Author David Weinberger discusses his book "Everything Is Miscellaneous" as part of the Authors@Google series. David Weinberger is the co-author of the international bestseller "The Cluetrain Manifesto" and the author of "Small Pieces Loosely Joined". A fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, Weinberger writes for such publications as Wired, The New York Times, Smithsonian, and the Harvard Business Review and is a frequent commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. This event took place May 10, 2007 at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.
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David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard Law’s Berkman Center for the Internet & Society and Co-Director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab at Harvard Law School, discusses his new book entitled, “Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room.” According to Weinberger, knowledge in the Western world is taking on properties of its new medium, the Internet. He discusses how he believes the transformation from paper medium to Internet medium changes the shape of knowledge. Weinberger goes on to discuss how gathering knowledge is different and more effective, using hyperlinks as an example of a speedy way to obtain more information on a topic. Weinberger then talks about how the web serves as the “room,” where knowledge seekers are plugged into a network of experts who disagree and critique one another. He also addresses how he believes the web has a way of filtering itself, steering one toward information that is valuable.
It’s puzzling that even though we named an age after information, very few people can tell you what information is. And the ones with the clearest answers are often defining information in the technical sense, which is not the sense in which the culture took it up. In this session, we’ll look back at information, trying to understand what about it led us to embrace it as the dominant — paradigmatic — way of understanding ourselves and our world. David Weinberger will present an informal sketch of a direction, suggesting that we leaped into information because it reflected a long-held but squirrely metaphysics. There will be lots of time for open discussion.
Last week, Nora interviewed David Weinberger about libraries of the future. David is a writer, a senior research at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and he’s the co-director of The Harvard Library Innovation Lab. Nora and David discussed two projects the lab is working on, both related to metadata – information about information – and how it impacts the ways we find and navigate knowledge.
So if you were waiting for a public radio podcast about library metadata (and really, who hasn’t?) today’s your lucky day.