The space between notes
First, Clapton is god – Slowhand has this figured out.
And “white space” is law on the google home page.
But I’m reminded that space, or at least flexibility, in classification systems is important. In Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences by Geoffrey C. Bowker, Susan Leigh Star this point is made several times: formal classification systems are always modified by folk classifications. Efforts to rigidly enforce the formal system will fail, at least as far as system utility goes, and actually mining the folk systems can provide rich results. Further, all classification systems end up with residual categories, or ‘other’ categories. These can provide a wealth of information, describing the interface between the classification system and reality; where the rubber meets the road.
Also when creating classification systems there is a balance between usability and granularity. Having a thousand boxes to put stuff in, cramming every conceivable category into a classification system, will allow really detailed data mining….but no one will find the right box to put things in. Having looser, more flexible, higher level categories may lead to more useful data mining, in the end.
Entry filed under: feed my pet brain.