I am continuing the research of commit #10 on “Curation – The Power of Selection in a World of Excess” by Michael Bhaskar.
When it comes to research in general or curation, the goal must be clear. Why do you select and what happens when you do so? By defining that basic and most important question, you also define what goes into it and to what to say no. By cutting things down you are making it better by refining. To design a smartphone with buttons reduced to a minimum has a specific purpose. A film editor cuts out scenes of the movie which are unnecessary for the general audience to understand the story. That’s why director’s cut versions exist, including the director’s darlings which were killed in the process.
There comes a point when the costs of informational or structural complexity outweighs their benefits. To manage that degree of complexity curation can be one of multiple ways to create some kind of balance: keep what is important and valuable about complexity, without being overwhelmed by it. A proposal for this is going back to the first principle, meaning an assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption, to iteratively make products more robust and cheaper over time. This approach can be seen in practice at Tesla and Space X on the hardware side and on the software side at WhatsApp with the simplest form of digital communication.
With the standard of categorization and unique identifiers, Linnaeus revolutionized biology in the 18th century. The sheer amount of diversity in the scientific, biological landscape was enormous without a proper framework for classification. After implementing the genus and the species in a hierarchical system, the exchange of information between scientists became much easier. In the same time, these experts also defined what is important, relevant and useful as characteristics.
The more there is to remember, the more we need to externalize. This happens every day on my computer by making folders or creating new documents, to give information and knowledge a specific place which follows a certain logic I can rely on. We have a predisposition for lists. We like order, narrative, care, clarity and ease.
And this is commit #11!