Linnaeus’ Strength: Simplicity, Not Accuracy

A very nice in-depth article from Wired on Linnaeus, taxonomies and the current debate in biological classification. This sentence caught my eye:

“In the end, the debates may only serve to highlight the great strength of the Linnaean system: It was simplicity—not accuracy—that proved the key to its success, and that’s precisely why it has survived the computer, internet and DNA revolutions.”

Thanks David Weinberger for the reference. David has a sidepiece to the Wired article with an excerpt from his new book about Linnaeus’ impact on classification theory, and how the digital world has changed everything. I’ve ordered Everything is Miscellaneous and am eagerly awaiting its arrival!

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