An Ode to Useless Classification

By | September 29, 2014


Inspired by Perec’s Think/Classify and portions of David Weinberger’s talk on miscellany focused on tagging, faceted classification, and other ways that newer media puts classification into the hands of the user, I have decided to focus on systems of classification that are functionally useless…or are they? Considering how frequently Borges’s fantastical, hypothetical taxonomies have appeared in our readings and discussion so far, I have looked for recent examples of classification that subvert their original purpose but in the process create new meaning and reveal much about our attitudes toward labeling, hierarchy, and the value of use.

Once of the examples I will be talking about is “Some Pros and Cons of Organizing Your Bookshelves by Color” from The Toast.

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