February 25, 2007

Coping with the Printing Press

Here's a thought. I'd always assumed that invention of the printing press increased the ability of people to pamphleteer, to disseminate new ideas, and to bypass, and sometimes to topple, existing power structures. And I'd always assumed that the Scientific...

January 13, 2006

The truth "out there" is different

A couple of curiosities have come up recently concerning national identity and how it distorts (rightly or wrongly) one's view of things. First was a map of national stereotypes based on Google searches for e.g. "what the English are known...

November 16, 2005

How categories came to be

Every now and then I find it helpful to look at how words came to be. And if it's not helpful, then at least it's interesting :) One word whose history fits both, I think, is category. Its basic roots...

August 17, 2005

Notes on Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy #2

(Following on a little tardily from May's notes) Chapter 2: Modern discovery of Primary Oral Cultures Early Awareness of Oral Tradition Tradition of writing down sayings longlived: Ecclesiastes 12:9-10 "Besides being wise, Qoheleth taught the people knowledge, and weighed, scrutinized...

June 6, 2005

History and humility

Quote for the day:"A man who does not know what has been thought by those who have gone before him is sure to set an undue value upon his own ideas" - Source: Mark Pattison, MemoirsI don't really know how...

May 4, 2005

Notes on Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy #1

This post is the first in a series of notes on Walter Ong's book Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. The book, so far, is a corker, and looks to have significant implications for any discussion of "markets...

October 31, 2004

Insubordinate Survival Techniques

On how WW1 soldiers evolved ways of co-operating with each other, against their officer's wishes

September 29, 2004

The Culture of Collecting

Just started reading a book all about classification and its embodiment, collecting - and this quote has me intrigued

September 14, 2004

The Commodity Fetishism of Thought (or Me! Me! I want that idea!)

On collecting, Quatremere and context

August 17, 2004

MeshForum, Cascades and The Inquisition

On a new find (for me) and a link between physicians in Germany and the Early Modern Catholic Church.

August 5, 2004

Maps, Sense & Holub

On the information you have being better than the information you "need"

June 9, 2004

Individuals & Surnames

On Phil Jones, individuality, and a sidetrack into surname history.

June 6, 2004

Jesuits, Calvinists & Continual Learning

On a method for learning your strengths

March 1, 2004

Echoes in the Invisible College

On Echo Chambers as new, improved Invisible Colleges.

February 27, 2004

Commonplace ignorance

On commonplaces as a medieval precursor to blogs

February 24, 2004

When Scarcity is a Useful Resource

On how creativity might be hindered by too much information

February 15, 2004

Coffee & Categories

On how seventeenth century coffee-houses may have something to teach us about the way we blog

January 14, 2004

The Making of Memory: Chapter 4 Notes - PT II

On the 3 types of scientific metaphor, and the grim ascendancy of maths over biology.

December 2, 2003

Network Heretics

On networks, heretics and the Spanish Inquisition