Pursue your dream--and never accept a proven solution! This is ... Paul Otlet


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Paul Otlet—pronounced /ɒtˈleɪ/—is one of several people who has been considered the father of Information modern Science; a field he himself called ‘documentation.’

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Pursue your dream--and never accept a proven solution! This is ... Paul Otlet

  1. This is
  2. Paul Otlet Image credit: flickr.com/marcwathieu/4421630189
  3. collectHe wanted to and organize Image copyright: Unknown
  4. World’s theKnowledge
  5. Formally stated: “Paul Otlet—pronounced /ɒtˈleɪ/—is one ofseveral people who has been considered the father of InformationmodernSciencea field he himself called documentation.” This and the following citations: wikipedia.org
  6. So what?
  7. Born on August 23,1868 inBrussels, Belgium, as the oldest child to Image credit: flickr.com/george_eastman_house/4420695962 Disclaimer: This is not Paul Otlet!
  8. a wealthy businessman who made his fortune sellingTramsaround the world Image credit: flickr.com/statelibraryofnsw/2964804829
  9. His mother died atage 24 when Otlet was three
  10. His father kept him out of school, he had—as a child—few friends, and he soon developed a love of reading and Image credit: flickr.com/cornelluniversitylibrary/3610752603
  11. Books Image credit: flickr.com/benchilada/2466968689
  12. Books—the accepted and proven storage medium for the World’s Knowledge Image credit: flickr.com/candiedwomanire/1651870
  13. in 1892
  14. An accepted solution.But really an adequatestorage medium?
  15. Think about it!
  16. How could you possibly find a book you needed?
  17. There are a few physical instances of the book
  18. in libraries
  19. somewhere onthis planet Image credit: flickr.com/gadl/3907891398
  20. To complicate thingsfurther
  21. “Books are an inadequate way to store information, because the arrangement of facts contained within them is an arbitrary decision on the part of the authors, making individual facts difficult to locate” Image credit: flickr.com/horiavarlan/4263326117
  22. “A better storage system”, Otlet wrote in his first essay in 1892,“would be cards containing individual ‘chunks’ of information” Image credit: flickr.com/deano/2865863332
  23. Those chunks wouldallow “all themanipulations ofclassification andcontinuousinterfiling”
  24. Inter-what?
  25. interfiling Image credit: flickr.com/amattox/3207213522
  26. A Web
  27. Cut.
  28. Already in1891, Otlet had met Henri La Fontaine Image credit: flickr.com/peacepalacelibrary/3095591442
  29. He quit his job as alawyer and the twomen founded theUniversalBibliographicRepertory— Image credit: Unknown Disclaimer: This was not Paul’s and Henri’s garage!
  30. a collection of index cards that, by the end of 1895, had grown to 400,000 entries; later it would reach a height of over 15 million
  31. With capital from the Belgium Society of Social and Political Sciences, a fee-based search service, and LaFontaine’s Nobel Peace Price winnings, the startup endured until it hit the ceiling of World War I Image credit: flickr.com/nlscotland/3011962527
  32. After 1919, the two menrestarted, relaunched, and rebranded the Repertory World twice as the Palace and theMundaneum,continuing on government funding, hiring staff, accumulating 15 million index cards, drowning in paper, of course
  33. experimentingwith new mediaas well Image credit: flickr.com/mburpee/2589663547
  34. but being forced to close theshop when Belgiumgovernment cut off fundingin 1934—
  35. World War II shutteredwhat was left.
  36. Otlet died in 1944,fading into oblivion
  37. long before Vannevar Bush, DouglasEngelbart, Ted Nelson, and Larry & Sergeywould enter the scene.
  38. Sad story?
  39. Well.Lessons to be learned:
  40. 1
  41. Quit your job as a lawyer!
  42. 2
  43. Pursue your dream!
  44. 3
  45. And never accept aproven solution.
  46. Wanna read more? felgner.ch