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RE: Adios, "Brachiosaurus" brancai
Mike Taylor writes (responding to Wilkins, whose blog over at
evolvingthoughts.net is a must-watch):
Understand that depending on the mainframe, the organization of computer data
blocks is arbitrary is requires redundant referent files to find everything. It
is not self-sufficiently efficient. Book organization is even less regular:
Sorting books by a predetermined system allows a reader to find that book, so
long as they know the system and it makes sense to them. In this way,
understanding the alphabet allows the reader (in that language) to find books
sorted in the system by scanning segments of the shelf. Unless that shelf is
sorted by title instead of author, and the reader is looking for an author.
This refers of course to indexes, which run on their own system, and goes back
to data storage in computers. But we also sort books by size, color, subject,
the Dewey System which is both subject and then author dependant, and so on.
Different systems that may seem unintuitive to some folks, for example. I
sorted my books by subject, then author, then series or grouped subject, then
size (hardbacks with hardbacks), etc., and size relationship going further.
Analytically, containers like these criteria are only referential to the self,
and most people organize for themselves, not others.
Unlike Mike, I work in a grocery store, and so sorting and organization
differs from computers: there is no centralized index, only relative indeces
based on general subject, then brand, then product. Presentation counts more
than this organization, however, in order to bring a particular object to
attention, and so the sorting system is even less important, and each different
chain of stores requires the shopper to learn its system uniquely. And some
stores may not have any system that seems apparent, for example. Consider, for
example, baking soda: This is normally with other baked goods, but one of its
primary purposes is not as a cooking item, but as a kitchen cleaning or air
freshening item, which are two entirely different subdepartments in a grocery
store, apart from the baked goods section. Size, space, weaight, etc. make
certain choices for the consumer or observer, and as such organization really
The genus is no different: it means a different things for different people,
even people who observe the same organizational system for genera.
Jaime A. Headden
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the
experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to
do so." --- Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different
language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to
kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at
things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
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