A useful knowledge management tool has mystery as part of its output. A lot of the time as an organization, you’re seeking to eliminate mystery, but maybe it has its value – Chris B
At Kickstarter there was this crisis of tools. What types of knowledge should we be saving? What tools should we use? What even is a company? When staff leaves, all of the knowledge gets purged. But one thing I realized was the back end of the website forced people to leave clues. It was the only reliable place where knowledge and information was housed, because we all had to use it. – Willa
The Library of Congress contains about 35 million books. Some are longer than others, but each book would likely be less than one megabyte in size if it was reduced to a text file (.txt) on a computer. 35 million books equal roughly 35 million MB, or 35 terabytes (TB). If the average length of a book is 350 pages, then the whole of the Library of Congress would fit in less space – a 24 TB drive. If the average length is 250 pages, it would fit on an 18 TB drive with a little room to spare. It just so happens that one can purchase a 20 TB drive for about $2000 as of this writing. The costs of storage are expected to continually decrease over time. These numbers form a simple calculation of how to corral the entire book collection of the Library of Congress, the largest library in the history of civilisation.
The duality (whether mutually exclusive or complementary) between paper and screen can be summarised in a cyberpunk metaphor: paper is flesh, screen is metal. What we’re dealing with here is a transitional medium, with constantly mutating hybrid characteristics. Paper and pixel complement each other, even as they compete with one another.
How can visual artists embody qualities of librarians? Kajsa Dahlberg work entitled A Room of One’s Own / A Thousand Libraries is like a library within a library. It is a collection of all the Swedish library copies marginal notes made in Virgina Woolf legendary essay A Room of ones own. Kajsa transferred all notes, marks and traces by hand via a light-table. Re-printed the book and published them together with the original text. Everything all at once on the same page.
In capitalism, institutionalized libraries, publishers and book traders all have ways to suppress the publishing of, the access to or the distribution of texts and book — rigidities inviting for creative subversion.