This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Art history: arrangement and categorization

Patrick Lambe has a great piece, A Brief History of Arrangement, that describes the fields of taxonomy, classification, and categorization, and the art of arrangement were quite similar and how they diverged.

Until the 1730s, at least in Europe, the practices of arrangement, classification, categorization, and taxonomy work, were all part of the same cluster of concepts. As we saw in a previous post, the term taxonomy itself literally means habits or laws of arrangement. By the mid-1770s however, taxonomy work had already diverged from arrangement work, and this decisive split is exemplified by the conflict between two great biologists – George Louis Leclerc Comte de Buffon, and Carl Linnaeus.

It's a nice history, and it puts a story behind the sometimes-confusing differences between these concepts.  In the discussion of arrangement, I quickly see the idea of user-supplied tags and folksonomies - labeling and arranging based on context, rather than on formal systems.

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