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Everything Is Miscellaneous

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Everything Is Miscellaneous

The Power of the New Digital Disorder

Henry Holt,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A journey into new ways of organizing data: the power of miscellany in the digital era of searchable information.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


More than ever, knowledge is power, and as computerization and digitalization reshape society, the way knowledge is organized dictates how people obtain it and apply it. In this fascinating book, philosophy professor David Weinberger chronicles the history of changes in access to knowledge. He shows how Internet-based enterprises such as iTunes and Wikipedia reflect new rules of knowledge organization. This intellectually provocative and well-researched book explains the true impact of the information revolution. The only thing missing from this original, incisive and entertaining workbook is a glossary. While some readers may need other sources of information for certain technical definitions, getAbstract considers this book a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how the knowledge revolution has reshaped business and society.


Getting Reorganized

The dawning of the digital age fundamentally changed the way people organize everything from how information is stored and categorized to how shopping works. Physical space is the prime consideration when librarians decide which books to keep, but Internet site operators face no such constraints. The Internet enables the presentation of information based on individual preferences, such as buying habits, and provides the ability to browse Web pages in miscellaneous order. Similarly, new Internet-based principles now guide the organization of content in random groupings to make it more searchable.

Finding information is the common quest of modern hunter-gatherers, but the search no longer has to take place solely in the physical world. Today, physical reality is ebbing in importance as ethereal information defines the Internet age.

Traditionally, people would go into stores and find items according to how the stores’ managers organized their inventory. Shoppers who were not looking for anything special could browse the shelves until they found something of interest. The joy of browsing is an act of discovery. In a similar way, the digital world...

About the Author

Marketing consultant David Weinberger, Ph.D., is co-author of the international bestseller, The Cluetrain Manifesto, and the author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined. A fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for the Internet & Society, he writes for many publications and appears on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

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