This is Hell! podcast: Hierarchy, division and filing cabinets at the dawn of the information age.

Media studies scholar Craig Robertson on the filing cabinet's work at the dawn of 20th century capitalism, the consequences of a logic centered around division and efficiency, and his book The Filing Cabinet: A Vertical History of Information from University of Minnesota Press.

The history of how a deceptively ordinary piece of office furniture transformed our relationship with informationThe filing cabinet emerges at this moment where capitalism takes on a vertical bias - that comes through in the idea of vertical integration, but also the emergence of the management hierarchy and the corporate ladder. Organization becomes understood as hierarchical, and that helps the development of a particular understanding of the value of information that is linked to the dominant values of capitalism.

Podcast episode at This is Hell! ep 1342.