Why do I blog this? Observations that caught my eye. Things arranged with purpose. Thoughtful acts. Practices and constraints in which things assume their “proper” place. Remnants of reviewing old grad school reading lists, especially Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences by Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Starr. It’s a wonderful treatment on the ways in which categories function as embodied social practice. The purpose and utility of boundaries between things, disciplines, people, actions, specifically around organizing, disciplining, classifying, cataloging. All that good taxonomic stuff that we social beings tend to do to order ourselves and our knowledge. If there’s a lesson for me in that book its about unclassification and undisciplining, especially when the boundaries become so accepted that they discipline even in their absence. New things, new futures, innovation mean pushing away from older orders of knowledge and practice.
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