Re:Public: David Weinberger

Dr. Dave is up now @Re:Public; Dave Weinberger is one of my heroes–such a brilliant man, and a ClueTrainer, of course; his other two books are marvels as well– Small Pieces Loosely Joined and Everything is Miscellaneous.
Talking about the web, what are the metaphors and frames we use? Let’s look for the uncomfortable ones….
The web is an ecosystem–this is a little too comforting

  • Pro-AM: Passion of amateurs and the partnership between Pros and Amateurs, but money is the vector right, and that’s not it at all! The issues are about quality, not $$–disparity is HUGE. Also, this frame is a sports metaphor, ugh.
  • Info flow: Useful idea, but people don’t read news to get information; that’s one reason, but the reasons for creating news and reading news are actually different
  • Abundance: Here’s the one to talk about a bit more–Control doesn’t scale well, so we end up in a system that has an abundance of both thegood and the bad–we focus on the bad of course–so we focus on protecting people from the bad–but the crap is scary and the abundance of good stuff is TERRIFYING–we don’t know how to deal with it!! Way too much! Experts, editors, curators–we started with those people and it worked, but now–hey,we’ve gone waaay past the front page of the paper–we’re now at the place where the front page is our inbox; the recommendations we get from other people, totally unconfined–The new front pages are the mailing lists (Susan sez, and friendfeed, twitter,FB notes, etc…), tags, and so on….There’s a huge cost to reducing information to index cards..Waay too much metadata (how true, Susan sez).
  • The abundance of metadata leads to tagging;then there’s a socialization of knowledge–people you know and trust, and then there’s the semantic web where you break things down to show the structure of the ideas and meaning in that domain. Dave says the semantic web has been oversold, and yet it allows computers to do some finding and possibly represent knowledge structures….a useful way to add metadata.
  • hese new tools all affect our understanding of the data they touch–they are all tools that unsettle knowledge; the info is more up for grabs than we thought, more contextual.
  • We’re in this great unsettling of meaning that is now in our face–and which in term leads to needing more transparency and with fallability, because we see the info sources are humans.
  • So our own Publics are being created in public (Susan: not sure what he means here…)

Susan sez: Dave is soooo good.