All the Knowledge in the World
August 15, 2010
It has been said that when Harry Truman was twelve years old, he and a friend decided to read all the books in the local public library. The fact that they thought it was possible is rather endearing. Imagine what he would think of libraries today! The actual, physical books in libraries are only a fraction of what knowledge is available worldwide. The advent of the internet has expanded our world beyond our wildest imaginations.
I began thinking about how would we classify all the knowledge in the world. Rather than filing everything alphabetically, which could become extremely cumbersome, numbers can be used to infinity (and beyond, courtesy of Buzz Lightyear). Numbers also transcend language barriers. Combine both numbers and the alphabet, and you have the Dewey Decimal System.
In 1876, Melvil Dewey's classifications consisted of thirty six pages. In the 21st century, the twenty second edition was printed in 2003 and consisted of four volumes. The print edition is updated every seven years. Internet versions of the print editions are updated quarterly. Whew! With the explosion of knowledge in all areas of life, it isn't easy to keep up, even in a very general way. But.....isn't it fun to try?
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the comment section below or visit us at Riverside. We are always glad to help and love learning, just like Harry did.