Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory Of The Web
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Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory Of The Web

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  170 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In this insightful social commentary, David Weinberger goes beyond misdirected hype to reveal what is truly revolutionary about the Web. Just as Marshall McLuhan forever altered our view of broadcast media, Weinberger shows that the Web is transforming not only social institutions but also bedrock concepts of our world such as space, time, self, knowledge-even reality itse...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 8th 2003 by Basic Books (first published 2002)
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Michael Burnam-fink
Think about the internet in 2002. No Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, 4chan, Reddit or mobile anything. eBay was huge, as was Yahoo, Wikipedia was just a year old, the hottest meme was 'All Your Base Are Belong to Us' and the DotCom Bust had dropped napalm on a host of bad ideas. Weinberger takes us back that time, when he tries to explain how the web works.

Part of it, which might be exotic to surfers circa 2002, is common knowledge to pretty much anybody who isn't dead today; the blend of anonymity...more
Martin
I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. I am a big fan of his previous book, Everything Is Miscellaneous, but this book was far more philosophical and abstract than I was expecting.

The author looks at how the Internet changes some of our long held abstract concepts such as time, space, matter and togetherness. It was interesting, just not as relevant as i had hoped. I'm still looking forward to reading Weinberger's most recent book, Too Big to Know.
Hana Carpenter
A time capsule of technologist optimism. This book is a poignant read; so many of the author's ambitions for the future of the Internet failed to come true. If you want to see what potential this medium held when it was young and the world was bright, this book is useful. I wouldn't take it much more seriously than that, though.
Erin
I had to put this one down. I like these sorts of books to be either really current or really technical and academic, but this was neither. The style of writing was kind of entertaining, but there just wasn't anything new or groundbreaking that I haven't read or considered before.
Jenaya
Hopelessly dated. Useless to me, even for a Writing 121 class.
Mikal
This book is a useful philosophical narrative for the web. To develop a web based application, to use the web for purposes of organization or to use the tools of the present day web is to build, organize, or navigate the world David Weinberger describes.

Small pieces is a useful treatise that loses itself from time to time. David's work is a cultural examination of the web- based on how it is similar or dissimilar to the lebenswelt (life-world). It's this examination that serves to be the glass c...more
Jarrodtrainque
David Weinberger's Small Pieces Loosely Joined does not merely celebrate the World Wide Web; it attempts to make a case that the institution has completely remodeled many of the world's self-perceptions. The book does so entertainingly, if not convincingly, and is a lively collection of epigrammatic phrases (the Web is "'place-ial' but not spatial";"on the Web everyone will be famous to 15 people"), as well as illustrations of these changes. There are intriguing assertions: that the Web is "brok...more
Katie/Doing Dewey
Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory Of The Web was as philosophical as it sounds. The view of the web presented here is very abstract, focusing on the way the web has (according to the author) caused people to re-define fundamental concepts such as space, time and togetherness. I found a lot of the evidence he offered in support of these views self-evident although I'm still not sure I agree with his assertion that we view time differently because of the internet. I do, however, agree...more
Jen
Entertaining and informative read on the implications of the Internet- how it is/will change the world, society, the way people think. Very interesting, this book made me re-think the way I view the Internet, realize some of its possibilities (e-books), hate it both a little less and a little more. Basically, it opened my eyes about something I take for granted and made me realize the huge, fundamental changes in society that the Internet has made possible. Fascinating stuff, written lightly and...more
Joshua Bloom
Jun 06, 2007 Joshua Bloom rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: reference
A great high level look at what the Web means now and what it could mean in the future. Mr. Weinberger brings lots of great analysis to the social and societal reasons for the explosion and popularity of the Web.

Though there are references to and discussions of technology, this is not a technical book. This book is focused on the emotional and personal reasons that so many people are using the Web.

Read it. Don't wait.
Kelly
Almost too touchy-feely for me to handle at times. Good ideas, though many are repeated in "Everything is Miscellaneous" on a more granular level. Still good - Weinberger's a great writer who weaves good analogies and good story-telling into a bigger picture.
Darius
10 years ago, this book kinda blew my mind. So tonight I was looking for another book to read and pulled this down from the shelf to read again. I'll also be farming some quotes for my Secret Project, while I'm at it.
Lauren
This is THE BEST BOOK I'VE READ in at least five years. If you're interested in information, media, the internet, &/or culture. This one is for you.
Christopher Filkins
To the uninitiated this piece is likely a great fit. Unfortunately most of what it contains has long ago been incorporated into my thinking.
Gabe Mounce
This book was really interesting from the perspective of how the "networks" and computer networks in particular facilitate collaboration.
Dlangendorf
One of my early favorites on the web. Thought provoking. An author and web observer not too full of himself as many are.
Susan K
It's outdated and there's little here that you don't already know about the internet.

I found his glib style annoying.
Megan
Not bad. I like the way the chapters were set up. Good conversational tone, too.
rachel
Sep 23, 2007 rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who has ever turned on a computer/intends to turn a computer on in the future
it's not about the internet. it's about the way we connect to one another.
Dithreabhach Creidmheach
One of the best books I have read about the Web.
Brianrichins
Brianrichins marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
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