- Oct 2023
other “paper tools,” 3 such as cardboard boxes, file folders, andenvelopes—the book demonstrates that Fontane produced his prosefi ction, feuilleton essays, and other contributions to the press in acreative process that was the exact opposite of his self- staging as theinspired mouthpiece of the muses. Deliberate at every step, heassembled his texts from pre- mediated sources with scissors and glue,in an extraordinarily inorganic, radically intertextual, and completelyconscious manner.
This coinage goes back to Ursula Klein and describes writing media that have anepistemic impact. See her essay “Paper Tools in Experimental Cultures: TheCase of Berzelian Formulas,” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 32( 2001 ): 265–312.
differences in paper tools vs. paper machines?
- May 2022
In §§ 4–5, I examine the socio-evolutionary circumstances under which a closed combinatory, such as the one triggered by the Llullian art, was replaced by an open-ended combinatory, such as the one triggered by a card index based on removable entries. In early modernity, improvement in abstraction compelled scholars to abandon the idea that the order of knowledge should mirror the order of nature. This development also implied giving up the use of space as a type of externalization and as the main rule for checking consis-tency.
F*ck! I've been scooped!
Apparently I'm not the only one who has noticed this, though I notice that he doesn't cite Frances A. Yates, which would have certainly been the place for having come up with this historical background (at least that's where I found it.)
The Llullian arts can be more easily practiced with ideas placed on moveable index cards than they might be with ideas stored in one's own memory. Thus the index card as a tool significantly decreases the overhead and provides an easier user interface for permuting one's ideas and combining them. This decrease in mental work appearing at a time of information overload also puts specific pressure on the older use of the art of memory to put it out of fashion.
- Nov 2021
This looks like a fascinating series and who could go wrong with Ann Blair, Anthony Grafton, and Earle Havens?
Also interesting to see what sorts of things they will find interesting at the cutting edge of all these disciplines.
- information cultures
- history of the book
- digital humanities
- Ann M. Blair
- Anthony Grafton
- Earle Havens
- tools for thought
- history of information
- material culture
- paper tools
- Jun 2021
- May 2021
Media theorist Markus Krajewski has devoted a book specifically to the paper machinery of cards and catalogs. He traces the origins of this machinery back to sixteenth-century attempts at indexing books, and through the twists and turns of library technology in Europe and the U.S. over the following centuries.