Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences

In Archive, Experience Design by Fredy D. Oré

Peter Merholz posted an interesting dicussion the other day on the classification of systems becoming invisible through use.

Bowker and Star showed that classification systems become invisible through use, but are in fact the product of explicit (and sometimes political) decisions. Proponents of these algorithmic system tend to claim “it’s just the technology,” but these tools are designed by people, and doubtless carry unspoken assumptions in their design.

A summary of Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star’s Sorting Things Out.