Wednesday, November 29, 2006

CMTC2006 - David Weinberger, keynote

Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference, wednesday keynote

(came in half way through) Weinberger's web page

  • talked about the fairly aribitrary way scientists decided Pluto wasn't a planet
  • archaic Dewey decimal system to illustrate how even though it doesn't really function well in our global world, we're stuck with it and that's ok - we can think about knowledge despite it.
  • defining and examining 'knowledge' / 7 properties of knowledge
  • books are bad at linking information - footnotes are pretty ridiculous
  • expensive to produce so the issue of authority comes into play
  • with books - write in private then publish , can't update- model is being flipped on its head
  • orders of organization - first order, actual stuff. second order, metadata (card catalog). third order, everything is digital - content and metadata
  • 4 principles of organizing digital information
    • leaf on many branches - put the book in lots of places
    • messiness is a virtue
    • no difference between data and metadata - search by about or a piece of the thing itself - only difference is data is the thing you are looking for and metadata is the thing you know - now any bit of information can be metadata
    • unowned order - owners of the information no longer own the organization of the information - for the users - used NCSU catalog as example, then
(this is such a turn-on for a lis geek like me!!!)

  • leaving the tree model (everything has 1 info place and only 1 place) and going to a 'pile' of info - new shape of knowledge - everything is connected
  • it is more expensive to exclude stuff than include it - storage is so cheap - easier to keep everything than to make decisions about what to keep
  • preserve everything because we do not know what matters
  • filter on the way out, not on the way in - postpone building the taxonomy, let the user do it and give them the tools
  • 7 properties: one and the same; simple; impersonal; bigger than we are; filtered; orderly; has a knower
  • simple things become complex - simple george w speech, bloggers tease out the history, compexities, links
  • no longer the broadcast era - no longer need to be so simple, blogs allow the conversation to be complex
  • filtered - knowledge has been filtered by experts. there are other experts. used digg as the example
  • authority - "when in doubt, look it up" (britannica)
  • mere presence does not convey credibility.
    • wikipedia - history and discussion pages incredible artifacts
    • discussion pages increase the credibility of the articles
    • increases credibility by letting you know right up front that there is debate about the article
    • encourages authors/readers to increase the conversation
    • beta is great
    • showed a mocked up NYT front page with wikipedia warnings about neutrality, etc.
    • publicly negotiated knowledge
      • the world's greastest authority debates the common man
      • world's greatest authority will leave if her stuff is changed too often
      • the result is not what any individual would come up with, it has been negotiated
      • knowledge is social
(i think i am a little in love with this guy. this is all sooooooooooo up my alley)

      • kids do their homework socially w/ im
      • kids learning social because knowledge is social (individual testing is ridiculous)
  • (some german guy) in order to know what a hammer is, you have to know what nails are, what wood is, what trees are,
  • context context context of info in order to create meaning
  • externalization - books externalize knowledge, calculators externalize arithmatic
  • now in the process of externalizing meaning -
    • everytime you tag you make it possible for people to create meaning
    • no links, no web!

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