Sorting Noises: Poetry, Libraries, and the Resistance of Information
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Librarians and poets are fatuous experts on everything. Both have had frequent recourse to information theories ranging from cybernetics to semiotics and from corporate parsimonies to hermetic correspondences. I wanted to start a movement, LIBRARIANS AGAINST INFORMATION, in solidarity with POETS AGAINST LITERATURE. Instead, I wrote this essay, borrowing a dilapidated conceit: Russell Ackoff’s so-called Wisdom Pyramid. Picture a triangle, laterally stratified, hierarchic and vaguely hieratic: from bottom to top, the steps are Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom. Imagine this as poetry. I tried, playing sorts with whatever came to hand, heaping questions, tweaking answers and scattering rubble.