Everything Is Miscellaneous

Everything Is Miscellaneous : The Power of the New Digital Disorder

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Business visionary and bestselling author David Weinberger shows how the digital revolution is radically changing the way we make sense of our lives Human beings are information omnivores: we are constantly collecting, labeling, and organizing data. But today, the shift from the physical to the digital is mixing, burning, and ripping our lives apart. In the past, everything had its one place—the physical world demanded it—but now everything has its places: multiple categories, multiple shelves. Simply put, everything is suddenly miscellaneous. In Everything Is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger charts the new principles of digital order that are remaking business, education, politics, science, and culture. In his rollicking tour of the rise of the miscellaneous, he examines why the Dewey decimal system is stretched to the breaking point, how Rand McNally decides what information not to include in a physical map (and why Google Earth is winning that battle), how Staples stores emulate online shopping to increase sales, why your children’s teachers will stop having them memorize facts, and how the shift to digital music stands as the model for the future in virtually every industry. Finally, he shows how by “going miscellaneous,” anyone can reap rewards from the deluge of information in modern work and life. From A to Z, Everything Is Miscellaneous will completely reshape the way you think—and what you know—about the world. David Weinberger is the 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 and Society, Weinberger writes for such publications as Wired, The New York Times, Smithsonian, and the Harvard Business Review and is a frequent commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered. In 1994, he founded Evident Marketing, a strategic marketing firm on technology issues, and he served as the senior Internet adviser to the Howard Dean campaign. He lives in Boston. Business visionary and bestselling author David Weinberger shows how the digital revolution is radically changing the way we make sense of our lives. Human beings are information omnivores: we are constantly collecting, labeling, and organizing data. But today, the shift from the physical to the digital is mixing, burning, and ripping our lives apart. In the past, everything had its one place—the physical world demanded it—but now everything has its places: multiple categories, multiple shelves. Simply put, everything is suddenly miscellaneous. In Everything Is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger charts the new principles of digital order that are remaking business, education, politics, science, and culture. In his rollicking tour of the rise of the miscellaneous, he examines why the Dewey decimal system is stretched to the breaking point, how Rand McNally decides what information not to include in a physical map (and why Google Earth is winning that battle), how Staples stores emulate online shopping to increase sales, why your children’s teachers will stop having them memorize facts, and how the shift to digital music stands as the model for the future in virtually every industry. Finally, he shows how by “going miscellaneous,” anyone can reap rewards from the deluge of information in modern work and life. From A to Z, Everything Is Miscellaneous will completely reshape the way you think—and what you know—about the world. "Weinberger analyzes the Internet's impact on the way we look at the organization of information . . . the order of things, with the shift from the physical to the digital, is changing: in the physical world, everything had its own place; in the digital world, everything is miscellaneous, fitting into multiple categories. Weinberger describes and assesses the traditional ways of organizing information . . . then moves on to the new order including online digital arrangements of archival photographs from the Bettman Archive to the lists and categories of books and other products on Amazon.com. This thought-provoking book allows readers to step back and take a look at how the digital world impacts how they are and will be looking at arrangements of objects and information."—Lucy Heckman, Library Journal "There is no order. There never was an order. There never will be an order. That's the order. Or so David Weinberger convincingly (and far more gracefully) postulates in his incredible new book, Everything is Miscellaneous . . . He explains in astonishing detail exactly why it’s the best we've come up with so far by exploring every conceivable method of organization humans have used in the past. Starting with alphabetization and moving through the development of modern maps, knowledge trees, the organization of animal species, and an insanely readable analysis of the Dewey Decimal system, Weinberger reveals the flaws in each developmental system and what can be learned from their failures. Leaping between explanations about these outdated methods and analyses of modern informational and organizational powerhouses like Wikipedia, Flickr, and Del.icio.us, Everything is Miscellaneous reveals more about the way we think in a single chapter than will have occurred to most readers over a lifetime. Weinberger, a doctor of philosophy, possesses an admirable mind, and draws out the battle between simplicity and complexity with an elegance uncommon to this type of text . . . Nothing I write here can communicate what an oddly fun, smart, and thought-provoking book Weinberger has written. In discussing The Brothers Karamazov, Weinberger himself ponders this phenomenon: 'Somehow, through a series of explicit statements, Dostoyevsky manages to create an understanding of the brothers so rich and tangly that it defeats articulation.' In the end, one can only say of either book, 'Read it.'—Drew Nellins, Bookslut "The world is messy, like it or not, and it's only going to get messier as the Web destroys rules and rule-makers. You can either complain about the chaos and wish for the good old days of order, or you can buy this book and understand why delirious disorder will soon make us all smarter."—Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail "David Weinberger attacks the complexity of the real world, not by making it simple, but by making it clear. Once he explains how things can be in more than one place at a time—and make sense—you'll never look at a humble index card the same way again."—Esther Dyson"From how information is organised, to the nature of knowledge and how meaning is determined, this book is a profound contribution to understanding the impact of the digital revolution."—Richard Sambrook, director, BBC Global News “Everything Is Miscellaneous is a rare and mesmerizing mix: on the one hand, it's an essential guide to latest information age trends, one that will be extremely useful for businesses and consumers alike. But the book is much more than that as well: it's a probing and profound exploration
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Product details

  • Hardback | 277 pages
  • 160.02 x 238.76 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0805080430
  • 9780805080438
  • 578,152

Rating details

2,262 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 25% (570)
4 36% (824)
3 27% (607)
2 9% (204)
1 3% (57)
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