Blogs as ‘Cabinets of Wonder’

I’d have to say, all but the very best blogs probably fall way short of the Wunderkammer standard. Certainly the millions of abandoned Blogger accounts don’t amount to much in the way of personal taxonomy. Nor does “a style and order specific to his or her own vision” explain the standardized utility of reading posts in plain old reverse chronological order.

a NYTimes.com Ideas blog post, 17 November 2008

Internet | Get up to speed with the view of blogs as descended from Renaissance “cabinets of wonder,” or Wunderkammern. Back then, they were encyclopedic, idiosyncratic collections of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined by modern science. Bloggers, too, “present a collection of images, ideas, and objects in a style and order specific to his or her own vision: a personal taxonomy.” [Cabinet of Wonder, Julian Dibbell]

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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