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Karl von Frisch’s Decoding the language of the bee

Frisch translated the meaning of bees' waggle dances, by which a hive compares incoming reports from individual bees about nearby food sources to make collective decisions. According to Alex Wright in his book Glut: mastering information through the ages, other studies have shown that while a single bee can retain a piece of data for up to six days, a hive, through this collective information management enterprise, can retain the same data for up to three months. This page offers a PDF download of Frisch's 1973 Nobel Lecture on the subject.

Paul Otlet’s “radiated book”

I recently had a flick through Glut: mastering information through the ages by Alex Wright and was intrigued by the story of Paul Otlet, who in the 1930s dreamt up an information retrieval system that seems to foreshadow the modern world wide web.