, Machine and Human

I really enjoyed the film, The Information Machine by Eames. It was made in 1958 but I didn’t feel it at all. In the film, Eames presents the history of how human store and analyze information. Especially these phrases strike me: “With the computer, the concept and direction must come from the man. The tasks that… Read More »


This was a very interesting set of readings. The quotes that stood out to me are: “Information as a measure of one’s freedom of choice when one selects a message from a universe of possible solutions. The more choice the more freedom. However, trying to decipher a message they have different consequence: The more freedom… Read More »

The Information Machine

“This is information. The proper use of it can bring a new dignity to mankind.”    This is a statement from a segment of the 1958 film entitled ‘The Information Machine’ which was completed by Charles and Ray Eames. This statement poses an interesting assessment on the ability of humans to collect and use data… Read More »

Order Up

How and why do organize our daily lives, our collections, our schedules. Is there a central theme we follow that links all of our organizational habits, do we follow some grander classification system that has been set up by scholars and prophetic minds or are we all idiosyncratic. Databases have structural organizational systems, libraries too,… Read More »

Technology Dilemma: Convenient and Invasive

In the early 1900’s, who thought about the internet and devices such as personal computers, smartphones and tablets? Even though people back in the days did not have a clear image of the internet and the devices we appreciate today, they imagined and believed that some day somebody would invent such things. Paul Otlet knew… Read More »

The Database: I Can't Remember A Thing

Memory is a key component to this weeks readings and the concept of memory, to me at least, brings to mind the concept  of materiality, where “memory” is held, and how we access it.  Otlet’s idea of The Mendaneum, brings these concepts together, consisting of very material cabinets of 3×5 index cards.  Otlet wanted to … Read More »

Enduring Ephemeral

This week I was inspired by Wendy Hui Kyong’s Enduring Ephemeral, or the Future is a Memory to think about the word Memory, and what response it evokes in us when it’s used both in a persona or a technological context. The concept of Memory, and how/what technology allows us to remember, is an idea… Read More »

Because the database told me so, thoughts on changing classification systems

While this week’s reading demonstrated that “information overload” is hardly a new phenomena, attempts to address this predicament through sophisticated databases and interlinked associations are relatively more modern. From Otlet to Ranganathan, attempts to classify and control knowledge appear to pick up steam in the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Looking back on… Read More »

How things are linked

Paul Otlet, who has been considered the father of information science, created the Universal Decimal Classification to solve the problem of classifying human knowledge. As Alex Wright says in Forgotten Forefather: Paul Otlet, Otlet declares that “no document could be properly understood by itself, but that its meaning becomes clarified through its influence on other… Read More »