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Thread: A rather odd question

  1. #1 A rather odd question 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Hello there,

    This is posted here because it is my understanding that philosophers study "knowledge". I assume that this also extends to theories on organising knowledge.

    I am trying to come up with a way to organise all my Microsoft Word documents and favourited websites.

    The problem I am trying to resolve is: there are so many documents and websites, that when I want to find some information, well... I have to find it!

    There are instances where, even though I have certain information available to me, I do not make use of it because I do not know I have it amongst everything else.

    I was recently involved in a legal dispute to recover money stolen from me. I received a decent payout. At first I was happy, until I discovered that the evidence I had amassed over the months showed conclusively that the thief had been lying at the negotiation meeting. The lies did not affect my settlement, but would have affected any punishment he may have received.

    He did not deny taking money from me. Instead he claimed to have taken it "mistakenly".

    I could have proven beyond any doubt he was lying if I had looked through some of the documentation I had made.

    I am trying to come up with a systematic approach that I can follow to ensure I don't over look relevant information.

    At the moment the "guidelines" will take the following form (I am using law and medical as an example):

    1. Is the issue a legal one?
    a. Yes - Read this and go to question 3.
    b. No - Go to question 2.
    2. Is the issue a medical one?
    a. Yes - Check this and this then go to question 7.
    b. No - Go to question 9.
    3. Is it criminal or civil in nature?
    a. Civil - Go to question 5.
    b. Criminal - Go to question 6.
    c. Both - Go here and then Go to question 11

    The underlined words "this" and "here" would take me to documents/websites that are relevent for that stage of the process. So for example, at question one where it asks whether the issue is legal in nature, the link next to "yes" would take me to information that I will need to browse over regardless of what type of legal issue it is I am dealing with. It would perhaps be a broad overview of the legal system.

    As you go through the questions, the linked resources would become more specific.

    Does anyone have any advice for me?

    Do some philosophers study how to organise knowledge?

    Sorry if this is the wrong forum. I couldn't think of any other subject that this type of question would fit in to.

    Note: I am extremely unhappy with the Q/A form that my guidelines are taking. It is the only way I could come up with though.

    Thanks for any help

    Last edited by Guidelines; September 21st, 2012 at 06:40 AM.
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  3. #2  
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    This is really more of a computer science question. I think what you need to do is to make a database. You could use something like Microsoft Access, or even Excel, to build a table. I prefer Access for something like this, but Excel is probably easier to learn. There are also free database and spreadsheet programs you could use. Each row of the table is one record, or document. The columns of the table are used to classify the document according to the categories of legal, medical, etc. You can make queries or filters to narrow down the records in the database to the ones you are interested in when you are looking for something. You can even put links in the database that will take you to other documents stored on your computer.

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