Alex Wright


Reader responses June 18, 2008

Here's a quick round-up of reader responses to my recent Science Times article on Paul Otlet: Kevin Kelly takes the piece as a starting point for a fascinating rumination on dead media, probing the history of edged-notched punch cards and...
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The Web That Time Forgot June 16, 2008

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Mons, Belgium, home of the Mundaneum, a museum dedicated to Paul Otlet, the great Belgian information scientist who envisioned something very much like the World Wide Web in the 1930s....
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Interactions January 2, 2008

Congrats to Richard Anderson and Jon Koiko on the relaunch of Interactions, the ACM's long-running magazine about interaction design. I haven't seen the physical magazine yet, but the new Web site is now up and running. The new issue features...
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Week in Review piece December 2, 2007

The Times is running an article I wrote for the Week in Review section, exploring the social networking phenomenon in light of Walter J. Ong's theory of secondary orality. This was a challenging piece to write, since I only had...
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The Theater of Memory November 1, 2006

The Believer is running a piece of mine about the Theater of Memory, a sixteenth century gizmo that came about as close anyone would get to a Web browser for another 500 years. Inventor Guilio Camillo was the Renaissance...
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Dewey Decimated January 12, 2006

The Christian Science Monitor just published an Op-Ed column that I wrote a few weeks ago, a commentary on libraries in the wake of recent news surrounding book digitization initiatives like Google Book Search and the Open Content Alliance. Briefly,...
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From ivory tower to academic sweatshop January 25, 2005

Salon just published my article "From Ivory Tower to Academic Sweatshop," a look at the evolution of distance learning over the past few years. Since the piece strikes a cautionary note about certain aspects of online learning, I am fully...
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Reader responses March 11, 2004

Several folks posted commentary on my Deep Web article over the past few days, including: Ray Kurzweil John Battelle Waileia Rawbrick Library Autonomous Zone Disinformation Peter Suber Marc Almendarez Slashdot I'm sure I've probably missed someone here (if so, feel...
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In search of the Deep Web March 9, 2004

Salon is running my article In Search of the Deep Web, in which I take a look at the expansion of search engines into the recesses of the dynamic Web. When I started writing the piece about three weeks ago,...
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A matter of degree November 26, 2003

Clay Shirky recently posted a comment on my Paul Otlet article, provocatively captioned “Otlet: Some Ideas Die Because They Are Wrong.” Since Mr. Otlet can’t be here to defend himself, I suppose that task falls to me. First, to suggest...
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Forgotten Forefather November 11, 2003

Paul Otlet (1868-1944) was a Belgian bibliographer, pacifist and entrepreneur who helped found the League of Nations, invented the Universal Decimal Classification, and dreamed up something very much like the World Wide Web (even, arguably, the Semantic Web) as...
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The Sociobiology of Information Architecture May 27, 2003

Boxes & Arrows has published my article on The Sociobiology of Information Architecture, in which I've tried to expand on a few of the themes from my IA Summit presentation earlier this year....
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The Art of Innovation May 9, 2002

New Architect just published my piece on Tom Kelley's The Art of Innovation....
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Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages

Mastering Information Through the Ages

New Paperback Edition

“A penetrating and highly entertaining meditation on the information age and its historical roots.”
—Los Angeles Times     

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