Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room
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We used to know how to know. We got our answers from books or experts. We’d nail down the facts and move on. But in the Internet age, knowledge has moved onto networks. There’s more knowledge than ever, of course, but it’s 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 knowledgefrom the role of facts to the value of books and the authority of expertsproviding a compelling vision of the future of knowledge in a connected world.
differences between the houses of knowledge inhabited by Galen and by Enders and Salk. The humor-ists assumed that their foundation was strong and true because it enabled them to draw analogies among all the different realms, from the biological to the social to the psychological to the astronomical. That made sense when we believed that God ordered His universe in the maximally beautiful way, that He gave us minds so we could appreciate His handiwork, and that our minds worked (in His image) by
course, there were the disgusting images repeatedly posted by vandals. Jeff Jarvis, an important voice for openness in the debate about the future of journalism, blogged that “[a] wikitorial is bound to turn into a tug-of-war” and suggested that an alternative wiki page be set up for those who disagreed with the editorial. The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, responded that he had already done so, creating a “counterpoint” wiki on the Los Angeles Times site for those who differed from the
methods, attitudes, and results of science. Which will happen, the best or the worst? Both. 8 Where the Rubber Hits the Node Facing reality sounds simple—but it isn’t. —JACK WELCH 1 IN HIS MEMOIRS, JACK WELCH, the fabled CEO of General Electric and Fortune magazine’s “Manager of the Century,”2 tells of his decision to stop manufacturing nuclear power plants in 1981 because the Three Mile Island meltdown two years earlier had scared America out of the nuclear power market.
leadership, starting with a non-networked example that may help clarify what it means to say that, just as knowledge is becoming a property of the network, leadership is becoming a property less of the leader than of the group that is being led. If you want to understand leadership, one good place to start might be a school that has the training of leaders at the core of its mission. So I visited Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Burgess at the United States Military Academy at West Point where he
expectations, WolframAlpha has a “Show details” link that gives you the information it used in doing the calculation. Of course, not all examples of showing your work are that literal. When journalism blogger Jay Rosen links to a source that supports a statement, he is being transparent about how he came to a conclusion, while also increasing the authority of his work. Linking also situates your work within its context, tempting us to learn more. When Jillian York blogged a thoughtful response