David Weinberger and Andrew Keen

Random, scattered notes. Not necessarily understandable. Might contain outright mistakes — I don’t always understand everything. No who-said-what either, sorry.

David Weinberger

Supernova Second Day 29

1993: Too much information. Solution: more information. This has always been the problem of the web: too much info out there. Why aren’t we drowning?

First order: ?

Second order: physically separate. steph-note: great slide with photos of cars demonstrating that we can’t put two physical things at the same place

We like taxonomic trees: everything in one place and the right place. Sorting clothes in a pile. Animal kingdom tree.

We have absorbed the limitations of the physical and applied it to the world of ideas. Terrible limitation!

We take the leaves of the trees.

  1. leaf of many branches (put one thing in many categories)
  2. messiness as a virtue
  3. no difference between data and metadata (everything is online — “I remember a bit of the content” => you can find the thing, and all the metadata. Everything becomes metadata.)
  4. Owners of the information do not own the organisation of that information. We have invented techniques to allow us to find stuff. The web is not flat, it’s lumpy.

  5. We are used to favoring simplicity because that’s how you get the message out. (cf. politics steph-note: slide of Bush) Blog posts commenting on Bush’s speech made it more complex, commenting on little aspects of it.

  6. Experts. Publicly negotiated knowledge. Wikipedia. Usually Wikipedia is better than what we get from any one individual. No matter how much of an expert Howard is, the mailing-list is smarter than him. Kids using social tools to do homework. Doing homework socially.
  7. Understanding. What we do on the web is understand what we know. We have a huge pile of stuff we enrich with metadata (tags!!) We’re creating links between things. We’re building the real semantic web!

Infrastructure of meaning. It’s ours.

Andrew Keen

Supernova Second Day 34

This is supposed to be a debate about the value of authority in a connected year. Troubled by the idea that authority has value.

Power being defined as religious, charismatic, expertise

Are all these changes a good thing? Are they a threat to what we truly value?

What he values: he’s a modernist. Believes in the nation-state, mass-society. It’s good. Radically new access to culture, education. Mass education, mass media, mass literacy — good thing.

Where is this world going? In spite of digital utopians’ hopes (genuine hopes, they believe what they say!) steph-note: sentences too long, can’t keep track concerned about what we’re losing in the withering of mass-everything, bigger divisions between the rich and the poor.

More scarcity of education in this digital world. We’re doing away with the access to education for the masses by taking down the gate-keepers.

Hierarchies: digital revolution is creating profound new hierarchies. Dramatic contrasts in terms of wealth and poverty.

Fragmentation of mass society: we’re seeing complex boundaries of the middle ages reappear. steph-note: to me, he seems to be saying lots of things that ring well with people’s fears, but for me it’s disconnected from reality. “it’s making access to education more difficult” — how? where? when?

Debate

Supernova Second Day 37

steph-note: DW asks a question, don’t have the feeling AK is answering — asking another question. Noticing I have lots of trouble following conversations. DW engaging more than AK who tends to just ask questions back at DW’s questions.

steph-note: AK now answering questions, but I’m still crap at taking notes in this kind of situation. I still think he’s somewhat hindering the conversation by going on tangents and flying out in abstractions with no examples. Sweeping generalisations and references to how we’re going back to medieval times.

AK: people need authorities and experts.

DW: the web is more of everything — the good, and the bad.

Tom: there is actually very little authority in the world which is derived from expertist.

AK: the media system is relatively meritocratic regarding to society steph-note: couldn’t disagree more, and the audience visibly doesn’t agree either

Update, July 25, 2007: Full Text: Keen vs. Weinberger

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