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Clay Shirky on Making Digital Durable by Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky on Making Digital Durable

by Clay Shirky


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Running Time
1 Hr. 23 Min.


"THIS is what the Internet has been straining to become," says Clay Shirky, both joking and meaning it. He refers to a category ("tag") which emerged from users on the photo-sharing site Flickr. The category is "cats in sinks." Growing use of the unlikely seeming tag exposed something that a lot of cats do and a lot of people feel compelled to photograph...

Shirky points out that "cats in sinks" has none of the limitations of former category systems such as the Dewey Decimal System or the Library of Congress scheme or Yahoo's hierarchical category structure. There is no need for a category "cats" with subcategory "in sinks," nor a category "sinks" with subcategory "cats in".

"Making Digital Durable: What Time Does to Categories" was given on November 14, 02005 as part of Long Now's Seminar series. The series was started in 02003 to build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking from some of the world's leading thinkers. The Seminars take place in San Francisco and are curated and hosted by Stewart Brand.

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