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Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Roomby David Weinberger
Synopses & Reviews
We used to know how to know. We got our answers from books or experts. Wed nail down the facts and move on. But in the Internet age, knowledge has moved onto networks. Theres more knowledge than ever, of course, but its different. Topics have no boundaries, and nobody agrees on anything.
Yet this is the greatest time in history to be a knowledge seeker . . . if you know how. In Too Big to Know, Internet philosopher David Weinberger shows how business, science, education, and the government are learning to use networked knowledge to understand more than ever and to make smarter decisions than they could when they had to rely on mere books and experts.
This groundbreaking book shakes the foundations of our concept of knowledge—from the role of facts to the value of books and the authority of experts—providing a compelling vision of the future of knowledge in a connected world.
"Weinberger (Everything is Miscellaneous), a senior researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, engagingly examines the production, dissemination, and accessibility of knowledge in the Internet era. The fundamental and pertinent question Weinberger pursues is how the new surplus of knowledge afforded by the Internet affects our 'basic strategy of knowing.' This strategy evolved from 'book-shaped thought,' a form 'in which parts depend upon the parts before it.' Unlike books, however, Weinberger contends that long-form argument on the Internet engages a more dynamic dimension than a static book ever could: it is 'put into a network where the discussion around it will violate its pristine logic.' Despite the slight incompatibility to long-form argument, ideas, and knowledge on the Internet are plentiful, hyperlinked, autonomous, open, and, perhaps most importantly, unsettled, making the Internet a forum within which knowledge is not merely accepted; it is contemplated and questioned. While occasionally tending towards the philosophical, Weinberger's book is full of relevant and thought-provoking, insights that make making it a must-read for anyone concerned with knowledge in the digital age. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
The ever growing Internet both hosts a mishmash of socially and politically motivated opinions and offers a setting that allows science and business to grow and flourish like never before. Weinberger (Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, Harvard U.) explores both of these phenomena, essentially making the point that knowledge has changed dramatically from the era of the book or journal. It is written in a casual style, but does contain a good number of references for further reading. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
With the advent of the Internet and the limitless information it contains, were less sure about what we know, who knows what, or even what it means to know at all. And yet, human knowledge has recently grown in previously unimaginable ways and in inconceivable directions. In Too Big to Know, David Weinberger explains that, rather than a systemic collapse, the Internet era represents a fundamental change in the methods we have for understanding the world around us. With examples from history, politics, business, philosophy, and science, Too Big to Know describes how the very foundations of knowledge have been overturned, and what this revolution means for our future.
About the Author
David Weinberger is a Senior Researcher at Harvard Universitys Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He is the author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined, Everything Is Miscellaneous, and a coauthor of The Cluetrain Manifesto. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
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