Mark Burgin 9 January 1946 - 18 February 2023 (Photo W. Hofkirchner) Mark Burgin, mathematician and information theorist, died on 18 February 2023. He was well-known for his leadership of interdisciplinary studies of the concept of information, particularly through the International Society for Information Studies (IS4IS) and its conferences, and the affiliated MDPI open access… Continue reading Mark Burgin (1946-2023)
“Transmitted as never before”: the communication revolution and the green infrastructure, 1830 – 1880
On 22nd September 2022, I gave a presentation to an international symposium on 'The Genesis of the Green Infrastructure', celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted. The presentation is now available, along with other materials from the symposium, on the symposium website and on YouTube. This presentation reviewed developments in information… Continue reading “Transmitted as never before”: the communication revolution and the green infrastructure, 1830 – 1880
Caleb Scharf, an astronomer and astrobiologist, is the latest in a series of authors to give an account of the new recognition of information as a significant, and objective, feature of the world, in his The Ascent of Information. The book gives an overview of the concept of information, not dissimilar to James Gleick's The Information… Continue reading Dataome rising
Indexes (and quite a bit besides), history of
In this history of indexes and indexing, Dennis Duncan offers a scholarly, but very readable, mix of information history, literature, information science, and the history of books and reading. To someone, like myself, whose ideas of indexes has revolved around the likes of Index Medicus and Chemical Abstracts, the ideas of satirical indexes, indexes as… Continue reading Indexes (and quite a bit besides), history of
When teaching and writing about the classification of documents ('bibliographic classification'), I try to remember to make the point that document classifications very often draw from, and less often contribute to, more general classifications and taxonomies of knowledge, and of entities in the physical world. So it is worth keeping an eye on classification in… Continue reading Changing classifications
Companioning information history
I have perhaps been remiss in not giving mention before now to what can be called, without much exaggeration, a landmark publication for anyone interested in information history. On the other hand, being only a year late is perhaps not such a problem for a book which will certainly be a valuable reference for many… Continue reading Companioning information history
Continuing our occasional look at eating places which might qualify as Old London, we come, as everyone wanting a quick meal in Central London does at some point, to Spaghetti House. This has something of a mixed reputation for food quality, but we cannot doubt its longevity. Founded in 1955 in Goodge Street, it is… Continue reading Spaghetti House
￼Equations, images, understanding?
In previous posts, I have touched on understanding, and the complementary nature of conscious human understanding and the more opaque, to us at least, understanding produced by AI systems. Such systems, particularly those described as deep-learning, produce an 'understanding' of large and complex data sets, but without employing the kind of concepts on which humans… Continue reading ￼Equations, images, understanding?
I have argued for a while that the promotion of understanding is as important for the information sciences as the communication of information and the sharing of knowledge; see an earlier post on this idea. One of the difficulties in discussing this topic is the lack of clarity as to what exactly it means to… Continue reading Complementary understandings
A tree grows in Southwark
At the heart of Betty Smith's 1943 novel A tree grows in Brooklyn is the image of a Tree of Heaven growing in harsh urban surroundings. The tree's survival in the heart of a grom part of the city is a metaphor for people's ability to flourish in the most difficult environments. [EcoBrookyn say the… Continue reading A tree grows in Southwark