Archive for the ‘taxonomy’ Tag

Romance to Mysterioso

Another long-term project recently came to fruition in a publication. Some time ago Bill Rosar (Journal of Film Music) got me thinking about silent film music cues as a form of knowledge organization. Over a fairly long period of time I acquired a digital copy of one of the two secondary sources of such cues, Rapée’s Encyclopedia of Music for Pictures (1970 [1925]. New York: Arno Press). The research had multiple stages–we turned the cues into a spreadsheet, then into two taxonomies, one that represented Rapée’s internal syndetic structure and another that made conceptual sense in 21st century terms. We compared these for analysis. Then we ran the taxonomies against the content of the van Houten catalog of the Eyl Collection of silent film music (van Houten, Theodore. 1992. Silent Cinema Music in the Netherlands: The Eyl, Van Houten Collection of Film and Cinema Music in the Nederlands Filmmuseum. Buren: Frits Knuf Publishers.)

The article recently published shows the results of that analysis; here is the abstract:

This article reports the study of the population of a taxonomy of silent film
music terms compared to a population of silent film music cues. The purpose of this
research is to contribute to the ongoing project stream digitizing large databases of silent film cues. The three phases of research were: (1) Erno Rapée’s Encyclopedia of Music for Pictures was converted to the form of a taxonomy; (2) the musical topoi in the catalogue of Ido Eyl’s collection of silent film music were similarly compiled and analysed; and (3) both sources were compared to narrate the population of cues based on the taxonomy.

Although the subject of this particular research clearly is silent film music and cues as a form of knowledge organization, the methodology used is the latest example of my research stream in the population of knowledge organization systems.

The article title is: From Romance to Mysterioso: The Population of a Taxonomy of Topoi in the Eyl Collection of Silent Film Music = De la romance au Mysterioso : la
population d’une taxonomie de Topoi dans la collection Eyl de musique de films muets.

My co-author is Joshua A. Henry, who has become a master of taxonomy I must say.

The article is published in Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science 42, nos. 1-2 (2018): 135-51.

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Posted May 13, 2019 by lazykoblog in taxonomy

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False taxonomy

In The Economist for June 23rd 2018 a fascinating article appeared in a column headed “French Connection” and titled “Forget McKinsey: A Gallic Intellectual is the key to controlling how businesses are perceived.”

I was surprised, then, to discover as I read along, that the entire article was about the power of taxonomy. Lights went off in my brain and I was very excited to see something about the actual work of knowledge organization appearing in the pages of The Economist.

My excitement was short-lived, however, as I got all the way to the end of the article finding absolutely no mention of the domain of knowledge organization, ISKO, and no reference to any of the very active authors in knowledge organization in general and not even to any of those writing about taxonomy.

The article describes how businesses variously make use of taxonomies, not only in the conduct of their day to day business but also in controlling how they are perceived–“digital” and “high-tech” are exciting and “traditional” is not, or so it seems from the article. The French connection, such as it is, is through Foucault, who is explicitly named. Of course, many of us in KO-land cite Foucault, teach Foucault, and regularly introduce new students to the intracacies of The Order of Things and The Archeology of Knowledge. Sigh ….

In this morning’s opening keynote at the 15th International ISKO Conference in Porto, Portugal, David Bawden pointed to just this article as an example of how ubiquitous knowledge organization is, thus reminding me I had been carting the actual paper article around with me for two weeks waiting to feel like blogging about it. (Bawden’s talk was titled “Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere,” and it appears on pages 17-22 of the conference proceedings).

One reason I had not yet posted on this was that I’m of two minds about it. First, I am offended that The Economist‘s author did so little research that ISKO and KO and all of our large and growing body of literature was utterly ignored. Shame on The Economist.

But of course, it also is up to us in ISKO to raise the bar a bit and make our voices heard outside of our own tribe. How to do this is perplexing. Even as we now talk about the silos of disciplinary academia still we cling to our own pretty tightly. More sighs ….

Well, let us enjoy the fact that the stuff of our labor made it into a business column in an international news magazine. But let us also accept this challenge to do what we can to see that we heighten awareness of our existence and productivity as a domain.

Some proper references:

Bawden, David. 2018. “Supporting Truth and Promoting Understanding: Knowledge Organization and the Curation of the Infosphere.” In Challenges and Opportunities for Knowledge Organization in the Digital Age: Proceedings of the Fifteenth International ISKO Conference, 9-11 July 2018, Porto, Portugal, ed. Fernanda Ribeira and Maria Elisa Cerveira. Advances in Knowledge Organization 16. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 17-22.

Foucault, Michel. (1966) 2001. The Order of Things: An Archaelogy of the Human Sciences. London: Routledge.

Foucault, Michel. 1972. The Archeology of Knowledge and The Discourse on Language. Trans. by A. M. Sheridan Smith. New York: Pantheon Books.

Posted July 9, 2018 by lazykoblog in ISKO, KO, taxonomy

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