I did so want to go into edge-notched cards and the transition of Melvil Dewey’s Library Bureau empire dying out just as IBM became ascendant. And then there was the transition to punched card programming shortly thereafter. But I worried about having hit a 2,000 word limit and testing my reader’s patience, for something that was going a bit further afield than note taking.

In my youth I actually wrote a few working short punch-card programs in FORTRAN, but only as toy examples. I also experimented with some cryptography using edge-notched cards as well. If you want to go crazy, Claude Shannon building computers out hydraulics at MIT can be a fun rabbit hole. Fortunately his masters thesis translating Boolean algebra into electronics saved us all the exercise.

Winer’s outlines and OPML work are also awesome. I’ve recently been watching some use it to create personal, shareable online libraries. I want to explore potential historical relationships there with Peter Ramus’ outlines and structural replacements for mnemotechniques. He may be one of the original EdTech villains despite Walter Ong calling Ramus’s use of outlines, ‘a reorganization of the whole of knowledge and indeed of the whole human lifeworld.’

Taxonomies? Don’t get me started… 😉 If you’ve not come across John Locke’s work on taxonomies/indices, you might appreciate this overview: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/john-lockes-method-for-common-place-books-1685

If you’re into this sort of nerdery, you might like:
Markus Krajewski. Paper Machines. About cards & catalogs, 1548-1929. MIT Press, Cambridge 2011, ISBN 978-0-262-01589-9. I ran across it a bit ago, and have a copy on it’s way to me.