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Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory Of The Web

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3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  222 Ratings  ·  23 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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Mikal
Jun 16, 2013 Mikal rated it liked it
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
Michael Burnam-fink
Feb 17, 2013 Michael Burnam-fink rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, 2013
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
Jun 04, 2012 Martin rated it it was ok
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.
Roger K.
Jan 03, 2016 Roger K. rated it really liked it
Books about the internet typically don't age well. It is impressive how relevant this book still is, even more than a decade after it was written. It shares many themes with The Netocrats and will appeal to anyone that has read that excellent work.

Weinberger builds on the Cluetrain Manifesto to explore how the internet and Web have redefined space, time, and ourselves. My main takeaway was that the main appeal of the internet and Web are that they are a place where we can be more ourselves - cre
...more
Hana Carpenter
Apr 30, 2012 Hana Carpenter rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-and-tech
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
Sep 19, 2008 Erin rated it it was ok
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
Jul 23, 2008 Jenaya rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
Hopelessly dated. Useless to me, even for a Writing 121 class.
Jeremy
Aug 26, 2014 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
Only on the web does a book 12 years old feel like ancient history. In many respects, Weinberger was prescient, identifying trends that have become more and more powerful (e.g., one passage could be seen as predicting the rise of Wikipedia, and another the advent of the currently omnipresent "Like" button). Even more often, he provides insights that are still deep and thought-provoking.

Weinberger is a philosopher by training, and this book is strongest when Weinberger focuses on philosophy. For
...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
Jan 22, 2012 Katie/Doing Dewey rated it liked it
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
Oct 25, 2009 Jen rated it liked it
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 it was amazing
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
Sep 14, 2008 Kelly rated it really liked it
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
Feb 26, 2013 Darius rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 10, 2007 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
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
Jan 22, 2008 Christopher Filkins rated it liked it
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
Jul 16, 2011 Gabe Mounce rated it really liked it
This book was really interesting from the perspective of how the "networks" and computer networks in particular facilitate collaboration.
Dlangendorf
Sep 18, 2011 Dlangendorf rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 24, 2016 Susan K rated it did not like it
It's outdated and there's little here that you don't already know about the internet.

I found his glib style annoying.
Megan C
Not bad. I like the way the chapters were set up. Good conversational tone, too.
rachel
Sep 23, 2007 rachel rated it it was amazing
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.
Cal Pearson
Aug 31, 2012 Cal Pearson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read about the Web.
Vignesh Swaminathan
Vignesh Swaminathan marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Marla
Marla marked it as to-read
May 17, 2016
Andrew
Andrew marked it as to-read
May 17, 2016
Carlos
Carlos marked it as to-read
May 16, 2016
Jöran Muuß-merholz
Jöran Muuß-merholz marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Shane Ayers
Shane Ayers marked it as to-read
May 12, 2016
Nick
Nick rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2016
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