U2.1 Scope & Terminology – Order From Chaos

The term Order From Chaos is widely used in many different contexts. A quick search on Google reveals that it appears in areas as diverse as heavy metal music, foreign policy, and science. On this site, however, the term is used  to refer to the notion that efficient ways of sorting and organising things can be combined with the power of the computer to produce a more ordered, accessible, and useful set of objects.

Initially, when the concept was first developed in the 1980s, the idea related to physical objects. However, as the use of computers grew to permeate all aspects of our lives, we have had to contend with an increasing number of objects that were created in digital form (often referred to as ‘born digital’). Hence, this site has been exploring Order from Chaos concepts for both physical and digital objects.

The word ‘chaos’ does imply a degree of disorder; however, it must be remembered that chaos is relative and in the eye of the beholder. For example, several piles of paper in a study might appear disorganised, while the owner may have placed them deliberately and knows exactly where to find a particular item. Hence, there are no perfect solutions – only possibilities from which an individual or household can select an option which works for them.

I haven’t come across any other people investigating this exact same meaning of the term, though there are undoubtedly other people working in related fields. However, I have not made an exhaustive search to identify them: I have  only sought to find information and people in relation to specific questions that have arisen in this work. Therefore, readers should keep in mind that there are likely to be many other related views and experiences out there.

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