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Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder
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Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,895 Ratings  ·  220 Reviews
Business visionary and bestselling author David Weinberger shows how the digital revolution is radically changing the way we make sense of our lives

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
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Times Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mostly I learned that Weinberger hasn't been paying attention.

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
Stacy Alesi's
People like to ask me about books - I've been asked to name my favorite books, the books I would take to a desert island, and the books that have changed my life. My favorites change from year to year, I would need an entire cruise ship to fill with enough books to sustain me on a desert island, and while books in general have changed my life, I've never had any sort of epiphany while reading, at least not that I can recall. Until now. Reading Everything is Miscellaneous gave me my moment. It wa ...more
Jan 15, 2008 Jenne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: civilians; librarians who have been living under a rock for the last 5 years
Shelves: didnt-finish
As far as I got, anyway, the author has one thing he wants to tell you in this book: faceted classification is awesome, and now that more things are digitized, we can actually use it.

(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
Nov 29, 2007 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a librarian, I try to read books about the current evolutionary changes our profession is undergoing. This book had been recommended to me by a library blogger who I frequent daily. The author was also a co-author of "The Cluetrain Manifesto," which I found fluffy and empty, mainly because it dealt with marketing and the "changing paradigms" of business. This book, however, was much better.

Weinberger takes us through the new digital hyperworld of Web 2.0 and online organization, cataloging, r
Sean Howard
Dec 29, 2008 Sean Howard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love MOST about this book are the AWESOMELY hysterical reviews from librarians or Information Science (IA) folk. People who subsequently find themselves more and more affected by the very forces they find so objectionable in this book.

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
Feb 01, 2016 Nigel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well presented case for the argument that how we have come to classify everything in our daily lives, from books to animals and pictures to music the Aristolean way is up for question. facts are well presented and interspersed with some well made arguments. My main beef is that at times it does come across as everything internet related is cool despite, given the date of being published ~2007, it was still finding it's way and in many regards still is. Like all books there is an element of ...more
Neil Coulter

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

Aug 03, 2010 Bárbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic
Interesting, but not terrific. I guess because it was published in 2007 -- so what might have been a mind-opener back then, it is now a pretty obvious account of the "digital disorder".

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
Mar 17, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serious, mls
Third order almost sounds like a plan for world semantic domination. I'm hooked. This skinny book gave me some big ideas about how my introduction to cataloging course will feed into the metadata courses I'll take. Gave me a bird's eye view (with some specific examples) of how the semantic web can be put to use for users. I'm starting to use Delicious, just to play around a little. Really excited about how Ranganathan applies to librarians' work on the web. Really great read for librarians, info ...more
John Cooper
The author is an interesting man: he's a marketing consultant with a Ph.D. in philosophy who works at the Harvard Law School and advised Howard Dean's brief run for president. His book The Cluetrain Manifesto was memorably influential in 2001. He writes engagingly, informally, and clearly. Unfortunately, this book consists of ten chapters all saying the same thing: that we have moved past the age of classifying information in hierarchies and one-to-one relationships, and moved into the world of ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Hawthorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book, author David Weinberger is discussing how we think about and organize knowledge, and about how the internet is changing the way we do that. He starts by discussing the hierarchical nature of traditional organizing schemes (what he calls first and second order schemes) like the Dewey Decimal System, and Linnaeus’ taxonomic scheme of organizing the natural world, and then examines some of the flaws with those systems. Among them: Dewey isn’t flexible enough to account for new knowledg ...more
Apr 04, 2016 Holley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
There were things that I did and did not like about this book, and I realize that two stars looks rather harsh, but the rating says "it was okay," and that is exactly what this book was - okay.

This is a book written for a popular audience. As is this case for most of these types of books, it is too novice for the person actually working in the field, and seems to be written for outsiders who have no knowledge of the topic. There is nothing really wrong with this, of course, I just feel that perh
Jason Carney
Jul 10, 2014 Jason Carney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology
I loved this book. It changed the way I use a lot of software, particularly cloud-based software. The central idea is that past systems of organizing knowledge are constricted by space and matter. Objects to be cataloged can only occupy so much space, on the shelf, in the museum, in the garden, and so they can, at the end of the day, only be determined to be one thing, to have one essence. However, when knowledge systems are disentangled from their material bodies (when we start digital tagging ...more
Mar 07, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The central thesis of Everything Is Miscellaneous is one with which I completely agree: digital information environments allow us to organize, access, and interact with information in new and previously undreamt ways. It allows us to transcend the limitations of physical storage and communication media, to free information to be everywhere and anywhere all at the same time.

It allows information to be whatever we need, whenever we need it. There exists more potential now to add more value, not ju
Sep 03, 2014 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book for an LIS class and it was decent. Sometimes I thought it was too theoretical and that the theory was shaky from time to time. Many of the examples Weinberger gives are really interesting and he definitely inspired me to look at some things differently.
Atila Iamarino
Legal, com boas ideias mas extenso demais para isso. A ideia principal, de que organização digital (ele chama de terceira ordem) é uma outra forma de organizar completamente diferente das outras, com sobreposição de categorias, tags e etc poderia ser bem mais resumida.
Nov 16, 2007 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely ridiculous book, for exactly the opposite reason as The Cult of the Amateur. As a librarian his laissez faire approach to information categorization and storage made me physically ill.
Harald Groven
Jan 04, 2015 Harald Groven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent introduction to classification systems, with a lot of anecdotes and examples. Weinbergers main point is that while classification systems for physical objects can have only one order, computer organized classification systems can have endless different orders and subsets. So there is no need to impose the limitations of physical classification systems onto the digital domain.

Weinberger's presetation of the book at GoogleTalks in 2007 will give you an excellent condesed explanation of
Jun 03, 2008 Susana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From atoms to bits and how we all can add and retrieve information in the third order.
Dewey, Wikipedia, and much, much more.
Dec 09, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
To review this as I experienced it or as I think others would?

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
Amanda BeReckonedwith
Aug 22, 2009 Amanda BeReckonedwith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: Jessica
This author makes some excellent arguments for the wisdom of the tags on the internet and the potential they have for re-ordering anything at a stroke of the keys. I really enjoyed his humor and his tales about classifiers such as Dewey (Dui to his pre-professional friends), Ranganathan, Mendeleev and Railsback. Taking organization out of a two-dimensional model on paper(s) and putting into machines with the ability to sift, sort, and amaze at the juxtapositions that come into focus by the large ...more
Jan 30, 2013 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: Professor McKay
David Weinberger author of Everything is Miscellaneous: the power of the New Digital Disorder, introduces his’ readers to a cast of characters that influenced the categorization and organization of material. Weinberger stated that information came in three orders of order and the first order was the placement of a physical thing and the second order was the structuring of an object containing atoms. A card catalog would be an example of the second order. The third order consisted of data being d ...more
Theresa Macphail
If there was such a thing as a new technology positivism, then Weinberger could be painted with the label of "positivist." He is so in favor of all things "miscellaneous" - especially online - that this book almost reads like a tract in boosterism for the companies he uses as examples (a charge he tries to head off in his footnotes by admitting that he does indeed work as a consultant for many of said companies). I thought the book was easy to read and I liked Weinberger's discussion of first, s ...more
Phil Newman
Apr 01, 2011 Phil Newman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book. As someone who tags everything and is really focused on keeping my iPhoto library organized the concepts presented really appealed to me. I'd jumped into tagging and never considered the fact that it does hide other information. Yet another example of extremes - somewhere in the middle is a happy medium.

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
Paul Ivanov
Feb 23, 2010 Paul Ivanov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
originally reviewed on my blog:

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
Jun 29, 2009 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was dedicated to librarians; today many of them employed by the variety of industries as the "Knowledge specialists". This book explains why this change in title is happening .The book is about our relation with information and how we access and categorise knowledge differently in the digital era. It is about a move from order to miscellaneous, from Dewey system to numerous databases, social networks and on-line encyclopedias. It is about chaos that creates an amazing surge in knowledg ...more
Sep 17, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
from the library c2007 there is pressure on this book at the library so I will reask in 18 weeks

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
The internet has prompted a revolution in information science. This book is about the emerging methods of finding information. These methods are applied to locating music (iTunes), books (Amazon and WorldCat), real estate (Zillow and PropSmart), photographs (Flickr), encyclopedias of information (Wickipedia), used stuff of every sort (eBay), and the list goes on.

Weinberger sets for three orders of information. The first order is the arrangement of things (books alphabetical on a shelf, for examp
Mar 14, 2010 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some concepts in this book that I'm on board with, namely that tagging and loosely defined ontologies associated with items make those items easier to find digitally. I also think that searching for meaning, vs. information, is a great pursuit. I came away from reading this book discouraged at the thought of the Internet circa 2010 providing that sort of meaning.

Not only are semantic connections between documents on the Internet weakly established, but they are hardly used, with nothin
Jul 24, 2009 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Both Nicholas Carr's The Big Switch and David Weinberger's Everything is Miscellaneous tackle the same essential question: what happens when the whole world puts all of it's information on the same network? Carr focuses on the trend toward centralized computing to make sense of mass quantities of information as cheaply and efficiently a possible. Weinberger aims his focus at new attempts to organize, categorize, and make sense of the information. I feel that both books also share the same weakne ...more
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  • Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages
  • Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become
  • Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences
  • The Social Life of Information
  • Foundations of Library and Information Science
  • Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
  • Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
  • Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
  • The Portable MLIS: Insights from the Experts
  • The Organization of Information (Library and Information Science Text Series)
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization
  • The Oxford Guide to Library Research
  • Librarian's Guide to Online Searching
  • Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
  • Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century : An Introduction
  • The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It
  • The Atlas of New Librarianship

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