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Weinberger



16



Everything is Miscellaneous

By

David Weinberger


Book notes compiled by Jane L. Sigford


Prologue

Information in Space


In the past our world has been defined by use of physical space which has
limitations:

1.

In some physical space some things are nearer
than others

2.

Physical objects can be in only one spot at any one time

3.

Physical space is shared, so there can be only one layout, even though we all
have different needs.

4.

Human physical abilities are limited

5.

Organization of any store needs to be orderly and
neat.


Let’s talk about an alternative world

the digital world:


1.

Instead of atoms that take up room, it’s made of bits.

2.

Instead of making us walk long aisles, in the digital world everything is only a
few clicks away.

3.

Instead of having to be the same way
for all people, it can instantly
rearrange itself for each person and each person’s current task.

4.

Instead
of items being placed in one area of a store, they can be classified
in every different category in which users might
conceivably

expect to find
them.

Physical space has guided and limited how we organize knowledge.


Suppose that now, for the first time in history, we can arrange things without
the
limitations

of physical. Knowledge is freed from physical
constraints;

information
doesn’t just want to b
e free. It wants to be
miscellaneous. P, 7


Chapter 1

The New Order of Order




iTunes example of how we can take full advantage of organizing the world

Everything has its places



Because we are organized now by bits, not physical space, the
solution to the
overabundance of information is more information.

P. 13



In digital world, restrictions of space don’t hold. Items can get assigned to
multiple places simultaneously

Yours, Mine, and Ours

Weinberger



16





Every
day
, more books come into the library than the

6,487 volumes Thomas
Jefferson donated in 1815 to kick
-
start the collection after the British
burned the place down. At Library of Congress books can be assigned up to
ten different subject headings because of limitations of the organizational
system and

physical space.



Library of Congress

deals with seven thousand new books a day. Yet
seven
million

pages are added to the Web every day according to
The Washington
Post.

26
times the number of books in the Library’s entire book collection



The Library of c
ongress’s processes for ordering information simply won’t
work in new world of digital information. There is too much information
moving too rapidly and there are no centralized classification experts in
charge of the new digital world we’re rapidly creat
ing for ourselves, starting
with World Wide Web but including every connected corporate library, data
repository, and media player

Three Orders of Order

1.

First Order of Things: we organize things themselves e.g. silverware goes
into drawers, books go on sh
elves.

2.

Second Order of Things:sorts by characteristics of things; defining by
attributes what it is and what it is not e.g. using a card catalog to sort by
category.

a.

Sorts by metadata because it’s information about information.

b.

Implicit authority about
who deems the information worthy of being
published on paper.

Issue with both first and second order sorting

they arrange
atoms.

There
are laws about how atoms work. They take up room, can only be in one place
at a time, for example.


3. Third order:
Organized by bits.


a. changing way we organize information

b. taking away authority of who controls and weights the information


Chapter 2

Alphabetization and its discontents




Alphabetization

unnatural and arbitrary. The alphabet itself has been a
source of controversy for centuries. Whose alphabet? Which letters to
include, or not? Which language?

Natural Order



Mortimer Adler tried to alphabetize wholeheartedly and organize
information by deciding what would go in to
Encyclopedia
Britannica


And

what are the Great Books that all should study.



It is one man’s vision of knowledge.

Weinberger



16





The task and discipline are imposed by physical limitations of paper.



BUT in 3
rd

order of order, ideas come unglued. Scholars shelve books
differently, not just accord
ing to Adler. And in digital order, shelvings are
provisional. Alphabetical order is not enough.

Joints of nature



Some items have “joints” or natural separations such as the joints in a
turkey are logical places to cut it apart.



We try to apply a “natura
l” order to things that are arbitrary and not
natural, such as the DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders. If doctors treat, prescribe drugs, and insurance reimburses,
there needs to be a classification in the DSM. However, to underst
and how
arbitrary this is one can look at the historical classification of being
homosexual. In 1952 it was a “sociopathic personality disturbance.” Several
iterations occurred until the latest edition when homosexuality is not
mentioned at all.



Knowledg
e is what happens when the joints of our ideas are the same as the
joints of nature.

Order of Heaven



We believe there is an order to nature

that there are no “missing links” in
the evolution of species from God to angels to humans to mammals to birds
to
insects to clams to plants to minerals to pure nothingness. Everything has
its place. P. 35.



Example: The definition of a planet has undergone discussions. By some
definitions we would have 20 or more but someone said to “think of the
children trying t
o memorize that.” So they changed the definition and took
Pluto off in the meantime. Points out that trying to classify by attributes,
such as size, circling the sun, etc. is up for discussion. The 2
nd

order of
things is not the only way to classify.



Ra
ce is another topic. One can pick out a set of properties, such as skin
color, but that really makes no more biological difference than eye color,
hair color, or being right
-

and left
-
handed. P. 39



How we classify our world reflects not only the world bu
t also our interests,
our passions, our needs, our dreams. P. 40

Chemical Solitaire



Mendeleev, classified the elements of the world. The Periodic Table has an
order which appears to be the opposite of alphabetization because it adds no
information to the
items it arranges.



This ordering has also gone through the discussion

do we classify by atomic
weight or atomic number? Atomic number one.



Because of some 2
nd

order media, such as paper, we’ve had to pick some
orderings over others, a limit the third order removes. Now we know that
Weinberger



16



not everything has its place. Everything has its places

the joints at which
we choose to bend nature. P. 45.

Geography of Knowled
ge



Dewey in creating his system of classifying books thought that the physical
layout of libraries should reflect the basic structure of knowledge.



He developed 9 major divisions. Yet many librarians say how out of date and
provincial the system is. E.g
. Christianity has a lot more numbers than Islam.
Buddhism is
way down the hierarchy.

Dewey’s World



Dewey wanted to democratize libraries. He thought there should be a
single, universal way of cataloging books that all libraries could use. P. 50



Develope
d numbering system instead of simply alphabetizing books and
putting them on shelves by size.



He decided to arrange books by subject (2
nd

order thinking)



Then he’d put them in order based on the relationships among them.



He decided to use decimals to defi
ne the relationships. By using decimals he
could stretch the subject area beyond limit.



Numbering systems imply a hierarchy. P. 54 There is inherent importance in
being a top
-
level category and not to the right of the decimal point.



Problem with system
: had to had 000 to encompass computer science
because that was not an area of information when Dewey developed his
system.



The
Dewey

decimal system remains weirdly out of date, “reflecting the
small
-
town sensibility of a student at a tiny Christian coll
ege in the mid
-
1870s. p. 55



Yet librarians around the world work to reclassify in light of new awareness
e.g. changing wording of “children born out of wedlock” to “children of
unmarried parents.”



Dewey Decimal classification because knowledge is unfixed. Knowledge is
diverse, changing, imbued with the cultural values of the moment.
World is
too diverse for any single classification syste
m to work for everyone in
every

culture at every time. P. 57

[Unde
rlining mine]


Carnival Amazon



Amazon.com doesn’t care about Dewey Decimal or the precision and
orderliness of its system.



It uses “collaborative filtering”

by using filtering of what people buy and
what other books people buy who buy a certain boo
k . Therefore, they
gather this metadata and recommend books to you.



Amazon likes “friendly disorder, stuffing its pages with alternative ways of
browsing and offbeat offers peculiar to each person’s behavior. P. 61.



Amazon==3
rd

order improvem
ent. Ove
rturns all 3 of Dewey’s big ideas

Weinberger



16



o

There is no one single universal system to catalog books. Amazon has
unique organization for each user.

o

Amazon doesn’t arrange solely by subject

for each visitor they may
have unique interests and links,

o

Dewey wanted to
map knowledge; Amazon wants to sell books. P. 62



Amazon able to treat its collection as a miscellaneous pile that can be sorted
digitally to reflect individual interests of each visitor



In 2
nd

order, the bigger a miscellaneous pile grows, the harder it get
s to use.



In 3
rd

order, piles offer exponentially more possibilities and more value the
larger they get as long as you keep them well and truly miscellaneous.



Problem with Dewey

he assumed knowledge had geography, a top
-
down view,
a shape.

This makes sen
se in 1
st

an 2
nd

order of orders



It unnecessarily inhibits the useful miscellaneousness of the 3
rd
. p. 63.


Chapter 4

Lumps and Splits

Secret Life of Lists



A list is most basic way to order ideas.



A list is a list of
something.



Nesting is putting items un
der headings e.g. hardware has nails, screws, etc.
underneath it.

Nests in Trees



Using nests uses the primitive form of lumping and splitting.



Putting things under general headings = lumping



Itemizing under general headings= splitting.



We develop “trees” o
f classifying by having a “lump” and then drawing
subheadings and relationships of branches and leaves underneath = splitting.

Laundry and Linnaeus



Carolus Linnaeus

fascinated with botany
. Developed “trees” of
classification and named by looking at attr
ibutes and sorting what items had
and didn’t have. A binomial system. Developed naming system using genus
and species.



He too like Dewey wanted to democratize knowledge.



He used the criterion of complexity to organize, starting with simple and
going to

complex.



However, complexity itself is complex notion. Are cats more complex than
worms, e.g.?



His system used atoms to think through the order of natural world.

Trees Without Paper



So what would a nested order look like without paper? P. 787

Weinberger



16





Orgs are now used
faceted classification

system that constructs

a
dynamically browsable, branching tree that exactly meets your needs.
NASA, IBM, Barnes and Noble are implementing such systems



Faceted classification combines user
-
friendliness of
browsing

a

tree with
the power of digital computing. It is unthinkable without computers.



No one facet has to be the “root”. One doesn’t have to decide the root
ahead of time because the “tree” can be built as you go depending on the
facet most relevant to current
interest, and then limit it by using another
facet etc.



Can be used on the fly or constructed a head of time which imitates the real
world

Reality is multifaceted.
How
we choose to slice it up depends on
why

we’re slicing it up



We have to give up Arist
otelian belief that there is only one right and true
tree of knowledge.



Now that we have 3
rd

order (eliminating confines of paper) we can hang a
“leaf” on many branches of a tree.



It’s not that our knowledge of the world is taking some shape other than a
tree or becoming some impossible
-
to
-
e vision four
-
dimensional tree.



In the 3
rd

order of order, knowledge doesn’t have
a
shape. There are just
too many useful, powerful, and beautiful ways to make sense of our world. P.
83

Chapter 5

The Laws of the Jungl
e

Big Can of Worms



Things being miscellaneous causes many problems for people? Why?
Because at its heart, the miscellaneous is a set of things that have nothing in
common. Of course, that “nothing” is relative.



Even Stephen Jay Gould pointed out a tax
onomic system divides a domain
into two major lumps that are wildly uneven, e.g. vertebrates v.
invertebrates. P. 87



Lamarck even realized that life cannot be order into a single line, from least
complex to most as Linnaeus had done.



Order often hides mo
re than it reveal.



Physical limitations on how we have organized information have not only
limited our vision, they have also given
people

who control the org. of info
more power than those who create the info.



Editors are more powerful than reporters, an
d communication syndicates are
more powerful than editors because they get to decide what to bring to the
surface and what to ignore. [Education is really powerful because they
decide what is “standard” and what students have to know. Such decisions
are c
lass and race
-
biased. Schools are truly 1
st

and 2
nd

order. What would
happen if education truly became 3
rd

order? NOTE MINE]

Weinberger



16





At least in the first and second orders of ord. In the 3
rd

order, bits rule.
And so does the miscellaneous. P. 89

Tagging Leave
s



The “leaves” on trees of information are ways to sort but when we draw a
map of knowledge, it is all too easy to assume that knowledge is a territory
that can be subjugated by applying a rigorous and relentless methodology. P.
91



Classification is a power struggle

it is
political

because the first two
orders of order require that there be a winner. P. 91



The 3
rd

order takes the territory subjugated by classification and liberates
it. Instead of forcing it into categories, it
tags

it. Tagging lets a user of
online resources add a word or two to them so she can find them later.



Delicious.com a way to cluster and tag areas and get back to them.



Tagging grew out of personal need and is way to organize.
P. 93



On Delicious the lists al
so can be public so information can create
tag
streams

areas of interest common to people. One can also create a
tag
feed

so a daily list of new pages is automatically sent to your email in
-
box or
software

called an “aggregator.” P. 95



In 3
rd

order of o
rder the messiness of
miscellaneous

information doesn’t
reduce its utility.



Tagging is one way of the miscellaneous coming into its own. Another way is
the way that online music sites aggregate the world’s music and let us access
it in any order we want
. P. 95

Miscellaneous from A to Z



Because we are no longer tied to physical paper, we can organize
information any way we want.

New Properties, New strategies, new Knowledge



Miscellaneous doesn’t much resemble our traditional view of knowledge
which we b
elieve has 4 characteristics:

1.

There is only one reality, one knowledge same for all.

2.

We’ve assumed reality is not ambiguous, neither is
knowledge

3.

Knowledge is as big as reality and therefore no one person
can comprehend it. Experts can only be expert in o
ne field
and they act as filters, using their education, experience,
and expertise to keep bad information away from us.

4.

Experts achieve their position by working their way up
through social institutions. However which groups get
funded can determine what

a society believes and the
funding is often granted by people who know less than the
experts [NCLB e.g. NOTE MINE]


Weinberger



16





The way we have organized knowledge has been largely determined by
these 4 properties of knowledge



However, 3
rd

order miscellany is digital
, not physical, and we no longer
have to agree on a single framework. Things have their
places
, not a
single place. [Huge ramifi
c
ations here for education when we continue to
use a 1
st

order structure, and 2
nd

order idea of curriculum. NOTE MINE]



4 new st
rategic principles are emerging:

o

Filter on the way out, not on the way in

filtering on way in
decreases

value of abundance by ruling out items that may be of
value to a few people. Filtering on way out

increases value of
abundance by locating what is impo
rtant to a given group at a given
time. P. 103

o

Put each leaf on as many branches as possible: Real advantage in
3
rd

order of miscellany.

o

Everything is metadata and everything can be a label. In 1
st

2
orders we had to think carefully about which metadata we made
available. In 3rder every word in a book can count as metadata so
can any of the sources that link to the book

Vastly increases
leverage of knowledge.

o

Give up control

So powerful to let user
s mix it up for themselves.
Users are now in charge of the org of the info they browse.
[HUGE ramifications for schools. What if we let students
determine their path of learning? What if they were so engaged
that they built their own framework? NOTE MI
NE]



Control has changed hands. New rules of the information jungle are in
effect, transforming the landscape in which we work, buy, learn, vote,
and play. [Yet we still try to control content and system in schools.
NOTE MINE]

Chapter 6

Smart Leaves

Value

of Pointing



UPC codes have 3 parts:
manufacturer

identifier, product identifier, and
digit calculated from other digits to serve as check on integrity of
number UPCs are success story and now we are heading to RFIDs (Radio
Frequency Identification tags)
to keep track of what people buy, use,
etc. so businesses can market more effectively



Yet intellectual content not as easy to pin down

Treating a program e.g. as a
smart leaf on the tree doesn’t automatically enable the
elements

of a
program to be treated
as smart leave.

Essence of the Matter



We have believed in
essentialism

that everything is defined by clear and
knowable traits that make it into what it is. Linnaeus began with his
Weinberger



16



standard Christian belief (heavily influenced by Aristotle) that God
popul
ated Eden with the various species, each then exactly as it is now. P.
116



When we look at cures for disease, we think there is an
essential

nature
that can be discovered but we are learning that it is more complex. There is
no one cure for the common c
old. And cancer is a multiple of different kinds
of cells

there is no ONE cancer, and no ONE cause or treatment.



Essentialism makes the world seem more manageable, but it can lead us to
miss what’s really going on. P.
118

What is a book?



Card catalogue is

2
nd

order object so people have to make decisions.



Digital world, on the other hand, has never met a piece of information it
didn’t like.



ISBNs are now on every book published since 1960s to identify every book
sold. Basically,



There are a lot of permu
tations on what is a book. What is Hamlet e.g.? A
play? A name?



3
rd

order thinking doesn’t let us become strict constructionists who
recognize only a narrow range of essentials. Leaves are unpredictable and
open
-
ended

Intertwingularity



“People keep p
retending they can make things deeply hierarchical,
categorizable, and sequential when they can’t everything is deeply
intertwingled.” Ted Nelson in Everything, p. 125. Nelson is the person who
coined the term
hypertext.
Everything is intertwingled, in
tertwingularity
enables knowledge. And unique identifies enable intertwingularity

although
there can be so many unique identifiers for the same
thing

and at various
levels of abstraction that the identifiers are all a
-
twingle also.



Unique identifiers don
’t just provide a way to pull information together.
They also allow information to be dispersed. P. 127



We’re only going to get better at intertwingularity because this is how we’re
going to make sense of the miscellany of ideas and information we’re
creating for ourselves. P. 128

Chapter 7

Social Knowing

Digg.com

a “user driven social content website.

Reddit.com


TailRank lets you narrow down results from feeds, tags and buddies.



Social networks create 3
rd

order front pages unique to a group’s intere
sts.

Conundrum of control

Authorities have long filtered and organized information for us, protecting us from
what isn’t worth our time and helping us find what we need to give our beliefs a
Weinberger



16



sturdy foundation. But with the miscellaneous, it’s all availabl
e to us, unfiltered. P.
132.



Businesses too have tried to own their information and the organization of
that information. Not true any long.



Customers, patrons, users and citizen are not waiting for permission to take
control of finding and organizing inf
o. We’re not doing it just as individuals.
Knowledge

its content and its organization

is becoming a social act. P. 133

[What does this mean to schools? NOTE MINE]

Anonymous Authors



Miscellany of info endangers some of our most well
-
established instituti
ons,
especially those that get their authority directly from their grip on
knowledge. [E
-
12 and universities???? NOTE MINE]



Wikipedia an example of how anonymous authors help shape info. The more
an article is edited, the more it is being defined. A co
llection of authors can
precipitate knowledge. P. 139

Authority and Truth



Wikipedia only progresses by being up
-
front about errors and omissions. It
Socratically revels in being corrected.



Fixing an error in 2
nd

order publications is a much bigger deal b
ecause it
requires starting up an editorial processes, printing presses, and delivery
vans.



However, 3
rd

order like Wikipedia can be corrected with seconds of someone
noticing.



Wikipedia does everything in its power to avoid being an authority yet that
se
ems
only

to increase its authority

a paradox that indicates an important
change in the nature of authority itself.



In a miscellaneous world, an Oz
-
like authority that speaks in a single voice
with unshakable confidence is a blowhard. Authority now comes
from
enabling us inescapably fallible creatures to explore the differences among
us, together.

Social Knowers



Social knowing changes
who

does the knowing and
how

more than it changes
the
what
of knowledge.



NCLB and state testing has in fact defined knowing

as something done by
individuals. It is something that happens inside your brain. The mark of
knowing is being able to fill in a paper with the right answers. Knowledge
could not get any less social. In fact, in those circumstances when
knowledge is s
ocial we call it cheating. [This is in exact opposite of how the
world is functioning. When are schools going to transform? NOTE MINE]



If our children are doing their homework socially, even though they’re being
graded and tested as if they’re doing thei
r work in isolation booths. In the
digital order their approach of social learning is appropriate. Memorizing
Weinberger



16



facts is often now a skill more relevant to quiz shows than to life.
[Memorizing relevant to state tests too. NOTE MINE]



One thing is more sure
: When our kids become teachers, they’re not going to
be administering tests to students sitting in a neat grid of separated desks
with the shades drawn. [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOTE MINE]



A lesson from Wikipedia

conversation improves expertise by expo
sing
weaknesses, introducing new viewpoints, and pushing ideas into accessible
form.



Diverse viewpoints help us get past the biases of individuals



Now we can see for ourselves that knowledge isn’t in our heads: It is
between us. It emerges from public a
nd social thought and it stays there,
because social knowing, like the global conversations that give rise to it, is
never finished. P. 147

Chapter 8

What Nothing Says



We are surprisingly good readers of metadata. We can read metadata
before we learn to r
ead

we can spot ads from articles in supermarket
tabloids very easily.

Mining the Clouds



In 2
nd

order world

direct mail “junk mail” is often considered successful if
2% of recipients ac t on the offer. Getting response rates even that high
usually require
s buying mailing lists carefully sorted by zip code and the
recipients’ history of purchases. P. 163



In 3
rd

order amount of implicit information people generate about
themselves is staggering.



The line is blurry because we re in transition in our idea of
privacy and we
are still discovering ways to make sense of the implicit traces people leave
behind. But there is a line, and businesses who want customers to come back
will pay close attention to it.

What isn’t Said



Art of tagging still being created. E.
g. SF can be San Francisco, CA or a
different country.



Computer can learn from sets of tags that people apply to pages. If
someone tags sf and also tags “golden gate” chances are that it is SF
California.



Our computers learn more about who we are, where w
e live, and whom we
know. Intersect a tagging system with an online social network, and much of
the text that tags ignore can be brought back in. They also pay attention to
which sites we visit and how much time we spend on each site.

Span of Meaning

Weinberger



16





We

are building this connected miscellany
link
-
by
-
link

and
tag
-
by
-
tag
. Its
value is in the implicit relationships that turn it into an
infrastructure of
meaning.

From it we can and do mine knowledge.



By tagging and sites we visit we are creating streams

of information =,
explanation, speculation

shared every day with other researchers across
multiple departments and perhaps even multiple companies.

Chapter 9

Messiness as a Virtue



Medical records good example of orders of information. 2
nd

order is
encoding patient files e.g. by name. By nature it’s a mare’s nest of info.



We think things are supposed to be orderly.



Organizing things neatly in the first two orders requires us to make
decisions about what is important. In first order, we ha
ve tot pick one way
of arranging objects and that one way will not suit e
v
ery user and every
need.



2
nd

order

allows us to add few alternate ways of organizing info (by subject
and title as well as by author, for example)




3
rd

order is a mess from the begi
nning.



Good example of 3
rd

order is what happens with Flickr and photos. Photos
can be sorted by many different ways and it is not linear.



Neatness has also been a characteristic of our systems of knowledge.
Dewey reduced the knowledge in the world book
s to ten categories, each
divided by ten and then into ten again. In such systems, exceptions are
regrettable



A neat environment gives us a sense of master



We also seem to abhor complexity.



Innovation seems to happen at intersections of interactions.



The

messiness of a diagram of social interaction is often a measure of the
level of innovation in a company. [What does this say about schools? NOTE
MINE]



Simplicity was the only reasonable strategy before we developed machines
that can handle massive amoun
ts of data and metadata. Smart
business is

no
longer confined to knowing what can be written in two
-
dimensional lines of
the flat surface of a sheet of paper. P. 182

Escaping Definition.



Not all categories have clear
-
cut boundaries. Rosch in Everything,
p. 187.

Semantic Mess



Artificial intelligence has never lived up to its promise is that as soon as an
AI application succeeds, it not longer looks like AI.



A seamless whole that drives out ambiguity would also drive out the richness
of implicit meaning
.

Weinberger



16





A leaf can hang from many branches. Our task becomes less to discover the
one thing that something is than to see what if sort
-
of, kind
-
of, 73% is. The
task of knowing is no longer to see the simple. It is to swim in the complex.
P. 198

Chapter 10

The Work of Knowledge



Everything touching knowledge and everything knowledge touches is being
transformed. Traditional knowledge, like a lighthouse as the see recedes
and as radar supplements
static

maps, is changing simply by staying the
same.



Is knowle
dge being fragmented? Are we being fragmented along with it?



The miscellaneous is unowned. Anyone can add to it. Anyone can slice it up
and reorganize it the way she likes.



Freed of paper, our knowledge can now be presented, communicated, and
preserved in ways rich with links and exceptions.
Does knowledge stay
simple and orderly?
[No, but don’t schools try to keep it that way? NOTE
MINE]



In the miscellanized world, knowled
ge is at most one click away from
everything else that is not knowledge. Often they share the same page.
Does knowledge retain its privileged position?



Finally, can we re
-
ask the topic we began with:
If everything is
miscellaneous
, why doesn’t it stay tha
t way?

Shard Knowledge



People finding like mines and reading and sharing this info is that “many
people are mostly hearing more and louder echoes of their own voices.”
Worse, this fragmentation is causing groups

shards

to become more
extreme and more pola
rized in their views. P. 201



The Net has repeated the basic structure of the broadcast medium: a few
speakers with lots of listeners.



Conversation on the net always occurs on a ground of agreement. People of
like mind find each other; they don’t broaden

their horizons. They narrow
them.



Understanding, not knowledge, is what we’re aiming at in most conversations.
Therefore, we seek those who think like we do. P. 201



Even in authoritative sources such as Encyclopedia Britannica, knowledge is
not homogen
eously authoritative.

Knowledge unchained



Genius is topical It therefore has to be proved anew in every domain.



What happens if topics crumble, if knowledge doesn’t divide into stable,
mappable fields? What then will experts master? If masters no lo
nger have
a territory, what are they masters of? P. 206

Weinberger



16





Print forces editors to make unnatural decisions. It layers symbolism onto
the length of topics. P. 207



In Wikipedia length is a manifestation of interest and passion, even if the
interest
and

passio
n of only a single person.

Complexified Knowledge



Science, despite its complexity, is also in search of the simple.



Politicians will continue to sum up complex ideas in simple phrases
. Curricula
may now be aimed at the test
-
taking requirements of NCLB but

classroom
teachers know that their job is always to keep their students from thinking
issues are too simple.



Classroom blogs are a place for students to be complex and think together.
P. 211



Digital order

have potential for connections from the trivial to

the urgent
which is characteristic of new miscellany.



Because we are doing this willy
-
nilly and sometimes without even intending
to, we are blurring lines faster than we draw them. We use to have a box of
8 crayons now we make our own colors. P. 213

Plac
e of Know
l
edge



If we are defined as the animals that are rational, then knowing is the
highest human activity and knowledge is king. But the 3
rd

order of order
doesn’t have a lot of patience with monarchs who tell us how we shall
organize our ideas.



What’
s happening to the knowledge we already know? What’s happening to
how we develop knowledge? What will be knowledge’s role in the
externalized web of meaning we’re spinning? P
213

Knowledge we know



Textbooks present settled knowledge. But the Internet
makes knowledge as
instantly available as a calculator’s “equals” button.



There’s always going to be plenty to discover and argue about.



Understanding is metaknowledge but some knowledge will be commoditized



Commoditization of knowledge enables greater val
ue to be built from it.
Now more than ever, knowledge’s value will come from the understanding it
enables.

Developing Knowledge



In the 3
rd

order what starts out as open, authority
-
free, and permissionless
can find itself evolving in unexpected ways.



Various media may add ranking and comments. Such as Reddit.com



In miscellaneous world, knowledge comes in gradations and varieties. Some
knowledge is good enough to pass the most rigorous of peer reviews and
make it into the pages of a prestigious journal
. Some knowledge is
unpublished but worth reading and discussing. Some is true and some is not
rue yet. P. 218

Weinberger



16





Niches in this new ecology are distinguished by their metadata.



Knowledge was supposed to be a mirror of reality

either true or not. But
that
isn’t true any more. P. 219

Knowledge, Essence, and Meaning



Two most common words in English language = the and of.
"The" is a word of
separation and “of” is a word of connection.



First job of knowledge was to discern defining criteria.



Essentialism, ta
ken at its simples, says that each thing has a set of
attributes that defines it, as well as less important attributes that come
along.



Perfect example of how that doesn’t work is the case of race. E.g. Tiger
Woods. What race is he?



As of 1997 American
Anthropological Association says that race “has no
scientific justification in human biology” that there is more difference
within a racial group than between groups. Essentialism fails.



Construction of meaning is the most important project of the next
h
undred

years. [In that case, what is the job of schools? NOTE MINE]



In the world after the Enlightenment, the cultural task was to build
knowledge. In the miscellaneous world, the task is to build meaning, even
though we can’t yet know what we’ll do with
this new domain.



Knowledge’s new place will be in an ever
-
present mesh of social meaning.



Knowledge is thus not

being dethroned



But knowledge is now not our only project or our single highest calling.



Making sense of what we know is the broader task, a t
ask for understanding
within the infrastructure of meaning.

Metabusines



Going meta does understandably scare many traditional industries. The
miscellanizing of information means that information is plucked from the
tree of its birth and is available to
anyone who can make use of it. P. 227

[In this case, how do schools act? NOTE MINE]


Why isn’t everything Miscellaneous



We have built institutions that depend on maintaining systems of
categorization for their authority and revenues. [Schools and universi
ties
NOTE MINE]



With the rise of the 3
rd

order, we can ask question again. Why isn’t
everything miscellaneous?



Freed of paper, we will continue our long march of knowledge But in the 3
rd

order, we turn an item over in our hands, trying to remember wha
t it reminds
us of. We make a note. The note is a public link that exists in the world and
can be discovered and reused. The result is a startling change in our
culture’s belief that truth means accuracy, effectiveness requires
Weinberger



16



adherence to clear lines
of command and control, and knowledge is power. P.
229



It’s not who is right and who is wrong. It’s how different pints of view are
negotiated, given context, and embodied with passion and interest.



It’s how messily you are connected and how thick with mea
ning are the links



It’s not what you know, and it’s not even who you know. It’s how much
knowledge you give away. Hoarding knowledge diminishes your power because
it diminishes your presence.



A topic is not a domain with edges. It is how passion focuses

itself.



The world won’t every stay miscellaneous because we are together making it
ours.

Coda



In the 3
rd

order, all the ways of organizing a collection can be made public.



We can change the visible order to reflect our private meaning.



We can share orde
rings and build on them.



Each enhances the meaning of the whole



None has to be given priority.



None is more real than another.