Class work: SEARCHING for MENDELEEV, WHERE ARE YOU?

  • searching for: “Periodic Table of Elements”
  • found a http://www.ptable.com site that shows an interactive table of elements which can be organized by properties, orbitals, and by isotopes.  Properties of each element are displayed in a zoom window which makes it easy to see the difference between the elements, when jut hovering over the table.
  • chose to go back to the search and add “Mendeleev”
  • picked a website to go: http://www.aip.org/history/curie/periodic.htm which basically gives a paragraph of Mendeleev’s biography and further discusses how the table of elements is broken down onto different categories.
  • switched to WSUV’s Griffins Catalog to do the same thing:
  • searched for “Mendeleev’s Periodic Table” within <Vancouver> campus (I assume)
  • search came up with NO RESULTS! wow!
  • modified the search by removing <‘s> from the phrase
  • AGAIN returned with NO RESULTS for the “Mendeleev Periodic Table”
  • modified the search to “periodic table”
  • Griffin found 8 entrees: I picked the first one: The periodic table of videos [electronic resource]. Poliakoff, M. (Martyn) Nottingham, UK : University of Nottingham, 2009.
  • the link provided me with electronic electronic access to the website http://www.periodicvideos.com
  • very interesting take: each element instead of graphical image shows me a video of a professor explaining the particular element in detail.  Although the page is not as interactive, it is very entertaining to watch and learn about elements.
  • went back to searching for word: “Mendeleev”
  • the search came back with “NO ENTRIES FOUND” .  I am not sure if it is appalling or is it jut ignorant.
  • clicked on the “advanced search” button
  • entered mendeleev in one field under <ANY> category, periodic in one field under <ANY> category, table in one field under <ANY> category
  • “NO ENTRIES FOUND”
  • I give up!

The difference of search experience between the two searches mainly was the number of return items.  First one came back with thousands of returns that were pages mostly just displaying the periodic table.  In a griffin, I was amazed at how the word Mendeleev was not in the library at the campus where Biology major is one of the most popular degrees at WSU Vancouver.  However, the griffin library search came back with one of the results as a website with video of professor explaining each element properties.

Reading Response to: “The New Order of Order” & “Alphabetization & Its Discontent”

Chapter 1 – “The New Order of Order”

great first chapter! it talks about the three order of orders: Sorting, Cataloging and Digitizing. The bits define gravity, they are easier to search through and they are by far more sustainable then the first two ways of order.

Everything has its place, every book, product, item, pin, button, track of an album and the album itself. I always believed the order is the most important thing to have in order to, for example, make it a good experience for browsing at the store, or be able to find something easily. There is even a saying. “Better put-away, easier found” don’t know where it came from, but it works. Electronic media made it possible for that order to become miscellaneous. Apple’s creation iTunes library in my computer is even able to match the music that I am playing and pick the “right” mix to the next song. It is simply amazing! However, everything has an order, even if the order is by miscellaneous.

Order by miscellaneous is second nature to us. We simply don’t know it yet. But if one look at it closer, we are miscellaneous creatures, we don’t look alike, yet our bodies are identical in their structure. The life itself is a miscellaneous order or, one may say, it’s a controlled chaos. Our nature is to reproduce that chaos, or to reflect it in our lives, we are made to organize and reorganize and reorganize over again. The first chapter says that knowing where things are and where they go is important to us and this is what makes us feel “home,” because organization is our second nature (to some more than to others). In order to “keep it up” we organize, and then we store the information in a digital catalog for later use.

The organization is subdivided into three categories. First order of order is the physical sorting of things what they are. Second order of order is a catalog of descriptions and information about those objects. Third order of order is a digital catalog. The last order defies physical laws. It is fluid; it has better usability and more practicality. It is less time consuming and more productive. Finally, the third order of order is more sustainable than the first or second (physical orders). Most importantly, the Third order is a user-defined order, so it is not using professional catalogers; nevertheless, it is easy to find an image using their search engine.

Chapter 2 – “Alphabetization &amp; Its Discontent”

The second chapter further deepens the discussion of order, or to be more specific, of its “discontent.” It does not matter what language one uses to collect things, the problem becomes more obvious when we try to explain the way nature works and weather it has an order. The alphabetical order is something that is not defining the nature of a subject. Language is made of alphabet, and can be considered as second order, where one may describe a subject or a collection of subject according to their properties. But, to my understanding, the properties themselves are redefined and there is no order, after all. “In a perfect world” of Christianity, or any other religion for this matter, the unstable formula of a chain hierarchy prevents that perfect world from its own existence. The world is simply very stiff and missing its joints, which science is trying to define and connect.

In conclusion, one can not define a particular order to everything. Even as solid as one may think the Mendeleev’s periodic table is, it still is only a second-order catalog of elements, so far discovered. But nothing is final in the third order of orders, the digital world is meant to connect information in multiple ways, miscellaneously, unimagined before its existence.