What is the shape of knowledge?
Many people have attempted to categorise knowledge. One of the most permanent expressions of this is the Dewey decimal system. There are many others. Wordnet is a hierarchy of words, moving from general at the root through to specific at the leaves.
Books and words are fine, but what about knowledge itself? One of the most explicit recent attempt to develop such a hierarchy is the Cyc project. Cyc attempts to synthesise common sense knowledge. The project creators use this diagramme to explain how the system works:
This left me wondering about two things, 1) what does knowledge really look like, 2) why are we always creating hierarchies in nature? The empirical evidence seems to defy us whenever we attempt that.