Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder
Human beings are information omnivores: we are constantly collecting, labeling, and organizing data. But today, the shift from the physical to the digital is mixing, burning, and ripping our lives apart. In the past, everything ...more
Clay Shirky's article in 2005 on ontologies said it earlier, more succintly, and with less self-aggrandizement. Any man (and yes, I mean Weinberger) who gets halfway through a book that he starts by deriding librarians and then tries to reinvent Ranganathan while hoping that if he shoves in a couple of nifty anecdotes about the man librarians won't notice he's having to backtrack rapidly has missed the point, the boat, and the cluebus ...more
(Faceted classification is where something is categorized in more than one place, e.g. how you can put a book on more than one Goodreads shelf, as opposed to in real life where it can only be in one physical location)
I kept skipping chapters to see if he had anything else to say, but if he did I missed it. He does ...more
This book deserves a read and rates almost as highly as the Clue Train manifesto. Here's a few choice quotes:
"The result is a startling change in our culture's belief that truth means accuracy, effectiveness requires adherence to clear lines of command and c ...more
Weinberger takes us through the new digital hyperworld of Web 2.0 and online organization, cataloging, r ...more
It allows information to be whatever we need, whenever we need it. There exists more potential now to add more value, not ju ...more
Weinberger's presetation of the book at GoogleTalks in 2007 will give you an excellent condesed explanation of ...more
I read Everything Is Miscellaneous by the pool at the Madang Resort while on vacation this week. That was the right setting for a book like this. David Weinberger's writing is typical "general readership" fare, full of stories and interesting bits of history. It falls short of really digging into the academic rigor beneath the ideas he discusses, and that makes it good light reading for a holiday. It's interesting to read this book now, 8 years after its initial publication, and to see just how...more
This book was published in 2007, the year I finished library school, and presents an overview of classification and metadata issues in a surprisingly entertaining way. It's a good introduction to what librarians actually deal with. (To wit: Not the Dewey Decimal system. Not alphabetizing or stamping anything.) The author introduces different levels of classification. First, the items themselves (say, books on a shelf). Then there's s ...more
A couple of things that stuck with me:
- Wikis reduce emails by about 75%; I want to test this theory in real life!
- The discussion of org charts was interesting. Corpo ...more
The overall argument is that the new digital disorder (the third order) can bring us a lot of advantages. Very briefly, the first order is the one of the physical objects; the second order is connected to some cataloged/archived information about the object (e.g. a library card catalogue); and finally, the third ...more
I just finished reading1 David Weinberger’s Everything is Miscellaneous and I find it to be a pretty engaging description of how the state of knowledge evolved with time, and now it has given me a chance to write down some thoughts.
The basic gist of the book is that knowledge is no longer tied to the physical (e.g. books), which used to limit how one went about organizing and finding it (e.g. Dewey decimal system). Now we can attach as much metadata as our hearts d ...more
from the library computer:
Summary: Philosopher Weinberger shows how the digital revolution is radically changing the way we make sense of our lives. Human beings constantly collect, label, and organize data--but today, the shift from the physical to the digital is mixing, burning, and ripping our lives apart. In the past, everything had its one place--the physical world demanded it--but now everything ...more
Weinberger sets for three orders of information. The first order is the arrangement of things (books alphabetical on a shelf, for examp ...more
Not only are semantic connections between documents on the Internet weakly established, but they are hardly used, with nothin ...more
Even in 2007, I don't think tagging was such an undiscovered territory as to require an entire book dedicated to it. At least not without the "for dummies" in the title. Yet, Weinberger attacks the subject with a zealot's fervor. File everything under miscellaneous! Dismantle a ...more
Hurray for Computers!
This was a pretty fun book. At time it felt not-particularly-deep, but I think that may have been mostly toward the beginning, where sure a thing makes sense.
A couple of quotes I pulled out, for whatever reason:
p. 119: The digital world... has never met a piece of information it didn't like - and couldn't put to work.
p. 197-8: Every triple, every playlist, every hyperlink adds value to the mess. None diminishes that value because none actu ...more
"[I]n a traditional tree, an object can be on only one branch. At Delicious, tagging a Web address with multiple tags in effect puts it on many branches. Yet despite the lack of a well-organized scheme of categories, Delicious can make a list of twenty thousand Web addresses thorough ...more
This is David Weinberger's theory in the book Everything is Miscellaneous. He does an excellent job of showing the ways that we have internalized the organizing of inform ...more
The crux of "Everything is Miscellaneous" is that when organization of things, data, information goes digital the traditional ways of ordering of those things, data, and information become increasingly unnecessary. He comes largely from the perspective of libraries and the storage of books. We are by now used to the ideas of alphabetical ...more