Everything is Misc

Much of these notes are from the book Everything is MiscellaneousĀ .

Information does not have a “right place”. Over times we’ve spent a LOT of time trying to figure out things like where python goes. Is it a language? A kind of snake? A shorthand reference to Monty Python? Who is Monty Python? What if it’s all those things at once? Things can’t be in multiple places at once! And yet they are.

In this case the programming language Python was named after Monty Python, a British comedy group. They also adopted the Python, a type of snake, as their logo for the language. Hence the Python language has linked both concepts and makes placing things referring to Python require context on what it’s referring to. Also the knowledge of this intersection is hard to categorize in one place.

The obvious thing is don’t put everything in a single category. In fact, make a new system to track where the information pieces are and then another system which contains references to that information in many places as it makes sense. The card catalogue is a good example of this kind of system, but it’s a physically limited system.

With computers we don’t have practical physical limits on this kind of information (we create it far too slowly). Instead what we might elect to do is simply creating a reference to information and storing as much meta data about that information as possible. We then create indexes which utilize that metadata differently on how we’re using it. The fact is that even iTunes would get better if they stored more and more metadata of songs which the developers, or others using an API, could use to show songs in different ways.