Everything Is Miscellaneous
The Power of the New Digital Disorder
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From Publishers Weekly
In a high-minded twist on the Internet-has-changed-everything book, Weinberger (Small Pieces Loosely Joined) joins the ranks of social thinkers striving to construct new theories around the success of Google and Wik Continue
From Publishers Weekly
In a high-minded twist on the Internet-has-changed-everything book, Weinberger (Small Pieces Loosely Joined) joins the ranks of social thinkers striving to construct new theories around the success of Google and Wikipedia. Organization or, rather, lack of it, is the key: the author insists that "we have to get rid of the idea that there's a best way of organizing the world." Building on his earlier works' discussions of the Internet-driven shift in power to users and consumers, Weinberger notes that "our homespun ways of maintaining order are going to break—they're already breaking—in the digital world." Today's avalanche of fresh information, Weinberger writes, requires relinquishing control of how we organize pretty much everything; he envisions an ever-changing array of "useful, powerful and beautiful ways to make sense of our world." Perhaps carried away by his thesis, the author gets into extended riffs on topics like the history of classification and the Dewey Decimal System. At the point where readers may want to turn his musings into strategies for living or doing business, he serves up intriguing but not exactly helpful epigrams about "the third order of order" and "useful miscellaneousness." But the book's call to embrace complexity will influence thinking about "the newly miscellanized world." (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Think about how you organize your CD collection. Whether you're quirky or meticulous, once you pick a system, you're pretty much stuck with it. But in the digital world the laws of physics no longer apply. At iTunes you can sort music by any number of criteria, including artist, genre, song name, length, or price. The Internet itself is a hyperlinked web of information that we cruise organically, often finding ourselves far afield of where we started. Weinberger takes us on a journey through the human constructs of classification, from alphabetization through the Dewey decimal system, all necessary but limited approaches to organization that seem antiquated in the digital age. At places like Amazon.com and Wikipedia, an almost infinite ability to sort and combine objects and ideas produces results that range from the surprising to the ridiculous. This so-called third order mixes it all up; it's all about multiple connections and a realization that the world is not as orderly as we thought. Weinberger presents a thought-provoking and entertaining look at our rapidly evolving culture of data. David Siegfried
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